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Project title: Learning-dependent potentiation in development - functional significance

Primary supervisor: Dr Liat Levita

Project description: The reinforcing effects of appetitive and aversive outcomes on approach and avoidance behaviour are well established. However, their influence on perceptual processes is less well explored. Consequently this project will investigate the mechanisms that underlie learning-dependent potentiation to appetitive and aversive signals of danger in sensory areas. It will examine, acquisition, consolidation and extinction of learning-dependent potentiation and will involve a series of studies using EEG to examine the functional significance of learning dependent potentiation in adults and adolescents. ERPs of interest will be the N170 and the late positive potential. Exploratory part of this project will be to also examine how learning-dependent potentiation may relate to risk-taking and anxiety levels in the transition from adolescence to adulthood.


Levita, L., Howsley, P., Jordan, J., & Johnston, P. (2015). Potentiation of the early visual response to learned danger signals in adults and adolescents. Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci, 10(2), 269-277

Gable, P. A., & Harmon-Jones, E. (2010). Late Positive Potential to Appetitive Stimuli and Local Attentional Bias. Emotion, 10(3), 441-446.

Formal enquiries should be addressed to: Dr Liat Levita (l.levita@sheffield.ac.uk)

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