Bruce D. Bartholow


10 McAlester Hall
(573) 882-1805

Lab: Social Cognitive Neuroscience Lab

Research Interests

My research generally focuses on two broad but related areas. First, I am interested in basic aspects of social cognition including priming (i.e., construct activation), automaticity and control, and cognition-emotion interactions. We investigate these issues within the context of person perception, aggression, and self-regulatory control. Much of our work also investigates the acute effects of alcohol on these processes. Alcohol is known to cause a number of cognitive impairments and affective changes that lead to deficits in behavioral control, many of which have implications for social behaviors (e.g., aggression, risk-taking). Contemporary models of many social-cognitive phenomena emphasize the role of cognitive and behavioral control in social behavior. Thus, studying the effects of alcohol on social cognition provides a way to understand not only the implications of intoxication, but also the function of various cognitive mechanisms that are important for flexible, adaptive social functioning.

The second broad line of research in the lab examines how social/environmental factors (e.g., peer influences, drinking context) and individual differences (e.g., alcohol sensitivity, executive cognitive function) contribute to alcohol involvement among young adults, and how neurocognitive reactivity to alcohol-related cues might predict vulnerability to alcohol abuse and related disorders.

In most of our research, we employ a combination of behavioral and psychophysiological measures (especially event-related brain potentials; ERPs) to provide a broad basis for understanding how environmental contingencies and stimulus events are interpreted and processed at a basic neurocognitive level, and how these basic processes mediate or explain overt behaviors.

Selected Publications

Hilgard, J., Bartholow, B. D., Dickter, C. L., & Blanton, H. (in press). Characterizing switching and congruency effects in the Implicit Association Test as reactive and proactive cognitive control. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience.

Pedersen, W. B., Vasquez, E., Bartholow, B. D., Grosvenor, M., & Truong, A. (in press). Are you insulting me? Exposure to alcohol primes increases aggression following ambiguous provocation. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

Hilgard, J., Weinberg, A., Hajcak, G., & Bartholow, B. D. (in press). The negativity bias in affective picture processing depends on bottom-up and top-down motivational significance. Emotion.

Bailey, K., Bartholow, B. D., Saults, J. S., & Lust, S. A. (2014). Give me just a little more time: Effects of alcohol on the failure and recovery of cognitive control. Journal of Abnormal Psychology 123, 152–167.

Amodio, D. M., Bartholow, B. D., & Ito, T. A. (2014). Tracking the dynamics of the social brain: ERP approaches for Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 9, 385-393.

Fleming, K. A., & Bartholow, B. D. (2014). Alcohol cues, approach bias, and inhibitory control: Applying a dual process model of addiction to alcohol sensitivity. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 28, 85-96.

Engelhardt, C. R., & Bartholow, B. D. (2013). Effects of situational cues on aggressive behavior. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 7, 762–774.

Bartholow, B. D. (2013). Event-related brain potentials and the role of cognitive control in implicit racial bias. In N. Ellemers, B. Derks, & D. T. Scheepers (Eds.), The neuroscience of prejudice and intnergroup relations(pp. 190-208). London, UK: Psychology Press. London, UK: Psychology Press.

Fleming, K., Bartholow, B. D., Sable, J., Pearson, M., Fabiani, M., & Gratton, G. (2013). Effects of alcohol on sequential information processing: Evidence for temporal myopia. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 27, 184-190.

Stepanova, E. V., Bartholow, B. D., Saults, J. S., & Friedman, R. S. (2012). Alcohol-related cues promote automatic racial bias. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 48, 905-911.

Bartholow, B. D., Henry, E. A., Lust, S. A., Saults, J. S., & Wood, P. K. (2012). Alcohol effects on performance monitoring and adjustment: Affect modulation and impairment of evaluative cognitive control. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 121, 173-186.

Engelhardt, C. R., Bartholow, B. D., Kerr, G. T. & Bushman, B. J. (2011). This is your brain on violent video games: Neural desensitization to violence predicts increased aggression following violent video game exposure. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 47, 1033-1036.

Loersch, C., & Bartholow, B. D. (2011). The color of safety: Ingroup color cues make beer appear safer. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 47, 190-194.

Sestir, M. A., & Bartholow, B. D. (2010). Violent and nonviolent video games produce opposing effects on aggressive and prosocial outcomes. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 46, 934-942.

Bartholow, B. D., Lust, S. A., & Tragesser, S. (2010). Specificity of P3 event-related potential reactivity to alcohol cues in individuals low in alcohol sensitivity. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 24, 220-228.

Bartholow, B. D. (2010). On the role of conflict and control in social cognition: Event-related brain potential investigations. Psychophysiology, 47, 201-212.

Bartholow, B. D., Riordan, M. A., Saults, J. S., & Lust, S. A. (2009). Psychophysiological evidence of response conflict and strategic control of responses in affective priming. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 45, 655-666.

Ito, T. A., & Bartholow, B. D. (2009). The neural correlates of race. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 13, 524-531.

Bartholow, B. D., & Amodio, D. M. (2009). Using event-related brain potentials in social psychological research: A brief review and tutorial. In E. Harmon-Jones & J. S. Beer (Eds.), Methods in social neuroscience (pp. 198-232). New York: Guilford Press.

Sher, K. J., Bartholow, B. D., Peuser, K., Erickson, D., & Wood, M. D. (2007). Stress-response dampening effects of alcohol: Attention as a mediator and moderator. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 116, 362-377.

Bartholow, B. D., Bushman, B. J., & Sestir, M. A. (2006). Chronic violent video game exposure and desensitization: Behavioral and event-related brain potential data. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 42, 532-539.

Bartholow, B. D., Dickter, C. L., & Sestir, M. A. (2006). Stereotype activation and control of race bias: Cognitive control of inhibition and its impairment by alcohol. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 90, 272-287.

Bartholow, B. D., & Heinz, A. (2006). Alcohol and aggression without consumption: Alcohol cues, aggressive thoughts, and hostile perception bias. Psychological Science, 17, 30-37.

Bartholow, B. D., Pearson, M. A., Dickter, C., Sher, K. J., Fabiani, M., & Gratton, G. (2005). Strategic control and medial frontal negativity: Beyond errors and response conflict. Psychophysiology, 42, 33-42.

Bartholow, B. D., Anderson, C. A., Carnagey, N. L., & Benjamin, A. J. Jr. (2005). Interactive effects of life experience and situational cues on aggression: The weapons priming effect in hunters and nonhunters. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 41, 48-60.

Bartholow, B. D., Pearson, M. A., Gratton, G., & Fabiani, M. (2003). Effects of alcohol on person perception: A social cognitive neuroscience approach. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 85, 627-638.

Bartholow, B. D., Fabiani, M., Gratton, G., & Bettencourt, B. A. (2001). A psychophysiological analysis of cognitive processing of and affective responses to social expectancy violations. Psychological Science, 12, 197-204.