Bruce D. Bartholow

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. 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 environmental factors 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 use disorder.

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: 

Bartholow, B.D., Loersch, C., Ito, T.A., Levsen, M.P., Volpert-Esmond, H.I., Fleming, K.A., Bolls, P., & Carter, B.K. (2018). University-affiliated alcohol marketing enhances the incentive salience of alcohol cues. Psychological Science, 29, 83-94.  

Von Gunten, C., Volpert-Esmond, H. I., & Bartholow, B.D. (in press). Temporal dynamics of reactive cognitive control as revealed by event-related brain potentials. Psychophysiology.

Hone, L.S.E., Bartholow, B.D., Piasecki, T.M., & Sher, K.J. (2017). Women’s alcohol sensitivity predicts alcohol-related regretted sex. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 41, 1630–1636.

Volpert-Esmond, H. I., Merkle, E. C., & Bartholow, B.D. (2017). The iterative nature of person construal: Evidence from event-related potentials. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 12(7), 1097-1107.

Fleming, K.A., Bartholow, B.D., Hilgard, J., McCarthy, D.M., O’Neill, S.E., Steinley, D., & Sher, K.J. (2016). The Alcohol Sensitivity Questionnaire: Evidence for construct validity. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 40, 880-888.

Inzlicht, M., Bartholow, B. D., & Hirsh, J. B. (2015). Emotional foundations of cognitive control. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 19, 126-132.

Ito, T. A., Friedman, N. P., Bartholow, B. D., Correll, J., Loersch, C., Altamirano, L., & Miyake, A. (2015). Toward a comprehensive model of executive cognitive function in implicit racial bias. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 108, 187–218.

Pedersen, W. B., Vasquez, E., Bartholow, B. D., Grosvenor, M., & Truong, A. (2014). Are you insulting me? Exposure to alcohol primes increases aggression following ambiguous provocation. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 40, 1037-1049.

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.

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.

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., Henry, E. A., & Lust, S. A. (2007). Effects of alcohol sensitivity on P3 event-related potential reactivity to alcohol cues. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 21, 555-563.

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., 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.