One line of work involves the assessment of people's perceptions of the costs and potential benefits of a given task, how these perceptions influence willingness to work for reward, and the role of emotion in driving these decisions. We have found that some people who experience mood and thinking problems (e.g., those with psychosis or depression) might over-estimate the work required to obtain a reward, and thus not exert the requisite effort to accomplish their goals. Others (e.g., those with mania) might under-estimate costs and persist in goal pursuit. We conduct this line of work both in the laboratory (using interviews and tasks completed on the computer) as well as out in the "real-world" using mobile devices. Relevant manuscripts:
Fulford, D., Campellone, T., & Gard, D. E. (2018). Social motivation in schizophrenia: How research on basic reward processes informs and limits our understanding. Clinical Psychology Review, 63, 12-24.
Fulford, D., Treadway, M. T., & Woolley, J. (2018). Social motivation in schizophrenia: The impact of oxytocin on vigor in the context of social and non-social reinforcement. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 127, 116-128.
Fulford, D., Johnson, S. L., Llabre, M. M., & Carver, C. S. (2010). Pushing and coasting in dynamic goal pursuit: Coasting is attenuated in bipolar disorder. Psychological Science, 21, 1021-1027.
Testing links between motivation/effort and risk for psychopathology across an array of paradigms, including full-body physical effort exertion tasks, in healthy adults
Identifying effort and motivation-based correlates of self-reported apathy in people with Parkinson disease
Examining the utility of pupillometry in identifying cognitive effort exertion and discounting
Predictors of Psychosocial Functioning
Another, parallel, line of research focuses on identifying the variables most critical for role and social functioning among persons with physical and mental health needs. Our previous work has identified individual differences in emotion, social cognition, and motivation that directly influence meaningful outcomes for people who struggle with work or social functioning, across the lifespan and spectrum of psychosocial difficulties.
Fulford, D.,Piskulic, D., Addington, J., Kane, J. M., Schooler, N. R., & Mueser, K. T. (2o18). Prospective relationships between motivation and functioning in recovery after a first episode of schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 44, 369-377.
Fulford, D., Peckham, A., Johnson, K., & Johnson, S. L. (2014). Emotion perception and quality of life in bipolar I disorder. Journal of Affective Disorders, 152, 491-497.
Fulford, D., Niendam, T. A., Floyd, E., Carter, C. S., Mathalon, D. H., Vinogradov, S., Stuart, B. K., & Loewy, R. L. (2013). Symptom dimensions and functional impairment in early psychosis: More to the story than just negative symptoms. Schizophrenia Research, 147, 125-131.
Smartphone-based Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) of social interactions in people with schizophrenia and healthy controls
Assessment of social isolation and loneliness in help-seeking adults using EMA and smartphone sensors
Technology-Supported Assessment and Experimental Therapeutics
Much of our work in the lab involves the use of technology (primarily smartphones) to understand the richness inherent in the daily lives of people across the spectrum of psychopathology. Ultimately, findings from our studies, as well as those conducted in other research labs, inform the development and testing of interventions aimed at improving social and occupational outcomes for people who struggle with motivational and emotional dysregulation. We are currently testing the use of novel technologies to support motivational and emotional functioning in people with schizophrenia and other severe mental illnesses.
Granholm, E., Ben-Zeev, D., Fulford, D., & Swendsen, J. (2013). Ecological Momentary Assessment of social functioning in schizophrenia: Impact of performance appraisals and affect on social interactions. Schizophrenia Research, 145, 120-124.
Johnson, S.L., & Fulford, D. (2009). Preventing mania: Preliminary examination of the GOALS program. Behavior Therapy, 40, 103-113.
Cho, H., Gonzales, R., Lavaysse, L., Pence, S., Fulford, D., & Gard, D. E. (2017). Do people with schizophrenia experience more negative emotion and less positive emotion in their daily lives? A meta-analysis of experience sampling studies. Schizophrenia Research, 183, 49-55.
Fulford, D., Tuot, D. S., & Mangurian, C. (2016). Electronic psychiatric consultation in primary care in the safety net. Psychiatric Services, 67, 1-3.
Woolley, J. D., Chuang, B., Fussell, C., Scherer, S., Biagianti, B.,Fulford, D., Mathalon, D.H., & Vinogradov, S. (2017). Intranasal oxytocin increases facial expressivity, but not ratings of trustworthiness, in patients with schizophrenia and healthy controls. Psychological Medicine, 47, 1311-1322.
NIMH-funded open pilot trail of a smartphone-based mHealth intervention (Motivation and Skills Support; MASS app) to support social motivation and skills in people with schizophrenia
BU Digital Health Initiative (DHI) collaborative research award (with faculty in Computer Science) aimed at developing algorithms to identify social isolation using smartphone-based sensors (i.e., GPS, accelerometer, microphone)