Date of Award

Fall 12-18-2014

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Applied Biopsychology



Major Professor

Elizabeth Shirtcliff

Second Advisor

Robert Laird

Third Advisor

Connie Lamm

Fourth Advisor

Carl Weems


The purpose of the project was to determine if testosterone reactivity and neural changes could be observed in response to a reward-seeking competitive task, respectively, and whether testosterone was related to neural activation. Forty nine undergraduate students were recruited playing the Monetary Incentive Delay (MID). We found that a subset of participants (N=20) showed testosterone reactivity to the task (ps < .05). During the EEG analyses, cue had a main effect on FRN amplitude in a trend level (p = .084): The large incentive cue triggered smaller (less negative) FRN amplitude than the small incentive cue did (p < .05), especially during the second reward seeking block (A’) (p = .065) and especially within males (p < .05). Testosterone level and reactivity were not further associated with FRN amplitude (ps > .1). Taken together, results show both testosterone and FRN amplitude may be sensitive to a complex reward-seeking and competition.


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