BHSU Research Symposium



March 18th & 19th, 2020
Black Hills State University

Black Hills State University announces the 22nd annual Black Hills Research Symposium. The Black Hills Research Symposium is an interdisciplinary conference designed to showcase undergraduate and graduate research and creative activity in the Black Hills region.

We invite submissions from undergraduate and graduate university students in the Black Hills area to present posters or to give oral presentations describing completed scholarly or creative activity work. Student work must be done in collaboration with a faculty research mentor. An interdisciplinary faculty committee will review submissions for acceptance.

During the Black Hills Research Symposium, a panel of qualified personnel will judge student presentations and give comprehensive feedback.

ABSTRACT SUBMISSION DEADLINE: February 21, 2020 by 5:00 pm

Abstract submissions must include the following information:

  1. Name of presenter
  2. Name of Faculty Research Mentor
  3. 200-450 word max. abstract that includes:
    1. Title
    2. Complete list of presenters and authors
    3. Email address of presenters and authors(s)
    4. Discipline
    5. For empirical data-driven or theoretical research: A brief description of the research to be presented including:
      1. Background
      2. Methods
      3. Results
      4. Conclusion
      For research in an area of creative activity: A brief description of the body of work including:
      1. Media
      2. Technique and process
      3. Purpose of the work: narrative, influence, and/or design qualities
      4. All creative works must be presented through oral presentation. Fine art must provide visual representations.
    6. Indication of preference for poster or oral presentation
    7. Indication of IRB approval and IRB approval number where appropriate. Please refer to BHSU research policies and/or contact for details or clarifications
    8. Indication of undergraduate or graduate status
    9. Acceptance or Applied to NCUR (Yes or No)

Research presented at the BHRS must be approved by the BHSU Animal Care and Human Subjects Committee, if applicable. Please see the BHSU RESEARCH POLICIES page.

Guidelines for poster presentations will be included in the acceptance notification. Click here for NCUR Poster specifications.

Research presented at the BHRS must be approved by the BHSU Animal Care and Human Subjects Committee. Details can be found here.

The BHSU logo "should be prominent and be immediately noticeable on all publications." Click here for correct logo and information about usage.


  1. Name of presenter: Joanna M. Vandever
  2. Faculty Mentor: Scott F. Stoltenberg
    2. Authors: Joanna M. Vandever, Scott F. Stoltenberg, Dan Bergey, & Parthasarathi Nag
    3. email address:
    4. Discipline: Psychology
    5. Description of Research

BACKGROUND: The Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) models decision-making under ambiguous conditions. Various clinical populations exhibit poor IGT performance. In non-clinical populations, women perform worse than men. Poor IGT performance may be broken-down into three psychological components: attention to gains, attention to recent outcomes, and erratic choosing. METHOD: Because the serotonin system innervates brain areas associated with decision-making, this study examined IGT performance and variation in (a) 5-HTTLPR, a widely-studied promoter region polymorphism in the serotonin transporter; and (b) TPH2, the serotonin rate-limiting enzyme expressed in neurons. College students (N=188, Caucasian) donated cheek cells for genotyping and completed the IGT. RESULTS: For each block of twenty cards (5 blocks total), IGT net scores were calculated by subtracting the number of disadvantageous choices from the number of advantageous choices. A repeated-measures ANOVA, with IGT net score as the dependent variable, revealed a main effect for gender (F = 4.25, p = .002) and an interaction effect for 5-HTTLPR and gender (F = 3.89, p = .004). The interaction was strongest in the first block, where conditions are highly ambiguous. Men with at least one short allele (S/_) made fewer advantageous choices than men homozygous for the long allele (L/L). Women L/L carriers made fewer advantageous choices than S/_ carriers. A gender main effect was observed for recency (F = 5.96, p = .02), with women more likely to pay attention to recent outcomes. TPH2 was not associated with IGT performance.CONCLUSION: Results support evidence for gender differences in IGT performance. Furthermore, results support growing evidence that for men and women, 5-HTTLPR-variation is deferentially associated with cognition. (poster)