Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley; Integrative Biology, December 2006
Interdisciplinary focus: Developmental Psychology and Neuroscience
M.A. University of California, Berkeley; Integrative Biology, December 1998
B.A. College of Saint Benedict (Saint Joseph, Minnesota); Psychology and Biology double major, May 1991
Honors with distinction in Psychology (for Honors Thesis)
Title: Event-Related Potentials to Cemetery Images Distinguish Electroencephalogram (EEG) Recordings for Women Unresolved for Loss on the Adult Attachment Interview
Committee: Professor Mary Main, co-chair, Psychology (Developmental); Professor Marian C. Diamond, co-chair, Integrative Biology (Neuroanatomy); Professor Robert T. Knight, Psychology (Neuroscience); and Professor Steven Lehman, Integrative Biology (Integrative Physiology)
Introduction/Method: Brief reasoning or discourse anomalies during discussions of trauma including loss- have been interpreted as resulting from fear-related disruptions in working memory and may lead to placement in the “Unresolved” category of the developmental life history narrative Adult Attachment Interview (AAI). In parents, Unresolved AAI status has been associated with Disorganized infant Strange Situation response, a known risk factor for psychopathology (e.g., internalizing/externalizing/dissociation). I investigated whether electroencephalogram (EEG) event-related potentials (ERPs) to death-related images in a nonclinical sample would distinguish women Unresolved for loss. About one year after AAI administration, 31 healthy undergraduate women with loss experiences(16 Unresolved) underwent continuous EEG recording during a picture-viewing, valence-rating task. Picture onset-locked ERPs revealed millisecond responses to four picture categories: pleasant people, pleasant nature, cemetery (symbolic death), and gruesome death (dead or dying people).
Results/Discussion: Participants’ valence ratings did not differ between groups across picture categories. However, the N2 ERP, implicated in detecting stimulus salience, was selectively greater in Unresolved participants viewing cemetery scenes; in fact, it was as high as the N2 for gruesome death images observed throughout the sample. Thus, prior disruptions in language were specifically associated with neurophysiological responses to cemetery images, suggesting that even subtle reminders of death may elicit atypical fear states in Unresolved women. Additionally, Unresolved participants exhibited a right-hemispheric P3 asymmetry across all picture categories, suggestive of continuously heightened vigilance/arousal. Together, these results suggest that Unresolved AAI status is associated with greater neurophysiological sensitivity to subtle reminders of loss that may disrupt ongoing mental function. Insofar as I or my committee (above) are aware, mine is the first study exploring the Unresolved category (as assessed within the AAI) by utilizing EEG ERPs, and thus provides an initial foray into ERP correlations with individual differences in psychological variables—in this case, disorganization in discourse or reasoning as related to loss experiences.
Los Rios Community College District (Sacramento, California), January 2013- present
Adjunct Psychology Faculty, American River College (ARC) and Cosumnes River College (CRC)
Classes: Biological Psychology (& lab), Human Development: A Life Span, Research Methods in Psychology, Introductory Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences, Human Sexuality, General Principles of Psychology
California State University, Sacramento (Sacramento, California), Fall 2007, Spring 2008, 2010 & 2011
Part-time Faculty, Biological Sciences Department and Psychology Department
Classes: Introductory Psychology, Developmental Processes in Psychology, Human Anatomy & Physiology labs, Physiology of Human Reproduction
University of California, Berkeley (Berkeley, California), Fall 1995 – Spring 2005
Graduate Student Instructor, Integrative Biology Department
Classes: Human Anatomy (& lab), Human Neuroanatomy Lab, Sociology and Biology of Human Reproduction
Bahm, Naomi I. Gribneau, Simon-Thomas, Emiliana R., Main, Mary, and Hesse, Erik (2017). Unresolved Loss, a Risk Factor for Offspring, Predicts Event-Related Potential Responses to Death-Related Imagery. Developmental Psychology 53(1), 191-199. doi:10.1037/dev0000255
Bahm, Naomi I. Gribneau; Main, Mary; and Hesse, Erik (2017). Unresolved/disorganized Responses to the Death of Important Persons: Relations to Frightening Parental Behavior and Infant Disorganization. In Sonia Gojman-de-Millan, Christian Herreman, and L.Alan Sroufe (Eds.) Attachment Across Clinical and Cultural Perspectives: A Relational Psychoanalytic Approach (pp. 53-74). New York, NY: Routledge.
Bahm, Naomi I. Gribneau, Duschinsky, Robbie, & Hesse, Erik (2016). Parental Loss of Family Members Within Two Years of Offspring Birth Predicts Elevated Absorption Scores in College. Attachment & Human Development, 18(5), 429-442. doi:10.1080/14616734.2016.1181096
Behrens, Kazuko Y., Haltigan, John D., & Bahm, Naomi I. Gribneau (2016). Infant Attachment, Adult Attachment, and Maternal Sensitivity: Revisiting the Intergenerational Transmission Gap. Attachment & Human Development, 18(4), 337-353. doi:10.1080/14616734.2016.1167095
Behrens, Kazuko Y.; Li, Yingli; Bahm, Naomi I. Gribneau; O’Boyle, Michael (2011) Electroencephalogram Responses to Photographs: A Case Study of Three Women with Distinct Adult Attachment Interview Classifications. Psychological Reports 108(3), 993-1010.
Currently assisting Wellcome Trust personnel with archiving Professor Mary Main’s (University of California, Berkeley) research materials to be transferred, digitized and stored in public archives available in London, England.
Certified coder (since October 1999) and trainer (since July 2016) for the Adult Attachment Interview; Coordinator for the AAI Reliability Check (since January 2005). Attended A/B/C & D Strange Situation training (June/July 2000).