Alexandra Rodriguez

 
Mentor: Dr. Christopher Janelle
Florida Museum of Natural History
 
"Since I was young I have loved mysteries and puzzles. This passion of mine has most certainly carried over into my interest in research. Before I had started attending classes at the University of Florida I had already researched labs and figured out which one was the best fit for me. I chose to become involved with my research lab so that I could be a part of new discoveries on campus. While in the lab, I learn in an immersive and engaging setting. There never seems to be a dull moment, and I have met so many passionate people along the way."

Major

Applied Physiology and Kinesiology

Minor

Theatre

Research Interests

  • Attention
  • Emotion

Academic Awards

  • Emerging Scholars(2016)
  • AAA (Arts, Athletics, Academics) Scholarship Recipient of Seminole County, (2015)

Organizations

  • Phi Epsilon Kappa
  • H.E.A.L.

Volunteer

  • Equal Access Clinic Network

Hobbies and Interests

  • Theatre
  • Singing
  • Running

Research Description

Attentional and affective changes following moderate intensity aerobic exercise
There exists a prevalent gap in the literature concerning whether and how acute information concerning health and fitness might affect biases in attention to novel information. Several viable theories explain why exercise is able to cause positive affect and subsequently affect symptoms of anxiety, including various psychological and biological hypotheses. Among these, the distraction hypothesis has been well-supported, and suggests that exercise can induce pleasant emotion as a function of its ability to draw attentional resources away from sources of stress and anxiety (Privitera, Antonelli, Szal, 2014). Upward social comparisons can induce unpleasant emotional responses and a sense of inferiority. How anxiety induced via negative social comparisons may impact attentional biases remains unclear. Likewise, whether involvement in an acute bout of exercise can alleviate induced bias remains unknown. Thus, the purpose of this study is to determine whether attentional bias can be induced by providing social comparison information that suggests comparatively inferior fitness levels. We then aim to determine whether attentional biases can be altered by engaging in an acute bout of moderate intense exercise.