Bruce D. Bartholow

Bruce D. Bartholow
Frederick A. Middlebush Professor of Psychology
Research Interests

My research interests fall generally within four distinct yet overlapping areas: (1) the role of cognitive control in social behavior; (2) acute effects of alcohol on cognitive control; (3) individual differences in neurobiologically based risks for addiction, primarily alcohol use disorder; and (4) effects of incidental stimulus exposure on cognition and behavior (i.e., priming effects). The common theme around which these lines of work are integrated is the interplay between salience (i.e., motivational significance) and cognitive control.

In most of our research, we employ a combination of behavioral and psychophysiological measures (especially event-related brain potentials; ERPs) to provide a broad basis for understanding how environmental contingencies and stimulus events are interpreted and processed at a basic neurocognitive level, and how these basic processes mediate or explain overt behaviors.

  • Ph.D. in Psychology with an emphasis in Social Psychology and a Minor in
  • Psychological Statistics and Research Methodology, University of Missouri
  • M.S. in Experimental Psychology, Drake University
  • B.A. in Psychology, Minnesota State University
  • Chancellor's Award for Outstanding Research and Creativity Activity in the Social and Behavioral Sciences, University of Missouri (2016)
  • Outstanding Graduate Faculty Award, MU Graduate Student Association (2013)
  • Award for a Distinguished Early Career Contribution to Psychophysiology, Society for Psychophysiological Research (2007)
  • Loan Repayment Award, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (2004-2009)
  • National Research Service Award Post-doctoral Fellowship, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (2000)
  • Donald K. Anderson Graduate Student Teaching Award, The Graduate School, University of Missouri (1999)
  • Dean’s Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Minnesota State University, Mankato (1992)

Volpert-Esmond, H.I., & Bartholow, B.D. (2019). Explicit categorization goals affect attention-related processing of race and gender during person construal. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 85, 103839. 

Cofresi, R.U., Bartholow, B.D., & Piasecki, T.M. (2019). Evidence for incentive salience sensitization as a pathway to alcohol use disorder.  Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 107, 897-926.

Bartholow, B.D., Loersch, C., Ito, T.A., Levsen, M.P., Volpert-Esmond, H.I., Fleming, K.A., Bolls, P., & Carter, B.K. (2018). University-affiliated alcohol marketing enhances the incentive salience of alcohol cues. Psychological Science, 29, 83-94.  

Von Gunten, C., Volpert-Esmond, H. I., & Bartholow, B.D. (2018). Temporal dynamics of reactive cognitive control as revealed by event-related brain potentials. Psychophysiology, 55, e13007.

Bartholow, B.D., Fleming, K.A., Wood, P.K., Cowan, N., Saults, J.S., Altamirano, L., Miyake, A., Martins, J., & Sher, K.J. (2018). Alcohol effects on inhibition: Differences across tasks and individuals. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, 26, 251-267.

Volpert-Esmond, H. I., Merkle, E. C., & Bartholow, B.D. (2017). The iterative nature of person construal: Evidence from event-related potentials. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 12(7), 1097-1107.

Fleming, K.A., Bartholow, B.D., Hilgard, J., McCarthy, D.M., O’Neill, S.E., Steinley, D., & Sher, K.J. (2016). The Alcohol Sensitivity Questionnaire: Evidence for construct validity. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 40, 880-888.

Inzlicht, M., Bartholow, B. D., & Hirsh, J. B. (2015). Emotional foundations of cognitive control. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 19, 126-132.

Ito, T. A., Friedman, N. P., Bartholow, B. D., Correll, J., Loersch, C., Altamirano, L., & Miyake, A. (2015). Toward a comprehensive model of executive cognitive function in implicit racial bias. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 108, 187–218.

Bailey, K., Bartholow, B. D., Saults, J. S., & Lust, S. A. (2014). Give me just a little more time: Effects of alcohol on the failure and recovery of cognitive control. Journal of Abnormal Psychology 123, 152–167.

Amodio, D. M., Bartholow, B. D., & Ito, T. A. (2014). Tracking the dynamics of the social brain: ERP approaches for Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 9, 385-393.

Stepanova, E. V., Bartholow, B. D., Saults, J. S., & Friedman, R. S. (2012). Alcohol-related cues promote automatic racial bias. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 48, 905-911.

Bartholow, B. D., Henry, E. A., Lust, S. A., Saults, J. S., & Wood, P. K. (2012). Alcohol effects on performance monitoring and adjustment: Affect modulation and impairment of evaluative cognitive control. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 121, 173-186.

Loersch, C., & Bartholow, B. D. (2011). The color of safety: Ingroup color cues make beer appear safer. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 47, 190-194.

Bartholow, B. D., Lust, S. A., & Tragesser, S. (2010). Specificity of P3 event-related potential reactivity to alcohol cues in individuals low in alcohol sensitivity.Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 24, 220-228.

Bartholow, B. D. (2010). On the role of conflict and control in social cognition: Event-related brain potential investigations. Psychophysiology, 47, 201-212.

Bartholow, B. D., Riordan, M. A., Saults, J. S., & Lust, S. A. (2009). Psychophysiological evidence of response conflict and strategic control of responses in affective priming. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 45, 655-666.

Ito, T. A., & Bartholow, B. D. (2009). The neural correlates of race. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 13, 524-531.

Bartholow, B. D., Henry, E. A., & Lust, S. A. (2007). Effects of alcohol sensitivity on P3 event-related potential reactivity to alcohol cues. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 21, 555-563.

Bartholow, B. D., Dickter, C. L., & Sestir, M. A. (2006). Stereotype activation and control of race bias: Cognitive control of inhibition and its impairment by alcohol. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 90, 272-287.

Bartholow, B. D., & Heinz, A. (2006). Alcohol and aggression without consumption: Alcohol cues, aggressive thoughts, and hostile perception bias. Psychological Science, 17, 30-37.

Bartholow, B. D., Pearson, M. A., Dickter, C., Sher, K. J., Fabiani, M., & Gratton, G. (2005). Strategic control and medial frontal negativity: Beyond errors and response conflict. Psychophysiology, 42, 33-42.

Bartholow, B. D., Pearson, M. A., Gratton, G., & Fabiani, M. (2003). Effects of alcohol on person perception: A social cognitive neuroscience approach. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 85, 627-638.

Bartholow, B. D., Fabiani, M., Gratton, G., & Bettencourt, B. A. (2001). A psychophysiological analysis of cognitive processing of and affective responses to social expectancy violations. Psychological Science, 12, 197-204.