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John Acker

Research Coordinator

Biography

Research Projects

Pubs/Presentations

Biography

Biography: Mr. Acker currently works as a CIH project coordinator under the direction of Dr. Jennifer Funderburk. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Binghamton University in 2008. He previously worked for the CIH from 2008-2009, contributing to a research study examining the effectiveness of an alcohol care management intervention for Veterans with alcohol dependence. John went on to complete a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of Georgia in 2012. His primary area of research while in graduate school was the role of behavioral economic decision-making in addictive behavior. John continues to be interested in research in the area of addictive behavior – specifically, the influence of cognitive factors on addictive behavior and treatment outcome. He is also interested in continuing to assist with ongoing research projects aimed at improving healthcare for Veterans.

Research Projects

Research Activities:

Project Coordinator: RCT of behavioral activation for depression and suicidality in primary care.

Research Assistant: Primary Care Mental Health Integration Clinical Outcomes: Preliminary Study

Pubs/Presentations

Publications & Presentations:

Publications

MacKillop, J., & Acker, J. (2014). Enhancing Addiction Genetics via Behavioral Economic Intermediate Phenotypes. In: J. MacKillop, and M. Munafo (Eds.) Genetic Influences on Addiction: An Intermediate Phenotype Approach. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Gray, J.C., Amlung, M.T., Acker, J., Sweet, L.H., Brown, C.L., & MacKillop, J. (2014). Clarifying the neural basis for incentive salience of tobacco cues in smokers. Psychiatry Research, 223 (3), 218-225.

MacKillop, J., Amlung, M.T., Acker, J., Gray, J.C., Brown, C.L., Murphy, J.G., Ray, L.A., & Sweet, L.H. (2014). The neuroeconomics of alcohol demand: An initial investigation of the neural correlates of alcohol cost-benefit decision making in heavy drinking men. Neuropsychopharmacology, 39 (8), 1988-1995.

Gray, J.C., Amlung, M.T., Acker, J., Sweet, L.H., & MacKillop, J. (2014). Item-based analysis of delayed reward discounting in decision making. Behavioral Processes, 103, 103-106.

MacKillop, J., Acker, J., Bollinger, J., Clifton, A., Miller, J.D., Campbell, W.K., & Goodie, A.S. (2013). Brief Report: The Brief Alcohol Social Density Assessment (BASDA): Convergent, criterion-related and incremental validity. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 74(5), 810-815.

Amlung, M., Sweet, L. H., Acker, J., Brown, C. L., & MacKillop, J. (2013). Dissociable brain signatures of choice conflict and immediate reward preferences in alcohol use disorders. Addiction Biology, 19 (4), 743-753.

Acker, J., & MacKillop, J. (2013). Behavioral economic analysis of cue-elicited craving for tobacco: A virtual reality study. Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 15 (8), 1409-1416

Acker, J., Amlung, M., Stojek, M., Murphy, J.G., & MacKillop, J. (2012). Individual variation in behavioral economic indices of the relative value of alcohol: Incremental validity in relation to impulsivity, craving, and intellectual functioning. Journal of Experimental Psychopathology, 3 (3), 423-436.

Few, L., Acker, J., Murphy, C., & MacKillop, J. (2012). Temporal stability of a cigarette purchase task. Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 14 (6), 761-765.

MacKillop, J., Few, L.R., Murphy, J.G., Wier, L.M., Acker, J., Murphy, C., Stojek, M., Carrigan, M., & Chaloupka, F. (2012). High-resolution behavioral economic analysis of cigarette demand to inform tax policy. Addiction, 107, 2191-2200.

Amlung, M., Acker, J., Stojek, M., Murphy, J., & MacKillop, J. (2011). Is talk “cheap”? Equivalence of alcohol purchase task performance for hypothetical and actual rewards. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 36 (4) 716-724.

MacKillop, J., Amlung, M.T., Murphy, C.M., Acker, J., & Ray, L.A., (2011). The Behavioral Economics of Health Behavior. In: R. DiClemente, L.F. Salazar, and R.A. Crosby (Eds.) Health Behavior Theory for Public Health: Principles, Foundations, and Applications. Jones and Bartlett Publishers, LLC.

Presentations

Gray, J., Amlung, M., Brown, C., Acker, J., Sweet, L.H., & MacKillop, J. (2013, August). Refining the neural basis for incentive salience of tobacco cues in smokers. Poster presented at the 2013 annual convention of the American Psychological Association. Honolulu, HI.

Gray, J., Amlung, M., Acker, J., Sweet, L.H., & MacKillop, J. (2013, August). Item-based analysis of delayed reward discounting: Validation of a brief version. Poster presented at the 2013 annual convention of the American Psychological Association. Honolulu, HI.

Acker, J., & MacKillop, J. (2013, August). Behavioral inhibition and alcohol and other drug addiction: A meta-analysis. Poster presented at the 2013 annual convention of the American Psychological Association. Honolulu, HI.

Acker, J., & MacKillop, J. (2013, May). The influence of monetary cues on attentional bias in smokers: Preliminary findings from the Stroop and visual probe tasks. Poster presented at the 1st annual Collaborative Perspectives on Addiction Conference. Atlanta, GA.

Acker, J., & MacKillop, J. (2013, March). A meta-analytic investigation of response inhibition in cigarette smokers. Poster presented at the 2013 annual meeting of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco. Boston, MA.

Amlung, M., Sweet, L., Acker, J., Brown, C., & MacKillop, J. (2012, August). An fMRI study of delay discounting in heavy drinkers. Poster presented at the 2012 annual convention of the American Psychological Association. Orlando, FL.

Acker, J., & MacKillop, J. (2012, August). Combining behavioral economics and virtual reality to understand craving for tobacco. Poster presented at the 2012 annual Convention of the American Psychological Association. Orlando, FL.

Bollinger, J., Acker, J., & MacKillop, J. (2012, May). Personality characteristics and drinking motives as determinants of perceptions of social network drinking patterns. Poster presented at the 2012 Georgia Undergraduate Research in Psychology Conference. Kennesaw, GA.

Bollinger, J., Acker, J., & MacKillop, J. (2012, April). Initial validation of the Brief Alcohol Behavior Social Density Assessment (BASDA) in a college student sample. Poster presented at the 35th annual Convention of the Behavioral Sciences. Athens, GA.

Acker, J., & MacKillop, J. (2012, March). Combining behavioral economics and virtual reality to understand craving for tobacco: Initial Findings. Poster presented at the 2012 annual meeting of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco. Houston, TX.

Acker, J., Amlung, M., Few, L., & MacKillop, J. (2011, June). Contextualizing delay discounting and alcohol misuse: A meta-analysis of continuous relationships. Poster presented at the 34th annual Research Society on Alcoholism meeting. Atlanta, GA.

MacKillop, J., Few, L., Acker, J., Murphy, C., Wier, L., Amlung, M., Murphy, J. & Chaloupka, F. (2011, March). Informing public policy via behavioral economics: High-resolution cigarette demand curve analysis in adult smokers. Poster presented at the ABAI Behavioral Economics: From Demand Curves to Public Policy Meeting. Chicago, IL.

Amlung, M., Acker, J., Brown, C., Sweet, L., & MacKillop, J. (2011, March). The neuroeconomics of delayed reward discounting in heavy drinkers: Initial findings. Poster presented at the ABAI Behavioral Economics: From Demand Curves to Public Policy Meeting. Chicago, IL.

MacKillop, J., Pryor, L., Amlung, M., Wier, L., Murphy, J., Acker, J., Murphy, C., & Chaloupka, F., (2010, February). High-resolution analysis of tobacco demand in a community sample of smokers. Poster presented at the 2010 annual meeting of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco. Baltimore, MD.

Acker, J., & MacKillop, J. (2010, November). The role of craving, impulsivity, and relative reinforcing efficacy in relation to alcohol misuse. Poster presented at the 44th annual Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies Convention. San Francisco, CA.

Acker, J., & MacKillop, J. (2010, June). A multidimensional assessment of impulsivity in relation to alcohol misuse: Initial findings. Poster presented at the 33rd annual Research Society on Alcoholism meeting. San Antonio, TX

MacKillop, J., Amlung, M., Acker, J., & Stojek, M. (2010, April). Further validation of an alcohol purchase task: Equivalence of versions for hypothetical and actual rewards. Poster presented at the 10th annual Samuel B. Guze Symposium on Alcoholism. St. Louis, MO.

Possemato, K., Acker, J., Aiello, M., Lantinga, L., Oslin, D., & Maisto, S. (2009, March). Primary care-based alcohol care management compared to VA usual care: Preliminary findings. Poster presented at the Veterans Affairs Health Services Research and Development Annual Conference, Baltimore, Maryland.

Acker, J. (2008, March). Selective attentional bias in state and trait anxiety using a subclinical population: Preliminary findings. Paper presented at the 9th annual McNair Undergraduate Research Conference, University of Maryland.

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