Dr. Ames' research interests include dual process models of appetitive behaviors, neurobiological systems and brain structures associated with implicit associative and control processes across a range of health behaviors, etiology of habits, and new prevention and risk reduction strategies for addictive behaviors. She has conducted a variety of studies that focus on associative (habit-based) memory and implicit cognitive processes in appetitive behaviors among adolescents and other at-risk populations. She has an ongoing research program aimed at increasing our understanding of the neural processes underlying automatic implicit associations and cognitive control mechanisms in substance use and eating-related behaviors in adolescents and emerging adults. She has served as PI on NIH projects that involve the neuroimaging of habit-related associative processes related to alcohol and marijuana use using the IAT, and the neuroimaging of neurocognitive control processes using cue-specific Go/NoGo tasks and the Iowa Gambling Task.
Dr. Ames has taught courses in Research Methods, Issues in the Cessation and Prevention of Substance Abuse, Prevention Neuroscience, and Theoretical Foundations in Health Promotion and Education. She worked in substance abuse treatment for nearly a decade, and co-authored two books on concepts in the etiology, prevention and cessation of substance abuse.
University of Southern California, PhD, 2001
California State University Los Angeles, M.A., 1994