Conflict Analysis and Cognitive Neuroscience: An Exploration of fMRI Neuroimaging

Grant Winners

  • Robert J. Witheridge Ph.D. – Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Erika L. Sauer, Ph.D. – College of Health Care Sciences
  • Scheherazade S. Chikhi, MA – Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences


  • Honggang Yang, Ph.D. – Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences


Award Winners

The significance and scientific merit of the proposed research investigation is multifaceted and will help illuminate the relationship between conflict resolution styles and affiliated biological responses as measured through cognitive neuroscience. This will provide a greater understanding of the neurological drivers and cortical activities that may shape responses and preferred approaches to conflict resolution. Research participants (N = 25) will complete a demographic form and a brief 10-Item Inventory which will illuminate a quantitative assessment of preferred conflict resolution styles. Of these research participants, the individuals receiving the most polarized score for each conflict resolution style will be invited to engage in the fMRI portion of the research investigation. Therefore, one research participant representative of each diverse conflict resolution style (N = 5) will have an fMRI completed. The fMRI Research participants will engage in a cognitive analysis of an auditory conflict vignette while undergoing an fMRI to assess the relationship between conflict analysis and resolution styles and affiliated neuroactivity. Thereafter, qualitative interviews will be conducted with each research participant to further discuss and categorize each research participant's approach to conflict analysis and resolution. With this knowledge, the Field of Conflict Analysis and Resolution will be provided with a robust example of the synergy of social and brain sciences that can then be further explored on a broader scale with additional grant funding, including grants set forth by the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation grants, as identified in the attached Letter of Commitment from Dartmouth College. At an institutional level, this research partnership will have also the potential to reinforce Nova Southeastern University's dedication to applied research and growth in external funding opportunities, while fostering our commitment to our Core Values and our research and innovation excellence set forth in Vision 2020.