Henry Lin.

Henry Lin

Department

Neuroscience

Thesis

Effect of Affective Content and Time Perspective of Episodic Thinking on Delay Discounting (Completed 2013)

Deciding among behaviors that have disparate immediate and future consequences is a part of everyday life. When making these intertemporal choices, some people forego smaller immediate gains for larger delayed benefits, while others choose immediate gratification at great expense to future outcomes. Delay discounting (DD) – the tendency to devalue future rewards as a function of temporal distance – provides a measure of the ability to delay gratification. High DD, or impulsivity, has been associated with adverse health conditions characterized by the maladaptive consumption of reinforcers, such as substance dependence and obesity. Prospection via episodic future thinking (EFT) – the mental simulation of future events, including autobiographical, emotional and circumstantial details – has been shown to reduce DD. However, in these studies, participants visualized positive future events or reported EFT as being emotionally intense. Whether EFT decreases delay discounting by contextualizing delayed rewards or by increasing their emotional salience thus remains unclear. In addition, impulsivity may be in part a heritable trait, stemming from deficits in information integration, inhibitory control and reward valuation processes related to functional genetic polymorphisms. The efficacy of EFT in attenuating DD among individuals genetically predisposed toward impulsivity is also unknown. Identifying the functional component of EFT and assessing its effect on DD among carriers of genetic polymorphisms associated with impulsivity may contribute toward clarifying the mechanisms of intertemporal decision-making as well as the development of behavioral therapies for impulsivity.

Residency Placement

Ophthalmology, University at Buffalo

Undergraduate Education

Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics (MIMG),
UCLA

Thesis Advisor

Publications

  • Scheid JL, Carr KA, Lin H, Fletcher KD, Sucheston L, Singh P, Salis R, Erbe R, Faith M, Allison D and Epstein LH. 2014 “FTO polymorphisms moderate the effect of food reinforcement on energy intake.” Physiology & Behavior. In press. (PMID: 24768648)
  • Lin H and Epstein LH. 2014 “Living in the Moment: Effects of Time Perspective and Emotional Valence of Episodic Thinking on Delay Discounting.” Behavioral Neuroscience 128(1): 12-19. (PMID: 24512061)
  • Carr KA, Lin H, Fletcher KD, Temple JL, Epstein LH. 2013 “Food reinforcement, dietary disinhibition and weight gain in non-obese adults.” Obesity 22(1): 254-259. (PMID: 23512958)
  • Carr KA, Lin H, Fletcher KD, Sucheston L, Salis R, Erbe R, Faith M, Allison D and Epstein LH. 2013 “Two functional serotonin polymorphisms moderate the effect of food reinforcement on BMI.” Behavioral Neuroscience 127(3): 387-399. (PMID: 23544600)
  • Lin H, Carr KA, Fletcher KD, Epstein LH. 2013 “Food reinforcement partially mediates the effect of socioeconomic status on body mass index.” Obesity 21(7): 1307-1312. (PMID: 23754824)
  • Epstein LH, Carr KA, Lin H, Fletcher KD. 2012 “Usual energy intake mediates the relationship between food reinforcement and BMI.” Obesity 20(9): 1815-1819. (PMID: 22245983)
  • Epstein LH, Lin H, Carr KA, Fletcher KD. 2011 “Food reinforcement and obesity. Psychological moderators.”  Appetite 58(1): 157-162. (PMID: 22005184)
  • Carr KA, Daniel TO, Lin H, Epstein LH. 2011 “Reinforcement pathology and obesity.”  Current Drug Abuse Reviews 4(3): 190-196. (PMID: 21999693)
  • Epstein LH, Carr KA, Lin H, Fletcher KD. 2011 “Food reinforcement, energy intake and macronutrient choice.”  American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 94(1):12-8. (PMID: 21543545) *Featured in “The Best of Clinical Nutrition 2012”
  • Call GB, Olson JM, Chen J, Villarasa N, Ngo KT, Yabroff AM, Cokus S, Pellegrini M, Lin H, URCFG, and Banerjee U. 2007 ”Genomewide clonal analysis of lethal mutations in the Drosophila melanogaster Eye: comparison of the X chromosome and autosomes.” Genetics 177: 689-697 (PMID: 17720911)
  • Chen J, Call GB, Lin H, URCFG and Banerjee U. 2005 "Discovery-based science education: functional genomic dissection in drosophila by undergraduate researchers." PLoS Biology 3(2):e59. (PMID: 15719063)

Professional/Educational Meetings/Abstracts

  • Lin H, Carr KA, Fletcher KD and Epstein LH. 33rd Annual Meeting & Scientific Sessions of the Society of Behavioral Medicine (April 11-14th, 2012). "Socioeconomic Status, Food Reinforcement and Obesity."  *Selected as a mentored poster
  • Lin H and Epstein LH. American Medical Association Medical Student Section/Resident and Fellow Section Joint Research Symposium (November 11th, 2011). “Socioeconomic Status, Food Reinforcement and Obesity.”
  • Lin H and Epstein LH. 23rd Annual J. Warren Perry Lecture Poster Session (November 4th, 2011).  “Socioeconomic Status, Food Reinforcement and Obesity.”
  • Lin H, Carr KA, Fletcher KD and Epstein LH. 5th Annual Neuroscience Research Day (September 24th, 2011). “Socioeconomic Status, Food Reinforcement and Obesity.”
  • Lin H and Epstein LH. 32nd Annual Meeting & Scientific Sessions of the Society of Behavioral Medicine (April 27-30th, 2011). "Dietary Restraint and Disinhibition Interact with Reinforcing Value of Food to Predict BMI." 
  • Lin H and Epstein LH.  Upstate New York MSTP Research Day (April 2nd, 2011). “Food Reinforcement and Obesity: Psychological Moderators.”
  • Lin H, Carr KA and Epstein LH.  Research That Matters: An Exposition of Graduate Research in SUNY and CUNY.  (March 8th, 2011). “Food Reinforcement and Obesity: Psychological Moderators.” 

Awards/Honors

  • 2012 SUNY Buffalo Mark Diamond Research Fund Award
  • 2011 SUNY Buffalo Virginia Barnes Endowment Travel Award
  • 2010 SUNY Buffalo Virginia Barnes Endowment Travel Award
  • 2007 SUNY Buffalo Gilbert D. Moore Fellowship
  • 2005 Howard Hughes Professors Undergraduate Research Fellowship
  • 2005 UCLA Undergraduate Research Scholarship
  • 2003-2007 UCLA College Honors Program

Medical School Activities

  • 2011: SUNY at Buffalo Polity (Student Government, MD-PhD Program Representative)
  • 2011-Present: Lighthouse Free Clinic (Volunteer)

Extracurricular Interests

  • cooking (only recipes that involve <10 ingredients and <5 steps)
  • reading (behavioral economics, history, self-improvement)
  • traveling (still working on visiting every state in America and every province in China)
  • sports (watching basketball and American football; practicing martial arts)
  • collecting antiques (my father and I have a small collection of coins, swords, and jade figurines)