John Curtin


(608) 262-0387

326 Psychology

Research Area(s)

Lab Website
Addiction Research Center

Research Interests

My laboratory focuses on the development and implementation of digital therapeutics, which are software programs or “apps” that prevent, manage, or treat disease including substance use disorders and other mental illness. Digital therapeutics can provide empirically supported interventions, illness and treatment management tools, and services to enhance peer support and communications with care providers.

We primarily focus on algorithm development for temporally precise psychiatric risk prediction (e.g., moment by moment relapse risk prediction; efficient and early psychiatric screening) and “just-in-time” personalized interventions that adapt to both characteristics of the patient and their moment in time. To this end, we combine analytic approaches from machine learning with novel, highly informative signals (e.g., geolocation; cellular communications; social media activity; physiology via wearable biosensors) derived by passive personal sensing. Our research program is highly interdisciplinary, with collaborators within the Center for Health Enhancement Systems Studies, computer science, geography, and electrical and computer engineering. Our research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIAAA, NIDA, NCI and NIMH) since 1998.

Selected Active Grants

Machine learning-assisted precision medicine for smoking cessation.
Center for Human Genomics and Precision Medicine Seed Grant
John Curtin (PI), Tim Baker (Co-I), Megan Piper (Co-I), Jerry Zhu (Co-I), James Li (Co-I)
Direct Costs: $50,000
Status: Funded. 09/01/2020 – 08/31/2021

Contextualized daily prediction of lapse risk in opioid use disorder by digital phenotyping.
National Institute on Drug Abuse (R01 DA047315)
John Curtin (Co-PI), Dhavan Shah (Co-PI), Xiaojin Zhu (Co-I), David Gustafson (Co-I), Randy Brown (Co-I), William Sethares (Co-I), Qunying Huang (Co-I)
Direct Costs: $2,238,540
Status: Funded. 08/01/2019 – 06/30/2024

Dynamic, real-time prediction of alcohol use lapse using mHealth technologies.
National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (R01 AA024391)
John Curtin (PI), Xiaojin Zhu (Co-I), Oguzhan Alagoz (Co-I), David Gustafson (Co-I)
Direct Costs: $1,237,770
Status: Funded. 08/10/2015 – 05/31/2022

Representative Publications (Full Publication List)

+ Indicates project funded by intra- or extra-mural award for which I am the PI.

+Bradford DE, Shireman JM, Sant’Ana SJ, Fronk GE, Schneck SE, Curtin JJ (in press). Alcohol’s effects during uncertain and uncontrollable stressors in the laboratory. Clinical Psychological Science.

+Moshontz H, Colmenares A, Fronk G, Sant’Ana S, Wyant K, Wanta S, Maus A, Gustafson D, Jr, Shah D, and Curtin J. (in press) Prospective Prediction of Lapses in Opioid Use Disorder: Protocol for a Personal Sensing Study. Journal of Medical Internet ResearchPreprint

+Schultz ME, Fronk GE, Jaume-Feliciosi N, Magruder K, & Curtin JJ (in press). Stressor-elicited smoking and craving during a smoking cessation attempt. Journal of Abnormal Psychology. Preprint

Aggarwal N, Ahmed M, Basu S, Curtin JJ, Evans BJ, Matheny ME, Nundy S, Sendak MP, Shachar C, Shah RU, and Thadaney-Israni S. (2020). Advancing Artificial Intelligence in Health Settings Outside the Hospital and Clinic. NAM Perspectives. Discussion Paper, National Academy of Medicine, Washington, DC. PDF

+Fronk* GE, Sant’Ana* SJ, Kaye* JT, & Curtin JJ (2020). Stress allostasis in substance use disorder: Promise, progress, and emerging priorities in clinical research. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology16, 401-430. PDF

+Hefner* KR, Starr MJ, & Curtin JJ (2018). Heavy marijuana use but not deprivation is associated with increased stressor reactivity. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 127(4), 348-358. PMC5951409. PDF

Brauer M & Curtin JJ (2018). Linear mixed-effects models and the analysis of nonindependent data: A unified framework to analyze categorical and continuous independent variables that vary within-subjects and/or within-items. Psychological Methods, 23, 389-411. PDF

+Kaye JT, Bradford DE, Magruder KP & Curtin JJ (2017). Probing for neuroadaptations to unpredictable stressors in addiction: translational methods and emerging evidence. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 78, 353- 371. PMC5440361. PDF | OSF

+Moberg CA, Bradford DE, Kaye JT, Curtin JJ (2017). Increased startle potentiation to unpredictable stressors in alcohol dependence: Possible stress neuroadaptation in humans. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 126(4), 441-453. PMC5418084. PDF | OSF

+Hefner KR, Starr MJ, Curtin JJ (2016). Altered subjective reward valuation among drug-deprived heavy marijuana users: Aversion to uncertainty. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 125(1),138-50. PMC4701603. PDF | OSF

Bradford DE, Curtin JJ, Piper ME (2015). Anticipation of smoking sufficiently dampens stress reactivity for nicotine deprived smokers. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 124(1), 128-36. PMC4332561. PDF

+Baskin-Sommers AR, Curtin JJ, Newman JP (2015). Altering the Cognitive-Affective Dysfunctions of Psychopathic and Externalizing Offender Subtypes with Cognitive Remediation. Clinical Psychological Science, 3, 45-57. PMC4426343. PDF

+Baskin-Sommers AR, Curtin JJ, Newman JP (2013). Emotion-Modulated Startle in Psychopathy: Clarifying Familiar Effects. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 122, 458-468. PMC3640755. PDF

+Bradford DE, Shapiro BL, Curtin JJ (2013). How Bad Could It Be? Alcohol Dampens Stress Responses to Threat of Uncertain Intensity. Psychological Science, 24, 2541-2549. PMC3951286. PDF

+Hefner KR, Moberg CA, Hachiya LY, Curtin JJ (2013). Alcohol stress response dampening during imminent versus distal, uncertain threat. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 3, 756-769. PMC4047525. PDF

+Baskin-Sommers A, Curtin JJ, Newman JP (2011). Specifying the attentional selection that moderates the fearlessness of psychopathic offenders. Psychological Science, 22, 226-234. PMC3358698. PDF

+Hogle JM, Kaye JT, Curtin JJ (2010). Nicotine withdrawal increases threat-induced anxiety but not fear: Neuroadaptation in human addiction. Biological Psychiatry, 68, 719-725. PMC2949532 PDF | Supplemental Information

+Newman JP, Curtin JJ, Bertsch*JD, Baskin-Sommers AR (2010). Attention moderates the fearlessness of psychopathic offenders. Biological Psychiatry, 67, 66-70. PMC2795048. PDF

+Moberg CA, Curtin JJ (2009). Alcohol selectively reduces anxiety but not fear: Startle response during unpredictable vs. predictable threat. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 118, 335-347. PMC2756160 PDF

+Dvorak-Bertsch JD, Curtin JJ, Rubinstein* TJ, Newman JP (2009). Psychopathic traits moderate the interaction between cognitive and affective processing. Psychophysiology, 46, 913-921. PMC2746860. PDF

+Piper ME, Curtin JJ (2006). Tobacco withdrawal and negative affect: An analysis of initial emotional response intensity and voluntary emotion regulation. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 115, 96-102. PDF

Casbon TS, Curtin JJ, Lang AR, Patrick CJ (2003). Deleterious effects of alcohol intoxication: Diminished cognitive control and its behavioral consequences. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 112, 476-487. PDF

+Curtin JJ, Fairchild BA (2003). Alcohol and cognitive control: Implications for regulation of behavior during response conflict. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 112, 424-436. PDF

+Curtin JJ, Patrick CJ, Lang AR, Cacioppo JT, Birbaumer N (2001). Alcohol affects emotion through cognition. Psychological Science, 12, 527-531. PDF.

Curtin JJ, Lang AR, Patrick CJ, Stritzke WGK (1998). Alcohol and fear-potentiated startle: The role of competing cognitive demands in the stress-reducing effects of intoxication. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 107, 547-557. PDF