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Lab Director

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Ashley Gearhardt, Ph.D.

agearhar@umich.edu

Ashley Gearhardt, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Michigan. She also earned her B.A. in psychology from The University of Michigan as an undergraduate. While working on her doctorate in clinical psychology at Yale University, Dr. Gearhardt became interested in the possibility that certain foods may be capable of triggering an addictive process. To explore this further, she developed the Yale Food Addiction Scale (YFAS) to operationalize addictive eating behaviors, which has recently been linked with more frequent binge eating episodes in clinical populations, increased prevalence of obesity and patterns of neural activation implicated in other addictive behaviors. She has published over 30 academic articles and her research has been featured on media outlets, such as ABC News, Good Morning America, the Today Show, the Wall Street Journal, and NPR.

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Research Staff

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Celina Furman, M.A.

furmancr@umich.edu

Lab Manager and Project Coordinator
Summer 2015 – Present

Celina earned her M.A. in Experimental Psychology from the University of North Carolina Wilmington and her B.A. in Psychology from the State University of New York at Potsdam. Celina will be attending the University of Minnesota in the fall to pursue a Ph.D. in Social Psychology with a focus on health-related behavior change.

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Jessi Lewis, B.S.

jessilew@umich.edu

Lab Manager
Spring 2016 – Present

Jessi earned her B.S. in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience from the University of Michigan in 2016. She is interested in investigating the similarities between addictive and eating behaviors, specifically through neuroimaging. She hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in clinical psychology with a specialization in neuropsychological assessments.

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Julia Smeal, B.S.

jsmeal@umich.edu

Senior Research Associate
Spring 2015 – Present

Julia graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in statistics and actuarial mathematics. She is interested in the self-perceptions of addictive eating, especially pertaining to age and gender. She plans to attend medical school and become a primary care physician so that she can identify and work with patients facing issues such as disordered eating.

Graduate Students

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Erica Schulte, M.S.

eorenste@umich.edu

Spring 2013 – Present

Erica earned her M.S. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Michigan and her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Kansas. She is currently a third-year doctoral student in clinical psychology. Erica is interested in identifying which foods or food attributes may be implicated in addictive-like eating. Additionally, she hopes to explore whether individuals may experience symptoms of dependence, such as withdrawal and tolerance, in response to these foods.


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Michelle Joyner, M.S.

majoyn@umich.edu

Spring 2013 – Present

Michelle earned a M.S. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Michigan and a B.A. in Psychology from Stanford University. She is currently a third year doctoral student in clinical psychology. Her current research focuses on cue-induced food cravings. She is interested in the how the brain responds to food rewards, and how these responses contribute to addictive-like eating behaviors.


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Emma Schiestl

emmaschi@umich.edu

Fall 2016 – Present

Emma Schiestl earned B.A.s in Psychology and Philosophy from Colorado College in the Spring of 2015. She is currently a first year student in the department of Clinical Psychology. Her current research interests include evaluating the impact of negative emotion on subsequent eating behaviors and understanding the influence of impulsivity on food-addiction status. She is especially interested in using real-time assessment technology to better understand proximal and antecedent variables that influence the decision to eat and what types of foods to consume.

Research Assistants

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Jessica Zhao

jezhao@umich.edu

Spring 2017 – Present

Jessica is a junior majoring in Biomolecular Science and Biopsychology, Cognition and Neuroscience. She is interested in the biological mechanisms that are behind food addiction as well as the social factors that cause eating disorders. She hopes to attend medical school after the completion of her undergraduate degree.

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Grecia Quiroga

greciaq@umich.edu

Spring 2016 – Present

Grecia is a senior majoring in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience with a minor in Gender & Health. She is interested in understanding how different social environments and advertisements influence the development of food addiction as well as the drive of the obesity epidemic. Upon completion of her undergraduate studies, Grecia hopes to attend medical school and work to address health disparities among minority populations.

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Riley Olson

rburkeo@umich.edu

Spring 2017 – Present

Riley is an upcoming junior and plans to major in BCN with a minor in philosophy. She also work at the MDen on campus. She is especially interested in the self-perceptions of addictive eating and how it differs with gender and age; particularly in relation to social media and different environments.

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Ethan Evans

ethane@umich.edu

Spring 2017 – Present

Ethan is a junior double majoring in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience and Economics. He is interested in the processes that influence consumer behavior, and how marketing from the food industry promotes this. Ethan hopes to graduate with an Honors Thesis and earn a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology.

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Afeefah Khan

afeefah@umich.edu

Spring 2017 – Present

Afeefah is a junior majoring in Public Health Sciences. She is interested in studying social factors, health behaviors, and health disparities related to obesity, especially in marginalized social groups. In the future, she plans to go on to graduate school to get her masters in public health.

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Ben Hsu

benhsu@umich.edu

Spring 2017 – Present

Ben is a junior majoring in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience with a minor in music. He is interested in how food advertising targets individuals, and how that can, in turn, affect an individual’s overall health. After completing his undergraduate education, he hopes to pursue a master’s in health Informatics or perhaps attend medical school.

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Meredith Turner

mturneri@umich.edu

Spring 2017 – Present

Meredith is a junior majoring in Psychology and Creative Writing. She is interested in the influence of various environmental cues including media and advertisements on the development of food addiction. In the future, she plans to pursue graduate school to earn a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology.

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Rebecca Fong

rfong@umich.edu

Spring 2017 – Present

Rebecca is a senior majoring in Neuroscience and Psychology. She is interested in exploring the relationship between food-related environmental cues and cognition, and how it contributes to the development of food addiction and eating disorders. Upon completion of her undergraduate degree, she hopes to attend medical school.

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Lily Carlson

lilycarl@umich.edu

Spring 2017 – Present

Lily is a junior majoring in Public Health Sciences. She is interested in understanding the food environment in the United States and the implications this has on the growing obesity epidemic. She is also interested in understanding how food related disorders contribute to the epidemic. Upon the completion of her undergraduate degree, she hopes pursue a masters in public health and get a degree as a registered dietician.

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Katie Stewart

kestewy@umich.edu

Spring 2017 – Present

Katie is a sophomore planning to major in Psychology with a minor in Entrepreneurship. She is interested in studying the etiology as well as the gender dichotomy in eating disorders and food addictions. In the future, she hopes to attend graduate school.

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Caroline Hammond

hammary@umich.edu

Spring 2017 – Present

Caroline is a junior studying biomolecular sciences. She is interested in the relationship between biological processes and environmental queues that contribute to food addiction, and how this relationship differs with gender and age. In the future, she hopes to either become a pharmacist or work in the field of public health.

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Hursh Desai

hurshd@umich.edu                                                                                                                                                                                                Winter 2017 – Present

Hursh is a junior majoring in Neuroscience with a minor in Biochemistry. He is interested in researching the neurological pathways and behavioral factors that contribute to food addiction patterns in adolescents. Upon completion of his undergraduate studies, Hursh hopes to attend medical school and specialize in neurosurgery.

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Hannah Ellis

hcellis@umich.edu

Spring 2016 – Present

Hannah is a senior in the LSA Honors Program majoring in Psychology and English and minoring in Spanish. She is interested in knowing the societal and biological factors that contribute to food addiction. She hopes to write an honors thesis. After graduation, she plans to attend law school.

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Jocelyn Schwartz

jocelbai@umich.edu

Spring 2016 – Present

Josie is a senior majoring in Psychology with minors in Gender & Health and Food Systems. She is interested in the underlying mechanisms of eating disorders and the correlation between the environment and one’s behavior. She hopes to complete an Honors Thesis and following graduation, she plans to pursue graduate school to earn a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology.

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Ruby Siada

rubsiada@umich.edu

Spring 2016 – Present

Ruby is a senior majoring in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience with a minor in Drama: Text-to-Performance. She is interested in exploring the neuroanatomical and psychological influences that lead to the development of food addiction and food related disorders. In the future, she hopes to complete an Honors Thesis and go on to attend medical school.

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Elanor Gross

eagross@umich.edu

Fall 2016 – Present

Elanor is a junior majoring in Business with a minor in Gender and Health. She is interested in studying how marketing and advertising in the food industry contributes to food addiction and food related disorders. She is especially involved in the gender disparities between men and women concerning these issues.

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Neel Swamy

nswamy@umich.edu

Spring 2016 – Present

Neel is a senior majoring in Neuroscience with a minor in Gender & Health. He is interested in understanding the social and epidemiological distribution of addiction in the United States and the rising opioid abuse epidemic. Upon completion of his undergraduate studies, Neel hopes to attend pharmacy school, and strives to one day work as a clinical pharmacist in a psychiatric setting.

Alumni

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Alexandra Draybuck

draybuck@umich.edu

Winter 2015 – Winter 2018

Alex graduated with a major in Neuroscience.  She is interested in studying how societal cues and views on food contribute to food related disorders.  Upon completion of her undergraduate studies she hopes to attend medical school, striving to be a practicing physician.

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Rachel Korn

kornrach@umich.edu

Fall 2015 – Winter 2018

Rachel graduated with a major in Psychology and minor in Applied Statistics. She is interested in the decision making process in choosing food to eat among individuals who have eating disorders. She wrote an Honors Thesis on impulsivity and food consumption. In the future, she hopes to earn a Ph.D. in clinical psychology.

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Jillian Bean, M.S.

jilbean@umich.edu

Winter 2015 – Winter 2016

Jillian graduated spring of 2015 with a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Michigan and was previously a research assistant in the Michigan Psychoneuroendocrinology Affective Laboratory from May 2012 until May 2015. She wrote her Honors Senior Thesis with MPal, which investigated freshmen women and specific self-esteem traits that may place a person at high risk for disordered eating. Starting in Fall 2015, Jillian will be beginning her studies for an M.S. in Psychology with a special focus in Clinical Science at the University of Michigan, under the guidance of Professor Ashley Gearhardt. Jillian is interested in food policy aimed at creating a healthier food environment for children and adults.

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Caroline Bartholomew

cbarthol@umich.edu

Spring 2015 – Winter 2018

Caroline graduated with a major in Psychology and minor in Community Action and Social Change. She is interested in the effects of stress, social expectations, and restrictive environments on food addiction. She completed an Honors Thesis. In the future, she hopes to pursue either Clinical Psychology or Social Work in graduate school.

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Alyssa Marquette

marqalys@umich.edu

Spring 2015 – Winter 2018

Alyssa graduated with a double major in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience and Spanish. She is interested in studying the neural basis of preference for different ethnic foods throughout varying cultures. She hopes to one day get her Ph.D. in clinical psychology and work as a clinical health psychologist.

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Alison Grenon

aegre@umich.edu

Spring 2015 – Winter 2018

Alison graduated with majors in Psychology and Spanish and a minor in Writing. She is interested in the possible relationship between food addiction and eating disorders, as well as researching effective methods of prevention and treatment for eating disorders. In the future, she hopes to earn a Ph.D. in clinical psychology.

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Isabella Yzerman, B.A.

iyzer@umich.edu

Spring 2015 – Winter 2016

Isabella graduated in Winter 2016 and double majored in Psychology and English. She is interested in the etiology and treatment of eating disorders and how eating disorders lead to disordered and addictive eating behaviors. Following graduation, she is planning on pursuing graduate school to either earn a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology or an MS in Nutrition.

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Emma Sutherland

emmasuth@umich.edu

Fall 2014 – Winter 2018

Emma graduated with a major in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience and Spanish. She completed a Honors thesis on the interaction of screen time and BMI in adolescents. Emma plans on continuing to do research and then get her masters in public health. 

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Zoë Hawks, B.S.

hawksz@umich.edu

Fall 2014 – Summer 2015

Zoë graduated from University of Michigan in 2014 with a B.S. in Biopsychology, Cognition, & Neuroscience. She completed her Honors Thesis in Dr. Weissman’s Attention and Cognitive Control Lab, where she investigated cognitive processes enabling selective attention. As Project Coordinator in the FAST Lab, she contributes to studies that explore biological, psychological, and environmental factors underlying addictive eating behaviors. This fall, she will attend Washington University in St. Louis to pursue her PhD in clinical psychology. She is interested in studying executive functioning in populations with neurodevelopmental disorders like autism.

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Alexandra Wilt, B.A.

alexruth@umich.edu

Spring 2014 – Summer 2016

Alex graduated from the University of Michigan in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. Her Honors Thesis explored how food addiction mediates the association between certain motivations to eat and elevated body mass index. After graduation, Alex worked in the FAST Lab as a research assistant on the Project Media Study. She is particularly interested in the underlying motivations behind excessive food consumption, as well as mindfulness-based treatments for eating disorders. Alex is currently pursuing a Master of Social Work at Columbia University with a clinical concentration. She will be involved in the Dialectical Behavior Therapy Training Program at Columbia in the 2017-2018 school year, completing her second year field placement at Creedmoor Psychiatric Center in Queens Village, NY.

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Priya Sorab

psorab@umich.edu

Winter 2014 – Winter 2018

Priya graduated with a major in Neuroscience. She is interested in studying the interplay between multiple facets of eating behavior, such as biological causes and social influences. She completed her Honors Thesis, examining the role of the stress hormone cortisol in the relationship between BMI and depressive risk.

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Jacob Rainey, B.S.

jacobrai@umich.edu

Spring 2014 – Fall 2016 

Jake graduated summer of 2016 with a B.S. in Psychology and is interested in studying possible effects of sexuality on eating behaviors and perceptions. He completed on an honors thesis with the FAST Lab, looking at the relationship between sexuality and food addiction. After graduation, Jake plans to attend medical school, currently with particular interests in pediatric oncology and emergency medicine.

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Sally Kim, M.S.

sallyck@umich.edu

Fall 2012 – Summer 2016 

Sally graduated spring of 2015 with a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Michigan and was previously the Lab Manager for FAST Lab from May 2014 until June 2015. She wrote her Senior thesis with the FAST Lab, which investigated the relationship between athlete endorsed food product commercials and their influence on our implicit attitudes. Starting in Fall 2015, Sally will be completing her M.S. in Psychology with a special focus in Clinical Science at the University of Michigan, under the guidance of Professor Ashley Gearhardt. Sally is interested in food commercials and their impact on adults and children as well as food policy initiatives and community involvement.

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Rebekah Richmond, B.A.

richbec@med.umich.edu

Spring 2013 – Present

Rebekah graduated spring of 2014 with a B.A. in Psychology. She is continuing her work with the lab while also working at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Eating Disorder Program. Her research interests include the role of families in eating disorder treatment and learning how food addiction fits into our current understanding and diagnosis of eating disorders. Rebekah also wrote her Senior Honors Thesis through FAST Lab. She plans to pursue a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and specialize in the field of disordered eating.

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Hannah Tuttle, B.A.

htuttle@email.unc.edu.

Fall 2012 – Winter 2014

Hannah graduated spring of 2014 with a B.A. in Psychology. She wrote her Senior Honors Thesis through the FAST lab. She is working as a Research Assistant at the University of North Carolina in the Developmental Sciences Department. Her research interests include food policy, food addiction and attempting to discover effective interventions to curb the obesity epidemic. She hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in Public Health or Clinical Psychology.

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Rachel Terry, B.S.

rater@umich.edu

Winter 2014

Rachel graduated in May, 2014 with a B.S. in Biopsychology, Cognition, & Neuroscience. During her time at Michigan, she completed an Honors Thesis in Dr. Berridge’s lab. Her research focused on exploring what mediates pleasure throughout the brain, especially as relates to motivated and addictive behavior. Rachel is particularly interested in bringing together this scientific background with social policy and intervention, focusing on addiction and its intersection with food consumption and behavior. She will be working as a FoodCorps service member this following year at a K-8 charter school in Newark, New Jersey. Her work will involve teaching how to tend a rooftop garden, leading classes focused on integrating nutrition and cooking into the daily curriculum, and weekly tastings, where she hopes to make kids fall in love with kale and quinoa salads!

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Adam Kern, B.A.

adamkern@umich.edu

Fall 2012 – Winter 2014

Adam was a member of the lab for two years, who recently graduated with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Environment. He conducted an Honors Thesis in Dr. Gearhardt’s FAST Lab enabling him to grasp the requirements of the research process and graduate with Honors. His thesis pertained to food-related television and its effect on people’s eating behaviors and cravings. Adam plans on taking a gap year to take advantage of other research opportunities before heading into a clinical psychology Ph.D. program. He is enthralled by the various topics psychology has to offer, but is particularly fascinated with psychotherapy and hopes to expand his curiosities through research and clinical work.

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Kayla Vaughan, B.S.

vakayla@umich.edu

Fall 2014 – Winter 2015

Kayla graduated in 2015 with a B.S. in Neuroscience and Medical Anthropology. During her time at FAST Lab, Kayla collaborated with New Castle University in Australia on a study that focused on children’s eating behaviors. After graduation, Kayla completed a year of service in Cleveland, OH through Jesuit Volunteer Corps/Americorps working as a Patient Benefit Specialist at a Federal Qualified Health Center. She also taught nutrition courses to local preschool students and spent time volunteering at a Providence House, a crisis nursery shelter. She is now attending the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing working toward her BSN and MSN degrees to become an Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. Kayla also has a strong interest in public health and interned with the Society for Public Health Education in Washington DC in Summer 2014. She hopes to use her experience to educate patients about ways they can live healthy and active lives!

 

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Sarah Polk, B.A.

sarpolk@umich.edu

Winter 2014 – Summer 2015

After graduating U of M in 2015 with her B.A. in Psychology, Sarah moved to Berlin, Germany continue her education. She’s now completing her M.Sc. in Social, Cognitive, and Affective Neuroscience at the Free University Berlin, and is currently writing her master’s thesis at the German Institute for Human Nutrition on the perception and discrimination of basic tastes using EEG. She plans to continue her studies and earn her Ph.D. in psychology and/or neuroscience. In the meantime, she’s enjoying life in Berlin, and dancing when she’s not in the lab.

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Jessica Robinson, B.A.

jchrissy@umich.edu

Fall 2012 – Winter 2015

Jessica graduated in 2015 with a B.A. in Psychology. She is interested in self-esteem and how that is related to eating disorders and eating behavior in general. Recently, she has decided that she wants to get her Masters in Counseling Psychology. She hopes to be a therapist someday working at a private practice or clinic.

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Blaire Crockett

bcrocks@umich.edu

Spring 2016 – Present

Blaire graduated spring of 2016 with a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Michigan. She is pursuing a M.S. in Psychology with a special focus in Clinical Science at the University of Michigan. She is interested in the intersectionality of diet, sleep hygiene, physical fitness and overall health, particularly with adolescents. In the future she hopes to earn her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with a focus in Health Psychology.

Past Group Lab Photos

Fall 2016

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Spring 2016

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Winter 2016

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Fall 2015

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Spring 2015

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Winter 2015

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Fall 2014

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Summer 2014

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2013-2014

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