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Congratulations Suzana!

November 18, 2016—

Suzana Herculano's book, entitled The Human Advantage, is reviewed in the November 24 issue of the New York Review of Books.

Bachorowski Interviewed on NPR!

November 18, 2016—

NPR's Radiololab (Season 4, Episode 1) interviewed Jo-Anne Bachoroswki on her research on laughter.

Congratulations Megan!

September 23, 2016—

Megan Ichinose is on the Chancellors mental health initiative committee!

Congratulations Isabel & Tom!

September 12, 2016—Congratulations on a new three-year grant from the National Science Foundation on Measuring, Mapping, and Modeling Perceptual Expertise; PI is Isabel Gauthier, co-PI is Thomas Palmeri, and Senior Investigators are Sun-Joo Cho from Vanderbilt, Gary Cottrell from UCSD, and Mike Tarr and Deva Ramanan from Carnegie Mellon. This project supports a collaborative interdisciplinary research network that aims to develop measures of individual differences in visual recognition, relate behavioral and neural markers of individual differences, develop models that explain individual differences, and relate models with neural data.

Congratulations, David and Camilla!

September 9, 2016—Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth Discussed in Nature The SMPY (Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth) was the topic of a feature news article published in the journal Nature on September 8th. The SMPY was found by Professor Julian Stanley in 1972, and is now run by Professor David Lubinski and Dean Camilla Benbow. Congratulations to David and Camilla on a fascinating article about an amazing research study.

Congratulations Steve!

September 7, 2016—Steve Hollon has won the 2016 Joseph Zubin award from the Society for Research in Psychopathology (SRP)! The SRP bestows this award each year to one deserving individual for lifetime contributions to the understanding of psychopathology. It was established in 1986 and officially named the Joseph Zubin Award in 1990. It is considered the most prestigious award for psychopathology research.



Congratulations Sohee, Geoff and Leslie!

August 26, 2016—A few of our faculty were highlighted at the 2016 Fall Faculty Assembly. Sohee Park and Geoff Woodman received a Chancelor's research award for their groundbreaking work on using tDCS for improving people with schizophrenia in error detection and control and Leslie Smith was congratulated for her 25 years of service in teaching and undergraduate education at Vanderbilt.



January 17, 2017 – Clinical Science Brown Bag Series

Kathryn Unruh

Vanderbilt Brain Institute (Bodfish Lab)

Vanderbilt University School of Medicine


Wilson Hall Room 3016

“Measuring Nonsocial Reward in Autism Spectrum Disorders”

Our experiences with the world play a critical role in neural and behavioral development. Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) spend a disproportionate amount of time seeking out, attending to, and engaging with aspects of their environment that are largely nonsocial in nature. The current models of ASD focus primarily on the relative deficits in social behavior / motivation; however, there is an emerging literature to suggest enhanced response to nonsocial reward. In line with previous research from the Bodfish lab, my dissertation capitalizes on a specific type of nonsocial reward in ASD: circumscribed / restricted interests. Specifically, I hypothesize that enhanced nonsocial motivation early in life could bias experience and therefore brain development, contributing to a dynamic pattern of motivation that leads to increased nonsocial behavior and decreased social behavior. To this end, I have modified / developed novel tasks to compare social to nonsocial information processing using gaze dynamics, pupillary response, and neural response (ERP). Further, I will examine the role of age and diagnostic status using cross-sectional sampling in both ASD and typically developing comparison groups. This talk will discuss findings to date in my dissertation studies. 

January 18, 2017 – CCN Brown Bag Series

Maithilee Kunda

Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Vanderbilt University School of Engineering


Wilson Hall Room 113

“Visual Mental Imagery in AI Systems”

Despite evidence for the importance of visual mental imagery from many of the cognitive sciences, the field of artificial intelligence (AI) has not yet provided a rigorous computational account of how mental imagery works. Part of the problem comes from confusion in the AI literature between (1) tasks that are presented visually, in an external visual format, versus (2) tasks that are solved visually, using internal visual representations. There is a rich history of AI research in the first category, but the vast majority of these AI systems first convert visual inputs into internal propositional (i.e. abstract/symbolic) representations before solving a task. Fewer systems fall into the second category, but these studies have begun to provide insight into the computational nature of mental imagery and its role in intelligent behavior. I will present a synthesis of AI research into mental imagery over the years, including my recent work in developing AI systems that use purely visual representations to solve problems from standardized intelligence tests.


January 19, 2017 – Neuroscience Brown Bag Series

David Sweatt

Department of Pharmacology

Vanderbilt University School of Medicine


Wilson Hall Room 316

“Epigenetic Mechanisms in Memory Formation”

January 20, 2017 – CCN-Modeling Meeting

Michele Cox

Department of Psychology (Maier Lab)

Vanderbilt University


Wilson Hall Room 519

“A Practical Primer on Git & GitHub”

Much psychological research depends on custom-written code. As experiments and analyses evolve, so does the code behind them. Tracking the changes that come with each new idea can be a challenge, often resulting in bugs, inconsistent documenting, and the universal “what was I thinking when I wrote this” experience.


One tool that can be leveraged to tame these challenges is a version control system. Version control systems track changes in computer files and help to coordinate work on those files among multiple people. Git is one such version control system. One of Git’s best features is its online cousin, GitHub. GitHub can serve as a remote backup as well as venue for sharing and collaborating on software projects.


This talk will provide a practical introduction to both Git and GitHub. After covering basic structure and commands, I will use my own research workflow to illustrate different practical uses of Git and GitHub for psychology research.


For those looking to get started with Git and GitHub, I recommend:


January 20, 2017 – Guest Speaker: Dr. Erin Stone, BCBA-D

Dr. Erin Stone is the Autism and Behavioral Services Coordinator for Alexandria Public Schools in Alexandria, Virginia, a suburb of Washington D.C. She oversees both specialized programs in ACPS for children with ASD and EBD from PreK-12 and directs the behavioral supports services team. Dr. Stone will present about behavior analytic services in public school settings, including the supervision of BCBAs and teachers implementing behavior-analytic interventions.

Directions: Enter the Home Economics Building through the front doors on Magnolia Circle. Go down the hall to the left. It is the last door on the left. 

January 24, 2017 – Clinical Science Brown Bag Series

Graduate Student Meeting


Wilson Hall Room 316

Clinical Program Discussion