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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.

Congratulations, David, Jonathan and Harrison!

August 15, 2016—SMPY investigators win three awards for research excellence! Congratulations to the investigators of the Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth (SMPY), who won three 2016 Awards from the Mensa Education and Research Foundation! These awards are given for "outstanding research on intelligence, intellectual giftedness and related fields." Study Co-director David Lubinski won one for his recent Psychological science article; former student Jonathan Wai (MS'05, PhD'09) won one for his recent Intelligence article; and former post-doc Harrison Kell won one for his recent Psychological Science article. More information about these articles and their respective awards can be found here:

Congratulations Eva!

August 8, 2016—Congratulations goes to Eva Sawyer for winning the J.B. Johnston Club for Evolutionary Neuroscience, Thomas Karger Thesis Award.

Eva Sawyer was a Ph.D. student in the Neuroscience program, who graduated in 2016, and carried out her research in Jon Kass' lab.

Learn more about the JBJC at this link

Congratulations Jennifer!!!

August 8, 2016—


    I am happy to inform you that Jennifer Trueblood has been elected as President of the Society for Mathematical Psychology. This is quite an honor for anyone in this field, let alone someone as young as Jennifer. She has been elected to a two-year term starting summer 2017. Jennifer already serves on the board of the Society.

First incorporated in 1977, the Society for Mathematical Psychology promotes the advancement and communication of research in mathematical psychology and related disciplines. See more info at

Congratulations again to Jennifer!

Congratulations Darren Yeo!

July 22, 2016—Incoming Educational Neuroscience PhD student, Darren Yeo, has won a prestigious International PhD scholarship from Nanyang Technological University’s (NTU) College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences. Jointly funded by the Ministry of Education in Singapore, the HASS predoctoral fellowship provides Singaporean students an opportunity to pursue an academic career by supporting their doctoral studies abroad. Upon completion of the PhD program, he will be appointed as a tenure-track faculty in the Division of Psychology at NTU.

Fyfe earns faculty position!

July 22, 2016—Please join us in congratulating Emily Fyfe who has recently accepted an offer to become a tenure-track faculty member at Indiana University, Bloomington. Emily earned her Ph.D. at Vanderbilt in 2015 where she worked with Bethany Rittle-Johnson. Subsequently, Emily completed an IES Postdoctoral Fellowship at University of Wisconsin, Madison in the Training Program in Mathematical Thinking, Learning, and Instruction. Congratulations, Emily!

Early Development Lab wins Bridging the Word Gap Award!

July 22, 2016—ollen Russo, Israel Flores, Gabriele Strouse and Georgene Troseth of Vanderbilt's Early Development Lab, led by Dr. Troseth, have won a Phase I Award for the Bridging the Word Gap Challenge! This Award was given by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to facilitate their development of a storybook app to model verbal interaction involving dialog and questioning. The app aims to help reduce the gap in early word exposure between low and high income children.



August 30, 2016 – Clinical Science Brown Bag Series

Sarah Jaser Ph.D.

Department of Pediatrics

Vanderbilt University School of Medicine


Wilson Hall Room 316

Stress and Coping in Adolescents with Type 1 Diabetes: Key Findings and Future Directions

I will be discussing my research related to identifying risk and protective factors in youth with type 1 diabetes, and developing family-based interventions to promote the best outcomes

August 31, 2016 – CCN Brown Bag Series

Kevin Dieter

Department of Psychology( Blake Lab) 

Vanderbilt University

Wednesday, 8/31/16


WH 113

Seeing things both ways: how the visual system chooses between equivalent states

(This talk is a preliminary job-style talk, feedback encouraged!)

Though seeing the world feels effortless, perception is an active process through which a useful interpretation of the visual environment is created. In its construction of reality, our brains combine sensory information with our goals and expectations, all of which contribute to our visual experiences. However, this process does not always have a clear resolution – at times our visual system encounters information consistent with more than one plausible interpretation. Such scenarios can result in what is known as multistable vision, during which one’s visual experience alternates back-and-forth between the available options without ever settling on a definitive solution. By focusing on a particular instance of multistable vision (known as binocular rivalry) that arises when the left and right eye view drastically different images, my research seeks to unravel the complex interplay of visual mechanisms responsible for the alternate selection of perceptual interpretations. One particular focus has been on the role of visual attention, which appears essential for driving the typical dynamics of binocular rivalry and yet holds only modest sway over which interpretation will dominate. To understand this seemingly contradictory pattern, I have studied the interactions between visual attention and the mechanisms of binocular vision to understand what underlies this attentional limitation. These results have shed light on the processes that merge the images in our left and right eyes into a single percept, and have exposed critical factors that drive the efficacy of visual attention’s influence.

September 1, 2016 – Neuroscience Brown Bag Series

Sandra Dos Santos

Department of Psychology (Herculano Lab)

Vanderbilt University


Wilson Hall Room 316

"What marsupials tell about the evolution of mammalian brains"

In the effort to understand the evolution of mammalian brains, we have found that common relationships between brain structure mass and numbers of non-neuronal (glial and vascular) cells apply across eutherian mammals, but brain structure mass scales differently with numbers of neurons across structures and across primate and non-primate clades. This suggests that the ancestral scaling rules for mammalian brains are those shared by extant non-primate eutherians – but do these scaling relationships apply to marsupials, a sister group to eutherians that diverged early in mammalian evolution?

We examined the cellular composition of the brain of ten species of marsupials. We showed that brain structure mass scales with numbers of non-neuronal cells, and numbers of cerebellar neurons scale with numbers of cerebral cortical neurons, comparable to what we have found in eutherians. These shared scaling relationships are therefore indicative of mechanisms that have been conserved since the first therians. In contrast, while marsupials share with non-primate eutherians the scaling of cerebral cortex mass with number of neurons, their cerebella have more neurons than non-primate eutherian cerebella of similar mass, and their rest of brain has fewer neurons than eutherian structures of similar mass. Moreover, Australasian marsupials exhibit ratios of neurons in the cerebral cortex and cerebellum over the rest of the brain, comparable to artiodactyls and primates.

Our results suggest that Australasian marsupials have diverged from the ancestral Theria neuronal scaling rules, and support the suggestion that the scaling of average neuronal cell size with increasing numbers of neurons varies in evolution independently of the allocation of neurons across structures.   

September 6, 2016 – Clinical Science Brown Bag Series

Sun-Joo Cho PhD

Department of Psychology & Human Development

Vanderbilt University


Wilson Hall Room 316

Detecting Intervention Effects in a Cluster Randomized Design

using Multilevel Structural Equation Modeling for Binary Responses


Multilevel modeling (MLM) is frequently used to detect group differences, such as an intervention effect in a pre-test-post-test cluster-randomized design. Group differences on the post-test scores are detected by controlling for pre-test scores as a proxy variable for unobserved factors that predict future attributes. The pre-test and post-test scores that are most often used in MLM are summed item responses (or total scores). In prior research, there have been concerns regarding measurement error in the use of total scores in using MLM. To correct for measurement error in the covariate and outcome, a theoretical justification for the use of multilevel structural equation modeling (MSEM) has been established. However, MSEM for binary responses has not been widely applied to detect intervention effects (group differences) in intervention studies. In this talk, the use of MSEM will be demonstrated for intervention studies. Further, the consequences of using MLM instead of MSEM will be discussed in detecting group differences.

September 7, 2016 – CCN Brown Bag Series

Dakota Lindsey

Department of Psychology ( Logan Lab)

Vanderbilt University

Wednesday, 9/7/16


WH 113

Title and Abstract TBA

September 8, 2016 – Neuroscience Brown Bag Series

Emily Rockoff Turner

Department of Psychology (Kaas Lab)

Vanderbilt University


Wilson Hall Room 316

Title & Abstract TBA