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David Lubinski's research makes The Boston Globe's Top Ten articles of 2014!

January 19, 2015—Coverage of David Lubinski, Camilla Benbow, and Harrison Kell's research on the Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth has gone viral! Study results from 2013 were featured in The Boston Globe and this article received so many online hits it landed in third place on the The Boston Globe's Top 10 List of "Idea Pieces" for 2014! The Top 10 list can be viewed here. Subsequently, Lubinski, Benbow, and Kell's 2014 Psychological Science article was featured in The Huffington Post. Congratulations!

Congratulations Bunmi!

January 8, 2015—Bunmi Olatunji has been selected as one of the recipients of the 2015 American Psychological Association (APA) Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contribution to Psychology in the area of applied research. This is a highly competitive award that highlights the important contributions that Bunmi has already made to the field.

Congratulations Jeff!

December 19, 2014—Professor Jeffrey Schall has been named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Association fellows are elected by their peers for advancing science or its applications. Schall, the E. Bronson Ingram Professor of Neuroscience and professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences, was elected for his groundbreaking work regarding visual perception, cognitive control and decisionmaking.

Congratulations to Ben and Anat!

November 26, 2014—Dr. Benjamin-Tamber Rosenau and Anat Fintzi, post-doctoral fellow and graduate student in the laboratory of Dr. René Marois, respectively, have won the best poster award at the 2014 Object Perception, visual Attention, and visual Memory (OPAM) annual conference held in Long Beach, CA, for their work on the spatial resolution of visual working memory. This award is given in recognition of the best research (poster division) presented at this conference.

Dr. Kei Fukuda wins the APA Division 3 award for best Psychonomic Society poster!

November 24, 2014—We would like to congratulate Dr. Kei Fukuda, postdoctoral researcher in Prof. Geoff Woodman’s lab, for winning the American Psychological Association’s Division 3 award for best Psychonomic Society poster at the annual meeting in Long Beach, California. This prestigious early career award recognizes excellent work in the experimental domain. Great work, Kei!

Congratulations Kris!

October 27, 2014—Kris Preacher won the Tanaka Award for Best Article of 2013 in the journal Multivariate Behavioral Research. This award was given by the Society for Multivariate Experimental Psychology for the article: Preacher, K.J., Zhang, G., Kim, C., & Mels, G. (2013). Choosing the optimal number of factors in exploratory factor analysis: A model selection perspective. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 48, 28-56.

Welcome Anita Disney!

October 2, 2014—The Department of Psychological Sciences would like to welcome our newest faculty member. here is a news piece on her work.

Click here.



March 3, 2015 – Clinical Science Brown Bag Series (no talk scheduled today)

No Talk Scheduled for Today

March 7, 2015 – Vanderbilt Brain Institute - Brain Blast

"Brain Blast," a half-day of free, hands-on activities for children and adults will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, March 2, at Vanderbilt Health One Hundred Oaks.

Vanderbilt students and neuroscientists will lead activities on the first floor, at Entrance D. Participants will be able to “build a neuron,” experiment with DNA, and touch a real brain.

"Brain Blast" is a highlight of Vanderbilt's annual Brain Awareness Month, sponsored by the Vanderbilt Brain Institute to raise awareness about brain disorders and neuroscience research.

The public is invited to attend two other free "Brainstorm" events:

•â€ˆ“Enhancing School Performance with Family Training,” the Jeanette J. Norden Outreach Lecture, by Helen Neville, Ph.D., professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, University of Oregon, at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 12, in the Wyatt Center Rotunda of Vanderbilt’s Peabody College.

•â€ˆ“Educational Neuroscience,” a panel discussion featuring Brain Institute director Mark Wallace, Ph.D., and Vanderbilt investigators Bruce McCandliss, Ph.D., Laurie Cutting, Ph.D., and Gavin Price, Ph.D., at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, March 28, in the Wyatt Center Rotunda.

Five other lectures are aimed at the Vanderbilt community:

•â€ˆ“The Flavor Hypothesis: Did Retronasal Smell Drive Human Evolution?” by Gordon Shepherd, M.D., D.Phil., professor of Neurobiology, Yale University, 3 p.m. Monday, March 4, 1220 MRB III.

•â€ˆ“Experimental, Genetic and Epigenetic Effects on Human Neurocognitive Development,” the Brainstorm Keynote Lecture, by Helen Neville, Ph.D., 4 p.m. Wednesday, March 13, room 241, Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, One Magnolia Circle.

•â€ˆ“The Miniature Brain: Activation of the Cortical Microcircuit during Rest, Sensory Stimulation and Top-down Attention,” by Alexander Maier, Ph.D., assistant professor of Psychology at Vanderbilt, 4:10 p.m. Tuesday, March 19, in 1220 MRB III.

•â€ˆ“Remembrances of Things Past: Neural Signals and the Organization of Memory,” by Sean Polyn, Ph.D., assistant professor of Psychology at Vanderbilt, 4:10 p.m. Friday, March 22, room 204, Mayborn Building, Peabody College.

•â€ˆ“Go, No Stop! Cognitive Neuroscience of the Expression and Suppression of Impulsive Motor Actions,” by Wery van den Wildenberg, Ph.D., assistant professor of Psychology, University of Amsterdam, 4:10 p.m. Wednesday, March 27, 208 Light Hall.

For more information, contact Beth Sims at or 936-3705.

March 10, 2015 – Clinical Science Brown Bag Series: Ashley Motlong

Ashley Motlong, Department of Psychology (Bachorowski Lab), Vanderbilt University

Tuesday, 3/10/15

12:10 p.m.

WH 316

Title and Abstract TBA

March 11, 2015 – CCN Brown Bag Series: Anat Fintzi

Anat Fintzi, Department of Psychology (Marois Lab), Vanderbilt University

Wednesday, 3/11/15

12:10 p.m.

Wilson Hall 115

Title and Abstract TBA

March 12, 2015 – Neuroscience Brown Bag Series: Rick Lin

Rick Lin Ph.D., Neurobiology & Anatomical Sciences, University of Mississippi Medical Center

Thursday 3/12/15

12:10 p.m.

Wilson Hall 316

Title & Abstract TBA

March 17, 2015 – Clinical Science Brown Bag Series: Steven Brunwasser

Steven Brunwasser Ph.D., Psychology & Human Development, Vanderbilt University

Tuesday, 3/17/15


Wilson Hall 316

"Neural circuits underlying pattern completion"

Our brains must continually make cognitive inferences based on putting together information from different sources to orchestrate perceptions, decisions and behavior. The mechanisms underlying such integrative processes are critical to cognition. In this talk, I will discuss the magic behind pattern completion in the context of visual recognition. Recognition of objects from partial information presents a significant challenge for theories of vision because it requires spatial integration, extrapolation from prior knowledge and inference. I will present invasive neurophysiological recordings from the human ventral visual and psychophysical measurements during object completion. Responses along the ventral visual stream remained selective despite showing only a small fraction of objects. These visually selective signals emerged ~100 ms later for partial versus whole objects, consistent with similar behavioral delays that accompany object completion. Computational modeling shows that the performance of a family of purely bottom-up architectures is significantly impaired by heavy occlusion and that this effect can be partially rescued via the incorporation of top-down and/or recurrent connections. These results provide spatiotemporal constraints on theories of object recognition that involve recurrent processing to recognize objects from partial information and take initial steps towards elucidating how neural circuits can implement intelligent inference.