News and Events
September 30, 2014—Pooja Balaram, a graduate student in Jon Kaas' lab, has won the 2014 Krieg Cortical Scholar Prize awarded by the Cajal Club Foundation to a junior neuroscientist who has conducted exemplary research on the cerebral cortex and/or its connections.
Congratulations to Vanderbilt all-University Undergraduate Research Fair award winners!
September 23, 2014—"We would like to extend a hearty congratulations to our undergraduate students who made award winning presentations in Vanderbilt’s recent Undergraduate Research Fair.” From A&S Psychology First Place Julia Zhu ’15 – Psychology “Improving Error Monitoring in Schizophrenia Through Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation” Advisor: Dr. Sohee Park, Psychology In a tie for Second PlaceSydney Waitz-Kudia ’15 – Psychology and English “Media Influence on Non-Suicidal Self-Injury” Advisor: Dr. David Cole, Psychology & Human Development From Peabody Psychology First Place Meghan Collins ’15 – Neuroscience & Cognitive Studies “Decoding the deficit: across-task analysis of memory impairments in schizophrenia” Dr. Sean Polyn, Psychology In a tie for Second Place Junyi Chu ’15 – Child Development & Cognitive Studies “The Role of Phonological Awareness and Inhibition in Reading” Dr. Bethany Rittle-Johnson, Psychology & Human Development
Congratulations Psychological Sciences Undergraduates!
September 23, 2014—the following awards have been made for posters recently presented at Vanderbilt's first all-University Undergraduate Research Fair. The awards are evidence of the excellent research being conducted by our undergraduates, and also speak to the mentoring given not only by faculty but also by graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. In the present instances, by Rob Reinhart (Woodman lab) to Julia Zhu, and by Megan Ichinose (Park lab) to Meghan Collins. These awards honor the transparency between the two departments that give rise to Psychological Sciences, with an A&S winner being mentored by a Peabody faculty member and vice versa. The awards also show that the successes of our collaborative research efforts trickle down to impact the quality of the research training received by our undergraduates. Congratulations to all involved. Jo-Anne From A&S Psychology First Place Julia Zhu ’15 – Psychology “Improving Error Monitoring in Schizophrenia Through Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation” Advisor: Dr. Sohee Park, Psychology In a tie for Second Place Sydney Waitz-Kudia ’15 – Psychology and English “Media Influence on Non-Suicidal Self-Injury” Advisor: Dr. David Cole, Psychology & Human Development From Peabody Psychology First Place Meghan Collins ’15 – Neuroscience & Cognitive Studies “Decoding the deficit: across-task analysis of memory impairments in schizophrenia” Dr. Sean Polyn, Psychology In a tie for Second Place Junyi Chu ’15 – Child Development & Cognitive Studies “The Role of Phonological Awareness and Inhibition in Reading” Dr. Bethany Rittle-Johnson, Psychology & Human Development
Maier receives Society of Neuroscience Career Award. Congratulations Alex!
September 3, 2014—Assistant Professor of Psychology Alexander Maier has been selected to receive the Society for Neuroscience's Janett Rosenberg Trubatch Career Development Award for 2014. The purpose of the award, which is given to only two individuals each year, is "to recognize individuals who have demonstrated originality and creativity in research and to promote success during academic transitions prior to tenure." Maier was recognized for his efforts to understand the basic mystery of how perception arises from neural activities. A prime focus of his research program is to differentiate between the neural circuitry that is involved in visual perception and sensory activity that does not attain the level of conscious awareness. His work has important implications for treating patients with visual disorders characterized by an inability to perceive or recognize certain types of visual images. He is also one of a handful of scientists studying the relationship between the electrical activity in the brain and the variations in blood flow that are measured by the brain mapping technique fMRI, the most commonly used and most reliable method for measuring neural responses in the human brain- Recipients receive a $2,000 award and complimentary registration to the society's annual meeting.
Braden Purcell wins honorable mention for James McKeen Cattell Award
August 15, 2014—Braden's PhD dissertation, Neural Mechanisms of Perceptual Decision Making, has been chosen to receive honorable mention in the 2013-2014 James McKeen Cattell Dissertation competition sponsored by the Psychology Section of the New York Academy of Sciences. The field was highly competitive, with many excellent candidates for the award. His work was highly regarded by the reviewers and by the Steering Committee. The Academy further commended the work of his mentors, Thomas Palmeri and Jeffrey Schall, and the graduate program in Psychological Sciences at Vanderbilt University. In recognition of his noteworthy achievement, he will receive a certificate from the New York Academy of Sciences; his mentors will be similarly recognized. Congratulations Braden!
Elizabeth Dykens' research featured in the Times!
July 30, 2014—Dr. Elizabeth Dykens' research on reducing distress among caregivers of developmentally delayed children has been featured in the New York Times. Dr. Dykens and colleagues conducted a randomized trial published in Pediatrics comparing effects of mindfulness training and positive psychology practice on mothers' stress, depression, and anxiety. More about the study can be found here http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=miodrag+autism and the Times article "When the Caregivers Need Healing" can be found here http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/29/health/when-the-caregivers-need-healing.html?_r=0 . Congratulations Dr. Dykens!
Congratulations NSF Awardee and Honorable Mentions!
April 24, 2014—Congratulations to NSF awardee Sarah Wiesen, who works with Dr. Amy Needham! Congratulations to our NSF Honorable Mentions: Sofia Jimenez, who works with Dr. Meg Saylor; Megan Ichinose, who works with Dr. Sohee Park; and Josh McCluey, who works with Dr. Sean Polyn!
Cecilia Mo, Political Science Department, Vanderbilt University
12:10 p.m. Room 316, Wilson Hall
Why do Asian Americans identify as Democrats? Testing theories of social exclusion and intergroup solidarity.
Asian Americans are overwhelmingly likely to identify as Democrats. This is surprising given that income and voting for the Republican Party are highly correlated, and Asians are the most affluent ethnic group in the United States. We focus on two explanations to address this puzzle: Social exclusion and intergroup solidarity.
Social exclusion arises from Asian Americans' perceptions that they are viewed as less "American", and associate these feelings with the Republican Party. Additionally, Asian Americans exhibit intergroup solidarity; they believe they have common interests with other ethnic minorities that already support the Democratic Party. As a result, Asian Americans align themselves politically with these groups rather than whites. Using a large-scale representative survey and two experimental studies, we found empirical support for both hypotheses. Our findings speak to identity-oriented explanations of political behavior in American electoral politics, as well as conceptions of political parties as coalitions of groups based upon social identity.
The Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience (CCN) program presents David Ross, Department of Psychology, Vanderbilt University
12:10 p.m. 115 Wilson Hall
Norm-Based versus Exemplar-Based Models of Face Recognition
Face space models have long provided a unifying framework for understanding face recognition. For more than a decade, findings from face adaptation experiments have been taken as support for a version of face space in which faces are represented with respect to a prototype face, referred to as the norm. The consensus in the literature is also that these findings rule out alternative exemplar-based models. None of these claims have ever been supported by testing predictions of computational models of face recognition. I will first review our recent work where we formalized and tested norm-based and exemplar-based models on a range of purportedly diagnostic face adaptation paradigms. Despite the strong claims that have been made on the basis of these paradigms, we found that the predictions of norm and exemplar models were essentially indistinguishable. I will also discuss new work that may provide some tentative evidence in favor of the exemplar-based account.
Justin Siemann, Vanderbilt Brain Institute (Wallace Lab), Vanderbilt School of Medicine
12:10 p.m. Room 316, Wilson Hall
Studies of multisensory function in the mouse model: circuit and disease implications
This presentation will focus on studies to develop and implement behavioral tests that assess sensory and multisensory function in the mouse model, and to utilize these tests to characterize (multi)sensory function in a mouse model of autism. The work represents the first of its kind to systematically examine sensory and multisensory function in mice. These studies are focused on identifying potential underlying mechanisms and circuits involved in multisensory processing in a mouse. This evaluation will be of value to those interested in studying the neural bases of multisensory function, as it will allow the application of powerful genetic, pharmacologic and optogenetic tools to questions of mechanistic relevance. The strongly translational aspects of the research will allow the application of these tools to a well-established mouse model of autism developed here at Vanderbilt. If, as hypothesized, multisensory deficits are seen in these mice, these studies will provide fundamental insights into the nature of sensory and multisensory dysfunction in autism and serve as an essential foundation for future work aimed at better characterizing the neural underpinnings of these deficits and their links to behavior.
Within-subjects mediation analysis: A path-analytic framework
Dr. Andrew F. Hayes, Department of Psychology, The Ohio State University
This talk places the method described by Judd, Kenny, and McClelland (2001, Psychological Methods) for mediation analysis in simple two-condition within-subjects designs in a traditional path analytic framework. Unlike in Judd et al., this framework places interpretive focus regarding mediation on the indirect effect, descriptively and inferentially, as a product of effects. A simple extensions to multiple mediator models is provided, as is implementation in Mplus and the PROCESS macro for SPSS and SAS.
Professional Development Workshop for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Fellows in Psychological Sciences and Neuroscience: "Applying, Interviewing, and Negotiating Jobs in Academia"
A panel of psychology and neuroscience faculty will discuss and answer questions about the academic job search process in psychology and neuroscience. The focus will be on demystifying the application, interview, and negotiation process. We will discuss postdoctoral fellowships in psychology and neuroscience as well as faculty positions at a range of academic institutions and medical centers. We will also answer questions about the early years as a faculty member.
4-6 p.m. Room 115, Wilson Hall
AJ Heritage, Department of Psychology, Vanderbilt University
12:10 p.m. Room 316, Wilson Hall
Title and abstract TBA