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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.

Congratulations, Pooja!

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

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 and the Times article "When the Caregivers Need Healing" can be found here . Congratulations Dr. Dykens!



November 26, 2014 – CCN Brown Bag Series (No Talk This week)

The Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience (CCN) program - no talk scheduled this week due to Thanksgiving Holiday

November 27, 2014 – Neuroscience Seminar: No talk


December 1, 2014 – Quantitative Methods Colloquium Series: Andrew Tomarken

The odds ratio and its alternatives: Measure-specificity of effects

Andrew Tomarken, Vanderbilt Department of Psychology

The odds ratio (OR) is among the most commonly used statistical measures of association or effect. It is by far the most commonly reported measure when dependent variables are binary and it is ubiquitous in studies focusing on the association between risk factors and disease outcomes. Unfortunately, most scientists are largely unaware of the mathematical and statistical properties of the OR and its differences, strengths, and weaknesses relative to alternative measures. After discussing several historical reasons for the popularity of the OR, I will describe several common misinterpretations and mistaken assumptions made by researchers based on an ongoing review of published research in medical and psychological journals. At various points, comparisons will be made to two alternative measures of effect, the relative risk (RR) and the risk difference (RD). Two overriding points will be emphasized: (1) Conclusions about the nature, functional form, and magnitude of effects derived from the OR will often not generalize to alternatives. Thus exclusive reliance on the OR can provide a highly selective or even misleading picture of the phenomenon under study; and, (2) Different measures are sensitive to different features of data, and at a more fundamental level, may reflect differing -- yet almost always unstated -- assumptions about the nature of main effects and interactions. I will conclude that: (1) It is important for researchers to determine those measures and models that best fit the goals of the study, the conceptualization of risk, and other aspects of the substantive phenomenon under investigation; (2) In the absence of a clearly optimal choice, researchers should report multiple measures to provide a more complete picture of the effects of predictors on binary measures; and, (3) Researchers need to expand on the cryptic verbal descriptions typically offered to describe effects and to supplement the presentation with appropriate graphical and other tools.

December 3, 2014 – CCN Brown Bag Series: Sonia Poltoratski

The Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience (CCN) program presents Sonia Poltoratski, Department of Psychology (Tong Lab), Vanderbilt University

12:10 p.m. Room 115, Wilson Hall

Title and abstract TBA

December 4, 2014 – Neuroscience Seminar: Kacie Dougherty

Kacie Dougherty, Department of Psychology (Maier Lab), Vanderbilt University

12:10 p.m. Room 316, Wilson Hall

Title and abstract TBA

December 10, 2014 – CCN Brown Bag Series: Isabel Gauthier

Isabel Gauthier, Department of Psychology, Vanderbilt University

12:10 p.m. Room 115, Wilson Hall

Title and abstract TBA