News and Events
Welcome Thilo and Kari
8/15/2017 — The Department of Psychology would like to welcome two new faculty members, Thilo Womelsdorf and Kari Hoffman.
Thilo received his PhD from the Georg-August University (Germany) and trained as a post-doc fellow at the Donders Institute for Brain Cognition and Behaviour in the Netherlands before joining the faculty at York University in Canada in 2011. The crux of Thilo's research concerns understanding the circuit mechanisms of attention and control in non-human primates. Specifically, his research aims at discovering (1) how these cell-circuit-systems levels interplay to bring about adaptive behavior, (2) which factors cause a break down of this interplay in disease, and (3) how interventions can prevent such break-down. In his research, Thilo employs multiple innovative approaches including multi-electrodes implanted in multiple brain areas, naturalistic tasks, sophisticated analytical methods and pharmacological manipulations. He has won the Petro Canada Young Innovator Award in 2014 and a Merit Award (2012) from the Faculty of Science and Engineering at York University. Just like Kari, his research is exceptionally well funded by multiple CIHR Operating Grants, NSERC Discovery Grant, an NSERC Collaborative Research and Training Experience plus CIHR New Investigator and Early Researcher Award from the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation.
Kari has a very distinguished training pedigree (PhD. at the University of Arizona in Dr. Bruce McNaughton's laboratory, Post-doctoral fellowship at the Max-Plank Institute with Dr. Nikos Logothetis) that was recognized upon her faculty appointment at York University (Canada) through an Alfred P. Sloan fellowship and Ontario Early Researcher Award. Kari's research interests center around the neural mechanisms underlying perception and memory formation in human and non-human primates. Her lab uses state-of-the-art technology, including multichannel recording and stimulation techniques applied during behavioral tasks, along with timeand frequency-domain analysis techniques. Current scientific goals encompass understanding the cellular basis of oscillatory brain activity and determine the role such activity may play in adaptive behaviors such as exploration and memory-guided exploitation of the environment. Kari has an exceptionally well funded research program supported, among others, by an NSERC Research Tools and Instruments grant, an NSERC CREATE Training Grant, as well as awards from the Krembil Foundation and Alzheimer Society of Canada, and is currently PI of a large multi-investigator grant from Brain Canada.
Welcome James and Amy
8/15/2017 — The Department of Psychology and Human Development would like to welcome two new faculty members, James and Amy Booth
James R. Booth is the Patricia and Rodes Hart Professor of Educational Neuroscience in the Department of Psychology and Human Development at Vanderbilt University. The overall goals of his research are to understand the brain mechanisms of the development of reading, math and scientific reasoning in typical and atypical populations. Prof. Booth has been continuously funded for close to two decades and has published extensively in diverse journals. He has served in various roles both within and outside of the university, such as departmental chairperson, review panel member and associate editor. Prof Booth aims to facilitate the interaction between the fields of cognition, neuroscience and education.
Amy Booth studies cognitive development and learning in young children. In much of her work, she has explored interactions between categorization, conceptual knowledge and word learning in infants and preschoolers. With the support of a grant from the National Science Foundation, she is currently investigating the role of individual differences in children’s word-learning skills in explaining disparities in vocabulary and early literacy as children enter school. In another line of work, also supported by the National Science Foundation, Booth is investigating the origins of children’s scientific literacy by examining early interests in, and ability to reason about, causal information. The long-term goals of both projects are to develop early interventions to close persistent achievement gaps and to optimize academic success for all children in both language and science.
Lubinski wins George A. Miller Award for Outstanding Article in General Psychology
8/07/2017 — This year at the American Psychological Association’s (APA’s) annual convention in Washington, DC (August, 2017), it was announced that David Lubinski, a member of Vanderbilt's Quantitative Methods Area in Psychology and Human Development, won the 2017 American Psychological Association’s George A. Miller Award for Outstanding Article in General Psychology. This award was for his 100-year review of major findings on intellectual precocity, published last year. Lubinski, D. (2016). From Terman to today: A century of findings on intellectual precocity. Review of Educational Research, 86, 900-944. Lubinski will give an invited address based on this article at APA’s annual convention next year (August, 2018, San Francisco). Congratulations, David!
Schneider Receives Early Career Award!
5/24/2017 — Darryl Schneider who earned his Ph.D. in 2008 under the mentorship of Gordon Logan has been chosen as one of the 2017 Psychonomic Societies early career Award Recipients. The Psychonomic Society will confer scientific awards each year upon young scientists who Have made significant contributions to scientific psychology early in their careers. The purpose of the awards is to raise the visibility of our science and of our very best young scientists within the field, within the awardees’ institutions, in the press, and in the larger community. The Early Career Award is among the field’s highest honors given by the Psychonomic Society. Congratulations Darryl!
Zach Roper, a Postdoctoral Scholar working in Geoff Woodman's Visual Cognitive Neuroscience Lab has been awarded an NEI grant titled " A comparative electrophysiological study on the mechanisms of selective attention". Well done and well deserved.
2/22/2017 — Jennifer Trueblood has received a two-year Research Fellowship from the Alfred P Sloan Foundation. These highly prestiguous awards are given “to stimulate fundamental research by early-career scientists and scholars of outstanding promise….in recognition of distinguished performance and a unique potential to make substantial contributions to their field. ”Congratulations Jennifer!!!!
2/08/2017 — Geoff Woodman has been selected as a Chancellor’s faculty Fellow in the 2017 class, a title he will hold for two years. This is one of VU’s most prestigious awards, given to twelve recently tenured faculty to recognize their accomplishments and provide support and activities for further career development. This makes the second faculty member from our Department to be singled out for this distinction - Bunmi Olatunji was in the Class of 2015.