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April 4, 2018

CIC to Host Free Screening of Black Panther for Department Members

The Committee for an Inclusive Community will be hosting a free screening of the recent smash hit Black Panther for psychology department members in honor of of Black History and Women’s Heritage Month. This screening is a gracious reward provided by the CIC for our department reaching the highest ever response rate for the annual Climate Survey (the results of which are published in the annual CIC newsletter). This year, 90% of our department completed the survey!

Thank you to everyone who completed the survey, and to the CIC for hosting this event.



Movie date – Movie Date:  Sunday, April 8th, 11am (seating opens at 10:30am)

RSVP – RSVP required. See the CIC department-wide email for instructions on how to RSVP.

Location – See the CIC department-wide email for location.

About Black Panther – Black Panther is not just a superhero movie but is a movie that explores issues of identity. Its themes challenge institutional bias and oppressors.  The movie provides powerful narratives of experiences people of color and women have faced though history. It represents the importance of representation in our culture. The movie has made great strides in the entertainment industry in many ways – it is one of the first megabudget movies to have an African American director and predominantly black cast.  This article in Time describes more of the ways this movie represents an important milestone and the power and narratives behind it.

March 16, 2018

CIC Inclusivity and Diversity Professional Development Awards

The Committee for an Inclusive Community is excited to offer funding awards for all members of our community– graduate students, postdocs, staff, faculty, and others–pursuing academic or professional development activities, and/or training or enrichment opportunities related to enhancing inclusivity and diversity. Approximately $10,000 will be awarded to successful applicants over the 2017-2018 academic year.

Examples of activities that might be good candidates for funding are attending conferences related to the topics of equity and inclusion, training in research methodologies designed to increase diversity of research samples, or earning certifications in topics of inclusion and diversity.

The department encourages all who are interested to apply. For full application details, please see the attached document: CIC Inclusivity and Diversity Professional Development Awards.


March 9, 2018

Sara Hodges Wins Inaugural Taylor Award!

Professor Sara Hodges has won the first annual Marjorie Taylor Art of Teaching Award! The Taylor Award honors faculty who have made outstanding contributions to teaching in psychology. In a ceremony on Friday, March 9th, the department revealed the hanging sculpture that will display the names of award recipients in Straub 257. The sculpture was commissioned from local artist Joe Mross. Joe is shown in the photos along with Drs. Taylor and Hodges. Congratulations, Sara!

January 10, 2018

Professors Win Awards from Association for Psychological Science

Congratulations to Professors Maureen Zalewski and Elliot Berkman, who recently won awards from the Association for Psychological Science!

Zalewski was named a Rising Star for 2017. Rising Stars are “outstanding psychological scientists in the earliest stages of their research careers”.

Berkman received a Janet Taylor Spence Award for 2017. The APS Janet Taylor Spence Award recognizes transformative early career contributions to psychological science.

Congrats, Maureen and Elliot!

January 4, 2018

Upcoming Talks by the Social/Personality Faculty Candidates

The psychology department is excited to welcome three excellent candidates for the open social/personality faculty position. The upcoming dates and times of these candidates’ talks on their work is as follows:

1/11/18 (Thursday) at 3:00 PM in the EMU Gumwood Room (245)

Sarah Ward (University of Missouri), If it Feels Wrong, it is Wrong: How Trusting One’s Intuition Shapes Moral Judgments and Moral Behavior

Talk Abstract: It is widely believed that people use intuitive processing to inform their moral judgments. However, people differ in their tendency to trust or ignore their intuitions. In this talk, I demonstrate that people with a higher reliance on intuition are especially likely to condemn moral transgressions and are more prone to behave morally.

1/17/18 (Wednesday) at 3:00 PM in EMU Redwood Auditorium (214)

Jennifer Kubota (University of Chicago), TBD

1/22/18 (Monday) at 3:00 PM in EMU Crater Lake North (146)

Sara Weston (Northwestern University), TBD



Following each of the job talks, receptions will be held. All are welcome to attend.

December 11, 2017

Annual Newsletter Now Available!

Newsletter Header

We’re excited to share our 2017 Psychology Department Newsletter! This was a great year for the department and we’re excited to share it with you. The highlights for 2017 include welcoming new faculty member, a new research center (Center for Digital Mental Health), growing portfolio of faculty research, awards and honors for our fantastic graduate students and faculty, and alumni news and updates.

We hope you enjoy reading the newsletter! It can be downloaded as a PDF (here) or you can read it in your browser below. As always, we’d love to hear your feedback.

December 7, 2017

Professor Elliot Berkman to give Quack Chat on goals and neuroscience

Professor Elliot Berkman will be giving a Quack Chat on December 13th, 6:00PM at Downtown Athletic Club’s Ax Billy Grill. Quack Chats are community events were faculty share their work in an informal setting, with food and refreshments. The title of Dr. Berkman’s chat is, “Your Brain on Goals— What Brain Science Says About Sticking to New Year’s Resolutions”. He will be discussing how neuroscience research can illuminate our understanding of the goal setting and achievement processes, including tips on how to set yourself up for success.

Read more about the event or RSVP on the University’s events calendar. All are welcome to attend.

Professor Freyd speaks at #AfterMeToo symposium

Professor Jennifer Freyd was an invited speaker at the #AfterMeToo symposium organized by Toronto’s Globe and Mail newspaper. This purpose of this symposium was to discuss new policies against sexual misconduct and to explore solutions which could make workplaces safer environments.

Read the Around the O summary of the event, the Canadian Broadcasting Co.’s report of the symposium, or view the symposium in its entirety on The Globe and Mail’s facebook page.

Professor Jennifer Freyd, center, speaks as part of the panel for the #AfterMeToo symposium.

November 24, 2017

Upcoming Talks by the Cognitive Neuroscience Faculty Candidates

The psychology department is excited to welcome four excellent candidates for the open cognitive neuroscience position. The upcoming dates and times of these candidates’ talks on their work is as follows:

11/28/17 (Tuesday) at 3:00 PM in 145 Crater Lake South

Matthew Nassar (Brown University), Learning as statistical inference: neural and computational mechanisms for normative learning

Talk Abstract: Successful decision-making often requires learning from prediction errors, but how much should we learn from any given error? I will examine this question in detail, drawing on an optimal inference model to formalize how we should learn in dynamic environments and a computationally efficient approximation to provide insight into how we could do so by adjusting the rate of learning from moment to moment. I will show behavioral data validating key model predictions in humans, demonstrate a role for the arousal system in setting the learning rate, and dissect the computational roles of neural subsystems upstream of learning rate implementation. I will explore the possibility that learning deficits might emerge from a failure to correctly determine how much should be learned, rather than a failure to represent prediction errors per se, and provide evidence for such an explanation in the case of healthy aging. Finally I will re-examine neural architecture of error-driven learning in the context of these results and discuss some future directions emerging from this work.

11/30/17 (Thursday) at 3:00 PM in Gerlinger Lounge

Arielle Tambini (University of California, Berkley), Reactivation during awake rest: an opportunity for memory consolidation

12/04/17 (Monday) at 3:00 PM in Straub Hall 245

Anna Schapiro (Harvard University), Learning and consolidating patterns in experience

Talk Abstract: There is a fundamental tension between storing discrete traces of individual experiences, which allows recall of particular moments in our past without interference, and extracting regularities across these experiences, which supports generalization and prediction in similar situations in the future. This tension is resolved in classic memory systems theories by separating these processes anatomically: the hippocampus rapidly encodes individual episodes, while the cortex slowly extracts regularities over days, months, and years. This framework fails, however, to account for the full range of human learning and memory behavior, including: (1) how we often learn regularities quite quickly—within a few minutes or hours, and (2) how these memories transform over time and as a result of sleep. I will present evidence from fMRI and patient studies suggesting that the hippocampus, in addition to its well-established role in episodic memory, is in fact also responsible for our ability to rapidly extract regularities. I will then use computational modeling of the hippocampus to demonstrate how these two competing learning processes can coexist in one brain structure. Finally, I will present empirical and simulation work showing how these initial hippocampal memories are replayed during offline periods to help stabilize and integrate them into cortical networks. This work advocates a new comprehensive, mechanistic view of the remarkable mnemonic capabilities of the human mind and brain.

12/07/17 Thursday) at 3:00 PM in EMU Gumwood Room

Sarah Dubrow (Princeton University), Memories, together and apart: How the brain segments and connects our experiences


All are welcome to attend.

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