2013 Research News
department of psychology
Kelly Dumais, Remco Bredewold, Thomas Mayer (B.S. '12), and Alexa Veenema have published an article in the journal Hormones and Behavior on sex differences in the brain oxytocin system. Contrary to the prevailing view that oxytocin is more important for females than for males, they found that female rats (regardless of estrus phase) actually have much less oxytocin receptors than male rats in the majority of forebrain regions. They further showed that oxytocin receptor densities in amygdala subregions correlate with sex differences in social interest. These findings will help improve our understanding of sex-specific regulation of social behavior and possibly of sex-biases in social disorders. Posted 10/15/13.
Gorica Petrovich has been selected for Fellow status in the Association for Psychological Sciences (APS). Fellow status is awarded to APS Members who have made sustained outstanding contributions to the science of psychology. Gorica joins APS fellows in our department Elizabeth Kensinger, James Russell, and Ellen Winner, and former faculty member Michael Numan. Posted 10/9/13.
Kelly Dumais, doctoral candidate in Alexa Veenema’s lab, received a highly competitive Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA). Kelly's research focuses on the neurobiological basis of sex-specific regulation of social behavior. This 2-year award allows her to employ a unique combination of techniques (including in vivo microdialysis and fMRI) to examine the role of oxytocin and its underlying neural circuits in mediating social interest in a rat model. Posted 9/19/13.
Alexa Veenema received the NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) program award, which includes a substantial grant to support research over a five-year period and is given to promising young faculty members who exemplify the role of teacher-scholar through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of both education and research. Alexa's research aims to advance our understanding of the sex-specific neurobiological regulation of social behaviors in the juvenile period. Posted 9/17/13.
Graduate student Kelly Bennion and other members of the Kensinger laboratory publish two articles: "Oversimplification in the study of emotional memory" in the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, and "Sleep and cortisol interact to support memory consolidation" in Cerebral Cortex. Posted 7/8/13.
Assistant Professor Gorica Petrovich has been awarded the 2012 Pavlovian Research Award. This award honors members (particularly younger members) of the Pavlovian Society for significant research accomplishments.
Christina Reppucci and Gorica Petrovich report in their forthcoming paper in Appetite, "Contextual fear cues inhibit eating in food-deprived male and female rats," that environmental cues associated with past aversive events can inhibit eating under conditions where rats would normally consume large amounts of food.
Ellen Winner and Thalia Goldstein have published a book commissioned by OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) on the impact of arts education on cognitive and social skills.
Sindy Cole, Daniel Powell, and Gorica Petrovich have published a paper in the journal Learning & Memory called "Differential recruitment of distinct amygdalar nuclei across appetitive associative learning."
Kelly Bennion, graduate student in Elizabeth Kensinger's lab, was recently awarded the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) fellowship from the Department of Defense.
Laura Young, doctoral student, has been awarded a research grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Gene Heyman’s paper, "Quitting Drugs: Quantitative and Qualitative Features," was recently published in the 2013 Annual Review of Clinical Psychology. It evaluates theories of addiction in light of recent epidemiological trends, animal research, and historical events that transformed American drug use.
Halle Zucker, lab manager in Elizabeth Kensinger's lab, was awarded a fellowship from the National Science Foundation.
Graduate student James Dungan and incoming graduate student Lily Tsoi, both in Liane Young's lab, have received Graduate Research Fellowships from the National Science Foundation.
Sindy Cole, postdoctoral fellow in Gorica Petrovich's lab, recently had a Journal Club review, "Recruitment of Multiple Pathways to Ventral Tegmental Area during Cocaine-Seeking Behavior," published in The Journal of Neuroscience.
Joe Pochedly, Sherri Widen, and James Russell have published an article in Emotion on the influence of experimental context on how children and adults interpret the prototypical "disgust face." The "disgust face" is labeled as disgusted when it is preceded by a prototypical "angry face", but is labeled as angry when preceded by a facial expression conveying sickness.
Sherri Widen, research associate, and James Russell have a forthcoming article in Psychological Bulletin called “Children’s Recognition of Disgust in Others.” Although children have an elaborated concept of disgust, the majority do not associate the standard disgust face with disgust until they are 9 years of age or older.
Laura Young, doctoral student, has a new paper with Sara Cordes and Ellen Winner called “Heightened Incidence of Depressive Symptoms in Adolescents Involved in the Arts.” The article appears in the journal Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts and is featured in this press release from the American Psychological Association.