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2014 Research News

department of psychology

Michelle Hurst has received an NSF-sponsored award in STEM education research for her poster, "Working Memory Involvement in Rational Number Processing," to be presented at IMBES conference in November. Posted 10/15/14.

Alexa Veenema was awarded a five-year, $1.75 million NIH grant to study the neural circuits underlying social play behavior in juvenile rats and how these neural circuits differ between males and females. Social play is a highly rewarding behavior and has been shown to be important for the development of social skills in humans and rodents. Knowledge about sex-specific regulation of social play in rats may help understand social play deficits seen in autism, a neurodevelopmental disorder that shows a strong sex bias in prevalence. Posted 9/26/14.

Larisa Heiphetz and Liane Young have been awarded a grant from the The John Templeton Foundation, titled "A Social Cognitive Developmental Approach to Folk Representations of God's Mind." The investigators are Liane, Larisa, and Adam Waytz (Northwestern University), with a consultant, Jonathan D. Lane (Harvard University). Posted 9/26/14.

Four of our students—James Dungan, Laura Niemi, , Josh Rottman, and Jordan Theriault—were awarded travel awards by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP). M.E. Panero was awarded the SPSP Diversity Fund Travel Award, a competitive award intended to increase diversity within the personality and social psychology field. All of these awards allow recipients to travel to and present research at the upcoming SPSP annual convention. Posted 9/16/14.

Brendan Gaesser, Liane Young, and Elizabeth Kensinger have been awarded a Templeton Science of Prospection grant for their project, "Harnessing Episodic Simulation to Facilitate Prosociality." This award from the University of Pennsylvania and the John Templeton Foundation provides support for studies at the intersection of prospection, memory, and moral psychology. Posted 8/21/14.

Jim Russell's new work on disgust is featured in Boston College Magazine. Posted 8/19/14.

Michael Numan, professor in Psychology until 2012, has published a new book, Neurobiology of Social Behavior. Posted 8/15/14.

Sindy Cole, a postdoctoral fellow in Gorica Petrovich's Neurobiology of Feeding lab, has been awarded a NARSAD Young Investigator grant. This award from the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation provides support for the most promising young scientists conducting neurobiological research. Posted 8/15/14.

Liane Young's Morality Lab is featured on WBUR's Common Health program in a series called "Beyond Good and Evil: New Science Casts Light on Morality in the Brain." Posted 8/7/14.

Jessica Karanian had two articles published/accepted recently: "The cortical basis of true memory and false memory for motion" in Neuropsychologia and "False memory for context activates the parahippocampal cortex" in Cognitive Neuroscience. Posted 7/1/14.

Nadine Weidman, who teaches our graduate seminar on the history of psychology, has just accepted the editorship of the APA journal, History of Psychology. Congratulations to Nadine! Posted 6/11/14.

Elizabeth Kensinger has been appointed to serve on the Cognition and Perception Study Section, Center for Scientific Review at NIH,pl from July 1, 2014 - June 30, 2020. Posted 6/4/14.

Research on creativity and the arts is featured in the June 2014 APA Monitor. Studies by Sara Cordes, Jen Drake, Thalia Goldstein, Laura Niemi, and Ellen Winner are described. Posted 5/30/14.

Laura Niemi and Liane Young published a paper, Blaming the Victim in the Case of Rape, in Psychological Inquiry: An International Journal for the Advancement of Psychological Theory. Posted 5/23/14.

Liane Young provides an overview of her research in the February 2014 issue of the APS Observer. Posted 3/12/14.

Gene Heyman is featured in Science News and a New York Times debate about the nature of addiction. Posted 3/10/14.

Drew Linsley and Sean MacEvoy have published a paper in the journal Cerebral Cortex entitled "Encoding-stage Crosstalk Between Object- and Spatial Property-Based Scene Processing Pathways." Using perceptual experiments and fMRI, they show that two types of visual information people commonly use to recognize their whereabouts, scenes' 3D layouts and their object contents, are consolidated at a surprisingly early stage of scene processing. Posted 3/10/14.

Alexa Veenema has been awarded a three-year NIH Academic Research Enhancement Award (R15): Sex and Age Differences in the Neural Regulation of Social Recognition. Posted 1/13/14.

Josh Rottman, Deb Kelemen, and Liane Young's research on our moral response to suicide featured in The Atlantic. Posted 1/9/14.