CLPS News Archive

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Inside Story: Resiliency of Syrian refugees offers hope

Brown University neuroscientist Dima Amso, with several Brown colleagues, organized a mission to refugee camps in Jordan, where they offered guidance to front-line workers who are helping Syrian children.

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TA Applications Now Open for Fall 2018

You can apply to be an undergraduate TA in a Fall 2018 CLPS course with our online form. Applications now open.

TA Applications Now Open for Spring 2018

You can apply to be an undergraduate TA in a Spring 2018 CLPS course with our online form. Applications now open.

Job Opportunity - Assistant Professor in Psycholinguistics

The Department of Cognitive, Linguistic, and Psychological Sciences at Brown University invites applications for a tenure-track Assistant Professor position beginning July 1, 2018, from individuals focusing on psycholinguistics at or above the word level in adults or children. Approaches could include - but are not limited to - computational modeling, laboratory experimentation, and/or neuroscientific methods. Candidates whose research and teaching addresses variation across individuals or communities, within or across languages are especially welcome. We seek applicants whose research informs and is informed by allied areas in cognitive science, linguistics, or psychology. Successful candidates are expected to have (1) a track record of excellence in research, (2) a well-specified research plan that is likely to lead to research funding, and (3) a readiness to contribute to teaching and mentoring at both the undergraduate and graduate level. Brown has a highly interdisciplinary research environment in the study of mind, brain, behavior, and language; the Department is located in a recently renovated state-of-the-art building in the heart of campus.

QUALIFICATIONS All Ph.D. requirements must be completed before July 1, 2018.

APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS Curriculum vitae, reprints and preprints of publications, statements of research and teaching interests noting potential contributions to diversity and inclusion, and three letters of reference should be submitted on-line as PDFs to Applications received by November 1, 2017 are assured of full review.

Brown University is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive academic global community; as an EEO/AA employer, Brown considers applicants for employment without regard to, and does not discriminate on the basis of, gender, race, protected veteran status, disability, or any other legally protected status.

Visual Speed Sensitivity in the Drum Corps Color Guard

Drum corps color guard experts spend years developing skills in spinning rifles, sabers, and flags. Their expertise provides a unique window into factors that govern sensitivity to the speed of rotational and radial motion. Prior neurophysiological research demonstrates that rotational and radial motion register in the Medial Superior Temporal (MST) region of the primate visual system. To the extent that shared neural events govern rotational and radial speed sensitivity, one would expect expertise on either task to transfer to the other. One similarly would expect shared neural events to generate correlations between rotational and radial speed sensitivity. We evaluated these predictions via visual speed sensitivity tests on drum corps color guard experts, drum corps low brass experts, and other age-matched control participants. Displays comprised bilaterally presented plaid patterns that rotated, radiated, or both. Participants reported which side contained faster motion. The data revealed a modest but reliably reproducible and specific group-by-task interaction; color guard speed sensitivity exhibited a rotational motion advantage and radial motion disadvantage. Additionally, rotational and radial speed sensitivity failed to predict each other significantly. Overall, the findings match predictions that follow from a dissociation between the neural events governing rotational and radial speed sensitivity.

Coauthored by Professor Leslie Welch. Full article found at the link below.


Revealing People's Inflated Sense of Knowledge

We may not know as much as we think we do, University research suggests. Our own knowledge may be riddled with holes, but the information contained in many people’s minds forms a vast web of communal understanding. The shared knowledge effect described by Sloman reveals our ignorance as individuals and points to the intellectual strength of groups.

The Brown Daily Herald profiles new research by Prof. Steven Sloman highlighing individual ignorance, and society's reliance on group knowledge.

‘Overlearning’ Helps Lock in New Skills

[From the Boston Globe:]

Musicians often play the same piece of music over and over, long past the point of mastery. Researchers debate whether there is any benefit to “overlearning” a skill in that way.

Now, CLPS researchers suggest there is a previously unknown benefit to continuing to train after one’s performance has plateaued: Even just 20 minutes of overlearning locks in a new skill, shielding it from being overwritten by other information.

“If you’d like to learn something very important, then you can protect that from being disrupted by new learning,” says study coauthor Takeo Watanabe, who studies vision and learning. But be warned, he notes: Because overlearning blocks subsequent learning, it may prevent you from learning a series of similar things in rapid succession.

The work was published online in the journal Nature Neuroscience.