CLPS News Archive

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Prof. Rebecca Burwell Named a Fellow of AAAS

For decades of work to understand the brain anatomy underlying the relationship between memory and context, Professor Rebecca Burwell has been elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

In announcing her election, AAAS lauded Burwell “for distinguished contributions in the fields of psychology and behavioral neuroscience, particularly elucidating the structure and function of the cortical regions surrounding the hippocampus.”

For full details please read the full article at the Brown News site.

Scientists Control Rats’ Senses of Familiarity, Novelty

Prof. Rebecca Burwell's lab didn’t just study how recognition of familiarity and novelty arise in the mammalian brain, they actually took control, inducing rats to behave as if images they’d seen before were new, and images they had never seen were old. Read more about this stuy at the Brown News site.

Like a Foreman, Brain Region Identified That Keeps Us On Task

Evidence from experiments by Prof. David Badre's lab, reported in the journal Neuron, show that a specific region of the brain appears essential for resolving the uncertainty that can build up as we progress through an everyday sequence of tasks. It’s a key node in a network responsible for keeping us on track. Read more about this research on the Brown News site.

TA Application for Spring 2016 Now Available

If you want to be an undergraduate TA for Spring 2016 CLPS courses, please fill out the application online.

News Archive

Matthew Ricci obtained an MA/BA in Mathematics (analysis), from the University of Pennsylvania. He is expected to receive a PhD in Computational Neuroscience from Brown University in 2020. His research interests are in: Hierarchical models of the visual cortex, models of the cerebellar Purkinje cell in eyeblink conditioning, classical Al/non-Hebbian models of biological learning. Funding is provided by: NIH Training Grant 5T32EY018080-08 and NSF Graduate Research Fellowship.

Michael Frank was awarded the Radboud Excellence Professorship, 2015, for “eminent researchers who have had a significant impact in their discipline and beyond” Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behavior, Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. On February 15th, he was also awarded a three year NSF grant titled, “How Prefrontal Cortex Augments Reinforcement Learning,” with himself as PI and Anne Collins as Co-PI, $592,520. Between July 2014 and July 2015, Michael Frank was awarded a BIBS Innovation Award, titled “Integrated Computational Psychiatry: Behavioral, Neurophysiological, and Optogenetic Testing of Antipsychotic-Driven Aberrant Learning in the Cortico-Striatal D2 Pathway,” Co-PI with Kevin Bath and Chris Moore, $100,000.

Less Reward, More Aversion When Learning Tricky Tasks

 published on 04 November 2014

We can easily learn by seeking reward or avoiding punishment. But either way, we’d rather have any task be easy. A new study finds a direct behavioral and physiological linkage between those inclinations: When even subtle conflict made an experimental task harder, it affected the perception of reward and punishment, skewing how subjects learned the task.

Read more about this research on

Working Memory Hinders Learning in Schizoprenia

published on 07 October 2014

Trouble with working memory makes a distinct contribution to the difficulty people with schizophrenia sometimes have in learning, according to a new study. The researchers employed a specially designed experiment and computational models to distinguish the roles of working memory and reinforcement learning.

Read more about this research on

TA Applications for Fall 2015 Now Open

Undergraduates can apply for open TA positions for Fall 2015 with our online application form.

Prof. Sheila Blumstein Honored for Research on the Acoustics of Speech

For her research revealing how acoustic signals are transformed into words and speech and the neural substrates of those processes, Professor Sheila Blumstein received the Silver Medal in speech communication from the Acoustical Society of America Oct. 29 at its meeting in Indianapolis. Read more about this honor at the Brown News site.