CLPS News Archive

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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.

TA Applications for Fall 2015 Now Open

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

Less Reward, More Aversion When Learning Tricky Tasks

We can easily learn by seeking reward or avoiding punishment. But either way, we’d rather have any task be easy. A new study from the lab of Prof. Michael Frank 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 the Brown News site.

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.

Working Memory Hinders Learning in Schizoprenia

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 https://news.brown.edu/articles/2014/10/schizophrenia

NSF Awards Grant to Investigate Explaining, Exploring, and Reasoning in Museum Settings

Prof. Dave Sobel and his colleagues Maureen Callanan (UCSC) and Cristine Legare (UT-Austin) have won a collaborative NSF grant entitled 'Explaining, Exploring, and Scientific Reasoning in Museum Settings.' The $1.3M grant partners the researchers with three children's museums (Providence Children's Museum, Children's Discovery Center, San Jose, and The Thinkery in Austin). Their objective is to investigate how diverse samples of parents and children engage in explanation and exploration of scientific concepts and learn from those interactions. In addition to uncovering patterns of family explanation and exploration, the proposed studies will measure children’s causal understanding, and will build on this knowledge base to develop and test effective interventions for promoting exploration and explanation and engaging in causal learning .