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Humanity Centered Robotics Initiative Gets New University Support

The Humanity-Centered Robotics Initiative (HCRI) was begun about three years ago by a group of faculty who wanted to bring a wide variety of academic perspectives to bear on the field of robotics. A new commitment from the University will enable the group, which is co-led by Professors Bertram Malle (Cognitive, Linguisti & Psychological Sciences) and Michael Littman (Computer Science), to hire an associate director and postdoctoral researcher, support conferences and symposia, and provide seed funds for new robotics research. 

You can read all the details at the Brown News site.

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.

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.