CLPS News Archive

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NIH Grants Brown $11M for Brain Research

Brown University is launching five research projects on the neuroscience of attention and related disorders, part of a new COBRE Center for Central Nervous System Function. The new center, designed to launch research careers for junior faculty, pairs each junior faculty member with a senior mentor. The Center is funded by a five-year, $11-million federal grant. Prof. Sheila Blumstein will serve as Deputy Director of the center.

In this center, Prof. Dima Amso will study the development of visual selective attention, the process by which the brain focuses on what’s relevant instead of on distractions. She will look at healthy development and how it is disrupted in autism spectrum disorders.

Additionally, Prof. Joo-Hyun Song, will study how multiple neural systems in the brain work together when someone selects one target over distractors such as deciding to pick up a one object vs. another that differs in color. Mentor: Sanes

Read more in the Brown press release.

Psychology AB & ScB Info Session: Wed. 4 Sept.

A information session will be held for all 1st and 2nd-year students interested in the AB or ScB Psychology Concentrations on Wednesday, Sept 4, from 4-5PM, in room 305, Metcalf Redsearch Building (CLPS Department). Students unable to attend the session may contact (AB Psych Advisor) or (ScB Psych Advisor) for further information.

New Study Shows Memory Consolidation During Sleep

CLPS researchers Masako Tamaki and Yuka Sasaki have published a new paper that shows the mechanisms for consolidating motor memory while sleeping, versus while awake, are quite different. While it doesn’t demonstrate that one is better than the other, it does provide further evidence that sleep may be necessary for some types of learning.

This paper has received quite of bit of media coverage:

New Book from Prof. Phil Lieberman: The Unpredictable Species

Professor Emeritus Phil Lieberman has published a new book, The Unpredictable Species. Prof. Lieberman argues that the human brain evolved in a way that enhances our cognitive flexibility and capacity for innovation and imitation. In doing so, he challenges the central claim of evolutionary psychology that we are locked into predictable patterns of behavior that were fixed by genes, and refutes the claim that language is innate.

Jason Scimeca, CLPS Grad Student, Wins Presidential Teaching Award

Congratulations to Jason Scimeca, CLPS graduate student, who has been awarded Brown's 2012-2013 Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching!

Published in Science: Mapping Brain Activity to Read Dreams

"The science fiction trope of reading another person’s thoughts may be one step closer to reality, thanks to recent developments in research related to the decoding of dreams. In a study published last Thursday in the journal Science, a joint team of researchers from Japan and Brown used a machine-learning paradigm to decode the brain activity of subjects during early sleep stages and reliably determine the content of their dreams."

Masako Tamaki, in the Laboratory for Cognitive and Perceptual Learning, is a co-author of this new article in Science.

Read more in the Brown Daily Herald coverage. You can also view the research article's abstract or full text in locations with access to Science content.

Romer Award for Excellence in Advising Won by Prof. Jack Wright

CLPS Professor Jack Wright has been chosen this year to receive the Karen T. Romer Award for excellence in advising.  This award was instituted several years ago thanks to a generous gift from the family of Brown trustee Marty Granoff.  The purpose is to recognize faculty members who have shown exceptional dedication, imagination, and commitment in their mentoring of undergraduates. Congratulations Professor Wright!