Alireza Soltani Wins the Best Poster Award

A recent work from the Computational and Cognitive Neuroscience Lab (CCNL), led by Alireza Soltani, has won the Best Poster Award during the 2016 Society for Neuroeconomics annual meeting in Berlin. The work, titled “Contributions of neural adaptation to value-based and perceptual choice,” is focused on understanding how neural adaptations at different timescales affect choice behavior. 

State-of-the-Art fMRI Brain Scanner Arrives at Dartmouth

August 29,2018 by Joseph Blumberg

Researchers are welcoming the arrival of a new fMRI scanner, the latest in a series of scanners dating back to 1999, when the Dartmouth became the first liberal arts college in the nation to own and operate a functional magnetic resonance imaging device strictly for research purposes.

The new scanner, weighing more than 26,000 pounds, was lowered into its bay beneath Moore Hall last month, in the home of the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences (PBS).

“This is a big deal,” says James Haxby, the Evans Family Distinguished Professor and director of both the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience and the Brain Imaging Center. “We are extremely excited about getting this new scanner. It will be in use seven days a week, from early morning to late at night.”

Dartmouth-Led Research on How Attention Works in the Brain Receives NSF Award

A collaborative research project on the neural basis of attention, to be led by Peter Ulric Tse, professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Dartmouth, has been awarded $6 million by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The project will strive to unravel how attention works in the brain. 

The project establishes a consortium of 14 neuroscientists from four universities: Dartmouth College and Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine in Hanover, N.H.; Montana State University in Bozeman, Mont.; Brown University in Providence, R.I.; and the University of Nevada, Reno.

Researchers will aim to develop a greater understanding of focused attention, which is critical to countless daily tasks, from operating machinery to maintaining safety in high security settings. The goal of the project is to develop a unified model of attention that applies across multiple domains, from single cells to large brain circuits.

David Bucci Named to Endowed Chair

Every year Dartmouth names a few of its top faculty to endowed professorships, recognizing their scholarship, teaching, and service to the College community as models of Dartmouth’s liberal arts ideal.  This year, six members of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences have been appointed to endowed chairs, including David Bucci, Chair of the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences.  Professor Bucci now holds the Ralph and Richard Lazarus Professorship in Psychological and Brain Sciences and Human Relations.

Rapuano awarded NSF GROW Fellowship

Kristina Rapuano, a PBS graduate student, was recently awarded a Graduate Research Opportunities Worldwide (GROW) fellowship from the National Science Foundation to conduct research with Morten Kringelbach at Aarhus University in Denmark.  The fellowship is awarded to active recipients of the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program to enhance professional development through research at world-leading science institutions overseas.  Kristina’s research interest focuses on how the brain transforms sensory information from the external world into mental representations of hedonic pleasure.  She recently co-authored a commentary in the journal Brain (Kringelbach & Rapuano, 2016) highlighting the need to explore the temporal dynamics of brain network activity to better understand the neurobiology of reward and hedonic processing.  Her fellowship at Aarhus University with Dr. Kringelbach will afford Kristina an opportunity to apply her theoretical ideas in ways not possible at Dartmouth College.

Carolyn Parkinson is 2016 Hannah T. Croasdale Award recipient

Carolyn Parkinson, who completed her PhD with Thalia Wheatley this past year, has been selected as this year's recipient of the Hannah T. Croasdale Award.  This award is made to a graduating PhD student at Dartmouth who “best exemplifies the qualities of a scholar, possessing intellectual curiosity, a dedicated commitment to the pursuit of new knowledge, a strong interest in teaching, and a sense of social responsibility to the academic community.” 
 

Come to Think of It—or Not: How Memories Can Be Forgotten

May 25, 2016 by John Cramer

Context plays a big role in our memories, both good and bad. Hearing Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run on the car radio, for example, may remind you of your first love—or your first speeding ticket. Either way, a new Dartmouth- and Princeton-led brain scanning study may be of interest: The study shows that people can intentionally forget their experiences by changing how they think about the context of those memories.

The study, which appears in the journal Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, has a range of potential applications centered on enhancing desired memories, such as developing new educational tools, or diminishing harmful memories, including treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder.

Since ancient Greece, memory theorists have known that people use context—or the situation they’re in, including sights, sounds, smells, where they are, who they are with—to organize and retrieve memories. But the team of scientists wanted to know whether—and how—people could intentionally forget certain experiences.

Welcome Meghan Meyer!

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Meghan Meyer to the faculty.  Meghan completed her Ph.D. at the University of California, Los Angeles and is currently a post-doctoral fellow at Princeton University.  Meghan will be moving to Hanover in July, 2017 to assume her position as an assistant professor. 

Face recognition and law enforcement

Professor Brad Duchaine discusses research demonstrating substantial individual differences in the ability to recognize faces and the implications of this variation in the June 2015 edition of the American Psychological Association's monthly newsletter Psychological Science Agenda.

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