Call for applications: Duke Summer Seminars in Neuroscience&Philosophy

Applications are now being accepted for the next Summer Seminars in Neuroscience and Philosophy (SSNAP). SSNAP 2020 will occur at Duke University from May 24th to June 7th. These two weeks of intensive training in philosophy and neuroscience aim to foster interdisciplinary collaboration among graduate students, post-doctoral scholars, and professors in these fields.

A total of twenty fellowships are available:

  • 10 for applicants primarily from philosophy
  • 10 for applicants primarily from neuroscience

Accepted SSNAP fellows will form interdisciplinary teams to develop a joint research project involving aspects of both neuroscience and philosophy. Teams with promising projects can receive a sub-award of up to $30,000 to fund their projects. If you already have an interdisciplinary team, each member should apply separately to SSNAP. In the application, please let us know that you have already formed a team, and supply the names of your teammates.

Generous funding from the Templeton World Charity Foundation provides each fellow with:

  • Funding for travel expenses
  • Room and board during SSNAP
  • $1,000 honorarium

We encourage neuroscience and philosophy faculty, post-doctoral scholars, and graduate students to apply for this unique opportunity.

The following materials are required to apply to SSNAP 2020:

  1. A cover letter describing your experiences in neuroscience and philosophy research, and why you would be a good addition to SSNAP.
  1. CV
  1. Writing sample (preferably published)
  1. A one page (single spaced, no smaller than 11 pt font) response to the following prompt: If you could team up with a fellow neuroscientist and a fellow philosopher to conduct joint research for a year, what would you study and why?
  1. Two letters of recommendation (for graduate students and post-docs only).

All application materials must be submitted by December 11th. Visit to learn more. 

Fall 2019 Graduate Seminar in Academic Writing: 10/08 to 11/05

Fall 2019 Graduate Seminar in Academic Writing: 10/08 to 11/05 (5 weeks) – Tuesdays, 4pm to 6pm.

Each academic year, the UConn Writing Center offers 3 no-cost, five-week seminars in academic writing for UConn graduate students. These seminars do not carry UConn academic credit, nor are they graded. We simply aim to assist motivated graduate students in developing strategies for writing that will serve them well in their academic and professional careers.The goal is to help graduate writers develop a toolbox of composing, revising, and peer-review skills.

Participants must bring to the seminar a draft of a writing project (at least 5 double-spaced pages). Most seminar sessions involve working on this draft, and most of our time is dedicated to developing skills for revising and on cultivating productive writing habits.

Participants should expect to commit 5 hours per week: 2 in class and 3 outside of class to complete readings and assignments.

If you have questions about the seminar or are interested in seeing a syllabus, please contact the Coordinator for Graduate Writing Support at The seminars are made possible through funding from the Graduate School and the University Writing Center.



Workshop: Science & Imagination, 5 Nov. 2019


Inspiring public interest in inquiry and discovery

An academic and public-facing workshop at the University of Connecticut (UConn)

5 November, 2019

Tentative time for public session: 3-5pm

We are living in what has been called a “post-truth” era [1], with an accompanying “post-trust” [2] crisis, where public confidence and interest in science and expertise is declining among significant segments of the public [3]. A tremendous challenge for proponents of scientific and academic inquiry — including scientists themselves, other scholars, educators, and journalists — is communicating not just the “what” of their work, but “why”, “how”, and “who”.

Scientists find the what of their work — the intricate details of research and analyses — fascinating, but communicating passion for details requires explaining why (not just costs and benefits, but intellectual curiosity and the quest for knowledge), how (why scientific progress can be so slow, technically difficult, and expensive), and who (demystifying how one becomes a scientist and opening the gates to underrepresented groups). Inspiring public imagination and interest in science is essential for earning public support for basic and applied research, and reinvigorating interest in scientific careers.  

Our aim with this workshop is to share ideas and brainstorm about ways to effect change. We hope to attract not just the academic community, but teachers, policy makers, students, and any other interested community members. We hope to share our ideas and excitement, and to listen to ideas from the public about how to connect scientists and community members through shared interest in inquiry and discovery. 

Confirmed invited participants so far include:

  • Michael Lynch, University of Connecticut, Philosophy
  • Tim Miller, writer, and science communication specialist, University of Connecticut 
  • Susan Schneider, University of Connecticut, Philosophy
  •  Michael Tanenhaus, University of Rochester, Brain and Cognitive Science
  • Julie Sedivy, writer and language scientist, University of Calgary, Psychology

        This workshop will be sponsored by the UConn interdisciplinary PhD training program in Science of Learning & Art of Communication and the UConn Humanities Institute. It will receive financial support from U.S. National Science Foundation grant 1747486, “Real-world communication: Future directions in the science of communication and the communication of science“, originally awarded to support a 2018 conference honoring Michael Tanenhaus on the occasion of him receiving the Cognitive Science Society Rumelhart Prize.

          [1] For example: (a) Lynch, M. P. (2016, 28 November).Fake News and the Internet Shell Game. New York Times. (b) Keyes, R. (2004). The Post-Truth Era: Dishonest and Deception in Contemporary Life. St. Martin’s Press. (c) Tesich, S. (1992, 13 January). Government of Lies. The Nation.

          [2] A term used by Åsa Wikforss in her public address, “Resisting the Facts”, contributed to a symposium on Presenting Science to the Public in a Post-Truth Era at the University of Connecticut, 24 May, 2019. 

          [3] A recent Pew Research Center survey (Funk, C., Hefferon, M., Kennedy, B., & Johnson, C. [2019, August]. Trust and mistrust in American’s views of scientific experts. Pew Research Center.) found overall trust in scientists to be quite high in the U.S.A. (with 84% of respondents indicating ‘a great deal’ or ‘fair’ amount of confidence in scientists), but support varies with political affiliation and education, and declines dramatically when linked to specific scientific issues that have become topics of political rancor, such as vaccines or climate change.


          Invitation to the 2nd UConn Brain Research Symposium-September 20

          We are pleased to invite you to the Second UConn Brain Research Symposium, which will be held September 20th at the Mark Twain House and Museum in Hartford.  This year’s focus will be on collaborative research across departments, campuses and institutions.  The format for the symposium will include talks related to basic neuroscience in the morning, a networking lunch including “lunch and learns” with key research and department/center/institute leaders, and clinical neuroscience and psychological science talks in the afternoon.  Presentations will be from colleagues at UConn Storrs, UConn Health, Connecticut Childrens Medical Center, the Jackson Laboratory and Hartford Hospital.

          We hope that you can join us for the whole day, but if you can only join for half the day, please plan on coming for lunch, as it will give you a great opportunity to interact with individuals who you otherwise might not connect with in person.

          So that we can get a head count for the facility, for coffee breaks and for lunch, we would really appreciate it if you could complete the following doodle poll, which will allow you to indicate whether you will attend the morning session, lunch and the afternoon session.  Key for us is getting a count of folks who will be at lunch.

          SIGN-UP to attend UConn’s 2nd Brain Research Symposium

          Attendance will be limited to the first 135 people who sign up for the Brain Symposium.

          Thanks again, and we look forward to your participation.  Meeting materials will be sent out in the coming weeks.


          David C. Steffens, M.D., M.H.S.

          Samuel “Sy” Birnbaum/Ida, Louis and Richard Blum Chair in Psychiatry

          Professor and Chair of Psychiatry

          University of Connecticut School of Medicine


          Professor Gerry T.M. Altmann

          Department of Psychological Sciences

          Director, CT Institute for the Brain and Cognitive Sciences

          University of Connecticut

          Social Division Talk: Dr. Mina Cikara

          You are invited to a social division talk by Dr. Mina Cikara from Harvard University on Wed. Sept 25 and 2 pm in Room 162, BOUS. Her talk title and abstract follow.

          Leveraging choice architecture to alter social preferences

          Stereotypes and associated emotions drive discriminatory behavior across numerous consequential contexts. These biases against marginalized social groups have important implications for real-world social decisions, including hiring, voting, health, and housing decisions. Psychologists have traditionally studied how people evaluate different ethnic and cultural groups (and their members) in isolation, but in the real world people commonly make judgments and decisions over sets of people. For example, hiring decisions involve the assessment of multiple candidates at once. Across a series of experiments, we harness insights from computational models of decision-making to examine whether choice set construction—or choice architecture—can be used to influence decision-makers’ preferences in consequential social decisions. I will review several findings including a combination of field data and lab experiments to examine the effect of alternatives, or decoys, on social evaluations and decisions in hiring and election contexts.

          Clinical Psychology Research Talk Series

          Clinical Research Seminar 2019-20
          Wednesdays, 12:30-1:25, Bousfield 160


          Kristin Arapuano, Yale University
          Contextualizing brain signatures of vulnerability to health-risk behaviors in the real world


          Diane Quinn, Social Division
          Current research


          Brandi Simonsen, Neag School of Education
          Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS): Building State, District, and School Systems to Support Students


          Nathaniel M. Rickles, School of Pharmacy
          Integrating New & Old Approaches to Changing Patient and Provider Medication Use Behaviors: Applications to Mental Healthcare and Beyond


          Christine Yantz, Clinical Division
          Third party observer effects in neuropsychological assessment


          Valori Ann Banfi, Science Librarian
          Systematic Reviews and Scoping Reviews


          Devin Kearn, Neag School of Education
          Research on brain processes in dyslexia


          Valori Ann Banfi, Science Librarian
          Finding the Big Bucks: Funding Databases

          2019-2020 Psychological Sciences Colloquium Schedule (Updated)

          The remaining colloquium scheduled is listed below. All talks will take place in BOUS A106 at 3:30 pm on Wednesday’s unless otherwise noted.


          October 23, 2019

          Suggestions are welcome!


          October 30, 2019

          Dr. David Kenny, Department of Psychological Sciences, University of Connecticut

          Title: TBA


          February 5, 2020

          Suggestions are welcome!


          February 12, 2020

          Suggestions are welcome!


          February 26, 2020

          Dr. Dan Swingley, Department of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania

          Title: TBA


          March 4, 2020

          Dr. Vic Ferreira, Department of Psychology, UC San Diego.

          Title: TBA


          March 11, 2020

          Dr. Robin Vallacher, Department of Psychology, Florida Atlantic University.

          Title: TBA


          March 25, 2020

          Dr. Robert Astur, Department of Psychological Sciences, University of Connecticut

          Tenure Talk

          Title: TBA


          April 1, 2020

          Dr. Inge-Marie Eigsti, Department of Psychological Sciences, University of Connecticut

          Tenure Talk

          Title: TBA


          April 15, 2020

          Dr. Ian Stevenson, Department of Psychological Sciences, University of Connecticut

          Tenure Talk

          Title: TBA

          Job searching outside of the academy; for grad students and postdocs

          Science of Learning & Art of Communication (SLAC) in collaboration with the UConn Center for Career Development, the UConn Health Center, and the UConn Graduate School, is excited to bring a special event to UConn this fall.  Anne Krook, who began her career teaching at the University of Michigan, and transitioned into the private sector, will be coming to the UConn Storrs campus to share ‘Job searching outside of the academy; a program for graduate students and postdocs.’

          Who:  Anne Krook will present to UConn graduate students and postdocs
          When:  Friday September 27th, 2019, 1-3:30 PM

          Where:  Konover Auditorium, Dodd Center, UConn, Storrs; this event will be two-way live streamed with Low learning Center at the UConn Health Center

          Why:  To provide graduate students and post docs with the tools, and knowledge required to conduct a job search outside of the academy

          How:      Register here   to attend at Storrs or in the Low Learning Center, UCHC, Farmington

          CogSci Colloquium: Dr. Marjorie Solomon

          The Cognitive Science Colloquium Series is proud to present Marjorie Solomon, Professor and the Oates Family Endowed Chair in Lifespan Development in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and the MIND Institute at UC Davis

          Friday, September 20th, 4pm, Oak 117

          Dr. Solomon will provide a talk entitled “Executive Control in Children, Adolescents, and Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Behavioral and Neural Mechanisms”

          Abstract: Many individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) exhibit executive control deficits, meaning that they fail to maintain appropriate task context representations so they can inhibit impulsive responding, behave flexibly, and thereby effectively pursue their goals. Although individuals with typical development are thought to experience significant maturation of executive control processes during adolescence, those with ASD are thought to exhibit executive control impairments that persist into adolescence and young adulthood and are associated with clinically significant difficulties in social and adaptive functioning, and attention deficit, internalizing, and ASD symptoms. Given the challenges inherent in the transition to adulthood, it is critical to better understand the precise nature and development of executive control deficits in those with ASD, and their associations with behavior. This talk will briefly review behavioral and neuroimaging studies of executive control in ASD, and present new neuropsychological and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) results from the first wave of a large longitudinal cohort sequential study of individuals with ASD and typical development ages 12-22 years. We seek to clarify the neural signatures of executive control deficits in those with ASD and to investigate how the development of executive control impacts the transition to adulthood in these individuals.

          If you are interested in meeting with Dr. Solomon during the day, and/or coming to dinner Friday night, please contact Dr. Naigles:

          DiscoveryEngine Information Seminar with Dr. Christopher Moore

          Dear UConn Neuroscience/PNB/Psch/BME/Cog Sci/IBACS Graduate Students and Postdocs,

          Dr. Christopher Moore (Professor of Neuroscience and Associate Director of the Carney Institute of Brain Science at Brown University) will be visiting UConn to discuss his new initiative called DiscoveryEngine. DiscoveryEngine is a new platform for providing crowd-sourced, quantifiable metrics for scientific evaluation.  More information on DiscoveryEngine is found here:

          Dr. Moore will hold a seminar/information session for any interested UConn neuroscience graduate students or postdoctoral fellows on Tues, July 30th in the Biology/Physics Building (information below). As outlined in the attached flyer, participants who rate 24 papers will be able to attend an Open Methods in Neuroscience symposium at Brown University in the Fall, 2019.

          DiscoveryEngine Information Seminar:

          Tues, July 30th
          Biology/Physics Building
          12:30-1pm – Pizza reception (outside BPB 130)
          1-2pm – Seminar,followed by Q&A (in BPB 130)

          See the flyer here: DiscoveryEngine Flyer

          Please RSVP at: