Psychology Department

Speaker Series

The Union College Psychology Department Speaker Series and Honors Colloquium, with support from the Our Shared Humanities grant to Union College by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

12:45–1:50 p.m • Karp 105
Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

2019:

  • Thursday, January 17, 2019: The Musical Brain

    Dominique Vuvan, Ph.D.
    Assistant Professor of Psychology, Skidmore College

    Music is an incredible tool for the study of human cognition. This lecture will review work from the Skidmore Music and Cognition Lab guided by three lines of inquiry. First, how does the cognitive system make predictions, and how might different musical contexts shape predictions during listening? Second, how might music serve as a model to investigate the neural substrates of consciousness? Third, how do people differ in their musical processing, and how might the study of these individual differences help us understand neurocognitive function more generally? I will discuss research that employs multiple methods including behavioral measurement, event-related potentials, and brain imaging, in order to make direct connections between the study of musical processing to more abstract questions about human nature.

    Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

  • Thursday, January 31, 2019: Does Age Affect Speech Perception from the Top-Down? Evidence from Brain and Behavior

    Chad Rogers, Ph.D.
    Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Union College

    Classical studies in perception have often emphasized the hierarchical flow of information from the “bottom-up” or from the “top-down,” where “bottom” refers to basic sensory contributions to perception and “top” refers to complex perceptual inference. In speech perception, the role of non-sensory based inference in perception in part explains how the brain so often decodes speech quickly, effortlessly, and with tremendous variation in sensory input. Older adults in particular, may be the most likely major population demographic to benefit from non-sensory based inference in their daily perception of speech. The current talk presents several behavioral and neuroimaging experiments that examine the role and caveats of non-sensory based inference in young and older adults.

    Chad Rogers recently joined Union College as an Assistant Professor in the Fall of 2018, and is primarily interested how humans are able to understand and decode spoken language. In particular, his work focuses on how we listen to speech changes as we grow older. His work has led to the discovery of the False Hearing effect in older adults, where older adults are more likely than the young to mistakenly report hearing words that are consistent with their prior expectations. Before coming to Union, Chad worked as a Staff Scientist in the Department of Otolaryngology at Washington University in St. Louis, where he examined how functional and structural changes in the brain predict language abilities in young and older adults. His work represents an intersection of cognitive psychology, gerontology, cognitive neuroscience, linguistics, and communication sciences. Chad is also an avid basketball player and musician, although his proficiency in both is dwarfed by his enthusiasm.

    Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

  • Thursday, February 28: Does Brain Training Work?

    Walter Boot, Ph.D.
    Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, Florida State University

    Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

  • Thursday, April 11: Lisa Anderson, Ph.D. Research Fellow, Department of Psychiatry, University of Minnesota

    Lisa Anderson, Ph.D.
    Research Fellow, Department of Psychiatry, University of Minnesota

  • Thursday, April 25: David Pizarro, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Psychology, Cornell University

    David Pizarro, Ph.D.
    Associate Professor of Psychology, Cornell University