Psychology Department

Speaker Series

The Union College Psychology Department Speaker Series and Honors Colloquium host a series of experts from different areas of psychology and neuroscience throughout the academic year.

Talks are held in KARP 005 from 12:55 - 1:45 p.m.• dates are listed below.
Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

2019 - 2020 Speakers

  • September 19, 2019: Sarah Gaither, Ph.D. ~ Multiple Identities: Multiple Sources of Threat & Belonging

    Sarah Gaither, Ph.D.

    The Union College Psychology Department Speaker Series and Honors Colloquium welcome
    Sarah Gaither, Ph.D.
    Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, Duke University


    for a public lecture entitled
    Multiple Identities: Multiple Sources of Threat & Belonging
    Thursday, September 19, 2019
    12:45–1:50 PM • Karp 005


    Lunch and refreshments will be provided.


    We all have multiple identities—race, gender, age, sexual orientation, occupation, etc. However, psychology research has traditionally focused on the effects stemming from one identity (i.e., race OR gender), rather than trying to measure how belonging to multiple groups may actually shift our behavior or change how we react when under threat. With today’s society becoming increasingly diverse, it is important for research to examine how exposure to and interactions with diversity affects the various perspectives and experiences we have. In my talk, I will explore: 1) how belonging to multiple groups shapes how we respond to identity-relevant threats; 2) how a multifaceted sense of self may boost flexible thinking; and 3) how interactions with diverse others can shift our definitions of ingroup. In sum, this talk will push our existing notions of identity research to be more inclusive of multiple identification and the variation that exists across diverse settings.

    Union College Psychology's Facebook Page

  • October 3, 2019: John Edlund, Ph. D. ~ Being a Responsible Scientist: Study Design, Statistics, and Communication

    John Edlund, Ph. D.

    The Union College Psychology Department Speaker Series and Honors Colloquium welcome
    John Edlund, Ph.D.
    Associate Professor of Psychology, Rochester Institute of Technology


    for a public lecture entitled
    Being a Responsible Scientist: Study Design, Statistics, and Communication
    Thursday, October 3, 2019
    12:45–1:50 PM • Karp 005


    Lunch and refreshments will be provided.


    The recent crisis of confidence in psychology has caused the field to carefully evaluate our practices and encourage those that promote responsible science. Some considerations researchers should take include: anticipating how will participants experience the research (from consent to debriefing and beyond), engaging in responsible statistics (avoiding p-hacking, HARKing, and multiple waves of analysis), and embracing the importance of replication and general scientific transparency (such as open materials and data).

    Union College Psychology's Facebook Page

  • November 14, 2019: Max Krasnow, Ph. D.

2018 - 2019 Speakers

  • 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