News

2013-2014

Welcome Christina Gremel!
The Department of Psychology is happy to welcome its newest professor, Dr. Christina Gremel. Professor Gremel received her Ph.D. at the Oregon Health & Sciences University and did post doctoral research at the National Institutes of Health. She is a behavioral neuroscientist who studies the neural basis of decision making. We are excited to have her join the department!

Passing of James Goodson
With deep sadness, we announce the passing of our former colleague, James L. Goodson, 48. A behavioral neuroendocrinologist by training, Jim's research focused on neural networks and nonapeptide circuits that regulate social behavior in animal species (specifically in songbirds). Jim was a very productive and successful scientist, having published in a wide variety of high-impact journals (e.g., Science, PNAS, etc.), and he was also a dedicated environmentalist. Jim was a valued and beloved member of our department. To read a tribute to Jim, see here.

Welcome new graduate students!
The Psychology department is very pleased to welcome our incoming class of new graduate students. We look forward to their contributions to the department and the scientific community!

Women in Cognitive Science Award
Prof. Keith Rayner has been awarded the Women in Cognitive Science Outstanding Mentor Award. The award recognizes, "scientists who have demonstrated sustained, effective mentorship of female students and who have also served as a research advisor or supervisor to one or more female students".

Jealousy
In the first empirical study of its kind, Dr. Christine Harris and former honors student, Caroline Prouvost find that humans are not the only social species to display jealous behaviors. Dogs do so too, suggesting that jealousy is likely hard-wired and may not require complex cognitive attributions. This research has been featured widely in the media. To learn more, check out the New York Times, Washington Post, Time, NPR’s “All Things Considered" or just google dog jealousy.

Distinguished Emeriti Award
Norman Anderson has been awarded the prestigious 2013-14 Constantine Panunzio Distinguished Emeriti Award, which is presented annually to one or more distinguished emeriti to honor outstanding scholarly work or educational service performed since retirement by a University of California emeritus or emerita in the Humanities or Social Sciences. The Constantine Panunzio selection committee is proud to honor and acknowledge your remarkable achievements and contributions on behalf of the University of California, and in particular, the UC San Diego campus.

Speed reading app is suspect
Many people would like to read faster, and unsurprisingly there's a smart-phone app for that. Software developers cashing in on speed-reading enthusiasts have created software that eliminates the need to move your eyes while reading. But don’t throw away your books and e-readers just yet – research by Liz Schotter, Randy Tran and Keith Rayner suggests that the eye movements we make during reading actually play a critical role in our ability to understand what we’ve just read. APS covers the story.

Teaching Excellence
The Department of Psychology congratulates Professor Leslie Carver for being awarded the 2014 Chancellor's Associates Faculty Excellence Award for Graduate Teaching. The prestigious Chancellor’s Associates Faculty Excellence Awards are given annually to six University of California, San Diego professors for excellence in teaching, research, community service, and visual and performing arts.
"Professor Carver is one of our most skilled and talented teachers, and her contributions to graduate teaching are truly impressive."
- Jeff Elman, Dean of Social Sciences

Grad students showcase value of doctoral research
Psychology Graduate Student, Liz Bacon, participates in UC Graduate Research Advocacy Day at the State Capitol to promote graduate level education and research at UC schools.

Elected to Royal College
In August 2013, V.S. Ramachandran was elected as an honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians (FRCP), London. This is one of the highest honors that the Royal College can bestow on a doctor who is not already a member of the RCP. It is awarded to a maximum of 20 people annually, world-wide.

Misophonia
A study on a disorder called Misophonia (lit. the hatred of sound) conducted by Miren Edelstein, David Brang, and VS Ramachandran has recently been featured on a KPBS News segment.

APA Early Career Award
Adam Aron has been selected by the APA as the recipient of the 2013 American Psychological Association (APA) Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contribution to Psychology in the area of behavioral and cognitive neuroscience. As the history of this award indicates, it is an outstanding accolade for scientific achievement. To be announced in May's APA Monitor.

Perfect Pitch
Diana Deutsch and Kevin Dooley's research on perfect pitch featured heavily in media: Research summary, Huffington Post, NBC, UK's Daily Mail

Facebook memories
Research by Laura Mickes, Nicko Christenfeld and Chris Harris shows that recognition for Facebook posts is substantially better than for photos or sentences. More info >>

2013 Graduate Fellowships - The psychology department is excited to congratulate those graduate students who were recently recognized by major funding agencies! National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program 2013 Awardees: Scott Freeman, Mary Smith, Aimee Chabot. 2013 Honorable Mentions: Randy Tran, Evan Carr. National Defense Science & Engineering Graduate Fellowship: Evan Carr.

Diana Deutsch was featured in a New York Times article on after speaking in a one-day symposium on auditory hallucinations. In addition, an interview with her is featured on NPR's RadioLab.

Former psychology faculty, UC President, and UC San Diego Chancellor Richard Atkinson has donated $3.5 million to the National Academy of Sciences to create a $200,000 prize "to recognize and support scientists in improving our understanding of how the mind works." Read more.

The Atlantic reported on research by Gail Heyman showing that while a majority of American parents lie to their children, nearly all Chinese parents do and see less harm in it, too.

Karen Dobkins appears in a TEDx America's Finest City video: "The Space Between Kansas and Oz." Dobkins was also quoted by the Scientist in a story on brain adaptations among deaf people.

Chronicle of Higher Education story on the problems in priming research cites at length Hal Pashler, the "most prolific of the Replicators." Pashler's work is also cited in a Sunday New York Times op-ed.

Fans of the TV show "Downtown Abbey" were enraged by a media spoiler revealing a major character's death, and The Week cited research led by Nicholas Christenfeld to temper the anger.

BBC News and TIME reported on research led by Gail Heyman on lying to children in the U.S. and China.

Facebook is more memorable than books or faces, finds a study by Nicholas Christenfeld, Christine Harris and alumna Laura Mickes. Coverage ranged from the Wall Street Journal to Cosmopolitan and included the Salon, U-T San Diego, Gizmag, Mashable, PC Magazine, ScienceNOW and TIME, among others. Christenfeld appeared on KPBS-FM and TV. The LiveScience coverage enjoyed wide national and international pick-up, while Scientific American also included commentary by John Wixted.

Seeds of Persuasion”:  Lead story package in ThisWeek@UCSanDiego on getting people to better citizens includes research by James Fowler of Political Science and Chris Bryan of Psychology.

Feb. 6: Craig McKenzie of Psychology and the Rady School of Management will talk about “Business and Psychology: Decision Making, Rationality and Creativity” at this quarter’s Social Sciences Supper Club.


Past News Stories