skip to content

The Psychometrics Centre

Cambridge Judge Business School
 

Fri 04 Oct 16:30: The endocannabinoid system at work: From basic mechanisms to psychiatric diseases Please note: This is a Pre-Zangwill Talk - see change of venue

Other Psychology Seminars - Mon, 30/09/2019 - 15:31
The endocannabinoid system at work: From basic mechanisms to psychiatric diseases

I will present the biochemistry of cannabinoids and endocannabinoids, along with the impact of these lipid signals on the brain. We will discuss advances on the molecular details of signal transduction pathways triggered by (endo)cannabinoids at specific receptor targets, and gain deep insights into the biological consequences of these pathways in distinct psychiatric diseases, in particular via epigenetic regulation of gene expression.

Mauro Maccarrone, Dr. Enzymology and Bio-Organic Chemistry, is Professor and Chair of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Co- ordinator of the Bachelor’s Degree in Food Science and Human Nutrition at the School of Medicine, Campus Bio-Medico University of Rome. He is the Director of the Laboratory of Lipid Neurochemistry at the European Center for Brain Research (CERC)/IRCCS Santa Lucia Foundation, Rome, Italy. He was awarded the “4th Royan International Research Award for Reproductive Biomedicine”, the “2007 IACM Award for Basic Research” and the “2016 Mechoulam Award”, and has been Chair of the 2015 Gordon Research Conference on “Cannabinoid Function in the CNS ”. He published more than 485 full papers, of which 55 with I.F. ≥ 9, 12 with I.F. ≥ 15, 45 with ≥ 100 citations (total I.F. > 2470; citations >15760, h-index = 65 according to Scopus). Email ID: m.maccarrone@unicampus.it

Please note: This is a Pre-Zangwill Talk - see change of venue

Add to your calendar or Include in your list

Fri 04 Oct 16:30: TThe endocannabinoid system at work: From basic mechanisms to psychiatric diseases Please note: This is a Pre-Zangwill Talk - see change of venue

Other Psychology Seminars - Fri, 27/09/2019 - 16:24
TThe endocannabinoid system at work: From basic mechanisms to psychiatric diseases

This lecture is intended to transfer to attendees the most advanced knowledge on the biochemistry of cannabinoids and endocannabinoids, along with the impact of these lipid signals on the brain. Participants will gain a state-of-art view of the elements that form the “endocannabinoid system”: besides an advanced knowledge on the molecular details of signal transduction pathways triggered by (endo)cannabinoids at specific receptor targets, they will gain deep insights into the biological consequences of these pathways in distinct psychiatric diseases, in particular via epigenetic regulation of gene expression.

Mauro Maccarrone, Dr. Enzymology and Bio-Organic Chemistry, is Professor and Chair of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Co- ordinator of the Bachelor’s Degree in Food Science and Human Nutrition at the School of Medicine, Campus Bio-Medico University of Rome. He is the Director of the Laboratory of Lipid Neurochemistry at the European Center for Brain Research (CERC)/IRCCS Santa Lucia Foundation, Rome, Italy. He was awarded the “4th Royan International Research Award for Reproductive Biomedicine”, the “2007 IACM Award for Basic Research” and the “2016 Mechoulam Award”, and has been Chair of the 2015 Gordon Research Conference on “Cannabinoid Function in the CNS ”. He published more than 485 full papers, of which 55 with I.F. ≥ 9, 12 with I.F. ≥ 15, 45 with ≥ 100 citations (total I.F. > 2470; citations >15760, h-index = 65 according to Scopus). Email ID: m.maccarrone@unicampus.it

Please note: This is a Pre-Zangwill Talk - see change of venue

Add to your calendar or Include in your list

Fri 15 Nov 16:30: The spatial and temporal dynamics of attention: insights from direct access to the attentional spotlight

Other Psychology Seminars - Tue, 24/09/2019 - 09:31
The spatial and temporal dynamics of attention: insights from direct access to the attentional spotlight

Recent accumulating evidence challenges the traditional view of attention as a continuously active spotlight over which we have direct voluntary control, suggesting instead a rhythmic operation. However, the precise mechanism through which this rhythmic exploration of space is subserved remains unknown. Recent work proposes that specific inter-areal synchronization mechanisms in the theta range play an important role in this respect. I will present monkey electrophysiological data reconciling these two views. I will apply machine learning methods to reconstruct, at high spatial and temporal resolution, the spatial attentional spotlight from monkey prefrontal neuronal activity. I will first describe behavioral and neuronal evidence for distinct spatial filtering mechanisms, the attentional spotlight serving to filter in task relevant information while at the same time filtering out task irrelevant information. I will then provide evidence for rhythmic spatial attention exploration by this prefrontal attentional spotlight in the alpha (7-12Hz) frequency range. I will discuss this rhythmic exploration of space both from the perspective of sensory encoding and behavioral trial outcome, when processing either task relevant or task irrelevant information. While these oscillations are task-independent, I will describe how their spatial unfoldment flexibly adjusts to the ongoing behavioral demands. I will conclude by bridging the gap between this alpha rhythmic exploration by the attentional spotlight and previous reports on a contribution of long-range theta oscillations in attentional exploration and I will propose a novel integrated account of a dynamic attentional spotlight.

Suliann Ben Hamed has an initial training in mathematics, physics and biology. She is alumini of the Ecole Normale Supérieure of Paris. In 1999, she defended a PhD in neurosciences from the University Pierre et Marie Curie. Her PhD was performed at the Collègue de France, in the Laboratory of Neurophysiology of Action and Perception, directed by Alain Berthoz, from 1996 to 1999, and consisted in the characterization of the visual and oculomotor parietal functions in the non-human primate. She then completed a first post-doctoral training in Italy, at the University of Medicine of Parma, in neuroanatomy, then a second post-doctoral training at the University of Rochester, USA , in computational neurosciences. In 2002, she was recruited at the CNRS and joined the Institute of Cognitive Sciences (Lyon), created and directed at the time by Marc Jeannerod. She is now a CNRS research director, since 2014. She is heading the lab of Cognition and action, and she combines her research skills to set up a lab associating comparative electrophysiology and functional imaging studies in humans and non-human primates, to question the neural bases of attention, perception and multisensory space representations in relation with actions. In 2015, she was awarded a consolidator ERC on attention-based brain machine interfaces to enhance and restore cognition.

Add to your calendar or Include in your list

Fri 06 Dec 16:30: Attentive learning: Understanding mechanisms by studying outcomes, risk and protective factors

Other Psychology Seminars - Thu, 19/09/2019 - 14:31
Attentive learning: Understanding mechanisms by studying outcomes, risk and protective factors

Attentional control plays a crucial role in biasing incoming information in favour of what is relevant to further processing, influencing encoding into memory and long-term learning. However, assessing attentional control processes over developmental time highlights how they are best understood not simply as a control homunculus, but rather as bidirectionally influencing and influenced by multiple factors. Today I will focus on three complementary lines of evidence pointing in this direction. The first line of work will focus on experimental manipulations engaging children and adults to highlight the interplay between attentional control, memory and learning. A combination of behavioural and electrophysiological data suggests similarities and differences in how children and young adults differ in the extent to which they deploy attentional control to optimize maintenance in memory. This experimental work is complemented by longitudinal data, showing how individual differences in attentional control predict foundational predictors of early learning and their change over time. The second line of work centres on children receiving early genetic diagnoses associated with very high risk of attention deficits in later childhood. The specific molecular pathways implicated in each case point to changes in functional gene networks involved in neural development and responsivity to environmental stimulation, rather than specific or localised lesion-like deficits. Longitudinal findings suggests that early differences in attention between and within supposedly homogeneous genetically identified groups, as well as individual differences in other domains, predict variable learning outcomes. Finally, and most recently, I have been fortunate to work with colleagues who study attentional control and educational outcomes under conditions of high environmental risk associated with very low income. These data suggest that, again, individual differences in attentional control predict learning outcomes, but that there may be unexpected buffering factors in the environment associated with better than expected outcomes, even under conditions of very high environmental risk. In conclusion, we have used complementary approaches to investigating the mechanisms of attentive learning. In turns, these findings suggest that attentive learning itself is malleable, and that understanding variability in good outcomes, as well as weaknesses, may help guide more effective intervention.

I read Psychology at the University of St. Andrews (Scotland), spending a year as a visiting student at Queen’s University, in Canada. I then moved to London for a PhD at the Institute of Child Health, University College London, supervised by Professors Annette Karmiloff-Smith and Jon Driver, in close collaboration with Prof Kim Cornish (now at Monash University, Australia). After a brief visiting fellowship (now developed into an ongoing collaboration) at the Sackler Institute of Developmental Psychobiology, Cornell University, in 2003 I became a lecturer in the School of Psychology, University of Nottingham. I have been based in Oxford since October 2006. My research group focuses on the development of attentional control and its underlying attentional difficulties, from their neural correlates to their outcomes on emerging cognitive abilities. Understanding these questions involves combining the study of typical attentional control with research on atypical development at risk of poor attentional control development: 1) conditions with a well-defined genetic aetiology (e.g., fragile X syndrome, Williams syndrome, Down syndrome, sex chromosomal trisomies); and 2) complex behavioural syndromes of mixed aetiology (e.g., AD/HD). Ultimately, this work is of interest both to basic neuroscience and, most importantly, to the families and individuals who are affected by these differences.

Add to your calendar or Include in your list

Wed 23 Oct 15:00: Life in a Zero-Sum Game: How implicit game theories can shape social and economic realities

Other Psychology Seminars - Wed, 18/09/2019 - 10:07
Life in a Zero-Sum Game: How implicit game theories can shape social and economic realities

To know how to win, you first have to know what game you are playing. In the same way that the rules and structure of a game critically shape one’s strategies and success within the game, an implicit theory about what kind of game life is may have the power to shape appraisals, motives, and behaviors across life domains. One of the simplest and most widely known games is the zero-sum game, in which gains for one party are earned at the expense of another, and vice versa, such that all winnings and losses sum to zero. While truly zero-sum situations are rare, some people view all of life as if it were a zero-sum game. In this talk, I will introduce a phenomenon called “Zero-Sum Mindset” and share research about how this implicit game theory may shape basic cognitive processing, perceptions and motives across domains and situations, leading to behaviors and strategies that bring about the very reality they perceive: increased scarcity and antagonism.

Patricia Andrews Fearon is a PhD Candidate and Gates Cambridge Scholar at the University of Cambridge working with Dr. David Good. Her research investigates the cognitive and emotional underpinnings of intergroup conflict with a particular focus on intervention. She has consulted for organizations such as the European Commission, Peace Direct and The Cambridge Centre for Science and Policy. Prior to her doctoral work at Cambridge, Andrews Fearon was a post-baccalaureate scholar at UC Berkeley working with Dr. Iris Mauss and Dr. Oliver John in the Emotion and Emotion Regulation Laboratory. Her published research has examined stress, cognitive complexity, and emotion regulation, as well as interventions that aim to increase cognitive complexity in fragile conflict contexts such as Bosnia and Pakistan. Before returning to academia, Andrews Fearon had a short career in journalism and media that included directing documentaries, and work with CNN , TIME Inc., and the NGO Room to Read where she created an award-winning global literacy campaign and coordinated with the White House and international press for Michelle Obama’s visit to Cambodia. Outside of research, Andrews Fearon is a volunteer conflict mediator, an avid backpacker and cyclist, and a mediocre baker.

Add to your calendar or Include in your list

Tue 12 Nov 16:30: Costs and benefits of cognitive control: When a little frontal cortex goes a long way PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS AN EXTRA ZANGWILL SEMINAR

Other Psychology Seminars - Mon, 16/09/2019 - 15:41
Costs and benefits of cognitive control: When a little frontal cortex goes a long way

Prefrontal cortex is a key component of a system that enables us to regulate our thoughts, behaviors and emotions, and impairments in all of these domains can readily be observed when this cognitive control system is compromised. Here, I explore a somewhat less intuitive hypothesis, namely that cognitive control has costs, as well as benefits, for cognition. I will provide evidence from several experiments in which we manipulated frontally-mediated cognitive control processes using noninvasive brain stimulation of prefrontal cortex and observed the consequences for different aspects of cognition. Using this experimental methodology, we demonstrate the costs and benefits of cognitive control for language production and comprehension; learning and memory; and creative problem solving. I will suggest that this framework for thinking about cognitive control has important implications for our understanding of cognition in children prior to maturation of prefrontal cortex.

Bio

Sharon L. Thompson-Schill is the Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. She received her B.A. in Psychology from Davidson College in 1991 and her PhD in Psychology from Stanford University in 1996. Thompson-Schill’s lab studies the biological bases of human cognitive systems. She uses a combination of psychological and neuroscientific methods, in both healthy and brain-damaged individuals, to study the psychological, neurological, and genetic bases of complex thought and behavior, including topics in perception, memory, attention, language, personality and creativity. She is the Founding Director of Penn’s Mind Center for Outreach, Research and Education (MindCORE), the university’s hub for the integrative study of the mind, connecting researchers across the campus and with the community Her research is funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health and has been recognized by numerous awards including the Searle Scholars Award, the Young Investigator Award from the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, and Psychonomic Society Mid-Career Award. Thompson-Schill is also an enthusiastic teacher of psychology and neuroscience, and she has won numerous local and national teaching awards, including the Women in Cognitive Science Mentorship Award and Penn’s Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching.

PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS AN EXTRA ZANGWILL SEMINAR

Add to your calendar or Include in your list

Wed 23 Oct 15:00: Life in a Zero-Sum Game: How implicit game theories can shape social and economic realities

Other Psychology Seminars - Sun, 15/09/2019 - 19:29
Life in a Zero-Sum Game: How implicit game theories can shape social and economic realities

To know how to win, you first have to know what game you are playing. In the same way that the rules and structure of a game critically shape one’s strategies and success within the game, an implicit theory about what kind of game life is may have the power to shape appraisals, motives, and behaviors across life domains. One of the simplest and most widely known games is the zero-sum game, in which gains for one party are earned at the expense of another, and vice versa, such that all winnings and losses sum to zero. While truly zero-sum situations are rare, some people view all of life as if it were a zero-sum game. In this talk, I will introduce a phenomenon called “Zero-Sum Mindset” and share research about how this implicit game theory may shape basic cognitive processing, perceptions and motives across domains and situations, leading to behaviors and strategies that bring about the very reality they perceive: increased scarcity and antagonism.

Patricia Andrews Fearon is a PhD Candidate and Gates Cambridge Scholar at the University of Cambridge working with Dr. David Good. Her research investigates the cognitive and emotional underpinnings of intergroup conflict with a particular focus on intervention. She has consulted for organizations such as the European Commission, Peace Direct and The Cambridge Centre for Science and Policy. Prior to her doctoral work at Cambridge, Andrews Fearon was a post-baccalaureate scholar at UC Berkeley working with Dr. Iris Mauss and Dr. Oliver John in the Emotion and Emotion Regulation Laboratory. Her published research has examined stress, cognitive complexity, and emotion regulation, as well as interventions that aim to increase cognitive complexity in fragile conflict contexts such as Bosnia and Pakistan. Before returning to academia, Andrews Fearon had a short career in journalism and media that included directing documentaries, and work with CNN , TIME Inc., and the NGO Room to Read where she created an award-winning global literacy campaign and coordinated with the White House and international press for Michelle Obama’s visit to Cambodia. Outside of research, Andrews Fearon is a volunteer conflict mediator, an avid backpacker and cyclist, and a mediocre baker.

Add to your calendar or Include in your list

Fri 22 Nov 12:00: Visual learning: Babies, bodies and machines Please note: This Zangwill talk will be taking place at 12.00pm

Other Psychology Seminars - Wed, 11/09/2019 - 15:46
Visual learning: Babies, bodies and machines

Abstract: Learning depends on both the learning mechanism and the training material. This talk considers the natural statistics of infant visual experience. These natural training sets for human visual object recognition challenge usual assumptions about how we think about learning. These visual experiences are created in real time by infants’ own behaviors. They change systematically as infants’ bodies and behavior changes. Rather than equal experiences with all kinds of things, toddlers experience extremely skewed distributions with many repeated occurrences of a very few things. And though highly variable when considered as a whole, individual views of things are experienced in a specific order – with slow, smooth visual changes moment-to-moment, and developmentally ordered transitions in scene content. The skewed, ordered, biased visual experiences of infants and toddlers are the training data that allow human learners to develop a way to recognize everything, both the pervasively present entities and the rarely encountered ones. The joint consideration of real-world statistics for learning by researchers of human and machine learning seems likely to bring advances in both disciplines. brief bio: Linda B. Smith, Distinguished Professor at Indiana University Bloomington, is an internationally recognized leader in cognitive science and cognitive development. Taking a complex systems perspective, she seeks to understand the interdependencies among perceptual, motor and cognitive developments during the first three years of post-natal life. Using wearable sensors, including head-mounted cameras, she studies how the young learner’s own behavior creates learning experiences. The work has led to novel insights currently being extended through collaborations to robotics and artificial intelligence. She received her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in 1977 and immediately joined the faculty at Indiana University. She won the David E. Rumelhart Prize for theoretical contributions to cognitive science and is an elected member of both the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Science.

Please note: This Zangwill talk will be taking place at 12.00pm

Add to your calendar or Include in your list

Fri 01 Nov 12:00: Quantifying conscious states by means of self-initiated brain activity Please note: This Zangwill talk will be taking place at 12.00pm

Other Psychology Seminars - Wed, 11/09/2019 - 15:46
Quantifying conscious states by means of self-initiated brain activity

Abstract: Consciousness is seemingly lost and recovered every day, from the moment we fall asleep until we wake up. Although these departures from wakefulness bring about different changes in brain function, behavior, and neurochemistry, they all lead to lack of reported subjective experience. Here, I will show how intrinsic brain activity has been characterized in different states of unconsciousness, such as pharmacologically-induced anesthesia in humans and in noncommunicating states after severe brain injury. These investigations indicate that during unconscious states, cortical long-range correlations are disrupted in both space and time, anticorrelated cortical interactions disappear, and that temporal dynamics are limited to describe specific patterns which are dominated by rigid functional configurations tied to the anatomical connectivity. These data shed light on ongoing brain dynamics in health and disease and pave the way for specific interventions to potentially restore consciousness when it seems lost.

Bio: Athena graduated from the Faculty of Psychology at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece in 2005. Soon after, she pursued the Research Master’s in Cognitive Neuroscience, Neuropsychology, and Psychopathology, at Maastricht University, The Netherlands (2007). Next, she joined the Coma Science Group, University of Liège, Belgium as a doctoral student and received her PhD in Medical Sciences in May 2012. Her postdoctoral research has been conducted at the Brain and Spine Institute, Paris funded by the Belgian National Funds for Scientific Research (FNRS), the James S. McDonnell Foundation and the French Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM). Since October 2018 she is tenured FNRS Research Associate hosted at the GIGA Institute of the University of Liège, Belgium and is heading the Physiology of Cognition Research lab.

Please note: This Zangwill talk will be taking place at 12.00pm

Add to your calendar or Include in your list

Fri 18 Oct 00:00: Title to be confirmed Please note: There will be no Zangwill Talk this week

Other Psychology Seminars - Tue, 10/09/2019 - 12:32
Title to be confirmed

Abstract not available

Please note: There will be no Zangwill Talk this week

Add to your calendar or Include in your list

Fri 06 Dec 16:30: Title to be confirmed

Other Psychology Seminars - Fri, 06/09/2019 - 14:26
Title to be confirmed

Abstract not available

Add to your calendar or Include in your list

Fri 25 Oct 16:30: How we remember and how we forget

Other Psychology Seminars - Fri, 06/09/2019 - 14:23
How we remember and how we forget

Our ability to remember complex real-world events is thought to be supported by ‘event engrams’ – coherent representations of the constituent elements of any event that allow for later recollection. The hippocampus is thought to support these representations, receiving input from multiple neocortical regions to bind together the multiple elements of any event. At retrieval, a partial cue is thought to lead to the retrieval of a complete event engram (pattern completion) and subsequent reinstatement in the neocortex. I will present behavioural, computational and fMRI evidence to support the proposal that recollection is supported by the existence of complex event engrams in the hippocampus that are retrieved and reinstated by a pattern completion process. I will then ask how such event engrams are forgotten – do they fragment such that we forget some aspects of an event whilst retaining others, or are they forgotten in a relatively all-or-none fashion? Across a body of research, I will provide evidence that complex events are both remembered and forgotten in a relatively all-or-none manner – event engrams are encoded in a highly coherent manner and retain this coherence over time.

Aidan completed his BSc in psychology and MSc in cognitive neuroscience at the University of York, and his PhD in cognitive Neuroscience at the Unversity of Cambridge. He held postdoctoral positions at the Otto-von-Guericke University and University College London. He is currently a lecturer in psychology at the University of York.

Add to your calendar or Include in your list

Upcoming events