Web page for the 2015 Michigan Undergraduate Psychology Research Conference is here.
Psych majors! Please join the faculty and your fellow majors (new and old) for pizza and camaraderie!
TUESDAY, September 9th, 2014
NOON – 1:30 PM
PLEASE RSVP by STOPPING BY OLIN 308 TO VOTE ON OUR TOPPING CHOICES.
The Department looks forward to seeing all of its returning students, and to meeting many new students.
For those of you new to the department, our offices are located on the 3rd floor of Olin Hall. Be sure to stop by Olin 308 to say “Hi” to Schara Swan (our department secretary); she’s the one who keeps things running smoothly. Of course, your favorite professors will also be glad to see you.
This fall Dr. Holger Elischberger takes the reins as sole chair of the department, having shared the responsibility with Dr. Drew Christopher for the past year. Dr. Elischberger will be glad to hear praise for things that we do well, and concerns about things that we could do better.
This fall we welcome a new face: Dr. Ben Biermeier-Hanson will join us for the year, replacing Dr. Christopher who will be on sabbatical. Dr. Biermeier-Hanson completed his PhD in industrial-organizational psychology at Wayne State University and will be teaching RDA and additional courses. Welcome him when you see him.
You might also notice that Dr. Jacque Carlson is not around. She left us after many years of shepherding students through RDA II and other courses in order to spend more time with her now-school-age son. We’ve also said “good-bye” to Kevin Zabel, who returns to his doctoral program after spending a year with us. We’ll miss them both.
We hope for an enriching and satisfying semester for everyone!
Another Elkin Isaac Student Research Symposium has come and gone. Five Psychological Science students received departmental awards, and two other students were honored by Concentrations overseen by the department.
- Oren Shewach received the Heston Award as Outstanding Psychology Major.
- Camille Haslinger and Danielle Wesolowicz received the Hogberg Award for Excellence in Research.
- Emily Morlock won the Kirsten Metalonis Memorial Scholarship.
- Jessica Glazier received the Kirsten Metalonis Summer Research Award.
- Holly Paxton won the Ned Garvin Neuroscience Award.
- Emma Schaff was the Outstanding Student in Human Services.
Dr. Drew Christopher, Professor of Psychological Science, received the Senior Teacher of the Year Award, an honor bestowed upon the professor who has had the most profound positive influence on students during the past year.
For sophomores and juniors interested in doing a practicum…
Meeting Wednesday October 23, 7:00 pm, in Olin 341.
Be there! Or contact Dr. Keyes with questions.
Cindy (Cardwell) Fast, 2008 Albion Psychology and Neuroscience alum, received the 2013 Pavlovian Society Poster Award at the Society’s annual meeting, in Austin, TX on September 28. The award acknowledged the quality of her research, which examines both brain and learning mechanisms that affect imagery in rats. In brief, rats respond differently to a meaningful light if they cannot determine if it is illuminated compared to their response when they can see that it is not illuminated. The neurotransmitter acetylcholine in the hippocampus seems to be involved in mediating this imagery. Apparently if the rats cannot see the light, they imagine that it might be lit, and this imagery affects their behavior. Her work has implications for the understanding of both brain and learning mechanisms guiding behavior in ambiguous situations. Fast is currently completing her PhD at UCLA. Here’s the full information about her poster: “Learning History and Hippocampal Involvement in the Use of an Image under Ambiguous Situations” by Cynthia D. Fast, M. Melissa Flesher, Nathaniel A. Nocera, Michael S. Fanselow, & Aaron P. Blaisdell; University of California, Los Angeles.
The Pavlovian Society, founded in 1955, “is dedicated to the scientific study of behavior and promotion of interdisciplinary scientific communication.” Approximately 160 learning theorists and behavioral neuroscientists attended the meeting, from the US, Europe, Asia, and Australia. For more information about the Society visit www.pavlovian.org.
Albion students present research
Current students Holly Paxton and Melissa Baguzis also presented research at the meeting. These students, who work with Psychological Science professor Jeff Wilson, examined learning in the earthworm. They found that earthworms in a running wheel can learn to turn off a light by crawling. The demonstration of learning in the earthworm opens the door to further studies of the neural substrates of learning in these organisms, perhaps offering insight into how more complex animals learn.
Welcome back! It’s a new academic year, and the department has lots in store for its majors. Bookmark this page and return frequently so that you don’t miss exciting announcements, and visit the department’s home page for information about faculty, courses, requirements, etc.
New to the major? Attend the meeting for important information!
Psych students were engaged in lots of exciting research over the summer, including studies focused on
- sleep, nutrition, and athletic performance,
- health anxiety, and
- learning in earthworms.
If you want to get involved in research, speak with a professor whose research is especially fascinating to you, or ask your advisor about opportunities in the department.
We are located in Olin Hall, 3rd floor. If you’re thinking about a career in Psycholgy, come talk with us!