Faculty in the News

Betsy DeVos Invests in a Therapy Under Scrutiny
A group of brain performance centers backed by Betsy DeVos, the nominee for education secretary, promotes results that are nothing short of stunning. But a review of Neurocore’s claims and interviews with medical experts suggest its conclusions are unproven and its methods questionable.
Scott Lilienfeld, Ph.D.

Chimpanzees Are Forcing Us to Redefine What it Means to be Human
Primatologist Frans de Waal says chimpanzees can do almost everything that was once considered a distinctively human trait.
Frans de Waal, Ph.D.

How Scientists Reconstructed the Brain of a Long-Extinct Beast
Though the thylacine has been extinct now for 80 years, that hasn’t stopped enthusiasts from searching; Ted Turner once offered a $100,000 reward for any proof of a living thylacine. But even if humans will never see another living thylacine, that doesn’t mean we can’t get into their heads. Thanks to the continued fascination with these creatures and new techniques in brain imaging, Greg Berns has now reconstructed how this animal likely thought.
Greg Berns, Ph.D.

Why You Should Tell Your Kids Tragic Stories This Holiday Season
For more than two decades, my colleague, Robyn Fivush, and I have been studying the importance of family stories at Emory University’s Family Narratives Project, which conducts research on how people remember and narrate the events of their lives. And we have found that the more children know about their own family history, the healthier and more resilient they are.
Marshall Duke, Ph.D. 

Traces of Times Lost
As it turns out, the childhood memories we lose remain with us -- albeit in a different form -- as the underpinnings of our morality and instincts. This is what attachment theory supposes, says Robyn Fivush, the director of the Family Narratives Lab in the psychology department at Emory University.
Robyn Fivush, Ph.D.

The Sparrow With Four Sexes
“It's really, really rare to find such a direct relationship between a set of genes and behaviours. That's what makes these birds so interesting to study,” says Donna Maney, a neuroendocrinologist at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, who uses the white-throated sparrow as a model to understand how hormones affect the brain.
Donna Maney, Ph.D.

Can you Identify These Screams?
Emory psychologist Harold Gouzoules, who researches how humans perceive and interpret screams, gives CNN reporter Elizabeth Cohen an informal “scream test.”
Harold Gouzoules, Ph.D.

Sensory Connections Spill Over in Synesthesia
Neuroscientists at Emory University have found that people who experience a mixing of the senses, known as synesthesia, are more sensitive to associations everyone has between the sounds of words and visual shapes.
Lynne Nygaard, Ph.D.

A Dog's Dilemma: Do Canines Prefer Praise or Food?
Given the choice, many dogs prefer praise from their owners over food, suggests a new study by Emory neuroscientist Gregory Berns.
Gregory Berns, Ph.D., Director, Facility for Education and Research in Neuroscience (FERN), and the Center for Neuropolicy

How to Help Your Kids Get the Most Out of Family Visits
Making the most of a family visit isn’t just about trying to make everything go smoothly, says Marshall Duke, professor of psychology at Emory. His team’s studies of kids’ connections with extended family uncovered an important principle: “the more kids know about their families, the stronger they are.”
Marshall Duke, Ph.D.

Risk Calculator for Psychosis Gives Clinicians a Valuable New Tool
A national consortium of researchers has developed an individual risk calculator for schizophrenia and other psychosis, comparable to those for cardiovascular disease and other illnesses.
Elaine Walker, Ph.D.

Congratulations Faculty

Patricia Brennan, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, has been selected to receive the Emory College Award for Academic Advising.

Michael Treadway, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Psychology, has been selected as a Rising Star in the Association for Psychological Science. The Rising Star designation recognizes outstanding psychological scientists in the earliest stages of their research career post-PhD whose innovative work has already advanced the field and signals great potential for their continued contributions. The complete list of 2016 Rising Stars will appear in the February issue of the Observer.

Marshall Duke, Ph.D., Charles Howard Candler Professor of Psychology, has been awarded the Crystal Apple for Excellence in Undergraduate Seminar Education. The Crystal Apple Awards honor faculty members who go above and beyond in their search for knowledge and involvement in the Emory community. Each year, students are asked to nominate their professors based on select criteria.

Robyn Fivush, Ph.D., Associate Vice-Provost for Academic Innovation and Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Psychology, has been awarded a Bill and Carol Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry Fellowship. The fellowship provides an academic year of study and residence in the Center and releases fellows from their University teaching and service commitments during that time. Dr. Fivush looks forward to devoting more time to finishing a book she has been gathering research for on family stories and narrative identity.

Robert Hampton, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychology, has received a Fulbright-García Robles Fellowship to fund a year-long sabbatical in Querétaro, Mexico, where he will collaborate with Dr. Hugo Merchant and his colleagues and students at the Instituto de Neurobiología. Drs. Hampton and Merchant will co-teach a year-long course that combines academic content in primate cognitive neuroscience with a set of activities designed to advance the careers of graduate students and promote international collaboration between US and Mexican scientists. Drs. Hampton and Merchant will also study the neurocognitive processes involved in the mental representation of ordered information, and develop methods for the assessment of emotional states in nonhuman animals using tests of time perception.

Elaine Walker, Ph.D., Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, has won the 2016 Society for Research in Psychopathology John Neale Mentorship Award. The award recognizes exceptional scholars with sustained records of mentorship in training research scientists who go on to advance knowledge of psychopathology or related fields of clinical science. As reported earlier this year, psychology Ph.D. alum Vijay Mittal (Clinical, 2008) , one of Dr. Walker’s mentees, was one of four FABBS Foundation 2016 Early Career Award Winners, a strong testament to her mentorship skills.

Students in the News

New Autisum Study Changes The Game For Treatment In Toddlers
Jennifer Moriuchi

Kelly McCormick, doctoral candidate in cognitive psychology and neurology at Emory University, was interviewed about research showing that people often associate words with different shapes, regardless of what language they speak.
Science Friday: Macroscope

Alumni in the News

Anjana Muralidharan is a recent recipient of a VA Rehabilitation Research and Development Career Development Award. This award is the VA equivalent of an NIH K Award, and will provide five years of salary support and research funds. The focus of her CDA is older adults with serious mental illness - an underserved group with complex care needs. With this award, Anjana aims to launch a research career devoted to promoting recovery and wellness at the intersection of mental illness and aging.

Chimpanzees Choose Cooperation Over Competition
When given a choice between cooperating or competing, chimpanzees choose to cooperate five times more frequently, Yerkes National Primate Research Center researchers have found.
Malini Suchak, Assistant Professor of Animal Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation at Canisius College in Buffalo, NY