Frans de Waal Embraces Animal Emotions in ‘Mama’s Last Hug’
For too long, emotion has been cognitive researchers’ third rail. But nothing could be more essential to understanding how people and animals behave. By examining emotions in both, this book puts these most vivid of mental experiences in evolutionary context, revealing how their richness, power and utility stretch across species and back into deep time.

Yelling, Cursing Less Likely to Break Out in Operating Rooms When Female Surgeons are Present
Dr. Frans de Waal, Laura Jones, and colleagues have developed a classification system to describe different kinds of operating room behaviors, ranging from cooperative to confrontational, in order to study conflict in operating rooms.

Twitter Used as Research Tool for America's Psyche
Emory researchers, Phillip Wolff, associate professor of psychology at Emory, and Robert Thorstad, Ph.D. candidate in psychology in the Laney Graduate School, were interviewed about a new study they co-authored on mining data from tweets to gain insights on human behavior.

New Research Aims to Understand How Genetic Differences Contribute to Addiction
Psychology professor, Rohan Palmer, has earned a $2.34 million grant to examine why some people become addicted to alcohol or drugs while others don’t.

Why Kids Need to Know Their Family History
Marshall Duke and Robyn Fivush, psychologists at Emory University, created a "Do You Know" test to measure the impact of shared autobiographical memories in children.

The Ten Best Science Books of 2017
Dr. Gregory Berns's new book, “What It’s Like to Be a Dog,” has been named as one of Smithsonian's Ten Best Science Books of 2017.

Goldwater Rule 'Gagging' Psychiatrists No Longer Relevant, Analysis Finds
The rationale for the Goldwater Rule — which prohibits psychiatrists from publicly commenting on the mental health of public figures they have not examined in person — does not hold up to current scientific scrutiny, a new analysis finds.
Scott Lilienfeld, Ph.D.

Are Psychopathy and Heroism Two Sides of the Same Coin?
A new study looking at first responders yields some interesting results.
Scott Lilienfeld, Ph.D.

Scientists Are Learning to Predict Psychosis Years in Advance - And Possibly Prevent It
Elaine Walker, Ph.D.

Gregory Berns Knows What Your Dog Is Thinking (It’s Sweet)
Dr. Gregory Berns, 53, a neuroscientist at Emory University in Atlanta, spends his days scanning the brains of dogs, trying to figure out what they’re thinking. The research is detailed in a new book, “What It’s Like to Be a Dog.”

Neuroscientist tries to get into dogs' minds to see how they think
Gregory Berns, a neuroscientist at Emory University, tells "GMA" about his experience working with nearly 100 dogs to find out if they really are man's best friend for his new book, "What It's Like to Be a Dog."

What Does Your Dog Really Want?
With MRI, scientists are beginning to answer that question in a much more sophisticated way. Greg Berns, Ph.D.

A Disarming Comedian Interviews an Emory Psychologist Loaded with Facts About the Brain
Comedian, Jordan Klepper, takes a break from filming in the Emory psychology department by interviewing Emory psychologist, Stephan Hamann, about the brain science involved in trying to understand the U.S. political divide and culture wars.

The Neuroscience of Learning Across Borders
The 2017 Emory-UNAM Foro Binacional Mecanismos de Aprendizaje was held at the Instituto de Neurobiología in Qeurétaro, México, which is part of the Universidad Nacional Autónomo de México. This year’s forum brought together 33 Mexican and US graduate student participants, 9 Mexican and US invited faculty member participants, and many other local participants and observers.

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.

Michael Treadway

Michael Treadway, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Psychology, has been selected to receive the 2019 APS Janet Taylor Spence Award. Named for APS’s first elected President, the Spence Award recognizes early-career researchers who have made transformative contributions to the field of psychological science, such as establishing new paradigms within a subject area or advancing research that cuts across fields of study. The 2019 Spence Award recipients will be profiled in an upcoming issue of the APS Observer and will be recognized at the 31st APS Annual Convention in Washington, DC, May 23–26, 2019.

Scott Lilienfeld

Scott Lilienfeld, PhD, has been selected to receive the 2019 Robert D. Hare Lifetime Achievement Award for the Society for the Scientific Study of Psychopathy (SSSP). The committee made this recommendation in recognition of his pioneering contributions to the scientific understanding of psychopathy across the lifespan involving the development of innovative conceptual models, as well as important empirical advances that have had an important and lasting impact in how the construct of psychopathy is conceptualized and measured; for his development of innovative methods for assessing psychopathic traits that can be used in both criminal and non-criminal samples;  and for his tireless work in promoting a rigorous and critical scientific approach to advancing psychology in general and research on psychopathy in particular.

Elaine Walker

Elaine F. Walker, PhD, Charles Howard Candler Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, has been named a 2018 Fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Dr. Walker is recognized for pioneering research on the nature and interaction among neurodevelopmental, genetic, stress and hormonal precursors of major mental disorders, especially schizophrenia. Election as a AAAS Fellow is an honor bestowed on AAAS members by their peers. These scientists have been awarded the distinction of Fellow because of their efforts toward advancing science applications that are deemed scientifically or socially distinguished.

Patricia Brennan

Patricia Brennan, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, has been awarded a Distinguished Investigator Grant from the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation. Grants are awarded to full professors or the equivalent, conducting innovative projects in diverse areas of neurobiological and behavioral research. Recipients of the $100,000, one-year grants are seeking new potential targets for understanding and treating a wide range of neuropsychiatric disorders that affect one in five people, including depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), eating disorders, schizophrenia, and psychosis. Dr. Brennan's proposal, Out of the Mouths of Babes: Revealing Transgenerational Impacts of Maternal Depression Using New Tooth Microassay Techniques, examines markers of stress and depression during gestation in children who are the offspring of mothers with depression.

Michael Treadway

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 in hat

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.

Robert Hampton

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.

Brooke McKenna, doctoral candidate in clinical psychology at Emory University, has been awarded the 2018-2019 Charles and Marjorie Dobrovolny Award from the Emory Laney Graduate School. The award is available every year to an outstanding student in the graduate program for exceptional research accomplishments in the area of “intellectual and developmental disabilities.” 

Amanda Arulpragasam, doctoral candidate in clinical psychology at Emory University, has been awarded the “Stuart Zola Graduate Fellowship in Neuroscience” for 2019-2020.

Brooke McKenna, doctoral candidate in clinical psychology at Emory University, was selected as one of three winners of the 2019 SSCP Student Poster Competition.

Study Gives New Insight Into How the Brain Perceives Places
Nearly 30 years ago, scientists demonstrated that visually recognizing an object, such as a cup, and performing a visually guided action, such as picking the cup up, involved distinct neural processes, located in different areas of the brain. A new study shows that the same is true for how the brain perceives our environment — it has two distinct systems, one for recognizing a place and another for navigating through it.

Schadenfreude Sheds Light on the Darker Side of Humanity
This common, yet poorly understood, emotion may provide a valuable window into the darker side of humanity, finds a review article by psychologists at Emory University.

Aversion to Holes Driven by Disgust, Not Fear, Study Finds
Trypophobia, commonly known as “fear of holes,” is linked to a physiological response more associated with disgust than fear, finds a new study published in PeerJ.

New Autisum Study Changes The Game For Treatment In Toddlers
“It’s not that they’re averse to eye contact,” said Emory Psychology graduate student Jennifer Moriuchi, a member of the research team.  Instead, she said, “they aren’t understanding that social meaning of eye contact.”

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.

American Academy of Arts and Sciences Elects Three UC San Diego Professors
John Wixted will join 200 new members in the organization’s 2019 class that spans academia, business, government and public affairs.

At Small Colleges, Smaller Departments
Faculty members at tiny institutions might appear to be lonely, but they collaborate across disciplines and geographic expanses to avoid being isolated.

Direct Amygdala Stimulation Can Enhance Human Memory
Direct electrical stimulation of the human amygdala, a region of the brain known to regulate memory and emotional behaviors, can enhance next-day recognition of images when applied immediately after the images are viewed, neuroscientists have found.

From Rats To Humans, A Brain Knows When It Can't Remember
The human brain knows what it knows. And so, it appears, does a rat brain. Rats have shown that they have the ability to monitor the strength of their own memories, researchers from Providence College reported this month in the journal Animal Cognition.

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