University Relations

Spring Research Day 2009

mcnamara center9:00 - 4:30, Friday, March 27
A.I. Johnson Great Room
McNamara Alumni Center
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN


9:00-9:30 Poster Setup & Light Breakfast

9:30-9:45 Opening Remarks,: Daniel Kersten, Psychology

9:45-10:00 Roger Dumas
“Neural processing of pitch as revealed by magnetoencephalography (MEG)”

10:00-10:15 Julie Markant
“Look and learn: The role of eye movements in implicit spatial learning”

10:15-10:30 MichelleLoman
“Early deprivation and executive attention: Research on post-institutionalized, internationally-adopted children”

10:30-10:45 Coffee Break

10:45-11:45 Invited Speaker Barbara Tversky, Stanford University
“Spaces of thought”

11:45-12:00 Bobby Shannon
“Trait fear differences revealed in the absence of awareness”

12:00-12:15 C. Shawn Green
“Promoting optimal decision making by reducing unexplained variability in outcome"

12:15-1:15 Lunch

1:15-1:30 Mike Blank
“Early ERP deflection predicts subsequent visually specific memory for "hot" scenes, but not for "cold" scenes”

1:30-1:45 Mike Mensink
“Evil geniuses and heroic villains: Inferences from mismatches between trait descriptions and reader preferences”

1:45-2:45 Invited Speaker Charles Perfetti, University of Pittsburgh
“Word learning episodes (and some consequences for word knowledge and reading skill)”

2:45-3:45 Poster Session

3:45-4:00 Jeffrey Engelmann
“Psychophysiological models of tobacco abstinence: A new tool for translational research”

4:00-4:15 Anna Radke
“The ventral tegmental area is involved in the production of positive and negative emotions associated with acute opiate exposure”

4:15 Closing Remarks, Daniel Kersten, Psychology


Invited Speakers' Biographies and Abstracts

Barbara Tversky, Ph.D.
Professor Emerita of Psychology, Stanford University Professor of Psychology and Education, Columbia Teachers College

Dr. Tversky’s research areas include perception of space, communicative and non-communicative gestures, congruity and apprehension in visualization techniques, the process of memory, and event perception and cognition. She received the Phi Beta Kappa Excellence in Teaching Award in 1999. Dr. Tversky is on the editorial boards of European Journal of Cognitive Psychology (Associate Editor), Diagrams, Cognitive Processing, and Spatial Cognition and Computation, as well as being a prolific author and presenter.

"Spaces of thought"

We engage in spatial cognition from the first moments of life: where to look, where to reach, where to go. Each of these acts entails a different space and a different set of behaviors. Spatial knowledge derives from many sense modalities, is essential for survival, and is a basis for other knowledge. Our conceptions of space derive from our perceptions of space and our behavior in space. Both our bodies and the world have natural asymmetries that affect perception of and behavior in these spaces, yielding mental or external representations of them that systematically differ from space as measured by geographers or physicists. Perception and behavior are different for the different spaces we inhabit: the space of our bodies, the space immediately surrounding us, the space we navigate, and the spaces we create to augment our own thinking.

Charles Perfetti, Ph.D.
Director, Learning Research and Development Center, University of Pittsburgh Distinguished University Professor of Psychology, University of Pittsburgh

Dr. Perfetti’s central research interest is in the cognitive science of reading and language processes. The research spans lower and higher level processes and the nature of reading ability and second language processes. His approach involves multiple research methods in behavioral, ERP and fMRI labs. The general goal is to achieve a richer view of language processes by the combination of methods. Children of the Code, a non-profit dedicated to furthering understanding of literacy education, has called his work “part of the bedrock of modern thought about reading”.

"Word learning episodes (and some consequences for word knowledge and reading skill)"

Knowledge of words is central to language use, including comprehension. Such knowledge is usually expressed theoretically as interconnected (static) semantic representations. I argue that it is useful to frame word knowledge in terms of word episodes that bring about learning of word form and meaning. I provide examples of the role of episodic variability in learning words, e.g. modality and context effects, and show how ERP markers expose details of word episodes. Moreover, ERP markers expose skill differences in word learning and in the use of word knowledge in comprehension. In this framework word learning results from the availability of contextual features that are part of word episodes and individual differences result from massively variable word experiences that have wide consequences for subsequent word learning and comprehension.

Updated April 27, 2015