Lecture Series in 2014-2015

Unless otherwise noted all lectures will be in Alumni Hall, Mosher Alumni House, 2nd floor on Thursdays at 4:00 p.m.


Oct 23, 2014
Prefrontal Control of Attention

Robert Desimone is Doris and Don Berkey Professor of Neuroscience and the director of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT. Prior to coming to MIT, he was Director of the NIMH Intramural Research Program, the largest mental health research center in the world. Desimone received his B.A. from Macalester College and his Ph.D. from Princeton University. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts of Sciences, and a recipient of numerous awards, including the Troland Prize of the National Academy of Sciences, and the Golden Brain Award of the Minerva Foundation. Dr. Desimone's research focuses on the neural bases of attention and executive control, which are frequently abnormal in major mental diseases.  His lab combines neurophysiological recording in animals and fMRI and MEG brain imaging techniques in humans to understand how neural circuits filter out distracting information. His lab is particularly interested in the role of synchronized neural activity in attentional control.

Nov 06, 2014
Mindsets: Helping Students Fulfill Their Potential

Carol Dweck is Lewis and Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology at Stanford University.  She graduated from Barnard College in 1967 and earned a Ph.D. from Yale University in 1972. Dr. Dweck's work bridges developmental psychology, social psychology, and personality psychology, and examines the self-conceptions people use to structure the self and guide their behavior. Her research looks at the origins of these self-conceptions, their role in motivation and self-regulation, and their impact on achievement and interpersonal processes. She has received numerous honors including election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences, as well as receipt of the James McKeen Cattell Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Psychological Science and the Distinguisted Scholar Award from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology. Dr. Dweck is the author of Mindset: The new psychology of success (2006, Random House), Self-theories: Their role in motivation, personality and development (1999, Psychology Press), and is co-editor of Handbook of competence and motivation (2005, Guilford) and Motivation of self-regulation across the lifespan (1998, Cambridge University Press).

This lecture is co-sponsored by the UCSB Center for the Science of Human Resilience (C-SHoRE).

Dec 11, 2014
Neural Predictors of Behavior Change

Emily Falk is an Assistant Professor of Communication and Director of the Communication Neuroscience Laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication. Prof. Falk employs a variety of methods, with a focus on functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). She has worked to develop a program of research in what she calls “Communication Neuroscience” to link neural activity (in response to persuasive messages) to behaviors at the individual, group and population levels. Dr. Falk's work has been funded by grants from NCI, NICHD and the NIH Director's New Innovator Award. Prior to her doctoral work, Dr. Falk was a Fulbright Fellow in health policy, studying health communication in Canada. She received her bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience from Brown University, and her Ph.D. in Psychology from UCLA.

Jan 08, 2015
The Power of Positive Speaking: Talking Up and Talking Down

Susan Fiske is Eugene Higgins Professor, Psychology and Public Affairs at Princeton University (Ph.D., Harvard University). At Princeton she directs the Intergroup Relations, Social Cognition, and Social Neuroscience Laboratory, where she examines issues of social power and intergroup relations. She is co-author, with Shelley Taylor, of Social Cognition (4th ed., 2013), the SAGE Handbook of Social Cognition (2012, with Macrae) and the SAGE Major Works in Social Cognition (2013). With marketing consultant Chris Malone, she co-authored The Human Brand: How We Relate to People, Products, and Companies (2013). In the academic trade market, she is the author of Envy Up, Scorn Down: How Status Divides Us (2011). She has written more than 300 articles and chapters, as well as editing many books and journal special issues. Fiske’s work has had real-world impact. The U.S. Supreme Court in a 1989 landmark decision on gender bias cited her expert testimony in discrimination cases. In 1998, she also testified before President Clinton’s Race Initiative Advisory Board, and in 2001-03, she co-authored a National Academy of Science, National Research Council report on Methods for Measuring Discrimination. She chaired a 1014 NAS NRC report on IRBs in the social and behavioral sciences. In 2004, she published a Science article explaining how ordinary people can torture enemy prisoners, through processes of prejudice and social influence. She has won numerous scientific honors and awards, and, in 2013, Professor Fiske was elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

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