News

Aazam Najeebi ’19 honored with Rising Researcher Award

Aazam NajeebiAazam Najeebi ’19 is one of eight students from UMass Amherst honored with the Rising Researcher Award in recognition of their demonstrated leadership and impact in their chosen field of study.

What makes some people better learners than others? Commonwealth Honors College student Aazam Najeebi intends to find out. The psychological and brain sciences major has been working in Professor Rebecca Spencer’s lab on a project using MRI to understand how sleep changes memory representations and how this changes with aging. He became interested in what was unique about those participants who learn more quickly than others, young or old.

Natasha de la Rosa receives 2018 Edna M. Dahlquist Scholarship

Natasha de la RosaThe Department of Psychological and Brain Science's Graduate Studies Committee has selected Natasha de la Rosa to receive a 2018 Edna M. Dahlquist Scholarship. The Dahlquist Scholarship, offered annually, rewards the unique challenges and hardships that a student overcame to enroll in their graduate program, providing $2,000 per student to complement other sources of funding (e.g., assistantships, fellowships). These funds may be used to support research and/or help with general living costs.   

Rebecca Ready featured on Connecting Point, discussing her research on concussions

One of Rebecca Ready’s research specialties is sports-related concussions, which can cause Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy. More commonly known as CTE, the degenerative brain disease was first discovered in football players. But, CTE can affect anyone with a history of repetitive brain trauma, like hockey players and military veterans. Dr. Ready joined Carrie Saldo to discuss her research.

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I-Corps boosts innovation infrastructure

Innovation Corps award will train teams to develop new ventures 

light bulbs turning on and off

The National Science Foundation has announced that it has selected the University of Massachusetts Amherst to be one of its national network of Innovation Corps Sites (I-Corps). The program is intended to increase research commercialization and campus startups while enriching existing innovation infrastructure. Organizers hope to help new ventures bring economic development and jobs to the region.

Ushering life science technologies from labs to living rooms

Institute of Applied Life Sciences helps companies solve real-world problems 

life science laboratories building

In addition to directing the Human Testing Center at the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s new Institute for Applied Life Sciences (IALS), Michael Busa is managing the new class of research relationships emerging for the state’s largest public university campus, with corporate partners in biotech and health care.

Faculty Group to Study Organizational Success of Eureka! Program

girls working together looking at computer screenFive faculty members in the colleges of Education, Natural Sciences and Social and Behavioral Sciences have received a two-year, $299,271 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study the components of a successful multi-organizational partnership designed to promote girls’ participation in higher education and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.

Psychological and Brain Sciences holds Open House

On Nov. 2 PBS opened up several labs to the public, giving visitors a chance to explore some of the exciting technology and methods used by our researchers!

students laughing and trying three block task

Visitors enjoy the Learning Lab's block task, a neat brain teaser used in child studies.

visitors inject gel into electrodes on EEG cap

Graduate student Helena Jacob (pictured right) instructs participants as they apply conductive gel to points where EEG electrodes meet the scalp.

Neurocognition and Perception Laboratory: Research Highlights

The Neurocognition and Perception (NCaP) Laboratory, directed by Lisa Sanders, aims to 1) understand the neurocognitive mechanisms of basic auditory perception, speech perception, and selective attention across the lifespan, and 2) to determine how attentional control and perceptual learning can lead to better perceptual outcomes, including understanding speech in background noise. To accomplish these goals, the lab uses behavioral, electrophysiological, and neuroimaging measures in listeners ranging from 20 months to 85 years of age.

Cognitive and Neural Measures of Childhood Language Processing and Speech Comprehension in Natural Settings

Maggie Ugolini, graduate student in the Neuroscience and Behavior Program, is conducting a study aiming to better understand real-world language processing (or comprehension) in 5-year-old children. When a child comes to the lab to participate in a study he/she will wear a cap that measures the electrical activity of their brain using electroencephalography (EEG). They will listen to several stories and answer multiple-choice questions about them on an iPad. What is unique about this scenario is that each story includes phonological errors, which will cause a response in the child’s brain.

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