Andrea Silva-Gotay receives NIH Blueprint D-SPAN Award

Andrea Silva-GotayAndrea Silva-Gotay has received a NIH Blueprint Diversity Specialized Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Advancement in Neuroscience (D-SPAN) Award. The purpose of the D-SPAN Award is to support a defined pathway across career stages for outstanding graduate students who are from diverse backgrounds underrepresented in neuroscience research. This two-phase award will facilitate completion of the doctoral dissertation and transition of talented graduate students to strong neuroscience research postdoctoral positions, and will provide career development opportunities relevant to their long-term career goal of becoming independent neuroscience researchers. 

Animal models of Alzheimer’s disease embrace diversity

old man looks at a cluster of tree branchesAgnès Lacreuse is interviewed in the article "Animal models of Alzheimer’s disease embrace diversity." She is examining how Alzheimer's progresses, and what early signs of the disease can be uncovered. Lacreuse is also recording behavioral measures in animal models such as memory impairment and sleep disturbances.
Read full article from Lab Animal

New views into the hearts and minds of preschoolers

child reads book in classroom


Imaging methods to allow researchers a more in-depth understanding of brain-heart coordination in young children

University of Massachusetts Amherst researchers have been awarded a $390,483 grant from the National Science Foundation to investigate the role of coordinated brain and heart activity in the rapid development of self-regulation in 3- to 5-year-olds.

Fall 2019 Newsletter

campus pond with sun shining on old chapel

Read our Fall 2019 Newsletter, including spotlights on our talented undergraduates, graduates, faculty, and alumni!

Read full issue

Features include:

  • PBS Open House, Oct. 25th 4:30-6:30 pm
  • Aspects of attention and vulnerability to distracted driving
  • Emotions and emergency medicine
  • Creativity in science, David Nikom '17
  • Finding neuromechanisms of decision making
  • PBS welcomes new faculty

Graduate peer mentors launch First Year Experience seminars

Graduate peer mentors outside Tobin Hall

L-r: Merika Wilson, Molly Mather, Sarah McCormick, and Joel Ginn

The First Year Experience is a continued orientation seminar series for incoming graduate students organized by PBS graduate peer mentors Sarah McCormick (Developmental Science), Joel Ginn (Social Psychology), Merika Wilson (Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience), and Molly Mather (Clinical Psychology).

New directions in adoption

Hal poses with members of Barnardos

Presentation to Barnados Australia staff, Sydney August 28, 2019. L-R: Penny Hood (Executive Manager, People & Practice); Kerry Moore (Executive Manager, Executive Manager Safety & Prevention Regional/Rural NSW & ACT); Mel Andrews (Executive Manager Safety & Prevention Metropolitan NSW); Professor Hal Grotevant (UMass Amherst); Dr. Robert Urquhart (Head of Knowledge, Outcomes and Research); and Lisa Vihtonen (Operations Manager, Adoptions).

Hal speaking at podiumHal Grotevant, Rudd Family Foundation Chair in Psychology, traveled to Sydney Australia in August 2019 to give a series of presentations and consult with university and private sector practice colleagues about new directions in adoption in the United States and in New South Wales.

Ervin Staub receives 2019 Kurt Lewin award from the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues

Ervin StaubErvin Staub, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, is the recipient of the 2019 Kurt Lewin award from the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues. This award is given “for outstanding contributions to the development and integration of psychological research and social action.”

PBS hosts high school students for Research Intensives Summer Program

Pictured left: Lisa Harvey (advisor), Tobias Shapiro, and Shannon Gair (grad student); Right: Yuying Liu

For 6-weeks this summer, PBS participated in the Research Intensives summer program, placing high-achieving high school students in professional working labs alongside distinguished faculty, graduate, and undergraduate students. Biology, Biochemistry, Physics, and Food Sciences also accepted students into their labs. A community of young scientists was created, giving students a chance to make connections with their peers while living at UMass Amherst. The program culminated in a research symposium where each student got a chance to share their completed project with colleagues and the public.

Creativity in Science | David Nikom ’17

David NikomWith a passion for science, David Nikom ’17 created his own path of learning and fun inspired by great teachers. Interested in neuroscience from an early age following a summer science camp, he’s never slowed down in his push to gain knowledge in the field. Nikom set realistic goals and acquired both the people skills and technical know-how to secure a fulfilling job in the biotech industry.

Finding neuromechanisms of decision making

Xingjie Chen stands at MRI scanner

The Neuro-Learning and Performance Lab combines fMRI and EEG techniques for the first time at UMass Amherst

What areas of our brain are activated when we make decisions? Xingjie Chen, developmental science doctoral student advised by Youngbin Kwak, is striving to uncover the neuromechanisms behind this action. She is studying what happens when people process decision making-related variables and make a final choice, such as when we opt to take a risk or play it safe. Her dissertation research will incorporate both functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and electroencephalography (EEG) technologies used simultaneously to gather data from human subjects. Chen’s project is the first at UMass Amherst to combine these two techniques.