Lee Science Impact Program Supports Summer Research for PBS Students

The William Lee Science Impact Program (Lee SIP) is a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) within the College of Natural Sciences designed to expand and broaden participation in undergraduate research. The program provides students the opportunity to work on fun, novel, and interesting scientific questions by matching them with faculty members with similar research interests.

David Reinhard Awarded New Grants for the Study of International Conflict De-escalation

David Reinhard, a postdoctoral research associate in the Psychology of Peace and Violence Program working with faculty member Bernhard Leidner, has received new grants from the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI), the Society for the Study of Peace, Conflict, and Violence (APA Division 48), and the Society for Personality an

Interview with New Assistant Professor Tara Mandalaywala

What are some of the steps you took in life or influences that brought you to your current area of research?

I’ve wanted to be a scientist since I was a little kid. My parents had an exhibitor booth at the annual Society for Neuroscience conference and they would take me and my younger brother with them, for our family “vacation”. While there, I learned that scientists and professors weren’t these scary, intimidating individuals; they were silly, kind, interesting people who let me ask them a million questions and encouraged my curiosity. I knew I wanted to be one of them when I grew up. Although I knew what I wanted to be, I took a somewhat windy path to end up studying the particular research questions I investigate now.

Interview with New Assistant Professor Allecia Reid

What are some of the steps you took in life or influences that brought you to your current area of research?

My primary line of research examines influences of social factors (e.g., social networks, mimicry, conformity) on alcohol use.   However, my research did not focus on alcohol use in graduate school— my master’s examined HIV risk behavior and my dissertation examined sun protection.  I soon realized, though, that alcohol use was the ideal domain for examining peer influences on health.  I therefore sought out postdoctoral training in Brown University’s Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies.  It provided the exposure and experiences I needed to be able to conduct informed research in this area. 

PBS Welcomes New Lecturer Amanda Hamel

amanda hamelAmanda Hamel is absolutely thrilled to be joining the PBS faculty next Fall to teach Behavioral Neuroscience and to coordinate the Junior Writing program. Amanda is a UMass alumna whose research focused on the effects of early experience on the development of different components of the stress response. She has previously taught Behavioral Neuroscience through Continuing and Professional Education and sections of Junior Writing at UMas

PBS Welcomes New Lecturer Danielle Samuels

danielle samuelsDanielle Samuels received her PhD in Developmental Psychology from the University of California, Riverside in 2018. Her research focuses on the development of internalizing problems across the transition from childhood to adolescence. Specifically, she is interested in the roles of puberty and sociocultural factors in explaining the emergence and changes in anxiety and depression during this transition period.

The Sleep Monitoring Lab: Research Highlights

The Sleep Monitoring Lab, directed by Rebecca Spencer, is part of the Human Testing Center within the Life Science Laboratories. It houses three bedrooms and a central control room for observing sleeping participants. To measure sleep, the Lab uses polysomnography (PSG), a montage of recordings of brain through electroencephalography (EEG), eye movements through electrooculography (EOG), and muscle activity through electromyography (EMG). A person’s heart rhythm can also be recorded using an electrocardiogram (EKG). This combination of information allows researchers to characterize sleep into one of four stages: non-REM stages 1, 2, 3 and REM (rapid eye movement).

Rebecca Spencer Examines the Role of Sleep in Memory Processing

Rebecca SpencerRebecca Spencer, has received a five-year, $2.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, which renews an earlier grant from NIH’s National Institutes of Aging to support work on sleep and memory in older adults.

Spencer and colleagues will use the MRI in the Human Magnetic Resonance Center at the Institute of Applied Life Sciences to look at how memories are encoded in the brain before sleep and how they are changed by sleep compared to wakefulness in older adults compared to younger adults.