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Psychological Scientists Awarded Nobel for Discovering Brain’s “GPS”

PAFF_101014_NobelEdvardMoser_NewsfeatureThree European psychological scientists will share the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their work discovering the brain’s “GPS system.”

John O’Keefe (University College London) and husband-and-wife team May-Britt Moser and Edvard Moser (Norwegian University of Science and Technology) are being awarded the prize in recognition of their basic research on memory and cognition that has contributed to our understanding of how the brain situates us in our physical environment and guides us from one place to another.

The Karolinska Institute in Sweden, which awards the Nobel Prize, said the three scientists have “solved a problem that has occupied philosophers and scientists for centuries — how does the brain create a map of the space surrounding us and how can we navigate our way through a complex environment?”

In 1971, O’Keefe identified nerve…


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Park Speaks on Cultural Neuroscience at NIH Seminar Series

Denise C. Park

Denise C. Park

Research in the emerging field of cultural neuroscience aims to illuminate how cultural values shape the neurobiology of behavior and neurological processes. APS Fellow Denise C. Park spoke about her research in this arena at a recent seminar series hosted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), in Washington, D.C. The seminar series, “Addressing Health Disparities through Neuroscience,” aims to increase awareness of the impact of neuroscience research in addressing health disparities.

It’s well understood that environmental factors can tap into the neuroplasticity of the human brain and lead to subtle shaping of neural structure and function. What we might not realize, says Park, is the fact that these environmental factors include cultural values and practices.

“There is sometimes a tendency to resist the idea that culture can affect some aspects of…


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Seligman Named Recipient of Inaugural TANG Prize

Martin E. P. Seligman Photo credit: Andrew J. Rosenthal

Martin E. P. Seligman, Director of the Positive Psychology Center and Zellerbach Family Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, has been named the recipient of the inaugural TANG Prize for Achievements in Psychology. The prize, awarded by the TANG Foundation in Toronto, Canada, was created to honor a scholar in psychology who is “internationally recognized” and whose work “has left an indelible mark on the field, particularly in its application to the psychological wellbeing of humanity.”

In a statement naming Seligman the prize recipient, the TANG Foundation applauded the role Seligman played in founding the field of positive psychology. This work has included major contributions to the study of interventions that aim to prevent depression. He is also known for identifying the phenomenon of learned helplessness and…


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‘The New Statistics’ Video Tutorial Is Now Online


Geoff Cumming

Leading scholars in psychology and other disciplines are advocating the use of the “new statistics” — effect sizes, confidence intervals, and meta-analysis — to help scientists enhance the way they conduct, analyze, and report their research. APS’s flagship journal, Psychological Science, has been inviting authors to use the new statistics as part of a comprehensive effort to enhance behavioral research.

In a new online tutorial workshop, APS Fellow Geoff Cumming, an emeritus professor at La Trobe University in Australia and a leader in the new statistics movement, explains why these changes are necessary and suggests ways psychological scientists can implement them. The workshop was recorded at the 2014 APS Annual Convention in San Francisco and is presented as six video segments. It makes extensive use of…


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APS Fellow Jennifer L. Eberhardt Named 2014 MacArthur ‘Genius’ Fellow

Jennifer Eberhardt Named 2014 MacArthur Fellow Stanford University social psychologist Jennifer L. Eberhardt has been named a 2014 MacArthur Fellow by The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The APS Fellow will receive a $625,000 stipend over 5 years for the purpose of following her own creative vision as a researcher. She is among 21 MacArthur Fellows chosen this year.

Eberhardt’s research reveals how unconscious racial biases associating African-Americans with crime can exert powerful effects on visual processing and behavior. Her studies have used statistical analysis to analyze how racially coded features, such as a defendant’s skin color and hair texture, impact the decisions of jurors and the harshness of sentencing.

Several of Eberhardt’s studies have demonstrated that faces that are perceived as more stereotypically “black” are more frequently associated with crime. In one study, police officers were more…


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