Plenary Sessions

Plenary Sessions

Thursday, May 25

Opening Ceremony and Keynote Address

6:00 PM – 7:15 PM

Causes and Consequences of Exploration Across Development

Catherine Alexandra Hartley, New York University

This Keynote Address will be preceded by an opening ceremony for the APS Annual Convention, including the presentation of a special Lifetime Achievement Award to APS’s Founding Executive Director, Alan G Kraut. 

Throughout our lives, we constantly face decisions of whether or not to engage with novel or uncertain aspects of our environments. Ecological studies of animal behavior and laboratory studies of humans suggest that how we make these decisions to explore exhibits systematic changes across the lifespan, but the causes of these developmental changes, as well as their consequences, are not well-characterized. In this talk, I will present studies of individuals navigating both laboratory tasks and real-world environments that highlight the tight coupling between novelty-seeking and affective states, and the differential effects of novelty and uncertainty on exploration across development. I will discuss how combining real-world data with in-lab studies can yield unique insights into the cognitive, computational, and neural mechanisms that drive exploratory behavior in ecological contexts.

Friday, May 26

Plenary Panel Session

9:00 AM – 10:00 AM

Aging Minds: Challenges and Opportunities

Chair: APS President Alison Gopnik, University of California, Berkeley

Marc Freedman, CoGenerate

Patricia Lockwood, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom

Susan T. Charles, University of California, Irvine

Smaller families and advances in the extension of health and life mean that there are fewer children and young people and many more elders than in the past, a demographic change that will only intensify in coming decades. What will the psychological consequences be? The obvious concern is that increasingly fragile elders will need care from a shrinking pool of younger adults. But elders also have the potential to continue to make significant and unique contributions, and particularly to help provide care, teaching, and knowledge to others, even though they may need care themselves to do so. Indeed, there is reason to think that elders are particularly suited to care for and teach younger people. This symposium will include cutting-edge research on the challenges and opportunities of our aging population.

Plenary Panel Session

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

The Effects of Early Adversity on the Mind and Brain

Chair: APS President Alison Gopnik, University of California, Berkeley

Seth Pollak, University of Wisconsin–Madison

Allyson Mackey, University of Pennsylvania

Willem Frankenhuis, Utrecht University, The Netherlands

Over the past 20 years, we’ve learned that early adversity has surprisingly broad and long-lasting effects on adult life. Children who experience more adversity are more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression as adults. Early adversity even makes physical diseases like heart disease and cancer more likely, as well as affecting income and education levels. The practical importance of these results is clear—improving the lives of children is one of the best investments we can make. But the mechanisms that lead to these effects are still mysterious—why would witnessing gun violence when you are five make you more likely to develop depression at 35 or heart disease at 55? In this symposium, experts in psychology, neuroscience, and evolutionary biology will present cutting-edge theoretical ideas and empirical results that may help explain just how early adversity influences the developing mind and brain.

Saturday, May 27

Awards Ceremony

9:00 AM – 10:00 AM

APS Awards Ceremony: A Celebration of Excellence

APS honors members throughout their careers with the field’s most prestigious awards and recognitions. The 2023 APS Awards Ceremony will recognize recipients of the James McKeen Cattell Fellow Award, James S. Jackson Lifetime Achievement Award for Transformative Scholarship, William James Fellow Award, Mentor Award, and Janet Taylor Spence Award for Transformative Early Career Contributions. Join your colleagues to celebrate these achievements in psychological science. A continental breakfast will be served. All convention attendees are invited to attend this event. Please note that space is limited.

View the 2023 APS Award Recipients

Keynote Address

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

The Role of Caregiving in Children’s Experience of Early Adversity

Brenda Jones Harden, Columbia University School of Social Work

This keynote presentation will provide a conceptual and empirical overview of how early adversity affects young children’s development. Hear findings from research on young children who have experienced socioeconomic and psychological adversity, with an emphasis on children exposed to early trauma in the context of poverty. Harden will highlight the role of caregiving—internal as well as external to the family—in attenuating the impact of adversity on young children. Finally, she will describe a major national longitudinal study examining the experiences and consequences of early adversity for U.S. children—the Healthy Brain and Child Development study (HBCD).