image description
342021Volume 34, Issue2March/April 2021
Emerging Methods in Neuroscience Research
The human brain contains more than 100 billion neurons and trillions of connections. In these six articles, we explore how psychological scientists are unpacking its mysteries in research labs all over the world.

About the Observer

The Observer is the online magazine of the Association for Psychological Science and covers matters affecting the research, academic, and applied disciplines of psychology. The magazine reports on issues of interest to psychologist scientists worldwide and disseminates information about the activities, policies, and scientific values of APS.

APS members receive a monthly Observer newsletter that covers the latest content in the magazine. Members also may access the online archive of Observer articles going back to 1988.

Read more

Latest Under the Cortex Podcast

Trending Topics >

  • Thumbnail Image for Disaster Response and Recovery

    Disaster Response and Recovery

    Disasters like Hurricane Florence and Typhoon Mangkhut draw massive media coverage, trauma interventions, and financial donations to victims. But psychological research shows the efforts don’t always yield the intended benefits.


Up Front

  • Innovative Methods and Scientific Progress

    Shinobu Kitayama We are living in a time of unprecedented methodological innovations in psychology. Neuroscience has come onto center stage in the field. Epigenetics, an area of science that examines how environments influence genes, is no longer a mere theoretical possibility. Big data is increasingly common, which has forced rapid progress in advanced statistics. And many of us are increasingly aware of the need to sample subject populations widely and broadly, both to represent everyone around the globe in our science and, simultaneously, to enrich and improve our theories. Our time, I believe, is remarkable because of these methodological innovations. Or is it?   To explore this question, it is worth reflecting on what methodological innovations in science might do to both the field and the scientists working in it. Why are methodological innovations so essential?

Recent Research

  • Research Briefs

    Narratives Shape Cognitive Representations of Immigrants and Immigration-Policy Preferences  Joel E. Martinez, Lauren A. Feldman, Mallory J. Feldman, and Mina Cikara  Psychological Science  Different narratives about immigrants can shape public perceptions and policy preferences involving immigrants, this research suggests. Adult U.S. residents read short stories about the achievement, criminality, or struggles of German, Russian, Syrian, and Mexican male immigrants. Reading achievement stories led participants to homogenize individual immigrants’ representations, making them less based on racial differences, whereas criminality and struggle stories led participants to racialize immigrants according to their “Whiteness” by creating two groups: immigrants from Germany and Russia and those from Syria and Mexico.

Government Relations

APS Spotlight

  • 2021 APS Janet Taylor Spence Awards

    Every year since 2010, the APS Janet Taylor Spence Award for Transformative Early Career Contributions has honored the most creative and promising researchers who embody the future of psychological science. The award, named for APS’s first elected president, recognizes seven psychological scientists in 2021 for their innovative research impacting areas ranging from understanding the mechanisms that can contribute to antisocial behavior to facilitating greater access to evidence-based psychological interventions for common conditions such as depression and anxiety.  The Observer asked recipients to share their proudest achievements and ongoing research. Learn more about the Spence Awards, and see past recipients. Listen to a conversation with several 2021 Spence recipients on APS's Under the Cortex podcast.


First Person

More From This Issue