Brian M. D’Onofrio
Indiana University, USA www.iub.edu/~devpsych/ What does your research focus on? My research focuses on identifying the mechanisms through which environmental factors, such as pregnancy-related, parental, and neighborhood risks, are associated with child and adolescent psychopathology. I am currently utilizing three approaches to specify these developmental processes: (1) quasi-experimental designs, including the comparison of differentially exposed siblings, twins, and offspring of twins; (2) longitudinal analyses; and (3) randomized-control, intervention studies. What drew you to this line of research? Why is it exciting to you?
Rotman Research Institute, Baycrest www.nigelgopie.com What does your research focus on? How does memory facilitate our communication? Memory underlies our ability to retrieve the name of a colleague or to remember what we said to a friend a week ago so we do not repeat a joke or information. My research focuses on how memory facilitates these socially important tasks. What drew you to this line of research? Why is it exciting to you? Forgetting the names of familiar people and prefacing conversations with, “Have I told you this before?” is not just prevalent among older adults but it is also a common problem among people in my generation.
Duke University, USA http://duke.edu/~ab259/index.html What does your research focus on? Generally speaking, I study human memory and learning. However, I am particularly interested in how the act of retrieving information from memory affects subsequent memory for that information. Many people consider memory retrieval to be a neutral event, much like measuring someone’s weight. Just as stepping on a scale doesn’t change how much someone weighs, memory retrieval is assumed to reveal the contents of memory but leave them unchanged. However, a large body of research has shown that retrieving information from memory actually changes memory.
Royal Holloway University of London, UK What does your research focus on? My research focuses on intergroup relations, particularly acculturation and other phenomena affecting ethnic minorities. More recently, I have started to investigate predictors of charitable donations, a line of work I am currently very excited about. I approach this topic from an intergroup perspective — how do group memberships increase or reduce prosociality towards those in need? What drew you to this line of research? Why is it exciting to you?
Gregory R. Samanez-Larkin
Vanderbilt University, USA What does your research focus on? In general I am interested in how cognition and motivation develop and change over adulthood and into old age. Most of my recent work has specifically examined age-related change in learning and decision making — particularly related to finances. The larger goal of all of this work is to contribute to a more comprehensive model of human aging that integrates evidence and theory from psychology, neuroscience, and economics. What drew you to this line of research? Why is it exciting to you? The specific focus on aging is largely the result of hearing several talks by Laura Carstensen in 2002.
Iowa State University, USA www.jasonckchan.com What does your research focus on? My research focuses on memory illusions and memory interventions. Recently I started to merge these two interests together; the goal is to use memory enhancement techniques such as retrieval practice to reduce erroneous memories. Of course, we have known for a long time that memory can be malleable, so one question that interests me is “what can we do about it?” Memory intervention techniques (such as retrieval practice) can be used to reduce erroneous memories, and they can also be applied to enhance students’ learning in general, but even these interventions can have its limits.