University of Southern California http://dornsife.usc.edu/nestlab What does your research focus on? I am fascinated by how social interconnections, particularly within families, shape our bodies and brains. For example, are spouses’ cortisol levels coordinated? How do early family environments influence youths’ neural and physiological reactivity? Dreaming up lab acronyms may be the academic’s version of doodling your future spouse’s surname in your journal.
Kristen M. Kennedy
The University of Texas at Dallas http://bbs.utdallas.edu/people/detail.php5?i=1061 What does your research focus on? I am most generally interested in brain-behavior relationships as we age, or the cognitive neuroscience of aging. Specifically, I study how changes to the brain’s structure with age correspond to the changes we see in cognition as we age. Interestingly, there is not a one-to-one relationship in this process because our brains are malleable to cope with the biological effects of aging, and our cognitive strategies may also re-arrange to cope with decrements to brain structure.
Martin M. Monti
University of California, Los Angeles http://montilab.psych.ucla.edu What does your research focus on? My research focuses on two questions confronting the most characterizing aspects of the human mind: 1) “What is the relationship between language and thought?” and 2) “How and why is consciousness lost and (sometimes) recovered after severe brain injury?” With respect to the first question, I focus on high-level cognition, including arithmetic and music cognition, and logic inference. Does the structure of natural language provide a scaffolding upon which we developed structure-dependent thought in other domains of cognition?
Claremont McKenna College cmcmeatlab.com What does your research focus on? I study the influence of discrete emotions on social and moral judgment, with a particular interest in the adaptive importance of these states. Usually this involves constructing realistic social situations in the lab meant to elicit a particular emotional state from participants, and then measuring its effects on phenomena such as trust, cooperation, altruism, blame, or punishment. What drew you to this line of research and why is it exciting to you? I fell into this topic serendipitously.
University of California, Santa Cruz http://people.ucsc.edu/~bcstorm/research.html What does your research focus on? My research focuses broadly on human memory with a special focus on the causes and consequences of forgetting. Although forgetting may seem like a failure of memory, in many instances it is essential for the efficient and adaptive functioning of memory. Some of my research has shown that forgetting is critical for resolving competition during retrieval, overcoming fixation in creative problem solving, updating autobiographical memory, and facilitating new learning. What drew you to this line of research and why is it exciting to you?
R. Nathan Spreng
Cornell University http://lbc.human.cornell.edu/ What does your research focus on? My research examines large-scale brain network dynamics and their role in cognition. I am actively involved in the development and implementation of multivariate and network-based statistical approaches to assess brain activity. In doing so, I hope to better understand the properties of the brain networks underlying complex cognitive processes as they change across the lifespan. Currently, I am investigating the link between autobiography and imagination, how we conceive of the future, and successful navigation of the social world.