Author: Rodriguez, Atziri

Call for IBRAiN Applications

The Institute for the Brain and Cognitive Sciences (IBACS) is inviting graduate students to apply for the IBACS-BIRC Research Assistantships in Neuroimaging (IBRAiN) Program. These graduate assistantships are for 10 hours per week during the Fall (2023) and Spring (2024) semesters at the Brain Imaging Research Center (BIRC). During the first year, assistants will be trained in neuroimaging methods, data science, and reproducibility. Assistants will spend the remaining allocated hours at BIRC, supporting users of BIRC facilities. This could involve helping design and implement experimental procedures for fMRI, EEG, TMS etc., recruitment and prepping of participants, data analysis, or overseeing use of equipment by others. Applicants will be expected to commit to the full duration of the assistantship (Fall & Spring). Funds may be available during Summer 2024 to enable IBRAiN students to pursue their own research at BIRC. IBRAiN students also receive an allocation of 20 hours of resource time to be used at BIRC during the course of the fellowship. 

Up to three students will be supported in the 2023-2024 cycle. Students will participate in common training activities, but will primarily specialize in one ofthree roles at BIRC. Applicants should indicate which role(s) they wish to be considered for. 

1. Research software engineer. This role assists researchers in data analysis, particularly functional MRI, using existing software, and engineering and implementing new analytic tools when needed. Qualified candidates will have demonstrated proficiency in Python, MATLAB, or Julia, and Unix like computing environments. 

2. User support. This role assists researchers in using BIRC facilities, including experimental design and setup, equipment training, data management, and maintaining documentation resources. Qualified candidates will have prior experience in designing and running in-person experiments. Familiarity with Python or MATLAB is preferred. 

3. MR Operator. This role assists researchers in obtaining functional and structural MRI data by learning how to operate the Siemens Prisma 3T MRI Scanner to perform brain research studies. Qualified candidates will have demonstrated an understanding of MRI safety, a high level of reliability, and the ability to work with participants across the lifespan.

The deadline for receipt of applications will be midnight on Friday, February 24, 2023

Subject to funding constraints, these assistantships could be renewed for a further year. Please refer to the full details and access the application on ourIBRAiN webpage

If you have any questions, please contact the Institute Coordinator, Crystal Mills at crystal.mills@uconn.edu.

COGS Colloquium: Dr. Naselaris on 2/24

The Cognitive Science Program invites you to a talk on 2/24!

Speaker: Dr. Thomas Naselaris, an Associate Professor from Department of Neuroscience at the University of Minnesota.

Time & Location: 4PM, Friday February 24th, 2023, in Oak Hall Room 117. Light refreshments will be provided. 

RSVP Form 

Talk Title: “Why Do We Have Mental Images?”

 

AbstractEveryone who experiences mental imagery is the world expert on the contents of their own mental images. We argue that this privileged perspective on one’s own mental images provides very limited understanding about the function of mental imagery, which can only be understood by proposing and testing hypotheses about the computational work that mental images do. We propose that mental imagery functions as a useful form of inference that is conditioned on visual beliefs. We implement this form of inference in a simple generative model of natural scenes, and show that it makes testable predictions about differences in tuning to seen and imagined features. We confirm these predictions with a large-scale fMRI experiment in which human brain activity was sampled while subjects generated hundreds of mental images. We speculate that ongoing mental imagery may impact the structure of noise correlations in the visual system, and present a preliminary analysis of the Natural Scenes Dataset that appears to be consistent with these speculations. 

Bio: Thomas is an Associate Professor in the Department of Neuroscience at the University of Minnesota, and a member of the Medical Discovery Team on Optical Imaging and Brain Science at the Center for Magnetic Resonance Research. He is co-founder and currently Executive Chair of the Conference on Cognitive Computational Neuroscience.

Cog Sci Major Evan Zysman

A senior in the Cog Sci major, Mr. Evan Zysman, was first author on a poster presentation this month at the Boston University Conference on Language Development. BUCLD is widely considered the most prestigious (and selective) conference in the field of child language acquisition. Evan will now be first author on a paper to be published in the conference proceedings.

COGS & SLAC Talk on 12/16: Jonathan Peelle

The Cognitive Science and SLAC programs invite you to a talk on 12/16! 

 

 

 

Speaker: Dr. JonathanPeelle, an Associate Professor from theCenter for Cognitive and Brain Health at Northeastern University.

Time & Location: The talk will begin at 4PM, Friday December 16th, 2022, in the Dodd Center Konover AuditoriumLight refreshments will be available at 3:15PM. Please RSVP in advance. Virtual Attendance options are provided in the form. 

Talk Title:Cognitive consequences of acoustic challenge during spoken communication”

AbstractEveryday communication is full of acoustic challenges, including background noise, competing talkers, or assistive devices. How do listeners understand speech in the midst of this noise? Evidence from multiple sources is consistent with a shared resource framework of speech comprehension in which domain-general cognitive processes supported by discrete regions of frontal cortex are required for successfully understanding speech. These increased cognitive demands can be captured using behavior, pupillometry, and functional brain imaging. Although frequently studied in the context of hearing loss, these principles have broader implications for our understanding of how auditory and cognitive factors interact during spoken language comprehension.

Bio: Jonathan is a cognitive neuroscientist who studies the neuroscience of human communication, aging, and hearing impairment at the Center for Cognitive and Brain Health at Northeastern University. He also has two podcasts: “The Brain Made Plain” where he interviews cognitive neuroscientists about their work, and “The Juice and the Squeeze” in which he and a co-host talk about different aspects of being in academia.

 

 

Cognitive Science Student Abroad Travel Award Program

The Cognitive Science Program is excited to announce that it will be continuing the Cognitive Science Study Abroad Travel Award Program for another year!  

  

Travel awards are available to UConn undergraduate students majoring or minoring in Cognitive Science. Priority will be given to students attending the Interdisciplinary Ethnography Field Summer School in Mauritius, the Neuroscience Study Abroad Summer Program in Salamanca, Spain, and UConn Brain & Behavior in Tel Aviv, Israel. Courses taken through these summer programs can be counted towards the Cognitive Science degree. The Cognitive Science program is willing to review other international travel scenarios on a case-by-case basis. 

 

This award program operates with a rolling deadline. Once funds are exhausted, the application will close. 

 

Deadline:  Students may apply for the COGS travel award at any time. However, travel awards will be contingent on (a) applying and being accepted into a study abroad program and (b) sharing an official acceptance notification with us.  

 

Priority consideration will be given to students who (1) are members of a group that is underrepresented at the University of Connecticut; or (2) have overcome obstacles such as socioeconomic, educational, or other societal disadvantages (arising, for example, through prejudice and/or discrimination); or (3) have worked with such groups to help overcome these or other obstacles. 

 

Questions regarding the Cognitive Science Study Abroad Travel Award Program may be sent to the Cognitive Science Director, erika.skoe@uconn.edu. 

 

Please visit the Study Abroad Travel Award webpage for more information, including eligibility requirements and how to apply.  


Reminder: IBACS Summer Grad Fellowship Applications Due 12/2

The Connecticut Institute for the Brain and Cognitive Sciences (CT IBACS) is inviting applications to its Graduate Fellowship Program.

These summer fellowships are intended for graduate students working on topics with relevance (broadly construed) to the Brain and Cognitive Sciences. IBACS Graduate Fellows attend a short grant-writing workshop and will be expected to submit an application to the NSF GRFP, NRSA (pre- or post-doctoral fellowship), or equivalent.

Deadline for receipt of applications is Friday, December 2nd, 2022.

Graduate students who are not US citizens are eligible to apply and are expected to work with their advisor to develop an external research proposal if they are not eligible for graduate fellowships. Students who were fellows in summer 2021 may apply if they submitted the external grant proposal they developed last year and it was not funded, with the expectation that they will revise their previous grant or develop a new one.

Please refer to the full details here before you apply. If you have any questions, please contact Crystal Mills at crystal.mills@uconn.edu

NEUROSCIENCE at STORRS: CALL FOR PARTICIPATION

Dear Colleagues,

You are cordially invited to the 25th annual Neuroscience at Storrs event, which will be held on Tuesday November 8th and Wednesday November 9th 2022.  This event is hosted by the Interdisciplinary Program in Neuroscience, and it is the oldest cross-discipline neuroscience event on campus.  Please forward this message to any interested people.

DAY I. Tuesday November 8th 4:00 pm, Dodd Center Konover Auditorium  

Amanda Lauer Ph.D., Associate Professor of Otolaryngology, Johns Hopkins University  

Title: “Role of the auditory brain-to-ear efferent feedback system in hearing across the lifespan”  

  

DAY II. Wednesday November 9th

Dodd Center Konover Auditorium  

3:00-3:45 Grad Student/Postdoc Data Blitz  

3:45-4:30 Trainee Career Panel  

4:30-5:30 Amy Newman Ph.D., Scientific Director, NIDA Intramural Research Program  

Title: “Novel and atypical dopamine transport inhibitors for the treatment of psychostimulant use disorders”  

Bousfield PSYC Atrium   

6:00-8:30 Poster Session and Reception  

 

CALL FOR POSTERS AND DATA BLITZ PRESENTATIONS: 

We will be hosting short-format podium presentations (data blitz) from grad students and postdocs (up to 8 possible 5-minute talks), and a poster session from grad students, postdocs, and undergrads. Students and postdoctoral fellows FROM ALL AREAS OF NEUROSCIENCE are enthusiastically encouraged to participate in the poster or data blitz presentations. Please sign up at: 

https://nam10.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fneuroscience.uconn.edu%2Fneuroscience-at-storrs-rsvp%2F&data=05%7C01%7C%7Cb19e263ac50f4cca8f1d08dab2cfbde1%7C17f1a87e2a254eaab9df9d439034b080%7C0%7C0%7C638018902554103725%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&sdata=j4Ucn2eD7ATqzQqAvmXY%2FxOWom9k1OzmJJhN177dFDk%3D&reserved=0

INSTRUCTIONS: 

The website lists information about the event, and below that there are menus for entering information if you are either a) attending only b) presenting a poster, and c) presenting at the data blitz (limited numbers only). Please follow the link, scroll through the menu and enter the relevant information by Thursday November 3rd.  

Oct 21/22: Workshop “Conditional Thought and Talk”

Dear all:

We are pleased to announce our workshop

Conditional Thought and Talk: Semantic, Pragmatic, and Cross-linguistic Perspectives

held at the Heritage Room (Homer Babbidge Library, Room 4118) on Friday, October 21 and Saturday, October 22.

organized by Mitch Green (Philosophy) and Magdalena and Stefan Kaufmann (Linguistics) as part of theSuppositional Thought and Talk project. The project explores conditional sentences and related expressions from different perspectives at the intersection between Linguistics, Philosophy and Psychology: their form and meaning across languages, their logical properties, and the reasoning behind their use and interpretation. We have assembled a group of top international experts on these topics for what we expect will be two stimulating days of presentations and discussions. For details on the program, as well as more background on the project, please check the workshop webpage, and keep checking back for updates.

The workshop will be in-person and open to all (subject to seating availability). Do drop us a line if you plan to attend. Let us know if you have any questions.

We gratefully acknowledge support for this event from UConn College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; the UConn Humanities Institute; the UConn Cognitive Science Program; and the National Science Foundation.

Best regards,

Stefan, Magda, and Mitch

Reminder: IBACS Publication Awards Available

A reminder that The Connecticut Institute for the Brain and Cognitive Sciences (IBACS) launched the new IBACS Publication Award this Fall for faculty, graduate students, and post-docs. This award will provide a lump-sum payment up to $1.5K to cover all publication costs, or, up to 50% of the costs with a $3K cap on IBACS contribution. 
 
We are aware that publication costs are sometimes very high and are only increasing. Our goal is to help get work published into journals that the PI would otherwise not be able to publish in. The Institute’s ability to offer these awards is not guaranteed and will be reviewed on an annual basis. Any costs over the award are the responsibility of the recipient. 
 

The application process is rolling and will close once funds are exhausted. Please visit our award page for more information, including eligibility requirements and the form to apply!

New undergraduate course offering: COGS Language and Racism

New undergraduate course offering from Cog Sci:  COGS Language and Racism
We invite you to register for “COGS 2345, Language and Racism”,  Tuesdays & Thursdays from 12:30-1:45pm, co-sponsored by the Cognitive Science Program and co-taught by Dr. Letty Naigles and Dr. Bede Agocha. This course examines the relationships between language use, both historically and across the lifespan, and the social construction of race, racism, and racial identity, with particular emphasis on racial politics in the United States.
Prerequisites: Open to sophomores or higher. Recommended preparation: One course in AFRA or COGS.
Course overview:  LANGUAGE plays an immense, though often underrated role in nearly every domain of students’ lives, including where they live, who they love, what they learn, and whether and how they get and keep a job. Relatedly, then, language can also prevent all of the above. Language is a vehicle of racism because the language used by those in the majority or in power is artfully constructed to categorize people according to race and to place groups in deeply hierarchical relationships to one another.
Our course on Language and Racism deploys tools of the cognitive and psychological sciences to both illuminate and illustrate potential interventions for language racism.
  • We examine the linguistics and sociolinguistics of the language(s) used by Black communities in the U.S., including their origins, creolization, complex linguistic structure, and issues of stigma versus pride.
  • We examine the language of racism, including the types of discourse that construct Whiteness as dominant over Color, the processes of language standardization, and the ideologies of language and their interaction with group identity at both the local and national community levels.
  • We consider antiracism interventions that are language-based.
  • The course is project-based, with students learning to understand how language is used in their various social contexts as well as in contexts they can access via stored content. Students will learn to analyze their own and others’, famous and commonplace, racist and antiracist linguistic output/texts, using the Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC) computational tool, which analyzes texts as manifesting properties such as anger, authority, in-group, out-group, and fairness.