Darcia Narvaez, professor of psychology in the Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters and a fellow in the Institute for Educational Initiatives, has been named one of two winners of the first Expanded Reason Award for research. The award was given by University Francisco de Vitoria and the Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI Vatican Foundation to recognize innovation in scientific research and academic programs based on Benedict XVI’s proposal to broaden the horizons of reason. Narvaez’s book, Neurobiology and the Development of Human Morality: Evolution, Culture and Wisdom, was chosen from among more than 360 total entries from 170 universities and 30 countries.
Notre Dame Associate Professors Lijuan Wang, Guangjian Zhang, and Zhiyong Zhang have recently been elected to the Society for Multivariate Experimental Psychology. A small, selective society that facilitates high-level research and interaction among its affiliates, SMEP is limited to 65 active members. With the trio’s election, Notre Dame’s Department of Psychology now has six members in the society—no other department in the country has more.
Seven graduate students in Notre Dame’s Department of Psychology recently won competitive fellowships and scholarships, including Ian Campbell who has been awarded a 2016 Graduate Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation.
The National Institutes of Health has awarded researchers at the University of Notre Dame a $3 million grant to study the relationships between parents and infants, the first study of its kind that will include fathers as well as mothers as participants. The researchers, who will work with babies living with their married or co-habiting parents, will study the stability of the parents’ relationship and its effect on the wellbeing of their baby. Parents will go through a program designed to encourage healthy parenting and communication
Lee Anna Clark, chair of Notre Dame’s Department of Psychology, will receive two lifetime achievement awards this year, reflecting the way in which her work has bridged two major areas of psychology. The Society for Personality and Social Psychology presented her with the Jack Block Award for Distinguished Research in Personality in January. The Society for Research in Psychopathology will honor her with the Zubin Award later in the year.
For Katie Paige and Laura Heiman, research hasn’t just shaped their undergraduate experiences—it’s shaped their futures, as well. The two senior psychology majors have both gained significant research experience throughout their time at Notre Dame, writing senior theses and working closely with faculty members as they study topics ranging from depression to childhood development.
It didn’t take long for Nathan Rose to make an impact at Notre Dame. Just a few months after joining the faculty, he became the first member of the Department of Psychology to have a study published in the journal Science — and the second ever from the College of Arts and Letters. Rose, an assistant professor, examined a fundamental problem the brain has to solve — keeping information “in mind,” or active — so actions can be guided accordingly.
Graduate students Kristina Krasich, Raquael Joiner, Tony Cunningham, and Caroline Scheid recently received awards for their research.
As an undergraduate at Notre Dame, David Barlow ’64 was known as a good listener with a penchant for practical jokes and above all, a fascination with the human mind. Barlow turned that curiosity into a fruitful career as a clinical psychologist. A professor emeritus at Boston University, he is the founder and director emeritus of the institution’s Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders.
A new study from Nathan Rose, assistant professor of psychology, examined a fundamental problem your brain has to solve, which is keeping information “in mind,” or active, so your brain can act accordingly. Rose and his team give weight to the synaptic theory, a less well-known and tested model that suggests that information can be retained for short periods of time by specific changes in the links, or weights, between neurons.
With a growing need for skilled data scientists, the University of Notre Dame, in collaboration with AT&T, has announced its new online master of science degree with a specialization in data science. Offered by the Department of Applied and Computational Mathematics and Statistics, with the collaboration of the Department of Psychology, the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, and the Mendoza College of Business, this degree program will prepare graduates for careers as data scientists in a wide range of industry fields fields including management, marketing, information technology, government policy, health care, finance, education and scientific research.
How people react to stress–both psychologically and physically–can have implications for a person’s health and well-being, including how well they age. Professor of Psychology and Associate Vice President for Research Cindy Bergeman is conducting a 10-year study based on how different people respond to stress, why they react the way they do, and the different ways people cope.
Laura Miller-Graff was appointed to the William J. Shaw Center for Children and Families Assistant Professor in Psychology in recognition of her outstanding work as a scholar, teacher, and University citizen.
Scott E. Maxwell, Matthew A. Fitzsimons Professor of Psychology in Notre Dame’s Department of Psychology, is retiring at the end of the academic year. A professor since 1988, he came to Notre Dame as an associate professor in 1982 from the University of Houston. He twice served as chair of the department, has co-authored three books, and has authored or co-authored more than 150 journal articles or book chapters. The following are reflections and tributes to him from academic colleagues from his department and around the country.
While working at a childhood bereavement center after college, Amy K. Nuttall Ph.D. ’15 saw firsthand how resilient kids can be. She was inspired to research parentification, or the act of children assuming adult caretaking roles in their families, in her graduate work in developmental psychology at Notre Dame. She now continues to explore the issue at Michigan State University, where she landed a position as an assistant professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies and directs the Family Stress Lab.
Notre Dame students in the College of Arts and Letters’ newest major see neuroscience and behavior as great preparation for any number of exciting careers. Whether they plan to pursue medical school or graduate school, clinical research or lab work, neuroscience majors can customize the curriculum to fit their needs. Students are also able to integrate research opportunities based on their individual interests.
Computers are astounding devices, but they aren’t great listeners. They can’t lend a hand when users struggle to find a file, don’t understand what they are reading, or fall asleep studying for a test. But that may all change someday soon. Sidney D’Mello, an assistant professor of psychology and computer science at the University of Notre Dame, is tackling research at the intersection of cognition and emotion during complex learning and problem-solving. Through several projects he’s leading or collaborating on, D’Mello is creating real-time computational models built from extensive lab- and school-based research, with the long-term, big-picture goal of making computers more humanlike so they can guide us in learning—at work, at school, and in daily life.
How should a concerned mother discuss issues of diet and weight with her daughter? Very carefully, according to Erin Hillard, a developmental psychology doctoral student at the University of Notre Dame. In an article recently published in the journal Body Image, Hillard and her colleagues reported on results from their study of a representative group of sixth- through eighth-grade girls and their mothers.
The key to improving human memory, Notre Dame psychology graduate student Andrea Kalchik believes, is understanding the circumstances that cause us to forget. “Everyday forgetting is something that impacts everyone to some extent,” she said. “My research has the potential to help improve all people’s lives. I hope that I can make that difference.” Kalchik, a Presidential University Fellow pursuing a Ph.D. in the Department of Psychology’s Cognition, Brain, and Behavior Area, is focusing her research on brain processes—metamemory, episodic future thinking, and prospective memory—that are essential components of human brain function.
Did you receive affection, play freely, and feel supported in childhood? Childhood experiences like these appear to have a lot to do with well-being and moral capacities in adulthood. In a forthcoming article in the journal Applied Developmental Science, University of Notre Dame professor of psychology Darcia Narvaez and colleagues Lijuan Wang and Ying Cheng, associate professors of psychology, show that childhood experiences that match with evolved needs lead to better outcomes in adulthood.