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The Duke University Department of Psychology and Neuroscience would like to congratulate junior Khalid Hassan (Psychology BS major, Asian and Middle Eastern Studies & Chemistry minors) on being accepted into the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program. The Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program puts a large emphasis on investigating the cultural and historical components of our society. “I already had an interest in medicine and health, and I wanted to understand why the medical world is the way that it is,… read more about Psychology Major Khalid Hassan Awarded Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship »

Congratulations to Michael Xie, winner of the 2021 Karl E. Zener Award. This award is given annually to an undergraduate psychology major at Duke University who has shown outstanding performance and scholarship, as determined on the basis of both the honors thesis (evaluated by a committee of faculty members) and the total academic record. As part of Michael’s study, Interpersonal, Intrapersonal, and Contextual Predictors of Straight Men’s Negative Evaluations of Gay Men, Michael hypothesized that straight men… read more about Michael Xie wins 2021 Zener Award »

Bridgette Martin Hard, Associate Professor of the Practice of Psychology and Neuroscience, has received the 2021 Robert S. Daniel Teaching Excellence Award from the Society for the Teaching of Psychology. This honor is well-deserved recognition for the outstanding leadership & incomparable pedagogy of Hard, who also serves as the department's Director of Undergraduate Studies in Psychology. Hard is the Principal Investigator and director of the BRITElab (Behavioral Research in Teaching… read more about Bridgette Hard wins 2021 Robert S. Daniel Teaching Excellence Award »

Stella Powell-Williams, Grants and Contracts Manager, has been selected as a recipient of the Dean’s Pillars of Excellence Award for her continued contributions to the excellence of Trinity College of Arts & Sciences.   In a congratulatory email announcement, Chair Scott Huettel stated: "Stella has been a leader in our department whose many contributions to our grants management, to our administration, and to our culture have been critical for our continuing success during a most difficult year. Her… read more about Stella Powell-Williams receives 2021 Dean’s Award  »

The Department of Psychology & Neuroscience would like to congratulate all of our 2021 graduates. Learn more about this year's class, as well as view video messages, by following the links below: Psychology Graduates Neuroscience Graduates read more about Congratulations, Graduates! »

Six members of the Class of 2022 have been named to the inaugural class of Nakayama Scholars.  Juniors Sydney Albert, Carlee Goldberg, Erica Langan, Yi Xian “Lyndon” Lee, Ahn-Huy Nguyen, and Micalyn Struble were chosen for their stellar academics, leadership and demonstrated commitment to a career in public service. The Nakayama Public Service Scholarship is part of the university’s efforts to encourage students to use their Duke experience to engage with the large challenges facing communities around the world. The… read more about Six Students Named Inaugural Nakayama Public Service Scholars »

On Wednesday, more than 150 members of the Duke community gathered in front of Duke Chapel to share thoughts on the guilty verdict of Minneapolis policeman Derek Chauvin in the murder of George Floyd, a verdict that Trinity College Dean Valerie Ashby described as a “ray of light in a sea of darkness.” Thirty minutes of reflection on that moment and America’s history was followed by the ringing of the Duke Chapel bells for 9’29”, the period of time that Chauvin kept his knee across Floyd’s neck, preventing him from… read more about Duke Community Gathers to Reflect on Chauvin Verdict and the History of Violence Against Black Americans »

When the world shifted abruptly in March 2020, so too did the research programs of many Duke scholars.  Faculty members in myriad fields began gathering real-time data about the pandemic, including several scholars who analyzed various aspects of its psychological impact and are working to bring help to those most affected.  Here are a few examples: The COVID-19 Family Study and Coping Together Program Eve Puffer, assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience and global health, has spent much of her career building… read more about Eight Duke Scholars Examining the Mental Health Effects of the Pandemic »

A new student-operated texting platform called DukeLine has a single goal: improving the mental health of students through quick peer response. Managed by a team of 21 Duke undergraduates, the program provides anonymous peer support within minutes of outreach. “There are a lot of barriers to students reaching out for help, including personal shame, skepticism about effectiveness and concerns about being misunderstood,” said Nancy Zucker, an associate professor in psychiatry and behavioral sciences who advises the program… read more about ‘In-the-Moment’ Mental Health Support for Students From Their Peers »

Faculty members Thomas Newpher and Minna Ng were selected the winners of  the best poster award at the 20th annual meeting of the Team-Based Learning Collaborative. Their poster abstract was titled: Class Size and Student Performance in Team-Based Learning.  Team-Based Learning (TBL) is a popular form of small-group collaborative learning. In TBL, students work together in permanent teams throughout the course term, and are motivated to learn through the use of… read more about Faculty members Minna Ng and Thomas Newpher win best poster award at 2021 TBLC conference »

The Office for Faculty Advancement has awarded seed grants to 14 faculty-led projects exploring new ideas and expanding existing initiatives to promote an equitable and inclusive academic environment at Duke. The theme for this cycle was "Confronting Racism and Bias: Fostering an Inclusive Community." Faculty Advancement Seed Grants provide a financial head start for novel faculty development initiatives within academic units. 2021-22 Faculty Advancement Seed Grants Art, Art History and Visual Studies Anti-Racist Pedagogy… read more about Seed Grants Help Faculty Lead the Way in Confronting Racism and Bias »

by Sarah E. Gaither As a biracial person in an interracial marriage, I recognized so much of myself while watching Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s interview with Oprah. I like to think that I have something of a cosmic connection to Meghan Markle, the former actor who married Prince Harry, of the British royal family. I too am a biracial Black-white woman who married a white man. My first child is also named Archie (well, mine is a pit bull mix, but still a coincidence), and I also sit here pregnant (expecting… read more about Many Interracial Couples Know Exactly What Meghan Markle Went Through »

The Neuroscience Majors' Union (NMU) recently hosted its first art competition. Duke students were asked to submit artwork that expresses an idea, interest in, or an inspiration related to neuroscience. Three winners were selected and awarded prizes. The NMU website has archived all the works from the 2020-2021 Art Contest. See entries here. read more about Neuroscience Majors' Union Hosts Art Competition »

DURHAM, N.C. – People grow old at different rates, regardless of what the calendar says. And for those whose bodies age more quickly, the cumulative effects show up as early as midlife, when signs of dementia and physical frailty begin to emerge, according to a study led by Duke researchers. The findings, appearing Monday in the journal Nature Aging, suggest that identifying and treating the diseases of old age should begin by the time people celebrate their 45th birthday, before the problems escalate, degrade quality of… read more about Frailties of Old Age Just Hit Some People Earlier Than Others »

DURHAM, N.C. – For decades, psychologists’ study of emotional health and well-being has involved contrived laboratory experiments and self-report questionnaires to understand the emotional experiences and strategies study participants use to manage stress. But those hundreds of studies may have taken for granted a pretty big complicating factor, argues a new study from Duke University and Dartmouth College. The study, which appears March 12 in PLOS One, says the background level of anxiety a person normally experiences… read more about Lab Studies Of Emotion and Well-Being May Be Missing Real-World Anxiety  »

It is with great enthusiasm that the Department of Psychology & Neuroscience welcomes Tamar Kushnir, PhD as a new member of its faculty. In a message to the community, department chair Scott Huettell stated: "Dr. Kushnir is a leading scholar of cognitive development whose work has sparked fundamental insights in causal learning, statistical sampling, prosocial behavior, and many other topics. She is an also an accomplished mentor and an enthusiastic teacher – someone whose impact will be broadly felt… read more about Department welcomes new faculty member Tamar Kushnir »

The following interview is reprinted from Duke Business Oriented Women’s Alumni Spotlight series. Janvi Shah is a first-year student at Harvard Business School in Cambridge, MA. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, she moved across the country to Duke, graduating in 2015 with a major in Neuroscience and minors in both Computer Science and Finance. At Duke, she was the Program Director for FEMMES (Females Excelling More in Math, Engineering, and Science) and founded StartupConnect, Duke’s first startup-… read more about Q&A with Janvi Shah ‘15, MBA Candidate, Harvard Business School »

The Duke University Department of Psychology and Neuroscience is pleased to announce that senior Nathan Liang (Psychology major, Philosophy minor) is the recipient of the 2020-2021 Jerome S. Bruner Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research.  Liang’s research focuses on moral psychology. He is interested in, “understanding how we think about actions and beliefs as right and wrong especially in relation to deep-seated religious and political beliefs.” Liang utilized our Undergraduate Research Grants, made possible by… read more about Senior Nathan Liang Receives 2020-2021 Jerome S. Bruner Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research »

Members of the Yin Lab including supervisor Dr. Henry Yin, former post-doctoral associate Dr. Glenn Watson, and current Ph.D. candidate in the Systems and Integrative Neuroscience program Ryan Hughes, have discovered a new functional pathway in the brain going from the parafascicular nucleus of the thalamus to the subthalamic nucleus, naming it the ‘super-direct’ pathway. In a recently published paper in AAAS, the team found that by selectively stimulating this pathway, movement and natural behavior were restored in… read more about Yin Lab discovers new ‘super-direct’ functional pathway in the brain »

DURHAM, N.C. -- A new pair of studies from a Duke research team’s long-term work in New Zealand make the case that mental health struggles in early life can lead to poorer physical health and advanced aging in adulthood. But because mental health problems peak early in life and can be identified, the researchers say that more investment in prompt mental health care could be used to prevent later diseases and lower societal healthcare costs. “The same people who experience psychiatric conditions when they are young go on to… read more about Growing Evidence That Mentally Ill Youths Become Less Healthy Adults »

Professor Kevin LaBar has accepted the invitation to serve as Associate Chair of the Department of Psychology & Neuroscience for a three-year term beginning July 1, 2021. He will serve alongside Professor Elizabeth Marsh who will concurrently begin her term as Department Chair. In a letter to colleagues, Dean Ashby shared: "We are grateful to Kevin for agreeing to take on this leadership role." Dr. LaBar comes to the role of associate chair having served as the Associate Director of the Center for… read more about Kevin LaBar to serve as Associate Chair of the Department of Psychology & Neuroscience »