News

DURHAM, N.C. -- Duke juniors Monica Desjardins and Darien Herndon have been named two of 55 recipients of the Udall Scholarship, which recognizes students who have demonstrated a commitment to careers in the environment or Native American tribal public policy or health care. Both Desjardins, a psychology and global health major from Maricopa, Arizona, and Herndon, a biology major from Lumberton, North Carolina, have been recognized as scholars in the area of Native American tribal health care. Only 8 of the 55 scholarships… read more about Two Duke Students Awarded Udall Scholarships for Work in Native American Tribal Health Care »

Congratulations to the following student award winners from Duke University units in 2020.   African & African American Studies   John Hope Franklin Award for Academic Excellence: Elizabeth DuBard Grantland Karla FC Holloway Award for University Service: Beza Gebremariam Mary McLeod Bethune Writing Award: Jenna Clayborn Walter C. Burford Award for Community Service: Kayla Lynn Corredera-Wells   Art, Art History & Visual Studies        Mary Duke… read more about Student Honors and Laurels for 2020 »

Coronavirus is riding roughshod over American secondary education, creating myriad new problems for educators ranging from the basic logistics of classroom teaching to the challenge of helping children deal with a weighty new wave of confusion and anxiety.  But this global pandemic may also present an opportunity for education leaders to substantially re-think long-held education practices that could use some improvement, three Duke experts said Wednesday. In a virtual question-and-answer session with journalists, three… read more about How to Teach Kids at Home During Pandemic »

DURHAM, N.C. -- Eighteen Duke students and alumni have been awarded Fulbright placements to teach English, study and do research abroad during the 2020-2021 academic year. The Fulbright US Student Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program, offering opportunities in over 140 countries. The Fulbright award is designed to facilitate cultural exchange and increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and those of other countries. The awards are announced on a… read more about Eighteen Duke Students And Alumni Awarded Fulbright Scholarships »

2nd-year CNAP student Rachael Wright and RA Jack Dolgin have been awarded National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships (NSF GRFs); 1st-year CNAP student Raphael Geddert, and P&N students Anna Smith and Morgan Taylor received Honorable Mention. The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who… read more about Ph.D. Student Rachael Wright and Research Assistant Jack Dolgin Receive Prestigious NSF Fellowships »

Faculty member Gregory Samanez-Larkin has been selected as a 2020 Bass Fellow and appointment to a Bass Chair as the Jack H. Neeley Associate Professor of Psychology & Neuroscience. Samanez-Larkin’s research lies at the intersection of human development, affective science, health psychology, cognitive neuroscience, behavioral economics and experimental finance. His four undergraduate courses, including an upper-level seminar and a foundational statistics/data-analysis… read more about Gregory Samanez-Larkin Selected as 2020 Bass Fellow  »

Five Duke professors with demonstrated excellence in research and undergraduate instruction have been selected as the 2020 Bass Fellows. “This moment of crisis has highlighted the importance of having faculty who excel, both in teaching and in research,” said Gary Bennett, vice provost for undergraduate education. “Bass Fellows represent the best that Duke offers -- faculty with a commitment to discovery and delivering a transformational undergraduate education, one that changes lives and strengthens our global communities… read more about Five New Bass Professors Named for Excellence in Teaching and Research »

Thomas Newpher, P&N Assistant Professor of the Practice, and Ben Thier, Neuro major (’20), delivered the first-ever TEDxDuke joint student-professor talk: The Changing Landscape of Higher Education, on February 8, 2020 at Reynolds Industries Theater at Duke University. “It was the most humbling and fulfilling experience to end my senior year at Duke by giving this TEDx talk with my professor and mentor, Thomas Newpher… read more about Thomas Newpher and Ben Thier Deliver Talk at TEDxDuke  »

Doctoral student Jaime Castrellon of Psychology & Neuroscience, along with Amanda Lazarus (Art, Art History & Visual Studies),  has won the 2020 Bass Connections Award for Outstanding Mentorship. This award recognizes the vital role graduate students and postdoctoral scholars play in mentoring students on Bass Connections project teams. Among many strong nominations, those for Castrellon rose to the top. Nominations from fellow team members and leaders described the essential role he played in… read more about P&N Graduate Student Jaime Castrellon Honored for Commitment to Outstanding Mentorship »

"Dealing with coronavirus: it's OK to be anxious." Duke mental health share ways to deal with isolation and anxiety.Full article published in Duke Today April 8, 2020 by Eric Ferreri   Right now, it’s OK not to feel OK. In this unprecedented time of coronavirus-prompted social distancing, it’s unlikely that a person doesn’t encounter some level of anxiety or stress. But there are ways to approach it, according to three Duke experts who spoke to media Wednesday. Here are excerpts: ON BEING NORMALread more about P&N Professors Terrie Moffitt and Tim Strauman Share Supportive Guidance in the Challenging Time of Social Distancing  »

"We had our lives turned updside down very quickly." As a university community, we face tremendous challenges brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.  Duke staff and faculty everywhere are stepping up to keep the important work of the university and health system going. Working@Duke highlights these contributions in a new feature titled "Dedicated Devils". With nominations from colleagues, Dedicated Devils will showcase the work of Duke employees who go above and beyond during this trying time. If you would like to… read more about David Rabiner Recognized as 'Dedicated Devil': Rising to the Challenge During COVID-19 »

Right now, it’s OK not to feel OK. In this unprecedented time of coronavirus-prompted social distancing, it’s unlikely that a person doesn’t encounter some level of anxiety or stress. But there are ways to approach it, according to three Duke experts who spoke to media Wednesday. Here are excerpts: ON BEING NORMAL Timothy Strauman, professor of psychology and neuroscience: “If you’re not feeling unsettled and worried and projecting into the future, then you’re not paying attention. This is… read more about Dealing With Coronavirus: It’s OK To Be Anxious »

P&N graduate student Brenda Yang has been selected as one of 100 doctoral students in the United States and Canada to receive a Scholar Award from the P.E.O. Sisterhood. She was sponsored by Chapter AJ of Cary, NC. The P.E.O. Scholar Awards were established in 1991 to provide substantial merit-based awards for women pursuing a doctoral-level degree at an accredited college or university. Scholar Award recipients are a select group of women chosen for their high level of academic achievement and their potential for… read more about Graduate Student Brenda Yang Receives Scholar Award from the P.E.O. Sisterhood »

Katie Dickerson wanted someone to talk to as she navigated the transition from postdoc to assistant professor in Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at Duke. A supportive sounding board for her questions about gender, equity, and other issues would be nice, she thought. Back in her grad student days, a book club geared toward women in science served as a safe space for candid discussions. Dickerson asked her colleague Shabnam Hakimi, postdoctoral scholar at the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences (DIBS), to collaborate on a… read more about Confronting Power Dynamics in Academia »

DURHAM, NC -- The stereotype of grumpy old people apparently doesn’t hold up under closer inspection. A new study from Duke and Vanderbilt University psychologists finds that older people are generally more emotionally stable and better able to resist temptations in their daily lives. “There is evidence here that emotional health and regulation improve with age,” said Daisy Burr, a Duke PhD student who led the study with Gregory Samanez-Larkin, an assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience. Their work appeared March… read more about Older People Generally More Emotionally Healthy, Better Able to Resist Daily Temptations »

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused Duke, like many other institutions, to move classes to remote access. Faced with the challenges of learning new technologies while also adjusting to social distancing and working/learning from home, P&N community members are finding ways to adapt in this uncertain time. Professor Ahmad Hariri's children June and James work together on math activities at their dining room table. Many parents are finding creative ways to homeschool while also working from home. "Now we are all learning the… read more about Faced with the challenges of COVID-19, our community carries on »

“Write!” For Sarah Gaither, this command reminds her what she needs to make time to do. As an assistant professor of psychology & neuroscience at Duke, she balances a robust teaching and research load with administrative duties, meetings with collaborators and students, leadership of the Duke Identity & Diversity Lab and more. Advancing her own scholarship can get squeezed to the margins, but she can’t allow that to happen during this critical period in her career. From manuscripts, grants and book chapters to… read more about A Community That Writes Together »

Hannah Moshontz reflects on the experience of defending her PhD dissertation remotely on March 18, 2020. Moshontz is the first student in the department to do so, with great success! Congratulations, Dr. Moshontz! What was the process of defending your dissertation remotely?  It worked a lot like a normal defense: I gave a 40 minute talk to a public audience, and then, with just the committee present, I answered several rounds of questions about the dissertation. The committee went into a… read more about Hannah Moshontz becomes first P&N student to defend PhD dissertation remotely »

Cody Kommers, a PhD student at Oxford University, interviewed P&N Professor Michael Tomasello on the podcast Cognitive Revolution, aired March 10, 2020.  The episode, #18: Michael Tomasello on Writing for Young People, reveals a side of Tomasello that many might not know, from how he became and academic ("I just switched from one side of the desk to the other") to the influences of Jerome Bruner, Lev Vygotsky, and Jean Piaget, to the intellectual freedom that comes with being outside … read more about Professor Michael Tomasello interviewed on podcast, Cognitive Revolution »

Psychology & Neuroscience Professor Greg Samanez-Larkin and colleagues Daisy Burr, Jaime Castrellon, and David Zald share their findings in an article discussing the advanced ages of the U.S. President candidates. They found evidence that older adults are better at keeping their emotions and impulses in check. Read more in The Atlantic. read more about The Upside to Having an Old President »

In an article discussing how psychological research focuses heavily on people in U.S. and other affluent Western countries, Psychologist Sarah Gaither discusses her study of identity, including how people conceptualize racial categories. Much of her work focuses on biracial children, a group that is often shunted into one racial category, or simply excluded from studies altogether. Read more in the Atlantic. read more about The Problem That Psychology Can’t Shake »

Irwin Kremen, PhD, a Duke Professor of Psychology, rose to international acclaim as a collagist, sculpture artist, and painter. Kremen died Feb. 5, 2020 at the age of 94. Kremen joined the Duke faculty in 1963 and continued his academic career in psychology at Duke until he retired as an emeritus in 1992. Kremen taught classes specializing in personality theory; later in his career, he developed an innovative course at Duke called "Art and its Making" in which he brought well-known artists to Duke to be interviewed. While… read more about Irwin Kremen, Duke Professor of Psychology and Internationally Acclaimed Artist, Dies at 94 »

UPDATE as of March 11, 2020: To minimize potential health risks amid COVID-19 concerns, Duke University has cancelled all Duke-sponsored in-person events; therefore, the North Carolina Cognition Meeting scheduled for March 21st, 2020 is cancelled. All registrants will receive a refund. Duke University's Psychology & Neuroscience Department will proudly host the 2020 Annual Meeting of the North Carolina Cognition Group. The annual conference will take place on March 21st, 2020 in the … read more about Duke Hosts Annual Meeting of the North Carolina Cognition Group »

Warren Meck, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, who studied how humans perceive time, died on January 21, 2020.  Read the full article published 1/23/20 in Duke Today: Duke Flags Lowered: Psychology Professor Warren Meck Dies.    read more about Duke Flags Lowered in Honor of P&N Professor Warren Meck »

P&N Professors Avshalom Caspi & Terrie Moffitt, and Duke Postdocs Leah Richmond-Rakerd & Renate Houts publish paper in Nature Human Behavior: "Clustering of health, crime and social-welfare inequality in 4 million citizens from two nations."  Abstract:  Health and social scientists have documented the hospital revolving-door problem, the concentration of crime, and long-term welfare dependence. Have these distinct fields identified the same citizens? Using administrative databases linked to 1.7 million… read more about P&N Professors Caspi & Moffitt and Duke Postdocs Richmond-Rakerd & Houts Publish New Research Findings  »

Michael A. Wallach, PhD, noted research psychologist and influential Duke professor has died at 86. (Michael A. Wallach Obituary in The News& Observer) In a letter to faculty, Chair of the Department of Psychology & Neuroscience Scott Huettel shared his memories of Michael, stating: “I first met Michael as a graduate student many years ago. His signal traits were not just the depth of his thinking, but his straightforward kindness. He modeled the sort of respectful collegiality – whether interacting with a senior… read more about Influential Professor Emeritus Michael A. Wallach Dies at 86  »

P&N graduate student Matthew Bachman and Professor Scott Huettel publish paper in Nature Human Behavior: "Motivated control as a bridge between neuroeconomics and cognitive neuroscience."    read more about P&N Graduate Student and Professor Co-Author Paper in Nature Human Behavior »

In a message to P&N faculty, Department Chair Scott Huettell stated:  "Over the past decade, Henry has built a world-class research program that has provided important insights into the functioning of the basal ganglia (and of key circuits for learning and action, more generally). I can personally attest that when I teach the traditional explanation about how these regions contribute to reward learning, I now have to include a discussion of Henry’s work, which challenges that story with compelling evidence. His work… read more about Dr. Henry Yin Promoted to Full Professor »

The Duke University Department of Psychology and Neuroscience is pleased to announce that senior Maria Naclerio (Psychology Major, Neuroscience/Chemistry Minors) is the recipient of the 2019-2020 Jerome S. Bruner Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research.  Naclerio’s research centers around transformative emotions, including awe and salient, strong emotional experiences. Her senior thesis project investigates the role of the emotion of awe in religious self-sacrifice by looking at… read more about Senior Maria Naclerio Receives 2019-2020 Jerome S. Bruner Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research  »