The Graduate School has announced the recipients of its 2020 Dean's Awards, which recognize outstanding efforts in mentoring, teaching, and creating an inclusive environment for graduate education at Duke. The recipients will be honored at a reception on Wednesday, March 25. Dean’s Award for Excellence in Mentoring Faculty William Darity, Samuel DuBois Cook Distinguished Professor of Public Policy Jennifer Roizen, Assistant Professor of Chemistry David Wong, Susan Fox Beischer and George D. Beischer Professor of Philosophy… read more about 10 Dean’s Awards Recipients Named for 2020 »

The annual P&N Holiday Party was held on Thursday evening at The Rubenstein Arts Center at Duke University (“The Ruby”), a 70,000+ square foot hub for artistic production, opened in 2018. The evening included a delightful food and drink menu, live Jazz music from Peter Lamb and the Wolves, custom, on-demand poems from the Poetry Fox, and a visual art exhibit The Art of Mental Health (curated by a group of clinical psychologists). It… read more about P&N Celebrates the Holiday Season  »

Higher education institutions like Duke are gateways to opportunity and success for many low-income and first-generation college students. They are also home to professors who once stood in those students’ shoes and used their education to get into academia. Here are some professors from Duke who were low-income, first-generation (LIFE) college students. Jen’nan Read: Sally Dalton Robinson professor of sociology, chair of the department of sociology Jen’nan Read was born in the United States and moved to… read more about Professors from low-income first-generation backgrounds are ready to help Duke students »

Kevin LaBar, Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience and CCN Associate Director, has earned the lifetime distinction of AAAS Fellow.  Dr. LaBar and six other Duke faculty members are among the 2020 inductees to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, an honor bestowed upon members by their peers. Dr. LaBar was cited for "distinguished contributions to the study of the neuroscience of how emotional events modulate cognitive processes in the human brain." read more about Professor Kevin LaBar Named Fellow of American Association for the Advancement of Science »

DURHAM, N.C. – Seven members of the Duke University faculty have been named Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).  Election as a AAAS Fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers. Duke’s 2020 inductees are among 443 new fellows this year who are being recognized for scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. They are: Ravi Bellamkonda, Ph.D., Vinik Dean of Engineering and Professor of Biomedical Engineering.… read more about Seven From Duke Named Fellows of American Association for the Advancement of Science »

The exploration the public lives of the “first ladies” of America’s Christian evangelical megachurches and an intimate portrait of the joys and hardships of rural life in Appalachia are among the new noteworthy books by Duke authors this fall. Many of the books, including new editions of previous titles, can be found on the "Duke Authors" display shelves near the circulation desk in Perkins Library. Some are available as e-books for quick download. Most can also be purchased through the Gothic Bookshop. [Duke Today will… read more about Fall Books: Clean Hands, Aging Brains, Evangelical Women and Other Great Reads »

Dr. Elika Bergelson, Crandall Family Assistant Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience has received the Steve Reznick Early Career Award from the Cognitive Development Society.  Bergelson was recognized for her research on how babies and infants learn language skills by interacting with their environments. The award recognizes outstanding contributions by young scholars in the field of cognitive development, as well as their potential to become leaders in the discipline. Read more in an article published by the Duke… read more about Elika Bergelson Wins Early Career Award from the Cognitive Development Society »

P&N Ph.D. student Jaime Castrellon was awarded Best Poster at the Society for Neuroeconomics Annual Meeting in Dublin, Ireland on October 4-6, 2019. For two consecutive years, Castrellon’s posters have been selected and featured at the conference as Poster Spotlights: brief talks to the entire conference audience prior to the poster session. Each year Castrellon went on to win the Best Poster Award; he is the first conference presenter to receive the award twice.  Castrellon’s 2018 poster—which later became… read more about P&N Ph.D. Student Jaime Castrellon Wins Best Poster Award for the Second Time at the Society for Neuroeconomics Annual Meeting »

Congratulations to Elika Bergelson, Crandall Family Assistant Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, for receiving the Early Career Award from the Cognitive Development Society, an honor awarded only twice! The award “recognizes a young scholar who has made outstanding research contributions to the study of cognitive development, and who shows continued promise to be a leader in the field."  Bergelson’s work focuses on early language development and has been supported by NIH, NEH, and NSF.  read more about P&N Faculty Member Elika Bergelson Receives the Early Career Award from the Cognitive Development Society  »

For undergraduates, sleep can be as elusive as it is important. For undergraduate researcher Katie Freedy, Trinity ’20, understanding sleep is even more important because she works in Ahmad Hariri’s Lab of Neurogenetics. After taking a psychopharmacology class while studying abroad in Copenhagen, Freedy became interested in the default mode network, a brain network implicated in autobiographical thought, self-representation and depression. Upon returning to her lab at Duke, Freedy wanted to explore the interaction between… read more about Predicting Sleep Quality with the Brain »

Gregory Samanez-Larkin, assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience at Duke, has received an Early Career Award from the Society for Neuroeconomics for research that examines how aging affects motivation and cognition across the lifespan. The award given this month recognizes significant contributions to understanding the neural basis of decision-making, or the impact of this knowledge on formal understanding of decision behavior, according to the society website. “So many people invested so much in training me that… read more about Samanez-Larkin Recognized for Research on the Neuroscience of Decision-Making »

Gregory Samanez-Larkin, assistant professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke, received an Early Career Award this October from the Society for Neuroeconomics for research that examines how aging affects motivation and cognition across the lifespan. The award recognizes significant contributions to understanding the neural basis of decision making, or the impact of this knowledge on formal understanding of decision behavior, according to the society website. “So many people invested so much in training me that I am… read more about P&N Faculty Member Gregory Samanez-Larkin Recognized for Research at the Intersection of Neuroscience, Psychology and Economics »

Drs. Terrie Moffitt and Avshalom Caspi of the Department of Psychology & Neuroscience have been named the 2019 Outstanding Postdoc Mentors at Duke. In a congratulatory statement, the Duke Postdoctoral Awards committee shared that Moffitt and Caspi received “an amazing number of heartfelt nominations testifying to their support and encouragement of trainees.” With charming candor, Dr. Moffitt shared her view on mentoring and training Duke postdocs: “I think the key to effective training is meetings. Postdocs receive… read more about P&N Professors Receive 2019 Award for Outstanding Postdoc Mentors at Duke »

Due to generous support from the Charles Lafitte Foundation Program for Research in Psychology & Neuroscience, 10 P&N graduate students have been awarded research grants to advance projects during the 2019-2020 academic year. Congratulations to each of these outstanding students! Emmaline Drew Eliseev “Searching for Answers: Implications for Metacognition” Rosa Li “Using social utility models to measure changes in other-regarding preferences across childhood” Hannah Moshontz “How Winners Quit: Characterizing… read more about Congratulations to P&N's 2019-2020 Graduate Research Grant Award Recipients »

We tend to think of stress as a bad thing that affects our health and well-being. But Duke's Bridgette Hard says that the way we think about stress makes a huge difference in how stress affects us. Reframing our ideas about stress can reduce its harmful impacts. Hard is associate professor of the practice of psychology and neuroscience. This video is a part of Duke's series, Extra Credit: Life's Curiosities Explained. To see more, check out the playlist. read more about Is Stress Always Bad? »

Grants and Contracts Administrator Stella Powell-Williams celebrated 30 years as a Duke employee this month. Powell-Williams, who was born and raised in Durham, came to work for Duke after her daughter was born. “I wanted to work part-time for a while so I left my job at RTI and started working through a temp agency – and ended up at Duke.” Powell-Williams has worked at P&N, specifically, since September 2007, and she greatly enjoys the benefits and flexibility of her position.   “I consider myself a people person, one… read more about P&N Staff Member Stella Powell-Williams Celebrates 30 Years at Duke  »

11 faculty members from the Department of Psychology & Neuroscience have been awarded Research Seed Grants via philanthropic support from The Charles Lafitte Foundation. The faculty projects – all of which exhibit great promise for generating exceptional research – were chosen by review committee. Award letters stated, “It has been heartening to see all of the creative ways our faculty proposed to engage students in world-class science – and to anticipate how these projects would have continuing impact over the coming… read more about 11 P&N Faculty Members Selected for 2019-2020 Research Seed Grants »

Congratulations to Michael Tomasello, whose book Becoming Human: A Theory of Ontogeny (Harvard University Press, 2019) has received the 2019 Williams James Book Award from the American Psychological Association. Among the most prestigious awards in the field, the William James Award is intended to honor and publicize a recent book published within the last two years that brings together diverse subfields of psychology and related disciplines. This work should provide a creative synthesis of theory, fact and themes… read more about Michael Tomasello Receives William James Book Award »

The annual P&N Welcome Back Party was held on Friday night at The Wine Feed in downtown Durham. The event was well attended by 130+ guests and included live music by local duo Penny’s Bend, a lovely buffet of charcuterie and cheese, a vegetarian dinner, and a raffle of Duke-swag prizes! It was a gorgeous August night and as the sun set, the venue’s large garage door lifted and the party spilled out onto the patio where guests enjoyed Locopops, lively conversation, and some good old fashioned corn hole. The evening –… read more about P&N Kicks Off the 2019-2020 School Year in Style!  »

Duke professors Blake S. Wilson B.S.E. ’74, Ph.D.’15 and Leonard White will be honored for their contributions to advancing research in the fields of hearing loss and brain development, respectively. The awards will be presented by President Vincent E. Price and the Duke Alumni Association during Founders’ Weekend Sept. 26-28. Wilson will receive the Distinguished Alumni Award, the Duke Alumni Association’s highest honor given to alumni who have made outstanding contributions in service to Duke and toward the betterment of… read more about Alumni to Honor Two Faculty for Research, Teaching Advancements During Founders' Weekend »

P&N's person of the week, Hannah Moshontz, recently conducted a workshop for undergraduates that introduced them to the statistical software package R. Moshontz, a 6th-year PhD student, was invited to teach the workshop as part of P&N's VIP program. VIP is a summer research program for Duke Psychology majors that gives participants a head start on work that may culminate in a senior thesis. Previous VIP statistical workshops have focused on using SPSS. This is the first year that R has been taught. "R is very… read more about P&N Person of the Week: Hannah Moshontz  »

Congratulations to Renate Houts, one of four recipients of the 2019 Dean's Pillars of Excellence Awards  from Duke's Trinity College of Arts & Sciences. Valerie Ashby, Dean of Trinity College of Arts & Sciences, established these awards in 2017 to encourage excellence, celebrate staff accomplishments and to recognize the valuable contributions of Trinity College staff. Renate, a statistician with the Moffitt & Caspi Group in the Department of Psychology & Neuroscience,  was nominated for her leadership,… read more about Renate Houts wins 2019 Dean's Pillars of Excellence Award  »

In high school, Julie Uchitel recalls being interested in biology and psychology. “During my AP Psychology course, we studied a unit on neuroscience. I was blown away by the complexity of the brain – how many mysteries surrounded its function despite decades of research. That was when I knew that I’d found my favorite subject.” The recipient of a Marshall Scholarship, Uchitel will spend the next two years studying in the United Kingdom: the first year at the University of Cambridge where she’ll pursue an MPhil in… read more about Neuroscience Major Julie Uchitel Addresses Graduating Class of 2019 »

Graduating senior Sera Pekel has been selected by faculty committee as this year’s student speaker for the Department of Psychology Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony. Pekel, a native of Turkey, describes herself as, “A dedicated Istanbul-ite – if that’s even a word! I’m obsessed with my city.” At age 18, Pekel came to the United States as a Duke undergraduate and recalls with lighthearted humor that she cried for the entire 10-hour flight. “It’s unbelievable how much I’ve grown since,” she says.  Pekel attributes the 8-… read more about Sera Pekel Selected as Student Speaker for Psychology Graduation Ceremony »

The Duke Department of Psychology & Neuroscience hosted a retirement celebration for Professor Mark Leary on Friday, May 3 in Perkins Library. Attending the event were many colleagues and students, past and present, as well as friends and family. Leary, Garonzik Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke University, taught previously at Denison University, the University of Texas at Austin, and Wake Forest University. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Psychology from West Virginia Wesleyan College and his Ph.D.… read more about Celebrating Mark Leary »

Congratulations to Julia Nicholas, winner of the 2019 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. "Julia is going to make the world a better place," said Dr. Nancy Zucker, her faculty mentor. "She is passionate about studying how people's negative life experiences, such as the… read more about Julia Nicholas wins 2019 Zener award »

P&N Professor Gary Bennett was recently interviewed for an episode of NPR's Life Kit.  On the episode, "Boost Your Body Acceptance For Better Health,”  Dr. Bennet discusses weight stigma  with NPR Health Editor episode host Maria Godoy.   “We don't think about health as also including one's emotions and one's mental health and one's social health,” Bennett says in the episode. Life Kit Link: Episode link:… read more about Gary Bennett interviewed for NPR's Life Kit »