University of Vermont

College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Psychological Science

Department of Psychological Science Colloquia
2011-12

Every year the Department of Psychological Science hosts a variety of colloquia in which distinguished national and international scholars visit UVM to discuss their research. Our colloquia are open to all, though some require prior registration due to limited seating.

Donald Rainnie, Ph.D.

Donald Rainnie Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science
Emory University
Center for Behavioral Neuroscience, Yerkes National Primate Research Center
Hosted by the Biobehavioral Cluster
Stress Modulation of the Extended Amygdala
May 3, 2012
4:00 p.m.
John Dewey Hall room 314
Dr. Rainnie’s laboratory investigates the cellular and neurophysiological mechanisms underlying emotional aspects of cognition. He uses multiple techniques to examine the functional and neurochemical connectivity of the amygdala and related structures in an attempt to create a functional map of the intrinsic circuitry, and to determine how sensory information gains affective weight within this structure. In this colloquium he will discuss the modulation of these circuits by stress.

Peter D. Balsam, Ph.D.

Peter D. Balsam Professor of Psychology
Barnard College, Columbia University
Dennis Repole Memorial Fund
Striatal Dopamine (D2) Receptor Overexpression and the Negative Symptoms of Schizophrenia: Lessons from a Mouse Model
April 25, 2012
1:30 - 2:30 pm
John Dewey Hall room 314

An understanding of psychiatric disorders requires a merging of methods from psychology and neurobiology. Psychology has created powerful methods for isolating and characterizing the functional properties of behavioral and cognitive regulation mechanisms. Neurobiology has developed methods that permit an unprecedented understanding of the biological substrates of behavior and cognition.

In our work with a transgenic mouse model of schizophrenia we have found remarkable similarities between the mouse and patients with respect to altered neurobiology and consequent deficits in motivation. Motivation is usually conceived of as the force that energizes behavior. It is not one force. Rather, it is the collection of a large number of processes that affect the initiation, maintenance and persistence of behavior. The dissection of motivation into component processes is illustrated by our work with a mouse that overexpresses the dopamine D2 receptor (D2R) in the striatum. Congenital D2R overexpression results in a decreased willingness to work and altered sensitivity to the anticipated value of future outcomes. This seems very similar to what has been observed in patients.

The synergy between basic psychological science, neurobiology and Psychiatry has great potential to lead to deeper understanding of behavior and neurobiology as well as lead to improvements in diagnosis and treatment in clinical settings.

Cristian Crandall, Ph.D.

Cristian Crandall Professor of Psychology
University of Kansas
Hosted by the Social Psychology Cluster
Prejudice and Prejudices: From Fat Prejudice to Deciding What a Prejudice Is
April 20, 2012
12:00 - 1:00 p.m.
John Dewey Hall room 314
I will review some of my work on prejudice against fat people, focusing both on the research, and the personal story behind the studies. I will cover what studying fat prejudice brought to the study of prejudice, and this evolves into a discussion of what kinds of feelings we label prejudices, and what kinds we don’t. Eventually, I end up making a case for the single underlying cause of prejudice.

Joel Nigg, Ph.D.

Joel Nigg Director, Division of Psychology
Professor of Psychiatry, Pediatrics, and Behavioral Neuroscience
Oregon Health & Science University
Hosted by the Dan and Carole Burack President's Distinguished Lecture Series
ADHD: Mechanisms, Causes, and Future Directions for Research
April 18, 2012
3:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Davis Auditorium
Fletcher Allen/UVM Medical Education Center

Robert Althoff, M.D.

Robert Althoff Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
University of Vermont College of Medicine
Dysregulated, But Not Necessarily Bipolar: An Empirically-based Approach to Self-Regulation in Childhood
April 6, 2012
4:00 p.m.
John Dewey Hall room 314

How do we characterize children who have significant concurrent disturbance in attention, behavior and mood? Although these children were initially thought to have a developmental presentation of bipolar illness, it is becoming increasingly clear that they have a different condition. These children are clearly troubled and symptomatic, and they continue to defy our diagnostic system.

This colloquium will present data demonstrating the presence of these children in two cultures, across different age ranges, and using different informants. Associated genetic, epigenetic, and neuroimaging findings will be reviewed along with data on outcomes of these children in adulthood. This work demonstrates the utility of an empirically-based characterization of children with self-regulation and offers multiple pathways towards intervention.

Steven A. Schroeder, M.D.

Steven A. Schroeder Distinguished Professor of Health and Health Care Director
Smoking Cessation Leadership Center
University of California, San Francisco
Hosted by The Department of Psychology
Sponsored by the Hosted by the Dan and Carole Burack President's Distinguished Lecture Series and the Neuroscience, Behavior, and Health Initiative
We Can Do Better: Improving the Health of the American People

April 5, 2012
12:00 - 1:30 pm
Davis Auditorium
Fletcher Allen/UVM Medical Education Center

Dr. Schroeder is Distinguished Professor of Health and Health Care, Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, UCSF, where he also heads the Smoking Cessation Leadership Center. The Center, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the American Legacy Foundation, works with leaders of more than 80 American health professional organizations and health care institutions to increase the cessation rate for smokers. It has expanded the types of clinician groups that support cessation, developed an alternative cessation message (Ask, Advise, Refer), created new ways to market toll-free telephone quit lines, and engaged the mental health treatment community for the first time.

Daniel Shaw, Ph.D.

Daniel Shaw Professor and Department Chair
Department of Psychology
University of Pittsburgh
Hosted by the McNeil Prevention and Community Psychology Fund
The Development and Prevention of Early Conduct Problems

March 21, 2012
1:30 - 2:30 pm
John Dewey Hall room 314

The talk will begin with a review of theoretical and empirical work on pathways of early-starting conduct problems, highlighting findings from the author’s own 20-year longitudinal study of toddlers at risk for early-starting pathways and convergent findings from other relevant studies. Next, the chasm between basic research and translating this knowledge to the world of prevention science will be discussed, including the inherent challenges in using knowledge gained from basic research in real world settings.

The final part of the talk will introduce the Family Check Up as a vehicle for bridging this chasm and creating the climate of change for families with young children at high risk for early-starting pathways. Findings from two longitudinal trials examining the efficacy of the Family Check Up will be presented, including expected and unexpected collateral effects on child and parent outcomes.

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