University of Vermont

The College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Psychological Science

Department of Psychological Science Colloquia

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.

John Bates, Ph.D.

John Bates Professor
Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences
Indiana University
Hosted by Dan and Carole Burack President’s Distinguished Lecture Series and the Department of Psychology
Developmental Models of Behavioral Adjustment

April 10, 2014
2:30 pm
Livak Ballroom
Davis Center

This talk will focus on how individual differences in children’s behavioral and emotional adjustment develop—a complex, practically important question that has driven a vigorous field of research for decades. The talk will represent trends in the field with examples of predictors and processes considered in the speaker’s own research program. Basic predictors include temperament, parenting, family stress, verbal ability, and sleep. More complex models consider how the basic factors combine over the course of development in both linear, additive ways, and nonlinear, interactive ways. Models increasingly involve linkages between predictors and outcomes that are moderated and mediated by third variables. As models of the development of behavioral adjustment become richer, advances in practice can also be envisioned.

John F. Neumaier, M.D., Ph.D.

John F. Neumaier Professor
Director, Division of Neurosciences
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
University of Washington School of Medicine
Hosted by the Dennis Repole Memorial Fund
DREADDing Addiction

March 24, 2014
4:15 pm
John Dewey Hall room 314

The progression from initial drug exposure to out-of-control drug use involves a number of adaptations in brain function that are poorly understood. We have been investigating these changes using rodent models and a combination of strategies including viral vector manipulations of serotonin receptor expression and expression of engineered “DREADD” receptors to modulate neuronal activity and circuit function while measuring a variety of complex behaviors such as reward-mediated learning, habit formation and stability, cocaine self-administration, and relapse to cocaine seeking.

This lecture will discuss our recent data involving how the dorsal and ventral striatum and the lateral habenula are involved in complex learning, decision making, and habitual behaviors that are critical to understanding and treating addiction.

Robert E. Clark, Ph.D.

Robert E. Clark Department of Psychiatry,
University of California, San Diego
Sponsored by the Neuroscience Undergraduate Major
The Medial Entorhinal Cortex, Hippocampal Physiology, and Memory

October 4, 2013
3:30 - 4:30 pm
Medical Education Building room 300

The entorhinal cortex provides the primary cortical projections to and from the adjacent hippocampus, a structure critically involved in memory and spatial processing. How medial entorhinal cortex (MEC) influences hippocampal physiology and hippocampus-dependent behavior, however, remain unclear. Prior studies have reported modest effects of MEC lesions on hippocampal physiology and behavior, but they spared the dorsocaudal aspect with the most precise grid cells. I will discuss our recent efforts to evaluate hippocampal physiology and hippocampus-dependent memory following the selective removal of the grid cell area of the entorhinal cortex.

Saul Shiffman, Ph.D.

Saul Shiffman Professor, Department of Psychology
University of Pittsburgh
Hosted by the Human Behavioral Pharmacology Cluster and the Clinical Training Program
Non-Daily Smokers and Nicotine Dependence

October 4, 2013
4:00 - 5:00 pm
John Dewey Hall room 314

Approximately 25-33% of adult smokers do not smoke daily. These intermittent smokers (ITS) are puzzling, because they cannot maintain steady-state nicotine levels, and thus do not fit our usual concept of dependence. I present data on ITS smoking patterns, emphasizing the role of associations of smoking with particular cue. Discussing the role of stimulus control in the smoking of ITS and daily smokers raises questions about the role of cues and stimulus control in dependence.

Dr. Saul Shiffman, Ph.D. is a Research Professor of Psychology (Clinical and Health Psychology), Psychiatry, and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh. His research has focused on studies of nicotine dependence and its development, the nicotine withdrawal syndrome, smoking relapse, behavioral and pharmacological treatment for smoking, and tobacco control. Dr. Shiffman has published 350 scientific papers. He is the recipient of the Ovid Ferno Award awarded by the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco for breakthroughs in clinical research.

Kimberly Espy, Ph.D.

Kimberly Espy Professor, Department of Psychology,
Vice President for Research & Innovation,
Dean, Graduate School,
University of Oregon
Hosted by Dan and Carole Burack President’s Distinguished Lecture Series and the Department of Psychology
The Structure and Development of Executive Control in Preschoolers… and Why it Matters

October 2, 2013
4:00 - 5:00 pm
Memorial Lounge
Waterman Building

Kimberly Espy is a trained clinical neuroscientist and the Director of the Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory. In her federally-funded research, she pioneered the integration of cognitive neuroscience tools and advanced multilevel growth modeling methods to:

  • characterize the normative development of emergent self-regulation skills in young children and infants.
  • identify the antecedents of learning and behavioral disorders in medically at-risk populations.

As a co-author of the BRIEF-P, a standardized rating scale to measure the behavioral manifestations of preschool regulatory skills, she is active in technology transfer and clinical translational application.