Upcoming Seminars / Seminars This Week

Wed 7/30/14 9 amKutz 130
Thesis Seminar (Graduate Program in Psychology)
Erin Bishop
Effectiveness of the Caring School Community Program in Reducing School Bullying and Victimization
The Caring School Community (CSC) program is designed to incorporate an entire community (parents, peers, teachers, and staff) in enhancing children's lives through their social and emotional development. One intended consequence of the program is the reduction in child aggression, specifically aggression related to bullying and victimization. Bullying and victimization behaviors are linked to two types of aggression: proactive aggression, aggression used to achieve a goal, and reactive aggression, aggression used in response to a real or perceived act of hostility. The latter type of aggression is also linked to emotional dysregulation. Using an age-cohort design, we examined the effects of the CSC program on bullying, victimization, proactive aggression, reactive aggression, and emotional dysregulation in middle school students over a three year period. In addition to using a priori subscales to examine the effect of the CSC program on behaviors and behavioral traits, we used principal axis factoring to examine the structure of our data and whether new subscales could better reflect the specific components of bullying and behavioral traits most affected by the CSC program. Our findings showed support for the effectiveness of the CSC program in reducing subtypes of bullying and victimization for sixth graders (overall and relational bullying and nonphysical victimization) and seventh graders (overall, physical, nonphysical, and relational bullying and victimization), with corresponding effects on emotional dysregulation in sixth graders and reactive aggression in seventh graders. We received partial support of the effectiveness of the CSC program for several other bullying and victimization subtypes. Factor analysis revealed a distinction between two types of physical bullying, resulting in a general aggression factor and an intentional abuse of power factor, as well as between two types of relational victimization, resulting in an active relational victimization factor and a passive relational victimization factor. Our findings showed support for the effectiveness of the CSC program and the importance of implementing a thorough, long-lasting program that incorporates many program components supported by previous research.

Thu 7/31/14 10:30 amVolen 201
Thesis Seminar (Graduate Program in Psychology)
Amanda Lash (Memory & Cognition Lab)
Spoken Word Recognition: A Window into the Aging Brain and Ear
With the growing population of older adults in our society, there is a need to understand the cognitive changes and hearing impairments that often accompany adult aging. This is especially important, since both cognitive and perceptual factors are necessary for spoken communication. This dissertation contains a series of experiments designed to identify the factors underlying spoken word recognition in older adults. In three experiments, we examine the interactive and compensatory relationship of bottom-up sensory processing and top-down contextual factors as spoken words unfold in time. Experiment 1 investigated the effects of age and hearing acuity on word recognition across different degrees of constraining linguistic contexts and the potential competition from lexical alternatives that also fit the sentential context. Experiment 1 found that constraining linguistic contexts mitigated the negative effect of age and hearing loss on word recognition; however older adults' word recognition performance was influenced by the number and probability of lexical competitors that fit the semantic context. In addition to the effects of facilitative contexts, Experiment 2 examined individual differences in spoken word recognition and the use of bottom-up/top-down processing when linguistic contexts were misleading to listeners' expectations. Experiment 2 revealed that hearing acuity, inhibition, and age predicted spoken word recognition when linguistic contexts were misleading. Moreover, it was found that older adults with poor hearing acuity were more likely than older adults with good hearing to use top-down contextual information to bias their responses when identifying words even though it did not match the bottom-up sensory information presented. Experiment 3 took a different approach to account for hearing acuity differences in order to study age effects on word recognition without the presence of a linguistic context. Experiment 3 demonstrated the surprising finding that incrementally increasing the onset durations of spoken words until they were correctly recognized was less effective for recognition than presenting words in single presentations with that same onset duration. The size of this effect was found to be predicted by working memory span. Taken together, the results from this dissertation not only inform our understanding of adult aging, but also can influence the development of potential strategies for improving spoken communication in older adults.

Thu 7/31/14 1 pmShapiro Science Center Atrium
Poster Session
Undergraduate Researchers (Division of Science)
Brandeis Summer SciFest 2014
Undergraduate students from across the Division of Science, including summer visitors and Brandeis students, will present posters on their research. To present, register at

Fri 8/1/14 12 noonGerstenzang 121
Life Sciences Summer Seminar Series
Jen Beierlein (Petsko-Ringe Lab)
Modeling Neurodegenerative Diseases in S. Cerevisiae: How Budding Yeast can be an Effective Therapeutic Development Platform
Kate Koles (Rodal Lab)
Genome engineering in Drosophila using CRISPR
Hosted by Brandeis University Postdoc Association

Thu 8/7/14 3 pmAbelson 131
Thesis Seminar (Graduate Program in Neuroscience)
Paula Haynes (Griffith Lab)
Functional and Anatomical Interactions of Sleep- and Memory Consolidation-Promoting Circuitry in Drosophila

Fri 8/8/14 12 noonGerstenzang 121
Life Sciences Summer Seminar Series
Hosted by Brandeis University Postdoc Association

Thu 8/14/14 4 pmAbelson 229
MRSEC Seminar
Yaouen Fily (Brandeis University)
Hosted by M. Hagan

Fri 8/15/14 12 noonGerstenzang 121
Life Sciences Summer Seminar Series
Ming-Feng Tsai (Chris Miller Lab)
Structure and Mechanism of Ion Channels and Transporters
Lisa Payne (Sekuler Lab)
The importance of ignoring: Alpha oscillations protect selectivity
Hosted by Brandeis University Postdoc Association

Tue 8/19/14 2 pmBassine 208
Special Seminar
Scott Lujan (National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences)
Replication Infidelity Causes Mutational Heterogeneity Across the Yeast Genome
Hosted by Jim Haber

Fri 8/22/14 12 noonGerstenzang 121
Life Sciences Summer Seminar Series
Hosted by Brandeis University Postdoc Association

Thu 8/28/14 4 pmAbelson 229
MRSEC Seminar
Chandan Dasgupta (Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore)
Hosted by B. Chakraborty

Tue 9/2/14 4 pmAbelson 131
Physics Department Colloquium
Enectali Figueroa-Feliciano (MIT)
Hosted by Prof. Matthew Headrick

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