Colloquiums

2021


April 23, 2021

Elizabeth A. Phelps
2021 L. Starling Reid Conference Keynote Speaker

Pershing Square Professor of Human Neuroscience | Department of Psychology, Harvard University

Mechanisms of Threat Control in Humans

Animal models of associative threat learning provide a basis for understanding human fears and anxiety.  Building on research from animal models, I will explore a range of means maladaptive defensive responses can be acquired and diminished in humans.  First, I will outline how extinction and emotion regulation, techniques adapted in cognitive behavioral therapy, can be used to control learned defensive responses via inhibitory signals from the ventromedial prefrontal cortex to the amygdala.  One drawback of these techniques is that these responses are only inhibited and can return, with one factor being stress. I will then review research examining the lasting control of maladaptive defensive responses by targeting memory reconsolidation and present evidence suggesting that the behavioral interference of reconsolidation in humans diminishes involvement of the prefrontal cortex inhibitory circuitry, although there are limitations to its efficacy.  Finally, I will describe two novel behavioral techniques that might result in a more lasting fear reduction by providing control over the stressor and introducing novelty.  

Join us on Friday, April 23, 2021

  • 3:30-4:30 EST Lecture
  • 4:30-4:45 EST Being Human in Psychological Science (​Informal Q&A with keynote speaker, Elizabeth A. Phelps, PhD, about her path in psychological science. All are encouraged to turn camera’s on and participate.)

Zoom Link | Password: Reid

Visit L. Starling Reid Conference home page for more information about the all-day conference.


March 19, 2021

ERIC TURKHEIMER
ASTON-GOTTESMAN LECTURER

Hugh Scott Hamilton Professor of Psychology

From Twins to Polygenic Scores: Variance to Biology and Back

The concept of heritability is emblematic of behavioral genetics, but its precise meaning has always been controversial. This talk will trace the origins of the concept from Darwin and Galton, through its uses in plant and animal breeding to its application to twin studies and contemporary work using measured DNA.  Understanding the history of heritability is the key to using and critiquing the concept accurately and responsibly.

Being Human in Psychological Science: Join us after the formal colloquium for a 15-20 minute informal Q&A to discuss Professor Turkheimer's path in psychological science. The conversation will be moderated by a graduate student, and the conversations are especially intended for undergraduate and graduate students (though everyone is welcome). Because one goal is to use this as an opportunity to foster community, we encourage people to turn on their cameras if they have been off during the colloquium. Questions from the audience can be entered in the chat.

Join us on Friday, March 19, 2021, 1:30 - 2:30 pm EST

Zoom Link | Password: 828326


January 29, 2021

GRADUATE STUDENTS FLASH TALKS


2020


December 4, 2020


October 23, 2020


October 9, 2020


September 25, 2020


September 18th, 2020