Month: February 2018

3/2: On the Detection of Logical Reasoning in Nonhuman Animals

ECOM will host a talk by Dr. Jacob Beck (Philosophy, York): Friday, March 2, 4:00-5:30PM in the UCHI Conference Room (Babbidge 4/209). ​All are encouraged to come.

Title: “Chrysippus’ Dog Reconsidered: On the Detection of Logical Reasoning in Nonhuman Animals”

Abstract: The ability to reason logically is often taken to be a sign of language-like or conceptual thought. One way to investigate whether animals are conceptual thinkers, or have a language of thought, is thus to investigate their ability to reason logically. The Greek Stoic philosopher Chrysipuss reported anecdotal evidence that dogs reason by way of the disjunctive syllogism. More recently, animal researchers have provided supporting evidence from controlled studies. But philosophers such as José Luis Bermúdez and Michael Rescorla have appealed to forms of “proto-logical” reasoning to ground alternative explanations of this evidence. These forms of proto-logical reasoning are so powerful that they generate a challenge: How, if at all, can genuine logical reasoning be detected and distinguished from its proto-logical rivals? My talk will offer some suggestions.

The CT Institute for the Brain and Cognitive Sciences provides generous support for the ECOM Speaker Series.

Job Oppty: Lab Manager UPenn


Language Processing and Language Development Lab
Institute for Research in Cognitive Science
Department of Psychology
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia PA USA

The research labs of Dr. John Trueswell and Dr. Lila Gleitman are hiring a full-time research assistant (i.e., lab manager/coordinator) to help conduct language processing studies with children and adults. In many of these studies we will be recording the eye movements of participants as they respond to spoken instructions. The successful candidate will have frequent contact with postdocs, graduate students, research assistants, and will have plenty of opportunities for scientific involvement in all aspects of research projects in the lab including journal articles and conference presentations. Thus, this position is an excellent stepping stone for someone planning to go to graduate school in psycholinguistics — individuals previously employed in this position are now star graduate students, postdocs and even professors within psychology and linguistics.

Primary responsibilities include:
– Assisting lab members and the PIs in the running of experiments
– Designing, running and analyzing experiments with infants, children, and adults
– Developing experimental materials, and data management/analysis.
– Recruiting participants
– Coordinating and training undergraduate research assistants
– Assisting in planning lab events and meetings
– Additional duties include management of human subject information, assisting in the reporting of information to funding institutions and Penn’s Institutional Review Board (IRB), and lab scheduling.

Essential qualifications:
– A Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, Linguistics, Computer Science, or Cognitive Science
– 0-1 year of research experience, preferably with children or infants (an equivalent combination of education and experience can be considered).
– Excellent organizational and communication skills (especially with young children and families).
– Be detail-oriented, motivated, creative, organized, and able to work independently
– Experience is required in Microsoft Excel and statistical analysis software (preferably R, SPSS and/or MatLab).
– Be able to jump from low- to high-level amount of work smoothly and work under pressure when deadlines are approaching

Preferred qualifications:
– Prior experience in psychology research and/or computational modeling.
– Proficient programming skills, ideally in Python, R and Matlab.
– Flexible work availability (including evenings and weekends) is desirable.

The position can begin as early as March of 2018 — but we will also consider later start dates, as late as May or June of 2018.

Apply Here

Using Electrical Brain Stimulation to Improve Aphasia Treatment

3/6: SLHS Colloquium presents Julius Fredriksson, University of South Carolina with: “Using Electrical Brain Stimulation to Improve Aphasia Treatment Outcome at 12:30-1:30PM in HBL Video Theater 2

Although aphasia therapy has been shown to be effective, many patients experience no or only minimal benefit. Pilot studies suggest transcranial electrical brain stimulation may enhance the effect of aphasia therapy, providing some patients greater chance at showing a positive treatment response. In a recent double-blinded randomized controlled trial, we enrolled 74 individuals with chronic stroke in aphasia treatment coupled with either anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (A-tDCS) or sham tDCS (S-tDCS). All participants received three weeks of computerized aphasia treatment administered five times per week. Thirty-four participants were randomized to receive A-tDCS and 40 participants received S-tDCS during the first 20 minutes of each 45-minute treatment session. The primary outcome was naming of both trained and untrained words assessed at 1-week, 4-weeks, and 6-months after treatment completion. Significantly more items were named by the A-tDCS group compared the S-tDCS at each time-point (1-tailed t-test). An interaction was revealed between genotype (BDNF gene) and treatment response suggesting a mechanistic explanation for why A-tDCS works for some patients and not others. The implications of this work and next steps will be discussed.


LangFest – Call for Posters

The ninth annual University of Connecticut Language Fest will be held on Saturday, April 28, from 9AM–4PM in Oak Hall at the Storrs Campus, funded by the Connecticut Institute for the Brain and Cognitive Sciences.

Language Fest is a University-wide research conference that brings together the full community of language researchers at UConn, including undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty, for a day of sharing results, ideas, methodologies and fostering future interdisciplinary collaborations.

This year’s Fest features talks from Jill Hoover (University of Massachusetts Amherst) who studies developmental language disorders, and Eleonora Rossi (California State Polytechnic University), who studies bilingual language processing. In addition to these talks, two data-blitzes and two poster sessions will showcase language-related research from the UConn community.

Registration: If you plan to attend LangFest, we ask that you please register using this Google Form (it is the same as the call for posters below). Registration is free; we would just like to get an accurate headcount for ordering lunch. (There are also options for reporting dietary restrictions.)

Call for Posters: We invite poster presentations from the UConn community on the subject of language and language-related research. This is a great opportunity for undergraduates, graduate students, postdocs, and faculty to share their research with the UConn language community. You can use a poster from a recent or upcoming conference, or design one for the fest. Completed work, published work, and works-in-progress are all welcome. Undergraduate Honors Projects, or SHARE or SURF-sponsored research are also welcome. Please keep in mind that you will have a diverse audience at the fest, and you should be prepared to explain the ‘big picture’ motivating your work for people from different disciplines. If you would like to present a poster, all you have to do is send us your poster title and author names and affiliations by Friday, March 23 using this link. When you register, you will have the opportunity to indicate your interest in being part of our new LangFest data-blitz, which will showcase student research in a bite-sized format.

If you are interested in doing a video presentation or demoing a piece of software/equipment, please contact Ashley Parker (

For questions relating to Language Fest, please contact Ashley Parker (

3/22 Speaker on Fiction and Cognition

Elaine Auyoung, U Minnesota will give a talk on innovative interdisciplinary approches to fictionality, representation, cognition and theory of mind on March 22.


Literatures, Cultures and Languages, UCHI and the English Department are inviting a brilliant young scholar to speak:  Elaine Auyoung, a Harvard Ph.D. now working at U Minnesota.  Elaine does groundbreaking work on fiction and cognition.  Her affiliations at U Minnesota are with the Center for Cognitive Science and the English Department.  Her forthcoming book with Oxford UP is called When Fiction Feels Real: Representational Technique and the Reading Mind. She has also published in numerous other impressive venues. Her CV and link to her profile are included here.


Elaine will give a talk about innovative interdisciplinary approches to fictionality, representation, cognition and theory of mind.  The talk will be from 2:00-3:15 pm on Thursday, March 22nd (venue to be determined).  We are planning on having a special lunch for graduate students from 11:30-1:00 pm.

For more information please contact:


Jennifer Terni, Ph.D.

Associate Head, Department of Literatures, Cultures and Languages

Associate Professor of French

University of Connecticut

Oak Hall East SSHB Room 207

365 Fairfield Way U-1057

Storrs, CT 06269

Phone: (860) 486-3313

Fax: (860) 486-4392

Postdoc and RA opportunities at UCSF

The Brain Lens lab at UCSF is hiring postdocs and RAs to start immediately.

In addition to the active postings below, they are also most likely hiring several other postdocs and assessment RAs in the next 2-3 months.
Please contact them if generally interested in computational approaches, developmental cognitive neuroscience / neuroimaging in affect or language, ed-neuro, edtech broadly defined.
(There may be opportunities to work on the east coast as well in the CT area.)

The jobs currently advertised are the following:

1. Neuroimaging Postdoctoral Scholar (for a computational neuroimaging or neurolinguist)

2. Neuroscience & Education Research Assistant (to build and run a Brain-Mobile EEG lab in a school)

3. brainLENS Lab Research Assistant (for project management and data analysis)

4. Volunteer Research Assistants


Please direct any questions to

RA and Intern positions at Yale

The Moms ‘n’ Kids Program at Yale University School of Medicine/APT Foundation is now accepting applications for a part-time Research Assistant position starting in February or March 2018 and for part-time interns for the Summer of 2018.

The attached documents contain further details about the positions.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Project Director, below:

Cindy DeCoste, M.S.

Project Director, Moms ‘n’ Kids Program

APT Foundation

1 Long Wharf Drive, Suite 310

New Haven, CT 06511

Substance Abuse and Family Research Team

Yale University School of Medicine

Department of Psychiatry

Phone: 203-285-1475

Fax: 203-497-8064