News

Call for applications: IBRAiN Program

The Connecticut Institute for the Brain and Cognitive Sciences (CT IBACS), is inviting graduate students to apply to the IBACS-BIRC Research Assistantships in Neuroimaging (IBRAiN) Program. 

 

The CT Institute for the Brain and Cognitive Sciences (IBACS) is offering graduate assistantships of 10 hours per week during the Fall (2019) and Spring (2020) semesters at the Brain Imaging Research Center (BIRC). During the first year, assistants will be trained in neuroimaging methods, data science, and reproducibility. Assistants will spend the remaining allocated hours at BIRC, supporting users of BIRC facilities. This could involve helping design and implement experimental procedures for fMRI, EEG, tDCS, TMS etc., recruitment and prepping of participants, data analysis, or overseeing use of equipment by others. Applicants will be expected to commit to the full duration of the assistantship (Fall & Spring). Funds may be available during Summer 2019 to enable IBRAiN students to pursue their own research at BIRC. IBRAiN students also receive an allocation of 20 hours of MRI time to be used at BIRC during the course of the fellowship.

We anticipate three 10-hour assistantships starting Fall 2019, joining the existing IBRAiN students who have already completed their first year at BIRC and are starting their second year on the program.

 

The deadline for receipt of applications will be midnight on February 28, 2019.

 

Priority may be given to applicants whose research will involve, or has involved, neuroimaging methods (fMRI, dEEG, tDCS, or TMS), and who will incorporate these methods into their master’s or dissertation research. Subject to funding and other constraints, these assistantships could be renewed for a further year.Please refer to the full details here.

 

Students can apply both to this program and to the IBACS Graduate Fellowship program (details here).

Funded summer opportunity: Diverse Intelligences Summer Institute

Note: ECOM Director Dorit Bar-On is among the international faculty this summer!
From Erica Cartmill, Assistant Professor at UCLA:
I am writing to share the news about an exciting funded summer opportunity for graduate students, postdocs, and early career faculty. In 2018, I launched a new summer program, the Diverse Intelligences Summer Institute (DISI for short), with my colleague Jacob Foster, a computational sociologist at UCLA. You can find more details about last summer’s DISI, as well as a short video, at www.diverseintelligencessummer.com.
The basic idea behind DISI is simple: to bring together promising graduate students, postdocs, and early career faculty interested in the study of mind, cognition, and intelligence for several weeks of transdisciplinary exploration. The first year was a great success, and we are delighted to be expanding the scope of DISI in 2019! We are increasing the number of participants, welcoming back alumni, and broadening the topics offered by faculty. We are also introducing a new “storytellers” track to host artists-in-residence at DISI. We hope that this vibrant community will work together to develop new ways of engaging with big questions about intelligence, cognition, and the mind.
We are holding the 2019 Summer Institute at the University of St Andrews, Scotland, from June 30 to July 20. As you probably know, this is a beautiful seaside location, easily accessible from Edinburgh International Airport, and a picturesque train journey North from London. We’ve already assembled an outstanding international faculty (www.diverseintelligencessummer.com/faculty), and more are yet to be added. In addition to lectures and discussions, DISI offers participants the opportunity to develop collaborative interdisciplinary research projects with support from faculty and staff.
I’ve attached a flyer advertising the Institute, and included a link to our website below. I would be grateful if you could forward this announcement to talented graduate students, postdocs, and other early career researchers who might be interested. We are also hoping to reach writers and artists of all types for our storyteller track! In both the academic and storyteller tracks, we are looking for creative, open-minded participants who want to take intellectual risks and break down disciplinary barriers in the spirit of dialogue and discovery.
 
The main application deadline is February 15. Storyteller and alumni applications will be rolling. Application portals can be found at www.diverseintelligencessummer.com/apply
If potential applicants have any questions, they can reach out to our wonderful Associate Director, Dr. Kensy Cooperrider, at disi@ucla.edu.
Thanks so much for helping us build an exciting new intellectual community!

How the Brain Controls Speech

UConn research to better understand how the brain applies meaning to words could ultimately help people with communication disorders. (Christa Tubach/UConn Image)
UConn research to better understand how the brain applies meaning to words could ultimately help people with communication disorders. (Christa Tubach/UConn Image)

Emily Myers, assistant professor of speech, language and hearing sciences at UConn, was recently featured in an article in UConn Today regarding her recent aphasia research in collaboration with Carl Coelho and Jennifer Mozeiko. By using UConn’s powerful new fMRI scanning software, Myers has been able to identify the specific neural regions in the brain that are impacted by aphasia. This new information can help shape therapies for people with language disorders.

Click here to read more.

The Difference Between Laughing and Crying: A Multidisciplinary Effort

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Undergraduate April Garbuz has learned from mentor Heather Read that it takes all kinds of scientists and engineers working together to understand how our brain functions. (Christine Buckley/UConn Photo)

Heather Read, an associate professor of psychological sciences and biomedical engineering at UConn, and undergraduate April Garbuz are working on a project concerned with how the brain’s auditory circuits react to different vocal tones, shapes, pitches, and rhythms – what people use to distinguish between laughing and crying. Successfully mapping out these areas on the brain may allow for therapies or computerized devices to help with differentiation in those who can’t do it for themselves.

Read works with co-PI Monty Escabi, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, and notes that “It takes all kinds of scientists to do these kinds of studies, it makes for a really cool environment not just for research, but for our students to learn.”

Psychology department head Jim Green agrees, saying that this successful collaboration of faculty from different programs shows how building multidisciplinary studies leads to stronger research programs.

“Complex problems often cannot be solved by a single investigator, and brain science is a truly multidisciplinary effort,” Green says. “UConn’s current brain studies have faculty from at least seven different departments, in four colleges, working together. It’s incredibly exciting.”

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UConn Helps Pave The Way For Assessing Traumatic Brain Injuries

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A device to evaluate concussions is demonstrated by Rohnin Thomas ’17 (CAHNR), left, and Sarah Attansasio ’16 (CAHNR) on Oct. 7, 2015. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

“The device, which is not yet available commercially, is about the size of a smartphone. Placed on a patient’s head, it measures a patient’s electroencephalograph (EEG), or brainwaves, to gauge brain function after head injury…within 10 minutes, the device can help medical personnel determine whether it’s safe for a player who’s had a head injury to return to the athletic field.”

Click here to read more!

The Institute featured in UConn Today

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Gerald Altmann, professor of psychology, on Sept. 22, 2015. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

“The director of the Institute for Brain and Cognitive Science, psychology professor Gerry Altmann, discusses how this new research center will ‘join the dots’ across neuroscience, behavioral research, and cognitive science.”

 

Click here to read more