Several of the labs from our Attention Consortium meet in St. Pete Beach, Florida on May 21, 2018 at the Vision Sciences Society (VSS) Annual Meeting. This meeting offers attendees the opportunity to explore leading-edge science, research and technology, and to collaborate with colleagues over the course of six days. The VSS program includes over 1,200 poster presentations, 200 talk presentations, member-initiated symposia, workshops, and social events. Learn more about VSS here.
Brown University and Rhode Island School of Design students use visual media to convey scientific concepts. This year, the Attention Consortium members were happy to provide guidance and consultation on the following four projects selected. View the videos here!
The Underwater Illusionist
How do octopi see? Visual perception in various creatures.
Have whites of our eyes developed to support communication?
Why is eyewitness testimony suspect? Inattentional blindness.
How Artists Perform Neuroscience
Art and Neuroscience
Undergraduate researchers Maddy Lee and Marisol Tracy (with support from graduate students Kirsten Ziman and Andy Heusser) from the Manning Lab presented their awesome work at the 2017 Wetterhahn Science Symposium.
The 5th Annual Brain Bee was a great success!
The Upper Valley Brain Bee is a fun, interactive neuroscience fair along with a friendly neuroscience competition open to teens age 13-19 living in New Hampshire and Vermont. Hosted by Dartmouth faculty and graduate students, we hope to show students the fun in learning about the brain and to provide an opportunity to experience what the field of neuroscience is all about!
The Brain Bee, which is open to the public, includes an interactive neuroscience fair with demonstration booths followed by a hands-on, brain-friendly competition. All students will receive a certificate of participation recognized by the International Brain Bee, and prizes will be awarded to the top five competitors.
The Brain Bee competition is divided into two rounds.
All competitors participate in the first round. It has three sections:
A neuroanatomy practical
The five top-scoring participants from the first round are selected to compete in the second round. It is a trivia-style competition (think Jeopardy) where Dartmouth neuroscience faculty quiz the competitors on their knowledge about the brain.
All competitors are responsible for understanding and abiding by the rules and regulations laid down by the International Brain Bee organization. This includes, but is not limited to, age restrictions and number of local competitions. If you have a question regarding eligibility, feel free to contact one of our Coordinators.
This event was supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant # 1632738.
Learn more about the Brain Bee here.
Five neuroscience-research consortiums addressing fundamental questions about the brain were recently awarded funding through the National Science Foundation’s Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research or EPSCoR process. Two of the five consortiums include University of Nevada, Reno neuroscience researchers in the Department of Psychology who are now at work on the projects described by the head of EPSCoR as holding the promise of transforming daily lives.
Associate Professor of Psychology Marian Berryhill and Assistant Professor of Psychology Jacqueline Snow are co-principal investigators on a project probing cognition and learning. Led by the University of Delaware and also involving researchers from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the project explores the complex relationship between existing knowledge stored in the brain and new information obtained through sensory perception.
“We know through cognitive psychology that associations and context are used to interpret our environment,” Berryhill said. “What isn’t known is how this is neurally substantiated.”
Associate Professor of Psychology Gideon Caplovitz is co-principal investigator on a project to develop a greater understanding of attention which is critical to countless daily tasks and relates to worker productivity, driver safety and military and security vigilance. Berryhill is also part of the project which is led by Dartmouth College in New Hampshire and involves neuroscience researchers from Montana State University and Brown University in Rhode Island. Caplovitz and Berryhill have a fundamental role since the project will involve use of the University’s high density electroencephalogram (EEG) which detects electrical activity in the brain and the University’s functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) equipment – based at and operated in partnership with Renown Regional Medical Center – which can picture the brain in action.
Each of the two, multi-institution projects was awarded $6 million over four years, and the sub-awards to the University of Nevada, Reno are $1.75 million for the project focused on cognition and perception and $470,000 for the project focused on attention.
“Brain research is a national research priority. It is very notable to have University of Nevada, Reno researchers at the forefront of this grand challenge and integrally involved with two of the five projects selected for EPSCoR funding,” Mridul Gautam, vice president for Research & Innovation, said. “This was a competitive process and reflects the high caliber of neuroscience research being conducted at this University.”
While the EPSCoR awards support the advancement of research, they also build research capacity and capabilities for the research institutions. Award recipients must invest in developing a science, technology, engineering and mathematics workforce, particularly of early-career researchers. Berryhill, Caplovitz and Snow look forward to further formulating plans to foster career development and mentoring for female and under-represented minority graduates students, post-docs and junior faculty.
“It’s fabulous to be able to say we have funding in place for graduate students and laboratory development,” Berryhill said. “The more stable the funding, the more talented students we are able to attract.”
“Drs. Berryhill, Caplovitz and Snow are making important contributions to science, and also to the University’s research enterprise and to the capabilities of our students who will go on to contribute to society,” Debra Moddelmog, dean of the College of Liberal Arts, said.
For Snow, the new NSF EPSCoR award adds to two other recent federal NIH grants, each of which supports innovative new research in her Real-World Cognition Laboratory.
"The EPSCoR grant is critical, not only for building infrastructure to support cutting-edge neuroscience research here at UNR, but by strengthening collaborations between ourselves and researchers at the partner institutions to increase collectively our knowledge and expertise,” Snow said. “This is a really exciting opportunity for expansion.”
Caplovitz calls it a ripple effect, noting the EPSCoR awards build on previous funding awarded to the University through the National Institutes of Health to establish a Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) in Integrative Neuroscience.
“It expands the scope of our research, just as the COBRE did,” he said.
“We can’t say more emphatically what a true honor it is to be part of projects like this,” Berryhill said. “We worked hard on the proposal, with a fantastic team, and we now get to work with people who are equally passionate.”
Dartmouth College Press Releases - A collaborative research project on the neural basis of attention, to be led by Peter Ulric Tse, professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Dartmouth, has been awarded $6 million by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The project will strive to unravel how attention works in the brain.
The project establishes a consortium of 14 neuroscientists from four universities: Dartmouth College and Dartmouth's Geisel School of Medicine in Hanover, N.H.; Montana State University in Bozeman, Mont.; Brown University in Providence, R.I.; and the University of Nevada, Reno.
Researchers will aim to develop a greater understanding of focused attention, which is critical to countless daily tasks, from operating machinery to maintaining safety in high security settings. The goal of the project is to develop a unified model of attention that applies across multiple domains, from single cells to large brain circuits.
The consortium expects to establish lasting collaborations in academia, build industrial partnerships, expand the neuroscience workforce, and extend educational opportunities to traditionally underrepresented groups in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Plans include hosting a summer conference for women in neuroscience and providing educational opportunities for youths in the participating institutions' labs.
"Paying attention is central to almost everything we consciously do in life," says Tse. "Understanding the brain systems that afford us the ability to attend, will help us understand not only cases where those systems are damaged but also understand how best to foster attentional ability in normally functioning brains. As far as I know, we will be the only consortium of scientists tackling this question."
Dartmouth's award was among 11 awards totaling $55M announced by the NSF today. All aim to build research capacity to address either fundamental questions about the brain or to develop new innovations at the intersection of food, energy, and water systems. The awards support a coalition-based approach to research, an initiative through the NSF's Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) as part of its Research Infrastructure Improvement (RII) Track-2 investment strategy. RII Track-2 builds national research strength by initiating collaborations across institutions in two or more EPSCoR jurisdictions. These four-year awards support 27 institutions in 18 eligible jurisdictions.
"These awards represent a tremendous value for the scientific community, as they foster research into some of the most pressing issues facing U.S. society while simultaneously supporting collaborative research programs and workforce development," said Denise Barnes, head of NSF EPSCoR. "Whether by expanding our knowledge of the brain, or by improving how our water, food and energy systems work efficiently together, these projects hold the promise of transforming our daily lives."
The RII Track-2 awards support research while also requiring award recipients to invest in developing a science, technology, engineering and mathematics workforce -- particularly early-career faculty researchers.
The Dartmouth-led consortium of neuroscientists include: Peter Tse, Jeremy Manning, Patrick Cavanagh and Alireza Soltani at Dartmouth College's Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences; Barbara C. Jobst and Farran Briggs at Dartmouth's Geisel School of Medicine; Charles Gray, Behrad Noudoost and James Mazer at Montana State University; David Sheinberg, Barry Connors and Theresa Desrochers at Brown University; and Gideon Caplovitz and Marian Berryhill at the University of Nevada, Reno.
Peter Tse, professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Dartmouth and principal investigator of the project, is available to comment at: Peter.U.Tse@dartmouth.edu.