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Univ. of North Carolina at Charlotte
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University of Kentucky
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Georgia Institute of Technology
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University of Texas at Arlington
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Members-At-Large of the Executive Committee
Ralph R. Miller (8/04-07)
Binghamton Univ., SUNY
Nelson Cowan (8/04-07)
University of Missouri
Veronica J. Dark (8/03-06)
Iowa State University
Thomas R. Zentall (8/03-06)
University of Kentucky
Earl B. Hunt (8/02-05)
University of Washington
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Pennsylvania State University
Representative to APA Council
Lewis P. Lipsitt (8/04-07)
Emanuel E. Donchin (8/03-06)
University of Illinois
Board of Directors
J. Bruce Overmier
University of Minnesota
James H. Neely (Awards)
SUNY at Alabany
Mark H. Ashcraft (Fellows)
Cleveland State University
Randall W. Engle (Membership)
Georgia Institute of Technology
Sharon L. Armstrong (Program)
Deborah Clawson (Program)
Catholic University of America
Thank you to the following people who gave invited addresses at the APA Convention in Honolulu, Hawaii;
Michael Anderson, University of Oregon
John Bargh, Yale University
Sian Beilock, Miami University, Ohio
Todd Braver, Washington University, St. Louis
Mike Fanselow, UCLA
Barbara Knowlton, UCLA
Neil Mulligan, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Brian Nosek, University of Virginia
Mark Packard, Texas A&M University
Jennifer Richeson, Dartmouth College
Toni Schmader, University of Arizona
This year’s Division 3 program captured excellence in experimental psychology across several areas within psychology, including behavioral neuroscience, cognitive psychology, and social psychology. A loose theme ran through the talks, with each speaker touching at least somewhat on issues of cognitive control or free will or the distinction between explicit and implicit forms of learning and memory.
Division 3 kicked off the convention on Wednesday morning with an opening session that included two outstanding cognitive psychologists/neuroscientists, Todd Braver and Michael Anderson. Todd presented his recent work on dual mechanisms of cognitive control and Mike presented recent research on the neural mechanisms underlying suppression. Their session was followed by an address by Barbara Knowlton, who presented data from both animals and humans that contrasted implicit and explicit learning and memory.
The second day of the program continued where the first day left off with two exceptional behavioral neuroscienctists; Mark Packard and Mike Fanselow. Mark’s talk complemented Barbara’s talk nicely as he too discussed implicit and explicit learning and memory, emphasizing the interaction among the neural systems underlying these forms of learning. Mike Fanselow also addressed the neural mechanisms underlying learning and behavior but his research program attacks the question by attempting to understand fear-motivated behavior.
The third day we switched gears slightly with a session that included Sian Beilock and Neil Mulligan. Sian Beilock presented a series of experiments on the topic of “choking” in skilled performance, detailing the cognitive mechanisms involved in skill and control. Neil presented several experiments designed to examine the role of attention in implicit learning. The third day also included a poster session with approximately 40 presenters representing Division 3.
The fourth day of the program was the morning to either sleep-in or hit the beach as Division 3 didn’t have any sponsored speakers until the afternoon. We saved our energy for our one and only speaker that day, John Bargh. John gave an excellent address entitled, “Being here now: B.F. Skinner and the Psychology of the present”. This year marks the 100th anniversary of Skinner’s birth so the APA convention featured many presentations that touched on Skinner’s work. John took Skinner’s simple S-R learning concepts and placed them in a more sophisticated current model of the mechanisms underlying cognitive and social psychological behavior.
The final day of the conference spotlighted three emerging social psychologists; Toni Schmader, Jennifer Richeson, and Brian Nosek, all Assistant Professors with very exciting research programs. Toni talked about her work on stereotype threat, particularly her work on the effects of stereotype threat on working memory capacity. Jennifer presented her work on the effects of stereotype threat on executive control mechanisms, including some exciting new fMRI data on the topic. Finally, Brian presented some very intriguing data using the implicit associations test and discussed work conducted through Project Implicit (https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/). A special thanks all those who managed to make it to this Sunday morning session!
Finally, it would be disingenuous of me to suggest that this conference was all work and no play. Of course all of us took advantage of the island surroundings. In fact, some attendees were more easily found on the beach than in the sessions (you know who you are!). For instance, the only time I saw Roddy Roedigger was as he was waving to me from a convertible. Other notable social events included a dinner for the invited speakers at The Chart House, where I, and several others, discovered The Blue Hawaii, a tasty vodka concoction. Division 3 also enjoyed a shared social hour with Division 6, Behavioral Neuroscience and Comparative Psychology.
I hope everyone is looking forward to next year’s convention in Washington, DC. Until then, Aloha!