Volume 12, Number 2

Septermber, 2008

Submissions Welcome!

The Editors encourage submission of any announcements, and/or letters to the editors, regarding psychological science. 

Comments on the content and presentation of the newsletter are also appreciated.

Submit to:


Editors, The Experimental Psychology Bulletin

Kristi S. Multhaup

Davidson College

(704) 894-2008


Mark E. Faust

Univ. of North Carolina at Charlotte

(704) 687-3564


 Humor Needed…

Why waste your time subjecting your family and friends to your humor when you can elicit guffaws from your colleagues?  Send us your science related humor: krmulthaup@davidson.edu 

Division 3 E-mail Listserve Access

Subscribe to the Division 3 E-mail network to keep informed about Division 3 and issues regarding psychological science.  This is a monitored network to keep the number of e-mails down.

Subscribe:  Send an e-mail to listserv@lists.apa.org.  Leave the Subject line blank and type “subscribe div3” in the body of the message.

Send a Message (once subscribed):  div3@lists.apa.org

Questions:  Send e-mail to Mark Faust, UNC at Charlotte, mefaust@uncc.edu

Division Representatives



Nelson Cowan

University of Missouri

(573) 882-7710



Ralph Miller

SUNY Binghamton

(607) 777-2291


Past President

Ed Wasserman

University of Iowa

(319) 335-2445



Veronica Dark

Iowa State

(515) 294-1688


Members-At-Large of the

Executive Committee

David Washburn (08-11)

Georgia State



Jeremy Wolfe (08-11)

Harvard University

(617) 768-8818


Mark Bouton (07-10)

University of Vermont

(802) 656-4164


Nora Newcombe (07-10)

Temple University

(215) 204-6944


Gil Einstein (06-09)

Furman University

(864) 294-3214


Karen Hollis (06-09)

Mount Holyoke College

(413) 538-2296


Graduate Student Representative

Daniel Brooks

University of Iowa

(319) 353-2031


Representative to APA Council

Emanuel Donchin (08-10)

University of South Florida

(813) 974-0466


Thomas R. Zentall (07-09)

University of Kentucky

(859) 257-4076


Committee Chairs

Michael Beran (Awards)

Georgia State

(404) 244-2469


Mike Young (Fellows, 08-09)

Southern Illinois University

(618) 453-3567


Emily Elliott (Program)

Louisiana State




Charles L. Brewer

Furman University

(803) 294-3216


Early Career Psychologist

Network Representative

Jessie Peissig

California State U. at Fullerton

(714) 278-8278



2008 APA Program Retrospective

Mind, Brain, & Behavior in Boston

Is the Division 3 Model Broken?

Jeremy Wolfe, Division 3 2008 Program Chair


Success and Embarrassment

What can I tell you about the Division Three program at this year’s APA convention in Boston? I can tell you that it was very good but that I was not very happy. Let me explain. I heard a collection of excellent talks organized or co-sponsored by Division Three. Starting on Thurs morning, Bob Cook (Tufts) put together a good symposium entitled “How Animals, Humans, and Computer Models Remember Visual Objects”. We honored Helen Mahut who spent most of her career at Northeastern U with a session on Hippocampus and Memory. Speakers traced the progress in the field from early work at McGill where Helen was Hebb’s student to current work on Alzheimer’s disease. In the afternoon, Linda Bartoshuk (U. Florida) brought together a group of people exploring an unexpected connection between obesity and childhood ear infections. The connection runs through the sense of taste (because the chorda tympani nerves innervating the taste buds run through the ears. I know that because I got that question wrong on my Physiological Psych exam in 1975.).

On Friday, I chaired a session on visual processing: From Eye to Brain and Back Again, featuring a trio of excellent researchers from MIT: Jim DiCarlo, Pawan Sinha, and Peter Schiller. Then we had four sessions, spread over Friday and Saturday in which we honored New Fellows of Division 3 and the winners of the New Investigator Awards from the JEP journals. Each one of the talks that I heard was a clear and stimulating. My notes from those talks will give me new tidbits for my Intro Psych class this fall on topics from pain perception to clinical diagnosis. I am afraid that I missed the Sunday sessions (including our poster session) because I needed to collect my 12-yr old from camp. I also missed Ed Wasserman’s Division 3 Presidential Address though I heard nothing but good reports. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our speakers who came from near and far (largely at their own expense) to share their science with us.

So, with first-rate science presented by first-rate speakers, why wasn’t I entirely happy? I wasn’t happy because attendance at many of these sessions was pathetic. The session honoring Helen Mahut was well attended. Attendance at some of the other sessions could be counted on the fingers of two hands; one hand, in some cases, if you didn’t count the speakers and the session chair. It is embarrassing and it is hard to see why a future speaker would want to pay for the privilege of talking to an essentially empty room.

Please note; this is not intended as an effort to make you feel guilty about your absence. Rather, I want to argue that the model is broken. The APA convention is not a significant scientific meeting for most members of Division 3. You know that, so you were not there. Most of our scientific colleagues, especially the younger ones, are not even members of the division. There is little support for the notion that members of other divisions will come to our sessions in order to get a booster shot of Psychological science.

APA and the division play an important role in advocating for our science, maintaining important journals and other resources, a fostering a degree of unity in a diverse field. We need to think how to use the APA convention to foster those divisional goals. We are not succeeding by mounting a pale imitation of a scientific meeting. We need a new plan. If you have ideas, I will be happy to use my position as an at-large member of the Executive Committee to share them with the Division. Drop me an email.

Jeremy Wolfe  

2008 Program Chair, Division 3

Brigham and Women’s Hospital & Harvard Medical School

Visual Attention Lab

64 Sidney St. Suite. 170

Cambridge, MA  02139-4170


URL: http://search.bwh.harvard.edu