Three selected for 2011 APA Early Graduate Student Researcher Award

Awards recognize scientific achievements of psychology graduate students.

The American Psychological Association Science Student Council has selected three students to receive the 2011 APA Early Graduate Student Researcher Award.

Each student receives a $1,000 award to be used towards research-related expenses.

More than 160 early graduate students applied for the award, representing all areas of research within psychological science. The recipients were selected based on the quality of their research during their initial years of graduate study.

The recipients are:

Anne Berry Anne Berry
University of Michigan

Anne Berry is a third year graduate student in the Neuroscience program at the University of Michigan, where she works with Cindy Lustig and Martin Sarter studying the neural mechanisms of attention in humans and rodent models. 

Berry’s research assesses the degree to which neuroscientific evidence about the control of attention gained from rat studies is applicable to humans. She investigates the neural mechanisms of distinct processes of attention (distractor resistance, signal detection, and processing mode shifts) using a task validated for use in both rats and humans.  The results indicate strong parallels across species in the pattern of neural activity in prefrontal cortex.  Her recent research compared measures of acetylcholine release in rats (microdialysis, electrochemistry) to BOLD fMRI in humans.  Her current work focuses on evaluating parallels in electrophysiological correlates of attention across species.

Diana Tamir
Diana Tamir
Harvard University

Diana Tamir’s research investigates the central role that self-referential thought plays in cognition. “Using functional neuroimaging and cognitive methods,” she writes, “I have explored the human motivation for self-disclosure, the cognitive limitations on self-referential thought, the cognitive processes by which people escape their subjective perspective in order to mentalize about others, and the potential role of fiction reading to improve readers’ ability to simulate experiences that they’re not actually having.”

Tamir is a fourth year doctoral candidate in Harvard University’s Department of Psychology, working with Jason Mitchell in the Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience lab.

Andy Yap
Andy Yap
Columbia University

Andy Yap’s research focuses on three aspects of power: (1) Incidental bases of power. This work shows that the expansiveness of one’s bodily postures causes one to experience a psychological and physiological state of power. (2) How does power corrupt? This research found that power buffers the cognitive and physiological stress of behaving unethically. Drawing together these two streams of research, his recent research shows that the incidental postures forced upon us by the ergonomics of our life and work can lead us to steal, cheat and violate laws. Finally, (3) When does power corrupt? Using regulatory focus as a framework, Yap’s latest research examines the motivational underpinnings that moderate the effects of power, including how powerlessness can also lead to corruption.

Yap is a fourth year graduate student in Management at Columbia Business School. His advisors are Dana Carney and Tory Higgins, and he also works with Adam Galinsky, Michael Morris, Daniel Ames, and Malia Mason.

More about the awards

The APA Science Student Council, which is affiliated with the APA Board of Scientific Affairs, established the Early Graduate Student Researcher Award (formerly Early Researcher Award) in 2004 to recognize students who have demonstrated outstanding research ability early in their graduate careers.  Recipients receive an award of $1,000. For more information, including application instructions and eligibility requirements, visit the Early Graduate Student Researcher Award webpage.