Rayner Fund Research Impact: Connecting the Dots Without Top-Down Knowledge

3D glasses showing how one eye can see a different picture than the other

The Keith Rayner Memorial Graduate Student Research Award helped support a project led by Patrick Sadil, now published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, Connecting the Dots Without Top-Down Knowledge: Evidence for Rapidly-Learned Low-Level Associations That Are Independent of Object Identity (Sadil, Potter, Huber, & Cowell 2019). The project explored how people encode and remember visual information.

Winter 2020 Newsletter

beakers shine by a window looking out on the campus pond

Catch up with the latest PBS news in our Winter 2020 Newsletter, including spotlights on our talented students, faculty, and alumni!

Read full issue

Features include:

  • New views into the hearts and minds of preschoolers
  • DDHS Program celebrates 20 years
  • PBS Welcomes New Associate Professor
  • Behavioral Neuroscience labs move to Morrill IV
  • Deanna Ferrante '20 honored with Kaitlin A. Geraghty Memorial Prize for excellence in disability inclusion
  • Introducing our Undergraduate Spotlight on Alumni

PBS welcomes new Associate Professor

Ilia KaratsoreosIlia Karatsoreos

Overuse of electronic devices, stress, and a lack of sleep can take a toll on our health and well-being. Ilia Karatsoreos, associate professor of behavioral neuroscience, studies how the body's biological clock and stress response systems help maintain mental and physical health. His lab aims to uncover the fundamental mechanisms of, and potential interventions to, some of the negative health outcomes associated with our fast-paced modern society.

Behavioral Neuroscience labs move to newly designed collaborative space in Morrill IV

Healey Lab mates pose in new space
Members of the Healey Lab setup their new lab space

The brand new neuroscience wing in Morrill IV, housing many of our behavioral neuroscience labs, features a modern open lab plan, lots of natural light, and energy efficiency. The space will house the labs and offices of David Moorman, Mariana Pereira, Luke Remage-Healey, and Heather Richardson, as well as the office of Agnès Lacreuse.

‘A new era in education’

pencils lined up in a row


The interdisciplinary field of learning sciences is on what Robert Feldman says is the “cusp of a new era in education.” When pieced together, research from social and hard sciences provide invaluable information on how we learn. Feldman recently edited a book on learning science published by McGraw-Hill, where he serves as the chair of their Learning Science Advisory Board.

Effect of visualization on students’ understanding of probability concepts

drawing graphs on white board


Improving the quality and effectiveness of undergraduate education in STEM fields is crucial for preparing both a diverse workforce and a STEM-literate public that is ready to acknowledge and benefit from the advancement of science. STEM sectors of the economy are showing steady growth and careers in these fields are in demand.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has recently awarded a $300,000 Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) grant to Associate Professors Jeffrey Starns, Andrew Cohen (psychological and brain sciences) and Darrell Earnest (teacher education and curriculum studies). This team will develop and test an instructional program in probabilistic reasoning that is designed to help students overcome math challenges by linking mathematical concepts to an intuitive visualization.

CNS students win top prize in Celebration of Innovation Challenge

winners receive large check

Three College of Natural Sciences students recently won a top prize in the Celebration of Innovation Challenge: The Seed Pitch, hosted by the Berthiaume Center for Entrepreneurship!

Pitched by Hadley Beauregard (biochemistry and molecular biology), Hailey Charest (biochemistry and molecular biology) and Bryanna Lexus Freitas (chemistry and psychology), Bac-Be-Gone focuses on MRSA, an antibiotic resistant superbug that kills hundreds of thousands of people a year in hospitals across the world. The Bac-Be-Gone venture will produce products that immediately eliminate MRSA on contact. The team was awarded $5,000 in equity-free funding. Congratulations!