University of Colorado Boulder

Previous Department of Psychology and Neuroscience News Items

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(Many of the links below may no longer work. Our apologies.)

December 2012

CU Psychology and Neuroscience Distinguished Professor Linda Watkins (Behavioral Neuroscience) was in the popular press in an announcement that she and her biomedical spinoff company are collaborating with a local veterinarian to test a new gene therapy for addressing chronic pain in dogs. Ultimately she hopes the therapy could prove useful in humans. Read the CU press release or the Daily Camera article.


CU Psychology and Neuroscience graduate student Yoni Ashar (Clinical) was interviewed in an article in the Daily Camera about neurology and religion, more specifically about a local rabbi undergoing an fMRI while contemplating God’s name. Read the article for more details.


CU Psychology and Neuroscience professor Tor Wager (Cognitive) was in the popular media, being interviewed on Australia’s version of the news program 60 Minutes for his research on the neural signature of placebo effects. Check out the interview (approximately 9 minutes into the program).


November 2012

CU Psychology and Neuroscience professor Josh Correll (Social) was interviewed on the Colorado Public Radio show “Colorado Matters” about his research indicating police officers show a hierarchy of racial bias in the context of a video game where the task is to shoot people holding a gun. Listen to the interview on the Colorado Public Radio website.


CU Psychology and Neuroscience graduate student Clare Sims (Cognitive), undergraduate Savannah Schilling (not pictured), and professor Eliana Colunga (Cognitive) received a Paper of Excellence award from the IEEE International Conference on Development and Learning for their paper, “Interactions in the Development of Skilled Word Learning in Neural Networks and Toddlers.” Check out all the winners.


CU Psychology and Neuroscience professor Don Cooper (Behavioral Genetics, Behavioral Neuroscience, and Institute for Behavioral Genetics fellow) was a Grand Challenges Exploration winner, an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Read more about the award in the CU press release.


October 2012

CU Psychology and Neuroscience professor Josh Correll (Social), College Professor of Distinction Chick Judd (Social), Professors Bernadette Park and Leaf Van Boven (both Social), and Professor Tor Wager (Cognitive) all received some press regarding their research in the latest issue of CU-Boulder’s Arts and Sciences Magazine. Read the various articles (article 1, 2, 3).


CU Psychology and Neuroscience professor Yuko Munakata (Cognitive), was elected an APA Fellow in Division 7 (Developmental Psychology).



September 2012

CU Psychology and Neuroscience Senior Instructor Diane Martichuski was appointed co-director for the Boulder campus of the President’s Teaching and Learning Collaborative (PTLC). From the PTLC website: “The PTLC seeks to promote the practice of inquiry in teaching and measuring student learning. The Collaborative assists University faculty in developing scholarly research projects on teaching and learning intended for refereed publication.”


CU Psychology and Neuroscience professor Angela Bryan (Social), was elected an APA Fellow in Division 38 (Health Psychology).



CU Psychology and Neuroscience postdoc Chris Loersch (Social) received the 2011 Best Paper Award from the International Social Cognition Network (ISCON) for his and coauthor Keith Payne’s paper entitled “The situated inference model of priming: An integrative account of construal, behavior, and goal priming,” published in Perspectives on Psychological Science. According to the awards committee, “the paper exemplifies in an outstanding fashion the value of the social cognition approach for social psychological research.”


CU Psychology and Neuroscience College Professor of Distinction Alice Healy (Cognitive) and Professor Matt Jones (Cognitive) have been awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation which will examine the use of “clickers” in the teaching and learning of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).


August 2012

CU Psychology and Neuroscience Distinguished Professors Linda Watkins and Steven Maier (both Behavioral Neuroscience) received a great deal of press for a recent article published in the Journal of Neuroscience. This research, conducted in collaboration with former Maier/Watkins postdoc Mark Hutchinson, now a Research Fellow at the University Adelaide (Australia) School of Medical Sciences, demonstrated that the addictive properties of morphine and heroin can be blocked without blocking their analgesic effects. Among the many news outlets that picked up the story are the Washington Post, New Scientist, and Medical News Today. Read the CU press release, and/or the original JN article.


CU Psychology and Neuroscience Professor Vijay Mittal (Clinical) was in the popular press. An article about his research on schizophrenia and potential early diagnosis appeared in the Denver Post. Read the article.



CU Psychology and Neuroscience College Professor of Distinction Alice Healy (Cognitive) and Professor Emeritus Lyle Bourne (Cognitive) are the editors of a book entitled Training Cognition recently published by Psychology Press. Read more about this volume.


July 2012

CU Psychology and Neuroscience professor Matt Keller (Behavioral Genetics and IBG faculty fellow), received the Behavior Genetics Association’s Fuller and Scott Early Career Award. This award recognizes outstanding scientific accomplishments by a BGA member who is early in his or her career.


Several CU Psychology and Neuroscience researchers in the Clinical area received awards from CU-Boulder’s Office for University Outreach for 2012–2013. Awardees were Professor Sona Dimidjian [project info], Adjunct Professor David Miklowitz [project info], Research Professor Emily Richardson [more info], and Research Associate Nomita Chhabildas [more info]. These awards provide funding for faculty projects designed specifically for external audiences.


June 2012

The research of CU Psychology and Neuroscience Professor Richard Olson (Cognitive and Behavioral Genetics) and colleagues is featured in CU-Boulder’s Arts & Sciences Magazine. Rather than focused on a specific research paper, the article describes the kind of research pursued at the Colorado Learning Disabilities Research Center of which Olson is the director. Read the A&S article online.


The research of CU Psychology and Neuroscience professor Leaf Van Boven (Social) and a colleague is also featured in CU-Boulder’s Arts & Sciences Magazine. This research examined gender differences in how emotional responses are remembered. After viewing emotional vignettes, there are no gender differences in emotional response, nor are there differences after 20 minutes under conditions of low cognitive load. However, after 20 minutes under conditions of cognitive load, males recall their emotional responses as being less intense than they were immediately whereas females do not. These types of results may contribute to the perpetuation of stereotypes. Read the A&S article online.


May 2012

CU Psychology and Neuroscience College Professor of Distinction Chick Judd (Social) and Professor Gary McClelland (Social) “retired” from teaching the department’s graduate statistics class after 29 years. A party was held in their honor at the Koenig Alumni Center on campus. There are photos from the retirement event and a slide show presentation (here in pdf form) that was shown.


CU Psychology and Neuroscience graduate student Elizabeth Woodruff (Behavioral Neuroscience, mentored by Bob Spencer) received the Sheryl R. Young Memorial Scholarship for the 2012–2013 academic year. This competitive scholarship is awarded by the family of Sheryl, who received her PhD from our department.


CU Psychology and Neuroscience postdoc Jane Stout (Social) received a Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in STEM Education (Faculty Award). This grant, as part of the iSTEM program, was awarded for her proposal to examine the potential reasons for the gender gap in STEM participation. (Read more about the iSTEM program.)


CU Psychology and Neuroscience staff member and undergraduate advisor Dan Robinson received the National Award for Advising Technology Innovation from the National Academic Advising Association. The award is for Dan’s design and construction of the “Planet DARS” website, a site that is used by academic advisors all over campus to navigate the labyrinth that is the Degree Audit Reporting System (DARS). Check out the list of past and present winners.


April 2012

CU Psychology and Neuroscience graduate students Sara Blaine (Behavioral Neuroscience, mentored by Kent Hutchison) and Shaw Ketels (Cognitive, mentored by Alice Healy) were chosen to be Lead Graduate Teachers for the upcoming academic year. Read more about the Graduate Teacher Program.


CU Psychology and Neuroscience graduate student Sarah Banchefsky (Social, mentored by Bernadette Park) was chosen to receive the 2012 Dorothy Martin Doctoral Student Award. Read more about the award.



CU Psychology and Neuroscience professors Sona Dimidjian (Clinical) and Tina Wagers (Senior Instructor) received the 2012 Dorothy Martin Woman Faculty Award for their outstanding teaching, research and service activities in support of women and women’s issues. The award honors women who exemplify the ideals of Professor Emerita Dorothy Martin, a faculty member of the CU-Boulder psychology department for 46 years who was instrumental in establishing the first CU Women’s Center in 1964.


CU Psychology and Neuroscience graduate student Lauren Chun (Behavioral Neuroscience, mentored by Bob Spencer) received a 2012 Summer Research Fellowship from the Endocrine Society. The fellowship consists of a stipend to support a research project with Professor Bob Spencer, as well as funds for her to travel to the Society’s 94th annual meeting in Houston in June.


CU Psychology and Neuroscience graduate student Blair Kleiber (Clinical, mentored by Sona Dimidjian) received the Ted Volsky Memorial Award through the Beverly Sears Graduate Student Grant program. These competitive awards are sponsored by the Graduate School to support the research, scholarship and creative work of graduate students from all departments. Read more about the grant program.


March 2012

CU Psychology and Neuroscience professors Joanna Arch (Clinical) and Don Cooper (Behavioral Genetics, Behavioral Neuroscience, and Institute for Behavioral Genetics fellow) have been chosen to receive funds from CU-Boulder’s Innovative Seed Grant Program (IGP). Only one of every six proposals is being funded this coming year. Read more about the program.


February 2012

A recent article co-authored by CU Psychology and Neuroscience professor Tor Wager (Cognitive) and colleagues on placebo effects is receiving some popular press. The research, published in Psychological Science, suggests that the pain reduction often associated with being distracted occurs in a different brain area than the standard placebo effect, contrary to what was commonly believed. Read the original article, or the Science Daily news item, or the FARS News news item.


January 2012

CU Psychology and Neuroscience College Professor of Distinction Chick Judd (Social) and Professor Gary McClelland (Social) were named co-recipients of the 2012 Jacob Cohen Award for Distinguished Contributions to Teaching and Mentoring, given by Division 5 of the American Psychological Association (APA). They have been invited to address the symposium at which the award will be given at the APA convention in Orlando in August.


The research of CU Psychology and Neuroscience professor Daniel Barth (Behavioral Neuroscience) and graduate student Krista Rodgers (also BN) has led to the development of a potential novel therapy for the treatment of post-traumatic brain injury (TBI). Read the CU Technology Transfer Office press release.


CU Psychology and Neuroscience Distinguished Professor Linda Watkins (Behavioral Neuroscience) was named the CU-Boulder “Inventor of the Year” by the University of Colorado Technology Transfer Office for developing “both novel drugs and new uses of known drugs targeting various disorders with unmet medical needs.” Read more about the award and other winners.


December 2011

CU Psychology and Neuroscience Professor Mark Whisman (Clinical) was awarded a College Scholar Award from the College of Arts & Sciences. A panel of the college’s professors of distinction bestow these awards in recognition of scholarly accomplishments, and the awards allow faculty to pursue full time research.


CU Psychology and Neuroscience undergraduate major Sarah Elizabeth Whitney will receive the Chancellor’s Recognition Award at CU-Boulder’s Winter Graduation ceremony. One of only two students to be so honored, the award is in recognition of achieving straight As during her college career.

November 2011

CU Psychology and Neuroscience professor (Behavioral Neuroscience) Theresa Hernández will receive one of Prevention magazine’s Integrative Medicine Awards for 2011. The award is for her research on how acupressure can improve memory and attention in patients who have suffered mild to moderate brain injuries. Read Prevention’s online article about the winners and their research.


October 2011

The research of CU Psychology and Neuroscience professor Leaf Van Boven (Social) and colleagues was featured in a CU press release. This research, published in Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, found that people increase their charitable giving disproportionately in response to crises that arouse their immediate emotions (e.g., the Haitian earthquake), in contrast to more chronic crises (famine and genocide in Africa). Coauthors on the study were Van Boven students Michaela Huber, now at Dresden University of Technology, and Laura Johnson-Graham, and CU Business School and adjunct Psychology and Neuroscience Professor Peter McGraw. Read the CU press release.


September 2011

Recent CU Psychology and Neuroscience PhD Laramie Duncan (Behavior Genetics and Clinical), now at Harvard Medical School, and her advisor CU Psychology and Neuroscience professor Matt Keller (Behavioral Genetics), received some press ahead of their review article to be published in the American Journal of Psychiatry. In their review of the literature, they argue that research reporting significant correlations in gene-by-environment interactions of various psychiatric illnesses may be due to false positives and publication bias towards positive findings. Read the Harvard Medical School press release.


CU-Boulder and the Mind Research Network of Albuquerque have joined forces to bring an fMRI scanner to Boulder. Read the CU press release about the grand opening last week. Or read the Daily Camera’s article. Or read the department’s article which also has pictures from the delivery and installation process.

CU Psychology and Neuroscience professor Sona Dimidjian (Clinical) received some popular press with an article about her research on postpartum depression in the CU Alumni magazine the Coloradan. Read the article online.


August 2011

CU Psychology and Neuroscience graduate student Lindsay Anderson (Cognitive) received a Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in STEM Education (Graduate Award). This grant, as part of the iSTEM program, was awarded for her proposal “Understanding the components of the iClicker system that promote learning, retention, and generalization of classroom knowledge.” (Read more about the iSTEM program.)


CU Psychology and Neuroscience professor Tiffany Ito (Social) received a Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in STEM Education (Faculty Award). This grant, as part of the iSTEM program, was awarded for her proposal to examine ways to reduce the gender achievement gap in college science courses. (Read more about the iSTEM program.)


CU Psychology and Neuroscience postdoc Ruth Barrientos (Behavioral Neuroscience) and several colleagues in the department received some popular press for an article published in the Journal of Neuroscience. This research demonstrated that a small amount of running was shown to protect aging rats from long-term memory loss following bacterial infection. Read the CU press release, or the abstract and full article.


July 2011

CU Psychology and Neuroscience professor Sona Dimidjian (Clinical) has been chosen to receive one of the CU-Boulder Provost’s Faculty Achievement Awards at the Convocation Awards Ceremony in October. She was chosen in part because of her 2010 paper in American Psychologist entitled “How Would We Know If Psychotherapy Were Harmful?”



CU Psychology and Neuroscience postdoc Tal Yarkoni (Cognitive) and professor Tor Wager (Cognitive) and colleagues received some press for their recent article in Nature Methods. This paper describes an automated brain-mapping framework that uses text-mining, meta-analysis and machine-learning techniques to generate a large database of mappings between neural and cognitive states. Read the CU press release or read the Nature Methods article.


June 2011

CU Psychology and Neuroscience professor Matt Keller (Behavioral Genetics and Institute for Behavioral Genetics fellow) and graduate student Laramie Duncan (Behavior Genetics and Clinical) and a co-author won the Fulker Award for the best paper published in the journal Behavior Genetics in 2010. The award was given at the recent meeting of the Behavior Genetics Association. Their paper, “Are extended twin family designs worth the trouble? A comparison of the bias, precision, and accuracy of parameters estimated in four twin family models” provided a rigorous guide to these issues in the classical twin design and three extended twin family designs used in human behavior genetics.


CU Psychology and Neuroscience professor Vijay Mittal (Clinical) has been awarded an R01 grant from NIH’s Biobehavioral Research Award for Innovative New Scientists (BRAINS) program. This award program, first launched in 2010, is designed to support the research and career development of outstanding early-stage scientists. The award will allow the investigation of movement abnormalities as a potential biomarker for abnormal white matter and grey matter development in the frontal-subcortical circuits of adolescents at-risk for schizophrenia. The 5-year grant will allow his lab to follow 150 adolescents through multiple time points during development, and to track the progression of illness.


May 2011

CU Psychology and Neuroscience postdoc Tal Yarkoni (Cognitive) from the Wager Lab was named one of the Association for Psychological Science’s “rising stars.” Read about him and other promising young investigators in this month’s issue of the APS Observer online.


CU Psychology and Neuroscience staff member and undergraduate advisor Laurel Amsel has been promoted to Lead Advisor for her many years of service to the department and to the college of Arts and Sciences, as well for contributions to her field in general.


CU Psychology and Neuroscience adjunct professor Peter McGraw (Leeds School of Business) was in Wired magazine regarding an analysis he did of the New Yorker’s cartoon caption contest No. 281. Read the Wired article.


CU Psychology and Neuroscience undergraduate Zak Millman received the “CU Gold Lasting Legacy award.” The award from the CU GOLD program is given to someone who has demonstrated outstanding leadership on campus and who has left a lasting legacy for students after him- or herself. Zak’s legacy includes the new CU Psychology and Neuroscience undergraduate research journal (see April entry below), as well as a mentorship program for at-risk high school students at a local alternative school.


April 2011

CU Psychology and Neuroscience undergraduate advisor Lily Board received the National Academic Advising Association’s “Outstanding New Advisor Award,” one of only five people to be so honored nationally. Check out the list of winners on the NACADA website.


CU Psychology and Neuroscience professor Sona Dimidjian (Clinical) received the CU-Boulder Graduate School’s “Outstanding Graduate Advising Award” for 2011.



CU Psychology and Neuroscience professor (Behavioral Neuroscience) Theresa Hernández received some popular press regarding her public service helping people who suffer traumatic brain injury (TBI). An article appears in the latest issue of CU-Boulder’s Colorado Arts and Sciences Magazine. Read the article online.


CU Psychology and Neuroscience professor Tor Wager (Cognitive) is coauthor on article published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. This research demonstrated that social rejection shares similar neural components with physical pain. Read the PNAS abstract (with a link to the full article). This research has generated a lot of popular press as well, e.g., CNN, MSNBC, and National Geographic.


The CU Psychology and Neuroscience chapter of Psi Chi (international undergraduate honor society in psychology) received a grant from the CU Student Group Funding Board for the publication of the Colorado Undergraduate Journal for Psychological Research. The journal will publish undergraduate Psychology and Neuroscience theses at the end of the term. CU-Boulder Psi Chi chapter co-president Zak Millman spearheaded the effort to get the grant of over $1k. For more information, including how to submit your thesis for consideration, see the Psi Chi web page.


February 2011

CU Psychology and Neuroscience professor (Behavioral Neuroscience) Theresa Hernández is being honored by the State of Colorado Department of Human Services. They have established an annual Theresa Hernández Traumatic Brain Injury Trust Fund Community Award to honor Teri (she will also be the first recipient) for her work helping citizens in the State of Colorado recover from traumatic brain injury (TBI). Teri worked with Representative Todd Saliman to get the state to pass a 2002 statute establishing the Colorado Traumatic Brain Injury Trust Fund Program which has helped an estimated 4000 people deal with the effects of TBI. Read more about the Colorado TBI Trust Fund.


January 2011

The research of CU Psychology and Neuroscience postdoc Tal Yarkoni (Cognitive) from the Wager Lab was featured in the latest issue of CU-Boulder’s Colorado Arts and Sciences Magazine. The article discusses his recent research article published in the Journal of Research and Personality about how bloggers’ personalities influence their choice of words when writing. His research suggests people don’t maintain separate online and offline personalities. Read the magazine article online.


December 2010

The research of CU Psychology and Neuroscience professor Leaf Van Boven (Social) was featured in the latest issue of the Coloradan, the University of Colorado alumni magazine. This research, conducted with a colleague at the Leeds School of Business, examined how people perceive the disposable-income purchases of others. People who make materialistc purchases are seen more negatively than people who make experiential purchases. To learn more, read the article in the Coloradan.


CU Psychology and Neuroscience had several of its female members honored by the CU Women’s Resource Center with their “Women Who Make a Difference” award. Undergraduate advisors Laurel Amsel and Lily Board, staff member and Assistant to the Chair Nancy Grabowski, and Senior Instructors Diane Martichuski, Tina Pittman Wagers and Natalie Smutzler were all honored.

CU Psychology and Neuroscience professors Akira Miyake (Cognitive) and Tiffany Ito (Social) and colleagues coauthored an article in Science. Their research examined the “gender gap,” wherein women typically do more poorly than men in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) classes. Rather than due to differences in ability, their study demonstrated that these effects are at least in part psychological in nature, and can be mitigated by a simple “values affirmation” writing exercise that requires students to reflect on and write about their own personal values such as friends and family and gaining knowledge. This exercise raised women’s course grades in an introductory physics class, increasing many affirmed women's course grades from Cs to Bs. Read the article online. These findings have also received a lot of popular press, for example, a Slate magazine article and a Discover Magazine article. (Note: Three of the coauthors are from the CU-Boulder Physics Department, and one is Geoff Cohen, recently of the CU Psychology and Neuroscience Department now at Stanford.)


November 2010

CU Psychology and Neuroscience postdoctoral researcher Lisa Loram (Behavioral Neuroscience) and Distinguished Professor Linda Watkins (Behavioral Neuroscience) received some popular press for their research investigating a potential treatment for Multiple Sclerosis. The research was presented at the Society for Neuroscience convention in San Diego. They discovered that the advancement of the paralysis caused by MS could be stopped for several weeks with a single injection of a compound called ATL313. AT 313 is an anti-inflammatory drug being developed to treat chronic pain. Read the CU press release.


October 2010

CU Psychology and Neuroscience Distinguished Professor Linda Watkins (Behavioral Neuroscience) received the 2010 Prince of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research for her research regarding the role of glial cells in the transmission of pain. One of only three people to be so honored with this particular award, she received it from Spanish Prince Felipe in Ovideo, Spain. Read more about the award and the honorees. This award also garnered some national and local popular press. Read the ABC news story and the Colorado Arts & Sciences Magazine article.


CU Psychology and Neuroscience professor Sona Dimidjian (Clinical) received some popular press, getting interviewed in an article for CU-Boulder’s Colorado Arts and Sciences Magazine. The article focuses on her research examining the high incidence of depression among women of childbearing age, particularly those who bear children. The research found that behavioral treatment worked as well as antidepressants for more severely depressed patients. Read the online article.


CU Psychology and Neuroscience College Professor of Distinction Chick Judd (Social) and Professor Bernadette Park (Social) were named co-recipients of the 2010 Thomas M. Ostrom award for outstanding lifetime contributions to research and theory in social cognition. The award is given at the Person Memory Interest Group (PMIG) meeting. Read more about the award.


CU Psychology and Neuroscience professor Mark Whisman (Clinical) has been invited to be part of the Klaus-Grawe-Think-Tank-Meeting in Zurich, Switzerland. He will join 9 other international experts in different specialties to discuss new concepts and procedures for improving the prevention and treatment of psychological problems in children and their families. Read more about the meeting.


CU Psychology and Neuroscience professor (Behavioral Genetics and Behavioral Neuroscience) and Institute for Behavioral Genetics fellow Don Cooper and colleagues recently published a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. This research examined the important role of cAMP-cAMP response-element binding protein in homeostatic adaptations. Read the online abstract. He also published a paper in the journal Substance Abuse: Research and Treatment regarding the use of cell phones to image and quantify standardized rapid immunoassay strips as a new point-of-care diagnostic and forensics tool with health applications. Read the online abstract.


September 2010

CU Psychology and Neuroscience graduate student Hannah Snyder (Cognitive) and her advisor Yuko Munakata (Cognitive) and colleagues had their research featured in a ScienceDaily online news item. This research, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, examined why people with anxiety have a difficult time making a decision when faced with multiple options. CU-Boulder Professors Tim Curran, Marie Banich, and Randy O’Reilly, as well as former graduate student Erika Nyhus and undergraduate honors student Natalie Hutchinson collaborated on the research. Read the ScienceDaily news item, and/or read the PNAS abstract (with a link to the full article).


CU Psychology and Neuroscience professor Tor Wager (Cognitive) and professor Sona Dimidjian (Clinical) received a grant from the Positive Neuroscience Project to study how compassionate thinking impacts brain function and leads to more caring behavior. Read more about the project and see a list of awardees.


August 2010

CU Psychology and Neuroscience graduate student Shaw Ketels (Cognitive) received the award for “Best Student Poster” at the Ninth Annual Summer Interdisciplinary Conference (ASIC), which took place recently in Bend, OR. Shaw conducted this research with Cognitive area faculty member Matt Jones. The title of the poster was “Language is not always helpful: Labels do not facilitate the learning of information-integration category structures.” Read more about the conference.


July 2010

CU Psychology and Neuroscience professor (Behavioral Genetics and Behavioral Neuroscience) and Institute for Behavioral Genetics fellow Don Cooper and colleagues recently published a paper in Biological Psychiatry. In this paper, they demonstrated that "knocking down" a circadian rhythm gene (called "clock") resulted in animals with altered dopamine activity and mania/depression-like symptoms. Their results implicate dopamine neuronal function of the transcription factor, clock, in bipolar disorder. Read the online abstract.


June 2010

CU Psychology and Neuroscience professor Tor Wager (Cognitive) was the subject of an article in the New York Times regarding his research on the placebo effect. Read the article.



May 2010

The research of CU Psychology and Neuroscience Professor Bernadette Park (Social) was in the popular press recently. She was interviewed by Colorado Public Radio on their show “Colorado Matters” regarding her research (conducted with her recently defended graduate student Allegra Smith) examining gender inequities in the division of home- and work-related tasks. Listen to the interview (this link takes you directly to the interview).


Undergraduate Psychology major Stacy Killebrew receives the Chancellor’s Recognition Award at the CU-Boulder commencement. One of only 7 students receiving the award, it is given to those undergraduates who achieved all As in their careers.

Some recent research by CU Psychology and Neuroscience professor Leaf Van Boven (Social) and colleagues was featured in the popular press. A recent blog post by Dr. Gupta, CNN’s chief medical correspondent, discussed this research. The research examined materialism vs. experientialism, and found that people who pursued experiences rather than material goods were rated as more popular and better liked. Read Dr. Gupta’s blog post. The studies were published recently in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, and also received some press in Boulder’s own Daily Camera. Read the Camera’s article as well.


April 2010

CU Psychology and Neuroscience staff member Jon Roberts, CLIPR manager, won the Chancellor’s CU-Boulder Employee of the Year Award, one of only 5 people to be so honored.



CU Psychology and Neuroscience graduate student Rosi Kaiser (Clinical) received the Ted Volsky Memorial Award through the Beverly Sears Graduate Student Grant program. These competitive awards are sponsored by the Graduate School to support the research, scholarship and creative work of graduate students from all departments. Read more about the grant program.


CU Psychology and Neuroscience professor Tor Wager (Cognitive) received the American Psychosomatic Society’s Paul D. MacLean Award for Outstanding Neuroscience Research in Psychosomatic Medicine.


CU Psychology and Neuroscience postdoc Tal Yarkoni (Cognitive) from the Wager Lab will be chairing and speaking at a symposium at the Cognitive Neuroscience Society meeting later this month in Montreal. The title of the symposium is “Towards a cumulative science of human brain function.” CU Psychology and Neuroscience professor Tor Wager (Cognitive) will also be presenting as well. Read more about the symposium.


CU Psychology and Neuroscience graduate student Rachael Ramsey (Behavioral Neuroscience) received a 2010 Summer Research Fellowship from the Endocrine Society. The fellowship consists of a stipend to support a research project with her mentor Professor Bob Spencer, as well as funds for her to travel to the Society’s 92nd annual meeting in San Diego in June.


CU Psychology and Neuroscience Professor Bernadette Park (Social), doctoral student Allegra Smith (Social), and Professor Sona Dimidjian (Clinical) are featured in the popular press this month with articles about their research appearing in CU-Boulder’s Arts & Sciences Magazine. Park and Smith’s research concerns gender inequities in the distribution of home- and work-related tasks. Dimidjian and colleagues’ research concerns how placebos may be as effective as antidepressants for treating milder forms of depression, as mentioned in a January 2010 entry below.


March 2010

CU Psychology and Neuroscience professor Jerry W. Rudy (Behavioral Neuroscience) gave the plenary address at the President’s Teaching Scholars Program (PTSP) conference. The daylong lineup of presentations and panel discussions took place on March 5, 2010, at the Anschutz Medical Campus and centered on the topic “How Our Students Learn: Implications for Faculty.” For more information about the conference and his talk, see the article in the CU Faculty and Staff Newsletter.


The research of CU Psychology and Neuroscience professor Leaf Van Boven (Social) was featured in the latest issue of The Coloradan, the University of Colorado alumni magazine. This research examined undergraduates’ perceived risk levels of traveling to foreign countries when given actual travel advisories from the Department of Homeland Security. Many perceived the biggest threat to be the country in the most recently read travel advisory, even when the threat level was equivalent to an earlier advisory about a different country. To learn more, read the article in The Coloradan.


Recent CU Psychology and Neuroscience Cognitive Program PhD Michael Frank, now an assistant professor at Brown University, was awarded one of the inaugural Janet Taylor Spence Awards for Transformative Early Career Contributions from the Association for Psychological Science (APS). He received his PhD under professor Randy O'Reilly in 2004. Read more about the award.


February 2010

CU Psychology and Neuroscience professor (Behavioral Genetics and Behavioral Neuroscience) and Institute for Behavioral Genetics fellow Don Cooper was chosen to speak at the President’s Teaching Scholars Conference to be held Friday, March 5, 2010, on the Anschutz Medical Campus. The broad topic of his talk will be learning and brain science, how brain development influences student behavior, the development of learning and problem solving, individual differences in learning, and what faculty should know about how the brain works. Read more about the conference.


CU Psychology and Neuroscience welcomes its newest faculty member, professor Tor Wager (Cognitive). He received his PhD from the University of Michigan in cognitive psychology, with a focus in cognitive neuroscience, in 2003. He joined the faculty of Columbia University as an Assistant Professor of Psychology in 2004, and was appointed Associate Professor in 2009. His research focuses on how expectations shape responses to pain and emotional cues in the brain and body, including work on brain mechanisms of placebo analgesia and the cognitive regulation of emotion and attention.


CU Psychology and Neuroscience professor David Miklowitz (Clinical) was elected to receive the 2010 Gerald L Klerman Senior Investigator Award from the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA). This award is given to honor research contributions that support DBSA’s mission: to improve the lives of people living with mood disorders.


CU Psychology and Neuroscience professor emeritus Michael Wertheimer was elected to a three-year term on the APA’s Policy and Planning Board. This comes on the heels of a three-year stint on the APA’s Board of Directors.


January 2010

CU Psychology and Neuroscience professor Sona Dimidjian (Clinical) received some popular press this week because of a recent article that came out in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The New York Times, among others, ran a piece about the JAMA article which studied the efficacy of popular antidepressants in the treatment of depression. This research indicated that the effectiveness of the drugs varied with the severity of the depression, calling into question whether antidepressants should necessarily be prescribed for people with mild to moderate depression. Read the New York Times article, or read the original JAMA research article.


CU Psychology and Neuroscience College Professor of Distinction Alice Healy (Cognitive) was awarded a College Scholar Award from the College of Arts & Sciences to take a semester sabbatical to pursue a research project. In addition, she just received a grant from NASA Ames to study the training of pilots and astronauts. Professor Emeritus Lyle Bourne, Jr., will serve as a consultant on the project, and CU Psychology and Neuroscience PhD Vicki Schneider will be a Senior Research Associate on it was well. The NASA technical officer on the project is CU Psychology and Neuroscience PhD Immanuel Barshi.


December 2009

CU Psychology and Neuroscience College Professor of Distinction Alice Healy (Cognitive) was in the popular press. Boulder Magazine has a brief profile of some of her research in its Winter/Spring 2009–2010 issue.


October 2009

CU Psychology and Neuroscience Clinical graduate student Cinnamon Bidwell has been awarded a 2009 Young Scientist Research Fund Award from Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD), a national non-profit organization providing education, advocacy and support for individuals with AD/HD. Cinnamon submitted a research paper entitled “Association of DRD4, DAT1, and 5HTT with Putative Neuropsychological Endophenotypes in Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.” She is currently on her clinical research internship at the Duke University Medical Center. Read more about the award and Cinnamon’s research.


CU Psychology and Neuroscience professors emeriti Ken Hammond and Walter Kintsch were both honored recently with pages on the Foundation for the Advancement of the Behavioral and Brain Sciences (FABBS) website. FABBS is an educational non-profit organization established to promote and enhance understanding of the behavioral, psychological, and brain sciences. Read about Hammond’s and Kintsch’s career contributions to their respective fields.


September 2009

CU Psychology and Neuroscience professor Leaf Van Boven (Social) and graduate student Michaela Huber’s research was featured in a CU press release. Their research, done in collaboration with a colleague at the University of Calgary, demonstrated that more immediate emotions, such as perceptions of threats or risks, are viewed as more intense than previous emotions. Some of their stimulus materials were adapted from the Department of Homeland Security. The research was published in the August issue of the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. Read the online abstract.


CU Psychology and Neuroscience professor emeritus Michael Wertheimer is giving the invited lecture at the University of Würzburg on the occasion of the opening and dedication of the new “Adolf-Würth-Zentrums für Geschichte der Psychologie.” This is a building that will house many archival documents from throughout the history of Psychology. Many dignitaries are attending the ceremony, both from within and outside the field.


CU Psychology and Neuroscience College Professor of Distinction Alice Healy (Cognitive) and Distinguished Professor Linda Watkins (Behavioral Neuroscience) were both in the popular press this month with separate articles about their research appearing in CU-Boulder’s Arts & Sciences Magazine. Professor Healy’s research concerns people’s psychological responses to terrorist attacks. Professor Watkins’ research concerns the treatment of chronic pain.


CU Psychology and Neuroscience business office staff member Stefanie Coltrain received a “Catherine Core Minority Travel Award” from the National Council of University Research Administrators to attend their annual meeting held in Washington, DC this October. Recipients of the award will be recognized during a ceremony at the conference.


August 2009

The department welcomes Don Cooper as a new faculty member for the Fall 2009 semester. He was hired into the Behavioral Genetics area as an Associate Professor. He received his PhD from the Chicago Medical School in 2000. Most recently he was an assistant then associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. The long-term goals of Dr. Cooper’s laboratory are to understand information processing in the brain motivation/reward memory circuitry and characterize the adaptations and impaired neural memory mechanisms associated with depression, addiction and schizophrenia. Work from his lab on cellular memory formation was featured in CNN news earlier this year.


CU Psychology and Neuroscience professors Tiffany Ito (Social), Akira Miyake (Cognitive) and Geoff Cohen (Social), and Physics professor Noel Finkelstein have been awarded a collaborative grant from NSF’s REESE program (Research and Evaluation on Education in Science and Engineering). This program funds research looking at gender disparities in STEM disciplines (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). Specifically, these researchers will be examining how identity threat impairs the performance and learning of female undergraduate students on math and science tests, and how self-affirmation alleviates the negative impact of threat on women’s math and science performance.


July 2009

Recent CU Psychology and Neuroscience Cognitive Program PhD Katherine Rawson, now an assistant professor at Kent State University, was awarded a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. Her research focuses on improving the comprehension of text and on helping students self-regulate their learning. Only 100 awards are given, and Katherine’s is one of only two awards funded by the Department of Education. She received her PhD under professor (now emeritus) Walter Kintsch in 2004.


CU Psychology and Neuroscience professor and Director of the Institute of Cognitive Science Marie Banich (Cognitive) has been selected as a fellow for the Association for Psychological Science in recognition of her sustained outstanding contributions to the advancement of psychological science. Her selection was made by the Board outside the standard nomination process because of her significant accomplishments in the field.


CU Psychology and Neuroscience graduate student Krista Rodgers and professor Daniel Barth and colleagues at CU-Boulder including graduate student Alexis Northcutt and professors Steven Maier and Linda Watkins (all of the Behavioral Neuroscience Program) published an article in Brain that received some popular press. Along with recent postdoc Mark Hutchinson (now at the University of Adelaide). These researchers found that the brain's glial cells, which play an integral role in the body's immune system, contribute to a condition known as “acquired epilepsy,” commonly seen in patients who have suffered traumatic brain injury. Their results also suggest ways in which the contribution of the glial cells to this condition can be blocked. Press accounts of these findings appeared both in Boulder's daily newspaper the Camera and a CU press release. See either the Camera's article or the press release. Or read the Brain abstract (with link to full article).


CU Psychology and Neuroscience professor Jerry W. Rudy (Behavioral Neuroscience) was named College Professor of Distinction by the College of Arts and Sciences in recognition of his exceptional service, teaching and research or creative work.


June 2009

CU Psychology and Neuroscience professors Tiffany Ito (Social) and Akira Miyake (Cognitive) have been awarded two collaborative grants. One grant is from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a 5-year award to study the genetic, neural, and social factors that explain marijuana use among adolescents. Co-PIs include members within and outside the department, both at CU-Boulder and beyond. The other grant, from the National Science Foundation, funds research examining the degree to which individual differences in executive functions (EFs) — higher-order control processes that regulate thought and action — explain variability in the expression of racial bias. This grant also has co-PIs both at CU-Boulder and from other universities.


May 2009

The 106th annual meeting of the Society of Experimental Psychologists (http://www.sepsych.org/) was hosted by the University of Colorado at Boulder from Thursday, April 30 to Saturday, May 2 at the Boulder Marriott Hotel. The meeting was sponsored by the Center for Research on Training, the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, the Institute of Cognitive Science, the Provost, the Graduate School, and the College of Arts and Sciences, all of the University of Colorado at Boulder. The Society of Experimental Psychologists is an extremely prestigious organization consisting of about 200 elected fellows. It was founded in 1904 by Edward Bradford Titchener. Alice Healy and Lyle Bourne organized the meeting and served as Chair of the Society this year.

April 2009

CU Psychology and Neuroscience Social Psychology professor Geoff Cohen and colleagues published a follow-up study to their earlier article in Science. In this 2-year follow-up, the racial achievement gap in African-Americans' GPAs compared to nonminority students was significantly reduced when the African-American students had completed a series of brief but structured writing assignments focusing students on a self-affirming value. Read the abstract or online article.


CU Psychology and Neuroscience Social Psychology professor Bernadette Park received the CU-Boulder Graduate School’s Faculty Advising Award for 2009.


CU Psychology and Neuroscience Social Psychology professor Bernadette Park gave the invited Donald W. Fiske Distinguished Lecture this month at the University of Chicago discussing her research on gender roles and work-family conflicts. Read more about the lecture series.


CU Psychology and Neuroscience Behavioral Genetics professor and Institute for Behavioral Genetics fellow Al Collins has been awarded the 2009 Boulder Faculty Assembly Faculty Excellence Award for Excellence in Research, Scholarly and Creative Work. Read more about the award.


March 2009

CU Psychology and Neuroscience Cognitive Psychology professor Yuko Munakata and graduate student Christopher Chatham had their research on toddlers’ memories featured in an article in the Boulder newspaper the Daily Camera. Read the online article.


CU Psychology and Neuroscience Behavioral Genetics professor and Institute for Behavioral Genetics fellow Matt Keller had his research on the genetics of mental disorders highlighted in the March 2009 issue of Colorado Arts and Sciences Magazine. Read the online article.


CU Psychology and Neuroscience Clinical graduate student Debbie Boeldt has been awarded a Beverly Sears Graduate Student Grant. These competitive awards are sponsored by the Graduate School to support the research, scholarship and creative work of graduate students from all departments.


February 2009

CU Psychology and Neuroscience professor Randy O’Reilly has been awarded the newly created CU-Boulder College Scholar Award. It is a prestigious honor, intended to provide sabbatical support for creative and accomplished scholars.


CU Psychology and Neuroscience professor emeritus Michael Wertheimer has been awarded the American Psychological Association Division 24 Award for Distinguished Theoretical and Philosophical Contributions to Psychology. The award was established in 1998 and is the Division’s highest honor, bestowed in recognition of life-time scholarly achievement. As part of the award, Dr. Wertheimer will be giving an invited address at the APA’s convention in Toronto in August.


January 2009

The Department of Psychology has received formal approval from the Board of Regents (14 January 2009) to change its name. We are now the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience. This change reflects the growth of faculty interest and involvement with neuroscience methods and the changing nature of the field of Psychology. More than 60 percent of our faculty are using neuroscience techniques in their research: techniques ranging from brain-slice assays in rats to whole-brain imaging in humans, to genetic analyses. The department is in the final stages of creating a second undergraduate major in Neuroscience. Our new name more accurately reflects the true nature of our research and educational goals and mission.

December 2008

CU Social Psychology professor Irene Blair was recently awarded a grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to study the degree to which healthcare providers' ethnic/racial attitudes relate to the treatment and control of hypertension among patients of different ethnic/racial groups. Along with a team of physician collaborators, Dr. Blair will be working on this research project in Denver area health systems over the next three years.


November 2008

CU Social Psychology professor Leaf Van Boven’s research on happiness was highlighted in the CU online publication "INSIDE CU." Read the article online.


October 2008

CU Psychology Behavioral Neuroscience Distinguished Professor Steven Maier has been awarded the American Psychological Association’s Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award for 2009. This is one of the highest honors bestowed by the APA. Here is a list of all the former recipients of the award, including the Department’s own Professor Emeritus Walter Kintsch.


CU Clinical Psychology Professor Mark Whisman has obtained a NIMH Program of Excellence training grant in scientifically validated treatments of mood disorders for the clinical program. The focus of this 5-year research education training grant is to develop, evaluate, and disseminate curricula materials for training in measurement and assessment, intervention, and evaluation for cognitive therapy, behavioral activation, and family-focused therapy as treatments for mood disorders.


August 2008

CU Psychology Behavioral Genetics professor and Director of the Institute for Behavioral Genetics John Hewitt received the Dobzhansky Award for outstanding lifetime research accomplishment in the field of behavioral genetics. The award was conferred at the Annual Meeting of the Behavior Genetics Association in Louisville, Kentucky, June 2008.


CU Psychology Behavioral Genetics Professor Greg Carey received the James Shields Award for outstanding contributions to twin research. This award is conferred by the Behavior Genetics Association and the International Society for Twin Studies in honor of James Shields, a pioneering researcher in human behavior genetics. The award recognizes both methodological and substantive contributions to the study of twins and is the premier scientific award for twin research.


July 2008

CU Psychology Behavioral Neuroscience Professor Linda Watkins received a K05 Senior Scientist Award from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The Senior Scientist Award (K05) provides stability of support to outstanding scientists who have demonstrated a sustained, high level of productivity and whose expertise, research accomplishments, and contributions to the field have been and will continue to be critical to the mission of the particular NIH center or institute. The award provides salary support for award periods of up to five years as a means of enhancing the individual recipient"s skill and dedication to his/her area of research. The Senior Scientist Award (K05) permits NIH institutes and centers to identify and support exceptionally talented investigators who are well established in their field of research.

CU Social Psychology professor Leaf Van Boven was in the popular press recently. He and his collaborator Peter McGraw from CU’s Leeds School of Busines were quoted in a public radio segment on KUNC (NPR station based in Greeley, CO) regarding the link between money and happiness. The radio segment can be heard on the KUNC website.


June 2008

CU Psychology Behavioral Neuroscience professor Jerry W. Rudy has recently published a new textbook, The Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, which integrates findings and concepts from studies of synaptic plasticity, systems neuroscience and psychology to provide a modern understanding of how the brain learns and remembers. Visit the publisher’s website for more information.


May 2008

CU Clinical Psychology professor David Miklowitz received two separate awards recently. One award was the Clinical Research Award given out annually by Emory University to a psychopathology researcher in the US. The other award was the Monica Fooks Memorial Lectureship of Sommerville College, Oxford University.


April 2008

Stallings pictureSpencer picturePatterson pictureCU Psychology Behavioral Neuroscience professors Susan Patterson and Bob Spencer, and Behavioral Genetics professors Mike Stallings and Matt McQueen were awarded research grants from the CU-Boulder Vice Chancellor for Research’s Innovative Seed Grant Program. This competitive program was instituted “to involve new initiatives and take investigators in creative, and sometimes high-risk/reward directions; and, have tangible payoffs in terms of future funding, scholarly or artistic impact, and development of new collaborations.”

CU Psychology graduate students Lee Altamirano and Holen Katz (Cognitive and Social areas, respectively) were named two of the recipients of the 2008 Beverly Sears Graduate Students Grants Award. The monetary award is given on a competitive basis every spring to assist students with their research.

King pictureMiyake pictureCU Cognitive Psychology Professor Akira Miyake and CU Psychology Senior Instructor Brett King were named two of the recipients of the 2008 CU Parents Association’s Marinus G. Smith Recognition Award. The award recognizes faculty, instructors and staff who have made a significant impact on the lives of one or more undergraduates.


March 2008

Miklowitz pictureCU Clinical Psychology professor David Miklowitz and his former CU Psychology graduate student now Boulder psychologist Elizabeth George have co-authored a book on helping parents deal with bipolar disease in teens, whether diagnosed or not. Read the CU press release for more information.

January 2008

Jones pictureThe Department welcomes a new faculty member this Spring. Matt Jones was hired into the Cognitive area. Read a little more about Matt.


December 2007

Munakata pictureCU Cognitive Psychology Professor Yuko Munakata was awarded a Faculty Fellowship by CU-Boulder’s Council on Research & Creative Work (CRCW).



Keller pictureA research article by recent CU Psychology Behavior Genetics hire Matt Keller and collaborators was chosen by the American Journal of Psychiatry’s editors as “particularly interesting and important” in the journal’s end-of-year editorial (look for “Adverse Life Events...” on this page). You can also read the full research article.

November 2007

CU Psychology undergraduate advisor Patty Berger was honored by the CU Women’s Resource Center as one of several “Women Who Make a Difference” at CU for 2007.

October 2007

The National Science Foundation has named CU (all three campuses) as the third-highest-ranked public institution in terms of federally financed research in psychology among 150 universities. Across all disciplines CU remained in the top 10 percent, a position it has held for the past six years. Read the CU press release.

September 2007

King pictureCU Psychology Senior Instructor Brett King was named a Grand Marshal of this weekend’s Homecoming parade. This honor was bestowed on Brett because he recently received the 2007 Teacher Recognition Award, one of very few faculty awards given by students. Read the CU press release.


Miklowitz pictureCU Clinical Psychology professor David Miklowitz’s research received some popular press. An article in Boulder’s Daily Camera newspaper describes how Miklowitz and a colleague at Stanford will examine the extent to which early identification and treatment of children and teens at high risk for developing bipolar disorder can minimize future impairment. The study is funded by a $600,000 grant from NIMH. Read the online article.

The Department welcomes one new faculty member this Fall. Matthew Keller was hired into the Behavioral Genetics area. Read a little more about Matt.

August 2007

O'Reilly and Rhee pictureCU Cognitive Psychology and Behavioral Neuroscience Professor Randy O’Reilly and Clinical Psychology and Behavior Genetics Professor Soo Rhee were selected to receive one of the new Provost Faculty Achievement Awards. The awards will be presented at CU’s Fall Convocation in October.


July 2007

Willcutt pictureCU Clinical Psychology and Behavior Genetics Professor Erik Willcutt received the APA’s Division 53 (Child and Adolescent Clinical Psychology) Early Career Research Award, to be presented at the APA annual meeting in August.


Depue Curran Banich picturesCU Cognitive Psychology graduate student Brendan Depue and Cognitive Psychology Faculty members Tim Curran and Marie Banich published an article in Science. The research concerns the suppression of emotional memories. They found support for the hypothesis that not only can this type of suppression occur, but also that it appears to be under the control of two different prefrontal cortical regions. Read the Science article online. The article has also gotten a large amount of popular press, including CBS News online and the Denver Post.

June 2007

CU Psychology Professor Emeritus Ken Hammond was featured in an article in the Rocky Mountain News (and syndicated in the Boulder Camera). The article describes how Ken published his 12th book a few months ago, and recently turned 90. Read the article online.

Park Judd picturesCU Social Psychology Professors Bernadette Park and Chick Judd and Psychology Instructor Melody Sadler’s research was featured in an article in the New York Times, as well as in an interview with Bernadette which was broadcast on Colorado Public Radio. Lead author of the research study mentioned in these news stories was Josh Correll, who got his PhD recently at CU. Ex-CU postdoc Bernd Wittenbrink was also an author. (Both Josh and Bernd are now at the University of Chicago.) Read a PDF of the Times article. You can listen to the Colorado Public Radio interview as well. (Look for the “Testing for Racial Bias” link.)

Van Boven pictureCU Social Psychology Professor Leaf Van Boven’s research received some popular press, with articles appearing in both the Boulder Camera and the Denver Post. His research indicates that people are happier when they spend money on experiential purchases such as going on a vacation versus material goods. Read the Camera’s article online.

April 2007

Healy and Judd pictureCU Psychology Professors Alice Healy (Cognitive) and Charles “Chick” Judd (Social) were named College Professors of Distinction by the College of Arts and Sciences in recognition of their exceptional service, teaching and research or creative work.


Miklowitz pictureCU Clinical Psychology professor David Miklowitz recently published a couple of important studies of his work regarding bipolar depression. The first study, published in the Archives of General Psychiatry (and also the subject of a NY Times online article), demonstrated that people with bipolar depression are more likely to get and stay well if they receive intensive psychotherapy in conjunction with medication (read the online version). The second study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, showed that antidepressants do not add to the efficacy of mood stabilizing medications in hastening recovery from an episode of bipolar depression (read the online version). This study, involving a large number of researchers across the U.S., was the largest federally funded research program ever conducted for bipolar disorder.

March 2007

Bryan pictureCU Social Psychology professor Angel Bryan had some of her exercise and mental health research mentioned in the current issue of Newsweek. Though Angela is never mentioned by name (nor is any other researcher whose work is referred to in the article), the University of Colorado is, and trust us, it’s her research. Read the online version of the article.

CU Clinical Psychology professor Sona Dimidjian was awarded a Junior Faculty Development Award by CU-Boulder’s Council on Research and Creative Work (CRCW). More info upcoming.

December 2006

Graduating Senior Megan Lipsett was named the Outstanding Graduate from the College of Arts and Sciences for the Fall 2006 graduation. She graduated Summa Cum Laude with a degree in psychology. Her honors thesis was completed under the direction of Tim Curran. There is more information on the CU-Boulder Honors Program page.

Watkins pictureCU Psychology Behavioral Neuroscience Professor Linda Watkins has been named a CU system Distinguished Professor, one of the rarest University of Colorado honors. Check out the CU press release.

November 2006

Judd pictureCU Social Psychology Professor Charles “Chick” Judd received an honorary degree, Docteur honoris causa, from the Université catholique de Louvain in Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium. Check out the official announcement and a picture from the ceremony.


CU Cognitive Psychology Professor Tim Curran was awarded a Faculty Fellowship for the 2007–08 academic year. The fellowships were created to acknowledge research excellence and allow faculty to devote a year to research projects as an alternative to sabbatical semesters. These fellowships are given to a select number of faculty members annually by the Graduate School’s Council on Research and Creative Work (CRCW).

October 2006

CU Cognitive Psychology Professor Randy O’Reilly is the sole author of an article published in Science. The article discusses how biologically based computational models can inform our understanding of high-level cognitive processes, in part by integrating the information resulting from analog vs. digital forms of computation. Read the article online.

September 2006

CU Cognitive Psychology Professor and Director of ICS, Marie Banich, has been awarded a Fulbright Senior Research Award to collaborate with researchers in Italy examining the neural architecture and time course of how people focus their attention. Read more about the research and the award in the CU press release.

Newly hired CU Social Psychology Professor Geoffrey Cohen was the lead author on an article published in Science. The research addressed how reducing the stress resulting from negative stereotypes narrowed significantly the racial achievement gap between African-Americans and nonminority students. Read the article online.

August 2006

The Department welcomes four new faculty this semester. Geoffrey Cohen was hired into the Social area, and Sona Dimidjian was hired into the Clinical area. Matthew McQueen was hired into the Behavior Genetics area and will have a home at IBG. Albert Kim was hired into the Cognitive area and will have a home in ICS. Read more about our new faculty.

CU Cognitive Psychology Professor Emeritus Michael Werheimer was elected to serve a three-year term as one of the two member-at-large seats on the APA Board of Directors. Dr. Wertheimer will formally begin serving on the board in January of 2007.

May 2006

Recent CU Psychology graduates Elizabeth “Libby” Pelican and Tatsuko Go Hollo received the prestigious Jacob Van Ek award. The recipients were honored this month for outstanding academic achievement and contributions to the university and Boulder communities. The faculty members the students named as mentors also were recognized. Libby and Tatsuko were mentored by CU Psychology Professors Mark Whisman and Tim Curran, respectively. Read the CU press release.

Several CU Psychology undergraduate majors were honored at CU’s Spring commencement. Jeffrey Plumer and Alyssa Schlenz received the Chancellor’s Recognition Award for having earned all As in their undergraduate careers, and Elizabeth “Libby” Pelican was named the outstanding graduate in the College of Arts and Sciences. Read the CU press release.

April 2006

CU Cognitive Psychology Professor Alice Healy received the Rocky Mountain Psychological Association’s Distinguished Service Award for 2006 at the recent RMPA convention in Park City, UT. This is the second year in a row someone from CU Psychology has won this award, since Senior Instructor Diane Martichuski won this honor last year. Diane was also the program chair for this year’s convention.

March 2006

CU Psychology staff member Laurel Amsel was one of 10 people to receive the CU-Boulder Parents Association Marinus G. Smith Recognition Award for 2006. The award recognizes CU-Boulder faculty, staff, and instructors who have made a significant impact on the lives of one or more CU-Boulder undergraduates, based on nominations from students and parents.

CU Cognitive Psychology Professor Emeritus Michael Werheimer was voted to receive Distinguished Member status by the Psi Chi National Council. Distinguished members must have national or international reputations because of contributions made to psychology and Psi Chi in the areas of research, service, and/or teaching. Only 25 people have been named distinguished members of Psi Chi since the award’s inception in 1970, a list that includes some of the most eminent members of the field. Dr. Wertheimer will receive the award at the APA convention in New Orleans in August.

The CU Psychology chapter of Psi Chi was one of three recipients of the 2005–2006 Psi Chi website award. Check out the Psi Chi website and read more about the award on the national Psi Chi site.

February 2006

CU Social Psychology Professor Angela Bryan received the APA’s “Distinguished Scientific Awards for Early Career Contributions to Psychology” for 2006 in the Health Psychology category. The award will be presented at the annual meeting of the APA in New Orleans, August 13–16. Read the CU press release.

January 2006

CU Cognitive Psychology Professor Alice Healy and recently retired long-time staff member Mary Ann Tucker, along with several other women in the CU community, were recognized by the CU Women’s Resource Center as “Women Who Make a Difference” for 2006. Check out the pictures.

November 2005

CU Psychology Behavioral Neuroscience Professor Linda Watkins received some popular press in the Denver Post. The Denver newspaper has an article describing her research on chronic pain and its management. Check out the online article (the article has since been removed).

October 2005

CU Social Psychology Professor Richard Jessor, received some popular press in the Rocky Mountain News. An article describing the long-time CU professor’s illustrious career was the lead article in the newspaper’s Spotlight section. Check out the online article (the article has since been removed).

CU Social Psychology Professor Richard Jessor was named a CU Distinguished Professor, the highest honor CU bestows on its teaching faculty. Read the CU press release.

September 2005

CU Psychology Behavioral Neuroscience Professor Steve Maier, received some popular press on ABC News. He was interviewed for his views on why some people cope with the stress of natural disasters better than others. (Maier studies the neurochemistry of stress.) Read the online version of the interview.

CU Cognitive Psychology Professor Alice F. Healy, was awarded the 2005 Women in Cognitive Science Mentorship Award. One of only four researchers to receive the award, it will be presented to Alice at the anuual WiCS meeting in Toronto in November, immediately preceding the Psychonomic Society meeting. The WiCS Mentorship Award recognizes individuals who have demonstrated sustained, effective mentorship of female students and who have also served as a research advisor or supervisor to one or more female students during the academic year immediately preceding the nomination.

August 2005

CU Cognitive Psychology postdoctoral student Michael Frank, Cognitive Psychology Professor Tim Curran, and Psychology research assistant Brion Woroch authored a paper in the current (August 18, 2005) issue of the journal Neuron examining the brain signals that predict learning biases. The signals predict whether people are biased to learn more from positive than negative outcomes of their decisions. For more information, see the online version of the article.

July 2005

CU Psychology Behavioral Neuroscience Professor Linda Watkins was chosen to receive the Norman Cousins Memorial Research Award from the PsychoNeuroImmunology Research Society. The award recognizes outstanding contributions in basic or clinical research in psychoneuroimmunology, which is the study of how the brain and the immune system interact. The award will be presented in June 2006 at the society’s next national meeing in Florida. For more information, read the CU press release.

May 2005

CU Psychology Senior Lecturer Brett King was named a recipient of the Teacher Recognition Award for 2005 from The Herd (the student arm of the Alumni Association) and the Director’s Club of the Alumni Association.

April 2005

CU Cognitive Psychology Professor and Director of ICS Marie Banich received the Justine and Yves Sergent Award for 2005. The award is given annually to a female researcher who has made significant contributions to the field of cognitive neuroscience with particular emphasis on cognitive neuropsychology and functional brain imaging. To read more about the award, see the University of Montreal’s web site, from which the award originates. (Brush up on your Français first.)

CU Social Psychology Professor Gary McClelland received the Boulder Faculty Assembly’s Excellence in Teaching award for 2004–2005. To read more about the award and view past recipients (including several other CU Psychology Professors), check out the BFA’s web site.

Retired CU Cognitive Psychology Professor Emeritus Michael Werheimer gave an invited address at this year’s Rocky Mountain Psychological Association (RMPA) convention in Phoenix, AZ, entitled “Challenges, pleasures, and pangs: Reflections on a half century of teaching.” This was also the first year for the Annual Portenier-Wertheimer Pre-Convention Conference on Teaching, in honor of the late Lillian Portenier of the University of Wyoming, and the not-yet-late Dr. Wertheimer. For more information, see the RMPA web site.

The Department of Psychology was one of only 5 units on campus to be honored with a 2004 Buff Energy Star Award, given by CU-Boulder’s Office of Energy Conservation and the Environmental Center. Accepting the award on behalf of all occupants of Muenzinger Psychology was Psychology staff member and building proctor Beth Smith. For more information about the award and to see the other recipients, visit the Environmental Center’s web page.

March 2005

CU Cognitive Psychology Professor Yuko Munakata received some popular press for her research. She was interviewed for a segment on Colorado Matters on Colorado Public Radio regarding her research on infant intelligence. Check out the CPR Colorado Matters web site (use the calendar to go to the Friday, March 4 entry).

February 2005

CU Cognitive Psychology Research Professor Tom Landauer received the 2005 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Computing Machinery’s Computer Human Interaction Division (CHI). The award will be presented at the 2005 CHI annual meeting in Portland, Oregon, in April. Read more about the award.

CU Clinical Psychology Professor and Chair Ed Craighead received the APA’s Division 12 Florence Halpern Award for Distinguished Professional Contributions to Clinical Psychology. The award will be presented at the APA’s annual meeting in Washington D.C. in August.

CU Psychology Behavioral Neuroscience Professors Steve Maier and Linda Watkins, Research Associates José Amat and Sondra Bland, and graduate student Michael Baratta had some of their research published as the lead article in the journal Nature Neuroscience. The research examined how a stressor’s controllability influences various brain regions. Of particular note is how the medial prefrontal cortex is implicated in this research. See the advance online version of the article.

December 2004

CU Cognitive Psychology Professor Yuko Munakata received some popular press. An article about her research and lab was published in the Denver Post. See the online article.

November 2004

CU Psychology Behavior Genetics Professor Al Collins co-authored a paper in Science regarding the discovery of specific nicotinic receptor subtypes sufficient for explaining nicotine-induced reward, tolerance, and sensitization. For more information, see the online version of the article.

CU Cognitive Psychology graduate student Michael Franks and Cognitive Psychology and Behavior Neuroscience Professor Randy O'Reilly and a colleague authored a paper in the online version of Science regarding differential effects on learning from positive and negative reinforcement situations in patients with Parkinson's disease. This outcome was predicted by the authors' biologically-based computational model. For more information, see the online version of the article.

October 2004

CU Clinical Psychology Professor Mark Whisman received some popular press for his recent publication in the October issue of Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology regarding the toll depression takes on marriages. Read some of the popular press reports of the research on CBS news or the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

CU Social Psychology Professor Charles “Chick” Judd was selected to be the next editor of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, to begin his 6-year term in 2006. Read more about the announcement on the JPSP web site.

September 2004

CU Social Psychology Professor Angela Bryan received two separate grants, one for $1.5 million from NIH/NCI to study “Mediators and moderators of exercise behavior change,” and one for $1 million from NIH/NIDA to study “Marijuana use, gender, and adolescent HIV sexual risk.”

CU Clinical Psychology Professor Don Weatherley was one of a select few CU-Boulder Professors to receive the “Best Should Teach Gold Award” in recognition of his teaching and academic leadership. Read about the award and see the full recipient list in the Daily Camera's article (a local newspaper).

CU Cognitive Psychology Professor Tim Curran was selected to be an associate editor of the journal Memory & Cognition, to begin his 4-year term in 2005.

August 2004

CU Psychology Behavioral Neuroscience Professor Linda Watkins received the 2005 Frederick W. L. Kerr Basic Science Research Award from the American Pain Society. This is the most prestigious award in the pain field. To quote from the award letter, “The award recognizes individual excellence and achievements in pain scholarship and is presented to a pain professional whose total career achivevements have made outstanding contributions to the field of pain research.” The award will be presented at the April 2, 2005, meeting of the APS.

July 2004

CU Psychology Behavioral Neuroscience Professor Steve Maier received the prestigious D.O. Hebb Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award at this year's APA conference. This award recognizes a psychologist who has made distinguished theoretical or empirical contributions to basic research in behavioral neuroscience or comparative psychology.

April 2004

CU Clinical Psychology Professor Erik Willcutt announced the opening of a new specialty assessment clinic for the assessment and treatment of learning disabilities, ADHD, and related emotional and behavioral difficulties.

CU Psychology Instructor Joe Berta was one of three Boulder campus faculty to receive the 2004 Teaching Recognition Award from the Directors Club of the Alumni Association. Read the press release.

March 2004

CU Behavioral Neuroscience Professor Theresa Hernández received a K01 Research Development Award for 5 years from NIH to assess the neurobehavioral and physiological consequences of a novel treatment strategy in chronic stroke patients. This research will be done in collaboration with researchers in the departments of Integrative Physiology and Speech Language and Hearing Sciences, as well as Psychology.

CU Social Psychology Professor Chick Judd was named a recipient of the Boulder Faculty Assembly's Excellence in Research, Scholarly, and Creative Work Award for 2003–2004. Read the press release.

February 2004

CU Behavioral Neuroscience Professor Daniel Barth was acknowledged as a (CU) “President's Teaching Scholar.” This is a rare university honor, bestowed on only a few professors system–wide each year. Dan joins Linda Watkins as the other teaching scholar from the department. Read more about the President's Teaching Scholar Program.

January 2004

CU Psychology undergraduate advisor Laurel Amsel received CU's “Community Brick Builder” Award. The Community Builder Brick Award is given to students, faculty, staff, or campus groups that have made a positive contribution to the campus. Recipients receive an engraved sandstone award (like the bricks used to build our buildings on campus) to symbolize the contribution that they have made to building community on campus. Check out past winners of the award.

CU Cognitive Psychology Professor Alice Healy has been elected president-elect of the APA's Division 3 (Experimental Psychology) for 2004–2005. See the list of presidents past and present (including two other CU Cognitive Psychology Professors, Lyle E. Bourne and Walter Kintsch).

December 2003

CU Behavioral Neuroscience Professor Linda Watkins is overseeing a technology transfer partnership between the Department of Psychogy, CU's Center for Neuroscience, and national biotech company Avigen. This technology transfer involves Avigen's licensing the rights to the treatment of chronic pain using anti-inflammatory cytokines, including interleukin 10 (IL-10), from CU. Read the CU press release.

October 2003

CU Social Psychology Graduate Student Courtney Rocheleau received the “Best Should Teach” silver “flame of enlightenment” award. This award was bestowed by the Graduate Teacher Program at CU.

June 2003

CU Clinical Psychology Professor Mark Whisman has co-edited a book for professionals entitled “Treating Difficult Couples.” See the Guilford Press web site for more information.

March 2003

CU Social Psychology Professor Bernadette Park received CU's Dorothy Martin Faculty Award. This award was bestowed on Bernadette for her “academic excellence; awareness and activism concerning women's issues; and openness to life and true diversity of interests.”

February 2003

CU Cognitive Psychology Professor Peter Polson was elected to the CHI Academy, an honorary group of individuals who have made substantial contributions to the field of human-computer interaction. Read more about the award on the SIGCHI web site.

August 2002

CU Cognitive Psychology Professor Yuko Munakata received the Boyd McCandless Award from Division 7 of the APA. This award goes to young investigators who have made a distinguisted contribution to developmental psychology. Read more about the award.

July 2002

New CU Social Psychology Professor Leaf Van Boven has received the Fourth Martin E.P. Seligman Award for outstanding dissertation research in positive psychology. Now in its fourth year, the Seligman award seeks to recognize talent and promise among young researchers exploring topics in the emerging field of positive psychology. Read more about the award and Van Boven's research.

April 2002

CU Psychology Professor and Department Chair Jerry Rudy received the 2002 BFA (Boulder Faculty Assembly) award for excellence in service. Here are this year's winners.

February 2002

CU Psychology professor Al Collins received the 2003 Langley Award from the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco. The award honors scientists who have made ground-breaking advances in basic nicotine research in pharmacology, neuroscience, or genetics. Read more about the award.

A CU interdisciplinary research team, including CU Psychology Professors Walter Kintsch and Dick Olson, has received an $8.4 million grant to put reading software into Colorado schools. The Colorado Literacy Tutor project includes two parts: interactive books with a set of cartoon-like tutors that build the literacy skills of K-6 readers and a software program called Summary Street that emphasizes comprehension and learning from text for older students. Read the CU press release.

January 2002

Psychology staff assistant Mary Ann Tucker was presented with the “Community Builder Brick Award.” The Community Builder Brick Award is given to students, faculty, staff, or campus groups that have made a positive contribution to the campus. Recipients receive an engraved sandstone award (like the bricks used to build our buildings on campus) to symbolize the contribution that they have made to building community on campus. Check out the pictures from the award ceremony.

December 2001

CU Psychology and Theater graduate Siobhan Barros was named the “outstanding graduate for the College of Arts and Sciences” at CU's fall 2001 commencement. Read the CU press release.

October 2001

CU Psychology Professor Steven F. Maier awarded title of Distinguished Professor, a very rare University honor. Read the CU press release.

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