UTM Psychology Colloquium Series
(For archive of past colloquium series, click here)
April 1, 2013 [12:00 - 2:00pm DV - Faculty Club]
Patricia Ganea (OISE)
Thinking of things unseen: Toddlers' use of language to update mental representations
March 25, 2013 [DV 3130 Council Chambers 12:00-2:00pm]
Elena Choleris (Department of Psychology, University of Guelph)
Estrogens involvement in mice social and non-social learning
Discussion about research on estrogenic regulation of social and individual learning, with a special focus on the recently discovered rapid (minutes as opposed to hours or days) effects of hormones. Over the past few years we have been investigating the rapid involvement of the three better known estrogen receptors in various learning paradigms. We are finding that the classic estrogen receptor alpha, and the more recently described G protein-coupled estrogen receptor rapidly enhance learning across a variety of learning tasks: social recognition, object recognition and object placement. Conversely, the involvement of the estrogen receptor beta seems to depend upon the specific task, its activation inhibiting social recognition, having no effect on object recognition and enhancing performance in the object placement paradigm, the spatial version of the object recognition task. We are also finding that estrogenic regulation of social learning is somewhat different from the regulation of other types of learning. Activation of estrogen receptor alpha inhibits social learning while activation of the G protein-coupled estrogen receptor inhibits or enhances it in different social learning paradigms. Activation of estrogen receptor beta instead seems to have no rapid effects on social learning but it enhances it via long-term effects. Several of the rapid learning effects we have observed appear to be mediated in part by the hippocampus. Hence, estrogens rapidly affect learning and their effects depend both upon the type of learning and the specific receptor involved.
February 4, 2013 [Faculty Club, 12:30pm]
Junchul Kim (St. George)
Linking genetically defined neuron tupes to behaviours using genetic neuron manipulation approach
Understanding how the brain is wired for processing information from the environment to generate adaptive emotioanl responses is a central goal of contemporary neuroscience research. Using a set of genetic tools that allow cell origin and cell function to be delineated and linked in vivo, we are studying neural circuits underlying anxiety behaviours in mice. GThe tlak will present behavioural consequences of manipulating two different neural circuits contributing to anxiety: serotonergic neurons defined by embryonic gene expression pattern, and neural circuits in the ventral hippocampus characterized by adult gene expression patterns.
January 28, 2013 [DV 3130, 12:00pm]
Dr. Ingrid Johnsrude (Queens)
How attention influences auditory perceptual organization and speech comprehension in difficult acoustic conditions.
The listening conditions of everyday life can be challenging. People frequently listen to speech that is degraded, or presented in a mixture of other sounds, and/or hear speech while attention is elsewhere. How is the perceptual organization of mixtures of sound, and comprehension of degraded speech, influenced by attention? Recent research from my lab, employing behavioural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) approaches, suggests that attention has a complex relationship with auditory perceptual organization: whereas some auditory grouping phenomena (e.g. perceptual closure for vowel sounds; segregation of voice mixtures containing a familiar voice) appear to occur independently of attention, others require attention, as do processes underlying perceptual learning of, and comprehension of, degraded speech. Our work suggests that individual differences in attentional capacity (included changes with age) have consequences for auditory perceptual organization, for perceptual learning, and for comprehension of degraded speech.
For additional information about our Colloquium Series, contact Susan Allison (email@example.com)