CogSci in the Summer!

3 August 2011

Over the summer, the UCSD campus quiets down. Fewer classes means fewer students wandering our halls, but a peek into the Cognitive Science labs and offices will show you that we’re making scientific progress year-round.

Some labs, such as Dr. Ayse Saygin’s, can be even more full over the summer! Professor Saygin’s lab this summer includes undergraduates on Summer Research Scholarships using fMRI to study communicative movements as well as two high school students using Mechanical Turk to investigate the uncanny valley.

Other faculty take the summer time to catch up on their writing. Professor Ben Bergen is working on a book manuscript, and almost all the faculty are writing or revising papers to be sent out to journals and applying for grants.

Many graduate and undergraduate students are taking the opportunity to gain some experience with a programming language they might not be familiar with. Jamie Alexandre and Jeremy Karnowski are running a Python Seminar (Awesome Python Experience) to foster a community of programmers who can all share code and ideas with each other to increase productivity and collaboration.

Many people are able to use the summer to work on their year-round projects without the distraction of the events of the school year. Second year graduate student Andrew Schork is working as part of Dr. Terry Jernigan’s Pediatric Imaging Neurocognition and Genetics Study processing and performing manual quality control on pediatric MRIs and DTIs.

Post-doc Pradeep Shenoy is collaborating with his mentor Dr. Angela Yu and Dr. Martin Paulus in the psychiatry department to look at fMRI activation differences between healthy individuals and individuals at risk for stimulant abuse as they perform a task probing their ability to inhibit behavioral responses.

This, and much more, is constantly happening in our department. Summer may end in September, but our commitment to research continues.