Seminars & Events
Monday, February 11, 2013: Dr. Daphne Soares (University of Maryland College Park) will speak on "The Sensory World of Cavefishes" at 4:45 pm in Goodpaster Hall 195.
Monday, March 4, 2013: Dr. Joe Cheer (University of Maryland Baltimore) will speak on "Endogenous Cannabinoids and the Pursuit of Reward" at 4:45 pm in Goodpaster Hall 195.
Friday, April 12, 2013: Dr. Jill McGaughy (University of New Hampshire) will speak on "The Role of Cortical Norepinephrine in the Ontogeny of Executive Function" at 3:00 pm in Schaefer Hall 106.
Dr. Erin Johnson '02 recently received her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Rochester School of Medicine, and was inducted as an alumni member of Nu Rho Psi.
Ron Saul, "Chronic activation of the substantia nigra nociceptin/orphanin receptor induces motor deficits similar to Parkinson's disease," 2008. Saul, the 2008 winner of the Neuroscience Award, infused a drug into the substantia nigra of rats and measured the resulting motor behaviors, mood disturbances, and cognitive abilities.
Mirenzi, Aaron (2011). Analyzing the gender aftereffect in biological motion : the effects of adaptation to static and dynamic stimuli. (Mentor: E. Hiris)
Biological Motion stimuli present human form and motion through points of light placed on major joints of the human body. These point light walkers (PLWs), though minimal, present enough information for accurate gender perception. It has been shown that adapting to a hyper sexual PLW will bias the perception of a subsequent PLW as being the opposite gender (Troje, Sadr, Geyer, & Nakayama, 2006). Aftereffect research uses the assumption that the aftereffect is caused by adaptation to a particular aspect of the stimulus. In the case of biological motion perception, low level motions are combined to create a global form, which is then placed in a gender category. Thus, adaptation could be occurring to the motions of the stimulus, the form of the stimulus, or to gender as a concept. This paper addresses which physical aspects of biological motion are adapted to in the gender aftereffect. Experiment 1 used full body images, which evoked gender as a concept, as adaptation stimuli, however, these images were unable to cause an gender aftereffect in the perception of a PLW, suggesting that the aftereffect is perceptual, not conceptual. Experiment 2 used PLWs reduced to four hip and shoulder points as adaptation stimuli. Despite research showing the critical nature of hip and shoulder points for gender perception, adaptation to these points alone did not cause a gender aftereffect in a complete PLW. Experiment 3 used static PLWs to test whether the form of the stimulus was the adaptive property of the stimulus. Contrary to several studies showing the importance of motion in gender perception, we found that adaptation to a non-moving PLW created an aftereffect similar to when a dynamic PLW was adapted to. We conclude that in the gender aftereffect in biological motion, the form of the stimulus is the adaptive property. Experiment 3 suggests that form processing is critical for gender perception in humans, even in displays which highlight human motion, and minimize human form.