Over 30,000 neuroscientists are descending on New Orleans as we speak, for the annual Society for Neuroscience conference. Silvia wishes she could be among them, but is holding down the fort at UC Berkeley this year… We will have two talks at SfN this year:
Kirstie Whitaker will fly back from her new postdoc in the U.K. to speak on Sunday morning in this special session:
And Alison Miller Singley will speak on Monday afternoon about work that she carried out with Allyson Mackey:
Kirstie will show that development of a specific white matter tract in the brain – the left frontoparietal tract – is particularly important for reasoning development from age 6-19 (even after accounting for massive age-related changes in both white matter and reasoning ability over this age range). Alison will show that fMRI is more sensitive than *some* behavioral measures when it comes to measuring the benefits of cognitive training.
Finally, conference-goers will see the artwork of our dear friend Elizabeth Jameson on the cover of a complementary copy of the Journal of Neuroscience: http://www.jneurosci.org/
Astonishing new study
Invited commentary from our lab
From left: Chloe Green, Connor Lemos, Lisa Johnson, Sally Bae, Alison Miller Singley, Silvia Bunge, Maia Barrow, Zdena Op de Macks, Forrest Riege, Belén Guerra-Carrillo, and Carter Wendelken
At UC Berkeley, every Ph.D. graduate receives a lollipop when their degree has been conferred. Allyson Mackey and Kirstie Whitaker paid a little visit to Graduate Division on August 10th and received their lollipops! They both started in the Neuroscience program 5 summers ago, both leave the lab at the end of the month, and are both heading to Cambridge for postdocs. Allyson will go to MIT (Cambridge, Mass.) to work with my grad advisor John Gabrieli, and Kirstie will go to the University of Cambridge to work with John Suckling. The lab is in denial at the moment.
Reasoning training alters white matter microstructure
The Wall Street Journal (misguidedly titled “Why Lawyers Are So Smart”):
Etc. And, of course, since this study involved LSAT preparation, it’s been cited in law-related websites, including some fun articles…
Silvia has been invited to give a Distinguished Scientist Lecture in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh. This is not until September, so she may have enough time to grow a distinguished white beard beforehand.
The Supreme Court has just ruled that life-without-parole sentencing for juveniles is unconstitutional, relying in part on evidence regarding the protracted timecourse of brain maturation. Over the last few years, a number of researchers, including Professor Bunge, co-wrote amicus briefs and testified in state State senate hearings that led up to this decision. The researchers took care to provide a balanced overview of extant research on brain development.
At Humboldt University in Berlin, at Yana Fandakova’s thesis defense. Yana, who graduated summa cum laude, is wearing a neat personalized graduation cap with lots of photos on it. Behind her from left to right: a Humboldt reseearcher, Silvia, Yee Lee Shing, Hauke Heekeren, Ulman Lindenberger, and Peter Frensch.