Author Archives: sbunge

Yana Fandakova’s thesis defense

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.

Funding for cognitive intervention in WA State

Thanks to the fundraising efforts of Jack Shonkhoff, Director of the Frontiers of Innovation, our lab has received philanthropic funding for a “Proposal to Advance the Frontiers of Innovation in Early Childhood Policy and Practice” in Washington State.


Change is in the air.

Today our 5th-year Neuroscience student Allyson Mackey gives her public Ph.D. thesis talk, titled “Reasoning training alters brain structure and function”. This fall she will head to Prof. John Gabrieli’s lab at MIT for a postdoc.

Kirstie Whitaker, also a 5th-year Neuroscience student, will be giving her thesis talk on August 17th, and then headed back to the U.K. for a postdoc.

Maia Barrow is coming on board on June 1st as a new full-time research assistant in the lab, followed by Belén Guerra, an incoming graduate student in Psychology.


Blast from the past!

Celebrating the lab’s 1-year anniversary, back in 2004 at UC Davis! From the left, Carter Wendelken (now our senior research scientist), Jesse Edelstein (grad student at UC Merced), Eveline Crone (full professor in the Netherlands), Ryan Honomichl (professor at a liberal arts college in Ohio), Sarah Donohue (currently at Duke and gearing up for a postdoc in Germany), and Mike Souza (professor at the University of British Columbia). We will have to do something big next summer for our 10th anniversary. Even bigger than the surprise chocolate cake below…

NYT Magazine: Can You Make Yourself Smarter?

Can You Make Yourself Smarter_ – NYTimes


One of our undergrad research assistants, Forrest Riege, is a budding jazz musician. His group, named “Frank Martin’s Advanced Combo”, has played twice at the Freight & Salvage in Berkeley over the last few months. Silvia is a big fan of their work… and hopes that Forrest will remember the lab when he becomes famous.

Forbes Magazine opinion piece on neuroscience & education

This article in Forbes was inspired in part by as-yet-unpublished data from our lab on the neural changes associated with 3 months of reasoning training, spearheaded by senior grad student Allyson Mackey. Allyson, Alison, and Kirstie are all hard at work writing up exciting findings from this project.

Heading to Patagonia!

This week, Silvia will give a talk in Buenos Aires and then head to Patagonia to participate in the 2nd Latin American School for Education, Neural and Cognitive Sciences, funded by the James S. McDonnell Foundation. For announcements about future meetings, check the School’s website.

What makes this trip even more special is that Silvia’s family is from Argentina. This will be her first visit in 17 years. On top of that, the site of this year’s School is hard to beat…


Chloe receives grad student fellowship

First-year grad student Chloe Green has been accepted as a fellow in the Research in Cognition and Mathematics Education program at UC Berkeley. This program will cover her tuition and stipend for the next 2-3 years. Congrats, Chloe!

Intro to E-book on the Developing Human Brain

Frontiers, an online publisher, will be publishing an E-book on the Developing Human Brain. Here is the introduction: PDF