Speakers: The Diversity Committee
Date: November 15, 2019
Time: 2:30 PM- 4:00 PM

Title: Climate Colloquium


Join the Diversity Committee to hear about the results of our first annual climate survey, followed by a department-wide discussion to address diversity issues and initiatives within the department. Attendees will have the opportunity too voice their feedback about the survey, the results of the survey, and ideas for initiatives to address areas of potential growth within the department. Please do your best to attend as we would love to hear your thoughts, both as participants in the climate survey and as participants in the department.

 Speaker: Dr. Opher Donchin
Date: September 25, 2019
Time: 1:15 PM - 2:15 PM

Title: The Components of Motor Learning


Twenty-five years ago, Reza Shadmehr and Mussa-Ivaldi published a paper that revolutionized the field of motor learning. Their contribution focused the attention of the field on a seemingly simple task -- adaptation to perturbed reaching -- where it was felt we could reach real understanding. Five years later, Reza Shadmehr and Kurt Thoroughman proposed a simple model -- an error correcting state space model -- for understanding behavior in the task. In the intervening years, our understanding has deepened and what seemed like a simple system has grown increasingly complex. I will review our current understanding of motor adaptation, and its relevance to motor learning and learning in general. Some of the specific issues I will highlight are: hierarchies of learning, mapping learning to neural structures, the relative roles of explicit and implicit learning, and the way noise and variability relate to learning. Ultimately, the goal will be to demonstrate how a simple model can focus the attention of a field, leading to stunning, consistent progress and developing insights with deep resonance far beyond the field.

About the speaker

Dr. Opher Donchin is an Associated Professor in Biomedical Engineering at Ben-Gurion University. 




Guest Speaker: Dr. Roy Baumeister
Date: October 30, 2015

Title: Thinking about the Future: Whether, When, Why, How, Who, What … and So What?


A planful, future-oriented mindset is probably the most effective way to find success in life, but psychology has focused much more on the past than the future. This talk reports ideas and findings emerging from our recent research program on thinking about the future. Despite the common assumption that people see the future as bright, our laboratory experiments that contemplating the future leads to caution and in some cases pessimism. Outside the lab, we have a giant data set on people’s thoughts as they go about their daily lives, and these reveal much about why, when, and how people think about the future, as well as what personality types think about it more, and what its correlates and consequences are. Predicting the future is difficult — but perhaps that is not the main part of people’s thoughts about the future. Instead, we develop a theory of pragmatic prospection that shifts the emphasis away from “What is going to happen?” to “What do I want to happen?” and “How can I bring that about?”
And he’s from FSU.

About the speaker

Dr. Baumeister is a social psychologist known for his work on the self, social rejection, belongingness, sexuality and sex differences, self-control, self-esteem, self-defeating behaviors, motivation, aggression, consciousness, and free will. He has authored over 500 publications and has written, co-written, or edited almost 30 books. His book, Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength, recently topped the New York Time’s best-seller list. You can read more about Dr. Baumeister and his research at the following website.


Guest Speaker: Dr. Shinobu Kitayama
Date: February 3, 2017

Title: Cultural Neuroscience: Why We Need It


The last two decades of research in socio-cultural psychology shows that basic psychological processes such as cognition, emotion, and motivation, as well as the self and the human agency that is constituted by these processes, are profoundly influenced by values, beliefs, and norms that sometimes vary dramatically from one society to the next. So far, however, this research has remained agnostic about specific mechanisms underlying the sociocultural influences. Here, I will make four arguments that as a whole begin to suggest a broad program of research addressing the mechanism question. First, ecology is a potent distal factor that fosters cross-culturally divergent values and norms. Second, to clarify the nature of this ecological influence, it is important to focus on the last 10,000 years of human evolution/history, during which humans across the globe began to form large non-kin-based groups. Third, culture as a loosely organized set of social values, norms, and attendant practices is embrained. That is, cultural information is stored in neuro-physical structures and processes of the brain. Fourth, the eco-cultural influences on neural pathways of the brain are modulated by genetic and epigenetic mechanisms. Implications for the future of socio-cultural psychology are discussed.

About the speaker

Dr. Kitayama is Robert B. Zajonc Collegiate Professor of Psychology, Social Psychology Area Chair, and Director of the Culture & Cognition Program at the University of Michigan. You can read more about Dr. Kitayama and his research at the following website


Guest Speaker: Dr. Steve Kozlowski
Date: November 21, 2018

Title: Cultural Neuroscience: Why We Need It


Psychologists have studied team processes and effectiveness for decades, amassing a substantial empirical foundation that establishes a science of team effectiveness. Nonetheless, there are also significant concerns that team processes, which are inherently dynamic, have primarily been treated as static constructs. Team processes and outcomes are multilevel phenomena that emerge, bottom-up from the interactions among team members over time under the shifting demands of a work context. Theoretical development that appro-priately conceptualizes the multiple levels, process dynamics, and emergence of team phenomena over time are essential to advance understanding. Moreover, these conceptual advances necessitate innovative re-search methodologies to better capture these dynamic phenomena. I will discuss this conceptual foundation and then describe two promising streams of scientific inquiry – team interaction sensors and computational modeling – that are advancing new measurement techniques and process-oriented research methods fo-cused on understanding team dynamics and emergent phenomena. I will close by discussing the prospects for process-oriented theory and research on team effectiveness.

About the speaker

Dr. Kozlowski’s theory and research are focused on the design of active learning, simulation, and synthetic experience to develop adaptive skills; systems for enhancing team learning and team effectiveness; and the role of team leaders in shaping team development. The goal of his programmatic research is to generate actionable theory, research-based principles, and deployable tools to facilitate the development of adaptive individuals, teams, and organizations. His current research is supported by the Agency for Health Research and Quality, the Army Research Institute, NASA. In addition, his research has been supported by the Office of Naval Research, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and the Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division, among others.

As an advisor, Dr. Kozlowski is a former member of the National Academy of Sciences Board on Human Systems Integration, the National Academy of Sciences Committee on the Science of Team Science, and the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Behavioral and Social Science Research to Improve Intelligence Analysis for National Security. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the Association for Psychological Science, the International Association for Applied Psychology, and the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP). Dr. Kozlowski is a former Editor for the Journal of Applied Psychology and the Editor of the Handbook of Organizational Psychology, the Organizational Psychology Series, and the SIOP Translational Science Series, published by the Oxford University Press.