Department Colloquia

Upcoming Department Colloquia Events 


Past Department Colloquia Events


January 24
Alison Chasteen, (Social/PersonalityAbnormal), Psychology Department, University of Toronto
Topic: It's All Downhill from Here: How do older adults' beliefs about aging and abilities influence their self-perceptionsand performance?
Morris Moscovitch (Cognition/Perception/Cognitive Neuroscience), Psychology Department, University of Toronto
Topic: Memory, space and empathy and their possible relation to the long axis of the hippocampus
Kaori Takehara (Brain & Behaviour), Psychology Department, University of Toronto
Topic: The biology of everyday memory

April 4
Daphna Shohamy, Columbia University
Topic: How Memory Guides Value-Based Decisions
NOTE: This lecture will take place at Best Institute, 112 College St., Rm 114

FALL 2017

October 4
Lynn Hasher (Cognition/Perception/Cognitive Neuroscience), Psychology Department, University of Toronto
Topic: Cognitive Control: Costs and Benefits
Geoff MacDonald (Social/PersonalityAbnormal), Psychology Department, University of Toronto
Topic: Love is the Drug: Social Reward and Interpersonal Behaviour Regulation
Martin Ralph (Brain & Behaviour), Psychology Department, University of Toronto
Topic: Temporal Organization in Living Things
Watch video of October 4 Colloquium at

November 1
Paul Bloom, Yale University
Watch video of Paul Bloom talk at

October 5
 Rich Ivry, University of CaliforniaBerkeley
Topic: Embodied Decision Making: System interactions in movement execution and action selection
Abstract:Two well-established literatures have provided elegant computational models of sensorimotor learning and decision making, with relative little connection between the two. I will discuss ways in which we can bring these two worlds together. In the first part of the talk, I will review work that has brought into focus the relevance of multiple learning mechanisms for sensorimotor learning, examining how strategic processes interact with a cerebellar error-based learning system in sensorimotor adaptation. The results here highlight a distinction between error signals that improve action execution or action selection. In the second part, I will turn to learning in decision making tasks, asking how competence in motor execution might be incorporated in models of reinforcement learning. Our work here addresses the question of how an agent determines if the absence of reward reflects a property of the environment or an error in motor execution. Action errors may provide a "gating" signal to regulate reinforcementlearning, providing a simple solution to this fundamental credit assignment problem.
When: October 5, 2016 at 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. 
Where: Room 560A, Sidney Smith Hall, 100 St. George Street 
Reception to follow in the Psychology Lounge, Room 4043, Sidney Smith Hall 

FEBRUARY 29, 2012 
Speaker: Antoine Adamantidis, PhD, Assistant Professor, Douglas Mental Health University Institute and McGill University Department of Psychiatry
Topic: Optogenetic probing of sleep-wake circuits in the brain 
Abstract: While the functions of sleep are still a matter of debate and may include memory consolidation and brain plasticity, the brain substrates of the sleep-wake cycle are known to involve many neuronal population located in the brainstem, basal forebrain, hypothalamus, thalamus and cortex. Our goal is to dissect the neural circuits of the brain that are actively recruited for the onset and maintenance of sleep and wake states. Recent work probing the role of hypocretins/orexins neurons in arousal using optogenetics will be presented. 
When: Wednesday, February 29, 2012 
12:30 to 1:30 pm, Room 3231, Medical Sciences Building (MSB), 1 King’s College Circle 
More Information: 
Junchul Kim (
John Peever (
Richard Horner (

MARCH 14, 2012 
 Galen Bodenhausen, PhD, Northwestern University 
Topic: The Consumer Mindset: Implications for Personal and Social Well-Being 
Abstract: Abundant correlational evidence indicates that dispositional materialism is negatively related to a variety of indicators of well-being, but situational forces may also promote materialism, potentially leading to similar unsavory consequences. Across multiple experiments, we find that environmental cues related to consumption and consumer identities can situationally trigger materialistic mind-sets, with similarly negative personal and social consequences. We examine the effects of consumer cues on explicit and implicit goal strivings, affective well-being, social engagement, moral reasoning, and reactions to social dilemmas. We discuss our findings in terms of the tensions inherent within the psychological structure of values. 
When: Wednesday, March 14, 2012
3:30 pm sharp, Room 2108, Sidney Smith Hall, 100 St. George Street 
Reception to follow in the Psychology Lounge, Room 4043, Sidney Smith Hall 
More information: Jason Plaks (

January 12
Ayelet Fishbach, Ph.D.
University of Chicago Booth School of Business
Talk Title: Effects of Feedback on Goal Pursuit

February 9
Adrian Owen, Ph.D.
University of Western Ontario
Talk Title: When thoughts become actions: Using fMRI to detect awareness

March 9 
(with Rotman Centre for Management)

Richard Petty, Ph.D.
Ohio State University 
Talk Title: Understanding The Role of Confidence In Judgment and Action


January 20 Sabine Kastner, Ph.D. Princeton University 
Talk Title: Mechanisms of Attentional Selection in the Human Brain 
Host: Susanne Ferber 

February 24 Russell H. Fazio, Ph.D (with Rotman Ohio State University Centre for Management) 
Research Area: Attitude formation and social cognition 
Host: Jason Plaks 

March 24 Michael Platt, Ph.D. Duke University 
Talk Title: Neuroeconomics, Neuropsychiatry, and Neuroethology 
Host: Dr. Sara Shettleworth 

FALL 2010

November 10 
Cheryl Kaiser, Ph.D.
University of Washington
Talk title: Group Identification and Experiencing Discrimination: Implications for Diversity


February 25 Michael Platt, Ph.D. Duke University, Department of Neurobiology 
Research area: Ethological Approaches to the study of the neural bases of cognitive behaviour 
Host: Dr. Sara Shettleworth 

March 11 Tom Oltmanns, Ph.D. Washington University in St. Louis, Department of Psychiatry 
Research area: Personality disorders, Personality assessment, Personality and aging 
Host: Dr. Jennifer Tackett

October 28 Veronica Benet-Martinez, Ph.D. University of California - Riverside 
Talk Title: Multicultural Identity: Components, Dynamics, and Psychosocial Correlates 
Host: Jennifer Tackett 

November 11 Derek Isaacowitz, Ph.D. Brandeis University Department of Psychology and Volen National Center for Complex Systems
Talk Title: Use of gaze for real-time mood regulation: The role of age and attentional functioning 
Host: Dr. Alison Chasteen 

FALL 2008

September 17 Kirby Deater-Deckard, Ph.D. Virginia Tech, Department of Psychology 
Research area: Development, Behavior Genetics, Temperament 
Host: Dr. David Haley 

October 15 Ed Vogel, Ph.D. University of Oregon, Department of Psychology 
Research area: Attention, working memory, individual differences 
Host: Dr. Susanne Ferber 

November 5 Emma Adam, Ph.D. Northwestern University, School of Education and Social Policy 
Research area: Emotion, physiological stress in young children, adolescents and adults in their everyday experiences 
Host: Dr. Joan Grusec 

December 3 Amishi Jha, Ph.D University of Pennsylvania, Department of Psychology 
Research area: Mindfulness Training, attention, working memory 
Host: Dr. Adam Anderson