Fall 2019 Undergraduate Research Opportunities (Responses)
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Lab NameDescription of Research Topic(s)Faculty SupervisorAdditional Supervisors (Grad students, Postdocs, Faculty)LocationDescription of ProjectDescription of Student InvolvementLink to WebsiteSocial Area?Clinical Science Area?Developmental Area?Cognition/Brain/Behavior Area?Neuroscience?Academic Credit Available?Pay Available?Volunteer (no credit or pay) Available?# Open Positions# Semester Commitment MinimumHow to Express Interest in LabContact PersonContact Email
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Lab for Developmental Studies (Spelke)Infant and Child CognitionElizabeth SpelkeWilliam James HallMost of the research in the lab uses behavioral methods, focused on infants' spontaneous actions of looking at, reaching for, or smiling to objects and people, to investigate the basic cognitive capacities of infants, toddlers, and children, with an emphasis on the development of perception and knowledge of objects and their mechanical interactions, agents and their instrumental actions, people and their social interactions, number, and geometry. Current research projects in the infant lab focus on topics including infants' attribution to objects of abstract properties such as mass, infants' attributions of goals and intentions to agents, infants' attributions of perceptions, beliefs, and emotions to people, and infants' inferences about the geometrical properties of visual forms.Research assistants work in the lab for 10 hours per week and attend weekly course meetings during which grad students discuss their research interests and the current state of their research projects. Throughout the semester, students have the opportunity to learn about a wide variety of research topics within cognitive science. Additionally, each student is paired with a grad student or postdoc in the lab so as to focus on one topic in depth. In the lab, research assistants will be responsible for recruiting and scheduling infant and child participants and their families, assisting lab researchers in testing infants and children, interacting with families when they come to the lab, coding infant looking time responses and toddler behavioral responses, and working with grad students to complete tasks specific to their research.https://www.harvardlds.org/our-labs/spelke-labspelke-lab-members/spelke-lab-members/Yes.Yes.Yes.Yes.Yes, Work-Study Eligible Only.Yes.101If interested, please contact lab manager Bill Pepe at wpepe@g.harvard.eduWilliam PepeWpepe@g.harvard.edu
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The Pepperberg LabAvian CognitionIrene PepperbergRoni Hyman (Lab Manager)William James HallThe Pepperberg Lab conducts and supports research that establishes the cognitive and communicative abilities of parrots.Research assistants are responsible for assisting in daily care and the training and testing of African Grey Parrots on cognitive and communicative tasks. Duties include but are not limited to: assisting Lab Manager with daily care of
animals, cleaning, feeding, and watering of animals as assigned and observation of animals for abnormalities and sickness. Training in handling, care, and protocols will be provided.
Position requires a minimum commitment of 2 days per week for at least one full semester. The lab is staffed from 9AM to 8PM, seven days/week, including
holidays.
https://alexfoundation.orgYes.Yes.Yes, Work-Study Eligible Only.Yes.81Email Roni at pepperberglabmanager@gmail.com to request an applicationRoni Hymanpepperberglabmanager@gmail.com
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Moral Psychology Research LabMoral developmentFiery CushmanSydney LevineWilliam James Hall; Boston Children's Museum Our research uses theories derived from moral philosophy to try to understand how young children understand the moral world and make decisions about what is right and wrong. RAs will be expected to work 8-10 hours/week. Some of that time will be spent in the lab and some will be spent running studies at the Boston Children's Museum. Responsibilities will mostly involve running studies with preschool-aged children, preparing and setting up testing materials, data entry, coding subjects' responses, and helping to pilot new experimental protocols.https://sites.google.com/site/sydneymlevine/Yes.Yes.Yes.Yes, Work-Study Eligible Only.No.21Email slevine@fas.harvard.edu with cover letter and resume.Sydney Levineslevine@fas.harvard.edu
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Carey LabConceptual DevelopmentSusan CareyStephen Ferrigno, Ivan Kroupin, Brian LeahyWilliam James Hall (possibly the Children's Museum)The Carey lab seeks to describe the knowledge of the world (e.g., physical, social, etc.) that infants and children are equipped with, the reasoning skills they can apply to that knowledge, and how both develop. Some questions being explored this semester are when kids learn logical operators (i.e., negation), how kids understand abstract relations, and how kids learn number. Students will work with a primary researcher recruiting and scheduling child participants, testing children, conducting data analyses, and designing new studies. Students will be given individual and group training. They will also participate in lab-wide research meetings. The research is conducted at laboratories within Harvard’s Laboratory for Developmental Studies in William James Hall; sometimes also at the Children’s Museum. Ideal candidates should have an ability to work with infants and young children. An interest in psychology is a plus. Responsible and professional behavior are essential. Ten hours per week and a 2-term commitment are required. RAs can receive course credit or work study.http://harvardlds.org/our-labs/carey-lab/susan-carey/Yes.Yes.Yes.Yes, Work-Study Eligible Only.No.22Interested students should submit a cover letter, resume, and (unofficial transcript) to Nancy SojaNancy Sojannsoja@fas.harvard.edu
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Vision LabIdentity; coordination; moralityGeorge AlvarezJulian De FreitasWilliam James HallSocial intelligence in minds and machines. Depending on your skills, you can be involved in all aspects of any of our projects. www.juliandefreitas.comYes.Yes.Yes.Yes.Yes.Yes.No.Yes.22Please send an email to Julian De Freitas (defreitas@g.harvard.edu), indicating why you are interested in joining the lab. Hint: it may help to read one or two of our publications. Please also attach a CV. Julian De Freitasdefreitas@g.harvard.edu
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Computational Cognitive Neuroscience LabLearning and decision makingSam GershmanNorthwest BuildingThe goal of research in the Computational Cognitive Neuroscience Lab is to understand learning and decision making from a computational perspective. We build computational models of cognition, which we test using behavioral and brain imaging studies.Depending on their skills and interests, students typically do some combination of experimental and theoretical research. The experimental component consists of programming web experiments using Javascript and HTML. The theoretical component consists of writing computer programs that do the same tasks as humans, so that they can be compared with each other. Students are invited to participate in all aspects of lab life, including lab meetings.http://gershmanlab.webfactional.com/Yes.Yes.Yes.No.Yes.email Prof. Gershman (gershman@fas.harvard.edu)Sam Gershmangershman@fas.harvard.edu
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The Music LabMusic Cognition, Evolutionary Science, Developmental PsychologyMax KrasnowSamuel Mehr (Research Associate), Steven Pinker (Professor)Vanserg HallIf you are reading this, you are probably doing so on a device that plays music. You are probably able to hear and understand that music. You probably can also produce music of your own, even if you've never had music lessons. You probably engage with music on a regular basis, regardless of your cultural background, location in the world, or socioeconomic status. You have probably been this way your whole life. In the Music Lab, we're figuring out why the human mind is designed in such a way that all of the above is true.This semester we are recruiting undergrad RAs to contribute to the following projects, potentially including experimental design, data collection (with human subjects in lab and online in citizen science experiments), data analysis, recruitment, and more:

(1) massive-scale online studies about music perception, using http://themusiclab.org;
(2) lab-based studies about how infants respond to lullabies from various cultures, using psychophysiology and looking time measures; and
(3) longitudinal studies of the effects of music on infant and parent mood, temperament, and well-being, which use both in-lab and online measures.

Students will work at least 10 hours per week in the lab with a diverse team of researchers from a range of backgrounds, from cognitive science to developmental psychology to music to web development. The Music Lab is a highly collaborative environment in which undergraduates take a leading role in designing and carrying out research. The 2357r RAs are also encouraged to pitch their own research projects to their labmates and to the PI, with the idea that the 2357r semester or year can help to set up a future independent project or even an honors thesis.
https://themusiclab.org/Yes.Yes.Yes.Yes.Yes.Yes, Work-Study Eligible Only.Yes.41tinyurl.com/musiclabRAsMila Bertolo (lab manager) and Samuel Mehr (PI)mila_bertolo@g.harvard.edu, sam@wjh.harvard.edu
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Center for Depression, Anxiety and Stress Research --- McLean HospitalStress, Depression, and the Teenage BrainDiego Pizzagalli, PhD (HMS/McLean)Emily Belleau, PhD (ebelleau@mclean.harvard.edu)McLean Hospital, Belmont (8 miles from campus)Heightened stress reactivity is an important vulnerability marker for major depressive disorder (MDD), particularly for females, and such reactivity is pronounced during adolescence, when MDD rates become double in females versus males. Accordingly, understanding stress-related neural dysfunction may be a valuable pathway for identifying individuals at risk for prolonged/recurrent major depressive episodes and facilitating ways to prevent MDD relapse at a critical developmental stage. However, few studies have examined the neural underpinnings of aberrant stress reactivity, particularly in the aftermath of stress in MDD. To fill this gap, I will examine neural functioning before, during, and after stress in female adolescents with and without MDD. Another aim is to investigate whether stress-related neural abnormalities in those with MDD predict changes in depressive symptoms three-month post-scan. Understanding neural dysfunction related to poor stress recovery in adolescent MDD may have implications for establishing MDD biomarkers that lead to earlier detection and intervention.Students will be involved in all aspects of the research including participant recruitment, observing and conducting phone screening, helping run participants through the study pipeline including conducting informed consent and guiding teen participants through the “mock scanner” to help make them comfortable with the scanning environment, as well as database management. It is expected that you will work a minimum of 8 to 15 hours in the lab. Given that we work with teens, we often have to conduct phone screens after school and when parents are home from work. Thus, many of our phone screens take place from 3:00-6:30 p.m., so the ability to work during those hours is a plus to increase your exposure with phone screening! The opportunity to learn and conduct data analyses are also available (questionnaire data, behavioral data, fMRI) , but will require a greater level of time commitment to the lab in order to be trained on these types of analyses. https://cdasr.mclean.harvard.edu/Yes.Yes.Yes.Yes.Yes.No.Yes.12To apply, please fill out the Student Visitor application at https://cdasr.mclean.harvard.edu/about/current-openings-2/ and send it, along with a copy of your resume/CV, to David Crowley (djcrowley@mclean.harvard.edu).David Crowleydjcrowley@mclean.harvard.edu
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Center for Depression, Anxiety and Stress Research --- McLean HospitalBeliefs about depression; Psychophysiology; MindsetsDiego Pizzagalli, PhD (HMS/McLean)Hans Schroder, PhD (hschroder@mclean.harvard.edu)McLean Hospital, Belmont (30 minutes from campus)Does a chemical imbalance cause depression? Increasingly, depression is discussed in biological terms. However, this message may come with unintended consequences. This project examines the impact of receiving personalized feedback of genetic risk for depression on brain activity (measured with EEG) and motivations for different treatment options (e.g., medication vs. individual therapy). The goal of the study is refine our understanding of how conceptualizing depression affects motivations to seek help, attend to our emotions, and improve well-being. Students can expect to gain significant research experience through this opportunity. The volunteer will be responsible for recruiting and scheduling participants, assessing eligibility with clinical questions, and conducting experiments using EEG (no prior EEG experience is necessary, and specialized training will occur on-site). Opportunities for data processing and analysis are also available. The commitment is for 5-10 hours in the lab.https://cdasr.mclean.harvard.edu/Yes.Yes.No.No.Yes.31To apply, please fill out the Student Visitor application at https://cdasr.mclean.harvard.edu/about/current-openings-2/ and send it, along with a copy of your resume/CV, to David Crowley (djcrowley@mclean.harvard.edu).David Crowleydjcrowley@mclean.harvard.edu
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McNally LabBeing Alone: Loneliness or Solitude?Richard McNallyBenjamin BelletWilliam James HallPrevious research suggests that loneliness is largely a product of our cognition—beliefs, perceptions, biases—and is weakly related to the amount of time we spend alone or the amount of friends we have. With these ideas in mind, can we change our experience of our time alone? This senior thesis project at the McNally Lab investigates whether we can alter our perceptions of our own time alone in order to enjoy the benefits of solitude and avoid loneliness. In addition, this research explores whether our use of social media—and, in particular, our tendency to compare ourselves to others on social media—is related to our ability (or inability) to enjoy our time alone. We are looking for a few undergraduate Research Assistants to help us run participants for this study during the fall semester. As data collection will end in December, this will only be a semester-long commitment. RAs will be expected to work 6-8 hours a week. Scheduling is flexible: RAs can set their own hours between 9am and 5pm to run participants. Specific tasks for RAs include informing participants about the experiment, collecting signatures, leading participants through the study, debriefing participants, and organizing data. Any student interested in learning more about the “behind the scenes” of psychology research is encouraged to apply. No prior research experience is necessary.Yes.Yes.No.Yes.21Email Benjamin Bellet, graduate student supervisor (bbellet@g.harvard.edu) or Rich McNally, faculty supervisor (rjm@wjh.harvard.edu) to express interest. Please include a brief statement describing your interest in the lab and any relevant experience. No prior experience is required. Position will be filled on a rolling basis, so priority will be given to early applications. Non-Harvard affiliates should note that we will be prioritizing applications from Harvard Undergraduate applicants first.Benjamin Bellet or Richard McNally bbellet@g.harvard.edu; rjm@wjh.edu
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Decision Making and Behavioral EconomicsSocial psychology, behavioral economics, judgment and decision-making, marketing, organizational behavior, consumer behaviorMichael Norton, Ashley WhillansDavid LevariHarvard Business SchoolWe research everything from decision-making of individuals to relationships (e.g. romantic couples) to groups and organizations. Most of our work involves experimental lab work, online research, and field studies. Here are a few of the projects we're working on right now: How do relationships work differently when they're long-distance? Why do we feel bad breaking streaks, even when they are meaningless? What's easier to remember, hard decisions or easy ones? Do our standards of "appropriate" behavior change based on stereotypes about race and gender? How should we talk to our partners about money? Students working in our lab will be expected to attend regular meetings to discuss the research projects and relevant theoretical background. Students can be involved at every level of the research process, including scheduling research participants, administering experiments and collecting data, background research, and data processing and analysis. We will teach you how to do each these things as needed, so no prior experience is required.Yes.Yes.Yes.Yes.No.No.41Email dlevari@hbs.edu and tell us (1) why you interested in being an RA (2-3 sentences) and (2) confirm that you are able to take PSY 910r (or a similar for-credit lab course) and can commit 10-15 hours per week to research. We'll give priority to applications we receive by 11:59pm on Wednesday, September 4th, so earlier is better, but don't hesitate to get in touch after the deadline since we will probably still have space.David Levaridlevari@hbs.edu
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Laboratory for Developmental Studies--Snedeker LabLanguage Jesse Snedeker Annemarie KocabWilliam James HallThe world provides us with a continuous, complex stream of experience. Yet, when we think or communicate, we readily break this stream into events. These linguistic descriptions can express information about different components of an action. For instance, a description of the Boston Marathon race might include information about a participant’s manner of motion (the woman is running) or her path of motion (the woman is ascending up a hill). These components are described consistently across different actions (manners like running, skipping vs. paths like ascending, crossing) and across different languages. Are these dimensions a property of our conceptual system or are they a product of language acquisition? We are investigating event representation in populations with different language experiences to see whether they conceptualize events in the same ways as do users of mature languages.RAs in this lab are required to work 9 hours per week in the lab and to attend a one-hour lab meeting each week. The RA will assist us in stimulus creation and testing child and adult participants. https://www.harvardlds.org/Yes.Yes.Yes.No.Yes.11Email Briony Waite at bwaite@fas.harvard.edu to express interest and to receive an application. Priority will be given to applications received by September 3rd. Briony Waitebwaite@fas.harvard.edu
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Laboratory for Developmental Studies, Snedeker LabLanguageJesse Snedeker Simge TopalogluShannon HallWe are running a picture-selection task which aims to test the interpretation of presupposed and asserted content. We are planning to run it both with kids (starting with 6-7 year-olds, and moving on to testing preschoolers) and with adults (as a control group). Other than that, we have a set of presuppositional sentences and their asserted counterparts extracted from CHILDES, and we will run an adult judgment/comprehension study on AMT based on these excerpts. RAs in this lab are required to work 9 hours per week in the lab and to attend a one-hour lab meeting each week. The RA will assist with recruiting kids to come into the lab, testing child participants, and coding the data.https://www.harvardlds.org/Yes.Yes.Yes.No.Yes.11Email Briony Waite at bwaite@fas.harvard.edu to express interest and to receive an application. Priority will be given to applications received by September 3rd. Briony Waitebwaite@fas.harvard.edu
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Laboratory for Developmental Studies--Snedeker LabLanguageJesse Snedeker Joe Coffey Shannon HallThe pace of children's language development largely determined by how much their parents talk to them. However, the amount of speech children hear as well as the content of that speech is influenced greatly by cultural and socioeconomic forces. We are interested in learning more about what types of situational and environmental factors affect parents' speech to their children in real time, as well as the degree to which children can adjust their learning strategies around these factors to become proficient speakers of their language. To this end, we will be running a series of observational studies on parents and their children in naturalistic settings, with the goal of finding significant determinants of child-directed speech that are likely to play a role in larger cultural and socioeconomic differences between groups.RAs in this lab are required to work 9 hours per week in the lab and to attend a one-hour lab meeting each week. The RA will assist with recording sessions and coding videotape data for language-based variation, as well as with literature review, statistical analysis, and scheduling and recruiting participants. https://www.harvardlds.org/Yes.Yes.Yes.No.Yes.11Email Briony Waite at bwaite@fas.harvard.edu to express interest and to receive an application. Priority will be given to applications received by September 3rd. Briony Waitebwaite@fas.harvard.edu
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Laboratory for Developmental Studies, Snedeker LabLanguageJesse Snedeker Tanya LevariWilliam James HallWe use linguistic predictive abilities every day in order to carry out cohesive conversations and communicate effectively with others. There is literature that shows that children with Autism struggle with prediction, which can make navigating the world difficult and overwhelming. This project aims to assess children with Autism’s ability to predict words in spoken conversation. This project will include both behavioral and EEG studies, during which participants will listen to a story, try to finish incomplete sentences, and other tasks. RAs in this lab are required to work 9 hours per week in the lab and to attend a one-hour lab meeting each week. The RA will assist with recruiting children, both typically-developing and with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The RA will also assist with testing participants and will help with data coding.https://www.harvardlds.org/Yes.Yes.Yes.No.Yes.11Email Briony Waite at bwaite@fas.harvard.edu to express interest and to receive an application. Priority will be given to applications received by September 3rd. Briony Waitebwaite@fas.harvard.edu
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Schacter LabMemory, imagination, and decision-makingDaniel SchacterAdam BulleyWilliam James HallHumans have a remarkable capacity for to travel mentally in time: we can revisit events in memory and imagine future possibilities. This research project focusses on the origins of this foundational ability, how it works, and how it influences decision-making, emotion, and behaviour in everyday life. With behavioral experiments, our lab has been investigating how people simulate novel future events by recombining personal memories, and how these simulations are integrated with positive and negative emotion to regulate mood and anticipate consequences. We are also studying how the ability to simulate the future influences intertemporal trade-offs: decisions with outcomes that play out only over time. This work therefore lies at the intersection of evolutionary psychology, behavioral economics, cognitive psychology, and cognitive neuroscience. The research student will have the opportunity to get actively involved in aspects of the research process. This includes literature reviewing, experimental design, data collection, scoring of data, data analysis and coding, and more. The student will also attend lab meetings where group members present their work and will have the opportunity for further training and learning in line with their interests. We ask for a commitment of approximately 10 hours per week. Overall, we are looking for curious, motivated, responsible and diligent individuals to join our team. Yes.Yes.Yes.Yes.No.11Contact Adam Bulley at adam_bulley@fas.harvard.edu. Please attach a recent CV and a brief (1-2 paragraph) description of your previous experience, why you are interested in this position and what you hope to gain from it. Adam Bulleyadam_bulley@fas.harvard.edu
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Center for Depression, Anxiety and Stress Research --- McLean HospitalMindfulness meditation and mental healthDiego Pizzagalli, PhD (HMS/McLean)Matthew Sacchet, PhD (msacchet@mclean.harvard.edu)McLean Hospital, Belmont (30 minutes from campus)Mindfulness meditation is a contemplative practice that targets the development of present-centered awareness and acceptance of psychological phenomena. Mindfulness is widespread in clinical psychology, the workplace, and general wellness and is associated with myriad health-related benefits. Mindfulness meditation-based therapies have been shown to be helpful for reducing depression and anxiety, in both community and psychiatric samples. To date little is understood regarding the psychological and biological mechanisms of action of mindfulness meditation for depression and anxiety. Understanding the mechanisms of action of mindfulness promises to provide a foundation for improved treatments. The objective of the current study is to advance our understanding of mindfulness meditation for depression and anxiety by investigating cognitive, affective, behavioral, neural, and psychoneuroimmunological (including epigenetic) effects of mindfulness practice. The project includes acquisition of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and electroencephalography (EEG) data from depressed and anxious patients before and after they have completed a mindfulness-based intervention or one of several control interventions. The project promises to provide new insights into the psychological and biological mechanisms of action of mindfulness meditation for depression and anxiety that will contribute to improved mindfulness-based treatments and thus better outcomes and reduced suffering for individuals with mental illness.Interested students may become involved in this study in a number of ways, including but not limited to supporting aspects of protocol development, participant recruitment, and data acquisition (e.g., collecting EEG, blood samples, questionnaires, interviews from study participants). Depending on the interests, goals, and skills of prospective students and the duration of involvement it may be possible for students to take on additional opportunities including data analysis, software programming, paper writing, and increasingly self-directed projects. Such projects may be based on the current study dataset or datasets previously collected. If of interest to the participating student, the faculty project leader is prepared to provide mentorship toward application to graduate programs, including in research and/or clinical fields. Participating students should expect to spend 6-12 hours on research-related activities per week.https://cdasr.mclean.harvard.edu/Yes.Yes.Yes.Yes.No.Yes.22To apply, please fill out the Student Visitor application at https://cdasr.mclean.harvard.edu/about/current-openings-2/ and send it, along with a copy of your resume/CV, to David Crowley (djcrowley@mclean.harvard.edu).David Crowleydjcrowley@mclean.harvard.edu
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Schacter MemoryLabEpisodic Simulation, Episodic Memory, Moral Cognition, CommunicationDaniel SchacterJohannes MahrWilliam James HallWe are investigating the ways in which the capacity to imagine and remember events contributes to different parts of human cognition. In particular, we investigate the role that episodic memory plays in our social lives and how imagination affects the way we make moral decisions. How does the way people remember the past or imagine different possibilities impact how they hold others accountable or solve moral dilemmas? Specifically, we will investigate how a brief training in remembering episodic details impacts people’s decision making in these domains.
As a research assistant, you will gain hands-on experience with all aspects of the research process, including experimental design, participant recruitment, running participants, and data analysis. You will also have the opportunity to participate in weekly Schacter lab meetings and other guest lectures/tasks. We ask for at least a 10hr/week commitment. Overall, we are looking for diligent, reliable, detail-oriented, and motivated individuals.
For more information about our lab, please visit http://scholar.harvard.edu/schacterlab/pages/research.
Yes.Yes.Yes.No.Yes.21Email Johannes Mahr (jmahr@harvard.edu) with your CV (or an unofficial transcript) and a brief description of your research interests and/or past research experiences (no prior experience is required though!).
Johannes Mahr jmahr@fas.harvard.edu
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Greene LabRecursion in Human CognitionJosh GreeneJames BursleyWilliam James HallScientists are interested in learning about the computations and processes the mind carries out while people are thinking and solving problems, and how similar these computations are to ones used by computers. For certain kinds of tasks, especially those that can be broken down into smaller parts in order to be solved, a computer may employ recursive computations, which are computations that trigger many additional computations that are similar to themselves. It is not yet known whether the human mind can use recursive computations like computers do, and this research program aims to answer this question through the use of novel behavioral paradigms and signatures that should detect recursive computations in real time.The student will assist in running experiments with human subjects in the laboratory for 10 hours per week, as well as read relevant literature and have one-on-one discussions with the researcher about the significance of the project and the theory behind it.http://www.joshua-greene.net/Yes.Yes.No.No.11Attend group meeting on 9/6/19 at 1:30pm in WJH 1465 and email kbrodie@g.harvard.edu to express interest. Kirstan Brodiekbrodie@g.harvard.edu
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Gilbert LabSocial Psychology, Judgment and Decision Making, Social Judgment, Biases, Memory, Behavioral EconomicsDaniel GilbertDavid LevariWilliam James HallOur lab studies all sorts of topics related to how people think, interact, and make decisions. Some of the things we're working on this semester: why do people in different cities or countries have different standards for what counts as "friendly behavior?" Why can't we remember important decisions we made, even when they were very recent? When and why do we sometimes itch to "take over" important tasks when we see other struggling with them? As an RA in our lab, you'll get pretty much the full experience of what a graduate student does. This includes the following: running participants in the lab or out in the field, designing online surveys, conducting literature reviews, analyzing data, learning to use statistical software, and and interpreting results. You'll work closely with me to get hands-on experience in research and, if you want, some useful professional skills (programming, experimental design, etc). Students working for course credit are expected to commit 10 hours of work each week.Yes.Yes.Yes.No.Yes.21Easy -- send me your CV or resume, and a sentence about why you want to work in the lab. My email is dlevari@fas.harvard.edu. Positions will be filled on a rolling basis, with an initial soft application deadline of 5pm on Wednesday, September 4th. The sooner you apply, the better, but you can definitely still apply after that, anyway -- we often take students later.David Levaridavid.levari@gmail.com
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Clinical Research LabStress; Perceived Criticism; Emotional Response & Reactivity; Self-Injury Professor Jill HooleyMatias Pulópulos (post-doctoral researcher); Chelsea Boccagno (graduate student)William James Hall (and working from home/preferred location when able)Study 1 (primary researcher: Matias): Perceived Criticism is a subjective measure that reflects how critical a person believes a given relative is of him or her, and that is considered a reliable predictor of clinical outcomes of several stress-related psychiatric disorders, including depression, and substance abuse. The overall goal of this study is to investigate differences in the psychological and physiological (cortisol, heart rate variability, pre-ejection period, and skin conductance) response to stress in individuals high and low on perceived criticism and to investigate whether these two groups show differences in the perception of criticism during socially stressful situations.

Study 2 (primary researcher: Chelsea): Current research on heightened emotional response in non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI; e.g., self-cutting) is incredibly mixed. The current psychophysiological project, which takes course over three sessions, will attempt to untangle whether and how individuals who engage in NSSI experience heightened emotion in their body and in their perception. We will do so by having individuals engage in different tasks and being exposed to different emotional stimuli.
For both of these projects, you will be involved in the recruitment of participants, data collection, pre-processing of physiological data, and data analysis. You will be trained in the use of an ambulatory device to measure cardiovascular activity (HR, HRV, and pre-ejection period) and skin conductance, and you will learn and carry out the pre-processing of the data. You will also attend lab/RA meetings, and will have the chance to learn new data analytical skills. Study 1: You will work mostly during afternoons since all the experimental sessions will be performed between 12:00pm and 6:00pm, and you are expected to be in the lab 10-15 hours per week. Study 2: We do not have a set time during which we will collect data. You are expected to be in the lab 10-15 hours per week. Note: You may be involved in either or both studies. If involved in both studies, your hours will still be 15 hours total.https://hooleylab.psych.fas.harvard.edu/Yes.Yes.Yes.No.Yes.31Please e-mail Chelsea Boccagno at cboccagno@g.harvard.edu to express interest in either or both studies. In this e-mail, please send along a CV, as well as why you are interested in the work. In addition, please indicate whether you are interested in either or both psychophysiology studies.Chelsea Boccagnocboccagno@g.harvard.edu
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Clinical Research LabIdentity; Emotion; Social Media UseProfessor Jill HooleyChelsea Boccagno (graduate student)William James Hall, and working from home/preferred location when ableThe ultimate goal for this exploratory longitudinal study, which will be conducted online, is to better understand whether, how, and for whom Finstagram ("Fake Instagram") use is helpful or harmful. A wealth of social media research highlights that whether social media use is beneficial or detrimental depends on multiple factors, such as the form of use, the frequency of use, the subjective quality of social interactions on the site, and the mental health of the user (Marino, Gino, Vieno, & Spada, 2018). However, a majority of this research has been examined with respect to Facebook; far fewer studies have examined whether and how these effects translate to Instagram, another popular social media networking site. Accordingly, we know very little about the relationship between patterns of Instagram use and mental health. In particular, it is unknown whether maintaining more than one social media profile page—an increasingly widespread phenomenon on Instagram—is beneficial or detrimental.
This study will collect and analyze Instagram content (e.g., color hue of photographs) and self-report measures on emotions, identity, and mental health.
This research assistant will be involved in recruiting and contacting participants, organizing data, and analyzing data. In addition, the RA will attend lab/RA meetings, and may conduct additional relevant work such as literature reviews on social media use and psychopathology.https://hooleylab.psych.fas.harvard.edu/Yes.Yes.Yes.No.Yes.11E-mail Chelsea at cboccagno@g.harvard.edu to express interest. Please include a resume/CV, and describe briefly why you are interested in this project.Chelsea Boccagnocboccagno@g.harvard.edu
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Vision Science LabArchitecture and Neuroenhancement of MemoryDr. George AlvarezDr. Hrag PailianWilliam James HallWe are launching a series of behavioral and neurophysiological projects aimed at identifying the neurocognitive architecture of working memory and enhancing these cognitive functions. These projects will combine behavioral and computational methods with electroencephalography (measuring brain waves) and neurostimulation. Our ultimate goals are 1) to understand what factors limit human memory capacity, and 2) develop neurostimulation protocols to enhance these abilities. The ideal candidates are driven, possess a strong academic record, and are interested in obtaining a deeper understanding of the mind and the brain. Duties include (but are not limited to) running participants on experiments using behavioral and neurophysiological (electroencephalogram, neurostimulation) techniques that measure brain function. A minimum commitment of one semester (10 hrs/week) is required. Previous experiences assisting in other laboratories is preferred - but not required. www.hragpailian.comYes.Yes.Yes.No.No.Yes.31If interested, please send a copy of your resume/CV to Dr. Hrag Pailian (pailian@fas.harvard.edu), alongside a cover letter stating why you are interested in joining the lab."Dr. Hrag Pailianpailian@fas.harvard.edu
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Cognitive Neuropsychology LabVisuospatial Processing, Neglect, Brain-DamageProf. Alfonso CaramazzaSeda Akbiyik, MA; Teresa Schubert, PhDWilliam James HallThe Cognitive Neuropsychology Lab at Harvard University (Psychology Department) is seeking a volunteer undergraduate research assistant for the Fall 2019 semester. The lab is currently conducting research on visual perception and attentional disorders to learn about the human visual system, including color and size perception. Students will be closely mentored directly by a graduate student and a post-doc and supervised by the PI.
Research assistant will prepare materials for experiments, participate in behavioral testing sessions, transcribe data from videos, and carry out targeted literature searches to assist the research team. Familiarity with Mac OSX, self-motivation, and strong attention to detail are required. Previous research experience, previous experience with Photoshop (or an equivalent software) and MATLAB Psychtoolbox are preferred. A minimum commitment of one semester (8-10 hours/week) is required. Ideal applicants will be able to continue to assist with studies over the spring. https://cogneuro.psychology.fas.harvard.edu/Yes.Yes.No.No.Yes.11Please attach a copy of your resume/CV to Seda Akbiyik (sakbiyik@fas.harvard.edu) to an email that states why you are interested in joining the lab and any relevant coursework you have taken at Harvard.Seda Akbiyiksakbiyik@fas.harvard.edu
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Greene LabBuilding blocks of memoryJosh GreeneBeau SieversNorthwest BuildingAre memories more like LEGOs or Play-Doh? This project uses functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and computational modeling to figure out how the brain encodes memories where the parts are separable from the whole.Student will help recruit participants and collect brain imaging data at the Center for Brain Science. No previous experience required. Approximately 10 hours/week.http://www.joshua-greene.net/Yes.Yes.Yes.No.No.11Attend group meeting on 9/6/19 at 1:30 PM in WJH 1465; email kbrodie@g.harvard.edu to express interest. Kirstan Brodiekbrodie@g.harvard.edu
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Greene LabCompositional neural networksJosh GreeneBeau SieversWilliam James HallWhen you read the sentence, “A pink hippo dancing on a sailboat,” an image immediately jumps to mind. This is possible because language is compositional: it lets us put any objects (hippo, sailboat) into any relations (dancing on). This project tests whether existing neural network architectures can flexibly and generalizably place objects into relations, and will investigate how new architectures could be designed for this purpose.Student will help implement and design neural network models of compositional thought and analyze data. Previous experience with Python/TensorFlow or similar is required. Approximately 10 hours/week.http://www.joshua-greene.net/Yes.Yes.No.No.11Attend group meeting on 9/6/19 at 1:30 in WJH 1465; email kbrodie@g.harvard.edu to express interest.Kirstan Brodiekbrodie@g.harvard.edu
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BIG Labbehavioral decision making, psychology, education, negotiation, organizational behavior, economics, marketingFrancesca GinoHarvard Business SchoolHarvard undergraduates interested in research related to behavioral decision making, psychology, education, and negotiation may be good candidates for this lab, which takes an interdisciplinary approach that combines psychology and economics methodologies. The following are examples of research questions we are trying to answer: what are the factors and processes involved in unethical decision making and how can we prevent individuals from making unethical decisions? How can we use behavioral science insights to improve educational outcomes in schools, colleges, and MOOCs – especially by engaging outside-of-class influences? What are the benefits and consequences of being distracted at work? How does the personality of a mediator affect negotiation outcomes? What makes leaders effective? How do men or women compete against one another? And, how do expertise and non-conscious biases affect decision-making in professional selection and advancement? RAs will work closely with one of the members of the lab group on one or more research projects.RAs may be involved in a wide spectrum of the research process: running participants in the lab, coding data, contributing to study designs, conducting literature reviews, analyzing data, and assisting in interpretation of results. Students in this course will work closely with graduate students to get a hands-on experience in research and are expected to put in about 8-10 hours of work per week. There is no formal lab or lab meeting associated with this course.https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdi5e79_vwMhdU_KnFs1PlRLXFNdvU26EmfpgDDtWK0xdnj8Q/viewform?usp=sf_linkYes.Yes.Yes.No.No.1To express interest in enrollment, please email Aurora Turek at aturek@hbs.edu prior to the first class meeting.Aurora Turekaturek@hbs.edu
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Evolutionary Psychology Labsocial relationships, willingness to sacrifice, interpersonal valuationProf. Max KrasnowRhea HowardWilliam James Hall (some remote work possible)Throughout your day-to-day life, you often make decisions that have repercussions for you and others. For instance, would you rather sleep in on a Saturday or get up early to help your friend study for her exam? Or, do you take the last cookie for yourself or leave it for your roommate? Sometimes these decisions are higher stakes: for instance, would you run into a burning building to save a stranger? Regardless of whether it's a small or big decision, your mind must weigh how much you value yourself relative to other people. How does the mind do this? What factors are incorporated into these decisions? And how does this capacity develop from childhood? This research program asks these questions using a variety of methods including online and laboratory studies with children and adults using economic games, as well as vignettes and other behavioral measures. Research assistants will work in lab (with remote work possible, as well) to help design studies, construct study stimuli, code participant responses, and recruit participants. RAs are expected to work 10 hours per week (hours are flexible) and to attend lab meeting. https://projects.iq.harvard.edu/eplYes.Yes.Yes.Yes.No.Yes.21To express interest, please email with a resume or CV and a description of why you're interested in the lab/ project in particular. Rhea Howardrheamhoward@g.harvard.edu
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Lerner LabBehavioral Economics, Emotion, Decision ScienceJennifer LernerCharlie Dorison, Molly Moore, Chris Umphres, Ke WangHarvard Kennedy SchoolDrawing on psychology, economics, and neuroscience, Dr. Lerner’s lab uses interdisciplinary methods to examine how people make judgments and decisions. We especially seek to understand and illuminate social and emotional underpinnings of decision processes.Students are expected to attend lab meetings, work in-lab for at least 3 hours per week, and outside of lab for approximately 6 hours per week. Students are often tasked with: administering experiments at the Harvard Decision Science Laboratory – often to elite government and military leaders – as well as through online survey systems; conducting literature reviews and other background research; preparing slides in PowerPoint for presentation; coding data, summarizing results, and preparing it for presentation; brainstorming ideas; tracking down references; and finding ways to apply behavioral insights of our research to inform public policy.http://jenniferlerner.com/Yes.Yes.No.Yes.Yes.32Prepare one PDF document containing all of these: (a) a resume; (b) an unofficial college transcript; and (c) a cover letter addressed to Dr. Jennifer Lerner. Send the PDF document to Ms. Chelsea Zabel at the following address: Chelsea_Zabel@hks.harvard.edu.Chelsea Zabelchelsea_zabel@hks.harvard.edu
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Harvard Decision Science LaboratoryBehavioral Economics and Decision ScienceJulia Minson, Harvard Kennedy SchoolAlkistis Iliopoulou, Lab Director124 Mt. Auburn StreetThe Harvard Decision Science Laboratory (HDSL) is a university-wide bio-behavioral research facility serving investigators from a variety of disciplines exploring the science of decision making. A research assistant here will get exposure to fields such as behavioral economics, organizational behavior, social and educational psychology. Researchers from all across the university, and at all levels of the scholarly community—from senior faculty to undergraduate researchers—use the lab to investigate how emotion, neuroscience, and cognitive processes combine to shape human judgment and decision-making. Our capabilities enable researchers to study hypotheses at the intersection of natural and social sciences. Day-to-day at HDSL can be very different depending on current needs—you may be at the front desk checking in and out subjects, in the lab room running experiments, or working on programming or testing an experimental protocol. You may work with experimenters in the conceptualization and design of their experiments; in programming these designs using standard tools for subject interaction (for example, MediaLab, z-Tree, E-Prime, MatLab, Qualtrics); in conducting the experiments and interacting with subjects in the lab; and in compiling and analyzing experimental data. You will get the opportunity to work with several Harvard professors and graduate students, lab staff, and other students. Ideally, we are looking for a self-driven and innovative person that will design and lead new projects to promote the lab’s mission to promote evidence-based approaches. www.decisionlab.harvard.eduYes.Yes.Yes.Yes.Yes.Yes.91Email resume and brief statement of interest to hdslhiring@gmail.com. Priority application deadline: September 9, 2019.Alkistis Iliopoulou, Lab Directorhdslhiring@gmail.com
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Langer LabPhysiologyProf. Ellen Langer, PhDKaryn Gunnet-ShovalHarvard Decision Science Lab, William James HallIn this study, we are investigating people’s physiology and how it varies within subjects, and between subjects. We are looking to establish physiological norms, in order to better understand people’s physiological processes and how they may change and differ from each other.The student will be expected to spend approximately 10 hours in lab per week (some of which may be at the Harvard Decision Science Lab). They may be asked to attend lab meetings and will be expected to meet with members of the study team regularly. Examples of the type of work involved: data collection, running participants, data analysis, organizing data, and writing literature reviews.Yes.Yes.No.Yes.41Please email hadleyjohnson@fas.harvard.edu to express interest.Hadley Johnsonhadleyjohnson@fas.harvard.edu
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Embodied Social Cognition LabPhysical movement and posture; Gender (and its intersection w/ other identities)Nicole NollWilliam James HallObservers make inferences about other people based on their appearance, including the way they sit/stand. Some postures are viewed as feminine, others as masculine, and others as gender-neutral. In addition to influencing others’ perceptions, our previous research has demonstrated that gendered postures also influence self-perception, the inferences that people make about themselves, specifically with regard to femininity/masculinity. In our current research, we are investigating whether gendered postures influence how participants interpret the world around them and the decisions they make. We are also starting two new projects, one that explores the words people use to describe bodies and if/how those terms are gendered and another that examines how people understand research findings of sex/gender differences.RAs taking PSY 910r are expected to work 10-15 hours per week; those who are volunteering should discuss their availability with Nicole. Depending on previous experience, RAs will be involved with many aspects of the research process, including participant recruitment, data collection, developing experimental materials and protocols, and conducting literature searches/writing literature reviews. All RAs are expected to attend weekly lab meetings.Yes.Yes.Yes.No.Yes.31Email Nicole (noll@wjh.harvard.edu) describing your interest in the research and include info about your previous research experience (if any). Students with no previous research experience are encouraged to apply. :)Nicole Nollnoll@wjh.harvard.edu
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Vision Sciences LaboratoryMachine Behavior; Machine PsychophysicsGeorge AlvarezColin ConwellWilliam James Hall, 7th FloorPotentiometrics | Psychoanalyzing the Ghost in the Machine: Automated, artificially intelligent systems (powered by machine learning) are increasingly embedded in almost all aspects of contemporary human life, making it imperative we understand how these systems really behave in circumstances outside the relatively rigid testbeds in which they're typically fashioned. Using a modified set of tools from cognitive neuroscience and classic psychophysics, we've begun to probe more deeply the 'black box' of modern machine learning algorithms, contrasting machine behavior with human behavior in ways that extend beyond superficial benchmarks. We believe these tools are best applied and most thoroughly supplemented with a diverse, interdisciplinary array of perspectives that extend far beyond the engineering inherent to their design, and while programming is a plus, we welcome students from any and all backgrounds. Join this project for a chance to learn more about machine learning (deep neural networks), psychology, experimental design and data analysis.Student involvement in this project will depend on the student's background, as there a wide variety of tasks involved. All members will be expected to attend a weekly meeting (the 'Potentiometrics' meeting) dedicated to collective brainstorming and collaborative hack-a-thons. We put a heavy premium on students' using their idiosyncratic strengths for the good of the group, leading discussions on topics of personal expertise or tutorials on relevant skills. Yes.Yes.Yes.Yes.Yes.Yes.Yes.Yes.121Please contact Colin Conwell conwell@g.harvard.edu for more information or to apply for a position.Colin Conwellconwell@g.harvard.edu
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Affective Neuroscience and Development LabOnline LearningLeah SomervilleJessie SchwabNorthwest BuildingThis project integrates research and theory from the fields of education and cognitive psychology by examining what students consider to be “valuable” outcomes in ungraded online environments. In particular, we are trying to better understand what motivates students to direct effort toward online academic tasks and to consider how the ability to use value cues to differentially influence learning behaviors might change over the course of development.The RA will primarily be responsible for subject recruitment, running study sessions, and data tracking. The ideal commitment would be 8-10 hours per week, which are flexible but may occasionally require evening or weekend availability for running study sessions. As a member of the lab, the RA would also have the opportunity to gain exposure to other areas of developmental neuroscience by attending lab meetings and workshops in the lab and departmentandl.wjh.harvard.eduYes.Yes.Yes.Yes.Yes.Yes.12Email deanna_arpi@fas.harvard.edu and jfschwab@fas.harvard.edu with your resume/CV and brief statement of interestArpi Youssoufiandeanna_arpi@fas.harvard.edu and jfschwab@fas.harvard.edu
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