FABBS is pleased to announce the 2022 Early Career Impact Award winners. This award is presented to early career scientists of FABBS member societies during the first 10 years post-PhD and recognizes scientists who have made major contributions to the sciences of mind, brain, and behavior. The goal is to enhance public visibility of these sciences and the particular research through the dissemination efforts of the FABBS in collaboration with the member societies and award winners.
2022 Association for Behavior Analysis International Award Winner
California State University, Stanislaus
Dr. Shrinidhi Subramaniam is an Assistant Professor in Psychology at California State University, Stanislaus and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Dr. Subramaniam received her PhD in Psychology from West Virginia University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in behavioral pharmacology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She teaches courses in applied behavior analysis, research methods, ethics, and addiction treatment, and mentors graduate students in their thesis research. Dr. Subramaniam’s research applies behavior analytic principles to solve problems like addiction, unemployment, and poverty in her community. Currently, her lab is evaluating the feasibility of a contingency management program to engage residential substance use disorder patients in continuing care. In addition to this work, she has published over 20 manuscripts and chapters across broad research interests. These publications include clinical studies evaluating the effectiveness of behavioral interventions like incentives and education, and basic and translational studies exploring processes underlying human decision making such as choice and temporal learning. Dr. Subramaniam is an Associate Editor for The Psychological Record, is on the editorial board for the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, and serves as the Board Secretary of the Society for the Quantitative Analysis of Behavior.
“Supporting Patients in Recovery: Researcher Tests the Efficacy of Incentives on Behavior Change“
2022 Cognitive Neuroscience Society Award Winner
Maureen Ritchey, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at Boston College. Dr. Ritchey directs the Memory Modulation Lab, which uses the tools of cognitive neuroscience to investigate the neural bases of episodic memory. She combines cognitive neuroscience methods, including behavioral, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and computational approaches, to investigate the relationship between brain networks and memory processes.
Dr. Ritchey’s research offered one of the clearest demonstrations of the role of the hippocampus in the process of recapitulation. Dr. Ritchey’s experiments would change the way we think about human memory, as she combined sophisticated analyses of fMRI data and used graph theory to analyze functional connectivity and multivariate analyses to examine information carried in voxel-patterns. She brought these methods to bear on a new hypothesis: that there are two different memory systems, a posterior medial (PM) system that includes the parahippocampal cortex and retrosplenial cortex, and an anterior temporal (AT) system that includes the perirhinal cortex, that support different aspects of human memory. Her results were consistent with this hypothesis and led her to develop the “PMAT” framework for human memory, which has been a highly influential model.
Dr. Ritchey is now testing how these networks are involved in encoding and reconstructing the details of episodic memories, and how factors that modulate memory—such as emotional arousal—affect the function of these different memory systems. She has more recently begun a new line of work to examine whether individual differences in memory can be understood within the PMAT framework: Can differences in the balance of these networks explain why some people are better at remembering certain event content (faces, or context, or emotion)?
Dr. Ritchey’s research is consistently published in leading outlets, including eLife, Journal of Neuroscience, and Psychological Science. Her research has been funded by the K99/R00 “Pathway to Independence” Award from NIMH, a NARSAD grant from the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation, and a CAREER award from the National Science Foundation. Dr. Ritchey has also served in leadership roles in the Memory Disorders Research Society and the Context and Episodic Memory Symposium, and as a consulting editor for the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience.
“Researcher Explores the Interaction of Emotions and Memories in the Human Brain Network“
2022 International Congress of Infant Studies Award Winner
Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Dr. Victoria Leong is a developmental cognitive neuroscientist who is interested in how parents and infants communicate and learn from each other. She is a pioneer in the use of dyadic-EEG to study parent-infant neural synchrony during social interactions.
Dr. Leong is currently Associate Professor of Psychology at Nanyang Technological University (Singapore), and also Deputy Director of the Cambridge-NTU Centre for Lifelong Individualized Learning (CLIC) which aims to develop neuro-personalised training programs for flexible learning across the lifespan.
Vicky received her undergraduate degree in Medical Science from the University of Cambridge. After working as a special education teacher and in special education policy in Singapore, she returned to Cambridge for a Masters in Psychology & Education and she obtained her PhD in Psychology from Cambridge in 2013. Vicky’s PhD thesis was awarded the 2014 Robert J. Glushko Prize by the Cognitive Science Society, in recognition of outstanding cross-disciplinary work (integrating neuroscience, psychology, linguistics and computational modelling). Shortly after completing her PhD, Vicky was awarded a prestigious Junior Research Fellowship for early-career independent research at the University of Cambridge, followed by a Parke Davis Exchange Fellowship at Harvard University in 2015. Vicky has been awarded research grants from the UK Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC), the British Academy, Rosetrees Medical Trust, Welcome Trust, and Ministry of Education (Singapore) to study language learning and social influences on neural development in infants and young children.
“Researcher Studies How Parent-Infant Neural Attunement Supports Healthy Development“
2022 Society for Computation in Psychology Award Winner
Brendan T. Johns
McGill University, Canada
Dr. Brendan Johns is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at McGill University, serving since January 2020, where he runs the McGill Cognitive Computing Laboratory. He is also an Associate Editor of Behavior Research Methods. Previously, he was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communicative Disorders and Sciences at the University at Buffalo. Before becoming a faculty member, Dr. Johns was an NSERC post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Psychology at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, under the supervision of Dr. Douglas J. K. Mewhort. He received his Ph.D. at IU under the supervision of Dr. Michael N. Jones in the Cognitive Computing Lab in August 2012. He received his Bachelor of Computing (with a major in Cognitive Science) from Queen’s University in 2007.
Dr. Johns’ research interests lie in big data and machine learning approaches to cognitive science. His research focuses on the development of large-scale computational models of cognition, with a specific emphasis on understanding the computational mechanisms that support the acquisition and representation of semantic information from naturalistic big data, as well as how this knowledge is used in online natural language processing and memory retrieval. The goal of this research is to develop cognitively plausible machine learning models that can further our understanding of human cognition. Additionally, his research involves using these models to gain a better understanding of the effects of lifelong learning on cognitive aging, bilingualism, and memory and language disorders.
2022 Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues Award Winner
University of Wisconsin–Madison
Dr. Alvin Thomas is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where he explores positive youth development and father involvement especially among Black families. Dr. Thomas earned his BA from Morehouse College and his PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He runs the Thomas Resilient Youth Lab (TRYlab), which engages child and community mental health research to understand the factors that hinder or contribute to positive outcomes in youth, particularly those exposed to greater risks in their day-to-day environments. The lab also explores father-child relationships as an under-examined resource in the lives of families and youth.
As a clinical psychologist, Dr. Thomas focuses on the risk and protective factors for boys situated in conditions that imperil them toward negative outcomes. His work exists at the intersection of positive child and youth development and father involvement. More broadly, he also researches ethnic identity, father-son engagement and relationships, and mental health in men and boys. Dr. Thomas focuses on risks and protections for Black children and youth, especially boys, and explore outcomes including violence, grades, and well-being. Dr. Thomas is interested in influencing fatherhood policy to highlight the efficacy of father involvement for Black and underrepresented families and for fathers across other contexts. Currently, he is exploring gaps in diversity training specifically related to father (non-resident) involvement in service provision to their children, as well as aggressive behavior, social media use, and police interactions for Black youth.
“Researcher Studies Black Fatherhood and Mental Health to Improve Youth Developmental Outcomes“
2022 Society for Research in Psychopathology Award Winner
McGill University, Canada
Dr. Anna Weinberg is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology and Canada Research Chair in Clinical Neuroscience at McGill University. She received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Stony Brook University, New York.
Dr. Weinberg’s research focuses on identifying biological pathways that give rise to disordered emotional experience. This involves using multiple methodologies, most often event-related potentials (ERPs) to examine the activity of neural systems devoted to processing errors, emotional stimuli, and rewards, and working to establish reliable links between the function of these systems and behavior in healthy populations. With this basic research as a foundation, she seeks to identify multiple abnormalities in these systems that characterize emotional dysfunction in a range of mood and anxiety (i.e., internalizing) disorders. In particular, she is interested in patterns of neural response that respect diagnostic boundaries between anxiety and unipolar mood disorders, and those which reflect more general liabilities that cut across disorders. However, it is not clear whether abnormalities in these systems contribute to the initial occurrence of an illness or emerge following onset. Her recent efforts aim to establish whether these biological correlates of anxiety and depression represent stable vulnerability factors, or whether variation is instead linked to fluctuations in symptom severity.
“Researcher Explores the Neural Correlates of Mental Illness“
2022 Society for the Scientific Study of Reading Award Winner
Elsje van Bergen
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Elsje van Bergen is an Associate Professor at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (at Biological Psychology, the Netherlands Twin Register, LEARN!, and Amsterdam Public Health). Before taking up this position, she was a postdoctoral research fellow in developmental psychology at the University of Oxford. She received her PhD in Educational Sciences at the University of Amsterdam. She is a member of the Amsterdam Young Academy and also serves as co-chair on the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Dyslexia Association.
Together with her team of early-career researchers, Dr. Van Bergen studies the causes and consequences of individual differences in learning. She integrates theories and methods from psychology, education, and genetics to study educational achievement and difficulties. For example, she studies the interplay between genetic and environmental influences on educational skills like reading.
“Researcher Studies Child Learning through New Lens of an Old Debate“
2022 Vision Sciences Society Award Winner
Radoslaw M. Cichy
Freie Universität Berlin, Germany
Dr. Radoslaw Cichy is a Professor of Neurocognitive and Experimental Psychology and Managing Director of the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience at Freie Universität Berlin (Free University of Berlin).
Radoslaw Cichy is a cognitive and computational neuroscientist who studies how the brain allows us to perceive and recognize objects and scenes. He has developed innovative new computational approaches that combine the strengths of different ways of measuring brain function in humans (EEG; MEG; fMRI), while at the same time relating brain function to the ground truth of perceptual experience. His contributions include the development of M/EEG-fMRI “fusion” (2014, 2020). The central idea behind fusion is that even though different types of neural signals capture different aspects of the neural response (MEG or EEG are better at capturing changes over time, while fMRI is relatively slow, but has more spatial precision), it is nevertheless possible to mathematically exploit the similarities in how each type of signal responds to different experimental conditions to extract a composite picture of how visual signals are processed by different brain regions over time. Prof. Cichy has applied fusion to models of the neural representation of objects throughout the processing. In other work using deep neural network models, Cichy and colleagues (2019) showed that the evolution of neural signals in different brain regions over time reflected the role of both bottom-up and top-down (recurrent) processing. has published over 40 articles. Cichy’s work is supported by a German Emmy Noether award (1.2 Mill Euro) and an ERC Starting Grant (1.5 Mill Euro). He is also co-founder of the Argonauts Project, an “open challenge” to investigators to propose and test computational models of the brain’s response to objects. The Argonauts Project also is a novel and engaging approach to open science, where researchers share data and findings with each other and with the public.
“A Look Inside the Visual System: Advancements in How the Brain Processes Perception“