Newsmakers featured at APS convention

May 14, 2009

If science is your beat, you'll find a story at this year's APS Annual Convention.

Program Highlights:

APS President Walter Mischel will lead this year's Presidential Symposium, "The New Genetics and What it Means for Psychological Science" on Saturday May 23 at 6:00 PM.

Research on self-control has come a long way since Walter Mischel's pivotal Marshmallow Task experiment in the late 1960s. Now, Mischel and colleagues are using fMRIs and genetic testing in hopes of outlining the neural circuitry of self-control. Michel's newest endeavor will put decades of research to the test as he plans to see if self-control skills can be taught to schoolchildren and maintained over a long period of time.

Richard Nisbett is presenting this year's Bring the Family Address on Sunday, May 24 at 6:00PM.

Nisbett's research on the environment's impact on intelligence reveals all geniuses aren't born smart. Author Malcolm Gladwell called Nisbett's new book, Intelligence and How to Get It: Why Schools and Cultures Count, "persuasive" and said "Few Americans have done as much [as Nisbett] to deepen our understanding of what it means to be human."

As Nisbett's research examines the environment's impact on intelligence, Michael Meaney's recent research findings reveal how our childhood environment affects the very expression of our genes. In particular, Meaney's research showed how early childhood abuse can influence the development of a receptor linked to how we handle stress. Meaney is speaking during the Presidential Symposium "The New Genetics and What It Means for Psychological Science" on Saturday, May 23 at 6:00PM.

Other Headliners Include:

Martha Farah, University of Pennsylvania
Award Address: "Cognitive Neuroscience in the 21st Century: From Lab and Clinic to Home, School, and Office"

Elke Weber, Columbia University: Invited Address
Symposium Presentation: "Multiple Determinants of Risk Taking"

Sara M. Gorchoff, University of California, Berkeley: Invited Address
Symposium Presentation: "Improvements in Marriage: Effects of Empty-Nest and Investment in a Satisfying Marriage"

Michael Inzlicht, University of Toronto, Canada: Invited Address
Symposium Presentation: "Belief in God Predicts Lower Anterior Cingulate Cortex Activity"
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To arrange for a complimentary press pass, e-mail Catherine Allen-West at cwest@psychologicalscience.org with your contact information, including your name, name of your organization, address, phone number, and e-mail address.

Association for Psychological Science

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