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Dr. Timothy Otto

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The primary focus of our work is to explore the biological basis of memory formation in the mammalian brain. Many of these studies involve an examination of the genes and proteins within neurons that contribute to neuronal plasticity and, ultimately, the formation of lasting memories. These studies span several levels of neurobiological analysis, and employ behavioral, neuropsychological, immunohistochemical, and molecular biological techniques. Our primary focus is on the hippocampus, and much of our research seeks to characterize the dissociable contributions of the CA1, CA2, CA3, and dentate gyrus subfields within both dorsal and ventral hippocampus to a variety of different “types” of memory. Many of these findings are explained in more detail on our laboratory  website: www.ottolab.org 

Pre-requisite:  Prefer students to have taken either psychobiology or physiological psychology and lab and learning processes (formerly conditioning and learning)

 

Dr. Linda Reddy and Dr. Todd Glover

Rutgers Paraprofessional Coaching Project

Sponsor: Dr. Maurice Elias

The Rutgers - Paraprofessional Coaching Project is a randomized controlled trial of an innovative coaching program designed to enhance elementary school paraprofessional classroom aides' use of evidenced based behavioral interventions for students with externalizing behavior disorders (e.g., Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Conduct Disorder). Students with Externalizing Behavior Disorders often have difficulties with peer and/or adult relationships, as well as self-control and academic issues. They are at high risk for school failure and drop out. The effectiveness of the coaching model on paraprofessional’s use of evidence based behavioral interventions will be evaluated based on a multi-method and multi-data source process during the fall, winter, and spring of the 2017-2018 school year. Data will be collected on teachers’ classrooms, paraprofessionals, and students through behavioral rating scales, direct behavior observational assessments, and online logging. This is a tremendous opportunity for students to obtain experience observing teachers and students, as well as gaining new skills in conducting meaningful school-based educational and psychological research.

The project is interested in recruiting highly motivated undergraduate research assistants to play a vital role in implementing the project with teachers, paraprofessionals, and researchers. This will be an outstanding opportunity for students who are interested in student behavioral assessment and behavior intervention research focused on improving classroom practices for students with Externalizing Behavior Disorders.

Objectives

Undergraduate research assistants working with this project will:

  • participate in a multi-site research project in elementary schools in Newark Public Schools;
  • receive training and certification on a teacher observational assessment system;
  • receive training and certification on two student observational assessment systems;
  • conduct classroom observations of participating teachers in fall, winter, and spring of the 2017 – 2018 school year;
  • conduct direct observations of participating students in fall, winter, and spring of the 2017-2018 school year;
  • assist in the processing of research data, including teacher observations, student behavior rating scales, student observational data, surveys, and coaching integrity data.

Requirements:

  • The Rutgers Paraprofessional Coaching Project is looking for undergraduate research assistants for the Fall 2017 and Spring 2018 semesters.
  • A minimum of 8 hours per week between the hours of 8:30 am and 3 pm.
  • Personal transportation (such as a car) is required to visit elementary schools. Reimbursement for travel to school sites is available.

Application:

Students interested in applying to participate in the Rutgers Collaborative Coaching Project should send an email and a current résumé to project manager Mr. Christopher Dudek.
Christopher Dudek, M.Ed.
Project Manager
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Telephone: 848-445-5435

Linda A. Reddy, Ph.D.
Professor & Principal Investigator – SSI Project
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Dr.  Linda Reddy

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(Sponsor: Maurice Elias)

The School System Improvement (SSI) Project

The way teachers instruct their students, manage behavior in the classrooms, and provide opportunity to learn (OTL) makes a big difference in student performance. However, there is currently no practical approach to measuring how teacher’s classroom practices affect student academic and behavior functioning. Identifying the instructional and behavior management strategies teachers’ utilize daily, as well as their influence on OTL, is crucial for determining which strategies are the most effective in promoting academic, behavior, and social success for students. However, current teacher evaluation practices and systems do not have empirically validated and reliable means of assessing these constructs, or methods for providing teachers with feedback to enhance their classroom practices. A fair and balanced educator evaluation system is needed to identify and monitor teachers’ classroom practices, as well as help guide school interventions and services necessary to ensure that all children succeed in school.

The School System Improvement (SSI) Project is designed to accomplish these goals:

  1. Utilize the Classroom Strategies Scale (CSS) and Instructional Learning Opportunities Guidance system (MyiLOGS) to enhance teacher evaluation practices, feedback and coaching
  2. Assess teachers' use of important instructional strategies, behavioral management strategies, and OTL in classroooms
  3. Facilitate teachers plans to cover necessary content from state and national content standards, as well as improve their use of classroom time
  4. Lend teacher voice to evaluations of educator effectiveness
  5. Improve the overall quality of education at schools and support teachers in their efforts to provide high quality instructions to their students.

 Research assistants will:

  1. Participate in a large multi-site project in NJ and travel frequently to over 20 different charter schools
  2. Be trained on empirically based instructional and behavioral management strategies implemented by teachers
  3. Be trained on coverage of state content standards and opportunity to learn
  4. Observe teachers and classrooms using empirically based observational measures
  5. Participate in data collection, coding, entry, and analysis
  6. Have opportunities for professional presentations and publications

Requirements: The SSI Project is looking for highly motivated undergraduate students for the Fall 2017 and Spring 2018 semesters. A two-semester commitment is required. A minimum of 12 hours per week between the hours of 9am and 3pm. Personal transportation (such as a car) is required to visit elementary schools. Travel between Rutgers and schools will be reimbursed. 

Application: To apply to the SSI Project, please submit an updated resume to Christopher Dudek or Dr. Linda Reddy. They can be reached at the following:

Christopher Dudek, ME.d.
Sr. Research Analyst - SSI Project
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel: 848-445-3845

Linda A. Reddy, Ph.D.
Professor & Principal Investigator – SSI Project
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dr. Linda Reddy/Dr. Elisa Shernoff  

 E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it./This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

(Sponsor: Dr. Maurice Elias)

RUTGERS COLLABORATIVE COACHING PROJECT

Project Manager: Adam Lekwa, PhD, NCSP
Assistant Research Professor
Office: 848-445-5437
E-mail:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


The Rutgers - Collaborative Coaching Project is a randomized controlled trial of an innovative coaching program designed to enhance teachers’ use of instructional and behavior management strategies in high poverty elementary schools. The effectiveness of the coaching model on teachers’ use of evidence based strategies will be evaluated based on observational data collected in the fall, winter, and spring of the 2017-2018 school year. Data will be collected using two observational assessments called the Classroom Strategies Scale (CSS), and the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) and tests of students’ reading and mathematics achievement. This is a tremendous opportunity for students to obtain experience and new skills in conducting meaningful educational and psychological research in schools.

The project is interested in recruiting highly motivated undergraduate research assistants to play a vital role in implementing the project with teachers and researchers. This will be an outstanding opportunity for students who are interested in large scale assessment and intervention research focused on improving teachers’ instructional and behavioral management practices in high poverty schools.

Objectives

Undergraduate research assistants working with this project will:

  • participate in a multi-site research project in elementary schools in Jersey City Public Schools;
  • receive training and certification on two teacher observational assessment systems;
  • conduct classroom observations of participating teachers in fall, winter, and spring of the 2017 – 2018 school year;
  • assist in the processing of research data, including teacher observations and coaching integrity data.
  • participate as co-authors (if interested) in professionial conference presentations and other research training.

Requirements:

The Collaborative Coaching Project is looking for undergraduate research assistants for the Fall 2017 and Spring 2018 semesters.

A two-semester commitment is required. A minimum of 8 hours per week between the hours of 8:30 am and 3 pm.

Personal transportation (such as a car) is required to visit elementary schools. Reimbursement for travel to school sites is available.

Application:

Students interested in applying to participate in the Rutgers Collaborative Coaching Project should send an email and a current résumé to project manager Dr. Adam Lekwa.

Project Manager: Adam Lekwa, PhD, NCSP
Assistant Research Professor
Office: 848-445-5437
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

Dr. Laurie Rudman

848 445-3404

Website

Social cognition, stereotypes, implicit attitude assessment.

 

Dr. Benjamin Samuels

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Based on our needs, we may have some opportunities for undergraduate students to join the lab and participate in our research program. We are looking for highly motivated individuals with strong organizational and interpersonal skills that are willing to commit for at least two consecutive semesters.

The primary focus of our work is to explore the mechanisms of how antidepressants work, and more importantly why they only work for some people. To this end, we utilize mice to study the differences between “responders” and “non-responders” to antidepressant treatment. These studies utilize a wide range of neurobiological analyses, including cellular, molecular, behavioral, and pharmacological techniques.

Pre-requisite: Students who have taken physiological psychology or an equivalent introduction to neurobiology course are preferred.

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Dr. Diana Sanchez

The Stigma, Health and Close Relationships (SHCR) lab is still recruiting research assistants for the Fall semester. Research assistants in the SHCR lab are expected to be exceptional undergraduates with an interest in psychology. We require that all students have a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 and be either a major or minor in psychology. Participation in the lab requires a 1-year commitment (2 semesters).  Each semester will grant you 3 credits from course 391/392, Research in Psychology.

The SHCR lab is a social psychology lab on the New Brunswick campus of Rutgers University supervised by Professor Diana Sanchez.  As a social psychology lab, our studies employ diverse methodologies including explicit survey measures, implicit reaction time responses and physiological measures.  We scientifically assess (1) antecedents and consequences of gender, racial, and body prejudice, (2) discrimination, and stereotyping, and (3) the process of identification and categorization for social category members.

To apply for a position in this lab please send a completed application and an unofficial copy of your transcript to Analia Albuja (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and Kim Chaney (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). Please visit our website for more information: http://sanchezlab.com/c_undergradrsch.htm

 
 


Dr. Edward Selby

The Emotion and Psychopathology Lab is currently recruiting undergraduate research assistants. The EmP Lab, led by Professor Edward Selby, Ph.D., examines how difficulties regulating emotion contribute to psychological disorders such as eating disorders, self-harming behavior, and Borderline Personality Disorder. Current studies underway in the lab include an investigation of the impact of stress on eating behavior, as well a project testing the influence of food on emotion and cognitive task performance. Upcoming studies in the lab will examine differences in emotional reactivity between individuals with Bulimia Nervosa, Major Depression, and Borderline Personality Disorder.

Research assistants in the EmP Lab are expected to have a high level of commitment and responsibility. As an RA, you will be required to attend regular lab meetings, run participants, and operate highly technical equipment. We require that all students have a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 and commit 9 regular hours/week to the lab for at least two semesters. The opportunity to receive academic credit for your work in the lab is available.

If you are interested in applying for this position, please fill out an application at https://rutgerspsychology.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_6Xw9oj5Y31EQIER

To read more about the lab, visit Dr. Edward Selby’s website: http://edwardaselby.com


Dr. Elisa Shernoff

E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website:  http://gsappweb.rutgers.edu/shernoff_elisa/                                         

SPONSOR: Dr. Maurice Elias

Interactive Virtual Training for Early Career Teachers in High Poverty Schools: Undergraduate Research Experience

Dr. Elisa Shernoff in the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology, is developing Interactive Virtual Training (IVT), a video game training model in which early career teachers working in high poverty schools can improve their behavior management skills with disruptive avatars in a virtual training environment.

We are currently recruiting undergraduate research assistants to play a vital role in implementing this project in collaboration with an interdisciplinary team of psychologists, computer scientists, engineers, and designers.

Researchers will
       Gain hands-on experience conducting research in schools to help teachers learn strategies to respond to disruptive student behaviors
       Learn research-based practices to manage disruptive behaviors in classrooms.
       Work with a dynamic team of interdisciplinary researchers, psychologists, and computer scientists

What are the training opportunities and responsibilities?

  1. This project provides outstanding training opportunities for students interested in psychology, education, and/or computer science, with specific interests in learning how to use effective behavior management strategies via an innovative technology.
  2. Lab-based research activities include data entry, management and analysis in addition to conducting literature reviews.
  3. During Fall 2017, field-based experiences will include visiting elementary school classrooms to conduct observations.
  4. Faculty mentoring on developing research skills, applying to graduate school, and scientific writing.
  5. Approximately 8 hours per week of lab-based work and attending monthly lab meetings and trainings.  

Can I earn course credit?
      Students can earn course credit for their work by registering for PSYCH 391/392 or PSYCH 495/496.
      Students can also volunteer in our lab.
      (  click here for application form )

What are the procedures for applying?
      Summer position deadline: Friday, May 12, 2017 by 5pm
      Fall position deadline: Friday, July 28, 2017 by 5pm

Send the application, a copy of your most recent transcript, and a current resume to Claire Brown, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Applicants will be considered on a rolling basis (we will review applications and begin interviewing as we receive applications).


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The way the world looks to us is a remarkable achievement of our visual system. The visual inputs we receive are just the two-dimensional images projected on our retinas. But from these our brain is able to construct representations of three-dimensional objects and surfaces laid out in space. Research in our lab is aimed at understanding how the human brain computes representations of objects and surfaces from the retinal images, and how it uses these representations for various tasks.

Specific topics include:

1. Shape Perception: How does the brain represent the shape of objects so that, for example, we can tell whether the shape we're seeing right now is the same as one we saw earlier? An ongoing focus of the lab is on "part-based representations" of shape, which involve decomposing complex objects into simpler parts, and then describing their shape in terms of these parts and the way they are put together.

2. Object Completion: When we see an object that is partly hidden behind another surface, we can often perceive its shape as complete. Similarly, we can see "illusory contours" where no boundary actually exists in the image. How does the brain manage to fill-in the missing portions of an object's boundary?

3. Predicting object behavior: When we see an object, our brains represent not only how the object looks right now, but also how it might behave in the near future. For example, if we see an image of a tilted vase, we can tell in a single glance whether the vase is likely to fall over and break, or to return to its upright position. How is the brain able to infer the forces that are acting on an object from just a single snapshot, thereby allowing us to predict its behavior?


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Website

The research in this lab investigates the cognitive and neural bases of language. Ongoing projects fall in five general areas.

1. Normal language acquisition. We study how typically-developing children acquire English and other languages. We also use mobile eye-trackers to study how children understand spoken language. Projects involve testing preschool- and school-aged children and performing transcript studies.

2. Abnormal language acquisition. Language acquisition by children with developmental language disorders is compared with language acquisition by normal children. Projects involve testing language-impaired children and transcribing and analyzing their speech.

3. Adult language processing. Computer-based and eye-tracking experiments are used to investigate how adults process spoken and written language processing.

4. Genetics of language. The language development of Monozygotic (identical) twins is compared with that of dizygotic (nonidentical) twins. Projects involve coding and analyzing spontaneous speech and test data from twins.

5. Perinatal factors & development. We are investigating how various prenatal and early postnatal factors affect language development. Projects involve testing children, and coding, entering and analyzing data.

Students who are native speakers of English, Hebrew, Korean, or Turkish are particularly welcomed to participate.

 


Dr. Arthur Tomie

848 445-2423/445-3595

Research interests: My research is conducted in the NeuroPharmacoGenetics Lab at the Center of Alcohol Studies. My research interests are generally related to animal learning models of alcohol drinking; Pavlovian conditioning of sign-tracking; intergender effects on alcohol drinking; gene expression correlates of alcohol drinking in mice.

 

 

Dr. Elizabeth B. Torres

I have three lines of research in my lab: Theoretical, electrophysiology-behavioral and clinical. The common theme of this research is to understand how the primate brain integrates sensory-motor information to perform purposeful tasks in every day life. The main goal of this research is to ultimately help patients of various kinds. These include both adults and children with developmental disabilities. Adult patients may be in the early stages of Parkinson’s disease, or may have had a stroke in the past. Children may be patients who have been diagnosed with autism and/or infants who we will study seeking better future diagnosis tools in the sensory-motor domain.

Our work depends heavily on the use of computers. Programming skills in Matlab are necessary. We model, measure and analyze movement data so basic knowledge of calculus, linear algebra, familiarity with the rotation group and its operations, geometry and elements of mechanics is preferred. Knowledge of Mathematica is a plus but not required. Familiarity with developmental issues is necessary. Familiarity with neurological issues is necessary. If you are interested in analyzing neural data from various cortical sites, familiarity with electrophysiology is necessary. Familiarity with statistics is necessary. If none of the above applies to you but you are interested in working as a research assistant with the data collection process, scheduling process, and have good personal skills interacting with patients, you are also more than welcomed to join us and learn about all of these different aspects of movement research during your time with us.

 

 

Dr. David Vicario
848 445-2907

Website

Neurobiology of Vocal Learning

Songbirds use their songs and calls to communicate in social and reproductive contexts. They learn to make these sounds through a process of vocal imitation that has much in common with human speech acquisition. Very few animals are capable of this form of behavioral learning. It involves auditory discrimination, auditory memory and sensorimotor learning. We can study the brain mechanisms of each of these processes, because the relevant brain pathways have been identified in songbirds. Experiments in the laboratory involve a range of techniques from behavioral observations and sound processing to neurophysiology and neuroanatomy. Opportunities exist for interested students to participate in ongoing projects if they can make a significant time commitment.

 Prerequisite: Physiological Psychology (Psych 313) or Comparative Psychology (Psych 315) are preferred, but may not be required. Facility with PC computers is very helpful. Interested students please send (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) a brief description of background relevant to the research, including a list of related courses taken, and a statement of long-range educational and career goals.


Dr. George Wagner
848 445-4660

Study of schizophrenia and Parkinson's disease using animal models. Assessment of the neurochemical and behavioral deficits following the administration of psychomotor stimulants.

 


Dr. Mark West
848 445-2419

Website

Behavioral Neuroscience Laboratory

In my laboratory we study neural mechanisms of cocaine and opiate addiction, binge eating, reward, and motor skill learning in the mesolimbic and nigrostriatal dopamine systems in rat models of behaviors involving dopamine transmission. We analyze behavioral measures and activity of single neurons in conjunction with the animal's affective state measured via ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs) that rats emit. One USV frequency range signals positive affect, whereas another signals negative affect. USVs provide new insights into what rats are experiencing, sometimes surprisingly at odds with what experimenters presume.

Prerequisite: E-mail a description of your background, and why you’re interested in this particular research. Also name any related courses you’ve taken, and give a brief description of your long-range educational and career goals.


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Students attend weekly lab meetings to plan and prepare research.  Research topics include the following:
1.  Stereotype formation and change
2.  Moral decision making
3.  Replication of classic social psychological experiments.

 


Dr. Robert Woolfolk
848 445-2088

Research on Self Understanding and Self Evaluation

Our research examines such traditional topics as self-concept and self-esteem and their relation to questions in contemporary studies of social cognition. We are interested in how knowledge about the self is represented cognitively and how such knowledge structures are configured. We are also interested in the relationship of self-understanding and self-evaluation to areas in clinical psychology. Most specifically we are studying the connection of cognition about the self with depression and the personality disorders.

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Contact Us

Rutgers Psychology Buildings

Busch Campus              Psychology Building 848-445-2576

 

 

Livingston Campus Undergraduate Advising at Tillett Hall  848-445-4036

 

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