NYU Department of Psychology

NYU Psychology in the News

Research by Pascal Wallisch on the musical preferences of psychopaths was featured in The Guardian, the New York Post, the Washington Post, and the Washington Square News.

Artificial Intelligence research by Professor Todd Gureckis, Brenden Lake, PhD student Anselm Rothe has been featured in MIT Technology Review.

New research on bilingualism by Liina Pylkkänen and Esti Blanco-Elorrieta was featured in The National and and other media outlets.

Research by Pascal Wallisch on the similarity of movie taste was featured in various media outlets, including the Daily Mail, Inside Higher Ed (the Academic Minute) and Inverse.

Peter Gollwitzer's work with Heinz Heckhausen that developed the “Rubicon Model of Action Phases” is discussed in The Atlantic as a means of understanding mission creep.

Research by Pascal Wallisch on #thedress was featured in various media outlets, including the New York Post, Buzzfeed, and the Daily Mail.

Andrei Cimpian and philosopher Sarah-Jane Leslie describe recent research on the emergence and influence of gender stereotypes on young girls' interests in the New York Times.

Research by Joe LeDoux and John Jost was described in a Rolling Stone article on fear and its implications for political psychology and the 2016 Presidential campaign

BBC Earth features Athena Vouloumanos' research on how young infants respond to human speech and different languages.

John Jost's research on resistance to change and system justification motivation was featured in a Washington Post article on the Paris agreement about climate change.

The Poeppel Lab's research on how the brain responds to the unique properties of the human scream has been featured in various media, including the New York Times, Slate, and the BBC.

Susan Andersen’s research testing the concept of transference in the lab was featured in NYT Magazine, highlighting recent neuroimaging work.

Karen Adolph and the Infant Action Lab's significant research on infants' fear of heights featured on NPR's Science Friday.

More recent news

NYU Psychology
Awards and Honors

Congratulations to Liz Phelps who has received the William James Fellow Award from the Association for Psychological Science. The award "honors APS members for their lifetime of significant intellectual contributions to the basic science of psychology."

Congratulations to Liz Phelps who was presented with the Thomas William Salmon Award for outstanding contributions to psychiatry, neurology or mental hygiene. The winner of this award is chosen from among the nation's most talented investigators by the The New York Academy of Medicine's Salmon Committee on Psychiatry and Mental Hygiene.

Congratulations to Peter Gollwitzer who has been elected to the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina.

Congratulations to Catherine Hartley, who has been awarded the 2018 Association for Psychological Science Janet Taylor Spence Award, which recognizes "transformative early career contributions to psychological science".

Congratulations to Catherine Hartley on her receipt of a 2018 Early Career Research Fellowship from the Jacobs Foundation.

Congratulations to Marjorie Rhodes for winning the Steve Reznick Award for Early Career Contribution at the Cognitive Development Society Conference. The award "recognizes a young scholar who has made outstanding research contributions to the study of cognitive development, and who shows continued promise to be a leader in the field."

Congratulations to Marjorie Rhodes who received the APA Boyd Mccandless Award for early career contributions. The award "recognizes a young scientist who has made a distinguished theoretical contribution to developmental psychology, has conducted programmatic research of distinction, or has made a distinguished contribution to the dissemination of developmental science. The award is for continued efforts rather than a single outstanding work."

Congratulations to Jon Freeman who has been awarded the 2017 Early Career Award of the Society for Social Neuroscience. Recipients' work is considered to "embody the future of social neuroscience through their cutting edge ideas and novel research."

Congratulations to Catherine Hartley who has received a 2017 Klingenstein-Simons Fellowship Award in Neuroscience.

Congratulations to Marjorie Rhodes who will receive a 2017 Scholar Award in Understanding Human Cognition from the James S. McDonnell Foundation.

Congratulations to Madeline Heilman, who is a 2017 recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award from Columbia University's Teachers College.

Congratulations to Susan Andersen who received one twelve of NYU's Golden Dozen Awards for outstanding contribution to learning in the classroom.

Congratulations to Pascal Wallisch who received one twelve of NYU's Golden Dozen Awards for outstanding contribution to learning in the classroom.

Congratulations to Jon Freeman who received the International Social Cognition Network's Early Career Award. In announcing his award Professor Freeman's work was described as "transforming our understanding of social perception and intergroup bias."

Congratulations to Todd Gureckis who has been awarded the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers by the Obama Administration. Recipients of the award, established by President Clinton in 1996, are recognized for their "pursuit of innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology and their commitment to community service as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education, or community outreach."

The Nieman Foundation named "Tweeting from Left to Right," an article in Psychological Science by Pablo Barberá, John Jost, Jonathan Nagler, Joshua Tucker, and Richard Bonneau of NYU's Social Media and Political Participation laboratory, one of their top 10 papers for 2015 in digital news and social media research.

Congratulations to Ted Coons who will receive an honorary degree from the Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts at its annual commencement ceremony in recognition of his research and as a pioneer in neuro-aesthetics.

More recent awards


Slide 1

fMRI shows persistent brain activity during a delay while the participant tries to remember the spatial position of a visual cue. Clayton Curtis.

Slide 2

Can a neural net categorize like a human? Bob Rehder and Gregory Murphy.

Slide 3

Do intimate partners idealize their loved ones globally or only in certain domains? Gwen Seidman and Patrick Shrout.

Slide 4

Motion reveals depth. Jacqueline Snyder, Jeff Mulligan, and Larry Maloney.

Slide 5

How do babies learn what steepness they can crawl down? Karen Adolph.

Slide 6

How do we decide whether the ground is too slippery to walk on? Amy Joh, Karen Adolph, Margot Campbell, and Marion Eppler.

Slide 7

Could a vast number of people communicating by cell phone simulate a brain? Ned Block.

Slide 8

There are a dozen distinct, retinotopically-organized visual areas in the human brain that can be identified routinely in individual subjects. What are the functions of these brain areas and how is the neural activity in each area correlated with conscious visual experience? David Heeger.

Slide 9

Do extra cues to the illuminant in a scene (e.g., shadows, specularities) affect perceived surface roughness judgments? Xian Ho, Mike Landy, and Larry Maloney.

Slide 10

How does illumination affect perceived roughness? Xian Ho, Mike Landy, and Larry Maloney.

Slide 11

What are the psychological antecedents and consequences of political orientation? John Jost with Joanna Sterling, Melanie Langer, and Ruthie Pliskin.

Slide 12

How does attention affect visual processing? We used a peripheral cue to elicit an involuntary orienting of attention, and separated neural responses to the cues (blue areas) and to the stimuli (green areas) in the visual cortex. We find that attention increases neural activity, more at higher stages of visual processing. Taosheng Liu, Franco Pestilli, Marisa Carrasco, Neuron 2005.

Slide 13

How do children learn language? Gary Marcus.

Slide 14

Must vision isolate each object in order to recognize it? Can you identify any letter above without looking directly at it? Denis Pelli.

Slide 15

From understanding words to understanding sentences. MEG studies of natural language meaning. Liina Pylkkanen, Brian McElree, and Gregory Murphy.

Slide 16

What brain activity is sensitive to the internal structure of words? Eytan Zweig and Liina Pylkkanen.

Slide 17

When combining two cues to target location, how should spatial uncertainty of one cue affect the ideal observer's aim? Hadley Tassinari, Todd Hudson, and Mike Landy.

Slide 18

Two examples of incongruent visual stimuli: a word denoting social proximity, "us," located far from the observer. Because spatial distance is associated with social distance, participants are slower to indicate the location of the arrow and to identify the word on it with incongruent stimuli than with congruent stimuli ["us" located near the observer and "them" located far from the observer] Yaacov Trope.

Slide 19

What motivates people who are advantaged and disadvantaged by the status quo to maintain it? John Jost with Vivienne Badaan and Susanna Stone

Slide 20

Does the brain measure distances according to a warped geometry? Nick Gustafson and Nathaniel Daw

Slide 21

When participants see two different images, each presented to a different eye, the images rival for perceptual dominance. Perceivers consciously experience seeing one image and inhibit conscious experience of the other. This happens within a few hundred milliseconds and outside of perceivers' conscious awareness. We predicted which image would dominate perceivers' conscious perceptual experience by associating one image with financial reward and the other with financial cost. Perceivers saw what they wanted to see--that is, they saw the image associated with reward and inhibited the images associated with cost.

Balcetis, E., Dunning, D., & Granot, Y. (2012). Subjective value determines initial dominance in binocular rivalry. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 48, 122-129.

Slide 22

If you are not 100% sure whether this animal is a cat or a dog, how likely do you think it is to meow? Gregory Murphy's lab investigates how we use categories to reason about uncertain objects and events.

Slide 23

The distribution of local orientations in retinal images has an over-representation of the cardinal orientations (vertical and horizontal) in images of both natural and urban scenes. Do humans estimate orientation in a Bayesian fashion, combining noisy sensory data with knowledge of the distribution of orientations in the world? Ahna Girshick, Michael Landy and Eero Simoncelli

Slide 24

Are color and texture cues inextricably linked in solving the figure-ground problem in visual perception? Toni Saarela and Michael Landy

Slide 25

Is speech a special sound for humans? Athena Vouloumanos's lab examines infants' biases for speech and their understanding of communicative interactions.

Slide 26

What are the neural structures and functions associated with moral and political reasoning? John Jost, Jay Van Bavel, with Hannah Nam.

Slide 27

How does social group membership shape the way we perceive faces to have minds? Leor Hackel, Christine Looser & Jay Van Bavel

Hackel, L.M., Looser, C.E., & Van Bavel, J. J., (2014). Group membership alters the threshold for mind perception: The role of social identity, collective identification, and intergroup threat. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 52, 15-23.

Slide 28

Parallels between spatial and temporal processing. Both spatial and temporal summation show regularities in the visual hierarchy. Later visual areas such as TO have larger spatial receptive fields, long temporal windows and more compressive summation over space and time. We propose that these patterns are part of a coding strategy whereby higher visual areas achieve increasing invariance to changes in stimulus size, position, and duration. Jonathan Winawer.

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Student Awards

GSAS Master's Student Award for Academic Achievement
Sarah Rutter

GSAS Dean’s Fellowship for Distinguished Master’s Students
Abdullah Althenayyan

GSAS Master’s College Threesis Academic Challenge
First Place Award
Ehimamiegho Idahosa-Erese

More student awards