Art Wingfield Festschrift – “Age, Hearing, and Speech Comprehension”

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On July 22nd, 70 colleagues, friends, and students gathered for a festschrift in honor of Art Wingfield, the Nancy Lurie Marks Professor of Neuroscience. The theme of the day was Age, Hearing, and Speech Comprehension, reflecting Art’s research interests.

Brandeis_072214_064In addition to a scientific program composed of talks centered on this topic, the day also featured former students, collaborators, and colleagues sharing stories about Art. These included Stefanie Kuchinsky (2003) who completed a senior honors project in Art’s lab, former postdoc Marianne Fallon, former students Cindy Lahar and Sarah Wayland, and colleagues from the Department of Psychology (Jim Lackner and Paul Dizio).

The day ended with the surprise announcement of the establishment of an annual travel award in Art’s name that will support a graduate student in psychology or neuroscience to travel to a scientific conference, and dinner in town. A great time was had by all!

More information, photos, and stories can be found at www.artwingfieldfest.com.

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Images: Heratch Photography

“Age, Hearing, and Speech Comprehension”: A Festschrift for Art Wingfield

artWingfieldBlogA one-day event will be held on July 22, 2014 at the Shapiro Campus Center Theater to honor Art Wingfield, the Nancy Lurie Marks Professor of Neuroscience, for his 40+ years of research and teaching at Brandeis. During his time at Brandeis, Art has made contributions to the areas of speech comprehension, cognitive aging, memory, and aphasia and has mentored numerous PhD students, research assistants and postdocs. Art has inspired countless other students in his course on Human Neuropsychology.

Some of the speakers will include former lab members and prominent researchers in the field:

  • Mark Eckert, Department of Otolaryngology,
    Medical University of South Carolina
  • Murray Grossman, Department of Neurology,
    University of Pennsylvania
  • Stefanie Kuchinsky, Center for Advanced Study of Language,
    University of Maryland
  • Jonathan Peelle, Department of Otolaryngology, Washington University in St. Louis
  • Kathy Pichora-Fuller, Department of Psychology, University of Toronto Mississauga
  • Robert Remez , Department of Psychology, Columbia University
  • Bruce Schneider, Department of Psychology, University of Toronto Mississauga
  • Liz Stine-Morrow, Department of Educational Psychology and Beckman Institute, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

For more information about this event can be found at www.artwingfieldfest.com/.

If you are interested in attending, please register at by July 5th.

GSA 2010: an eye-opening experience

What happens when you organize a conference based on a population rather than a field of study? Everybody gets an eye-opening experience! At the end of November, members of Brandeis Psychology and Neuroscience community presented research at the 63rd annual Gerontological Society of America conference. Members from Art Wingfield’s Memory and Cognition Lab, Derek Isaacowitz’s Emotion Lab, and Margie Lachman’s Lifespan Developmental Psychology Lab all presented research at this conference.
This conference includes research on a wide area of aging topics from many different disciplines: behavioral and social sciences, health sciences, biological sciences, and social policy and practice.

To give an idea of the variety of ideas discussed at the conference, here is a sampling of session titles:

  • “Introduction to medicare part d data for research”
  • “Differences in Stroke Care Settings: Findings from the Patient Preference for Stroke Study”
  • “Age-related Differences and Similarities in Learning and Memory”
  • “Followed to extinction: Predictors of exceptional Survival in Very Long Term Cohort Studies”
  • “Composition Changes and Muscle Function: Targets for Preserving Health and Function”

This conference allowed members of the Brandeis scientific community to share their research with peers in their field and members of their academic family, as well as scientists and professionals from other fields. Although sharing research with your peers is always a productive experience, interacting with those from completely other fields also proved to be an invaluable exercise. It allowed attendees to be reminded of the assumptions that are made within any given discipline or paradigm, and allowed practice in communicating results to a broader audience.

All of this took place in the great city of New Orleans. The Cajun was music and food was enjoyed by many, and a great great time was had by all!

Wingfield Receives 2010 Baltes Distinguished Research Achievement Award

Update; BrandeisNOW has a in-depth profile on Prof. Wingfield.

Professor Arthur Wingfield is the 2010 recipient of the Baltes Distinguished Research Achievement Award. The $5000 award, given annually by the Margaret M. and Paul B. Baltes Foundation and Division 20 (Adult Development and Aging) of the American Psychological Association (APA), recognizes outstanding contributions to our understanding of adult development and aging. As part of the award, Wingfield will deliver a keynote address at the next annual meeting of the APA.

The number of adults age 65 or older in the US is expected to grow from 35 million in the year 2000, to 70.3 million in 2030.  Among this group, hearing loss is the third most prevalent chronic medical condition, exceeded only by arthritis and hypertension.  The hearing loss associated with adult aging, or presbycusis (literally, “old hearing”) presents a more complex picture than many realize. Whether the loss is mild or more severe, the source is a thinning of hair cells located in the cochlea, a spiral-shaped structure about only the size of the nail on your little finger. There are also “higher level” effects that include the pathways from the cochea to the brain, and age-related changes in the auditory receiving areas of the brain itself. These biological changes result in the older listener expending attentional effort that is not only tiring, but can draw on resources that would ordinarily be available for encoding what has been heard in memory.

This recent award recognizes Wingfield and his Brandeis colleagues’ contributions to understanding this complex interaction between sensory and cognitive changes in adult aging.  Arthur Wingfield is the Nancy Lurie Marks Professor of Neuroscience and director of the Volen National Center for Complex Systems at Brandeis.  His work has also been recognized by the American Speech, Language and Hearing Association, and two successive MERIT Awards from the NIH’s National Institute on Aging.


PhD Defense Season

It’s the season for PhD defenses…

  • Apr 20: Megan Zahniser (Biochemistry), On the structure of Benzaldehyde Dehydrogenase, a Class 3 Aldehyde Dehydrogenase from Pseudomonas putida – 2pm, Rosenstiel Penthouse
  • Apr 21: Chris Hoefler (Biochemistry/Bioorganic Chemistry). Inhibitors of IMPDH: Tools for Probing Mechanism and Function – 3:40 pm, Gerstenzang 122
  • Apr 22: Tepring Piquado (Neuroscience), Language and the aging brain – Thu 4/22/2010, 2 pm, Volen 201
  • Apr 23: Suvi Jain (Molecular and Cell Biology), Regulation of DNA Double-Strand Break Repair by the Recombination Execution Checkpoint in Saccharomyces cerevisiae – 3:30 pm, Rosenstiel 118
  • Apr 29: Ben Cuiffo (Molecular and Cell Biology), Targeting RAS palmitoylation in hematological malignancies – 2 pm, Abelson 131

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