PI: THALIA WHEATLEY

   Photo: Rob Strong

 Photo: Rob Strong

As a political science major in college, I took an elective that sounded interesting and easy: Social Psychology. It turned out to be one of the hardest classes I took in college and the most riveting. It was taught by Dan Gilbert who became first a mentor then collaborator and friend. I abandoned political science and went on to graduate school in psychology at the University of Virginia.

At UVA I worked with Tim Wilson and Dan Wegner researching the human tendency to mis-predict our emotional responses (Wilson) and the illusory nature of conscious will (Wegner). While studying consciousness with Dan W, I became interested in the emerging field of neuroimaging and how the brain might inform psychological questions. I pursued this interest in an NIMH postdoc with Alex Martin where I learned fMRI and, more importantly, how to think about the brain.

In the fall of 2006, I became an assistant professor in the Psychological and Brain Sciences department at Dartmouth and became tenured in 2013.

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POSTDOC: LAUREL SYMES, PHD

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Laurel's research addresses how animals (including people) detect, process, and react to cues in the environment. Her work is particularly focused on understanding how evolution shapes sensory systems and decision-making. These interests have led her to study a variety of organisms, including tree crickets, katydids, frogs, bats, and humans.

After receiving a PhD in Biology at Dartmouth (specializing in Ecology and Evolution), Laurel conducted post-doctoral research at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama and at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. In the summer of 2015, she returned to Dartmouth as a Neukom Fellow for computational interdisciplinary research, where she has a joint appointment in Psychological and Brain Sciences and in Biology. [website]

POSTDOC: ADRIENNE WOOD, PHD

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Adrienne's research centers on the predictors and signals of social connectedness.  She received her PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she worked with Paula Niedenthal.  She has published several papers on the sensorimotor bases of emotion perception, the social functions of laughter. and cultural factors that predict the intelligibility of emotional expression.  At Dartmouth she is spearheading several projects including the investigation of how movement patterns in large-scale social gatherings predict how social networks form.

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GRAD STUDENTS

BEAU SIEVERS, M.A.

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Beau is an alumnus of the Digital Musics masters program at Dartmouth. His research has focused on cross-modal perception of emotion in music and movement. This work included a research trip to rural Cambodia to examine cross-cultural similarities in emotional expression. He is currently studying how ways of understanding the world are shared in groups of people.

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EMMA TEMPLETON

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Emma received her A.B. in Psychology from Harvard. There, she worked in Jason Mitchell's lab, most closely with Diana Tamir. After graduating, Emma worked as the lab manager of the Stanford Social Neuroscience Lab, led by Jamil Zaki. As lab manager, Emma conducted studies investigating social influence and how social media use impacts our experiences. Currently, Emma is investigating what makes conversation good.

 

SOPHIE WOHLTJEN

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Sophie graduated with highest distinction in music and cognitive science from the University of Virginia, where she was an Echols Scholar.  After graduation, she held a postbac intramural research and training award (IRTA) in Alex Martin's lab at the NIH. There, she used MEG to study abnormal brain activity in Autism Spectrum Disorders. She is currently studying how physiological cues (e.g., pupillary dilations) can shed light on how people share attention in order to communicate and connect.

ADAM BONCZ

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Adam is a visiting PhD student from Central European University in Hungary.  He is using hyperscanning (simultaneous fMRI across sites) to examine how brains interact and adapt to each other during conversation.

 

 


LAB MANAGER

CHRIS WELKER

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Chris recently graduated with his bachelor's from Cornell University where he worked in Tom Gilovich's lab and did an honors thesis on awkward conversation.  At Dartmouth he is helping to manage all the projects in the lab while learning applied math in the hopes of uncovering collective brain patterns during social interaction.  He is quickly learning that having awkward conversation about conversation is what we do best.

 

 

 

ALUMNI   

CAROLYN PARKINSON, PHD (2015):  Assistant Professor, UCLA

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Carolyn received her Cognitive Neuroscience PhD from Dartmouth in 2015. While at Dartmouth, Carolyn received several awards including the Marie A. Center Award for Excellence in Research, Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award and a Neukom Prize for Outstanding Research in Computational Science. Her dissertation focused on whether brains encode social position automatically and whether friends have similar neural activity compared to people further removed from each other in their social network. Carolyn is now an Assistant Professor and Director of the Computational Social Neuroscience Lab at UCLA where she investigates the neural computations that help people navigate their social networks.

OLIVIA KANG, PHD (2015):  Project Director / Research Fellow, Harvard University

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Olivia received her Cognitive Neuroscience PhD from Dartmouth in 2015. While at Dartmouth, Olivia received the NSF's GK-12 Fellowship, the Marie A. Center Award for Excellence in Teaching and The Dartmouth Graduate Studies Teaching Award. Olivia was also the 1st Place Winner of the Neukom Prize for Graduate Research in Computational Science in 2015 for her pioneering work with high resolution pupillometry.  Her dissertation demonstrated how pupillary dilations reveal what someone is consciously attending and whether two minds are "in sync."  After getting her PhD, Olivia became a Harvard College Fellow and is currently a Research Fellow at Harvard where she directs Outsmarting Human Minds.

 

CHRISTINE LOOSER, PHD (2012):  Assistant Professor of Business, Minerva at Keck Graduate Institute

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Christine's research at Dartmouth investigated facial cues that convey a mental life. Christine spent three years as a postdoctoral research fellow at Harvard Business School and taught as a Harvard College Fellow. Her dissertation focused on facial cues to animacy --specifically, how a person's eyes broadcast whether "the lights are on and someone is home."  Christine received multiple teaching awards at Dartmouth and Harvard including the Marie A. Center Award for Excellence in Teachingand is currently an Assistant Professor of Business at Minerva. See her Minerva profile here.