Monday, December 19, 2011

One on one with Jon Driver in "The Psychologist", January 2011

I would like to share Jon Driver's thoughts on psychology in the past, now, and future.

"I hope that psychology continues to hang together around the scientific study of mental life, while incorporating new approaches 

and techniques that are unimaginable now. "

*The copy right belongs to "The Psychologist"

Online only answers

One limitation of imaging research

I'm a fan rather than a critic of neuroimaging, and think there is still much more to come from it, particularly for psychology. 
But like most approaches it's at its best when combined with other complementary approaches.

One hero / heroine from psychology past or present

I have so many psychology heroines and heroes that to name just one would be like asking a parent of several children which is their favourite. 
To name just a few, Donald Broadbent, Mike Posner and Anne Treisman are obvious choices in attention research. 
Bob Rafal might seen less obvious unless you've seen him assess patients, or have read his best behavioural neurology papers. 
Finally Uta Frith and Chris Frith remain a heroine and hero, for both remaining so interested and interesting throughout their careers.

One thing that organised psychology (e.g. the BPS) could do better

Throw more parties. The BPS is doing the more serious stuff very well.

One great thing that psychology has achieved

Bringing the scientific approach to bear on mental life is a fantastic achievement; as is bringing this to the attention of other disciplines also.

One problem [research, professional or otherwise] that psychology should deal with

Hanging together despite increasing specialisation.

One hope for the future of psychology

I hope that psychology continues to hang together around the scientific study of mental life, while incorporating new approaches 
and techniques that are unimaginable now. Current cognitive-neuroscience methods were completely unimaginable 
back when I first read psychology textbooks as a schoolboy.

One proud moment

Being picked by the BPS to represent British Psychology as a young researcher, at the International Congress of Psychology in Montreal. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

APS started an exciting project on Wikipedia!

APS Wikipedia Initiative

Start Planning for the Next Term
Tools for Using Wikipedia in the Classroom

Tools for Using Wikipedia Writing Assignments Next Term

In Fall 2011, hundreds of psychology students joined the APS Wikipedia Initiative (APSWI) through class projects that used Wikipedia articles for course writing assignments. 


This experience has been encouraging for students, faculty, and the Wikipedia community. As one educator put it: 

"Students found it enjoyable as they proceeded with the project. They felt their work was meaningful because their contributions are shared with the entire world. Some students even noted with pride that their contributions might have a wider audience than some articles published in academic journals."


To support teachers and students, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, in collaboration with APS, have developed tools and resources to make it easy to use the Wikipedia writing assignments in the classroom. Faculty found them very helpful in tracking students' activities and coordinating group work and peer-review tasks. Students found the tools helpful in allowing them to see what others in class are contributing; in identifying classmates who can help them with editing difficulties; and in completing peer reviews. All of this resulted in a strong sense of community within the classroom.   

Start planning now to include Wikipedia writing assignments in the next term. Explore the APSWI portal to get familiar with the features, tools, and resources available. If you have questions, you can connect with other faculty who use Wikipedia through the portal or contact Rosta Farzan, one of the researchers at Carnegie Mellon University. 

Tools for Using Wikipedia in the Classroom
  1. Find relevant articles: You can easily find relevant Wikipedia articles that require work. You can browse articles by area of interest such as "social psychology" or search by keyword and get a list of relevant articles along with information about the quality, and importance. While browsing the articles, you can assign a particular article for your students in any of your classes to work on. [Sample Page]
  2. Help pages: Simple tutorials are available to help you and your students become more familiar with the Wikipedia interface, understand how Wikipedia works, and learn how to contribute to Wikipedia. [Sample Page]
  3. Wikipedia assignment wizard: This tool provides step-by-step procedures to build a custom course page for your class to incorporate a Wikipedia assignment into the syllabus. [Sample Page]
  4. Feedback tool: An easy way to review the work of your students and provide them with feedback. This tool will enable you to view a list of your students and see the work they have done (e.g. total number of words edited and time spent editing).  Additionally, you can see all the changes made to an article and have easy ways to comment on their work, either privately or on the article's discussion page [Sample 1   l   Sample 2   l   Sample 3]
  5. Access to discussions and feedback from other faculty who are using Wikipedia in their classes: The application provides a discussion forum in which you can post your questions and concerns and view stories about experiences of others.  Wikipedia experts will monitor the discussion forum and respond to your questions as quickly as possible. [Sample Page]
  6. Support for students' peer review process: This tool provides rubrics for the peer-review process and an easy way for you to assign peer reviews to your students in the class. You can also view reviews submitted and provide a forum for students to comment on each others' work. [Sample Page]  
  7. Support for students' group work: This tool allows students to choose a group mate among their classmates and provides information about groups working together to the instructor. [Sample Page] 
  8. Suggested timeline: The application provides a suggested timeline of how to organize Wikipedia assignments in the classroom based on experience of previous instructors. [Sample Page]  
  9. Student activity: Students will be able to see what others are doing. [Sample Page]

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Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Tim Shallice's description about Jon Driver's contribution to the UCL-ICN

I would like to share, with the world, Prof Tim Shallice's (the first ICN Director) sincere description/words towards Prof Jon Driver's enormous contribution to the UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience (ICN), the world leading research institute in Cognitive Neuroscience.


Like everybody else, I was completely stunned when I heard the news and only  now I feel
able to say a few words about Jon and his  special role in the ICN. I think we should put on
record our thanks to him for the absolutely critical role that he has played in the ICN’s
success. Or it would be better to say the two critical roles he played.

Like everyone else I had my moment when I realised that Jon was really exceptional.  For
me,  it was when he came down to UCL from Cambridge sometime in the early 1990s and
gave a seminar on his beautiful divided rectangle experiment on neglect. The manipulation
that he used  was so effective, was so simple, elegant and clever, it really marked him out as
the brightest of his generation. Of course, he rapidly followed this up with many equally
elegant and clever studies, perhaps not quite so simple as that one. So it was obvious to me
that when the ICN was being  set up in Alexandra House  that  the first priority should be to
try to recruit Jon, who at the time was in Birkbeck, where he had moved from Cambridge.
Fortunately Derek Roberts, the provost, was very supportive at recruiting  talented younger
scientists.  And Jon more than fulfilled what  we had hoped for. In the six years that I ran the
ICN in Alexandra House,  Jon  developed from being a very promising young scientist to
someone who was generally seen as one of the leading cognitive neuroscientists  worldwide.
The attraction of working with him brought many able people from a variety of European
countries to work in the ICN.  His presence at the ICN  was probably the most important
factor in its  becoming rapidly seen as a very attractive  place to work.

When my period as director was moving towards its end I began to consider who might
succeed me. Obviously it would not be my decision, but the ICN was still a fairly fragile
beast administratively within UCL, very dependent on retaining the goodwill of powerful
individuals within the college hierarchy.  So  I  was very concerned that my successor should
be someone really good. It was clear to me that one person stood head and shoulders above
all others as far as judgements of how the field would develop and of which individuals
would be most productive and of getting clever ideas to work.  This was Jon. But I did not
think it likely that Jon would be interested.  A heavy administrative load would not
necessarily benefit his research career. But Jon had always played a full part in ICN activities
so I thought his public spiritedness might prevail, and indeed it did. The College, too, fully
appreciated that he was the ideal choice. Jon  did a marvellous job. He proved to have a talent
for being a Director, bringing in many  very able scientists and unobtrusively creating a
dynamic, stimulating but caring environment.   Not only did the ICN develop remarkably
under his directorship but he also found the time to play what seems to have been the leading
role in the detailed organising of the UCL bid for the new Gatsby Research Centre.

When Jon left the directorship, the ICN was clearly a leading, if not the leading European
research centre in the field. It was a really solid part of UCL administratively. Without him
these things would never have happened.  The College should think  of some way of
acknowledging the great debt we owe to him.Jon was always so youthful and full of enthusiasm. His absence will be a great loss to all of us and I cannot imagine how much the absence will be felt by his family, Nilli and his children.

Tim Shallic

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

If you're a fan of a team, you're better remembering when your team wins but not the other way round.

Effects of Event Valence on Long-Term Memory for Two Baseball Championship Games 
Carolyn W. Breslin and Martin A. Safer

Which are remembered more accurately, positively or negatively valenced events? New York Yankees fans, Boston Red Sox fans, and neutral fans were asked to recognize and recall facts about a championship game that the New York Yankees won (2003) and a championship game that the Boston Red Sox won (2004). Yankees fans' and Red Sox fans' memories were more accurate for the championship their team won and worse for the championship their team lost; neutral fans had the worst memory of the games. Participants reported increased mental repetition of winning-game memories, and further analysis indicated that this repetition was a reason why the positive, winning-game memories were better remembered.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Will you listen to sad or joyful music when you're sad?

To my knowledge, some listen to music that matches with ones mood but others do opposite ones.

For instance, some people try to listen to fun music (i.e. trance/pop/up-tempo) in a hope to drag one's mood from sad to fun. Such people is willing to control their mood from sad (which is not good for the most of people) to something better, fun.

However, the other group of people prefer to listen to rather sad music when they are sad. Such people may be aware of their mood and prefer to enjoy(?) being the same mood as sad, just like teaching themselves the mood they are undergoing.

So which person are you?

The former case, which is same for me as well, may be better (at least for me) to get out off the sad (bad) mood thereby trying to maintain to be normal status as much the music can drag as possible.

In the meanwhile, the latter case may also be better for them for realisation.

Where in the brain contribute/decide such choice???

Research needs to be done, but do you know any example?? It would be great! I'm interested!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

How to Work With Locals (better way to support Japanese victim)

Joel Charny from humanitarian policy and practice at InterAction, an alliance of U.S.-based international nongovernment organizations.

He made a point. Limiting supportive bodies and focusing our monetary support to them would facilitate the support than millions of people sending goods separately to Japanese local.

Read more on:

Together with our warm, encouraging messages to them would help them overcoming the catastrophe.

Messages from the world in London to Japan

We (all residents, mainly formed by Japanese students living in London) have got together, spreading across London to gather all warm and encouraging messages from locals and all tourists in London on Sunday, 20th March, 2011.

The video showing the final result of the campaign 5m*8m huge, hand-made Japanese flag, full of all of the messages all over the flag at the St. Paul Cathedral, London. (I'm sorry about the quality of the video, but all of those darkened areas on the white flag are hand-written messages from countless number of people in London).

The all volunteers holding the flag, chanting "This is our voice, Ga-n-ba-re Nippon (hang in there, Japan)!!!"

In the meanwhile, we've got together raising several charity teams/organisations here in London, we will try our best to send the support as many and much as possible what such support organisations can do in Japan. All of our monetary support will be sent directly to Japanese organizations as soon as possible.

Please distribute this clip to all your family, who may be still suffering from the disaster, like my relatives in Sendai, Miyagi. We're here to pray and physically trying to help you all in distance.

PS all people worked there as 100% non-profit basis.