How to tell if someone is REALLY listening to you: Researchers discover pupil dilation patterns synch up 'when two minds connect' ('Daily Mail')

The Daily Mail features a new study by Dartmouth College associate professor of psychological and brain sciences, Thalia Wheatley and colleagues which has found that using eye-tracking technology to monitor pupil dilation, it is possible to determine when two minds 'connect'.

In this study, researchers used eye-tracking technology to track pupillary dilation between speakers and listeners when telling an autobiographical story. 

"Here we show that the eyes not only reveal the inner workings of one mind, but reveal when two minds connect," Wheatley told the Daily Mail.

Read the full story here, published 4/11/2017 by the Daily Mail.


SBS student receives NSF graduate research fellowship

Congratulations to SBS graduate student Sarah Herald who was a recipient of the 2017 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship program award. Sarah is a PhD candidate in Professor Brad Duchaine's lab and her research focuses on higher-level vision and social perception. 

To find out more about the fellowship program and Sarah, you can find the full article here.

State-of-the-Art fMRI scanner arrives in Moore Hall

Researchers in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences have had research-dedicated access to an fMRI scanner at the Dartmouth Brain Imaging Center in Moore Hall since 1999. This past summer, we bid farewell to our old Philips scanner, and installed a brand-new Siemens Prisma 3T MRI scanner, which will allow us to stay on the cutting edge of research. 

See the full article here.

What Makes You Crave Sex and Chocolate? ('Daily Mail')

The Daily Mail features a new study by a Dartmouth post-doctoral fellow,  Stephen Chang, and colleagues that traces cravings to a particular region in the brain. 

Chang tells the Daily Mail, "Although we have a sense of what brain circuits mediate reward, less is known about the neural circuitry underlying the transfer of value to cues associated with rewards".

The aim of this line of research is to provide insight into, and potential solutions toward combating habitual behaviors, such as overeating.

Read the full story here, published 11/11/15 by the Daily Mail.

Brain Imaging Breakthrough: 'Brain Signature' Can Predict Emotions With 90% Certainty (Medical Daily)

In a story about the quest to shed light on how people experience emotions, Medical Daily turns for comment to Dartmouth's Luke Chang.

Chang, an assistant professor of psychological and brain sciences, and colleagues, were able to "...identify a neural signature of negative emotion - a single neural activation pattern, active across the entire brain - that could accurately predict how negatively a person feels toward unpleasant images, " the magazine writes, by using brain imaging and other techniques.

Chang tells Medical Daily that, "This has enormous implications for improving our understanding of how emotions are generated and regulated, which have been notoriously difficult to define and measure.

Read the full story here, published 8/11/15 by Medical Daily.

Familiar Faces (ScienceNews)

In a story about “super recognizers” — people who have an exceptional ability to remember faces — ScienceNews turns for comment to Dartmouth’s Bradley Duchaine.

Duchaine, an associate professor of psychological and brain sciences, and colleagues in England are studying super recognizers to understand how some people are able to recognize nearly everyone they’ve ever seen, the magazine writes. Knowledge gained from such studies may aid in police work and other fields that rely on identifying people by how they look, notes the magazine.

“By identifying strategies used by super recognizers, we may find ways to train others who have problems with face recognition, or help people who are in the normal range but have professional demands in which superior face recognition would be beneficial,” Duchaine tells ScienceNews.

Read the full story here, published 8/23/13 by ScienceNews.