Pensky Is Project Director for Development of New EEG Research Lab

Assistant Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience Allison Connell Pensky is the project director for the development of an electroencephalography (EEG) research laboratory being funded through an $85,000 grant from the Orris C. Hirtzel and Beatrice Dewey Hirtzel Memorial Foundation. The EEG laboratory will benefit both research and teaching experiences on campus. Pensky had an article published in Perception (volume 43). “Effects of using multiple hands and fingers on haptic performance in individuals who are blind” reports data collected with collaborators from UC Berkeley and the Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute. The article discusses how blind individuals benefit from the use of multiple fingers and hands when interacting with tactile maps and that this benefit surpasses those you see in sighted participants.

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Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Seventeen Allegheny Students Participate in Sigma Xi Undergraduate Research and Creative Accomplishment Conference

Seventeen Allegheny students participated in the Sigma Xi Undergraduate Research and Creative Accomplishment Conference held at Penn State Behrend on April 12. They are (with their faculty advisors listed in parentheses): Leanne Balster ’14 (Stephanie Martin and Ben Slote), Patricia Belle ’14 (Brad Hersh), Mark Burkhart ’14 (Scott Wissinger), Jordan Gaston ’16 (Tricia Humphreys), Shelby Hernan ’15 (Jeff Cross), Maria Miranda ’14 (Jeff Cross), Allison Palmer ’14 (Tricia Humphreys), Patrick Payne ’15 (Stephanie Martin), Kirsten Ressel ’14 (Scott Wissinger and Matt Venesky), Tashina Robinson ’14 (Tricia Humphreys), Kelsey Sadlek ’14 (Brad Hersh), Samantha Skobel ’16 (Jeff Cross), Amanda Spadaro ’15 (Kristen Webb), Rachel Stegemann ’14 (Brad Hersh), Adrianna Stolarski ’14 (Milt Ostrofsky), Rachel Verno ’14 (Stephanie Martin), and Jennie Vorhauer ’14 (Brad Hersh). Gaston, Hernan, Ressel, Stegemann, and Stolarski were given awards for best presentations in their sessions. A total of 248 students and 136 faculty from 13 colleges in western and central Pennsylvania participated in the conference.

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Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Coates and Willey Present Work at Council on Undergraduate Research Workshop

Professor of Biology, Neuroscience, and Global Health Studies E. Lee Coates and Professor of Physics Dan Willey recently presented “Development of an Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activities Office at Allegheny College” at a Council on Undergraduate Research workshop held in Alexandria, Virginia. Coates also presented “Development of a Summer Research Community” during one of the workshop sessions.

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Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program Recognizes Erin Brown ’15 and Neal Shah ’15

Erin Brown ’15 (double major in physics and mathematics) and Neal Shah ’15 (neuroscience) have been recognized by the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program, which provides merit-based awards to college sophomores and juniors interested in a research career in the STEM fields. Erin has received a Goldwater Scholarship, and Neal is an honorable mention this year. Visiting Professor of Religious Studies and History Patrick Jackson, who also serves as the College’s nationally competitive awards advisor, worked with Erin and Neal on their Goldwater applications.

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Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Coates, Homan and Stoner Present Research at Society for Neuroscience Meeting

Annie Homan ’13, Hudson Stoner ’13, and Professor of Biology and Neuroscience Lee Coates recently presented research at the annual Society for Neuroscience meeting held in San Diego. The title of the presentation was “Vitamin A deficiency attenuates olfactory receptor neuron responses in mice.” Annie is a PhD candidate at the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Neuroscience, and Hudson is working at the National Institutes of Health for a couple of years before applying to PhD programs in neuroscience.

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Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Connell Included in National Professional Publication

An article co-authored by Assistant Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience Allison Connell,“Effects of Using Multiple Hands and Fingers on Haptic Performance,” was published in Perception, 2013, volume 42. The article’s co-authors are Valerie S. Morash, Allison E. Connell Pensky, and Joshua A. Miele.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Coates and Alumni Join Forces to Pen Article

Professor of Biology and Neuroscience Lee Coates and co-authors Jessica Kenemuth ’10, Shane Hennessy ’10, Ryan Hanson ’10, and Allison Hensler ’11 recently published the article “Investigation of Nasal CO2 Receptor Transduction Mechanisms in Wild-Type and GC-D Knockout Mice” in the journal Chemical Senses. This work reports results from the students’ summer research and Senior Projects.

Jessica and Allison are in dental school at the University of Pennsylvania, Shane is attending the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM), and Ryan is attending the Penn State Hershey College of Medicine.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Professional Journals Accept Two Papers Written by Psychology/Neuroscience Professor

Assistant Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience Sarah Conklin recently had two papers accepted for publication.

With her collaborators at the University of Pittsburgh Medical School and Graduate School of Public Health, she co-authored “Concurrent Physical Activity Modifies the Association Between Omega-3 Long-Chain Fatty Acids and Cardiometabolic Risk,” which reported that habitual physical activity may be necessary to unmask the salutary effects of omega 3 fatty acids on cardiometabolic risk and insulin resistance. It was accepted for publication in the Journal of Nutrition.

“Is the Association Between Depression and Blunted Cardiovascular Stress Reactions Mediated by Perceptions of Stress?” was accepted for publication by the International Journal of Psychophysiology. The paper reports data collected as part of the senior comprehensive project conducted at Allegheny by Ryan Brindle ’12, who is currently a doctoral student in the UK. Dr. Annie Ginty ’08 was also a co-author on the paper. The findings show that symptoms of depression are associated with reduced cardiovascular responses to a mental stressor and that the cardiovascular reactions may be task specific and mediated by perceptions of stress.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Allegheny Students Represented at Sigma Xi Research Conference

2013-04-13 08.10.42

Twenty-six Allegheny students participated in the Sigma Xi Undergraduate Research and Creative Accomplishment Conference held at Penn State Behrend on April 13.

2013-04-13 08.10.42

They are (with their faculty advisors listed in parentheses): Ashley Baronner ’13 (Caryl Waggett), Korey Bartolomeo ’13 (Brad Hersh), Austin Becker ’13 (Tricia Humphreys and Ann Kleinschmidt), Ava Carvour ’14 (Barbara Shaw), Kyrsten Craig ’15 (Barbara Shaw), Colleen Friel ’13 (Catharina Coenen), Dana D’Amico ’13 (Catharina Coenen), Jaclyn DeCoursey ’14 (Lauren French), Jeff Fleming ’13 (Lee Coates), Katrina Gazsi ’13 (Milt Ostrofsky and Ron Mumme), Justin Giel ’13 (Rich Bowden), Jessica Giles ’13 (Christy Donmoyer), Jocelyn Gruskiewicz ’13 (Lee Coates), Aaron Haag ’13 (Brad Hersh), Max Hennessy ’13 (Brad Hersh), Linnea Homa ’13 (Christy Donmoyer), Megan King ’13 (Caryl Waggett), Dylan McCreary ’13 (Lauren French), Erin Nawrocki ’13 (Tricia Humphreys), Chloé Nuñez ’13 (Caryl Waggett), Kayla Owens ’13  (Catharina Coenen), Kelsey Ream ’13 (Rich Bowden), Jessica Repasz ’13 (Rod Clark), Sara Schombert ’13 (Catharina Coenen), Kelly Smith ’13 (Lauren French), and Jennie Vorhauer ’14 (Tricia Humphreys).

Baronner, Carvour, Fleming, Friel, Gazsi, Gruskiewicz, Hennessy, Nawrocki, McCreary and Smith were given awards for best presentations in their sessions. A total of 226 students and 106 faculty from twelve colleges in western and central Pennsylvania participated in the conference.

MaxHennessy3

Max Hennessy ’13 receives his award.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Study on Sleep, Health Behaviors Receives International Media Coverage

Three Allegheny College juniors – each double majoring in neuroscience and psychology – recently presented posters at the American Psychosomatic Society’s national conference in San Antonio, Texas. Ryan Brindle, Stephen Martinkovich and Nicole Piccirillo shared findings of research they conducted last spring as part of an independent study with Sarah Conklin, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience. The researchers collected data on more than 100 participants regarding mood and health behaviors such as exercise, diet and sleep. They then examined the results to test hypotheses from medical literature on sleep quality and mental and physical health outcomes. Link to full article