Interviews with Scientists

Interviews with our weekly seminar speakers

This week’s interview:

Jesse Goldberg, MD, PhD

Department of Neurobiology and Behavior, Cornell University

“…It was eyebrow-raising: how much grit is required. There are so many rejections behind every success…” (10/4/19)

Anna Schapiro, PhD
Department of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania
“When we’re learning new information, and it has all kinds of interrelationships, how do we see those relationships?” (9/26/19)


Tali Sharot, PhD
Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience; University College London
“What is driving our information-seeking behavior, the questions we ask—why are you asking me the questions you are?” (9/13/19)


Helen Mayberg, M.D.
Professor of Neurosurgery, Neurology, Psychiatry, & Neuroscience; Mount Sinai
“We start to reframe what it means to feel paralyzed in the agony of depression, not to be metaphorical, but to be literal.” (5/3/19)


Aaron Batista, PhD
Associate Professor, Bioengineering Department, University of Pittsburgh; Principal Investigator, Sensory Motor Integration Laboratory and Engineering
“Trust your instincts, but listen to each other.” (4/12/19)


Chaz Firestone, PhD
Asst. Professor in the Dept. of Psychological & Brain Sciences, Johns Hopkins University
“How good are you — and how can we make you better — at anticipating when your machines will fail?” (4/5/19)


Christian Ruff, PhD
Professor of Neuroeconomics and Decision Neuroscience; University of Zurich
“…Quite often these so-called “free choices” that we make—they’re not free at all.” (3/29/19)


Terry Jernigan, PhD
Professor of Cognitive Science, Psychiatry, and Radiology; Director, Center for Human Development; Co-Director, ABCD Study Coordinating Center
“…Some of the most exciting bursts of creativity come when you pivot.” (3/15/19)


Eric Turkeheimer, PhD
Hugh Scott Hamilton Professor of Psychology, University of Virginia
“…Being divorced is just about as heritable as schizophrenia, and you probably wouldn’t want to say that divorce is a genetic disease of the brain.” (3/1/19)


Judit Gervain, PhD
Senior Research Scientist, Laboratoire Psychologie de la Perception, CNRS & Université Paris Descartes
“There’s this interesting disconnect between how helpless a human newborn looks and how sophisticated a baby really is, at least when it comes to listening to language.” (2/22/19)


Sam Gershman, PhD
Assistant Professor, Psychology Department, Harvard University
“…An elementary decision of whether to buy something or not really depends in some nontrivial way on a whole host of factors that extended beyond that individual object.” (2/15/19)


John Krakauer, PhD
Director of BLAM Lab, Co-founder of the KATA project, John C. Malone Professor
Professor of Neurology, Neuroscience, & Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

“I think science is a little bit more like being an artist. You have to suffer and struggle a bit.” (2/8/19)


Catherine Hartley, PhD
Assistant Professor of Psychology & Neural Science, New York University
“If you believe that you are someone who can make good things happen or prevent bad things from happening, this changes the way you’re going to behave in the later situations….” (2/1/19)


Julia Leonard, PhD
Post-doctoral Fellow, MindCORE, UPenn

“I believe that every child is persistent in whatever task they care about and are interested in.” (1/24/19)


Colin Twomey, PhD
Post-doctoral Fellow, MindCORE, UPenn
“What process leads us to these similar ways of dividing up color space?…You can find these amazing correspondences between languages.” (1/24/19)


Kevin Zollman, PhD
Associate Professor of Philosophy, Carnegie Mellon University
“What is the commonality that drives communication from humans all the way down into bacteria?” (12/7/18)


Felipe De Brigard PhD
Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy, Duke University
“I find the world wonderful…As a result, I guess I never lose motivation because its everywhere.” (11/16/18)


R. Alison Adcock, MD PhD
Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Neurobiology, and Director of the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, Duke University
“…Motivation changes people’s behavior and interaction with space, but it also changes the brain state.” (11/9/18)


Robert Hamilton, PhD
Co-Founder & Chief Science Officer, Neural Analytics
“I’ve always defined that we’ll be successful when we help that first patient, when that patient walks into our headquarters and says, “This device made a difference for me.”” (11/2/18)


David Barner, PhD
Professor of Psychology & Linguistics, University of California, San Diego
“If you just let yourself be wrong and accept that you’re wrong, that’s discovery, right? That’s when your expectations and what most people around you think likely should be true turns out to be false. That’s how science moves forward.” (10/19/18)


Brad Postle, PhD
Professor of Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Madison
“Science is about following your bliss, right? It’s about taking advantage of accidents and unexpected developments and pursuing them.” (10/19/18)


Leah Somerville, PhD
Assistant Professor of Psychology, Harvard University
“Do we offload [social feedback] and say, “Oh, it doesn’t matter what that person thinks of me,” or do we take those cues as very clear indicators of how we should see ourselves?”  (10/12/18)


Cendri Hutcherson, PhD
Assistant Professor of Psychology, University of Toronto
“What is it that leads us to be nice or to sacrifice or do something moral even when we’re tempted not to?” (9/27/18)


Adrianna (Anna) Jenkins, PhD
Assistant Professor of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania
“I’m fascinated by the processes in the brain that enable us to transcend our own immediate, first-person perspective to imagine, predict, and make decisions about things that we haven’t seen, haven’t experienced, or can’t access directly.” (9/21/18)


Ishmail Abdus-Saboor, PhD
Assistant Professor of Biology, University of Pennsylvania
“Pain is very mysterious and puzzling in how it works. From short-term pain to longer lasting pain—what’s going on in our nervous system? What are the changes that permit or allow these long-lasting pain states?” (9/14/18)


Skip to toolbar