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FABBS News Highlights: March 29, 2019

Wednesday, April 3, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Psychonomic Society
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March 29, 2019





Q&A with Dr. Susan Fiske, Founding Editor of Policy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences (PIBBS)


The PIBBS Journal publishes invited articles, from FABBS member societies, that present brief reviews of behavioral and brain scientific findings relevant to public policy. The goal of this journal is to provide a vehicle for scientists to share research findings to help build sound policies and be a resource for policy and decision makers looking for digestible research to inform policies and practices.



PIBBS challenges behavioral and brain scientists to seriously consider the complexity of translating research to implementation, so that the needs of society can be addressed.


Launched in 2014 by founding Editor Susan T. Fiske, PIBBS was recently a finalist for a PROSE (Professional and Scholarly Excellence) Award in the category of the best new journal in social sciences. Below is a Q&A with Dr. Fiske, Eugene Higgins Professor of Psychology and Professor of Public Affairs, Princeton University and former FABBS board President.


What inspired you to develop this journal?


PIBBS invites basic scientists to take seriously the policy implications of their work. In brief, pithy reviews, they write for an educated audience, as honest brokers for what the science can (and cannot yet) tell us about how to make the world a better place.








Tracking Legislaion Affecting Our Sciences


In order to advance sciences of mind, brain and behavior, in addition to the federal funding for our sciences,FABBS tracks legislation with potential impact – positive and negative – on the scientific process. Below are some examples of legislation that FABBS is currently monitoring, taking a position on, or trying to influence. Also included are several important federal agencies and acts due for reauthorization expected to be introduced this session. If you are aware of a piece of legislation with relevance to brain and behavioral sciences, please bring it to our attention.



Read more about the bills we are tracking  »

Budget Update


The budget process is in full swing on Capitol Hill. Earlier this week, House Appropriations subcommittees held numerous hearings with federal agency leadership including the National Science Foundation and the Department of Education. The tone of the two hearings could not have been more different. Dr. France Cordova was warmly received when she provided testimony to the Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations subcommittee. Committee members from both sides of the aisle expressed appreciation for her leadership and intentions to provide more money to NSF. Down the hall, Secretary Betsy DeVos had a very different experience testifying before the Labor, Health and Human Services Subcommittee. In opening comments, Chair Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) scolded DeVos for her stewardship of the Department and her ‘irresponsible’ budget proposal. In expressing her displeasure with cuts to the Department of Education, Chair DeLauro mentioned specific concerns regarding cuts to the Institutes for Education Sciences. Secretary DeVos testified in the Senate on March 28.


FABBS continues to collaborate with the broadscientific community to encourage Congress to raise budget caps and maintain parity in spending on defense and nondefense discretionary budgets. In addition to lending our name to letters, FABBS led a team for the Coalition for Health Funding advocacy day, meeting with offices to explain the need for health funding and encouraging them to raise the caps.






EARLY CAREER SPOTLIGHT: Julie Golomb, PhD, Vision Sciences Society






Making Sense from Dots of Light


For Julie Golomb, it all started with a college course in visual perception. “I realized that all of these things I take for granted about how I perceive the world are actually really hard challenges for the brain to solve.”


How do we recognize our coffee mug? How do we pick out a friend’s face in the crowd? Or know that the round, white and black thing flying at us is, in fact, a soccer ball?


This constant bombardment of rich and usually moving pictures start out simply as dots of light hitting different spots on the retina.


Those dots create a map of where things are in the world before heading to the brain, where the deep processing takes place that Golomb studies in her lab.


While the brain is busy almost instantaneously processing incoming data, the world outside is continuously moving and changing, as are our eyes–an emphasis in Golomb’s lab.


“The brain has a hard job, and it does a remarkable job,” Golomb says.  “But it is not perfect.”  A lot of learning about the brain is based on its mistakes.








Nora Newcombe Wins Howard Crosby Warren Medal

FABBS President, Nora Newcombe, Temple University, has been awarded the Howard Crosby Warren Medal. The Society of Experiment Psychology (SEP) issues the award in recognition of outstanding achievement in Experimental Psychology in the United States and Canada. Dr. Newcombe was recognized “for her distinguished research contributions on fundamental aspects of cognition and development, with emphasis on spatial cognition and the development of memory”. The medal is sometimes referred to as “psychology’s first award”.


See the write-up on Dr. Newcombe here.


SPSSI and APA Bring Issue of Scientist Human Rights to the Hill



On March 22, 2019, the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI), the American Psychological Association – both FABBS member societies – and other organizations co-sponsored a briefing “Protecting and Promoting the Human Rights of Scientists, Scholars, and Students Around the World”. The briefing brought to light a troubling trend of scholars being kidnapped, imprisoned, or otherwise threatened. The cause of these hostile acts may be one of several reasons, including research in sensitive or taboo topics, persecution based on identity, and aspects related to the political climate.







Apply and Nominate
















FABBS News Highlights is a monthly electronic newsletter published by the Federation of Associations in Behavioral and Brain Sciences with the goals of keeping scientists updated on funding and policy issues affecting the sciences of mind, brain and behavior; recognizing the research contributions of leading scientists; and sharing research findings to inform policies and programs.


Editor: Juliane Baron

Contributors: Juliane Baron, Diana Liao, Jennifer Anderson


FABBS Member Societies


American Educational Research Association  •  American Psychological Association  •  Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback  •  Association for Behavior Analysis International  •  Behavior Genetics Association  •  Cognitive Science Society  •  International Society for Developmental Psychobiology  •  Massachusetts Neuropsychological Society  •  National Academy of Neuropsychology  •  The Psychonomic Society  •  Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology  •  Society for Computers in Psychology  •  Society for Judgment and Decision Making  •  Society for Mathematical Psychology  •  Society for Psychophysiological Research  •  Society for Research in Child Development  •  Society for Research in Psychopathology  •  Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues • Society for the Scientific Study of Reading  •  Society for Text & Discourse  •  Society of Experimental Social Psychology  •  Society of Multivariate Experimental Psychology  •  Vision Sciences Society



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FABBS Mission
FABBS promotes human potential and well-being by advancing the sciences of mind, brain, and behavior; promoting scientific research and training in these fields; educating the public about the contributions of research to the health and well-being of individuals and society; fostering communication among scientists; and recognizing scientists who have made significant contributions to building knowledge.


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