Gender and the brain, a critical analysis

Rebecca Jordan-Young

EVENT POSTPONED! New date to be announced.


Join us for the next Laura C. Harris Symposium 2012-13: “Sex, Science and Society” aimed to examine the role of women and of gender in science.

Dr. Rebecca Jordan- Young will present “Remodeling the Gendered Brain: Plasticity, Intersectionality, and Other Challenges to Models of ‘Essential Difference'”on November 8, 2012, at 4:30 PM  at the Burton Morgan Lecture Hall.

Professor Jordan-Young is a sociomedical scientist whose research includes social epidemiology studies of HIV/AIDS, and evaluation of biological work on sex, gender and sexuality. She is Associate Professor of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Barnard College. Her recently launched book, Brain Storm: The Flaws in the Science of Sex Differences, is a comprehensive critical analysis of research purporting to demonstrate that hormone exposures in utero “hardwire” the brain to be either masculine or feminine in sexuality, skills, and interests.


Speech strategies of African Grey Parrots

Denison Alum Erin Colbert-White ’07 (Doctoral Candidate at the University of Georgia) will present:

“FAR FROM MIMICS: Conversational Strategies Used by Speech-Trained African Grey Parrots”

When: Monday, November 5, at 7 pm

Where: Burton Morgan Lecture Hall

Summary: Parrots are the only nonhuman animals capable of both producing and using speech. While there are comparisons of cognitive abilities between parrots and children, sociolinguistic comparisons between the two are nonexistent. This talk explores a series of studies based on social interactions between African Grey parrots and their human social partners. Evidence for basic sociolinguistic features such as turn-taking, volume modulation, manipulation, and social referencing will be discussed within the framework of child language development.

Sponsored by the Ronneberg Fund


Coparenting, a true collaboration between parents

Dr. Sarah Schoppe-Sullivan

Join us for the next  Department of Psychology Research Colloquium, Tuesday, October 23, 2012, at 4:30 pm in Burton Morgan 115.

Dr. Sarah Schoppe-Sullivan, Associate Professor at the Department of Psychology/Human Development and Family Science from The Ohio State University, will present:

“Understanding Parenting from a Family Systems Perspective”

Whereas past psychological research on parenting took an individualistic perspective, focusing primarily on mothers and children, contemporary research on parenting has embraced the study of coparenting, or parents’ coordination of their parenting roles and responsibilities. My talk will focus on my research on coparenting. In particular, I will discuss implications of coparenting relationship quality for children’s socioemotional development and the factors that contribute to the development of coparenting relationships across the transition to parenthood.


Denison Scientific Association – Fall 2012 schedule

The Fall 2012 schedule for the Denison Scientific Association (DSA)  presentations is ready. Please, join us to learn more about Faculty research and the wonderful science they are doing at Denison.

Aug. 29th:
Eric Liebl
“Scientific Discoveries: my take on being a
scientist at a liberal arts college”

Oct. 3rd:
Michael Westmoreland
“Why Axioms?”

Oct. 24th:
David Greene
“Structural Architecture of the Confusion
Range: A Newly Recognized Fold-Thrust Belt
in West-Central Utah”

Nov. 28th:
Doug Spieles
“Plant invasion and ecosystem assembly”


Want to be a scientist? Come and learn more about your future life…

Science Speed Mentoring
Like speed dating, but geekier

Do you have questions about being a science major or being a scientist?
Meet science faculty and senior students
Ask questions and get advice
Open to all interested students

Tuesday April 3, 12-1 pm, in The Roost
Free Pizza Lunch

To sign up, email rhodesh@denison.edu
OR sign up at the Bio or Chem offices.

Sponsored by Denison Women in Science


DSA Spring 2012 Schedule is up!

The Spring 2012 schedule for the Denison Scientific Association (DSA)  presentations is ready. Please, join us to learn more about Faculty research and the wonderful science they are doing at Denison.

Jan. 25th:
Kate Tierney
“Permian Ocean Chemistry: “This Means Something””

Feb. 29th:
Andy Lorenz
“Kinetic Folding of RNA”

March 26th:
Warren Hauk
“DNA Fingerprinting: It’s Not Just for CSI Anymore”

April 25th:
Reba Rosenberg
“Flexibility and Limitations in Infants Working Memory”


Prof. Michael T. Turvey visits Denison

Theory of Perception-Action for All Organisms:

What Kind of Science Does it Entail?

M. T. Turvey

Center for the Ecological Study of Perception and Action, University of Connecticut


Haskins Laboratories

A theory of perception-action should apply to all organisms, the 96 phyla that comprise the Five Kingdoms—Bacteria, Protoctista, Animalia, Fungi, and Plantae.  The major barrier to implementing such a theory is the assumption that insurmountable conceptual differences exist between psychology, biology, and physics. These presumed differences deflect us from developing explanations founded on first principles that are shared across the sciences, and in the case of biology and psychology, encourages us to take for granted the origins of knowing.  A body of science founded on common principles is required.

On Thursday evening, February 2,  7:30 pm, Slayter Auditorium, Prof. Michael T. Turvey of the University of Connecticut and Haskins Laboratory will be presenting the lecture “Theory of Perception-Action for All Organisms: What Kind of Science Does it Entail?” Prof. Turvey is an exceptional thinker and a wonderful speaker.  He is a leader among those psychologists who have been developing a theory of perception-action over the past four decades.

Here is a brief introduction to his topic:   The nature of perceiving is certainly among the most critical of functions of animate beings.  The reason is obvious: Perceiving guides action. However, scientists’ ideas about perceiving across the disciplines often rely on models that have been have been shaped by 17th and 18th century philosophical accounts of epistemology.   A theory of the nature of knowing (epistemology) has different goals than a functional account  of how perceiving and acting operate synergistically. In this light, traditional approaches all predate the emergence of evolutionary theory.  Perception-action theory prompts scientists to rethink these received assumptions and to set off on a new path grounded in ecological and dynamical systems thinking in the biological and physical sciences.  Exciting research in biology, psychology, and artificial systems have drawn on these ideas in recent years.

Prof. Turvey will also present a Psychology Department colloquium on Friday, February 3, 4:30p, in the Higley Auditorium. The talk is titled “Haptic Perception: An Ecological Analysis of Knowing by Touching”.

You can access more information about Prof. Turvey and his research by visiting the website for the Center for the Ecological Study of Perception and Action (CESPA).