What's New

Dr. BuzsakiDr. György Buzsáki: At the forefront of Neuroscience Research

“… The critical factors in science seem to relate to asking an important question and building up a sufficiently intense motivation to solve it.” - György Buzsáki

When it comes to motivation, TDLC Senior Investigator György Buzsáki has enough for an army of investigators. He is at the forefront of research in the field of neuroscience and is currently Board of Governors Professor at the Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience at Rutgers University.

György Buzsáki’s lab focuses on how neuronal circuitries of the brain support its cognitive capacities, with a primary interest in brain oscillations, sleep and memory. He explains: “Our goal is to provide Buzsaki imagerational, mechanistic explanations of cognitive functions at a descriptive level. In our view, the most promising area of cognitive faculties for scientific inquiry is memory, since it is a well-circumscribed term, can be studied in animals and substantial knowledge has accumulated on the molecular mechanisms of synaptic plasticity." More

Terrence Sejnowski
Terrence Sejnowski elected to National Academy of Engineering

Salk Institute professor and TDLC Co-Director Terry J. Sejnowski, Ph.D., has been elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering, Dr. Sejnowski is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine, making him one of only ten living individuals to have been elected to all three branches of the National Academies.

MRIThe TDLC All Hands Meeting 2011
January 28-29, 2011

The annual gathering, once again hosted by UC San Diego, the Sheraton La Jolla Hotel and the San Diego Supercomputer Center-East, opened with a Trainee Reception and Dinner and closed with a Brainstorming Session/Dinner.

TDLC presented a Special Speaker Series with speakers Terry Sejnowski (Salk Institute), Marco Herrera-Valdez (Arizona State University), and Gyorgi Buzsaki (Rutgers).

Woven seamlessly into a strong schedule were13 informative presentations on research within the four science Initiatives plus six upbeat Trainee Talks and individual two-hour Initiative planning meetings. More

What's New

Two Recent Studies on Face Processing:

> Inverted Faces are (Eventually) Processed Holistically (in press)

PalmeriCollaborators: Jennifer J. Richler, Michael L. Mack, Thomas J. Palmeri & Isabel Gauthier -- Vanderbilt University

Face inversion effects are used as evidence that faces are processed differently from objects. Nevertheless, there is debate about whether processing differences between upright and inverted faces are qualitative or quantitative.

> Holistic Processing Predicts Face Recognition

Accepted 12/10/10 for publication in Psychological Science
Collaborators: Jennifer J. Richler, Olivia S. Cheung & Isabel Gauthier


The concept of holistic processing (HP) is a cornerstone of face recognition research. We demonstrate that HP predicts face recognition abilities on the Cambridge Face Memory Test and a perceptual face identification task. Our findings validate a large body of work on face recognition that relies on the assumption that HP is related to face recognition.

Doris Alvarez
Distinguished Educator Panel
Meet and Mingle with Scientists

Eleven of TDLC’s scientists and The Distinguished Educator Advisory Panel met one another in a form of “speed dating” on December 4, 2010. Educators and scientists alike agreed that the opportunity to meet one another in this format was an important step in understanding some of the bridges to be crossed in translational research. Following the pair meetings, two of the panel members who have research going on in their schools discussed their experiences with the process. Finally, Javier Movellan presented his ideas for strengthening educator/scientist interaction. First, he emphasized that scientists need educators, just as educators need scientists. He would like to see a research school operating in the medical model where educators and scientists “cohabitate” and thus truly understand the needs, the constraints and the possibilities of bringing research and education together to improve student outcomes.


...bringing science and practice together"

The third International Mind, Brain, and Education Society (IMBES) Biennial Conference is coming up on June 2-4, 2011 in San Diego, California. The event, sponsored by TDLC & Kavli Institute for Brain and Mind, provides a forum to explore exciting new advances in the emerging field of Mind, Brain, and Education. TDLC's Hal Pashler will be one of the Distinguished Plenary Speakers of the event.

2011 Trainee Awards

The TDLC training committee has recently awarded small grants to support trainee research and collaboration.

Ask the Scientist

MovellanFeatured Scientist:
Marian Bartlett
TDLC Center Co-Director
Associate Research Professor, Institute for Neural Computation, and Director, Machine Perception Lab, UCSD

What is CERT and how can it be applied to basic research in human behavior, education, and medicine?

Cert being used at Face CampCERT, or Computer Expression Recognition Toolbox, is a software package for automatically detecting facial expressions. CERT was developed at UC San Diego, originating from a collaboration between Ekman and Sejnowski (Bartlett et al., 1996, 1999, 2006; Donato et al., 1999; Littlewort et al., 2006). The software performs real-time expression detection via web-cam input, and can automatically detect and code such expressions as anger, disgust, fear, joy, sadness, surprise, contempt, head pose, and 30 facial action units from the Facial Action Coding System. Automatic facial expression recognition tools such as CERT are beginning to bring about paradigmatic shifts in a number of fields by making facial expression more accessible as a behavioral measure.

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TDLC is a Science of Learning Center (SLC), one of six SLCs funded by the National Science Foundation. NSF grant #SBE-0542013


Feb/Mar 2011

Contact Us
TDLC Website
About TDLC

Upcoming Events
"Music, Science and Medicine" NYAS Conference
March 25th, 2011

The third IMBES Biennial Conference
June 2-4, 2011



TDLC's The Educator Network

The Educator Network hosts author Kathleen Cushman

A crowd of over 200 educators met at HighTech High on November 9, 2010, to hear Kathleen Cushman, author of Fires in the Mind: What Kids can tell us about Motivation and Mastery. The TDLC/High Tech High jointly sponsored event drew educators from all parts of county. The author’s book chronicles interviews she had with high school students which led them to discover what it takes to get really good at something.

Link to video: What
It Takes to Get
Good: Fires in the

Interesting Articles

Babies Process Language in a Grown-Up Way
Research by UC San Diego scientists Eric Halgren, PhD, Jeff Elman, PhD, and Katherine Travis has shown that babies just over a year old can understand many of the words that adults are saying, and their brains process words they hear with the same brain structures as adults, and in the same amount of time.


Map of scientific collaboration between researchers
Research analyst Olivier Beauchesne at Science-Metrix extracted & aggregated scientific collaboration between cities around the world from 2005 to 2009. More


QnAs with Terrence J. Sejnowski
(Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, December 2010)


Learning Causes Structural Changes In Affected Neurons
The finding, published in PNAS by Mark H. Tuszynski, MD, PhD, professor of neurosciences and colleagues at UC San Diego School of Medicine, underscores the brain’s remarkable ability to physically change as it learns. More


Fifteenth International Conference on Cognitive and Neural Systems
May 11–14, 2011
Boston University

Speakers include TDLC researcher David Sheinberg (Brown University)
and several CELEST researchers. More


Schizophrenia Gene Mutation
Found; Target for New Drugs

An international team led by Jonathan Sebat, PhD, at UC San Diego School of Medicine, has identified a gene mutation strongly linked to schizophrenia.

Did You Know?

BrainBilingual Brains

Scientists are learning that speaking more than one language may have cognitive benefits that extend from childhood into old age. Children who learn two languages before the age of five have a different brain structure than children who learn only one language. More

(reference: Society for Neuroscience)