This proposal requests continuing support for a predoctoral and postdoctoral training program in Learning, Development, and Biology, housed in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at the University of Rochester. The training program includes eleven faculty members, all of whom study learning and development of complex behaviors in humans and animals. This program reflects our recognition of the potential for a synthetic approach to the study of learning: computational, neurophysiological, and behavioral investigations of learning and developmental plasticity ask many of the same questions and are mutually informative; at the same time, they bring distinctive perspectives to the problems of learning and development, so that their integration leads to new insights. Our program therefore aims to train students in the study of learning and developmental plasticity from the joint perspectives of behavioral, computational, and neurophysiological approaches. Surrounding our group at the University are programs in the mature functioning of each of the relevant domains and systems. We request support for 4 predoctoral and 2 postdoctoral students per year; when combined with other sources of support, this permits approximately 10-12 predoctoral students in this program, as well as other students in related programs. Trainees enter through the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and are trained in core courses and advanced seminars in Learning, Development & Biology, Language & Cognition, Perception, and Basic and Integrative Neuroscience, and in research methods courses and research experience in behavioral studies, computational modeling, and neuroscience studies. This breadth of training is made possible by the fact that our program faculty have degrees in 5 different disciplines and conduct research on overlapping problems from a variety of different methodological approaches. Our current trainees with a focus on learning and developmental plasticity exemplify the high quality of students we are able to attract; our recent graduates exemplify the success we have had in placing our students in academic and research positions.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZMH1-BRB-P (01))
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Boyce, Cheryl A
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University of Rochester
Other Basic Sciences
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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Reeder, Patricia A; Newport, Elissa L; Aslin, Richard N (2013) From shared contexts to syntactic categories: the role of distributional information in learning linguistic form-classes. Cogn Psychol 66:30-54
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