ASPIRE Symposium Showcases Undergraduate Research

By Emily Kappenman - The ISS ASPIRE Undergraduate Research Program held its second annual Spring Research Symposium on June 3, 2016 at the Center for Mind & Brain. The event featured poster presentations by each of the eleven ASPIRE Scholars, detailing the research they completed during the 2015-2016 academic year.

ASPIRE (Accelerating Success by Providing Intensive Research Experience) offers a select group of UC Davis undergraduate students a unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience conducting research under the mentorship of world-renowned UC Davis faculty.

ASPIRE Scholars begin working on research in their freshman or sophomore year, continuing throughout their undergraduate tenure. The program includes faculty mentors from a variety of departments and centers at UC Davis, including the Center for Mind & Brain, the Center for Neuroscience, the Department of Psychology, and the Center for Poverty Research. ASPIRE Scholars have a range of majors including Engineering, Psychology, Biology, and Neurophysiology & Behavior.

Research topics presented at the 2016 symposium included:

  • The development of counterfactual reasoning and episodic prospection in 9-to-12-year-old children — Brynna Thigpen, junior, under the mentorship of Dr. Simona Ghetti
  • The effect of object category representations on perception — Samir Townsley, sophomore, under the mentorship of Dr. Joy Geng
  •  The relationship between trait-level anxiety and attention to natural and conditioned threat — Raphael Geddert, junior, under the mentorship of Dr. Emily Kappenman and Dr. Steve Luck
  • The role of ethnic background on willingness to work in rural areas — Maryam Awwal, freshman, under the mentorship of Dr. Lisa Pruitt
  • The effect of wearable technology on memory enhancement — Alex Asera, freshman, under the mentorship of Dr. Charan Ranganath
  • The role of gender in emotion expression in adolescents — Michelle Shi, sophomore, under the mentorship of Dr. Paul Hastings
  • The relationship between eye position and ERP indices of spatial attention  Kelsey Klein, sophomore, under the mentorship of Dr. Ron Mangun
  • The ability of beamforming as a method of improving signal-to-noise ratio of speech amplification — Nathaniel Gutierrez, junior, under the mentorship of Dr. Lee Miller
  • The effect of mother involvement in infant play on infants’ object exploration — Rachel Suk, freshman, under the mentorship of Dr. Lisa Oakes
  • The role of father coppery titi monkeys in infant care — Amy Wong, sophomore, under the mentorship of Dr. Karen Bales
  • How to improve participant compliance using sleep actigraphy to characterize sleep patterns — Selena Silva, freshman, under the mentorship of Dr. Leah Hibel

 

Learn more about the program at the ASPIRE webpage.

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