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Queen's University
 

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In this issue:

Page 1:

  • A Message from the Associate Department Head

Department History:

  • Remembering Rudy Kalin

Psychology Update:

  • Clinic Report

Psychology Profiles:

Graduate Studies:

  • Focus on the Social-Personality program
  • Welcome new students!

A Final Word on...

  • The Association of Graduate Students in Psychology  

Cuddy.jpgDr Lola Cuddy

Grammy Awards for professor

Dr. Lola Cuddy, Professor Emeritus, directs an active laboratory in music perception and cognition. Recently Dr. Cuddy was awarded her second GRAMMY Foundation® grant for her research on memory for music in Alzheimer Disease. Here is her story:

Several years ago my colleague Dr. Jacalyn Duffin (History of Medicine) and I fell into conversation about music and memory. We were aware that families and caregivers report that people with dementia often respond positively to musical events despite their cognitive impairment. But neither of us knew of any scientific-based evidence to support these reports, so we decided to think about conducting some research ourselves.    
 
We were fortunate to test a woman in the Kingston area whose severe dementia had not hampered her recollection and enjoyment of music. We played her phrases of familiar or unfamiliar tunes and simply observed her reactions. When the tune was familiar, she smiled and sang along, often continuing when the phrase had stopped. Her score was virtually equal to those of our older controls. In 2005, we published these exciting observations in the journal, Medical Hypotheses, and the article won a prize.
 
Our paper was however, just a first step because it was a single case study. We were fortunate to receive funding both from the GRAMMY Foundation® and the Alzheimer Society of Canada to undertake a much larger study. Our team developed to include Dr. Sudeep Gill in the Department of Geriatric Medicine, Cassandra Brown, Research Associate, and Ashley Vanstone, current graduate student in Psychology. A number of undergraduate research assistants were also part of the team.
 
We have now tested over 200 people—young adults, older adults, and people with dementia—on a variety of music and cognitive tests, and we can now say with confidence that musical memories are present for many people with dementia. This paper is currently under review.
 
What is next? We hope to continue our research using the knowledge that musical memories may be available, and it was with great pleasure we learned this year that the GRAMMY Foundation® would continue to support our investigations of these questions.

As well, we are happy to collect informal stories. If you have a story to share of a family member or friend who responded to music in dementia, please write to Lola.Cuddy@queensu.ca.


The home page of the Alzheimer Society of Canada (alzheimer.ca) has a 7-minute video link:  “The power of music for people with dementia” with illustrations of our topic.

The site is an excellent resource for caregivers and professionals.


Menard.jpgDr Janet Menard

Finding may improve anxiety disorder treatment

We hope our finding will help pave the way for developing more selective treatments for anxiety disorders

by Christina Archibald, Queen’s New Centre
2011-07-14

 

Researchers have pinpointed the action of a particular brain chemical in a specific area of the brain as key in regulating anxiety.

“We hope our finding will help pave the way for developing more selective treatments for anxiety disorders,” says Janet Menard, an associate professor in the Department of Psychology.

Dr. Menard’s team found that increasing levels of the brain chemical Neuropeptide-Y (NPY) in an area of the brain known as the lateral septum reduces the normal anxiety responses that occur in stressful situations. This discovery suggests that drugs selectively targeting NPY receptors in the brain could be more effective in treating anxiety than current treatment options and be less prone to abuse.

Dr. Menard’s new anxiety regulation findings were published in a recent issue of Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behaviour.


Other groundbreaking research by researchers in the Behavioural Neuroscience group at Queen’s Department of Psychology includes:

Richard Beninger, Head of Psychology - the role played by particular brain chemicals in the control of normal behaviour and in disorders such as schizophrenia and drug addiction.

Cella Olmstead - recently pinpointed the area of the brain that controls impulsive behaviour and identified mechanisms that affect how impulsive behaviour is learned.

Hans Dringenberg - how our brains develop during early life and how they continue to adapt and store new information.

Niko Troje - the function behind the head-bobbing behaviour frequently observed in pigeons and other birds.

These brain, behaviour and cognition science researchers are supported by funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), and have recently benefited from laboratory renovations and infrastructure enhancements facilitated by an equipment grant from the federal funding agency.

Retirees - Where are they now?

Ray Peters - Ray took early retirement from the Department in 2003, but has continued to be the Research Director for the Better Beginnings, Better Futures longitudinal study.  Ray has also been a co-editor of the online Encyclopedia on  Early Childhood Development since 2004. Ray still organizes the Banff International Conference on Behavioural Science. March of 2011 was the 43rd annual conference, and Pat McGrath, Ray’s first PhD student was one of the presenters. Ray is also a co-principal investigator for a contract with the Ontario Ministry of Education to evaluate the first two years of the introduction of full-day kindergarten for 4 and 5 year old kindergarten children, being introduced by the Ontario Government. Skiing, golf and 9 grandchildren also help keep Ray and his wife Ellen very busy.

Marg Lawson - Marg started in the General Office 23 years ago and one of the highlights was her promotion to Administrative Secretary to the Department Head.  She always found it a wonderful learning experience working with the faculty and a fine group of co-workers over the years.  Now it is time for the next phase of her life.  Marg is involved with a few charities that she does web managing for, has joined a book club for this September and is of course doing some travelling. Yes, she can hear those bagpipes calling!


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Dr. Fakir M. Sahoo

Xavier Institute
of Management,
Bhubanaeswar, India

Dr. Fakir M. Sahoo is Research Professor, Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubanaeswar, India. He is also a former Professor and Head of the Centre of Advanced Study in Psychology, the first of the two such Centres in India. He received a Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship and received his doctoral degree from Queen’s University at Kingston, Canada, where he worked with Professor John W. Berry, the past-President of the International Association of Cross-Cultural Psychology.

His other achievements include a University Grants Commission’s Career Award in Humanities and Social Sciences, Indo-Shastri Fellowship offered by the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute, and Professional Associateship accorded by the East-West Centre, Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.A.

He has published several books. His publications include titles such as Affective Sensitivity and Cognitive Styles, Psychology in Indian Context, Environment and Behaviour, Cognitive Styles and Interpersonal Behaviour, Child Rearing and Educating Assistance Manual (CREAM), Dynamics of Human Helplessness, and Sex Roles in Transition, Atlas of Mind and Behavioural Issues in Ageing. He has published approximately 100 research papers in national and international journals.

In addition to supervising a large number of M.A. and M. Phil. dissertations, he has completed supervising more than 33 doctoral theses. He has directed 16 national seminar/workshops. Apart from presenting a large number of papers in regional and national conferences, he has presented papers in more than 26 international congresses. These include his chairmanship in a session of the International Congress of Psychology, held in Brussels, Belgium. He has visited countries such as Canada, U.S.A., U.K., France, Japan, Germany, Belgium, Holland, Spain, Switzerland and Turkey.

His voluminous writings (both in the academic and popular press) in regional language (Oriya) have brought him several literary awards.

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Dr. Ian Brown

Top photo:
Dr. Ian Brown today
Bottom photo:
Ian Brown on his Queen’s
graduation day, 1973.
(Note the Jock Hardy Arena building in the background)

After graduating from Queen’s in 1973, Dr. Ian Brown pursued his M.A. and Ph.D. at Waterloo, and Toronto, respectively. He practised school psychology for 33 1/2 years, first with the Scarborough Board of Education (now part of the Toronto District School Board), and then as Chief Psychologist with the Peterborough County Board of Education and the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board before coming to the Durham Catholic District School Board in 2001, as Chief Psychologist. Dr. Brown recently retired from the Board, and has a private practice in which he treats primarily anxiety and mood disorders. He is also an Adjunct Professor in the Psychology Department at Trent University, and a Clinical Supervisor at O.I.S.E. (University of Toronto).

Dr. Brown served as an elected trustee on the Durham Board of Education for 11 years including three years as Board Chair, and has been on a number of other boards including a girls’ independent school, a family court clinic, and the Learning Disabilities Association of Ontario. For 10 years, he was president of the Association of Chief Psychologists with Ontario School Boards. He was recently honoured with the OPA’s Section on Psychology in Education’s Award of Merit.

Dr. Brown was acclaimed to Council of the College of Psychologists of Ontario in June 2008, and again in March 2009. He’s been an Oral Examiner with the College, and has served on the Complaints, Registration, Fitness to Practice, and Discipline Committees for several years.

Dr. Brown says it was his four years in psychology at Queen’s that gave him the background he needed to pursue the very satisfying career he’s enjoyed. He remember fondly his classes in Humphrey Hall with Drs. Bill Gekowski, Marilyn Bowman, Gerry Wilde, Ron Wiseman, and other great profs. “Thanks, Queen’s! Whenever I talk with secondary school students about their choices regarding post-secondary education, Queen’s is always my top recommendation.”

Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.2000