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Abstract: The Future of Science

Abstract: The Future of Science

By Jeremy Ullman
Going behind the scenes: graduate research, best practices and the future of science. By students, for students.

New interviews with graduate researchers released every Sunday, so keep your eyes peeled and your ears perked!
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Ep. 20 - Functional Connectivity & The Default Mode Network ft. Alex Bailey

Abstract: The Future of Science

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Ep. 22 - Brain Structures: Shape, Volume and Heritability ft. Nadia Blostein
Our guest this week is McGIll Master's of Neuroscience candidate, Nadia Blostein, in an episode dedicated to subcortical brain structures, brain imaging, physical features of the brain and its evolution up the phylogenetic tree! You don't want to this delightful interview with a fresh-faced graduate student -- this could be you one day! Bullet Point Topics: Brain Volume + Shape Hippocampus Imaging Techniques - MRI, fMRI, PET Evolutionary Brain Development The science behind nature vs. nurture Subcortical brain structures: striatum, thalamus, global pallidus Phylogenetic tree Trait preservation due to genetic heritability Guest Appearance: Michael Smilovitch (from Ep. 6 - Virtual Reality & Immersion) reading from his "neuropoetry" collection Find his other work on his website: michaelsmilovitch.com Get access to his poetry collection directly here: theblastedtree.com/obscuritysquared-index
35:43
October 26, 2020
Ch. 7 | Sensation | Intro to Behavioral Neuroscience ft. Pcenna
Chapter 7: The Senses. Listen close and follow along with the lyrics (if you're not in PSYC 211, shoot me an email and I'll gladly send them your way). Study hard, study smart. Got a favorite lyric? Shoot me an email at abstractcast@gmail.com. Do you make beats and want to collaborate? Send me an email at abstractcast@gmail.com. Enjoy sending emails? Email me at abstractcast@gmail.com. You get the point: I want to hear from you. You'll notice that Rapstract is available here on my podcast page, Abstract. I interview graduate students on their research, many of whom are studying Neuroscience and Psychology. I urge you to peruse and have a listen to the first episode that catches your eye. Episodes 18, 19, 20 and 22 just came out in case you're looking for a change of pace, but still something in the realm of psych or neuro! Chapter 7 is brought to you by: Beat: Inhumane [Prod. Shirazi] Vocals, Lyrics, Recording: Pcenna
06:05
October 25, 2020
Ep. 21 - Turbulence & Fluid Dynamics ft. Austin L'Ecuyer
Our guest this week is Mechanical Engineering Master's candidate Austin L'Ecuyer. His current research is primarily focused on Turbulent Systems, falling under the broader category of Fluid Dynamics. On today's episode we discuss the theoretical underpinnings as well as the applications of turbulence in natural and artifical systems. It was a real treat having Austin on the show: I'm sure you'll feel the same! If you or someone you know is a graduate student and interested in sharing your knowledge and current research projects on the podcast, please reach out and connect with us at abstractcast@gmail.com! We're always looking for well-spoken and enthusiastic graduatie students to hop on the show! (Austin is the perfect example of this.) For those of you who are curious about the "nitty gritty", we come across such concepts as: Order of Magnitude The Atmospheric Boundary Layer Laminar vs. Turbulent Flows Chaos and Randomness Kolmogorov Scales (of Turbulence) Viscosity Energy Cascades The Navier Stokes Equations & Hot Wire Anemometry
35:04
October 18, 2020
Rapstract Ch. 6 | Vision | Intro to Behavioral Neuroscience ft. Pcenna
Chapter 6: Vision. Listen close and follow along with the lyrics (if you're not in PSYC 211, shoot me an email and I'll gladly send them your way). Study hard, study smart. Got a favorite lyric? Shoot me an email at abstractcast@gmail.com. Do you make beats and want to collaborate? Send me an email at abstractcast@gmail.com. Enjoy sending emails? Email me at abstractcast@gmail.com. You get the point: I want to hear from you. You'll notice that Rapstract is available here on my podcast page, Abstract. I interview graduate students on their research, many of whom are studying psychology. I urge you to peruse and have a listen to the first episode that catches your eye. Episodes 18 & 19 just came out in case you're looking for a change of pace, but still something in the realm of psych! /// If you like what you hear, please feel free to check out my latest rap album called Life As We Know It at any of the following links: YouTube SoundCloud Bandcamp /// Chapter 6 was produced by: Beat: Massacre [Prod. Shirazi] Lyrics, Vocals, Recording: Pcenna
06:10
October 18, 2020
Ep. 20 - Functional Connectivity & The Default Mode Network ft. Alex Bailey
Our guest this week is recent undergraduate and winner of CJAP's 2020 Podcast Guest Opportunity Award, Alex Bailey. It was an absolute treat to have Alex on the podcast this week and our conversation was truly eye-opening: ear candy for all! We answer questions like: What is functional connectivity and the network theory of the brain? What is the Default Mode Network and the nature of resting brain activity? What is fMRI and when/why do we use it? We also discuss how our brain compares to the "Reptilian" brain, the future of research using multimodal techniques, and the role of specific brain regions in the orchestration of neural activity. This and much more on episode 20 of Abstract -- let's go! If you like what you heard and you're interested in reaching out to Alex you can reach him by email at: alexander.bailey@mail.concordia.ca.
35:40
October 11, 2020
Rapstract Ch. 5 | Methods | Intro to Behavioral Neuroscience ft. Pcenna
Chapter 5. Listen close and follow along with the lyrics (if you're not in PSYC 211, shoot me an email and I'll gladly send them your way). Study hard, study smart. Got a favorite lyric? Shoot me an email at abstractcast@gmail.com. Do you make beats and want to collaborate? Send me an email at abstractcast@gmail.com. Enjoy sending emails? Email me at abstractcast@gmail.com. You get the point: I want to hear from you. You'll notice that Rapstract is available here on my podcast page, Abstract. I interview graduate students on their research, many of whom are studying psychology. I urge you to peruse and have a listen to the first episode that catches your eye. Episodes 18 & 19 just came out in case you're looking for a change of pace, but still something in the realm of psych! /// If you like what you hear, please feel free to check out my latest rap album called Life As We Know It at any of the following links: YouTube SoundCloud Bandcamp /// Chapter 5 was produced by: Beat: Rip Up [Prod. Shirazi] Lyrics, Vocals, Recording: Pcenna
03:56
October 11, 2020
Ep. 19 - PTSD, Psilocybin & Depression ft. Emily Garfinkle
This week we're graced by the likes of Clinical Psychology PhD candidate Emily Garfinkle, hailing from beautiful sunny San Francisco, California. We cover many topics on today's episode, including but not limited to: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (or PTSD); different types of stress (acute vs. chronic); mental illness and trauma; treatment programs (ex. Cognitive Processing Therapy and Prolonged Exposure Treatments) and meditation; veterans and clinical populations; the DSM and the most critical diagnostic criterion; and the resurgence of hallucinogenic drugs in clinical psychology (ex. Psilocybin, LSD, MDMA).  We're always looking to get your feedback. If you've got an idea/recommendation for a guest or any commentary on the recent change in format, please reach out at abstractcast@gmail.com, or you can find and interact with us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter! Enjoy the refreshing taste of Episode 19.  Stay thirsty (for knowledge).
39:13
October 4, 2020
Rapstract Ch. 4 | Drugs | Intro to Behavioral Neuroscience ft. Pcenna
Don't be fooled by the short track length. Chapter 4 is JAM PACKED and FASTER than ever. Listen close and follow along with the lyrics (if you're not in PSYC 211, shoot me an email and I'll gladly send them your way). Study hard, study smart.  Got a favorite lyric? Shoot me an email at abstractcast@gmail.com. Do you make beats and want to collaborate? Send me an email at abstractcast@gmail.com. Enjoy sending emails? Email me at abstractcast@gmail.com. You get the point: I want to hear from you. You'll notice that Raptract is available here on my podcast page, Abstract. I interview graduate students on their research, many of whom are studying psychology. I urge you to peruse and have a listen to the first episode that catches your eye. Episode 19 just came in case you're looking for a change of pace, but still something in the realm of psych! /// If you like what you hear, please feel free to check out my latest rap album called Life As We Know It at any of the following links: YouTube SoundCloud Bandcamp Chapter 4 was produced by: Beat: Bad Deeds [Prod. Shirazi] Lyrics, Vocals, Recording: Pcenna
03:42
October 4, 2020
Rapstract Ch. 3 | Anatomy | Intro to Behavioral Neuroscience ft. Pcenna
Welcome back. Here's Chapter 3, total runtime 6:20 with a little message at the end when you make it through! Got a favorite lyric? Shoot me an email at abstractcast@gmail.com. Do you think you would benefit from a rap song like this for all of the chapters of the course? Please send me an email at abstractcast@gmail.com. Do you make beats and want to collaborate? Send me an email at abstractcast@gmail.com. Enjoy sending emails? Email me at abstractcast@gmail.com. You get the point: I want to hear from you. The first few chapters are already written and will be released here on my podcast page, Abstract. I interview graduate students on their research, many of whom are studying psychology. I urge you to peruse and have a listen to the first episode that catches your eye! Episode 18 just came out and I spoke with one of the TAs for this course! /// If you like what you hear, please feel free to check out my latest rap album called Life As We Know It at any of the following links: YouTube SoundCloud Bandcamp Chapter 3 was produced by: Beat: Blot Out [Prod. Shirazi] Lyrics, Vocals, Recording: Pcenna
07:19
September 27, 2020
Ep. 18 - Sensation, Perception & Memory ft. Jamie Snytte
Jamie Snytte is a PhD researcher in the field of Clinical Psychology, with a background in Neuroscience, and his current work is focused on memory and Alzheimer's Disease. On today's episode we discuss a range of topics, including but not limited to: the emergence of behavior from brain activity; sensation, perception and memory, and different memory systems; the famous case studies of H.M. and London taxi drivers; relational vs. conceptual memory; autobiographical, semantic and procedural memory; the four mnemonic horsemen of depression; and more! You'll notice that today's episode is shorter than usual, and that was a deliberate move. Since you're all back to school/work, we know it's tough to find time to listen all the way through an entire hour or more (especially since nobody's really commuting these days). If you like the shorter format, or preferred the longer from discussions, please share your feedback with us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter!  Jamie is also the guitarist of Ivytide, an up and coming indie band whose music is available everywhere, and who you can check out at their official Ivytide Website. [https://www.ivytide.com/]
36:45
September 27, 2020
Rapstract Ch. 2 | Cells: Structure & Function | Intro to Behavioral Neuroscience ft. Pcenna
Welcome back. Here's Chapter 2, so get ready to hear the words "potential", "ion channel" and "potassium" repeated a great many times. If you think you would benefit from a rap song like this for all of the chapters, please send me an email at abstractcast@gmail.com so I can gauge interest. If I hear from enough of you then I will gladly write the rest, however, if this doesn't appeal to a large enough audience, then I may have to scrap the project. The first few chapters of Rapstract are already written and will be released here on my podcast page, Abstract. I interview graduate students on their research, many of whom are studying psychology. I urge you to peruse and have a listen to the first episode that catches your eye! /// If you like what you hear, please feel free to check out my latest rap album called Life As We Know It at any of the following links: YouTube SoundCloud Bandcamp Chapter 2 was produced by: Beat: High End [Prod.kanebeats x Heartboy] Lyrics, Vocals, Recording: Pcenna
05:41
September 21, 2020
Ep. 17b - COVID, CRISPR & Cancer ft. Owen Dunkley
And we're back with Part 2 of 2 with Owen Dunkley. This time we've got an alliterative bonus episode covering COVID, CRISPR and COVID! Here are some of the subtopics we hit on within each: CANCER: Mutations, somatic vs. germ-line cells, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, personalized medicine and the future of drug therapy.  CRISPR: Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats, the CAS-9 complex, genomes, viruses and bacteria, plasmids, gene editing, NHEJ and HDR, prime editing.  COVID: SARS-CoV-2 vs. SARS-CoV-1: the original SARS, positive single-stranded RNA viruses, infectious diseases, monitoring and the job of global health organizations We hope you enjoy Owen Dunkley in his appearance on this bonus episode, as he shares more of his invaluable knowledge on biological processes, diseases and viruses!
50:04
September 20, 2020
Ep. 17a – Life, Cells and Retroviruses ft. Owen Dunkley
As humans change the way we interact with animals and the environment, we are faced with increasingly common spillover events of infectious disease from animal to human. These events have led to human outbreaks of Tuberculosis, Influenza, Ebola, COVID-19 and HIV/AIDS, among others. As there is no way of knowing what the next big outbreak will be, new platforms are needed to quickly develop customizable drugs against infection. Our guest this week believes he might know the kind of therapy we need. That guest is none other than the immensely knowledgeable Owen Dunkley, a broadly interested, driven and rational second-year Master's student in Experimental Medicine at McGill University.  This is Part 1 of my two-part discussion with Owen, so check out Ep. 17b after this for a bonus discussion on Cancer and Crispr!  This first episode (17a) can really be split into two parts, where in the first half we set things up with some key concepts in biology, which are relevant to the second half on Owen's research specifically. So we discuss what it's like working in a wetlab, a host of experimental techniques like growing human cancer cells and working will cell cultures in a dish as opposed to living animals, cancer cell proliferation, Henrietta Lacks' HELA cells, advancements in cell biology, the three domains of life, the differences between cancer, viruses, bacteria and other microorganisms, the greatest merger and acquisition in the history of multicellular life, mitochondrial transfers, the mechanisms of viral replication, the distinction between DNA, RNA and protein, the central dogma of molecular biology, RNA interference, the immune system, the evolution, mutation, mechanism and devastation of HIV/AIDS, retrovirus, shock and kill versus block and lock strategies for HIV treatment, the power of microRNAs to maximize virus latency, the Berlin and London patients, and so much more we had to split the episode into two parts!  This episode is packed to the brim with some seriously mind-blowing and absolutely fascinating content. I hope you enjoy Owen as much as I did! Here's a link to The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, as mentioned in today's discussion. 
1:09:07
September 20, 2020
Ep. 16 - Neuroimaging, Cannabis & Pregnancy ft. Lani Cupo
Our guest this week is Lani Cupo, a multifaceted and tempestuous PhD student in Neuroscience. In this episode we discuss the seduction of the cognitive sciences, the integrated program in neuroscience offered through the Montreal Neurological Institute, the effect of perspective-taking on the perception of Native American art using priming, quantitative and qualitative analysis, the suppression of unwated thoughts, what it means to be WEIRD, biased and prejudiced; we talk animal vs. human research, taking pictures of the brain with giant magnets and other imaging techniques, the effects of maternal illness and THC (the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, weed, pot, cannabis, etc.) exposure on disorders in offspring, how a mother's compromised immune system affects fetal development, jelly-bean mice, what we learn from a baby's first poop (!), the importance of laying the foundation of a solid work-life balance early on in your career, and finally my own question gets flipped on me! It's another jam packed episode so tune in, and as always, you can find and connect with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!  Your feedback is invaluable, so if you like what you heard or have an idea of how the podacast could be improved, we want to hear from you -- shoot us a message, DM, or email at abstractcast@gmail.com Thanks for listening!
59:09
September 13, 2020
Rapstract Ch. 1 | Origins | Intro to Behavioral Neuroscience ft. Pcenna
Dear McGill PSYC 211 students, I graduated from McGill in Cognitive Science back in 2018. I am volunteering some time this semester to create a rap album that accompanies your course material this fall: here's the first chapter! This course changed the way I thought about science and the world at large; you will get out of this course exatly what you put it, so pay attention and enjoy the process.  If you think you would benefit from a rap song like this for all of the chapters, please send me an email at abstractcast@gmail.com so I can gauge interest. If I hear from enough of you then I will gladly write the rest, however, if this doesn't appeal to a large enough audience, then I may have to scrap the project.  The first few chapters are already written and will be released here on my podcast page, Abstract. I interview graduate students on their research, many of whom are studying psychology. I urge you to peruse and have a listen to the first episode that catches your eye. ///  If you like what you hear, please feel free to check out my latest rap album, Life As We Know It, at any of the following links: YouTube SoundCloud Bandcamp Chapter 1 was produced by: Beat: Sinister [Prod. kanebeats] Vocals: Pcenna
05:48
September 13, 2020
Ep. 15 - Learning, Human Performance & Mental Health ft. Nadine Bekkouche
Our guest this week is dedicated and cooperative PhD candidate Nadine Bekkouche, studying the structures and processes of graduate education. We cover a plethora of topics of the show this week including, but not limited to: the limitations on human linguistic abilities, two consciousness-changing insights having to do with learning, the importance of a nurturing supervisor (especially at the beginning of your academic career), the personal experience of pain, environmental effects on behavior and emotional state, mental health in academia, teaching versus tutoring, empathy, instructional design and educational technology, what academic institutions can learn from Apple and Google, a unique definition of motivation, and the outcomes of putting your authentic self first. This is truly a jam-packed episode, so come on in!
1:02:11
September 6, 2020
Ep. 14 - Osteo Engineering ft. Daniella Marx
Our guest this week is fun-loving, energetic and tenacious Phd student Daniella Marx. Daniella is working towards her degree in Biomedical Engineering at Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario. We take a deep dive into the nature of bone and what makes it solid, building bone tissue in a petri dish, bioactive bone cements and their biological effects and applications, the cutting edge in implant technology, the secret life of Strontium, the difference between good and bad inflammation; we also run the gamut on a whole bunch of metals, some of which are found in your body, and others which you should avoid ingesting. Get ready for this, and so much more on episode 14 of Abstract. Happy listening! Check out Daniella's latest publication here!
52:28
August 31, 2020
Ep. 13 - Simulating the Human Brain ft. William Scott Thompson
Our guest this is week is none other than expert listener and pattern-seeking PhD candidate William Scott Thompson. Will is interested in understanding recurring motifs in the brain, rather than its specific functions. He is currently working in a lab at a research institute in Sweden, contributing to the longterm multinational goal of mapping the human brain! On today's episode we discuss the Human Brain Project, what goes into building a high-resolution, three-dimensional atlas of the brain, the forebrain structures known as the Basal Ganglia and the evolution of such structures, pain mapping, the difference between epigenetics and gene editing, simulation neuroscience, communication at every scale of the nervous system, the anatomy of a brain cell, the future of academia and much more!  NEW! This episode now has a discussion forum, so check out the following link to access and contribute to an international collaborative debate on the following thesis: "One day, it will be possible to fully simulate the human brain." https://www.kialo-edu.com/p/24fb041a-8fc8-4ba5-85b6-f40e83ba1e95/20484
58:37
August 23, 2020
Ep. 12 - Relationship Dynamics & Well-being ft. Ryan Persram
On this week's episode I sit down with ambitious, caring and creative postdoc Ryan Persram. We discuss the nature of sibling conflict, the general and three specific sub-types of trust, tools for conflict mediation, the importance of promoting positive interactions with other people, empathy, collaboration, friendships, family dynamics, nesting, identify development and we close it out with a deep dive into defining and characterizing work-life balance! Moving forward, Ryan hopes to contribute to the creation of new policy and design of outreach programs to educate adults and parents on child develpment, well being and relationship building. NOTE: Due to some technical difficulties, for the first 21 minutes of this episode, the quality of the guest's audio is slightly lower than what you can normally expect here on Abstract. Thank you kindly for understanding, and we hope you enjoy this week's animated discussion! Abstract on Facebook  Abstract on Twitter
1:06:14
August 16, 2020
Ep. 11 - Drones & Aerospace Mechatronics ft. Eitan Bulka
Our guest this week is self-professed "fairly laid back" PhD student Eitan Bulka. He is rapidly approaching the end of his PhD at McGill University, where he has spent over half a decade developing a breadth and depth of knowledge in robotics -- and he shares that with us in an hour of blissful pedagogy! We talk about how airplanes generate lift, the benefit of a high thrust to weight ratio, the kinds of people you find in the robotics community, what it means to do research in an Aerospace Mechantronics lab, the ubiquity of Newton's second law of motion, motion planning, aerial dynamics, the 12 dimensions of control laws and applications of both of these latter systems (and more). Eitan also believes that it's easy to make time for something when you love it - and he loves what he does, as will evident upon listening to this episode. As an added bonus, Eitan was also just inducted into the McGill sports hall of fame; so for all of you sports fans out there, this one's for you too!
57:21
August 10, 2020
Ep. 10 - Aircraft Design, Modification & Development ft. Andrea Cartile
Our guest this week is PhD candidate, professional procrastinator and aerospace industry expert Andrea Cartile! In a nutshell, she does stuff with airplanes, but more specifically she optimizes communication in the domain of aircraft modification. Her research lies in information management, and she seeks to answer questions like "how do you take an existing airplane and make changes to it?" and "what do you need to prove that an aircraft modification is equally safe or safer than the original design?" Andrea never shies away from a challenge, in fact, she specifically seeks out the hard stuff! She's gritty, has a great attitude and killer work ethic. Excelling in the biological sciences and then pivoting to engineering, Andrea has proven herself to be a true jack of all trades. Andrea also draws a fascinating connection between the seemingly disparate fields of Engineering and Biology (you don't want to miss this). We discuss the framework and sub-fields of aerospace, Andrea's experience at L'Oreal and the engineering side of cosmetics, the safety and criticality of safety-critical systems, and so much more. We conclude that despite a sure-fire formula for succeeding in graduate school, the importance of maximizing "bum-in-chair" time cannot be overstated. This is a special one, so pop on episode 10 and get in on the discussion! You can reach out to Andrea on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrea-cartile/
1:01:53
August 2, 2020
Ep. 9 - Consumer Psychology ft. Austin Trudeau
Our guest this week is the ever optimistic Austin Trudeau, the man who inspired this very podcast. He is our second graduate student business owner after Shauna (Ep. 4), and he has been studying emotional decision-making in a marketing context. His focus is on the phenomenon of delayed discounting -- which he breaks down for us in great detail -- and the effects of sexual imagery on people's spending habits. Austin is chock full of great pearls of wisdom; strong mindset, perspective and time management skills are the cornerstones of Austin's philosphy. He also believes that you are an average of the 5 people you spend most of your time with, and he's proud of his 5! Austin and two fellow business-owners started the podcast that inspired this one, so please do yourselves a favor and check out The Weekly Call, available everywhere you find Abstract!
1:10:15
July 26, 2020
Ep. 8 - Climate History & Tree Rings ft. Alex Pace
Our guest today is the curious Mr. Alex Pace, a recent Master's graduate from Concordia University's Environmental Geography program. He's been studying the history of climate through the analysis of tree-rings in Quebec. We run the gamut on the climate crisis,  outlining its 5 main components: climate science, impacts on humans, impacts on nature, individual solutions and systems solutions. We talk greenhouse gases, the Gaia Hypothesis, jurassic sustainability, tropical Antarctic fossils and so much more! We answer the question of which natural phenomena allow us to know the climate of the past. We close our discussion with the big picture of life as an academic, what to keep an eye out for, and what's important for success along the way. Alex is also an aspiring nature photographer, and you can find his lovely work on instagram @alley.peach!
1:04:17
July 20, 2020
Ep. 7 - Artificial Intelligence ft. Jacob Buckman
This week we're treated to the likes of Jacob Buckman,  a PhD canditate researching Reinforcement Learning in the domain of Artificial Intelligence. We begin by defining AI: a relatively new phenomenon with the primary goal of automating specific tasks. Where the industrial revolution lightened the load of physical labor for humans, some people believe AI will soon take over the more burdensome mental tasks that plague us. Next, we outline three types of learning: Machine Learning, Reinforcement Learning, and Deep Learning, as well as what is actually meant by 'Deep'. By the end of the hour we will have covered learning tasks of varying difficulty and complexity, algorithms that can identify anything, Pavlov's classic canine experiment, Neural Networks and a whole lot more! Jacob is also our first guest to participate in the "Explain Like I'm 5 Segment!" For an introduction to AI, Jacob recommends "The Deep Learning Book" by Courville, Goodfellow & Bengio  at deeplearningbook.org
1:00:52
July 12, 2020
Ep. 6 - Virtual Reality & Immersion ft. Michael Smilovitch
As a master's student, Michael became a full-time virtual-reality entrepreneur. Solving the problem of engagement on three different levels. In virtuality, immersion is everything, and Michael worked to take immersion to the next level with his Cross-Platform Asymmetric Virtual Reality Communication Game. It's not just another game: it's innovative, pushing VR forward and even introducing a performative element with a custom chicken-themed headset attachment! We discuss how cross-platform play increases immersion, how asymmetry promotes teamwork, and how communication improves the gameplay experience for everyone involved. We also go behind the scenes of VR game development. When it comes to work-life balance, Michael says its about the little things, like standing up! So give that tushy a rest, remind your feet that they exist for a reason and press play! Michael's Thesis Publication Here And Personal Website
1:04:46
July 6, 2020
Ep. 5 – Learning & Dopamine ft. Alexandra Usypchuk
Alexandra is a quirky, curious, ambitious, and high-energy Master's student at Concordia University. Groundbreaking research is happening everywhere all the time, and Alexandra's lab is no exception. She's studying the role of dopamine in learning using optogenetics - or the manipulation of genes using light! On today's episode we discuss everything from neutransmitters to models of Pavlovian conditioning to exposure therapy and context. What are Serotonin and Dopamine? What are the benefits of studying rats? And how does it all relate to finding a crisp $50 bill on the side of the road? Answers to these and more on episode 5 of Abstract!  For the foundational paper on plateau curves AKA. the Rescorla-Wagner Model, see Rescorla & Wagner, 1972. You can reach Alexandra on Twitter: @alex_usypchuk Here's one of her publications in Nature Neuroscience: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41593-019-0574-1
54:52
June 28, 2020
Ep. 4 – The Psychology of Injury Prevention ft. Shauna Ericksen
Our guest today is a passionately curious hobbyist and the first of hopefully many graduate-researcher-business-owner guests we'll have on the podcast. She is studying how stress and anxiety can affect decision-making skills in the world of sport and how to reduce injury risk in your athletes through mindfulness and meditation, cognitive behavioral therapy, and imagery! Oh yeah, and you should all be training to move better, even if you're a fit 20-something (and especially if the golden years are rapidly approaching). You can reach Shauna on Twitter: @shaunalea_22
49:07
June 21, 2020
Ep. 3 - Theory of Mind ft. Eliza Dutemple
In this episode, Eliza Dutemple weaves together a rich and coherent picture of the three predominant theories of Theory of Mind (ToM), aka. the ability to assess others' thoughts. Follow us down the ToM rabbit hole, and learn about Change Blindness, Violation of Expectation, and staying organized, in and out of academia! Reach out to Eliza on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DutempleEliza
1:07:39
June 14, 2020
Ep. 2 - Cognitive Effort ft. Sean Devine
Sean just finished his Master's degree in Psychology, where his research focus was on the role of individual differences in decision making. On today's episode, we discuss the Practicality Crisis in academia; Ego Depletion and self-control; cognitive effort and the Effort Paradox; what your pupils tell us about how hard you're thinking; and the importance of making daily progress towards your goals. Got a question for Sean? Drop him a line at: seandamiandevine@gmail.com
1:09:22
June 7, 2020
Ep. 1 - Drug Seeking ft. Alexandra Chisholm
Alexandra Chisholm is a Ph.D. Candidate in Experimental Psychology at Concordia University. Her research explores the neural mechanisms involved in heroin seeking and relapse using a new technology that uses receptors designed to be exclusively activated by designer drugs. What happens in the brain that affects drug seeking behavior? Lets find out! Want To Improve Your Academic Writing For Free? Alexandra Recommends: https://www.coursera.org/learn/sciwrite Reach Out To Alexandra On Twitter: https://twitter.com/iamalexchisholm
1:08:17
May 30, 2020
Ep. 0 - Welcome to Abstract ft. Jeremy Ullman
Here on Abstract we're translating months and years of Graduate research and reading into an hour of accessible knowledge. New episodes are released every Sunday evening on a brand new topic, with a brand new guest! If you're a graduate student and interested in talking about your research in a way that's accessible to listeners from all backgrounds, drop us a line at abstractcast@gmail.com. If you like what you heard or have suggestions for topics on future episodes, shoot us a message at the same address! Enjoy. Facebook Twitter Instagram
00:43
May 14, 2020