Fall 2008, Volume 12

This newsletter is created by the SPR Committee to Promote Student Interests and is sent to current and recent student and full SPR members.



This year, SPR will be held in Austin, Texas from October 1-5, 2008 at the Hilton Austin. Registration, travel, and other conference-related information has been mailed out. To take advantage of the SPR discounts, you must book your hotel reservations by September 5th!  Please take the time to read through some of the exciting things that we are working on bringing to this year's meeting. Also, don't forget to check out the featured section below on Austin highlights!

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Special Announcements for Students

The 2008 Student Travel Award winners have been announced and can be found below as well as on the Grants, Awards, and Travel Funds webpage. Special thanks to all of those involved in determining eligibility, and making this a huge success, and congratulations to our winners!

Non-North American North American
Christiane Berndt, University of Technology Dresden
Nastassja Fischer, Federal University of Rio De Janeiro
Tilman Gaber, University of Tuebingen
Susanne Gorges, University of Wuerzburg
Sylvia Kreibig, University of Geneva
Katharina Matz, University of Konstanz
Fumihito Morimoto, Kwansei Gakuin University
Carlos Norte, Federal University of Rio De Janeiro
Cristina Ottaviani, University of Bologna
Pandelis Perakakis, University of Granada
Sandra Schoenfelder, University of Technology Dresden
Stefan Schulz, University of Wuerzburg
Florian Strelzyk, University of Trier
Balint Varkuti, University of Tuebingen
Keiko Yamazaki, Hokkaido University
Steven Bistricky, University of Kansas
Siri-Maria Kamp, University of South Florida
Trevor Cessna, St. Joseph's University
Guadalupe Corral, University of Texas - El Paso
Amy Dribin, Pennsylvania State University
Chelsea Fenush, Pennsylvania State University
Shannon Foster, University of Colorado - Colorado Springs
Alexander Genevsky, San Francisco State University
Alexander Haynes, Northwestern University
Corinne Harrison, University of Minnesota
Erika Henry, University of Missouri
Matthew Hilimire, Georgia Institute of Technology
Aminda O'Hare, University of Kansas
Matthew Pontifex, University of Illinois
Jeremy Rietschel, University of Maryland
Chad Stephens, Virginia Tech University

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Don't forget that there are plenty of opportunities to meet and mingle with other SPR students and members. Here is just a brief sampling of some of the special interests lunches, dinners, and meetings in the works:

The Student Social - Friday, starting at 10 pm, at the Iron Cactus, where we'll have the entire rooftop patio!

The Open Dinner Meeting with the Committee to Promote Student Interests - The Committee to Promote Student Interests hosts an annual dinner at every SPR meeting. All SPR student members are welcome to attend. Do you have suggestions for improvements in student outreach? Would you like to work with one of our many subcommittees on issues relevant to your research? Please come with your appetite and opinions! Join us Friday, 8-10 pm at Logan's on 6th Street (200 E. 6th Street, at the corner of 6th and Brazos). Logan's is about a 5 - 10 minute walk from the hotel, and a only 2 minute walk from the site of the 10 pm Student Social, the Iron Cactus. Please join us!.

Early Careers Conversation Hour - An informative meeting with a panel of SPR investigators at different career levels who share advice, tips, and tricks of the trade; followed by an hour of small group discussion tailored for students at different levels of their careers. A must attend for any student approaching the 'real world'! This is one of the most well-attended events. Please read more here.

Special Interest Lunches & Dinners - These events are a wonderful way to connect with others who share your research interests. Typically, the events are organized on an ongoing basis and are announced in various ways (over email, on the website, and posted on the message board at the conference), so keep checking back for topics that pique your special interest. Remember, these are typically no-host meals, which means bring your own funds.

W.I.S.E. - The Committee to Promote Student Interests will be hosting a luncheon focused on Women in Science and Education. If you would like to join the W.I.S.E. listserv, please email John Hofmann (jhofmann@reesgroupinc.com) of SPR's management group with the subject "Subscribe SPR-WISE." Once you've signed up, you can share your ideas regarding how SPR might best serve its female members.

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During the SPR 2008 meeting, be sure to enjoy your stay in Austin, the capitol of Texas, located on the edge of the beautiful Texas Hill Country :


If you would like to capture the full experience of the "Live Music Capital of the World", then you should book lodging at the preferred SPR hotel, the Hilton Austin. The conference hotel is only a block away from the famous Sixth Street Entertainment District, and a few blocks away from the Downtown Warehouse District, that are the centers of Austin's music scene and nightlife.

In the event you want to venture outside of Austin, Austin's excellent Capital Metro Transportation Authority offers inexpensive bus service (including early morning and late night transit) to locations all over the greater Austin area.

Good Eats:

Texas is known for its barbeque and Tex-Mex cuisine, and Austin is no exception. In addition, there are restaurants serving traditional southern fare. Here are some suggested restaurants in Downtown Austin and nearby South Austin that are affordable for a range of budgets:

  • The Iron Works (100 Red River Street): Reasonably priced authentic Texas BBQ.
  • Texas Chili Parlor (1409 Lavaca); Inexpensive Tex-Mex cuisine.
  • Hut’s Hamburger (807 W. Sixth): Standard inexpensive sports bar fare.
  • Stubbs Bar-B-Q(801 Red River): Authentic Texas BBQ and live music.
  • Lambert’s (401 W. Second St.); Upscale BBQ. Not too cheap but well worth the price. Tables tend to fill up, so get your reservations early.
  • Trudy’s (049 W. 30th St.): Good Tex-Mex cuisine. The restaurant location is near the University of Texas at Austin campus, but is easily available by bus.
  • Matt’s El Rancho (2613 S. Lamar Blvd.): A South Austin Tex-Mex favorite, easily available by bus.
  • Chuy’s (1728 Barton Springs Rd.): Another South Austin Tex-Mex favorite.
  • Threadgill’s (301 W. Riverside Dr.): An Austin live music landmark featuring southern-style cooking.
  • Fonda San Miguel (2330 W. North Loop):  One of the finest interior Mexican restaurants in the country.
  • Taco Xpress (2529 S. Lamar Blvd):  Tasty Mexican food shack!
  • Pappasito's (6513 I-35N) : Large warehouse cantina with some of the most delicious Tex-Mex in Austin!

In addition, the Sixth Street District has a diverse array of eateries, including cheap pizza and snack food shops.

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Things to Do and Sights to See

Music:  Austin is known as the "Live Music Capital of the World" for good reason, as it is home to a large and diverse music scene, as well as being the host of the famous SXSW music festival and the long running PBS concert series Austin City Limits. The following list is a small taste of what Austin's music & nightlife has to offer:

Sixth Street and Red River District

  • Stubbs Bar-B-Q: Authentic Texas BBQ and live music.
  • Emo's (603 Red River St.): Punk and indie rock club.
  • Maggie Mae's (323 E. Sixth St.): One of the Austins legendary live music venues.
  • Elysium (705 Red River St.): Goth, industrial, and 90's dance club.
  • B.D. Riley's (204 E. Sixth St.): Irish Pub featuring live music six nights a week.
  • Casino El Camino (517 E. Sixth St.): Alternative bar with good burgers and a killer jukebox.

Warehouse District

  • Antone's (213 W. Fifth St.): The "Home of the Blues" live music venue, but also features other musical styles; another Austin musical landmark.
  • The Ginger Man (304 W. Fourth St.): Pub/beer garden with an extensive beer selection.
  • 219 West (219 W. Fourth St.): Multivenue bar and restaurant with live light jazz music.
  • Cedar Street Courtyard (208 W. Fourth St.): indoor/outdoor martini nightclub featuring jazz, swing, and other cocktail hour tunes.

South Austin

  • Threadgill's: Yet another Austin musical landmark and restaurant featuring southern-style cooking.
  • Continental Club (1315 S. Congress Ave.): Rock/blues/country music venue.

Places to go: If you are in town without transportation, Downtown Austin has several nearby places of interest within walking distance. For those interested in the history and government of the Lone Star State, visit the Governor's Mansion or stroll up the steps of the Texas State Capitol building (Capitol Visitor's Center, 112 E. Eleventh St.).

For those with nature interests, Downtown Austin is bounded on the south by Town Lake/Ladybird Johnson Lake, where there are several walkways upon which one may travel to appreciate the lake's scenic views (Austin Parks & Recreation Department). The more adventurous of you may consider renting a small kayak to explore the lake (Zilker Park Canoe Rentals, 2201 Barton Springs Rd.) or taking a guided cruise (Capital Cruises, 208 Barton Springs Rd.). If time permits, you may also considering visiting Zilker Park (2100 Barton Springs Rd.), Austin's most popular park that houses the famous Barton Springs Pool (2101 Barton Springs Rd.), a spring-fed constant 68-degree swimming hole.

Town Lake separates Downtown Austin from South Austin, traditionally the home of Austin's artistic and bohemian community. Here you will find a large supply of art galleries, coffee shops, vintage and discount stores, plus other offbeat shopping and dining opportunities. Several bridges connect Downtown and South Austin, the most famous of which is the Congress Avenue bridge. The underside of the bridge is home to one of the largest bat colonies in North America. Watching the bats emerge at sunset for their nightly feeding is a popular past time (season and weather permitting; http://www.batcon.org).

Finally, those of you with local transportation and extra time may consider spending a day out in the Hill Country south-west of Austin. This area boasts rustic towns, excellent restaurants, art galleries, vineyards, hiking and camping, all tucked away within the greenery of rolling limestone hills. The Hill Country is also home to several lakes, including the beautiful Lake Travis.

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The Interview Subcommittee presents an interview with last year's Early Career Award winner, Dr. Kara Federmeier, as well as one of psychophysiology's best, Dr. John J. B. Allen, who will be President of SPR in the 2008-2009 term. Check them out!

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Don't miss this year's Early Career Conversation Hour! Thursday evening, 8:15 p.m.-10:15 p.m.
Don't miss this opportunity to discuss early career issues with some of SPR's leading scientists! During the first hour the entire panel will be available for questions. During the second hour we will split into three groups to allow for more specific questions based on career phase. The panel will include faculty from a variety of institutions, including graduate and predominantly undergraduate institutions, as well as both US and non-US institutions. As of now, the panelists are: Bruce Bartholow, Cindy Yee-Bradbury, Diane Filion, Arvid Kappas, Greg Miller, Ursula Hess, and Nicole Roberts. A casual dinner will be served. Advance registration is requested, so please register when more detailed information about this year's SPR program is sent out. If you have suggestions or questions regarding this event, please contact Catherine Norris or Chris Larson.

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The Student Web Subcommittee would like to thank John Hofmann of the Rees Group for integrating our student site into the stunning new SPR site!  We continue to update and make changes, so please check back often.  Also, if you are interested in joining this committee, or chairing it, please feel free to join us at the SPR Committee to Promote Student Interests dinner in Austin!  Please stay tuned for date, time, and location!

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The International Students Subcommittee is presently seeking new committee members. This committee aims at strengthening the integration of international student members into the society by encouraging international exchange by a number of initiatives. Please let Sylvia Kreibig know if you are  interested in this opportunity to join the International Students  Subcommittee, or express your interest in person in Austin at the annual Committee to Promote Student Interests dinner.


The International Students Subcommittee together with the Interview Subcommittee will introduce a new feature to the SPR Student  Newsletter. Starting with the spring 2009 newsletter, there will be an interview with a young international researcher. Interviewees will be researchers at the end of their postdoc who worked abroad for their research, preferably at two different international labs in countries other than their home country and possibly also within a different language/culture. The interview will focus on their international experience and recommendations for students planning to go abroad for research. We hope that these interviews will further encourage international exchange and collaborations between psychophysiology labs all over the globe. So stay tuned for the first interview with a young international researcher to appear in spring 2009!

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Are you interested in research that integrates psychophysiology and clinical science? Do you conduct basic psychophysiology or fMRI research that has clinical applications? Do you employ psychophysiology or fMRI methods to study clinical populations? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should consider joining the Clinical Psychophysiology Subcommittee. The aims of this committee are to create networking opportunities among clinical psychophysiologists, to facilitate discussions about clinical applications of psychophysiology and fMRI research, and to stimulate collaborations among clinical psychophysiologists across the globe. If you are interested in joining the Clinical Psychophysiology Subcommittee, please join us at the meeting!

This year's special lunch will be "Clinical Psychophysiology and fMRI" featuring Greg Siegle from Pittsburgh. The lunch will be part of the Education and Training Committee Roundtable Discussions on Thursday, from 11:30-1. Seating is limited to 10 participants. Those interested should send Julie Hall an email (halljl@umich.edu) with the Subject Line "SPR Clinical Lunch RSVP."


While not officially part of the Committee to Promote Student Interests, the Education and Training Committee is responsible for a number of activities of interest for students and early career members. Each year at the SPR meeting the committee organizes a number of Education and Training Roundtable Discussion lunches, typically on Thursday of the meeting. This year's topics have yet to be determined, but keep your eye out for more information. Typical topics include How to Set up a Psychophysiology Lab, Clinical Psychophysiology, and Ambulatory Psychophysiology. In addition, the Education and Training Committee also maintains a page on the SPR website which includes resources for teaching and learning about psychophysiology. This page includes currently lectures on psychophysiology methods in videotape and PowerPoint form from a number of SPR members. There are future plans for lists of resources for textbooks, laboratory demonstrations, and methods articles. If you have an interest in helping to assemble these materials please email Chris Larson.

In addition, the Education and Training Committee also maintains a page on the SPR website which includes resources for teaching and learning about psychophysiology.


Are your needs being met? Please feel free to contact members of the committee with suggestions, questions, comments, or to bond with a fellow psychophysiologist, click below...

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On behalf of the many students, postdocs, and early career folks who are part of the Committee to Promote Student Interests (CPSI), we would like to extend a very special thank you to Dr. John J. B. Allen for his tremendous support, encouragement, and work in developing the CPSI and its various Subcommittees.  Dr. Allen will be stepping down as Faculty-Advisor to the CPSI to become President of SPR in the 2008-2009 term.  We are incredibly excited for him, and wish him all the best as he formally extends his leadership skills, enthusiasm, and scientific prowess to the entire SPR community.

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