Monthly Archives: October 2007

This Halloween, it’s all about the amygdala

Vanderbilt researchers Eunice Yang, Randolph Blake and David Zald got gobs of press this Halloween for their research that delves into how the brain processes fearful stimuli. Turns out we recognize fearful faces faster than neutral faces. Happy faces come into our awareness the slowest. The story, which first broke a couple of weeks ago, gained new life this ghoulish day with AP stories that were picked up everywhere:
The New York Times (1, 2), LA Times,
USA Today
The Washington Post
The Seattle Times, and many others.


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Philly’s eyes on us

My hometown paper is positively gushing about a unique event that took place on the Vanderbilt campus last week – the first meeting of the Collegium of Black Women Philosophers. Read The Inquirer’s coverage here, and listen to the keynote speaker Anita Allen (from U. Penn, hence the City of Brotherly Love’s interest) delivering her address, “The White-Only Shade Tree,” here.

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Filed under In The News, Law, Social Sciences

If you’re looking for the nation’s ed school peeps this week, they’re here

Representatives from over 25 U.S. education schools will be on the lovely Peabody campus this week discussing how to improve the education doctorate, or Ed.D. Peabody is a national model for how to get this program right – and differentiate it from the Ph.D., a problem that has been of concern for years in ed. circles. The Peabody program, ranked in the top 10 nationally, focuses on mid-career pros looking to strengthen their understanding and skills in education leadership and policy. The Carnegie Foundation is convening this week’s meeting as part of their project on the education doctorate. Learn more.

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How about those Commodores??!!!

That was what the stranger said to my husband, who was sporting a VU baseball hat, at Bate’s Nursery this weekend. We had been out all day and had not heard the news.

“What, what happened?” I asked.

“They beat South Carolina, No. 6! 17-6!” the happy stranger told us.

And then there was much rejoicing.

Way to go, ‘Dores!!! Get all kinds of multimedia scoop on this exciting victory, which resulted in sophomore cornerback D.J. Moore being named National Defensive Player of the Week by the Walter Camp Football Foundation, at

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Like any good blogger, I watch to see what search engine terms bring people to this blog. Someone found our site today by searching for “where are all the nice guys.” Though it kind of broke my heart to think of someone typing that into Google, I’m glad that Google thinks WE are the nice guys.

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Help! My Blackberry is haunted!

Ever awoken in the middle of the night, or had a chill run down your spine thinking that something otherwordly was happening… something like a (cue scary music) PHANTOM CELL PHONE VIBRATION?

This has happened to me. I thought it just meant I needed a vacation. Turns out I’m not alone. Many cell phone and BlackBerry users report feeling vibrations when their phones are, in fact, silent. Doctors say the phenomenon may be somewhat related to the “phantom limb” that amputees experience, and also rampant crackberry addiction. See what Jon Kaas, Centennial Professor of Psychology, has to say about this creepy phenom in a fascinating, and kind of disturbing, article on the ABC News site.

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Filed under In The News, Medicine

Vandy friend and former student Al Gore wins Nobel Prize

For the second year in a row, a former Vanderbilt student has won the Nobel Peace Prize. The Nobel Committee announced this morning that Al Gore, former vice president, Oscar-winner and of course former Vanderbilt student will share this year’s prize with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for his tremendous leadership over the last several years to raise awareness of the inconvenient truth of climate change. Gore attended Vanderbilt Divinity School and Vanderbilt Law School in the 1970s and with wife Tipper moderated the annual Family Re-Union conference at the university from 1992-2002. (The conference is still going strong and will take place next week).

Tipper Gore is a Peabody College alum and Mr. Gore’s mother, Pauline Gore, was among the first female grads of the law school.

Last year’s prize went to Muhammad Yunus.

Congratulations, Mr. Gore!

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