UMD and Rochester visits

Yesterday I got home from visiting the University of Maryland Hearing and Speech Science program and the Rochester Brain and Cognitive Science program. Here are some photos from my adventures!

Taking off from Boston en route to DC, with a view of Cape Cod on the way:

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Interviews are surprisingly good for you! My phone gives a coarse estimate of how many miles I walk per day. You can clearly see when I’ve been at interviews – exploring the campus and meeting faculty in different departments.

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Unfortunately, I couldn’t get a direct flight from DC to Rochester (Never fly US Airways if you can avoid it!) so I flew from DC to Boston to Rochester instead, spending most of my day in transit. On the bright side,  I got to see a lovely view while taking off from Boston at sunset:

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Of course, I enjoyed touring the developmental labs at both programs. I was so excited to see this little guy – It looks like a zebra! – in Dr. Chigusa Kurumada’s lab:

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It was finally time to go home after nearly a week of travel, but alas, the weather had other plans! So I stayed in Rochester for one more night, and arrived home yesterday morning.

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I had a wonderful time at both these schools, and really enjoyed talking to faculty who challenged me with tough questions. Do you have to have lots of bottom-up input to become efficient at integrating top-down cues? How are our prior expectations set, and how do we update those expectations in real time? When/why do behavioral results conflict with measures of online processing (i.e., Why use eye-tracking paradigms)? I’ll be thinking about these questions for some time to come!

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