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The APHD Colloquium Series is a collection of special talks delivered by esteemed speakers from within and outside of APHD and OISE. Colloquia are delivered once a month from September to April and cover topics in a variety of domains within psychology, broadly defined. Topics of past Colloquium Series have included risk assessment for domestic violence, a wide range of learning disabilities, sexual victimization on campus, mental health, childhood development, learning in the developing mind and brain, and many others. Students in some APHD programs are required to attend colloquia to broaden and inform their knowledge in the field of psychology. APHD faculty are also encouraged to attend, as these departmentally-sponsored events are important for departmental coherence and to demonstrate intellectual curiosity about research in psychology, broadly defined.

2019-2020 Colloquia are held on Wednesdays from
1:00-2:30pm in Rm 9-105 (unless otherwise noted)

This event is open to other departments and the public. Registration is not required.

September 25, 2019

Headshot of Dr. Kang Lee

Speaker: Dr. Kang Lee

Topic: Transdermal optical imaging and its applications in psychological research and practice

Abstract: In this talk, I will describe a novel contactless and non-invasive method called Transdermal Optical Imaging for measuring physiological and psychological states in humans. This method uses conventional digital video cameras to obtain blood flow signals from under the epidermis of the skin. I will present experimental evidence regarding the reliability and validity of this method in measuring heart rate, breathing, blood pressure, stress, and inner emotions in adults and children. Finally, I will discuss the potential applications of this method in psychological research with children and adults as well as its use in clinical practices.

Archived Session

October 23, 2019

Headshot of Dr.Norman Farb

Speaker: Dr. Norman Farb

Topic: An ounce of prevention...exploring "light touch" interventions for empowering student self-care.

Abstract: Student distress is widely acknowledged but rarely proactively addressed; preventative medicine is still often seen as a nice idea but expensive or difficult to implement. And yet, the spread of smartphones, internet access, and online research platforms could empower a new generation of cheap, scalable mental health support. Sampling from undergraduate students at the University of Toronto, it is evident that students show significantly elevated levels of distress over the school term, and that distress can be largely predicted by student evaluation schedules. Encouragingly, distress levels seem responsive to brief (< 5 min) online daily interventions, particularly when such interventions focus on scaffolding student reflection on general self-care. With proper validation, ‘light touch’ interventions may be tolerable to students and serve as an effective and scalable resource for supporting student well-being over the academic term.

Archived Session

November 20, 2019

Headshot of Dr. Jessica Sommerville

Speaker: Dr. Jessica Sommerville

Topic: The origins of social learning: Lessons from Infants and toddlers

Abstract: In this talk I will discuss three features of learning over the first two years of life,. First, I will discuss evidence demonstrating that infants’ and toddlers’ learning is inherently social. Second, I will show how parents and caregivers are critical figures for helping infants learn about the norms and values of their environment and culture. Third, I will discuss new evidence that while even young infants are keenly attentive to the social information that parents provide, infants do not merely soak up, or reproduce social input from others. Rather, they integrate information with their own pre-existing knowledge and abilities to form novel inferences about the world around them. As a whole, these findings suggest that infants are active and adaptive learners par excellence. Moreover, the learning processes that infants invoke “in the wild” generate important take home messages for facilitating learning across a broad range of environments and populations.

December 11, 2019

Headshot of Dr. Angela Pyle

Speaker: Dr. Angela Pyle

Topic: The Implementation of Play in Kindergarten Classrooms: How, When and Why?

Abstract: Play has been widely acknowledged as beneficial to children’s learning and development, resulting in policies mandating the inclusion of play-based learning in classrooms around the world. However, how to implement play in classrooms has been widely debated, with researchers and educators alike questioning the role adults should assume in children’s play and whether a play-based pedagogical approach can truly support academic learning. The extant research addressing these issues is largely dichotomous in nature, recommending differing approaches depending on the focal learning, resulting in the presentation of contradictory messages to educators who work with our youngest learners. This talk will address these contradictory recommendations using classroom-based data to describe the current state of play in classrooms and the possibilities for children’s learning and development when educators integrate these dichotomous recommendations.

Location: Please note this event will be held at JICS (45 Walmer Rd.)



Winter 2020 Series:

January 22, 2020
Speaker: Dr. Victor Kuperman 
Abstract: TBD

February 26, 2020
Speaker: Dr. Maggie Toplak
Abstract: TBD

March 25, 2020
Speaker: Dr. James MacKillop
Abstract: TBD

April 22, 2020
Post Doc Series
Abstract: TBD