Sensation to Emotion Conference

The Sensation to Emotion Conference was a joint effort between Dr. Jennifer Jo Brout, M.Ed., Psy.D., LPC, Dr. Zach Rosenthal, Ph.D., at Duke University, and the SPD/STAR Center. The conference brought together scholars and clinicians across disciplines in order to advance the understanding of how sensory processing and emotion regulation interact, and how these processes affect human behavior. Both days of the conference featured panel discussions about basic and applied research as well as presentations and clinical therapy workshops. We explored the neurobehavioral processes underlying the emotions often associated with a high reactivity level to sensory information. Exciting studies and collaborations resulted from this conference that moved the field forward.  We hope to hold a similar one in the near future.  

Scroll down to read about the presentations 

Sensory Processing Disorder (Sensory Over-Responsivity)
Lucy Jane Miller, Ph.D., OTR.

Emotional Processing and Regulation in the Human Brain
Elizabeth Phelps, Ph.D.

Multisensory Integration in Sensory Processing Disorder: Current Neuroscience Research
Barbara Brett-Green, Ph.D.

Sensory Responsivity and  Emotion Regulation in Personality Disorders
M. Zachary Rosenthal, Ph.D

Mindfulness Meditation for Emotion Regulation
Jeffrey Brantley, M.D.

Validating Music Therapy Through Emerging Neuroscience Research
Concetta M. Tomaino, D.A., MT-BC, LCAT.

How the Brain Develops an Ability to Integrate Information From Different Senses to Guide Overt Behavior
Barry E. Stein, Ph.D

Using Electroencephography Measures as a Diagnostic Tool for Sensory Processing Disorders
Patricia L. Davis, Ph.D., OTR, FAOTA.

Test-Retest Reliability of EEG/ERP Measures in Sensory Processing Paradigms
William J. Gavin, Ph.D.

 Panel Discussions
From Sensation to Self-Regulation

This panel focuses on basic and applied research related to sensory processing and emotion regulation in the developing child. Panel members will discuss existing research that addresses the ways in which sensory processing and regulatory mechanisms interact within the developing infant. In addition, panelists will address how sensory or auditory over-responsivity may impact the overall attachment relationship, the dyadic processes from which the infant’s ability to mentalize develops, and the larger representational system that ultimately allows for adult emotion regulation. Based on these ideas, possible connections between sensory/regulatory disorders of infancy/early childhood and disorders marked by emotion regulation in adolescence/adulthood will be addressed, with attention to ways that these associations may be studied.

Panelists include: Lois M. Black, Ph.D. / Gilbert Foley, Ed.D. / Peter Fonagy, Ph.D., FBA /  Lucy Jane Miller,  Ph.D., OTR / Regina M. Sullivan, Ph.D. / Rosemary White, OTR/L

Sensory Processing and Emotion Regulation: Interdisciplinary Perspectives (Part 1: Child Focus & Part 2: Adult Focus)

There are few psychological studies directly examining how sensory information processing affects emotion regulation. However, a large body of literature in the field of neuroscience illuminates how sensory stimuli are processed in the fear system. The “fear circuit,” which includes the amygdala, prefrontal cortex, and other areas, has emerged as part of a larger system that likely plays a role in regulating emotional arousal.  Structural and functional changes within this system have been associated with psychiatric and developmental disorders such as anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder (BPD), and autism. It is now established that sensory stimuli are processed similarly in these structures among rodents and humans. With this in mind, this panel addresses the connections between neuroscience research and child/adult disorders of sensory processing and emotion regulation. In addition, possibilities for interdisciplinary and translational studies that further this area of study are discussed.

Part 1: Child Focus

This panel addresses childhood psychiatric and developmental disorders related to over-arousal, sensory over-responsivity, and dysregulation (e.g., generalized anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), autism, and Asperger’s disorder).

Panelists include: Alice S. Carter, Ph.D. / Edward D. Levin, Ph.D. / Elizabeth Phelps, Ph.D. /Daniel Pine, M.D. / Sarah Schoen, Ph.D., OTR / Rachel Yehuda, Ph.D. 

Part 2:  Adult Focus

This panel focuses on adult personality, mood, and fear circuitry disorders. Panelists will discuss ways that the emotional dysregulation problems associated with the disorders addressed may be informed by studies in both basic and applied neuroscience research on sensory information processing.

Panelists include: Marylene Cloitre, Ph.D. / Kevin LaBar, Ph.D. / Joseph LeDoux, Ph.D. / M. Zachary Rosenthal, Ph.D. / Daniela Schiller, Ph.D. / Nancy L. Zucker, Ph.D.

Ocean Sounds, Lullabies, or Dark Side of the Moon:
What Kind of Sound Calms Us Down?
This panel focuses on the variables known to comprise down-regulating, or “calming” music.  Are these elements completely individually based? Do they vary with culture, language, age, musical ability, etc.? Are there any universals that are useful in creating calming music? In addition, panelists may speculate about the effects of music production elements and acoustics on arousal and physiologic regulation.

Panelists include: Dorita S. Berger, MA, MT-BC, LCAT / Will Freidwald / Youngmoo Kim, Ph.D./ David L. Sulzer, Ph.D. / Concetta Tomaino, D.A., MT-BC, LCAT / Robert Zatorre, Ph.D.

Therapy Workshops

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT):  A Treatment for Chronic Problems with Emotion Dysregulation
M. Zachary Rosenthal, Ph.D.  (Duke University)

DIR Floortime ®
Rosemary White, OTR/L (ICDL)

Lunch and Learn Family Forums
We are pleased to offer unique forums focused on important family issues beyond the scope of what can be covered during panel discussions and therapy workshops. These forums address practical ways for parents to help their children and adolescents cope with everyday stress, specific trauma, and specific disorders, all of which affect family functioning.  Due to time constraints, these forums will take place during lunch break, and catered lunch is included.

Mindfulness Meditation for Parents of Children and Teens with Emotion Regulation Problems, or Just Too Much Stress!
Jeffrey Brantley, M.D. (Duke University)

Helping Your Kids and Teens After Trauma
Marylene Cloitre, Ph.D. (NYU Child Study Center)

Maximizing Parenting in the Treatment of Anorexia
Nancy L. Zucker, Ph.D. (Duke University)

Panelists and Presenter Biographies

Dorita S. Berger, MA MT-BC, LCAT, is a concert pianist, educator, Board Certified Music Therapist, and New York State Licensed Creative Arts Therapist.  A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University and New York University, with additional piano training at Juilliard, Dorita Berger is an international lecturer and consultant on music in human adaptation and its application in Music Therapy.  In addition to her faculty affiliation with several universities in the Northeast region of the United States,  Ms. Berger conducts a private practice in Music Therapy at her clinic in Norwalk, Connecticut, wherein she works with individuals with pervasive developmental disorders, autism, language learning delays, sensory issues, and anxiety disorders. Her books include Music TherapySensory Integration and the Autistic Child (2002) and THE MUSIC EFFECT: Music Physiology and Clinical Applications (2006), co-authored with Dr. Daniel J. Schneck.  Both books are published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers.  An earlier book, Toward The Zen Of Performance: Music Improvisation Therapy For Development Of Self-Confidence In The Performer (1999), discusses her work with Music Therapy Improvisation Treatment for musicians with performance anxiety.  In addition, Ms. Berger and Dr. Schneck’s several co-authored journal articles on the impact of music on physiologic function have been published in scientific peer-reviewed publications. Dorita Berger is sought internationally to lecture and present seminars on physiologic foundations for Music Therapy.  Recent activities included supervision, seminars, and presentations at International Conferences, and at Neurological Rehabilitation Centers in Argentina, Italy, Canada, England, and across the United States.

Jeffrey Brantley, M.D., (Duke University) is a consulting associate in the Duke Department of Psychiatry and the founder and director of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program at Duke University’s Center for Integrative Medicine. Brantley has been practicing meditation for over 25 years and has been teaching programs in mindfulness meditation for over 10 years. His book Calming Your Anxious Mind (with foreword by Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D.) (2003) is “a gentle call to stop and pay more attention to your self and your life, and practice being, not doing.” The subject of this book is mindfulness meditation, a technique to help people cope with stress, anxiety, pain, depression, and illness.  His other books include Five Good Minutes: 100 Morning Practices to Help You Stay Calm & Focused All Day Long (2005) and Five Good Minutes In The Evening: 100 Mindful Practices to Help You Unwind From the Day and Make the Most of Your Night (2006).

 Barbara Brett-Green, Ph.D., (Director, Psychophysiology Research, SPD Foundation) has a long-term program of research focused on multi-sensory integration in animal models and in children.  For the past several years, Dr. Brett-Green has investigated event-related potential (ERP) activity in children with sensory processing disorder (SPD) compared to those with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autistic spectrum disorder (ASD). In addition, Dr Brett-Green is undertaking ERP research evaluating the effect of multi-sensory stimulation at the cortical level on typically developing children and adults compared to those with SPD and autism.

Lois M. Black, Ph.D., (Oregon Health & Science University) is a Clinical Psychologist, Child Neuropsychologist, and current Senior Scientist at the Center for Spoken Language Understanding, OGI School of Science & Engineering, Oregon Health & Science University, Beaverton, Oregon. Dr. Black conducts research on the application of speech technologies for the diagnosis and remediation of communication impairments in neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism and developmental language disorders. Her projects include the following awarded research grants:  Investigator, Expressive and Receptive Prosody in Autism, National Institutes of Health (NIH), January, 2005 – December, 2010; Investigator, Novel Computerized Behavioral Assessment Methods for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, OHSU Foundation, February, 2005 – January, 2006; Research Associate, Prosody Generation for Child-Oriented Speech Synthesis, National Science Foundation, August 2002 – July 2007. Since 2002, Dr. Black has also been on the faculty of the ICDL DIR Institute.

 Alice S. Carter, Ph.D., (Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Massachusetts Boston) researches the identification of infants and toddlers at risk for problems in social, behavioral, and emotional functioning, works on developing preventive interventions, and seeks to understand the role of family functioning in the developmental course of children at genetic risk for clinical disorders such as Tourette’s Syndrome, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and depression.

 Marylene Cloitre, Ph.D., (NYU Child Study Center) is the Founding Director of the Institute for Trauma and Resilience at the NYU Child Study Center. She is also the Cathy and Stephen Graham Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the NYU School of Medicine. Dr. Cloitre’s clinical efforts and research focuses on the assessment and treatment of PTSD, as well as the effects of childhood maltreatment on emotional and social functioning across the life span. Dr. Cloitre has published widely and received funding from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and other agencies to assess and intervene in the psychological and social effects of trauma in children and adults. Dr. Cloitre is currently on the Board of Directors of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS), the Anxiety Disorders Association of America (ADAA), and on the Advisory Board of Tuesday’s Children, a grassroots organization of 9/11 families that have lost a parent.

 Patricia L. Davies, Ph.D., OTR, FAOTA, has provided occupational therapy services in various pediatric settings for over 20 years, including public schools, preschools, residential schools, and hospitals. She received her Ph.D. in neuroscience and developmental psychology from the University of Wyoming.  Dr. Davies is currently an Associate Professor in the Departments of Occupational Therapy and Psychology and the Executive Director of the Brainwaves Research Laboratory at Colorado State University.  Her research focuses on two goals: (1) to determine the effectiveness of rehabilitation for children with disabilities and (2) to determine if rehabilitation produces changes in brain structure/function.  She has published articles related to treatment effectiveness and measurement issues in occupational therapy journals.  Studies she has conducted regarding sensory, motor, and cognitive processes in children using electroencephalography (EEG) and behavioral measures have been published in journals such as Psychophysiology, Brain and CognitionDevelopmental NeuropsychologyAnnals of the New York Academy of Science, and The American Journal of Occupational Therapy.  She has presented her research at international conferences in Granada, Spain, and Lisbon, Portugal as well as across the country at national conferences such as the Society for Neuroscience, Society for Psychophysiological Research, Society for Research in Child Development, and the American Occupational Therapy Association.  Her current research interests include brain development in children with and without disabilities and how therapy may impact brain development and brain processing.  Dr. Davies has received grants as Principal Investigator from NIH and various foundations (e.g., AOTF, Wallace Research Foundation) to support her research.

Peter Fonagy, Ph.D., FBA (University College, London) is a Freud Memorial Professor of Psychoanalysis and the Head of the Research Department of Clinical, Educational, and Health Psychology at University College London and Chief Executive at the Anna Freud Centre, London. He is a clinical psychologist and a training and supervising analyst in the British Psycho-Analytical Society in child and adult analysis. His clinical interests center around issues of borderline psychopathology, violence, and early attachment relationships. His work attempts to integrate empirical research with psychoanalytic theory. His most recent books include: Affect Regulation, Mentalization, and the Development of the Self (with G. Gergely, E. Jurist and M. Target) (2002), Psychoanalytic Theories: Perspectives from Developmental Psychopathology (with M. Target) (2003), Psychotherapy for Borderline Personality Disorder: Mentalization Based Treatment (with A. Bateman) (2004), What Works For Whom? A Critical Review of Psychotherapy Research Mentalization Based Treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder: A Practical Guide (with A. Bateman) (2004), Mentalizing in Clinical Practice (with J.G. Allen & A. W. Bateman) (2008), and Social Cognition and Developmental Psychopathology (with C. Sharp & I. Goodyer) (2008).

 Will Friedwald is the author of seven books on music and popular culture, including Sinatra! The Song Is You (1997), The Good Life: The Autobiography of Tony Bennett (with Tony Bennett) (2007), Stardust Melodies (2002), and Jazz Singing (1996).  He writes about jazz for The Wall Street Journal and was the jazz and cabaret critic for The New York Sun for all six years of its existence.  In addition, he has written for Vanity Fair, The New York TimesThe Village VoiceAmerican HeritageAmerican Legacy, and many other publications. He appears on screen in many theatrical documentaries, including films about Anita O’Day, Jackie Paris, and Louis Prima, and he has also appeared regularly on television as an authority on jazz and pop music.

 Gilbert Foley, Ed.D., (Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, Yeshiva University) is a Senior Clinical Supervisor at the NYU School of Medicine and a faculty member at the Infant-Parent Study Center of Family Children’s Services.  He has done extensive research on early childhood development, early intervention, infant mental health, and PDD/autism.

William J. Gavin, Ph.D., is currently an Associate Professor in the Departments of Occupational Therapy and serves as the Director of the Brainwaves Research Laboratory.  Dr. Gavin is also a Research Associate Professor in the Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences at the University of Colorado. Throughout his career, he has taught courses on research methodology and statistics in the Psychology Departments as well as in several departments providing clinical training in the Allied Health Professions, including the disciplines of speech-language pathology, audiology, and Occupational Therapy. Since receiving his doctorate degree in experimental psychology at the University of Miami (Coral Gables, Florida), he has been conducting research on a variety of topics related to child development. His early research focused primarily on speech and language development in infants and toddlers. More recently, in collaboration with Dr. Patricia Davies, he has developed a program of research on sensory processing and cognitive development in children and adolescents utilizing EEG and ERP methodologies. He has presented his research on sensory and cognitive event-related potentials at an international conference in Granada, Spain and in Lisbon, Portugal as well as across the country at national conferences such as the Society for Neuroscience, the Society for Psychophysiological Research, the Society for Research in Child Development, and the American Occupational Therapy Association. His research activities have lead to scholarly publications in a variety of formats including six book chapters and over 34 research articles in peer-reviewed journals such as Child DevelopmentBrain and CognitionDevelopmental NeuropsychologyThe American Journal of Occupational TherapyClinical Linguistics and Phonetics, and The Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, to name a few.

Youngmoo Kim, Ph.D., (Assistant Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, Drexel University) graduated from the Music, Mind and Machine Group at the MIT Media Lab with a Ph.D. in August, 2003. His dissertation research, Singing Voice Analysis/Synthesis, used a signal model of the human singing voice to investigate aspects of singer identity and voice quality.

 Kevin LaBar, Ph.D., (Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, Duke University) researches the cognitive neuroscience of emotional learning and memory, how the amygdala interacts with cortical brain regions during emotional memory tasks, and the distinction between amygdala and hippocampal-dependent forms of learning.

Joseph LeDoux, Ph.D., (New York University Center for Neural Science) researches the biological underpinnings of memory and emotion, and particularly the mechanisms of fear. He is the author of The Emotional Brain: The Mysterious Underpinnings of Emotional Life (1996) and Synaptic Self: How Our Brains Become Who We Are (2002). He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Fellow of the New York Academy of Science, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Science, and the recipient of the 2005 Fyssen International Prize in Cognitive Science. LeDoux is also a singer and guitarist in the science-themed rock band, The Amygdaloids.

 Edward D. Levin, Ph.D., (Duke University Neurobehavioral Research Laboratory) conducts pharmacological research that focuses on the advantages of nicotine in the central nervous system to learning in animal models of schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s dementia. He is also pursuing his interest in toxicology and teratology related to organophosphate pesticides by conducting Chlorpyrifos research with Zebrafish and Sprague Dawley rats. He is the author of Neurotransmitter Interactions and Cognitive Function (Experientia Supplementum) (1992) and Animal Models of Cognitive Impairment (Frontiers in Neuroscience) (2006).

Lucy Jane Miller, Ph.D., OTR (Founder and Executive Director, SPD Foundation) is the founder of the only comprehensive SPD research program nationwide. Dr. Miller has received NIH and numerous other grants to study SPD, and she has been teaching professionals and parents about the disorder since she studied under sensory integration pioneer A. Jean Ayres, Ph.D., more than thirty years ago.  She is the co-author of Sensational Kids: Hope and Help for Children (with Doris A. Fuller) (2006) as well as more than sixty articles and/or chapters in scientific and professional journals, magazines, and textbooks.

Daniel Pine, M.D., (NIMH) is currently Chief of the Section on Development and Affective Neuroscience and Chief of the Emotion and Development Branch in the Mood and Anxiety Disorders Program of the NIMH Intramural Research Program. Dr. Pine has been engaged continuously in research focusing on the epidemiology, biology, and treatment of psychiatric disorders in children and adolescents. His areas of expertise include biological and pharmacological aspects of mood, anxiety, and behavioral disorders in children, as reflected in a series of more than 80 papers on these topics. Dr. Pine also possesses expertise in the biological commonalities and differences among psychiatric disorders of children, adolescents, and adults as well as on interfaces between psychiatric and medical disorders.

 Elizabeth Phelps, Ph.D., (New York University Department of Psychology) researches the cognitive neuroscience of emotion, learning, and memory, with a primary focus on understanding how human learning and memory are changed by emotion as well as the neural systems mediating their interactions.  Her research project at her NYU lab can be characterized by four topics: 1) extending animal models of emotional learning to human behavior; 2) emotion’s influence on episodic memory;  3) the impact of emotion on perception, attention, and expression; and 4) extending the basic mechanisms of emotional learning to social behavior, decision making, and economics.

 M. Zachary Rosenthal, Ph.D., (Duke University Medical Center) is an Assistant Professor in the Duke University Medical Center Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and is the Director of both the E.M.B. Brout Sensory Processing and Emotion Regulation Program and the Duke Cognitive Behavioral Research and Treatment Program (CBRTP). Dr. Rosenthal’s line of research has focused on investigating problems with emotional functioning and emotion regulation in BPD. Recently, his research has expanded to the development of novel computer-based interventions for treatment-resistant populations.

Daniela Schiller, Ph.D., (New York University Center for Neural Science and Psychology Department) researches the neural mechanisms underlying emotional control.  She has studied the ability to acquire emotional responses to previously ignored stimuli and developed an animal model of persistent latent inhibition, through which she has examined its underlying neural circuitry as well as the efficacy of antipsychotic drugs in its amelioration.  She has worked closely with both Dr. Joseph LeDoux and Dr. Elizabeth Phelps.  Schiller is also the drummer in The Amygdaloids.

 Sarah Schoen, Ph.D., OTR (Director, Applied Research, SPD Foundation) has a program of research studying electrodermal activity and vagal tone in children with SPD compared to those with ADHD and ASD. She is also collaborating with Dr. Lucy Jane Miller on the development of a SPD performance measure and parent checklist that evaluates all six subtypes of SPD.

 Barry E. Stein, Ph.D., (Wake Forest University) has conducted pioneering research into the understanding of the neural basis by which the brain is able to integrate information from multiple senses.  He seeks to understand how the physiological properties of individual multisensory neurons and networks of neurons contribute to these functions and to elucidate the relationship between cellular processes, perception, and behavior using multidisciplinary anatomical, physiological, behavioral, and perceptual approaches. He is the co-author of The Merging of The Senses (Cognitive Neuroscience) (1993).

Regina M. Sullivan, Ph.D., (Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research) is a Research Professor at the NYU Child Study Center and a Developmental Behavioral Neurobiologist in the Emotional Brain Institute (EBI) within the Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research. Dr. Sullivan’s research interests include the neurobiology of infant attachment to the caregiver and the impact of attachment quality on cognitive and emotional development. Dr. Sullivan is the author of over 90 peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and other professional publications. She is a frequent lecturer on the neurobiology of attachment, and her service includes membership on the NIH Mental Health Council on Neurodevelopment, the NIH Blueprint, and the NIH Scientific Review Charter. She is also the President of both The International Society for Developmental Psychobiology and the Oklahoma Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience.

David L. Sulzer, Ph.D., (Associate Professor, Clinical Psychiatry, Neuroscience, Columbia University) is a professor in the Departments of Psychiatry, Pharmacology, and Neurology at Columbia University. His laboratory introduced the mechanism of action by which amphetamine functions, developed the first methods to directly measure the synaptic vesicle release of neurotransmitters from central synapses as well as the first means to optically measure neurotransmission, and has introduced new hypotheses of neurodegeneration in Parkinson’s Disease and habit learning. He is the coordinator of the postdoctoral training program in Basic Neuroscience at Columbia.

Concetta M. Tomaino, D.A., MT-BC, LCAT (Institute For Music and Neurologic Function at Beth Abraham), is the executive director and co-founder of the Institute for Music and Neurologic Function and the senior vice president for Music Therapy at the Beth Abraham Family of Health Services, Bronx, NY.  Dr. Tomaino has had a 29-year career at Beth Abraham, which has included her assistance in the creation of the Institute for Music and Neurologic Function to restore, maintain, and improve individuals’ physical, emotional, and neurologic functioning through the systematic use of music. Dr. Tomaino’s clinical practice specializes in the use of Music Therapy for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and other neurological diseases. Internationally known for her research on the clinical applications of music and neurologic function, she lectures on Music Therapy throughout the world and has authored numerous articles.

Rosemary White, OTR/L (Pacific NW Pediatric Therapy, Pediatric PT and OT Services) has been an Occupational Therapist since 1972 and brings a wealth of clinical experience to her work with children and families. She received her Neurodevelopmental Therapy training in London with the Bobaths, her Sensory Integrative Therapy training in Los Angeles with Dr. A Jean Ayres, and her training in DIR®/Floortime with Stanley Greenspan, M.D., Serena Wieder, Ph.D., and the Faculty of ICDL.

 Rachel Yehuda, Ph.D., (Mount Sinai School Of Medicine) is a Professor of Psychiatry at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and is the Director of the Traumatic Stress Studies Division at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and the Bronx Veterans Affairs Medical Center. She is an active researcher in the field of post-traumatic stress and has authored more than 150 articles and edited several books on this topic. She has numerous professional memberships such as in the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology and International Society for Traumatic Stress and has served on many scientific advisory and journal editorial boards. Dr. Yehuda served as a delegate for the White House Conference on Mental Health in 1999 and was recognized in the Congressional Record for her work with Holocaust survivors. Dr. Yehuda is one of four Executive Directors on the New York Times Consortium for Trauma Treatment, founded in response to the World Trade Center Disaster in New York.

Robert J Zatorre, Ph.D., (McGill University) is a cognitive neuroscientist working at the Montreal Neurological Institute of McGill University. Dr. Zatorre was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He obtained his undergraduate training at Boston University, wherein he completed dual degrees in music and in psychology while working as an organist. He earned his Ph.D. in experimental psychology at Brown University under the late Peter Eimas and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in neuropsychology with Brenda Milner at the Montreal Neurological Institute in 1981; shortly thereafter, he took on a faculty position at McGill, where he has remained ever since. Dr. Zatorre’s research explores the functional and structural organization of the human brain using neuroimaging and behavioral methods. His principal research interests relate to the neural substrate for auditory cognition, with special emphasis on two complex and characteristically human abilities: speech and music. He and his collaborators have published over 150 scientific papers on a variety of topics including pitch perception, musical imagery, absolute pitch, music and emotion, perception of auditory space, and brain plasticity among the blind and the deaf. In 2002, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research granted him a Senior Investigator Award, and in 2005, he was named holder of a James McGill chair in neuroscience. In 2006, he became the founding co-director of the international laboratory for Brain, Music, and Sound research (BRAMS), a unique multi-university consortium with state-of-the art facilities dedicated to the cognitive neuroscience of music.

Nancy L. Zucker, Ph.D., (Duke University) is researching the development of treatment interventions for individuals with eating disorders with an emphasis on strategies that improve interpersonal functioning, including an intervention to maximize the effectiveness of parents in the management of their child’s anorexia nervosa. The basic research she pursues in this area involves the investigation of the neurocognitive correlates of social information processing in order to characterize and address deficits in these domains in subsequent intervention development. Her lab is also working on metabolic risk factors for the development of anorexia nervosa by studying children of women with a current or former eating disorder and examining the relative position of anorexia nervosa within the obsessive-compulsive spectrum by studying the neuropsychological profiles of executive functioning across individuals with anorexia nervosa, trichotillomania, and OCD.