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ICDS Member, Michelle Scalise Sugiyama Blogs on Huffington Post!!

ICDS member, Michelle Scalise Sugiyama recently published an article on the fitness costs of warfare for women.  The Huffington Post took notice and invited her to blog about it.   Below is the link to the blog post:

And here’s the link to the article:

Ted Slingerland Visits ICDS October 10, 2014

Ted Slingerland, Professor of Asian Studies, University of British Columbia

Associate Member, Depts. of Philosophy and Psychology

Friday, Oct 10, 2014

4:00 pm

Location: 101 Jaqua Academic Center


Trying Not to Try: Cooperation, Trust and the Paradox of Spontaneity

Many early Chinese thinkers had as their spiritual ideal the state of wu-wei, or effortless action. By advocating spontaneity as an explicit moral and religious goal, they inevitably involved themselves in the paradox of wu-wei—the problem of how one can try not to try—which later became one of the central tensions in East Asian religious thought. In this talk, I will look at the paradox from both an early Chinese and a contemporary perspective, drawing upon work in social psychology, cognitive neuroscience, and evolutionary theory to argue that this paradox is a real one, and is moreover intimately tied up with problems surrounding cooperation in large-scale societies and concerns about moral hypocrisy.

Owen Flanagan May, 2014

May 5-8, 2014 visit by Owen Flanagan James B Duke Professor and Professor of Neurobiology at Duke University. Flanagan will be visiting us for several days.  Among other things, he’ll make himself available to the new ICDS Values Focus Group for consultation on interdisciplinary values research on Monday, May 5, 3-5 PM.  He will also give a colloquium talk on mindfulness on Tuesday, May 6, 4-6 PM and will be presenting at the Social Personality Group at noon on May 7th.  Finally, he has agreed to make himself available to meet one-on-one or in small groups with faculty and grad students while here.
Please let Mark Alfano ( whether you (or one of your grad students) would like to meet Flanagan over a meal or for one of the available hours.

Title:   “Varieties of Moral Self Cultivation”

Abstract: In addition to communal work to develop good people, most traditions have methods of self-cultivation that are designed to help create, sustain, develop, and perfect various virtues and other excellences.  I’ll talk about some mindfulness techniques in classical Confucianism and classical Buddhism and relate them to some contemporary psychological thinking about human first nature and to some philosophical thinking about the possibilities of rational control and ethical criticism.


May 5, 2014 3:00 pm, Knight Library Reading Room – Meeting with the Values Focus Group
May 6, 2014 4:00 pm, 202 Ford Alumni Room – Colloquium “Varieties of Moral Self Cultivation”
May 7, 2014  noon, 271B Franklin Building – Brownbag presentation for the Social Personality Group
May 8, 2014 Guest presenter in Mark Johnson Philosophy seminars


For a download of the poster click here.


Institute Colloquium Speaker-Dan Kelly-March 13, 2014

The Institute of Cognitive and Decision Sciences presents our first colloquium speaker of 2014, Daniel Kelly.  Daniel Kelly is an Associate Professor in the Philosophy Department at Purdue University. His research interests lie at the intersection of the philosophy of mind, cognitive science, and moral theory. He is the author of Yuck! The Nature and Moral Significance of Disgust, and has published papers on moral judgment, social norms, racial cognition, and cross-cultural diversity.

When: Thursday, March 13, 2014 at noon.

Where: 103 Collier House, University of Oregon Campus

Title: ‘Disgust, Disagreement, and the Psychology of Cultural  Transmission’


In this talk, I use recent research on the production and recognition of expressions of disgust to argue that the emotion is equipped with a proprietary signaling system. I flesh out the picture of this signaling system in light of a number of adaptive challenges that shaped the evolution of disgust, including those associated with the cultural transmission and learning, social norms, and cooperation.  Finally, I draw out some implications of this picture and the kinds of variation and disagreement it allows for perennial debates in moral philosophy.

Institute Membership Meeting

Coming up November 21, 2013, 4:00 in Room 271-B Franklin Building. Come see the new temporary location while Straub Hall in being renovated, enjoy refreshments, and find out what is coming up for the Institute of Cognitive and Decision Sciences.  We look forward to seeing everyone.

The Science of Mindfulness and Meditation

Friday, November 1 at 1:00pm to 4:00pm

Willamette Hall, 110 1371 East 13th Avenue, Eugene, OR

The Science of Mindfulness and MeditationCris Niell, assistant professor in the University of Oregon’s Institute for Neuroscience, together with several psychology graduate students, has organized a symposium on the subject entitled “The Science of Mindfulness and Meditation,” scheduled for 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 1 in Willamette Hall, Room 110.

The afternoon symposium will feature guest speaker Dr. Sara Lazar of the Harvard Medical School, who has pioneered studies about the effects of meditation on brain structure and function. In addition to Dr. Lazar’s address, both graduate students and faculty from the University of Oregon will give presentations, including graduate students Lisa May and Robin Hertz, clinical psychology professor Heidemarie Laurent, and noted cognitive neuroscientist Michael Posner.

A reception following the symposium will provide time for further discussion among the speakers and attendees. All who are interested in the scientific underpinnings of meditation and mindfulness are welcome to attend the symposium.

We Have Moved!

Due to the  renovation of Straub Hall the Institute of Cognitive and Decision Sciences has moved to a new location. The main office is now located at 1715 Franklin Blvd., Eugene, OR.

ICDS Announces Spring 2011 Graduate Student Research Grants

ICDS awarded several research grants to faculty during the spring of 2011. These include: Trevor Setvin and Mary Hetrick (“The Study of How Groups Cope with Adversity”; $1,000); Melissa Liebert (Dissertation research as part of the Shuar Health and Life History Project; $3,000); Tara Cepon (Dissertation research as part of the Shuar Health and Life History Project; $3,000); and Ezra Markowitz (Dissertation research; $3000)

ICDS Announces Spring 2011 Faculty Research Grants

ICDS awarded several research grants to faculty during the spring of 2011. These include: Misha Myagkov and Yalchin Abdullaev (“Neural Basis of Risk Attitudes in Collective Action vs. Social Welfare: Economic Rationality or Heuristics and Biases”; $5,000);  Larry Sugiyama, Michelle Scalise Sugiyama, and Josh Snodgrass (“Pathways of Cultural Transmission”; $5,000); Josh Snodgrass (“Biomarker Lab Development”; $20,000); Frances White, Azim Shariff, Michelle Scalise Sugiyama, and Josh Snodgrass (“Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Education Focus in Integrated Evolutionary Studies”; $5,000); Stephen Dueppen (“Long-Term Processes and Short-Term Events during the Iron Age: Constructing a New Temporal Sequence at Kirikongo, Burkina Faso”; $5,000)

ICDS Website Goes Live!

For the past several months we have been working to rebuild the ICDS website. It is now live thanks to the help of CAS IT website designer Irina Kuzmina. If you have any questions or comments about the site, contact Josh Snodgrass.