Middlebury

 

Marcia Collaer

Professor of Psychology & Neuroscience

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Phone: work802.443.2020
Office Hours: Mondays 1:00-2:00p; Tuesdays 1:15-2:15p; Fridays 11:10a-12:00p
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Marcia Collaer is a Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Middlebury College. She received a B.A. in Psychology from Bradley University, an M.A. in School Psychology from University of South Carolina, an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from University of Arizona, and a Ph.D. in Behavioral Neuroscience from University of California, Los Angeles.

Her research interests focus on sex and individual differences in cognitive abilities, particularly visuospatial skills.Work in her lab investigates reasons why men and women, or individuals, perform differently on spatial tasks. Factors of interest include investigating how people ‘pay attention’ to their environment, the strategies they employ, the influence of pressure, the role of social influences such as stereotypes, and levels of steroid hormones including testosterone and cortisol.

Professor Collaer teaches courses relevant to psychology as well as neuroscience, including: Introduction to Psychology, Psychological Statistics, Psychopharmacology, a senior seminar in Behavioral Neuroendocrinology, and a first year seminar focusing on the brain.

 

Courses


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indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

NSCI 0500 - Independent Research      

Independent Research
Students enrolled in NSCI 0500 complete individual research projects involving laboratory or extensive library study on a topic chosen by the student and approved in advance by a NSCI faculty advisor. This course is not open to seniors; seniors should enroll in NSCI 0700. (Approval required)

Fall 2010, Winter 2011, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Winter 2012, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Winter 2013, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015

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NSCI 0700 - Senior Research      

Senior Research
This course is for senior NSCI majors who plan to conduct one or more semesters of independent research, or who plan to complete preparatory work toward a senior thesis, such as researching and writing a thesis proposal as well as, if appropriate, collecting data that will form the basis for a senior thesis. Senior NSCI majors who plan to complete a senior thesis should register initially for NSCI 0700. Additional requirements may include participation in weekly meetings with advisors and/or lab groups and attending neuroscience seminars. (Approval required, open to seniors only)

Fall 2010, Winter 2011, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Winter 2012, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Winter 2013, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015

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NSCI 0701 - Senior Thesis      

Senior Thesis
Senior NSCI majors who have completed one or more terms of NSCI 0700, who have a GPA of 3.3 in their major courses, and who plan to complete a senior thesis should register for NSCI 0701 for the final semester of the senior thesis process. Students enrolled in NSCI 0701 write a thesis, give a public presentation of their research, and present an oral defense of the thesis before a committee of at least two Neuroscience faculty members. Faculty may recommend High honors in Neuroscience after considering the quality of these components of a student’s thesis and the student’s GPA in major courses. Additional requirements may include participation in weekly meetings with advisors and/or lab groups and attending neuroscience seminars. (NSCI 0700, Approval required)

Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015

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PSYC 0105 - Introduction To Psychology      

Introduction to Psychology
This course will provide a general introduction to the field of psychology. The most central and important theories, concepts, findings, controversies, and applications in the following areas will be considered: biological bases of behavior, learning, perception, thinking, development, personality, psychological disorders, and social behavior. (Open to Juniors and Seniors by waiver only) 3 hrs lect./1 hr. disc.

SOC

Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2014

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PSYC 0201 - Psychological Statistics      

Psychological Statistics
This course will examine statistical methods used in the behavioral and biological sciences. Students will learn the logic underlying statistical analysis, focusing primarily on inferential techniques. They also will become familiar with the application and interpretation of statistics in psychological empirical research, including the use of computer software for conducting and interpreting statistical analyses. (PSYC 0105; Fall: open to psychology and neuroscience majors and undeclared majors, others by waiver; Spring: open to psychology and neuroscience majors; others by waiver. Not open to students who have taken MATH 0116 or ECON 0210) 3 hrs. lect./1.5 hr. lab

DED

Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2014

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PSYC 0309 / NSCI 0309 - Psychopharmacology      

Psychopharmacology
This course will examine ways in which drugs act on the brain to influence behavior. Students will learn the basics of brain function, will learn basic properties of drug action, and will learn how legal and illegal drugs, including drugs used to treat psychological disorders, alter the brain function and behavior of humans and experimental animals. (PSYC 0301 or BIOL 0370; not open to first-year students; open to psychology and neuroscience majors; others by waiver) 3 hrs. lect.

SCI

Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2014

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PSYC 0330 / GSFS 0330 - Psychology of Gender      

Psychology of Gender
In this course we will consider biological and psychosocial contributors to similarities and differences between male and female behavior and the brain, focusing on approaches grounded in psychological science. Topics will include aggression, cognition, gender roles, gender identity, sexual orientation, and psychological disorders, as well as issues of the workplace and parenting. Course readings and content will strongly emphasize empirical scientific articles in order to address methodological challenges and controversies. (PSYC 0105; open to psychology and GSFS majors; NSCI majors by waiver) 3 hrs. lect.

SOC

Spring 2014

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PSYC 0350 - Directed Research      

Directed Research in Psychology
Directed research provides opportunities for advanced students to become familiar with and participate in ongoing research projects under the direction of a faculty member. The student will first read background literature on the content area to be investigated and experimental methodologies to be used. Procedures involved in conducting psychological research will then be learned through firsthand experience. Potential activities include the design of research and the defining of conceptual variables and the gathering, analyzing, and interpretation of data. Finally, students will learn how to write technical articles in psychology by preparing a paper describing the project, using APA style. (Approval required; not open to first-year students) 3 hrs. lect.

Fall 2010, Winter 2011, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Winter 2012, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Winter 2013, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015

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PSYC 0500 - Advanced Research      

Advanced Research
A program of research arranged to meet the needs of advanced students majoring in psychology. (Approval required)

Fall 2010, Winter 2011, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Winter 2012, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Winter 2013, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015

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PSYC 0700 - Senior Research      

Senior Research
A program of research arranged to meet the needs of advanced senior majors in psychology. (PSYC 0201 and PSYC 0202; Approval required)

Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015

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PSYC 0701 - Senior Thesis Proposal      

Senior Thesis Proposal
Students hoping to be considered as candidates for departmental honors must enroll in PSYC 0701 under the sponsorship of a department faculty member and submit a formal, written research proposal to the department by 5 p.m. on the Wednesday during the final week of fall classes in their senior year. If the proposal is approved, the student will enroll in PSYC 0702 during the winter term and PSYC 0703 during the spring term of their senior year. (Feb graduates should consult with their advisors about the appropriate semester in which to begin a thesis.) (PSYC 0201 and PSYC 0202; Approval required)

Fall 2012, Winter 2013, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015

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PSYC 0702 - Senior Thesis Second Semester      

Senior Thesis Second Semester
Students whose honors thesis proposal (PSYC 0701) has been approved will collect, analyze, and interpret their data. This is the second semester of the 3-semester senior thesis. (PSYC 0201, PSYC 0202, and PSYC 0701; Approval required)

Fall 2012, Winter 2013, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015

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PSYC 0703 - Senior Thesis      

Senior Thesis*
This is the third and final semester of the senior thesis. Students will finish analyzing, and interpreting their data. This process culminates in a written thesis to be submitted by 4 p.m. on the Monday BEFORE the final week of spring classes, a presentation, and an oral defense. The decision about awarding departmental honors will be made after the student submits the thesis. (PSYC 0201, PSYC 0202, and PSYC 0702; Approval required)

Fall 2010, Winter 2011, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Winter 2012, Spring 2012, Winter 2013, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015

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Selected Publications

Richardson, A.E. & Collaer, M.L. (2011)  Virtual navigation performance:  The relationship to field of view and prior videogaming experience.  Perceptual and Motor Skills, 112, 477-498.

Lippa, R.A., Collaer, M.L., Peters, M. (2010). Sex differences in mental rotation and line angle judgments are positively associated with gender equality and economic development across 53 nations. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 39, 990-997

Campbell, S. M. & Collaer, M. L.(2009) Stereotype threat and gender differences in performance on a novel visuospatial task. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 33, 437-444.

Collaer, M. L., Brook, C.G.D., Conway, G. S., Hindmarsh, P.C. & Hines, M.(2009). Motor development in individuals with congenital adrenal hyperplasia: Strength, targeting, and fine motor skill. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 34, 249-258.

Collaer, M. L., Reimers, S., & Manning, J. T.(2007) Visuospatial performance on an Internet line judgment task and potential hormonal markers: Sex, sexual orientation and 2D:4D. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 36, 177-192.

Maylor, E. A., Reimers, S., Choi, J., Collaer, M. L., Peters, M., & Silverman, I. (2007). Gender and sexual orientation differences in cognition across adulthood: Age is kinder to women than to men regardless of sexual orientation. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 36, 235-249.

Collaer, M. L. & *Hill, E. M. (2006). Large sex difference in adolescents on a timed line judgment task: Attentional contributors and task relationship to mathematics. Perception, 35, 561-572.

Cherney, I. D., & Collaer, M. L. (2005). Sex differences in line judgment: Relation to mathematics preparation and strategy use. Perceptual & Motor Skills, 100, 615-627.

Halpern, D. F., & Collaer, M. L. (2005). Sex differences in visuospatial abilities: More than meets the eye.In P. Shah & A. Miyake (Eds.)  The Cambridge Handbook of Visuospatial ThinkingCambridge University Press, pp. 170-212.

Collaer, M.L., *Tory, H.O. & *Valkenburgh, M.C. (2004). Do sex steroid hormones contribute to sexual differentiation of the human brain? In M.J. Legato (Ed.) Principles of Gender Specific Medicine, pp. 71-83.Amsterdam: Elsevier Science.

Collaer, M. L., & *Nelson, J. D. (2002). Large visuospatial sex difference in line judgment:Possible role of attentional factors.  Brain and Cognition, 49, 1-12.

Collaer, M.L., Geffner, M.E., Kaufman, F.R., Buckingham, B., & Hines, M. (2002). Cognitive and behavioral characteristics of Turner syndrome:Do they support a role for ovarian hormones in female sexual differentiation? Hormones and Behavior, 41, 139-155.

Collaer, M.L.(1998). Early organizational influences and social factors:Need for further evaluation. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 21, 368-369.

Collaer, M.L., & Hines, M.(1995). Human behavioral sex differences:Arole for gonadal hormones during development? Psychological Bulletin, 118, 55-107.

 

Selected Conference Presentations ( *denotes student collaborator)

*Seybolt, M., *Clarke, H. and Collaer, M.L.  Acute stress relaxes moral judgments of behaviors intended to harm.  (June 2012) Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology Annual Meeting, Madison, WI

*Seybolt, M. and Collaer, M.L.  Moral judgments in relation to stress and sex.  (November 2011).  Society for Neuroscience Meeting, Washington, DC.

*Silverstein, N., Collaer, M.L, and Richardson, A.E.  (November 2011). The effects of acute stress on human performance in a virtual reality navigation task. Society for Neuroscience Meeting, Washington, DC.

Collaer, M.L., *Weinstein, S.J., *Chock, M.G., and Richardson, A.  (May 2011) Stress influences spatial knowledge and strategies, as well as moral judgments.  Presentation at the annual conference of the Association for Psychological Science,  Washington DC.

Richardson, A.E. & Collaer, M.L. (March 2010)  Learning from wide field of view virtual displays: video game experience correlates.  Presentation at the Eastern Psychological Association meeting, Brooklyn, NY.

Lippa, R.A., Collaer, M.L., & Peters, M. (June 2009).  Visuospatial sex differences are larger, not smaller, in countries with greater gender equality and economic development. Presentation at the Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology meeting, East Lansing, MI.

Collaer, M.L., Brook, C., Conway, G., Hindmarsh, P. & Hines, M.  (June 2009) Do prenatal androgens make you strong but slow?  Presentation at the Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology meeting, East Lansing, MI.

*Garcia-Putnam, R. & Collaer, M. L. (April 2008). Sex differences in a spatial virtual navigation task.  Presentation at the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) Undergraduate Research Posters on the Hill Conference, Washington, DC

Collaer, M.L., Brook, C., Conway, G., Hindmarsh, P. & Hines, M.  (June 2009) Do prenatal androgens make you strong but slow?  Presentation at the Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology meeting, East Lansing, MI.

Collaer, M.L., Reimers, S., & Manning, J.T. (October 2006). Human visuospatial ability and the neurohormonal hypothesis: Line judgment performance in relation to sex, sexual orientation, and digit ratios.  Presentation at the Society for Neuroscience meeting, Atlanta, GA.