ASPIRE Symposium Highlights Undergraduate Research

By Diana Selmeczy - The ASPIRE Undergraduate Research Program held its fourth annual Spring Research Symposium on June 4th, 2018 at the Center for Mind & Brain. The event featured a keynote by Dr. Eliza Bliss-Moreau, a student presentation by Kelsey Klein, and poster presentations by each of the ASPIRE Scholars, detailing the research they completed during the 2017-2018 academic year.

ASPIRE (Accelerating Success by Providing Intensive Research Experience) offers a select group of UC Davis undergraduate students a unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience conducting research under the mentorship of world-renowned UC Davis faculty.

ASPIRE Scholars begin working on research in their freshman or sophomore year, continuing throughout their undergraduate tenure. The program includes faculty mentors from a variety of departments and centers at UC Davis, including the Center for Mind & Brain, the Center for Neuroscience, the Department of Psychology, and the Center for Poverty Research. ASPIRE Scholars have a range of majors including Engineering, Psychology, Biology, and Neurophysiology & Behavior.



Dr. Eliza Bliss-Moreau

Animal Emotions





Kelsey Klein

Title: Exploring the relationship between saccades and covert attention

Authors: Kelsey Klein, John Henderson, George R. Mangun




Aditi Venkatesh

Title: Effect of expectations on suppression of salient distractors

Authors: Aditi Venkatesh, Bo Yeong Won





Nikita D. Shetty

Title: Exploring Small and Large Number Discrimination in Early Infancy

Author: Nikita D. Shetty (Supervisors: Nour al Zaghloul, Aaron G. Beckner, and Lisa M. Oakes)



Rasika Venkatesh

Title: Contribution of the Ventral Hippocampus to Fear Memory Retrieval

Authors: Rasika Venkatesh, Jalina Graham, Brian Wiltgen


Priyanka Sanghavi

Title: Development of Optimism Across the Lifespan

Authors: Priyanka Sanghavi, Richard W. Robins, Ted Schwaba, and Wiebke Bleidorn


Sandya Ganesh

Title: Understanding the P3 Component and its Associated Cognitive Processes

Authors: Sandya Ganesh, Aaron Simmons, Steven J. Luck


Sophia Chen

Title: Developing a targeted approach to animal advocacy campaigns

Authors: Sophia Chen, Wiebke Bleidorn, Christopher J. Hopwood, R. Micheal Clark


Jennifer La

Title: Socioeconomic Status and Cortisol Stress Reactivity in Children and Adolescents

Authors: Jennifer La and Camelia E. Hostinar, PhD



Melissa Loomis

Title: Developmental Differences in Asking for Help and the Role of Metamemory

Authors: Melissa Loomis, Diana Selmeczy, and Simona Ghetti




Michelle Shi

Title: Relations Between Self-Concept, Physiology, and Prosocial Behavior in Preschool Children

Authors: Michelle Shi, Meital Mashash, Paul D. Hastings