The Science of Psychology

I - June 28–July 16, 2021
Modality, Day & Time:
Monday–Friday, 11:10 a.m.–1:00 p.m. and 3:10–5:00 p.m.

Itamar Grunfeld, Kathryn Hauschild, Sarah Mennenga, Michaela Porubanova

“I was simply surprised by the quality of the instructors and how excited I was about the material."  – Brooke S. | Raleigh, North Carolina

Course Description

This course introduces students to the fundamental concepts and theories of psychology, the science of the mind and behavior. The course provides an in-depth excursion into psychological research, including biological bases of behavior, learning and memory, sensation and perception, cognitive development, language acquisition, personality, and social influences on behavior.

Mornings are devoted to large-group lectures delivered by experts in their respective fields; cognitive, developmental, social, and clinical psychologists, as well as neuroscientists.

Afternoons consist of small, seminar-style classes focused on developing rigorous research skills. Working in teams under instructor supervision, students design and conduct scientific experiments; they share their results at the end of the course, after coding and analyzing their data.


Itamar Grunfeld

Itamar Grunfeld is a Ph.D. student in the behavioral and cognitive neuroscience program at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He is interested in how exposure to chronic stress can serve as a potential risk factor for developing psychiatric disorders. His research explores how stress can cause a breakdown in discrimination, causing previously innocuous stimuli to appear threatening. Itamar holds a B.S., an M.S., and an M.Phil. in psychology and has spent time working with clinical populations in hospitals. He is currently a lab instructor for Introductory Biology and Principles of Biology, and he works with various organizations throughout New York City to foster neuroscience education in high schools.

Kathryn Hauschild

Dr. Kathryn Hauschild is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Social Competence and Treatment Lab (SCTL) at Stony Brook University. Her program of research leverages a developmental perspective to better understand how typically developing infants and infants at risk of developing autism spectrum disorder (ASD) gain and categorize knowledge about the people and objects in their everyday environments. She holds a B.S. in psychology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, an M.S. in psychology from the University of Pittsburgh, and a Ph.D. in developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Hauschild has taught a variety of courses including Introduction to Psychology, Developmental Psychology, and Sensation and Perception. 

Sarah Mennenga

Dr. Mennenga is a Research Assistant Professor at the New York University Grossman School of Medicine. She completed a PhD in psychology with a focus in behavioral neuroscience at Arizona State University. Her graduate research utilized rodent models to study how changes to the female reproductive cycle impact learning, memory, and neurobiology across aging. Dr. Mennenga completed five years of postdoctoral training at the New York University Grossman School of Medicine, where she expanded her research focus to include clinical applications of psychedelic compounds for treatment of addiction. Following her postdoctoral training, she initiated a program of research at the New York University Grossman School of Medicine exploring mechanisms by which psychedelic and related compounds produce robust and enduring change in behaviors related to addiction. Dr. Mennenga has authored over twenty publications with over 800 citations in peer-reviewed journals, is first author on a book chapter outlining the importance of including both sexes in preclinical research, and has contributed to several reviews on methods for incorporating females in pre-clinical research, and for clinical investigation of psychedelic compounds.    

Michaela Porubanova

Dr. Michaela Porubanova is an associate professor of cognitive psychology at The State University of New York, Farmingdale, where she also directs the Visual Cognition Laboratory. She is also a research affiliate at the New School for Social Research and the Graduate Center at CUNY. She is interested in visual consciousness, time perception, and anthropomorphism. She is a functionalist believing in the evolutionary shaping of our cognitive architecture. Her research has been published in various research journals such as PLoS One, Timing and Time Perception, Journal of Cognition & Culture, Frontiers in Psychology, among others. In addition, she published several book chapters for Routledge and Bloomsbury. Currently, she is co-writing a book for Oxford University Press on the comprehensive approach to anthropomorphism with anthropologist Dr. Stewart Guthrie. Her scholarly approach is interdisciplinary- she has been working with neuroscientists, psychologists, philosophers, and anthropologists, as she believes that advances in science can be done through a combination of interdisciplinary discourse and methodological rigor.

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Specific course detail such as hours and instructors are subject to change at the discretion of the University. Not all instructors listed for a course teach all sections of that course.