After an inordinate delay (due to a variety of reasons), I am pleased to finally be able to announce the winners of the honorary prize for the best Bachelor’s Thesis and the best Master’s Thesis in Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Skövde for the year 2017!
At Bachelor’s level, the prize goes to Consciousness Studies student Shervin Bukhari, for his thesis Exploring the Socially Anxious Brain: Cognitive Neuroscience, Functional Connectivity and Neuropsychiatry. In it, Shervin gives an overview of recent progress in functional connectivity research, and its value, and limitations, in the context of social anxiety diagnosis and treatment. In doing so, he takes an interesting (and not over-studied) field, and tackles it with a clear and well-motivated research question, a nuanced and detailed main body that manages to present a surprisingly wide range of findings in a nevertheless digestible and comprehensible format, a critical and evaluative (but not overly or selectively so) mindset throughout, and – finally – a solid and well-reasoned concluding answer to his initial research question.
At Master’s level, the prize goes to Master program student Angeliki Koukoura, for her thesis Is Telling the Truth a New Index for Deception? An Electrophysiological Approach. In what starts out as a wide-ranging set of questions and considerations, Angeliki quickly and deftly steers into her research focus: how to utilize ERP technology (in her case, in particular, the P300 ERP signature) as a means of researching deception, with a mind to its potential applicability in e.g. criminal and judicial proceedings. But Angeliki goes beyond a mere empirical investigation of an established research question, into highlighting various methodological problems in current research, and having the courage and persistence to test and suggest changes and improvements in a way likely to benefit the broader field.
Congratulations to both Shervin and Angeliki for the awards!