After plenty of discussion among the examiners, I am pleased to once again 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 2019!
At Bachelor’s level, the prize will – for the first time since we started awarding it back in 2014 – be jointly awarded to two separate theses, which the examiners found it too difficult to choose between to be able to nominate a clear winner. Both theses have shown a superb level of methodological insight, but applied in two very different contexts.
The first goes to Consciousness Studies student Anton Degerfeldt, for his thesis It’s About a Day – The Effect of Glucocorticoids on Shifting and Re-entraining the Circadian Rhythm in Peripheral Cells: A Review and Meta-Analysis. In his thesis, Anton has written the first proper cognitive neuroscience meta-analysis ever undertaken at the department, focusing on aspects of the impact of glucocorticoids on the circadian cycle. In so doing, he has demonstrated a remarkable ability to adapt his skills and knowledge to novel contexts, in order to undertake all the extra work that undoubtedly went into blazing the meta-analytic trail for future students.
The second prize at BSc level goes to another Consciousness Studies student, Carl Lindersson, for his thesis Threatening Measures, at Face Value: Electrophysiology Indicating Confounds of the Facial Width-to-Height Ratio. Carl’s thesis, which starts out as a relatively straightforward ERP experiment (on the effect of facial measures on automatic socio-emotional processing) , quite quickly takes a critical turn, and winds up questioning, in a robust and sustained manner, the results of several previous publications. In this way, he displays a level of probing insight into the topic far beyond what is normally expected at Bachelor’s level.
Finally, at Master’s level, the prize goes to Master program student Jona Förster, for his thesis ERP and MEG Correlates of Visual Consciousness: An Update, which – as the title suggests – provides an updated review of the electrophysiological correlates of visual consciousness, based on a similar review by Koivisto & Revonsuo from 2010. In the thesis, Jona shows a superb clarity and grace in his writing on the topic, creating a particularly lucid overview of the development of the topic over the past 9 years, and its situatedness within the broader context of consciousness research.
All three prize-winning theses are currently under development for publication in academic journals. A small indication of the strengths of each, and the possibilities available to departmental students who go above and beyond.
Our warmest congratulations to Anton, Carl, and Jona!