Emily Falk

University of Pennsylvania

Neural approaches to understanding how ideas and behaviours spread

Emily Falk is an Associate Professor of Communication, Psychology, and Marketing at the University of Pennsylvania. Prof. Falk employs a variety of methods drawn from communication science, neuroscience and psychology. Her work traverses levels of analysis from individual behaviour, to diffusion in group and population level media effects. In particular, Prof. Falk is interested in predicting behaviour change following exposure to persuasive messages and in understanding what makes successful ideas spread (e.g. through social networks, through cultures). Prof. Falk is also interested in developing methods to predict the efficacy of persuasive communication at the population level. At present, much of her research focuses on health communication; other areas of interest include political communication, cross-cultural communication, and the spread of culture, social norms and sticky ideas. Prof. Falk’s work has been recognised by early career awards from the International Communication Association, the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (Attitudes Division), by an APS Rising Star Award, and by funding from NCI, NICHD, NIDA/the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award, ARL, DARPA and ONR. Prior to her doctoral work, Prof. Falk was a Fulbright Fellow in health policy, studying health communication in Canada. She received her bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience from Brown University, and her Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).


Ina Bornkessel-Schlesewsky

University of South Australia

Ina Bornkessel-Schlesewsky is Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience and Director of UniSA’s Centre for Cognitive and Systems Neuroscience. Ina joined UniSA in 2014 from the University of Marburg, Germany. Prior to her appointment as Professor of Neurolinguistics in Marburg, she headed the Max Planck Research Group “Neurotypology” at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig, Germany. Ina is passionate about understanding how the human brain processes language – an interest that she first developed due to her bilingual upbringing, after having moved to Australia from Germany at the age of 7. She has championed the perspective that, in order to truly understand how the human brain processes language, we need to take into account the full diversity of the world’s 7000 languages. Her research is further inspired by the recognition that language – like all human cognitive abilities – is deeply rooted in neurobiology and basic mechanisms of information processing in the brain. With a prolific research program reflected in over 70 publications in refereed international journals, over 20 book chapters and 4 monographs / edited volumes, Ina has won more than AU$4 million in competitive grant funding. Her research has been honoured with a number of prizes, including the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize (awarded by the German Research Foundation and German Federal Ministry of Education and Research), the most prestigious scientific prize for young researchers in Germany.


Nicholas Turk-Browne

Yale University

Nick Turk-Browne is a Professor in the Department of Psychology at Yale University. He previously served on the faculty at Princeton University (2009–2017). He obtained an HBSc from the University of Toronto (2004) and a PhD from Yale University (2009). Nick’s research takes an integrative perspective, using behavioural studies, brain imaging, theoretical modeling, and computational analysis to understand how different cognitive and neural systems interact. He has published extensively on the interaction between perception (how we experience the current environment) and memory (how we draw on past experiences), including the learning mechanisms that transform perception into memory and the attentional mechanisms that regulate this transformation. Most recently, his lab has been developing techniques for brain imaging in infants and toddlers who are awake and having their behaviour monitored. Nick’s work has been published in journals such as Science, Nature Neuroscience, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and has been featured in the New York Times, the New Yorker, and the Atlantic. He has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, John Templeton Foundation, and Intel Labs. He received Young Investigator Awards from the Vision Sciences Society (2016), Cognitive Neuroscience Society (2017), and Society of Experimental Psychologists (2018); the Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contribution to Psychology from the American Psychological Association (2015); and he serves a Senior Fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (since 2016).