brenda w. yang

PhD student in psychology & neuroscience
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Duke University - Durham, NC (2020, anticipated)
Psychology & Neuroscience
Cognitive Neuroscience Admitting Program

University of Southern California - Los Angeles, CA (2012)
Neuroscience, Interdisciplinary Studies

Teaching Credential
Loyola Marymount University - Los Angeles, CA (2013)
Teaching Credential

awards & honors

Merritt Science Journalism Award (2017)
Duke University

Graduate Research Fellowship (2015)
National Science Foundation

James B. Duke Merit Fellowship (2015)
Duke University

New Teacher Fellow (2013)
National Science Teacher Association

Outstanding Student of the Year (2012)
USC Neuroscience Program

Inaugural Dornsife Scholar (2012)
USC College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences (link)

Brian Philip Rakusin Scholarship Award (2011)
USC Neuroscience Program

Phi Beta Kappa (2011)
University of Southern California

Research Fellowship (2010)
USC Provost's Office

Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (2009)
University of Southern California

presentations, talks & publications

Yang B. W., Deffler, S. A., & Marsh E. J (In preparation). Fictional Memories and the Autobiographical Record.

Stanley, M. L., Dougherty, A., Yang, B. W., Henne, P., & De Brigard, F. (In press). Reasons Probably Won’t Change Your Mind: The Role of Reasons in Revising Moral Decisions. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General.

Marsh, E. J., & Yang, B. W. (2018). Believing Things That Are Not True: A Cognitive Science Perspective on Misinformation. In B. G. Southwell, E. A. Thorson, & L. Sheble (Eds.), Misinformation and Mass Audiences. Austin: University of Texas Press.

Yang B, Marsh EJ. Investigating the Phenomenology of Fictional and Personal Memories. Psychonomics. Boston, MA, November 2016.

Mann M, Cortez V, Yang B, Tekmal RR, Vadlamudi RK. PELP1 oncogenic functions involve regulation of histone arginine methylation. San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, San Antonio, TX, December 2011.

Yang B, Lee J-Y, Arbib MA. Eye Movements and the Unfolding of the SemRep Semantic Representation in Scene Description. Poster presented at the Conceptual Structure, Discourse, and Language Conference (CSDL) and Embodied and Situated Language Processing Workshop (ESLP) at the University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA, September 2010.

Lee J.-Y., Yang B, Arbib M.A. Eye Movements and the Temporal Unfolding of Scene Description. Poster presented at the Neurobiology of Language Conference (NLC) in San Diego, CA, November 2010.


teaching experience

Cognitive Psychology (PSY-102) Teaching Assistant (2016)
Duke University

  • Planned and led two weekly interactive discussion sections

Anatomy & Physiology and Biology Teacher (2012 - 2015)
PUC Community Charter Early College High School - Lakeview Terrace

  • Developed and executed innovative science curriculum for diverse population of high school students
  • Mentored fellow Teach for America corps members
  • Students scored 88% Proficient or Advanced on the 10th Grade Life-Science CST in the 2013-2015 school year and 81% in 2012-2013 (CA state average 54%, 2014-2015 not reported)

Cognitive Psychology Instructor (summer 2015)
Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth - Los Angeles, CA

  • Designed and taught an intensive three-week course serving academically gifted students

Biological Sciences Instructor (summer 2014)
SPEAR Middle School Academy at UC Berkeley - Berkeley, CA

  • Designed and executed lab- and inquiry-based curricula to support the intellectual and social development of students entering sixth through eighth grades

teaching presentations

Yang, B. Computers and Content: Can we teach digital literacy TOO?. PUC Community of Practice. Los Angeles, CA. 17 February 2015.

Yang, B. Capitalizing on cloud tech to support student achievement. PUC Community of Practice. Los Angeles, CA. 18 February 2014.

Yang B, Gotsis M, Rizzo A, Lane C, Gribble R. "Brain and Creativity Panel." University of Southern California Brain Awareness Week, Los Angeles, CA, March 2013.

service & outreach

Publication on Duke Grad School Professional Development Blog (Oct 2016)
How to Take Your Teaching Skills Anywhere

Publication on Scientific American Guest Blog (Jul 2016)
Are Our Scientific Heroes Too Heroic?

Science Education Intern (2015 - present)
Duke Science Education

  • Establish fidelity and develop teacher workshops for novel science learning tools

Founding President (2009 - 2012)
Interaxon at USC

  • Began and lead a lasting educational outreach organization to share neuroscience lessons with K-12 students in south LA
  • Established annual "Neurocamp" on campus

Undergraduate Representative (1 of 2) (2010 - 2012)
USC Neuroscience Program Executive Committee

  • Served on a small team to redesign the neuroscience program, including the addition of a B.S. for the first time

Chair, Undergraduate Fellows (2008 - 2012)
USC Center for Excellence in Teaching

  • Lead the organization (2012) in actively programming events for faculty, teaching assistants, and undergraduates to improve the quality of classroom learning at USC


Association for Psychological Science (APS), Psychonomic Society, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Society for Neuroscience (SfN)