OBSSR Past Events

The OBSSR hosts virtual and in-person meetings that highlight behavioral and social sciences research (BSSR). In coordination with the NIH Institutes, Centers, and Offices, other government agencies, and the wider BSSR community, OBSSR facilitates opportunities to network, collaborate, explore, and advance BSSR.

OBSSR hosts a Director’s Webinar Series on a variety of BSSR topics to help communicate BSSR findings and other relevant BSSR information. OBSSR’s annual in-person meetings include the NIH Matilda White Riley Behavioral and Social Sciences Honors and the NIH Behavioral and Social Sciences Research Festival. Subscribe to receive updates on the latest OBSSR and BSSR-related event information.

View the list of upcoming OBSSR events.

Past Events by Year

2024 | 2023 | 2022 | 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018

December 8, 2017, 8:30 - 9:30am | Natcher Conference Center (Bldg. 45)

The festival highlights exciting research results, emerging areas, and innovations in health-related BSSR. This NIH-wide event enables efficient leveraging of NIH resources and expertise. The BSSR-CC members contribute diverse and comprehensive perspectives on the NIH BSSR portfolio, thus facilitating the selection of an outstanding array of research results that are highlighted at the festival.

View Recording
November 28, 2017, 2:00 - 3:00pm | Virtual
Presenter: Tamara Somers, Ph.D.

Pain is one of the most common and distressing symptoms for patients with cancer. There is evidence that behavioral pain interventions are efficacious for decreasing pain and pain-related symptoms. The NIH recommends the integration of behavioral pain interventions into cancer care. Yet, these interventions remain poorly translated into clinical cancer care. Two factors impacting poor implementation are persistent intervention access barriers and lack of intervention optimization. This presentation will focus on strategies for increasing behavioral pain intervention access and optimization.

View Recording

September 26, 2017, 2:00 - 3:00pm | Virtual
Presenter: Eric Turkheimer, Ph.D.

It has been known for some time that children raised in impoverished environments do not express genetic differences in cognitive ability to the same extent as children raised in middle class homes, a phenomenon known as the Scarr-Rowe interaction. During this webinar, Dr. Turkheimer will summarize what is known about this phenomenon, focusing on new analyses of some classic twin datasets that have not previously been available.

View Recording

June 20, 2017, 2:00 - 3:00pm | Virtual
Presenter: Melissa Anderson, Ph.D.

The United States Deaf community—a minority group of 500,000 people who use American Sign Language—is one of the most understudied populations in biomedical research. This work lays the foundation for a sustainable program of research that shifts how we approach and engage the Deaf community, increasing the number of Deaf people who participate in biomedical research studies and encouraging more Deaf people to become actively engaged in the research world.

View Recording

May 16, 2017, 2:00 - 3:00pm | Virtual
Presenter: Henry Yin, Ph.D.

Recent advances in neuroscience led to the development of a new integrative approach combining continuous quantification of behavior and selective manipulation and recording of neural activity in freely moving rodents. Recent work using this approach in my lab has yielded new insights on the relationship between neural activity and behavior.

View Recording

April 25, 2017, 8:00 - 9:00am | NIH Campus, Wilson Hall (Building 1)

Distinguished Lecturer: Mark Hayward, Ph.D.
Presentation: Reimagining the Dynamic Association between Education and U.S. Adult Mortality in a Fast Changing Policy Environment

The 10th NIH Matilda White Riley Behavioral and Social Sciences Honors were held on Tuesday, April 25, 2017, on the NIH Campus, Wilson Hall (Bldg. 1). Mark Hayward, Ph.D., is the 2017 NIH Matilda White Riley Distinguished Lecturer. Dr. Hayward is the Professor of Sociology, Centennial Commission Professor in the Liberal Arts, and director of the Population Health Initiative at the University of Texas at Austin. His research integrates life course theory and statistical and demographic techniques to interrogate how factors from across the life course influence morbidity and mortality. Beyond extensive research on mortality, his work has examined a variety of aspects of health—including inflammation, cognitive impairment, disability, self-rated health and positive aspects of health including active life expectancy.

April 18, 2017, 2:00 - 3:00pm | Virtual
Presenter: Jim Spilsbury Ph.D., MPH

Health disparities are a major public health issue, and disparities in sleep quantity and quality have been well documented among disadvantaged populations. Our data from Cleveland, OH indicate that the age range of 11–12 years is a crucial period when substantial differences in sleep duration and timing emerge between African-American and White children. Based on our research and other investigations, the causes of this disparity likely involve a constellation of factors in the social environment.

View Recording

March 16, 2017, 2:00 - 3:00pm | Virtual
Presenter: Richard G. Frank, Ph.D.

This research addresses issues shaping the future of care for mental illnesses and substance use disorders, including ensuring quality of care in a system that “pays for value” and early intervention for serious mental illnesses.

View Recording

February 21, 2017, 2:00 - 3:00pm | Virtual
Presenter: Sara Moorman, Ph.D.

This project proposes that the age composition of neighborhoods is a key contributor to health and well-being in mid- and later life. This hypothesis is suggested in part by the increasing popularity of age-restricted retirement communities, which pose an interesting puzzle for the predictions of classic social scientific theories. Sociological theorists such as Matilda White Riley suggested that age segregation is detrimental to older persons’ productivity and social integration.

View Recording

January 24, 2017, 2:00 - 3:00pm | Virtual
Presenter: Arturo Hernandez, Ph.D.

What factors affect the coding of two languages in one brain? For over 100 years, researchers have suggested that age of acquisition, language proficiency, and cognitive control play a role in the neural representation of two languages. Work in the Laboratory for the Neural Bases of Bilingualism at the University of Houston has looked at the effects of all three factors on brain activity in bilinguals.

View Recording