Featuring Marc G. Berman

The physical environment has a profound impact on our brain and behavior. Many studies have shown that brief interactions with natural environments can have profound impacts on cognition, affect, and mental and physical health. Other studies demonstrate that interacting with disorderly environments can lead to reduced self-control and that more natural environments may increase self-control. A full understanding of these effects has been lacking, limiting progress in designing the physical environment to optimize human psychological functioning. In this talk Marc Berman will present an environmental neuroscience framework for understanding how interactions with different physical environments alter cognitive and affective processing, drawing on research on both humans and nonhuman animals to understand how we might alter the built environment to improve psychological functioning.

Contact alumniassociation@uchicago.edu or 773.702.2150.

Event Details

2:00 p.m. Registration and networking
2:30 p.m. Presentation and discussion
3:30 p.m. Reception

$10/Maroon Loyalty Society member or recent graduate (College alumni of the past 10 years and graduate alumni of the past five years)
Free for current academic year graduates and current students
Two complimentary registrations for members of the Chicago, Harper, Odyssey, and Phoenix philanthropic societies

Learn more about UChicago giving societies.

Parking Information

Valet parking is $25 for the first three hours and $9 per hour thereafter, capped at $52. Self-parking is available across the street (545 SW Taylor Street) for $5.

Featured Faculty


Marc Berman is an associate professor of psychology and director of the Environmental Neuroscience Lab at the University of Chicago. In his research he applies novel statistical and computational models to quantify brain networks and applies those metrics to broader psychological phenomena such as self-control, depression, anxiety, and cognitive effort. He and his lab are also interested in quantifying the physical and social environment to better understand brain-environment interactions and how those interactions can be used to understand human behavior. In particular, Berman and his team are trying to understand why natural environments have beneficial effects on body and mind. Berman received his PhD in cognitive neuroscience and industrial and operations engineering from the University of Michigan in 2010. He has received the Association for Psychological Science’s Early Career Research Award and the Neubauer Faculty Development Fellowship for excellence in teaching and mentorship. His work has been featured in many publications, including the Atlantic, the New York Times, the New Yorker, the Boston Globe, Chicago magazine, the Toronto Star, and the Wall Street Journal.