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Dr Damian Scarf

Damian ScarfEmail damian@psy.otago.ac.nz
Phone 64 3 479 7636

It was a third year psychology paper (PSYC 319) and its teacher (Professor Michael Colombo) that first got Damian interested in psychology. After completing his BSc in Zoology, Damian went onto complete his PhD in Professor Colombo’s lab. His PhD research focused on how pigeons execute and plan sequences. Damian continues to collaborate with Professor Colombo and Damian’s comparative research now employs electrophysiological techniques in order to uncover how sequences are represented at the neural level.

Dr Damian Scarf received his PhD from the University of Otago in 2011. Damian’s PhD focused on the representation and planning of sequences in pigeons. During the course of his PhD Damian received a Fulbright scholarship and worked as a visiting researcher in Professor Herb Terrace’s Primate Cognition Lab at Columbia University. While at Columbia University, Damian investigated the planning abilities of rhesus monkeys and transitive preference in children. Damian received several other scholarships during his PhD as well as a number of travel grants. At the time his PhD was conferred, Damian had 9 first author publications. Damian’s PhD was also placed on the University of Otago Division of Sciences List of Exception PhD Theses.

After completing his PhD Damian went on to be Postdoctoral Fellow, and subsequently a Research Fellow, in Professor Harlene Hayne’s child development lab. In Professor Hayne’s lab Damian focused on memory development in young children and investigated whether children are born with an innate sense of right and wrong.

In 2013 Damian became a Lecturer in the Department of Psychology. The current focus of Damian’s developmental work is mental time travel and the delay of gratification in young children. Damian’s animal work currently focuses on the neurobiology of sequence learning in pigeons and cognitive abilities of parrots, including kea and kaka.

Teaching

  • PSYC 472 Special Topic: Current Controversies in Psychology

Research Interests

  • Comparative animal cognition; eg, testing the abilityo pigeons to learn novel sequence and solve problems
  • Developmental psychology; eg, testing the ability of 3- and 4-year-old children for the future and delay gratification

Find out more about Dr Scarf's research interests

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Publications

Johnston, M., Clarkson, A. N., Gowing, E. K., Scarf, D., & Colombo, M. (2018). The effects of nidopallium caudolaterale inactivation on serial-order behaviour in pigeons (Columba livia). Journal of Neurophysiology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1152/jn.00167.2018

Imuta, K., Scarf, D., Carson, S., & Hayne, H. (2018). Children’s learning and memory of an interactive science lesson: Does the context matter? Developmental Psychology, 54(6), 1029-1037. doi: 10.1037/dev0000487

Hinten, A. E., Labuschagne, L. G., Boden, H., & Scarf, D. (2018). Preschool children and young adults' preferences and expectations for helpers and hinderers. Infant & Child Development. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1002/icd.2093

Riordan, B. C., Cody, L., Flett, J. A. M., Conner, T. S., Hunter, J., & Scarf, D. (2018). The development of a single item FoMO (Fear of Missing Out) scale. Current Psychology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s12144-018-9824-8

Riordan, B. C., Conner, T. S., Flett, J. A. M., Droste, N., Cody, L., Brookie, K. L., Riordan, J. K., & Scarf, D. K. (2018). An intercept study to measure the extent to which New Zealand university students pre-game. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 42(1), 30-34. doi: 10.1111/1753-6405.12754

Chapter in Book - Research

Scarf, D., & Colombo, M. (2017). Serial list learning. In J. Vonk & T. Shackelford (Eds.), Encyclopedia of animal cognition and behavior. Cham, Switzerland: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-47829-6_1507-1

Kafka, S., Hayhurst, J. G., Boyes, M., Scarf, D., Ruffman, T., & Hunter, J. A. (2016). Charting a course to self-esteem: Evidence from four independent studies showing elevated self-esteem following in a 10-day voyage. In F. Holloway (Ed.), Self-esteem: Perspectives, influences and improvement strategies. (pp. 195-230). Nova Science.

Hayne, H., Scarf, D., & Imuta, K. (2015). Childhood memories. In J. D. Wright (Ed.), International encyclopedia of the social & behavioral sciences (Vol. 3). (2nd ed.) (pp. 465-470). Oxford, UK: Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-08-097086-8.51025-3

Hayne, H., Imuta, K., & Scarf, D. (2015). Memory development during infancy and early childhood across cultures. In J. D. Wright (Ed.), International encyclopedia of the social & behavioral sciences (Vol. 15). (2nd ed.) (pp. 147-154). Oxford, UK: Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-08-097086-8.23062-6

Scarf, D., Terrace, H. S., & Colombo, M. (2011). Planning abilities of monkeys. In R. M. Williams (Ed.), Monkeys: Biology, behavior and disorders. (pp. 137-150). New York: Nova.

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Journal - Research Article

Johnston, M., Clarkson, A. N., Gowing, E. K., Scarf, D., & Colombo, M. (2018). The effects of nidopallium caudolaterale inactivation on serial-order behaviour in pigeons (Columba livia). Journal of Neurophysiology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1152/jn.00167.2018

Riordan, B. C., Conner, T. S., Flett, J. A. M., Droste, N., Cody, L., Brookie, K. L., Riordan, J. K., & Scarf, D. K. (2018). An intercept study to measure the extent to which New Zealand university students pre-game. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 42(1), 30-34. doi: 10.1111/1753-6405.12754

Riordan, B. C., Cody, L., Flett, J. A. M., Conner, T. S., Hunter, J., & Scarf, D. (2018). The development of a single item FoMO (Fear of Missing Out) scale. Current Psychology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s12144-018-9824-8

Hinten, A. E., Labuschagne, L. G., Boden, H., & Scarf, D. (2018). Preschool children and young adults' preferences and expectations for helpers and hinderers. Infant & Child Development. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1002/icd.2093

Imuta, K., Scarf, D., Carson, S., & Hayne, H. (2018). Children’s learning and memory of an interactive science lesson: Does the context matter? Developmental Psychology, 54(6), 1029-1037. doi: 10.1037/dev0000487

Riordan, B. C., Conner, T. S., Thrul, J., Flett, J. A. M., Carey, K. B., & Scarf, D. (2018). Just a first-year thing? The relations between drinking during Orientation Week and subsequent academic year drinking across class years. Substance Use & Misuse. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/10826084.2017.1415354

Scarf, D., Kafka, S., Hayhurst, J., Jang, K., Boyes, M., Thomson, R., & Hunter, J. A. (2017). Satisfying psychological needs on the high seas: Explaining increases self-esteem following an Adventure Education Programme. Journal of Adventure Education & Outdoor Learning. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/14729679.2017.1385496

Scarf, D., Boden, H., Labuschagne, L. G., Gross, J., & Hayne, H. (2017). "What" and "where" was when? Memory for the temporal order of episodic events in children. Developmental Psychobiology, 59(8), 1039-1045. doi: 10.1002/dev.21553

Smith, C. D., & Scarf, D. (2017). Spacing repetitions over long timescales: A review and a reconsolidation explanation. Frontiers in Psychology, 8, 962. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00962

Scarf, D., Corballis, M. C., Güntürkün, O., & Colombo, M. (2017). Do 'literate' pigeons (Columba livia) show mirror-word generalization? Animal Cognition, 20(5), 999-1002. doi: 10.1007/s10071-017-1116-4

Riordan, B. C., Conner, T. S., Flett, J. A. M., & Scarf, D. (2017). A text message intervention to reduce first year university students’ alcohol use: A pilot experimental study. Digital Health, 3. doi: 10.1177/2055207617707627

Riordan, B. C., Scarf, D., Moradi, S., Flett, J. A. M., Carey, K. B., & Conner, T. S. (2017). The accuracy and promise of personal breathalysers for research: Steps toward a cost-effective reliable measure of alcohol intoxication? Digital Health. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/2055207617746752

Ruffman, T., Lorimer, B., & Scarf, D. (2017). Do infants really experience emotional contagion? Child Development Perspectives, 11(4), 270-274. doi: 10.1111/cdep.12244

Boden, H., Labuschagne, L. G., Hinten, A. E., & Scarf, D. (2017). Episodic foresight beyond the very next event in 3- and 4-year-old children. Developmental Psychobiology, 59(7), 927-931. doi: 10.1002/dev.21544

Scarf, D., Hayhurst, J. G., Riordan, B. C., Boyes, M., Ruffman, T., & Hunter, J. A. (2017). Increasing resilience in adolescents: The importance of social connectedness in adventure education programmes. Australasian Psychiatry, 25(2), 154-156. doi: 10.1177/1039856216671668

Hunter, J. A., Platow, M. J., Moradi, S., Banks, M., Hayhurst, J., Kafka, S., Iversen, G., Scobie, O., Scarf, D., … Ruffman, T. (2017). Subjective belonging and in-group favoritism. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 73, 136-146. doi: 10.1016/j.jesp.2017.06.010

Labuschagne, L. G., Cox, T.-J., Brown, K., & Scarf, D. (2017). Too cool? Symbolic but not iconic stimuli impair 4-year-old children's performance on the delay-of-gratification choice paradigm. Behavioural Processes, 36-39. doi: 10.1016/j.beproc.2016.11.014

Scarf, D., Moradi, S., McGaw, K., Hewitt, J., Hayhurst, J. G., Boyes, M., Ruffman, T., & Hunter, J. A. (2016). Somewhere I belong: Long-term increases in adolescents’ resilience are predicted by perceived belonging to the in-group. British Journal of Social Psychology, 55(3), 588-599. doi: 10.1111/bjso.12151

Scarf, D., Boy, K., Uber Reinert, A., Devine, J., Güntürkün, O., & Colombo, M. (2016). Orthographic processing in pigeons (Columba livia). PNAS, 113(40), 11272-11276. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1607870113

Scarf, D., Stuart, M., Johnston, M., & Colombo, M. (2016). Visual response properties of neurons in four areas of the avian pallium. Journal of Comparative Physiology A, 202(3), 235-245. doi: 10.1007/s00359-016-1071-6

Riordan, B. C., Flett, J. A. M., Hunter, J. A., Scarf, D. K., & Conner, T. S. (2015). Fear of missing out (FoMO): The relationship between FoMO, alcohol use, and alcohol-related consequences in college students. Annals of Neuroscience & Psychology, 2, 7. Retrieved from http://www.vipoa.org/neuropsychol/2/7

Kumst, S., & Scarf, D. (2015). Your wish is my command! The influence of symbolic modelling on preschool children's delay of gratification. PeerJ, 3, e774. doi: 10.7717/peerj.774

Payne, G., Taylor, R., Hayne, H., & Scarf, D. (2015). Mental time travel for self and other in three- and four-year-old children. Memory, 23(5), 675-682. doi: 10.1080/09658211.2014.921310

Riordan, B. C., Conner, T. S., Flett, J. A. M., & Scarf, D. (2015). A brief Orientation Week ecological momentary intervention to reduce university student alcohol consumption. Journal of Studies on Alcohol & Drugs, 76(4), 525-529. doi: 10.15288/jsad.2015.76.525

Riordan, B. C., Scarf, D., & Conner, T. S. (2015). Is Orientation Week a gateway to persistent alcohol use in university students? A preliminary investigation. Journal of Studies on Alcohol & Drugs, 76(2), 204-211.

Staniland, J., Colombo, M., & Scarf, D. (2015). The Generation Effect or simply generating an effect? Journal of Comparative Psychology, 129(4), 329-333. doi: 10.1037/a0039450

Scarf, D., Millar, J., Pow, N., & Colombo, M. (2014). Inhibition, the final frontier: The impact of hippocampal lesions on behavioral inhibition and spatial processing in pigeons. Behavioral Neuroscience, 128(1), 42-47. doi: 10.1037/a0035487

Scarf, D., Smith, C., & Stuart, M. (2014). A spoon full of studies helps the comparison go down: A comparative analysis of Tulving’s spoon test. Frontiers in Psychology, 5, 893. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00893

Imuta, K., Hayne, H., & Scarf, D. (2014). I want it all and I want it now: Delay of gratification in preschool children. Developmental Psychobiology, 56(7), 1541-1552. doi: 10.1002/dev.21249

Scarf, D., Terrace, H., Colombo, M., & Magnuson, J. S. (2014). Eye movements reveal planning in humans: A comparison with Scarf and Colombo's (2009) monkeys. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes, 40(2), 178-184. doi: 10.1037/xan0000008

Imuta, K., Scarf, D., & Hayne, H. (2013). The effect of verbal reminders on memory reactivation in 2-, 3-, and 4-year-old children. Developmental Psychology, 49(6), 1058-1065. doi: 10.1037/a0029432

Scarf, D., Gross, J., Colombo, M., & Hayne, H. (2013). To have and to hold: Episodic memory in 3- and 4-year-old children. Developmental Psychobiology, 55(2), 125-132. doi: 10.1002/dev.21004

Imuta, K., Scarf, D., Pharo, H., & Hayne, H. (2013). Drawing a close to the use of human figure drawings as a projective measure of intelligence. PLoS ONE, 8(3), e58991. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0058991

Colombo, M., & Scarf, D. (2012). Neurophysiological studies of learning and memory in pigeons. Comparative Cognition & Behavior Reviews, 7, 23-43. doi: 10.3819/ccbr.2012.7002

Scarf, D., Imuta, K., Colombo, M., & Hayne, H. (2012). Social evaluation or simple association? Simple associations may explain moral reasoning in infants. PLoS ONE, 7(8), e42698. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0042698

Scarf, D., Danly, E., Morgan, G., Colombo, M., & Terrace, H. S. (2011). Sequential planning in rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta). Animal Cognition, 14(3), 317-324. doi: 10.1007/s10071-010-0365-2

Scarf, D., Miles, K., Sloan, A., Goulter, N., Hegan, M., Seid-Fatemi, A., … Colombo, M. (2011). Brain cells in the avian 'prefrontal cortex' code for features of slot-machine-like gambling. PLoS ONE, 6(1), e14589. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0014589

Scarf, D., & Colombo, M. (2011). Knowledge of the ordinal position of list items in pigeons. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes, 37(4), 483-487. doi: 10.1037/a0023695

Scarf, D., Hayne, H., & Colombo, M. (2011). Pigeons on par with primates in numerical competence. Science, 334(6063), 1664. doi: 10.1126/science.1213357

Scarf, D., & Colombo, M. (2010). A positional coding mechanism in pigeons after learning multiple three-item lists. Animal Cognition, 13, 653-661. doi: 10.1007/s10071-010-0315-z

Scarf, D., & Colombo, M. (2010). Representation of serial order in pigeons (Columba livia). Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes, 36(4), 423-429. doi: 10.1037/a0020926

Scarf, D., & Colombo, M. (2010). The formation and execution of sequential plans in pigeons (Columba livia). Behavioural Processes, 83(2), 179-182. doi: 10.1016/j.beproc.2009.12.004

Scarf, D., & Colombo, M. (2009). Eye movements during list execution reveal no planning in monkeys (Macaca fascicularis). Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes, 35(4), 587-592. doi: 10.1037/a0014020

Scarf, D., & Colombo, M. (2008). Representation of serial order: A comparative analysis of humans, monkeys, and pigeons. Brain Research Bulletin, 76(3), 307-312. doi: 10.1016/j.brainresbull.2008.02.022

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Journal - Research Other

Güntürkün, O., Ströckens, F., Scarf, D., & Colombo, M. (2017). Apes, feathered apes, and pigeons: Differences and similarities. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, 16, 35-40. doi: 10.1016/j.cobeha.2017.03.003

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