My “Homopholganger”

Huzzah! Today is the sixth year this website has been online! If I remember correctly, I posted everything online while the Lakers were in the playoffs about to go to the championships… and lo and behold the past is repeating! (yes, I’m a Laker fan… which will certainly be interesting living in Boston as they move on to play the Celtics in the Finals)

So, here’s a semi-research-related story to commemorate the occasion. The Tufts Psych department (to which I’m a grad student) is hosting a conference this weekend, and one of the featured speakers is a psychologist named…Neal Cohen! (no relation)

Naturally, I thought it would be hilarious and awkward to meet him. The first day of the conference I had turned it into a scavenger hunt, with several faculty and other grad students all on the lookout for him. We came up with a great portmanteau word to describe someone who shares the same name as you: your “homopholganger.” By the time I arrived Friday, I was getting asked over and over if I’d met him yet.

I actually did end up talking to him shortly after his own presentation, and hilarity ensued! Even cooler, I started making connections between some of his work on the hippocampus to things I’m finding in visual grammar. Naturally, I proposed a collaboration… He thought the ideas were pretty cool, so, who knows, perhaps in the next few years we’ll see the fantastic byline: By Neil Cohn and Neal Cohen.


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