News 2016

August 11, 2016

UC Santa Barbara Professor Zoe Liberman finds infants learn about food preferences — what’s good, what’s bad and who will eat what — in a social context

(Santa Barbara, Calif.) — If you want your baby to love broccoli, you better love it, too, because that tiny human is watching you to learn which foods are good and bad. That’s one of the takeaways in anew paper by a UC Santa Barbara researcher who investigated the way infants reason in socially smart ways about food.

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Jonathan Schooler
July 14, 2016

UC Santa Barbara’s newest research center might well be its most focused. The Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at UCSB has opened The Center for Mindfulness & Human Potential (CMHP), which is dedicated to advancing interdisciplinary research into mindfulness and neuroplasticity. The center — which will be directed by longstanding collaborators Jonathan Schooler, Michael Mrazek and Dawa Tarchin Phillips — aims to use the best science, education and technology to advance scientific understanding and improve lives.

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July 12, 2016

When children learn how to tie their shoelaces, they do so in discrete steps — making a loop or tugging at the lace. Through repetition, these individual motions merge into elemental actions called “chunks” that remain so organized even after extensive practice.

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July 11, 2016

Dr. Emily Jacobs, Assistant Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of California, Santa Barbara, has been invited by the National Academy of Sciences to the 28th Annual Kavli Frontiers of Science Symposium. The gathering, which convenes in November, is considered the Academy’s premiere activity for distinguished young scientists.

June 27, 2016

Not many kids have the chance to get up close and personal with a real human brain. But in Santa Barbara a growing number are doing just that, thanks to “The Brain Lady.”

Meet Karen Szumlinski, a professor in UC Santa Barbara’s Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences, whose “Brainiacs” outreach program to local schools perfectly blends her knowledge of brains and passion for education.

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June 20, 2016

Many traits make human beings unique, not the least of which is our ability to cooperate with one another. But exactly how we choose to do that — particularly with nonfamily members — can be complicated.

For men, that choice relies partially on perceptions of productivity and material benefit, just as it would have in an ancestral hunter-gatherer society. So finds a new study by UC Santa Barbara psychologists, which appears in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior.

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June 14, 2016

Psychological and Brain Sciences is proud to confer 2016 Ph.D. degrees on the following students (from left) Deborah Barany (Dynamical Neuroscience), Anthony Scroggins, Jessica Cornick, Katie Koehler, Lauren Vucovich, Alexander Swan, Celeste Pilegard, Jeff Hunger, Randy Corpuz, and Matthew Cieslak. Congratulations to the graduates and their advisors!

June 14, 2016

Inside Psychology 2016

Features include: Gauchos give back; The Evolution of Shame; New Faculty Emily Jacobs & Michael Goard; Honoring Jim Blascovich; Graduate and Undergraduate Awards; Alumni Profile Dachner Keltner; Staff Profile: Student Affairs Staff.

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June 10, 2016

Psychological & Brain Sciences Professor Mike Miller is shown below completing exercises with the Defense Science Study Group. Professor Miller was appointed to the group to share his expertise in cognitive neuroscience which has been increasingly recognized by the defense community as able to provide insight into the human challenges faced by intelligence services.

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June 10, 2016

Many UCSB pre-med students choose to build their professional foundations at the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, the only department on this campus that investigates the brain at all levels – from its molecular dynamics to perception and behavior. Its Biopsychology major has become a hub for future physicians intending to specialize in neurology, neuropsychiatry, and related fields. The major offers rigorous courses in neuroanatomy, neuropharmacology, and neurodevelopment, and excelling undergraduates can take some of these courses at the graduate level.

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