News

September 15, 2016

A UC Santa Barbara researcher studying how the brain uses perception of the environment to guide action has a new understanding of the neural circuits responsible for transforming sensation into movement.

“Mapping perception to a future action seems simple,” UCSB neuroscientist Michael Goard. “We do it all the time when we see a traffic light and use that information to guide our later motor action. However, how these associations are mapped across time in the brain is not well understood.”

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August 17, 2016

Brain scans of musician Sting give Professor Scott Grafton insight into how the rocker forges musical connections in his mind.

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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

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 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!

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