News and Research

Like Duke Ellington’s 1931 jazz standard, the human brain improvises while its rhythm section keeps up a steady beat. But when it comes to taking on intellectually challenging tasks, groups of neurons tune in to one another for a fraction of a second and harmonize, then go back to improvising,... Read more
Hello Alumni and Friends! After four outstanding years of astute and inspiring leadership, Rich Ivry is stepping down as chair and returning to full time teaching and research. Our Department flourished under Rich’s leadership and guidance, and we are all very grateful for his hard work, steadfast commitment, and cheerful demeanor no matter what the circumstance. I am excited and honored to begin serving as Chair of Psychology. I look forward to maintaining and building upon the success our Department has achieved over the past several years. I have been at Berkeley for over 16 years, including service as Vice... Read more
An independent feature film, set for theatrical release this month (New York on July 15, San Francisco on July 24), dramatizes the story of a research study that recreated a prison setting in August 1971. UC Berkeley’s Christina Maslach, professor emerita of psychology, is well-qualified to talk about the Stanford Prison Experiment and the new film of the same name. She was there. The experiment was designed to test how anti-social behaviors can develop in prisons and prison-like settings – whether due to personality traits of prisoners and guards or social factors such as rules, roles and group identity. For... Read more
If you can’t tell a smile from a scowl, you’re probably not getting enough sleep. A new UC Berkeley study shows that sleep deprivation dulls our ability to accurately read facial expressions. This deficit can have serious consequences, such as not noticing that a child is sick or in pain, or that a potential mugger or violent predator is approaching. “Recognizing the emotional expressions of someone else changes everything about whether or not you decide to interact with them, and in return, whether they interact with you,” said study senior author Matthew Walker, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at... Read more
Challenging the idea that addiction is hardwired in the brain, a new UC Berkeley study of mice suggests that even a short time spent in a stimulating learning environment can rewire the brain’s reward system and buffer it against drug dependence. Scientists tracked cocaine cravings in more than 70 adult male mice and found that those rodents whose daily drill included exploration, learning and finding hidden tasty morsels were less likely than their enrichment-deprived counterparts to seek solace in a chamber where they had been given cocaine. “We have compelling behavioral evidence that self-directed exploration and learning altered their reward... Read more
Poor sleep, more common in old age, is linked to the protein implicated in Alzheimer’s disease. Sleep may be a missing piece in the Alzheimer’s disease puzzle. UC Berkeley scientists have found compelling evidence that poor sleep — particularly a deficit of the deep, restorative slumber needed to hit the save button on memories — is a channel through which the beta-amyloid protein believed to trigger Alzheimer’s disease attacks the brain’s long-term memory. “Our findings reveal a new pathway through which Alzheimer’s disease may cause memory decline later in life,” said UC Berkeley neuroscience professor Matthew Walker, senior author of... Read more
New study links a gene variant with smiling and laughter. Researchers at UC Berkeley and Northwestern University have found that a gene involved in the regulation of serotonin makes some of us more prone to spontaneous smiles and bursts of laughter, according to their study just published in the journal Emotion. Specifically, researchers looked at two versions of the gene variant known as 5-HTTLPR, and found that people with the short version were more likely to smile and laugh while looking at Far Side and New Yorker cartoons and humorous clips from the movie Strangers in Paradise. Researchers videotaped the... Read more

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Department Highlights

Faculty Recruitment:  Systems Neuroscience

Prospective Students: GRADUATE ADMISSION 2016 - 2017

Postbac Certificate Program

UC Berkeley ranked nation’s best public university.

Admissions are made on a rolling basis, although the deadline for fall 2014 enrollment is July 31, 2014 and the deadline for spring 2015 enrollment is December 1, 2014.   For Berkeley’s academic year calendar, please see http://registrar.berkeley.edu/CalendarDisp.aspx?terms=current - See more at: http://psychology.berkeley.edu/content/post-baccalaureate-overview#sthas...
Admissions are made on a rolling basis, although the deadline for fall 2014 enrollment is July 31, 2014 and the deadline for spring 2015 enrollment is December 1, 2014.   For Berkeley’s academic year calendar, please see http://registrar.berkeley.edu/CalendarDisp.aspx?terms=current - See more at: http://psychology.berkeley.edu/content/post-baccalaureate-overview#sthas...
Each year, over 200 Graduate Student Instructors across UC Berkeley are chosen for their outstanding work in the teaching of undergraduates. The Outstanding GSI Awards are given to the best GSIs of the year, nominated by the course instructor. Congratulations to the Outstanding GSI Award - See more at: http://bioegrad.berkeley.edu/news/congratulations-outstanding-gsis#sthas...
Each year, over 200 Graduate Student Instructors across UC Berkeley are chosen for their outstanding work in the teaching of undergraduates. The Outstanding GSI Awards are given to the best GSIs of the year, nominated by the course instructor. Congratulations to the Outstanding GSI Award - See more at: http://bioegrad.berkeley.edu/news/congratulations-outstanding-gsis#sthas...
Each year, over 200 Graduate Student Instructors across UC Berkeley are chosen for their outstanding work in the teaching of undergraduates. The Outstanding GSI Awards are given to the best GSIs of the year, nominated by the course instructor. Congratulations to the Outstanding GSI Award - See more at: http://bioegrad.berkeley.edu/news/congratulations-outstanding-gsis#sthas...
Each year, over 200 Graduate Student Instructors across UC Berkeley are chosen for their outstanding work in the teaching of undergraduates. The Outstanding GSI Awards are given to the best GSIs of the year, nominated by the course instructor. Congratulations to the Outstanding GSI Award - See more at: http://bioegrad.berkeley.edu/news/congratulations-outstanding-gsis#sthas...
Each year, over 200 Graduate Student Instructors across UC Berkeley are chosen for their outstanding work in the teaching of undergraduates. The Outstanding GSI Awards are given to the best GSIs of the year, nominated by the course instructor. Congratulations to the Outstanding GSI Award - See more at: http://bioegrad.berkeley.edu/news/congratulations-outstanding-gsis#sthas...
Each year, over 200 Graduate Student Instructors across UC Berkeley are chosen for their outstanding work in the teaching of undergraduates. The Outstanding GSI Awards are given to the best GSIs of the year, nominated by the course instructor. Congratulations to the Outstanding GSI Award - See more at: http://bioegrad.berkeley.edu/news/congratulations-outstanding-gsis#sthas...
Each year, over 200 Graduate Student Instructors across UC Berkeley are chosen for their outstanding work in the teaching of undergraduates. The Outstanding GSI Awards are given to the best GSIs of the year, nominated by the course instructor. Congratulations to the Outstanding GSI Award - See more at: http://bioegrad.berkeley.edu/news/congratulations-outstanding-gsis#sthas... DahlCarla España, Benjamin Griggs (GSE), Jennifer Kanady, Jason Lee, Samuel Sakhai, and Jared Saletin

Videos of Faculty Research Lectures

Professor Alison Gopnik's Wall Street Journal Column: BABIES MAKE PREDICTIONS, TOO

BLOGS:
Professor Tania Lombrozo's NPR blog: Is Gun Violence Due To Dangerous People Or Dangerous Guns?

Professor Art Shimamura's Psychology Today blog: Experiencing Art: It's Not Just for Art's Sake. Every picture tells a story and we can learn much through art.

Save the Date: The Department Lecturership Committee is delighted to announce that Professor of the Graduate School Stephen E. Palmer will give the Distinguished Faculty Lecture on Wednesday October 14, 2014 at 3 pm in the Alumni House.  Click Here

Campus Shared Services is here!

Calendar of Events

How to Write a Research Proposal Workshop

August 31 • 16:00:00 • Durant Hall
Room: 
9

Seminar 218, Psychology and Economics: "Consumption as a social signal: upward/downward visibility and income elasticities”

September 01 • 14:00:00 • Evans Hall
Room: 
648

Getting Started in Undergraduate Research and Finding a Mentor Workshop

September 01 • 14:00:00 • Durant Hall
Room: 
9

Inferences from task difficulty

September 02 • 12:00:00 • Tolman Hall
Room: 
5101

Frontal Cortex Physiology and Human Behavior

September 02 • 16:00:00 • Li Ka Shing Center
Room: 
125