Department Highlights

Phil and Carolyn Cowan, along with collaborators, win award in the UK

Congratulations to Phil and Carolyn Cowan along with collaborators Marsha Kline Pruett (Cal grad!), Professor at Smith College, and Kyle Pruett, Professor at Yale Schoo of Medicine, for winning 'Best Family Support Intervention' at the Children & Young People Now award...

The Hidden Costs of Sleep Deficits

Throughout modern history, the concept of a good night’s sleep has often been painted as almost an indulgence. Virginia Woolf referred to it as “that deplorable curtailment of the joy of life.” Vladimir Nabokov called it “the most moronic fraternity in the world.” And more...

Congrats to D'Esposito, Gopnik and Knight for being elected as AAAS fellows

Six UC Berkeley scientists are among the 396 newest fellows elected to the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for “advancing science applications that are deemed scientifically or socially distinguished.”

 

Ronald Cohen, Mark D’Esposito, Marla Feller, Alison...

Sleep Scientist Warns Against Walking Through Life 'In An Underslept State'

The National Sleep Foundation recommends an average of eight hours of sleep per night for adults, but sleep scientist Matthew Walker says that too many people are falling short of the mark.

 

"Human beings are the only species that deliberately deprive themselves of sleep for no...

Congratulations to Al Riley for receiving the UCBEA Distinguished Emeritus of the Year, 2017-18

Prof. Donald A. “Al” Riley retired from the Department of Psychology in 1991. You would never know it. Al continued to do active research with graduate students until 1994, and with undergraduates through 2000. He was a founding member of the University of California Berkeley...

Congratulations to Jason Okonofua for receiving the 2017 Cialdini Prize from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology

Jason Okonofua has been awarded a 2017 Cialdini Prize from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology. Jason, along with co-authors David Paunesku and Gregory Walton will be awarded the prize for their paper  "Brief intervention to encourage empathic discipline cuts suspension rates in...

Fox squirrels use ‘chunking’ to organize their favorite nuts

Like trick-or-treaters sorting their Halloween candy haul, fox squirrels apparently organize their stashes of nuts by variety, quality and possibly even preference, according to new UC Berkeley research.

 

The study, published today in the Royal Society Open Science journal, is the...

Congratulations to Oliver John on receiving the Society for Personality and Social Psychology's 2017 Block Award!

The Block Award is SPSP's senior career award for research accomplishment in personality psychology. It was named for Jack Block, who was known for his analytic and theoretical sophistication and depth, as well as for his broad interests. The recipients of this award are recognized for their...

More education linked to better cognitive functioning later in life

Higher levels of education are tied to later ages of peak cognitive functioning, according to new research published today in the journal PLoS One.

 

The study, led by UC Berkeley researchers, examined relationships between educational attainment, cognitive performance and learning...

Congratulations to Christina Maslach on receiving the Society for Personality and Social Psychology's 2017 Application of Personality and Social Psychology Award!

“Few 20th-century, research-based psychological constructs have become so widely recognized that dictionaries date their etymology to around the time when they were coined in a professional publication.  “Burnout” is one such construct.  Christina Maslach, Professor Emerita at the University of...

Congratulations to Fei Xu for being selected Fellow of the Cognitive Science Society

Congradulations to Fei Xu who has been elected as a Fellow of the Cognitive Science Society. This is a high honor that reflects her impact on the Cognitive Science community.

Professor Emeritus Art Shimamura has just published a new book entitled “Get SMART! Five Steps Toward a Healthy Brain”

The book translates research into action in an understandable way, and it will have insights for many people, young and old. What are the five steps? Step number one is “Get Started” and that is what you need to do when it comes to getting a copy of this book! You can get it...

Congratulations to Linda Wilbrecht and the wining team of the 2017 Radical Ideas in Brain Science Challenge

The Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute announces the selection of Markita Landry and collaborators Linda Wilbrecht, Marla Feller, and Jose Carmena as the recipients of the 2017 Radical Ideas in Brain Science Challenge. Landry and her team will receive a $300,000 award — made possible through the...

Congratulations to Qing Zhou

The department congratulates Qing Zhou on her thesis, "Parenting Practices of Contemporary Indigenous Families in Taiwan: Influences by Socio-Cultural Factors and Impacts on Children’s Early Academic Development". She has been chosen to receive a $19,635 award from the Shung Ye Museum of...

Dementia patients may die sooner if family caregivers are mentally stressed

Patients with dementia may actually die sooner if their family caregivers are mentally stressed, according to a new UC Berkeley study.

From 2007 until 2016, UC Berkeley researchers tracked the mortality of 176 patients with neurodegenerative diseases that are corrosive to brain function....

Hey Siri, an ancient algorithm may help you grasp metaphors

Ask Siri to find a math tutor to help you “grasp” calculus and she’s likely to respond that your request is beyond her abilities. That’s because metaphors like “grasp” are difficult for Apple’s voice-controlled personal assistant to, well, grasp.

 

But new UC Berkeley research...

With Google’s help, psychologist tackles ‘black troublemaker’ school stereotype

As a boy in Memphis, Tennessee, Jason Okonofua tagged along behind his two protective older brothers, even when they got into schoolyard brawls. By 10th grade he had attended a half-dozen schools, getting suspended four times and expelled once.

 

While his brothers skipped college...

Campus Study Uncovers Publication Discrepancies in STEM

A recent study found a discrepancy in publication for most STEM programs at UC Berkeley but found the campus’s College of Chemistry to be a surprising exception to the trend.

 

Rodolfo Mendoza-Denton, the study’s first author and a campus psychology professor, and...

UC Berkeley Researchers Find Sleep Disruption May Lead to Memory Loss, Dementia in Elderly

While UC Berkeley students may be notorious for staying up studying and messing up their sleep schedules, according to a study recently published by campus researchers, such sleeping habits could be detrimental to brain health if continued later in life.

A group of UC Berkeley researchers...

Congratulation to Sheldon Zedeck on receiving the 2017 ATP Award for Professional Contributions and Service to Testing

ATP (Association of Test Publishers) Celebrates 2017 Award Winners

 

Two more names were added to ATP's Wall of Honor at the 2017 Innovations in Testing Conference: Dr. Neil J. Dorans,  recipient of the ATP Career Achievement Award and Dr. Sheldon Zedeck, recipient...

Congratulations to Donald A. Riley the UCBEA Distinguished Emeritus of the Year, 2017-18

The University of California at Berkeley Emeriti Associations (UCBEA) is pleased to announce the recipient of the UCBEA Distinguished Emeritus of the Year, 2017-18 – DONALD A. RILEY.

 

The Emeritus/a of the Year Award is determined by a committee of the UC Berkeley...

Congratulations to Robert Knight for being elected Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences!

American Academy of Arts and Sciences elects 11 faculty as members

 

Eleven UC Berkeley faculty have been elected members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the esteemed society of scholars, scientists, writers, artists, as well as civic, business and philanthropic...

Congratulations to Tom Griffiths on securing a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship for 2017!

Griffiths was selected from a field of nearly three thousand applicants, and joins six Berkeley colleagues in receiving this award for 2017. This coveted fellowship will support Griffiths in his research efforts, and reinforces his stature as an innovative and rigorous scientist.

 ...

Deep Sleep May Act as Fountain of Youth in Old Age

As we grow old, our nights are frequently plagued by bouts of wakefulness, bathroom trips and other nuisances as we lose our ability to generate the deep, restorative slumber we enjoyed in youth.

 

But does that mean older people just need less sleep?

 

The...

Congratulations to Tania Lombrozo on receiving a 2017 American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship

Congratulations to Tania Lombrozo for being named an American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) fellow. The set of 71 fellows was selected through ACLS’s rigorous, multi-stage peer review process from a pool of nearly 1,200 applicants. The fellowship supports scholars for six to twelve months...

Scientists Use This Movie Clip to Make People Sob Their Eyes Out. Can You Resist It?

What’s the funniest movie of all time? How about the scariest movie? The saddest? You probably have your own set of answers to all of these questions, forged over years of debate with friends and first dates, tempered in bottomless cups of coffee and wine. There is no wrong answer; defining our...

Hospitals are Getting Physician Burnout and Engagement All Wrong — Here's Why

Physician burnout poses a threat to clinicians' well-being, patient care and the hospital bottom line — and it's on the rise. Healthcare administrators are paying increasing attention to what many have deemed an epidemic of physician burnout, going so far as to enlist consultants to assess and...

Dacher Keltner's Latest Research on HAPPINESS

David Attenborough's Planet Earth II can make you HAPPIER and can even reduce stress

The research confirms that even short engagement with nature shows leads to significant...

Professor Susan Ervin-Tripp: 2016 Class of ’31 Interviewee in University History

One of the great joys of being an oral historian is getting to talk to people you otherwise wouldn’t have known. We have the privilege of asking people about their lives, putting their experiences in context of the larger historical landscape, posing questions that others don’t have the...

Artificial Intelligence/Natural Stupidity- Podcast

On this week's episode of Think Again–a Big Think Podcast, Alison Gopnik and host Jason Gots discuss play, artificial intelligence, and the trouble with "parenting" as a verb.
Surprise "conversation starter" interview clips in this episode:Ryan Holiday, Steven Pinker, and Sonia Arrison....

‘Does what I study even matter now?’ Yes, it does. Here’s why.

Every once in a while, I have an existential crisis. I question my career, my relevance, my purpose. Why, I ask myself, am I doing research when there are so many more immediately important things going on? Why do I agonize over articles that so very few people read? Who cares about our ivory...

Congratulations to Mahesh!

Assistant Professor Mahesh Srinivasan was recently named a “Rising Star” by the Association for Psychological Science. The Rising Star designation recognizes “outstanding psychological scientists in the earliest stages of their research career post-PHD whose innovative work has already advanced...

Why The Lights Don’t Dim When We Blink

Every few seconds, our eyelids automatically shutter and our eyeballs roll back in their sockets. So why doesn’t blinking plunge us into intermittent darkness and light?

New research led by UC Berkeley shows that the brain works extra hard to stabilize our vision despite our fluttering...

Pop-outs: How the brain extracts meaning from noise

When you’re suddenly able to understand someone despite their thick accent, or finally make out the lyrics of a song, your brain appears to be re-tuning to recognize speech that was previously incomprehensible.

 

UC Berkeley neuroscientists have now observed this re-tuning in...

Congratuations to Steve!

Congratulations to Steve Hinshaw, for his recently announced award from the Society for Research in Child Development, for Distinguished Contributions to Child Development.  This award Is given in recognition of an SRCD member’s continuous lifetime contributions to the scientific body of...

Scientific Impact Award

Social Psychologist Claude Steele has been awarded the Scientific Impact Award by the Society of Experimental Social Psychology (SESP) along with Joshua Aronson of NYU/Steinhardt.

 

The Scientific Impact Award is intended for “a specific article or chapter offering a theoretical,...

Distinguished Faculty Lecture

Professor Emeritus Sheldon Zedeck

"A Long Search for Better Prediction of Academic Performance: Non-cognitive Predictors"

The presentation focused on Shelly's career efforts to search for, develop, and implement fairer testing processes that yield a more diverse workforce and...

Watch These Frustrated Squirrels Go Nuts

Although our department is well known for its studies of emotion in humans. Ph.D. candidate Mikel Delgado,
from the Jacobs Lab (...

Brain’s hippocampus helps fill in the blanks of language

A new study shows that when you finish your spouse’s sentences or answer a fill-in-the-blank question, you’re engaging the brain’s relay station for memories, an area that until now was largely neglected by scientists studying language....

Our brain activity could be nudged to make healthier choices

Netflix binge-watching versus a hike in the woods. A cheeseburger versus kale salad. Fentanyl versus Tylenol. New UC Berkeley research suggests our brain activity could be influenced to make the healthier choice.

 ...

Couples study ties anger to heart problems, stonewalling to back pain

If you rage with frustration during a marital spat, watch your blood pressure. If you keep a stiff upper lip, watch your back.  New research from UC Berkeley and Northwestern University, based on how couples behave during conflicts, suggests outbursts of anger predict cardiovascular problems...

Fox squirrels’ tell-tail signs of frustration

Fox squirrels flick their tails when they can’t get a cherished nut in much the same way that humans kick a vending machine that fails to deliver the anticipated soda or candy bar, according to new UC Berkeley research.

...

Congratulations to Psychology's Outstanding Graduate Student Instructors!

The UC Berkeley Outstanding GSI Awards are given to the best GSIs of the year, nominated by the course instructor. Congratulations to the Outstanding GSI Award Winners for 2015-16 from Psychology.
From left to right: Rupa Mahajan Robbins (Education), Rebecca Hachmyer (Education), Michaela...

Scientists map brain’s thesaurus to help decode inner thoughts

What if a map of the brain could help us decode people’s inner thoughts?

UC Berkeley scientists have taken a step in that direction by building a “semantic atlas” that shows in vivid colors and multiple dimensions how the human brain organizes language. The atlas identifies brain areas...

Paralyzed by indecision? Forget therapy. You need an algorithm

Information overload and “fear of missing out” may rank among the biggest contributors to chronic indecision. But help is at hand.

...

Perception Science Summer Internship Program for High Schoolers

This internship offers advanced high-school students the opportunity to be involved with cutting-edge research in vision science. In this immersive experience, students will be involved in every step of the research process, and will be working alongside Whitney lab members to create and test...

Scientists tap the smarts of mice, capture problem-solving in action

UC Berkeley scientists have captured unique images of problem-solving in action by tapping into the minds of mice. The study shows rapid rewiring in the rodents’ frontal brains after they learn by trial and error.

Using advanced microscopy techniques, researchers found that when mice used...

Congratulations to Tania Lombrozo!

Professor Tania Lombrozo is the recipient of the American Psychological Association (APA) Distinguished Scientific Award for an Early Career Contribution to Psychology in the area of cognition and human learning. This award recognizes excellent psychologists who are at early stages of their...

Prof. Sheri Johnson is the recipient of a Harry Frank Guggenheim Research Grant

The Harry Frank Guggehim Foundation awards grants from the natural and social sciences and the humanities that promise to increase understanding of the causes, manifestations, and control of violence and aggression. Their highest priority is given to research that can increase understanding and...

2015 Chancellor’s Award for Advancing Institutional Excellence

Professor Rodolfo Mendoza-Denton has been selected as the recipient of the 2015 Chancellor’s Award for Advancing Institutional Excellence. The selection committee was inspired by both his extensive scholarly impact and his deep commitment to campus efforts on increasing intergroup awareness,...

Professor Robert Levenson wins Distinguished Contributions to Psychophysiology Award!

At the 2015 annual meeting of the Society for Psychophysiological Research held in Seattle, Washington, IPSR Director Bob Levenson received the Distinguished Contributions to Psychophysiology Award, honoring his scientific contributions to the field, his mentoring, and his service to the Society...

Late bedtimes could lead to weight gain

Teenagers and adults who go to bed late on weeknights are more likely to gain weight than their peers who hit the hay earlier, according to a new study from UC Berkeley that has found a correlation between sleep and body mass index. Berkeley researchers analyzed longitudinal data from a...

Smell Mapping: Using Your Nose To Retrace Your Steps

Professor Lucia Jacobs has found that people can create a map in their heads with scents as location markers. NPR replicates the experiment with a master sommelier, and discovers that olfactory navigation is lot more successful if you have a sophisticated nose.  Listen to the interview on...

Congratulations to Bob Knight!

Professor Robert Knight has been awarded the 2015 Faculty Award for Excellence in Postdoctoral Mentoring. This award comes with a $3,000 prize and was presented to him at the National Postdoc Appreciation Day...

It don’t mean a thing if the brain ain’t got that swing

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,...

A message from the new Chair Ann Kring:

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,...

The sleep-deprived brain can mistake friends for foes

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...

Professor Emerita Christina Maslach recalls famous prison study, now a movie

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...

Intellectual pursuits may buffer the brain against addiction

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...

Humans’ built-in GPS is our 3-D sense of smell

New study shows we can use our sense of smell not just to identify objects, but to navigate.
Like homing pigeons, humans have a nose for navigation because our brains are wired to convert smells into spatial information, new research from UC Berkeley shows.

While humans may lack the...

Oh Joy! Berkeley consults on ‘Inside Out’ emotions

When UC Berkeley psychologist Dacher Keltner attended the Hollywood premiere of the new Pixar movie Inside Out – which opens Friday in theaters nationwide – he was thrilled to see children running around the purple (not red) carpet yelling, “I’m Fear,” “I’m Sadness” or “I want to be Anger.”...

Get the giggles often? It may be in your DNA

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...

Poor sleep linked to toxic buildup of Alzheimer’s protein, memory loss

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...

Congratulations to our Outstanding GSIs

On May 5, 2015, the GSI Teaching and Resource Center hosted a reception to honor Outstanding Graduate Student Instructors (OGSIs). From the Department of Psychology award certificates were presented to the six OGSIs, and one from the Graduate School of Eduation. The OGSI Award is in recognition...

Congratulations Rich!

Professor Rich Ivry been selected to receive the Distinguished Service Award from the Division of Social Sciences in the College of Letters and Sciences. The award is designed to encourage and reward faculty members who have been exceptionally generous and effective in both undergraduate and...

Stereotypes persist that class and privilege determine intellect and success

A meritocracy holds that if you work hard enough, you can succeed in life, regardless of race, religion, gender or social status. But a new study from UC Berkeley suggests that, despite egalitarian efforts to downplay class as a forecaster for intelligence and achievement, many people still...

Western Psychology Association 2015 Social Responsibility Award

Congratulations to Professor Dacher Keltner for being awarded the 2015 Western Psychology Association (WPA) Social Responsibility Award for his phenomenal work on the Greater Good Project.   The WPA Social Responsibility Award is given to individuals in recognition of substantial and influential...

Anxious people more apt to make bad decisions amid uncertainty

Highly anxious people have more trouble deciding how best to handle situations involving uncertainty, finding such situations distressing and immobilizing. But why is this the case? New research from UC Berkeley published online this week in Nature Neuroscience suggests that people prone to high...

Harnessing psychological processes to improve sleep

Recently Professor Allison Harvey published findings that support effectiveness of cognitive and transdiagnostic approaches to treating sleep disorders. The article was published by the American Psychological...

Your Brain on Drugs: Novel Clinical Implications

Get an introduction to the latest scientific findings on addiction's effect on the brain in this incisive talk with UC Berkeley professor Mark. D'Esposito. Understand how certain circuits in the brain that normally guide goal-directed behavior are malfunctioning in the throes of addiction...

What babies tell us about artificial intelligence

They may outwit the chess Grandmaster Kasparov, but can machines ever be as smart as a three-year-old?

    Instead of trying to produce a programme to simulate the adult mind, why not rather try to produce one which simulates the child’s? – Alan Turing, 1950.

In an “Ideas Lab”...

Blocking hormone could eliminate stress-induced infertility

UC Berkeley scientists have discovered that chronic stress activates a hormone that reduces fertility long after the stress has ended, and that blocking this hormone returns female reproductive behavior to normal.

While the experiments were conducted in rats, the researchers are...

Facebook got You Down?

“Want chocolate?” asks Dacher Keltner, opening his hand to reveal three foil-wrapped sweets. To a writer arriving at Keltner’s office on the UC Berkeley campus for a morning interview, it’s the perfect gesture: spontaneous, humble, and warmly human.

The social psychologist and professor...

How songbirds may help build a better hearing aid

Untreated hearing loss can have devastating and alienating repercussions on a person’s life: isolation, depression, sapped cognition, even dementia.

Yet only one in five Americans who could benefit from a hearing aid actually wears one. Some don’t seek help because their loss has been so...

Wealth, power or lack thereof at heart of many mental disorders

Donald Trump’s ego may be the size of his financial empire, but that doesn’t mean he’s the picture of mental health. The same can be said about the self-esteem of people who are living from paycheck to paycheck, or unemployed. New research from UC Berkeley underscores this mind-wallet connection...

Scientists detect brain network that gives humans superior reasoning skills

When it comes to getting out of a tricky situation, we humans have an evolutionary edge over other primates. Take, as a dramatic example, the Apollo 13 voyage in which engineers, against all odds, improvised a chemical filter on a lunar module to prevent carbon dioxide buildup from killing the...

Thanksgiving and Gratitude: The Science of Happier Holidays

It’s easy to get caught up in the rush of materialism, which has been shown to undermine happiness. There’s a simple antidote: Practice gratitude.

As the holiday shopping season moves into high gear, it’s easy to get caught up in the rush of...

‘Sleepless in America’ documentary to feature Berkeley research

BERKELEY —

We spend one-third of our lives sleeping, and yet it is only in the last decade or so that scientists have begun to really understand why. Among other things, UC Berkeley sleep researcher Matthew Walker has linked sleep

...

Wishful Thinking: Can Scientists Really Read Your Brain?

Scientists have found ways to send messages from brain to brain, and developed methods to scan a person's gray matter and sketch an image of their thoughts. It's only a matter until they

...

Of rats and men: Tolman, behavior and academic freedom

 

In Tolman Hall, Seth Rosenfeld, author of "Subversives," connected the dots from Edward Tolman's stand against the

...

New post-bac at Berkeley may be hottest ticket to grad school

A decade ago, Aaron Fisher was a nanny in Manhattan for a successful actor (don’t ask who; he can’t tell) after giving up his dream of being a famous rock musician in San Francisco. Feeling at loose ends one night, the Wesleyan-University-trained guitarist scanned the Web and...

The Science of Awe

The Science of Awe! Can psychologists chart

...

Why we can’t tell a Hollywood heartthrob from his stunt double

Johnny Depp has an unforgettable face. Tony Angelotti, his stunt double in “Pirates of the Caribbean,” does not. So why is it that when they’re swashbuckling on screen, audiences worldwide see them both as the same person? UC Berkeley scientists have cracked that mystery.

...

Coordinating Movement, Language, and Thoughts? An Expanded Role for the Cerebellum

Anytime we are using our coordination – whether taking a shot in golf or just reaching for a coffee mug – the cerebellum is at play. The small structure at the base of the brain is well-known to be critical in coordinating our movements, their precision and timing. But according to a growing...

Visual ‘Gist’ Helps Us Figure Out Where a Crowd Is Looking

Have you ever seen a crowd of people looking off into the distance, perhaps toward a passing biker or up to the top of a building? There’s a good chance you looked there, too, instantly, even without paying attention to the individuals in the group. How can we tell where a crowd is looking with...

Ever wonder why children can so easily figure out how to work the TV remote?

 


Ever wonder why children can so easily figure out how to work the TV remote? Or why they "totally get" apps on your smartphone faster than you? It turns out that young children may be more open-minded than adults...

Building brain implants to treat neuropsychiatric illness

Professor Jonathan Wallis is part of a team of scientists selected to build a brain implant for the treatment of neuropsychiatric disease. The multi-institution team received one of the first awards from President Obama's BRAIN initiative. 

...

In Memoriam

Harrison Gough passed away on Sunday, May 4, 2014.
 
Prof. Gough was a long-time member of our Department.  He joined the Department in 1949, straight from his PhD program at Minnesota and remained at Berkeley for his entire career.  He served as Chair of the Department...

Brain Size Matters When it Comes to Animal Self-control

Chimpanzees may throw tantrums like toddlers, but their total brain size suggests they have more self-control than, say, a gerbil or fox squirrel, according to a new study of 36 species of mammals and birds ranging from orangutans to zebra finches.

Scientists at Duke University, UC...

Prof. Tania Lombrozo Selected for 2014 Outstanding Early Career Award from the Psychonomic Society

Prof. Tania Lombrozo has been selected as a Psychonomic Society Outstanding Early Career Awardee for 2014. Several awards are made each year to “young scientists who have made significant contributions to scientific psychology early in...

The ADHD Explosion: Myths, Medication, Money and Today's Push for Performance

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most controversial and misunderstood medical conditions today.  Skyrocketing rates of diagnosis and medication treatment have generated a firestorm of controversy.  Alarming questions have been raised about ADHD in recent...

Scientists pinpoint how we miss subtle visual changes, and why it keeps us sane

Ever notice how Harry Potter’s T-shirt changes from a crewneck to a henley shirt in the “Order of the Phoenix,” or how in “Pretty Woman,” Julia Roberts’ croissant inexplicably morphs into a pancake? Don’t worry if you missed those continuity bloopers. Vision scientists at UC Berkeley and MIT...

Professor Emeritus Dan Slobin is the recipient of the 2014 Roger Brown Award!

The 2014 Roger Brown Award will be presented to Dan Isaac Slobin, UC Berkeley, for his contributions to the field of language acquisition at the 13th International Congress for the Study of Child Language to be held in Amsterdam this summer.  The Awards Ceremony will take place on  Friday, July...

Forever Valentine: Study shows marriage gets better in old age

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in a baby carriage – and then what?

That was the question bugging UC Berkeley psychologist Robert Levenson in the 1980s when the U.S. divorce rate peaked at around 50 percent. So in 1989, he and fellow psychologists — John Gottman at...

Happiness hyped, ethnic competition and power poses

Aiming for happiness can stress you out. White and Asian students feel at a disadvantage in college admissions. And striking powerful poses before a job interview (hands on hips, feet spread, chin up) can make you come across as more hirable.

These are among the UC Berkeley findings that...

The New Scientist places Art Shimamura's Experiencing Art: In the Brain of the Beholder among the best science books of 2013!

How do we appreciate a work of art? Why do we like some artworks but not others? Is there no accounting for taste? Awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship to explore connections between art, mind, and brain, Shimamura considers how we experience art. In a thoughtful and entertaining manner, the book...

Society of Experimental Psychologists Early Investigator Award

Professor Tania Lombrozo has been named the recipient of the Early Investigator Award from the Society of Experimental Psychologists.  As such, she will become a Lifetime Fellow of the Society of Experimental Psychologists, the oldest and most prestigious honorary society in Psychology, and join...

Brains on Trial with Alan Alda

Alan Alda went to UC Berkeley to visit with Dr. Jack Gallant. Gallant’s research revolves around the visual system and how our brain interprets what we see. Gallant puts participants in a...

Dealing With Burnout, Which Doesn’t Always Stem From Overwork

IT’S the end of the year, and lots of us are feeling a little overwhelmed. Tired, unfocused and ready to take a nice break with our families (or away from our families in some cases).

...

Happily ever after? Your genes help determine the answer

It may be that an ingredient that determines whether your marriage is bliss on earth or a living hell is in your genes. Weirder still, it’s the same gene

...

UC Berkeley psychology professor makes kids editors of research journal

Seeking to engage children in neuroscience research and stimulate interest in the subject, UC Berkeley professor of psychology and neuroscience Robert Knight last Monday launched an online scientific journal mainly edited by students between the ages of 8 and 18.

The...

Teen night owls likely to perform worse academically, emotionally

Teenagers who go to bed late during the school year are more prone to academic and emotional difficulties in the long run, compared to their earlier-to-bed counterparts, according to a new study from UC Berkeley.

Teenagers who go to bed late during the school year were found to be

...

Psych 1 goes online!

As part of the UC system-wide initiative concerning online education and in order to enhance student access to “General Psychology,” the Department of Psychology has created an online version of Psych 1, called Psych w1.
The introductory psychology course, Psych 1, is one of the most...

What Do Babies Think?

Alison Gopnik discusses her work in an interview on the TED Radio Hour on NPR.  Professor Gopnik's research is also featured in a New York Times ...

The Association for Psychological Science Award for Lifetime Achievement

Congratulations Bob! Professor Robert Levenson will receive the first APS Mentor Award.
The APS Mentor Award is a new lifetime achievement award to recognize psychology researchers and educators who have shaped...

Emoticons get more emotional, thanks to Berkeley psychologists

Emoticons not expressing the full complexity of your feelings?

UC Berkeley psychologist Dacher Keltner and his team at the campus’s Greater Good Science Center can help. They have assisted in creating a nuanced Facebook sticker

...

Psychocinematics: Exploring Cognition at the Movies

Largely through trial and error, filmmakers have developed engaging techniques that capture our sensations, thoughts, and feelings. Philosophers and film theorists have thought deeply about the nature and impact of these techniques, yet few scientists have delved into empirical analyses of our...

Motion, Faces, Depth, Color

Four mini demonstrations performed by graduate students from the Whitney lab in local elementary and middle schools.  For more information about the Whitney Lab, please click here http://whitneylab.berkeley.edu/

Commencement 2012

"Generation We", Keynote address by Professor Dacher Keltner.

Tania Lombrozo Receives Janet Taylor Spence Award

Tania Lombrozo is a recipient of the Association for Psychological Science's 2012 Janet Taylor Spence Award for Transformative Early Career Contributions. Read about Tania's work and her thoughts on human curiosity and its consequences ...

Silvia Bunge receives 21st Century Science Initiative Grant

Silvia Bunge receives 21st Century Science Initiative Grant from the James S. McDonnell Foundation. Dr. Bunge's work will investigate "Relational reasoning: Neural mechanisms, development, and plasticity." ...

Robert Knight Receives Social Science Service Award

Bob Knight was recognized for his many years of service as Director of the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute....

Tsk tsk, How The Wealthy Misbehave

A provocative new study shows upper-class Americans are more likely to lie, cheat and steal.

The study builds on five years of research by psychologists at the University of California, Berkeley. They argue that because upper-class individuals are...

Findings Offer New Clues Into The Addicted Brain

What drives addicts to repeatedly choose drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, overeating, gambling or kleptomania, despite the risks involved? Neuroscientists at the University of California, Berkeley, have pinpointed the exact locations in the brain where calculations...

Pulling An All-nighter Can Bring On Euphoria and Risky Behavior

A sleepless night can make us cranky and moody. But a lesser known side effect of sleep deprivation is short-term euphoria, which can potentially lead to poor judgment and addictive behavior, according to new research from the University of California,...

Summer Sessions 2012

The Psyhology Department is offering 17 courses this summer in three different sessions.  For a complete listing of courses click here:

http://osoc.berkeley.edu/OSOC/osoc...

UC Berkeley Psychophysiology Lab

The Berkeley Psychophysiology Laboratory seeks to understand the nature of human emotion in terms of its physiological and behavioral manifestations; and how emotion can vary across age, gender, and clinical pathology. The laboratory trains undergraduate...

Young women with ADHD are more prone to self-injury

A study led by Stephen Hinshaw indicates that, as they enter adulthood, girls with histories of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are more prone to self-injury and suicide attempts.  

[...

Intense prep for the LSAT alters brain structure

Research conducted in Silvia Bunge's lab shows that intensive preparation for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) actually changes the microscopic structure of the brain, physically bolstering the connections between areas of the brain important for...

Stuck on You

Mary Main's important contributions to attachment theory research are highlighted in the latest issue of California Magazine.

[...

How the rich are different from the poor

Research by Paul Piff, Michael Kraus, Jennifer Stellar, Dacher Keltner, and Robert Knight is featured in an article on social class in New York Magazine.

Read the article:  ...

Labeling cells in the hippocampus to study neurogenesis and memory.

For more information about Lance Kriegsfeld's research click here: http://socrates.berkeley.edu/~ljkriegs/...

Using virtual worlds to explore the mind, brain, and body

"'Cognition and Action Lab:  Using virtual worlds to explore the mind, brain, and body."

For more information on Rich Ivry's lab, please see:  http://ivrylab.berkeley.edu/...

Serena Chen: Marian E. and Daniel E. Koshland, Jr. Distinguished Chair for Innovative Teaching and Research

Marian E. and Daniel E. Koshland, Jr. Distinguished Chair for Innovative Teaching and Research

Purpose

Established in 2009 by Dan's and Bunny's children to honor their transformational legacy at UC Berkeley, The Marian E. and Daniel...

Can Children Make Computers Smarter?

Alison Gopnik, Tom Griffiths, Tania Lombrozo, and Fei Xu are pursuing research that indicates that the answer is "yes." 

Read more: Scientists tap the genius of...

Paul Piff to receive the SPSSI Social Issues Dissertation Award

Paul Piff was selected to receive the First Place 2012 SPSSI Social Issues Dissertation Award for his dissertation, "On wealth and wrongdoing:  How social class influences unethical behavior."...

Studying infant motor, social, and emotional development

The Infant Studies Laboratory centers on an understanding of the developmental transitions infants undergo in the first two years of life.  Currently, our work centers on three developmental transitions: http://babycenter.berkeley.edu/...

Affective Cognitive Neuroscience lab

The Bishop lab's research focuses on the brain mechanisms underlying the prioritized processing of emotionally salient stimuli, fear conditioning,  face processing, and individual differences in cortical and subcortical function, the latter including investigation of the neuro...

Exploring the links between emotion, emotion regulation, and health

The Emotion and Emotion Regulation lab studies emotion and emotion regulation, with an emphasis on their links to psychological health. 

For more information on the Emotion and Emotion Regulation lab, click here:  ...

2012 Diener Award in Social Psychology

Congratulations Dacher!  For more information on Professor's Keltner's research, please see: http://socrates.berkeley.edu/~keltner/

2012 ...

Congratulations Bob...

Professor Robert Knight has been awarded the Distinguished Career Contributions Award from the Cognitive Neurosceince Society http://www.cogneurosociety.org/ for 2013.  For more information on Bob's lab, please click here: ...

Tom Griffiths receives 2012 Distinguished Early Career Scientific Contribution to Psychology Award

Tom Griffiths received a 2012 Distinguished Early Career Scientific Contribution to Psychology Award in the area of cognition and human learning.  

Kids don't have to wear lab coats to act like scientists

Alison Gopnik's work is featured in an article published in the San Francisco Chronicle entitled "...

Bringing mathematical precision to the deepest questions in human learning, reasoning

Congratulations Tom!

"Bringing mathematical precision to the deepest questions in human learning, reasoning, and concept formation!

For more information about the APA award please see...