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signal detection

May 8th, 2020 | By Elise Wachspress

“Pay attention!”

We’ve heard that demand—maybe not in so many words—from everyone from parents, teachers, and bosses to the ad hucksters that permeate every environment.

But just what exactly does “attention” mean?

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April 24th 2020 | By Elise Wachspress

All of us age, and as we do, myelin, the protective covering around the nerve cells in our brain, starts to deteriorate. This is like losing the insulation around an electrical wire. It causes nerve impulses to slow or even stop, and affects a range of bodily functions from thinking, memory, and behavior to balance and coordination. But this does not have to be the case.

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April 14th, 2020 | By Kelly-Leigh Cooper

There is plenty of research to suggest our social relationships can be as important to our physical health as our mental one. Research links pervasive loneliness to higher mortality rates and other health complications. Professor Stephanie Cacioppo, an expert in behavioural neuroscience and psychiatry at the University of Chicago, is full of practical tips for those living alone. 

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empty lab

April 10th 2020 | By Elise Wachspress

Established faculty may have mountains of data to analyze and papers they can write up while working remotely, but younger investigators are suffering. To jump-start productivity and their new careers, many launch multiple big projects at once. COVID-19 forced them to decide which among their intellectual “children” they can save.

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lakefront runner

April 6th, 2020 | By Jack Wang

As state and local officials pleaded for residents to stay at home in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, many included a caveat: You can still enjoy the outdoors, as long as you can maintain a safe social distance. But the recent closures did not disperse crowds so much as move them outside. And when people flocked instead to beaches, parks and hiking trails, officials began to shut those places down too.

For one University of Chicago psychologist, those measures underscore a widespread urban problem.

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March 13th, 2020 | By Helen Robertson, PhD

We don’t know exactly why stuttering happens. In fact, there’s a lot we still don’t know about the biology of normal speech, a complex behavior that requires precise coordination between the brain and the organs necessary for making sound. At UChicago, neuroscientists are using the birdsong of the zebra finch to understand the underlying mechanisms of speech.

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March 5th, 2020 | By Sarah Richards

How the brain functions like a car with a manual transmission, and why this finding one day could lead to a treatment for Parkinson's disease.

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February 28th, 2020 | By Elise Wachspress

Last summer, the media was abuzz with apparent progress in developing a reliable blood test for Alzheimer’s disease. With this potential breakthrough—after decades of research to find a biomarker that could clearly diagnosis Alzheimer’s—researchers now may finally have a tool for measuring the effectiveness of drugs and other treatment interventions.  

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February 20th, 2020 | By Jack Wang

How much of this page will you read? How much will you remember? And does it make a difference when you’re reading, or where? Those are the sorts of questions that a University of Chicago neuroscientist asks in an innovative new study—one that examines brain scans to uncover how attention is sustained over time, and when it might fluctuate.

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Old Photos

February 11th, 2020 | By Elise Wachspress

How, exactly, do the massive numbers of neurons in our brains and the connections between them allow us to recognize our own living rooms or remember the conversations that happened there last year? We know this involves cells, molecules, ions, and electrical pulses—but just exactly how does that work?

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Neonatology Cells

January 28th, 2020 | By Matt Wood

As neonatologist and basic scientist, Tim Sanders both provides care for vulnerable infants and studies some of the most fundamental elements of life.

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C. Elegans

January 13th, 2020 | By Matt Wood

The DNA of an animal contains the instructions for creating every type of cell in its body. During development, the generation of different cell types (e.g., neurons, blood cells, muscle cells) depends on different sets of genes for each cell type to be expressed at the right time. But what determines which genes are switched on and which genes are turned off or ignored?

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