News from FABBS and the FABBS Foundation
- Interagency Working Group on Neuroscience Forms »
With the enthusiastic support of the Administration, Congress and numerous scientific societies, the National Science and Technology Council’s Interagency Working Group on Neuroscience is taking shape. The NSTC working group will coordinate activities in neuroscience research across the federal government and will include several U.S. departments in its membership.
- Our Scientists at Work: Researchers Searching for Ways to Prevent Mysterious Form of Dementia »
Chronic traumatic encephalopathy or CTE, is a neurodegenerative disease set in motion by a history of repetitive brain trauma, such as concussions and subconcussive blows that occur early in life. To date, scientists know relatively little about the disease. But what is known is that CTE is a progressive brain disorder similar to Alzheimer’s and other related neurodegenerative diseases. Neuropsychologist Robert Stern studies CTE and reveals what he and his collaborators are learning from their research.
- Psychologist Burt Presented with Early Career Award »
Why do some kids lie or shoplift and not others? Is it the neighborhood? The influences of friends, parents or siblings? Other environmental triggers? Associate Professor of Psychology S. Alexandra Burt, of Michigan State University and winner of the 2014 FABBS Foundation Early Career Impact Award from the Society for Research in Psychopathology, is studying how the environment may activate or deactivate genetic and biological risk factors related to behavior. It’s not nature vs. nurture, she explained. “It’s nature via nurture—how the two work together.” Learn more in "Nature Via Nurture and the Origin of Bad Behavior" »
- Calling All Scientists: FABBS and APA to Organize District Science Advocacy Week »
FABBS and its largest member society, the American Psychological Association, are joining forces to train interested scientists in preparing for and conducting a visit with their member of Congress. The visits are intended to highlight why federal investments in our sciences are important for individuals, society, and the nation.
- FABBS Foundation Honors Harry C. Triandis »
Harry C. Triandis is professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. A pioneer in the study of cross-cultural psychology, Triandis’ research has focused on the cognitive aspects of attitudes, norms, roles, and values across cultures.
- Pre-election Spending Battles Continue on Capitol Hill »
As Congress nears its August recess and with few days left in the legislative calendar before the November elections, it appears once again that a Continuing Resolution (CR) will be needed to fund the government as it moves into the new fiscal year. With an upcoming election, lawmakers want to avoid a government shutdown and postpone the rest of the battles over spending cuts.
- Our Scientists at Work: When Cognitive Decline Comes Up In Conversation »
Meaningful conversation hinges not just on the words or ideas we string together to explain ourselves and the world, it also hinges on our awareness of whom we’re speaking with. But as we enter old age, our conversational capability declines. Cognitive psychologist William Horton, PhD, discusses how the drive to communicate fares in the face of cognitive decline.
- Social Psychologist Kross Presented with Early Career Award »
Events happen in our lives that challenge our emotions, causing us to be angry, anxious or even depressed. Our attempts to console ourselves after a bad experience can backfire. “We start spinning and ruminating, and we end up replaying those negative experiences over and over in ways that don’t get us anywhere,” said Ethan Kross, an assistant professor of social psychology at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and winner of the FABBS Foundation Early Career Impact Award from the Society of Experimental Social Psychology. Kross, who is director of Michigan’s Self-Control and Emotion Laboratory, draws on multiple disciplines of psychology to explore how people can improve emotional self-control in their daily lives. Learn more in "Language and Well Being" »
- Our Scientists at Work: The Psychology Behind Going Green »
We have habits, fears, and biases that get in the way of making all sorts of sound decisions, even when it comes to going green. Psychologist Elke Weber sheds light on why we make the decisions we do, especially when they’re not necessarily in our best interest.
- Our Scientists at Work: Listen Up: That Birdsong You’re Enjoying Is Courtesy of Estrogens »
Estrogens are often thought of as a female hormone, but that concept is incomplete. It’s true that estrogens are produced in the ovaries, but they’re also produced in the adrenal glands, liver, and the brain, in both males and females. Estrogens produced in songbirds’ brains may help them learn to sing and respond to song. Luke Remage-Healey, a behavioral physiologist, strongly suspects that estrogens can enhance learning-related cognitive functions, including singing.
- Government Funded for Ten Weeks: Spending Battles Shift to Post-Election »
With just over six weeks until the mid-term elections, the U.S. House and Senate passed a “stopgap” spending bill to keep the government operating beyond September 30th. The President signed the bill on Friday.
The Continuing Resolution (CR) funds government programs through December 11th. Funding for the 10-week period is set at FY 2014 levels minus a small across-the-board cut to provide funds to train and equip moderate Syrian rebels to fight the terror group ISIS.
- Congressional Committees Begin Process to Set Agency Spending Levels »
Now that the new Congress is in place, committee assignments are complete (or almost complete), and Congress has had a chance to review the President’s proposed budget for FY 2016 (contact FABBS for details or questions regarding their analysis), House and Senate committees, including appropriations committees that will create the spending bills for federal agencies, are beginning to hold hearings with agency directors to discuss the specifics of their proposed budgets. This will occur over the next month or so. Science advocates, including FABBS, track these closely to learn more about committee leaders’ plans, interests, and concerns with the research agencies who fund our sciences.