News from FABBS and the FABBS Foundation
- Edging Closer to the Cliff »
With ten days to go (including the holidays) before the country heads over the fiscal cliff, the President and Congress still have a small window to agree on a bipartisan solution to avert it. Although the President and Speaker had been inching closer – only $200 billion apart in revenue and $70 billion in spending cuts – there is still no deal on the table. To some in both parties, going over the fiscal cliff may be a better solution than giving away too much in the negotiations.
- 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.
- URGENT: Act Now to Protect Investments in Science! »
Scientists are urging a bipartisan, balanced approach to deficit reduction that protects needed investments in science. If you have not contacted your elected officials in Washington, DC, on this issue in the past month, join your colleagues now.
- 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.
- 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.
- Our Scientists at Work: Researchers Seek Early Markers of Schizophrenia, With Remediation in Mind »
Although researchers know that genetics plays a role in the development of schizophrenia, brain scientists are exploring what they think are early markers of schizophrenia; that is, impairments in cognition and in brain function. Psychologist Deanna Barch explains how these markers could help identify people who are most at risk for developing the disease and how exercising the brain may help those already diagnosed with schizophrenia, or even those in high-risk populations, head off the disease.
- 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.
- FABBS Foundation Honors Thomas K. Landauer »
Tom Landauer received his degree at Harvard University in 1960 and has taken positions at Harvard University, Dartmouth College, Stanford University, Princeton University, and University of Colorado. His work has contributed to our understanding of broad issues and implications of human-computer interaction.
- NIH Director Recognizes Former Senator Specter’s Support for Medical Research »
A tireless supporter of NIH research, former Senator Arlen Specter, died on October 14, 2012. NIH Director Francis Collins recognized Specter’s leadership in pushing for federal support for NIH research, which many scientists and science advocates recall him saying was the “crown jewel of the federal government.”
- NSF Seeks Proposals for Interdisciplinary Research across the SBE Sciences »
Growing out of the SBE 2020 visioning report, Rebuilding the Mosaic, NSF is seeking proposals for research that involves investigators from multiple disciplinary fields, integrates theoretical approaches and methodologies from multiple fields, and is likely to yield generalizable insights and information that will advance basic knowledge and capabilities across multiple fields.
- Graduate Students Speaking Out on Sequestration: Join the Effort! »
The American Physical Society (APS Physics) is spearheading an effort to let U.S. House and Senate leaders know about graduate student concerns with automatic cuts to the federal budget scheduled to begin on Jan. 2, 2012.
- Our Scientists at Work: Game for Some Physics? »
Learning-scientist Douglas Clark's aim is to teach us to reinterpret our daily experiences in ways that will support our formal understanding of scientific concepts. So, he and his colleagues develop games that help people integrate their intuitive understanding of basic science with a more formal one.