psychology

UI researchers find brain region that affects drug use habits

Studies on rats show infralimbic cortex suppresses cocaine craving
University of Iowa researchers have identified a brain region involved in cocaine addiction. The findings could lead to targeted drugs or improved behavioral treatments for substance addiction, including opioid dependency.
woman driving while talking on phone

UI study explores why cell phone use leads to distracted driving

Researchers pinpoint ‘attention disengagement’ lag as cause for impaired driving when talking on cell phone
Even simple cell phone conversations can cause distracted driving. Researchers have found listening on the phone while driving creates a lag in the mind as it extracts itself from one task before fixing attention on another.

Honors UI graduate student wins International Society for Developmental Psychobiology Dissertation Award

Former University of Iowa graduate student Alex Tiriac has won a dissertation award from the International Society for Developmental Psychobiology. Tiriac’s dissertation is titled, “State-Dependent Processing of Reafference Arising from Self-Generated Movements in Infant Rats.” He studied under Mark Blumberg, professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences.

Iowa City Press Citizen Shopping while lonely

A study from the Tippie College of Business’ Alice Wang finds that people who have fewer friends than they want tend to buy more things than people who have all the friends they need. 

Honors Psychology alumna receives early-career publication award

Efthymia Kapnoula, who received master’s and doctorate degrees in psychology from the University of Iowa, has received the 2016 European Society for Cognitive Psychology (ESCoP) Early Career Publication Award.
pigeon detects cancer

CNN Pigeons as cancer detectors

A new study has found that pigeons are nearly as good as people at distinguishing cancerous breast tissue from normal breast tissue. The findings add to previous research into pigeons’ remarkable ability to discriminate between complex visual images and may lead to the birds being trained as medical image observers.

Pigeon performing striking text

One very brainy bird

Study finds pigeons uncommonly good at distinguishing cancerous from normal breast tissue
A new study has found that pigeons are nearly as good as people at distinguishing cancerous breast tissue from normal breast tissue. The findings add to previous research into pigeons’ remarkable ability to discriminate between complex visual images and may lead to the birds being trained as medical image observers.
row of violins

The fittest fiddle

UI researchers study violin evolution via function and fancy
UI researchers say behavior, particularly psychologist Edward Thorndike’s law of effect, is the foundational principle behind the evolution of the violin and other handmade inventions. Simply put, behaviors that are followed by positive outcomes tend to be repeated.

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