Department Newsletter

UA Partners on Study to Improve Cognition in Older Adults

Cognitive decline is a normal part of aging, but as the world’s population of older adults grows, researchers are looking at ways to prevent it. The University of Arizona, the University of Florida and the University of Miami have been awarded a five-year, $5.7 million grant from the National Institute on Aging to study whether a combination of computer-based cognitive training exercises and direct electrical stimulation to the brain can help improve cognitive functioning in older adults. Dr. Gene Alexander, professor of psychology, neuroscience and physiological sciences, and a member of the UA’s Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute will lead the research in collaboration with colleague Dr. John Allen, University Distinguished Professor of psychology.
Read the full article at UA News

UA Researchers Develop New Way to Look Deep Inside the Brain

Researchers at the University of Arizona may be on the cusp of a breakthrough when it comes to examining the deepest parts of the brain. Their new technology, similar to an ultrasound, has the potential to measure electrical activity deep inside the brain. They have dubbed the project, Acoustoelectric Brain Imaging, or ABI. Stephen Cowen, assistant professor of psychology, believes ABI has much to offer the world of psychological research as well in the areas of diagnosis and treatment. The extra resolution ABI produces may help psychologists better understand spectrum disorders such as schizophrenia and autism. 
Read the full article at Cronkite News

Learning with the Lights Out

Researchers are uncovering the link between sleep and learning and how it changes throughout our lives. Drs. Rebecca Gómez and Jamie Edgin study sleep and memory formation in children of different ages. Gómez finds that naps are crucial for infants to retain a memory a day later. Edgin, who specializes in learning disorders, finds that children with better long-term sleep have enhanced learning outcomes. Edgin and her former graduate student Dina Spanò, are investigating sleep and memory formation in children with Down syndrome.
Read the full article at The Scientist

New Book Explores Love’s Many Layers

Dr. Dave Sbarra has spent most of his career studying love and relationships. He shares some of his insights in a new e-book, titled “Love, Loss and the Space Between: The Relationship Expert Essays”. It’s a self-published collection of 37 essays, culling from scientific research and Sbarra’s personal experiences. 
Read the full article at UA News