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Psychology News

With a $1.5 million grant from the Mathers Foundation, University Professor Antonio Damasio of USC Dornsife is leading a study to understand how the axon insulator myelin affects the ability to process feelings in the brain. Photo by Philip Channing.

More Than a Feeling

November 25, 2013

The Brain and Creativity Institute (BCI) based at USC Dornsife has received a $1.5 million grant from the Mathers Foundation to investigate the neurobiology of feelings at the cellular level.  One of the fundamental…

Named a 2013 “Rising Star” by the Association of Psychological Science, Darby Saxbe, assistant professor of psychology at USC Dornsife, measures fluctuations in cortisol levels and uses neuroimaging to study how relationships with family and close friends affect health and well-being. Photo by Susan Bell.

Under the Skin

November 20, 2013

It’s difficult to forget the harrowing images of emaciated, hollow-eyed Romanian orphans whose plight was revealed after the fall of Communist leader Nicolae Ceausescu’s brutal regime in 1989. “When children…

University Professor Antonio Damasio of USC Dornsife led a panel on the brain and creativity before scientists from throughout the world. Here, he is seen in his office at the USC Brain and Creativity Institute, housed in USC Dornsife. Photo by Philip Channing.

The Creativity Machine

November 18, 2013

Antonio Damasio, University Professor, David Dornsife Chair in Neuroscience and professor of psychology and neurology at USC Dornsife, spoke about the neuroscience of creativity during a recent conference held in San Diego…

Alumnus Michael Dawson, Ph.D., '67 has taught psychology at USC Dornsife for nearly 30 years. He is well known for his application of psychophysiology to schizophrenia. Here, he teaches his class on emotion and the heart. Photo by Matt Meindl.

Preventing Relapse

October 16, 2013

One in a hundred people suffers from schizophrenia. Characterized by hallucinations, delusions and gross disorganization of thought and speech, schizophrenia is a chronic, severe and disabling brain disorder. During a…

Ellen Leggett, an expert in the psychology of decision-making, joined USC Dornsife in Fall 2013 as director of the Master of Science in Applied Psychology program. Photo by Letty Avila.

Mastering Human Behavior

October 1, 2013

With nearly a decade of experience in marketing, Daniela Kerfin Canto was savvy enough to know that a deeper understanding of human behavior would help her garner clients. She knew the marketing campaigns she oversaw for a…

Norbert Schwarz will be Provost Professor of Psychology and Marketing and Daphna Oyserman will be Dean’s Professor of Psychology, and professor of psychology, education and communication. Photos courtesy of CASBS at Stanford University.

Psyched Up

September 20, 2013

USC Provost Elizabeth Garrett has announced the appointment of Norbert Schwarz as Provost Professor of Psychology and Marketing and Daphna Oyserman as Dean’s Professor of Psychology, and professor of psychology,…

During the recent USC Dornsife 2020 retreat at the USC Wrigley Marine Science Center on Catalina Island, doctoral students presented their research and had an opportunity to enjoy the brilliant night sky. Photo by Corey Arnold.

Brainwaves by the Sea

September 17, 2013

Every student knows how vitally important it is to remember information for a final exam. However, trying to memorize your class notes in the library can be challenging. Distractions — the person next to you whispering…

A new study led by postdoctoral research associate Qinghua He of USC Dornsife's Brain and Creativity Institute and published in <em>The Journal of Neuroscience</em> suggests that people who have difficulty reading could benefit from targeted therapies for specific parts of the brain. Image courtesy of Qinghua He.

It Takes a Village of Neurons

August 8, 2013

A combination of brain scans and reading tests has revealed that several regions in the brain are responsible for allowing humans to read. The findings open up the possibility that individuals who have difficulty reading may…

Scientists show that attributing every forgetful moment to getting older can actually worsen memory problems — and reveal a surprising twist. Photo by Rhoda Baer.

Aging Stereotypes and Memory

July 2, 2013

Of the many negative stereotypes that exist about older adults, perhaps the most common is that they are forgetful, senile and prone to so-called “senior moments.” In fact, while cognitive processes do decline with…

Mary Helen Immordino-Yang, assistant professor of psychology at USC Dornsife’s Brain and Creativity Institute, is particularly interested in social emotions that promote learning, motivation and resilience, such as compassion, admiration and inspiration. Photo by Steve Cohn.

How Emotions Evolve

June 3, 2013

How do culture and environment shape how we — and our brains — experience social emotions and self? That’s one of the intriguing domains Professor Mary Helen Immordino-Yang is exploring as part of her most…