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Brain And Creativity Institute News

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…

World renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma (left) and University Professor Antonio Damasio engage in a spontaneous discussion about music's role in reducing personal pain and increasing joy. Photo by Steve Cohn.

Edge Effect

September 3, 2013

Strumming the cello strings with his thumb, American cellist and virtuoso Yo-Yo Ma played a simple, ascending chromatic scale. “What emotion is this?” he asked the audience at Cammilleri…

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…

Brain activity imaged by an fMRI while participants with stroke viewed others performing an action. Blue areas show decreased activity (likely where there are lesions caused by a stroke) while red areas show increased activity (thought to be regions of the brain working harder to make up for the damaged regions). Image courtesy of Kathleen Garrison.

Exercising the Brain

June 12, 2013

A new study has found that stroke patients’ brains show strong cortical motor activity when observing others performing physical tasks — a finding that offers new insight into stroke rehabilitation. Using…

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…

Features inside the new Dornsife Neuroscience Pavilion give researchers the space to investigate the human mind with the highest quality equipment available, and then walk across the lobby and catch a concert, poetry recital or lecture in Joyce J. Cammilleri Hall. Photo by John Livzey.

Castle in the Clouds

May 7, 2013

What if the components of architecture — walls, windows, ceilings and everything in-between — were used to construct the human mind? How might the physical space integrate the mind’s two perspectives: the…

USC Dornsife researchers found that watching someone we dislike in motion affects brain activity leading to "differential processing" -- for example, thinking the person is moving more slowly than he or she actually is.

Do You Like Me Now?

October 9, 2012

Hate the Lakers? Do the Celtics make you want to hurl? Whether you like someone can affect how your brain processes their actions, according to new research from the Brain and Creativity Institute (BCI), housed in USC…

Scientists Search for Source of Creativity

Scientists Search for Source of Creativity

March 7, 2012

It takes two to tango. Two hemispheres of your brain, that is. USC researchers are working to pin down the exact source of creativity in the brain and have found that the left hemisphere of your brain, thought to be the…

Oskar Schindler (second from right) puts a face on good human conduct, a theme explored in Glenn Fox's research on gratitude. The research of USC Dornsife's Fox has earned him an award from the Oskar Schindler Humanities Foundation. Schinder, who outwitted Hitler and the Nazis to save more Jews from the gas chambers than any other during World War II, is pictured here in Munich, Germany in 1946 with some of the people he rescued. Copyright © United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, D.C./Leopold Page Photographic Collection.

From the Bottom of My Heart

January 20, 2012

Put yourself in the position of a Jew during World War II who escapes to France penniless and is forced to beg on the streets. A passerby gives you roasted peanuts — your first morsel of food in several days. You are…

Mary Helen Immordino-Yang, assistant professor of psychology at the Brain and Creativity Institute housed in USC Dornsife, and alumnus Thomas Denson, who earned his Ph.D. in psychology from USC Dornsife in 2007, were recognized as “rising stars” by the Association for Psychological Science.

Making Their Mark

June 21, 2011

Mary Helen Immordino-Yang, assistant professor of psychology at the Brain and Creativity Institute housed in USC Dornsife, and Thomas Denson, a USC Dornsife alumnus, were recently lauded by the Association for Psychological…