Art Kramer, a full-time faculty member in the Beckman Institute Human Perception and Performance Group, and Gene Robinson, an affiliate faculty member in the NeuroTech group have just been named Swanlund Chairs, the highest endowed title at the University of Illinois.
Using magnetic resonance imaging, Beckman researcher Denise Park, Beckman graduate student Joshua Goh, and collaborator Michael Chee in Singapore have shown that cultural tendencies may actually affect the brain's way of functioning over time, particularly the region in the back of the brain where visual processing takes place.
Arthur Kramer, a Beckman researcher and professor of psychology at Illinois, has been getting sedentary adults, 60 to 80 years old, to exercise three times a week. The volunteers start by walking for 15 minutes and progress to an hour. After six months to a year, "they're walking farther and faster than they ever did," he said.
A pair of Beckman Institute researchers has discovered that by directing the eye movements of test subjects they were able to affect the participants' ability to solve a problem, demonstrating that eye movement is not just a function of cognition but can actually affect our cognitive processes.
The Beckman Institute will once again feature some of its most intriguing research when the Director's Seminars resume September 21 with a talk by David Clayton of the NeuroTech group.
Researchers at Illinois, led by Beckman faculty member Jean-Pierre Leburton, the Stillman Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, have designed a semiconductor membrane that could offer more flexibility and better electrical performance than biological membranes.
The Fall 2007 Beckman Institute Graduate Student Seminar Series begins Wednesday, September 26. Three short presentations will be featured: "A Mechanistic Approach to the Identification and Interpretation of Contrast in Viscoelasticity Imaging" by Rebecca Yapp; and "Genotype x Environment: Caste Determination in an Ant Society" by Christopher Smith; and "Macromolecular Yoga: Merging Data from Different Resolutions to Reveal Biomolecular Function" by Elizabeth Villa. The hour-long seminar begins at Noon and is open to the public. It will be held in Beckman Institute Room 1005 and lunch will be served.
"Across all ages, we see cognitive benefits related to fitness," says Charles Hillman, a Beckman affiliate and professor of kinesiology and community health at Illinois.
The Beckman Institute welcomes Gabriel Popescu as a new full-time faculty member in the Bioimaging Science and Technology group.
Pierre Wiltzius, the director of the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at Illinois, said successful interdisciplinary research required the physical proximity of staff, students and facilities. The cozy cafeteria in his center was often where ideas formed. (Registration required)
From a study of fantasy baseball league players to contributing to the design of the first World Trade Center building rebuilt following Sept. 11, Alex Kirlik's research involving human factors is wide-ranging.
In order to address the pressing imaging needs of University of Illinois researchers, Paul Braun, group leader for the 3-D Micro- and Nanosystems group at the Beckman Institute and Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, and Ben Grosser, Director of the Imaging Technology Group at the Beckman Institute, led an impressive effort to secure funding for prestigious, highly competitive National Science Foundation Major Research Instrumentation (NSF MRI) funding. The funding will be used to acquire a revolutionary nanotomography (nano-CT) instrument that performs complex 3-D imaging at a scale that has been previously unattainable.