Aaron Benjamin, a professor of psychology, and Elizabeth Stine-Morrow, a professor of educational psychology, have been appointed editors of journals published by the American Psychological Association. Benjamin is editor of the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, and Stine-Morrow of Psychology and Aging. The six-year editorial terms begin in 2019. Both are members of Beckman's Intelligent Systems Group.
In a study funded by the National Institutes of Health, researchers at Illinois, including Aron K. Barbey, associate professor of psychology, and collaborators from Northeastern University in Boston and the University of Delaware found that aerobically fit individuals have a better memory, and a firmer, more elastic brain hippocampus.
The prospect of collaborating with one-time colleagues Monica Fabiani and Gabriele Gratton, led Nelson Cowan, Curators Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of Missouri-Columbia, to an appointment as a Senior Fellow at the Beckman Institute. The Senior Fellows Program gives established faculty from other universities the opportunity to do short-term, on-site, interdisciplinary research with other Beckman Institute researchers.
University of Illinois educational psychology professor Kiel Christianson, who is a member of Beckman’s Illinois Language and Literacy Initiative, found in a recent study that readers’ likelihood of being offended by taboo words and the context in which the words were used accounted for some—but not all—of these words’ impact on readers’ attention and memory.
Researchers at the University of Illinois have developed technology that enables a smartphone to perform lab-grade medical diagnostic tests that typically require large, expensive instruments. Developed in the lab of Brian Cunningham, who is a professor of electrical and computer engineering and of bioengineering and a member of Beckman’s Nanoelectronics and Nanomaterials Group, the spectral transmission-reflectance-intensity analyzer costs only $550 and attaches to a smartphone and is able to analyze patient blood, urine, or saliva samples as reliably as clinic-based instruments that cost thousands of dollars.
University of Illinois researchers have developed a way to produce 3D images of live embryos in cattle that could help determine embryo viability before in vitro fertilization in humans. The new method, published in the journal Nature Communications, brought together electrical and computer engineering professor Gabriel Popescu and animal sciences professor Matthew Wheeler in a collaborative project through the Beckman Institute’s Bioimaging Science and Technology Group.
This summer, 10 undergraduate students performed research at the forefront of advanced imaging and microscopy technologies through the “Discoveries in Bioimaging” Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU). Funded by the National Science Foundation, the 10-week program, which ended Aug. 4, allowed the students to experience life as a graduate student.
Kenneth Schweizer, a professor of materials science and engineering, has been named a part-time faculty member in the Computational Molecular Science Group in the Molecular and Electronic Nanostructures research theme.
Michelle Rodrigues, who recently joined the Beckman Institute as a Beckman Postdoctoral Fellow, reports on how spider monkeys use adaptive social strategies to help them cope with living in disturbed habitats. Her Beckman research will study resilience in women of color in the sciences, an interdisciplinary project that integrates anthropological, psychological, and biological methods.
Looking for a quiet space to work, but nothing seems welcoming? Have you wondered why there are so many plants by the north windows, but very few people? Are you excited to make a positive difference to the Beckman Institute?
A team of Coordinated Science Lab researchers in the Health Care Engineering Systems Center is building prosthetics to send signals in the same way a person’s normal organs do so that the brain cannot tell the difference—helping to replace the functionality of what has been lost. Beckman affiliate Doug Jones, a professor of electrical and computer engineering who heads the Advanced Digital Sciences Center, collaborated on the research.
Psyonic, a startup operating out of U of I’s Research Park, is trying to change the future of prosthetics by building a better, more affordable bionic hand that’s guided by machine learning. Bionic limbs can aid greatly in an amputee's daily life, but the most advanced versions often cost anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 or more, according to Psyonic co-founder and CEO Aadeel Akhtar, who is a member of Beckman’s Mechanisms of Cognitive Control Group.
Beckman Postdoctoral Fellow Michelle Rodrigues discusses her career in STEM. Rodrigues is studying how women of color scientists cope with workplace stressors and the impact of friendship and social networks on mediating those stressors.
University of Illinois researchers are looking to insects—specifically cicadas—for insight into the design of artificial surfaces with de-icing, self-cleaning, and anti-fogging abilities. The research team of engineers and entomologists used high-speed microscopic photography at the Beckman Institute’s Microscopy Suite to study the wings’ ability to repel water.
Honey bees that consistently fail to respond to obvious social cues share something fundamental with autistic humans, researchers report in a new study. “Some honey bees are more active than others, and some appear indifferent to intruders that threaten the hive. This, in itself, is not unusual,” said University of Illinois entomology professor Gene Robinson, who is a member of Beckman’s Intelligence, Learning, and Plasticity Group, and the director of the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology. Robinson led the new analysis.
Soccer players are utilizing specialized video games to train their cognitive skills. More than two decades ago, Daniel Gopher, a former Israeli Air Force psychologist, found that a video game called Space Fortress actively improved cognitive skills in pilots. (The game had originally been developed by psychologists at the Beckman Institute to investigate skill acquisition.) A study Gopher published in the journal Human Factors in 1994 showed a significant improvement in the flight performance scores of 33 Israeli Air Force cadets.