Psychology

Brain Molecule Identified as Key in Anxiety Model

August 15, 2019
Boosting a single molecule in the brain can change “dispositional anxiety,” the tendency to perceive many situations as threatening, in nonhuman primates, researchers from UC Davis, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison have found. The molecule, neurotrophin-3, stimulates neurons to grow and make new connections. The finding provides hope for new strategies focused on intervening early in life to treat people at risk for anxiety disorders, depression and related substance abuse. Current treatments work for only a subset of people and often only partially relieve symptoms. 

Bright Minds of Brain Science Gather for ‘ERP Boot Camp’

July 15, 2019
A lot of brain power is concentrating at the UC Davis Center for Mind and Brain for a July 15–24 “boot camp” on researching human brain activity. The annual ERP Boot Camp brings 35 emerging and established scientists from around the world to learn from leading experts how to best record “event-related potentials (ERPs),” the electrical signals generated in the brain in response to events like a spoken word or an image on a computer screen.

Psychology and Biology Double Major Receives Undergraduate Research Award

June 11, 2019
Psychology and biological sciences senior Wenzhe Li rotated through two labs at UC Davis before finding her research passion: cytoplasmic dynein, a motor protein used for intracellular transport. Li conducts research in the lab of Richard McKenney, an assistant professor in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology. She was awarded the Ronald and Lydia Baskin Research Award, given to a graduating senior for excellence in research in the biological sciences.

Q&A: Psychology Alum/Professor on the Importance of Undergraduate Research

June 06, 2019
Jonathan Helm got his first taste of psychology research during his second year as a UC Davis undergraduate. After earning three UC Davis psychology degrees, Helm is now an assistant professor of quantitative psychology at San Diego State University. He recently collaborated with one of his former UC Davis professors on a study that found growing up in impoverished urban neighborhoods more than doubles your chances of developing a psychosis-spectrum disorder by middle adulthood. We asked him some questions about his journey from student to faculty researcher:

Journal Honors Psychologist Gregory Herek for Pioneering Work on Sexual Prejudice

May 16, 2019
Gregory Herek, professor emeritus in the Department of Psychology, devoted nearly 40 years to studying prejudice against sexual minorities, anti-gay violence and AIDS-related stigma. The "Journal of Homosexuality" recently commemorated the broad impacts of his research with a special issue, with articles on a range of new studies that build on Herek’s work.

UC Davis Psychologist Receives Early Career Award for Research on Personality Change

May 07, 2019
Wiebke Bleidorn, an associate professor of psychology, was recently selected by the European Federation of Psychologists' Associations to receive its 2019 Comenius Early Career Psychologist Award. The award is given to a young psychologist from Europe for original contributions to psychology.

Five New Chancellor’s Fellows Make Their Mark

January 29, 2019
Five faculty in the UC Davis College of Letters and Science — an artist, a poet, a psychologist, a mathematician and a physicist — have been named to the 2019 class of Chancellor’s Fellows, the university’s annual honors program recognizing associate professors for high achievement in the quality and excellence of research and teaching.

Do You Have a Healthy Personality? Researchers Think They Can Tell You

November 27, 2018
What are the most psychologically healthy personality traits? Scholars have been interested in characterizing the healthy personality as long as they have been trying to understand how people differ from one another. Researchers from UC Davis have identified a healthy personality prototype in a recent study using a contemporary trait perspective.