Brain and Behavior

  • New research raises possibility of better anti-obesity drugs

    Friday, Jun 28, 2019
    by Princeton University

    Effective weight-loss strategies call for eating less food, burning more calories — or ideally, both. But for the more than 90 million Americans who suffer from obesity, a disease that contributes to conditions ranging from heart disease to cancer, behavioral change is hard to accomplish or not effective enough, which is why scientists have long sought drugs that would help people shed pounds. Yet effective, long-lasting treatments have thus far eluded them.

  • Artificial intelligence detects a new class of mutations behind autism

    Tuesday, May 28, 2019
    by Steven Schultz, Office of Engineering Communications

    Many mutations in DNA that contribute to disease are not in actual genes but instead lie in the 99% of the genome once considered "junk." Even though scientists have recently come to understand that these vast stretches of DNA do in fact play critical roles, deciphering these effects on a wide scale has been impossible until now.

  • Racial bias associated with disparities in disciplinary action across U.S. schools

    Tuesday, Apr 2, 2019
    by B. Rose Kelly, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs

    Studies have shown that black students are subjected to higher disciplinary rates than whites, resulting in a number of negative life outcomes, including involvement in the criminal justice system.

    Using federal data covering 32 million students across 96,000 K-12 schools, researchers at Princeton University investigated the degree to which racial disparities in disciplinary action across the United States relates to county-level measures of racial bias.

  • Improvised dance embodies complexities of social decisions

    Thursday, Feb 21, 2019
    by Molly Sharlach, Office of Engineering Communications

    A work of art evolves from a series of decisions, as an artist combines brushstrokes, dance steps or musical notes to convey a feeling or idea. When a group of interacting dancers improvises a performance from a repertoire of possible movements, the dynamics of the artistic decisions become even more complex.

  • Bee social or buzz off: Study links genes to social behaviors, including autism

    Thursday, Oct 18, 2018
    by Catherine Zandonella, Office of the Dean for Research

    Those pesky bees that come buzzing around on a muggy summer day are helping researchers reveal the genes responsible for social behaviors. A new study published this week found that the social lives of sweat bees — named for their attraction to perspiration — are linked to patterns of activity in specific genes, including ones linked to autism.

  • Mind the gap: Bridging the computer-human divide

    Friday, Sep 14, 2018
    by Doug Hulette

    Suppose you’re about to go snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef or some other area of underwater beauty. You should be thinking about the wondrous marine life you’ll certainly see. But instead you’re fixated on the vanishingly small chance of coming eye to eye with a hungry shark.

  • Mental health declining among disadvantaged American adults

    Monday, Jun 18, 2018
    by B. Rose Kelly, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs

    American adults of low socioeconomic status report increasing mental distress and worsening well-being, according to a new study by Princeton University and Georgetown University.

    Between the mid-1990s and early 2010s, self-reports of mental health declined among disadvantaged Americans ages 24 to 76. However, as socioeconomic status increased, mental health deterioration lessened or, in some cases, even improved.

  • Uncovering the sound of 'motherese,' baby talk across languages

    Thursday, Oct 12, 2017
    Across languages, Princeton researchers have identified consistent shifts in vocal timbre between mothers speaking to or reading to their children and speaking to other adults. This research into “motherese” was conducted in the Princeton Baby Lab and was led by postdoctoral research associates with the Princeton Neuroscience Institute, Elise Piazza and Marius Cătălin Iordan, as well as Casey Lew-Williams, an assistant professor of psychology.

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