The Sleep Monitoring Lab: Research Highlights

The Sleep Monitoring Lab, directed by Rebecca Spencer, is part of the Human Testing Center within the Life Science Laboratories. It houses three bedrooms and a central control room for observing sleeping participants. To measure sleep, the Lab uses polysomnography (PSG), a montage of recordings of brain through electroencephalography (EEG), eye movements through electrooculography (EOG), and muscle activity through electromyography (EMG). A person’s heart rhythm can also be recorded using an electrocardiogram (EKG). This combination of information allows researchers to characterize sleep into one of four stages: non-REM stages 1, 2, 3 and REM (rapid eye movement).

Rebecca Spencer Examines the Role of Sleep in Memory Processing

Rebecca SpencerRebecca Spencer, has received a five-year, $2.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, which renews an earlier grant from NIH’s National Institutes of Aging to support work on sleep and memory in older adults.

Spencer and colleagues will use the MRI in the Human Magnetic Resonance Center at the Institute of Applied Life Sciences to look at how memories are encoded in the brain before sleep and how they are changed by sleep compared to wakefulness in older adults compared to younger adults.

Jennifer M. McDermott Appointed Director of Diversity and Inclusion for Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies

Jennifer McDermottJennifer M. McDermott has been appointed the first College of Natural Sciences (CNS) Director of Diversity and Inclusion for Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. In this new role, McDermott work with Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars and collaborate with the Assistant Dean for Inclusion and Engagement in the Graduate School to promote the CNS Vision for Diversity and Inclusion.

Katherine Dixon-Gordon Selected for the Judy Hall Early Career Psychologist Award

katie dixon-gordonThe National Register of Health Service Psychologists has presented the 2018 Judy E. Hall Early Career Psychologist Award to Katherine Dixon-Gordon. The award recognizes excellence in a National Register credentialed psychologist with fewer than ten years of postdoctoral experience, and the associated $2,500 stipend supports a project that advances the mission, vision, and values of the National Register.

Rebecca Spencer Receives Concurrent NIH, NSF Grants for Child Sleep Studies

Rebecca Spencer recently received a two-year, $423,208 grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, with co-investigator Tracy Riggins at the University of Maryland, to study the role of sleep and brain maturation on memory in early childhood development, specifically when children transition out of naps.

A mother's emotional and cognitive control influences her child's behavior, study co-authored by Kirby Deater-Deckard

A new study by Kirby Deater-Deckard, professor in developmental science, and co-authors from Brigham Young University, Johns Hopkins University, and Virginia Tech, discusses how a mother's emotional and cognitive control can influence her child's behavior. 

Linda Tropp Publishes New Social Science Research Demonstrating the Importance of Diversity in Classrooms

"Schools remain one of the few social institutions that have the potential to bring youth together across racial and ethnic lines. New social science research demonstrates the importance of fostering sustained interracial contact between youth in order to prepare them to thrive in a multiracial society.

2018 Senior Celebration Reception Photos

On Saturday, May 12, the PBS Senior Celebration Reception was held in the Student Union Ballroom. This event was a great opportunity for graduates and their families to socialize, meet faculty and advisors, and have some fun! Department Chair Caren Rotello congratulated the graduates on the high degree of excellence they have achieved. The College of Natural Sciences Senior Celebration was held later that day in the Mullins Center.