News

In 2016, film directors and American University professors Caty Borum and Leena Jayaswal, contacted Assistant Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, Sarah Gaither about a documentary film they were creating called MIXED. The film would explore the status of mixed-race identity and inclusion 50 years after the landmark Loving v. Virginia Supreme Court case ended legal persecution of interracial marriage in America. The film makers learned about Gaither’s research—which explores how multiple racial or social… read more about Sarah Gaither Featured in Documentary Film on Mixed-Race Identity  »

DURHAM , N.C. -- We’ve all been there. You made a promise you couldn’t keep. Or something came up, and you didn’t follow through on what you said you’d do. It turns out children pay attention to what we say when we don’t deliver. A new study shows that by the time they reach preschool, kids understand that some reasons for reneging are more defensible than others. Leon Li earned his Ph.D. from Duke's Department of Psychology & Neuroscience in 2022.“At 3 to 5 years old, kids are on… read more about Even Preschoolers Can Spot a Cop-Out »

One Duke alumna and a Duke senior have been named in the inaugural class of Quad Fellows, a new scholarship that provides funding for graduate research in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).  This scholarship is supported by the governments of the United States, India, Australia, and Japan.  Alumna Raahina Malik, and current senior Jenny Huang will be a part of a cohort of 100 masters and doctoral STEM students studying in the United States. The fellowship develops a network of science and technology… read more about Alumna, Senior Selected for New Quad Fellowship in STEM Fields »

DURHAM, N.C. -- Hummus. Chewbacca. Tofu. Belly button. These are just a few of the thousands of words scientists at Duke painstakingly decoded from over 2,000 hours of infants’ daily lives. They recently used these data to determine if the amount of language kids hear might explain why girls have bigger vocabularies early in life than boys. It doesn’t. Instead, Shannon Dailey, Ph.D., a Duke University postdoctoral scholar and lead author of the new study, found that rather than caregivers talking more to their young… read more about Parents Talk More To Toddlers Who Talk Back »

DURHAM, N.C. -- “How many fingers am I holding up?” For vision-sensing brain cells in a monkey’s visual cortex, that answer depends on whether the digits are next to each other or partially overlapping. A new study from Duke University finds that single neurons conveying visual information about two separate objects in sight do so by alternating signals about one or the other. When two objects overlap, however, the brain cells detect them as a single entity. The new report is out Nov. 28 in the journal eLife. The… read more about Brain Cells Use A Telephone Trick To Report What They See »

DURHAM, NC -- More than half of all women in the United States are overweight or obese when they become pregnant. While being or becoming overweight during pregnancy can have potential health risks for moms, there are also hints that it may tip the scales for their kids to develop psychiatric disorders like autism or depression, which often affects one gender more than the other. What hasn’t been understood however is how the accumulation of fat tissue in mom might signal through the placenta in a sex-specific way and… read more about Mom’s Dietary Fat Rewires Male And Female Brains Differently »

Long winter nights make for good reads. Duke publications from the fall and winter include attractions for readers of many interests.  For history buffs, there's new history of the American West and a timely assessment of economic sanctions. For politicos, there's a blueprint for protecting democracy and a study of the contributions of migrants to various cultures. Movie fans can read about the history of Asians in theater and cinema and a surprising look at the politics of Marvel movies. Many of the books, including new… read more about Warm Up With Winter Books From Duke Authors »

Duke postdoc Lauren Green wasn’t expecting to make a revolutionary brain cell discovery as a second-year graduate student. But that’s exactly what happened.   “I was really considering leaving science,” Green said.   It wasn’t that Green wanted to quit, but she was plagued by self-doubt, experiencing a common stage for many budding scientists working toward their Ph.D. She felt overwhelmed: greatly invested in her research, TAing, completing qualifying exams, and constantly questioning if she was good enough.   “In… read more about How One Tweet of Encouragement Can Impact a Career »

Gary G. Bennett, a behavioral scientist and leader in undergraduate education at Duke, has been appointed dean of Trinity College of Arts & Sciences, Provost Sally Kornbluth announced Tuesday. Bennett, who serves as Duke’s vice provost for undergraduate education, will begin his term Feb. 1, 2023. He succeeds Valerie Sheares Ashby, who stepped down this summer to become president of University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and Mohamed Noor, who will continue to serve as interim dean until Bennett’s term begins. “Gary… read more about Bennett Appointed Dean of Trinity College of Arts & Sciences »

This week's student spotlight star is Julia Leeman, a neuroscience and music major who hails from Charlotte, North Carolina.  Leeman enjoys the connections between music and neuroscience and has held such interest since high school.  “I chose Duke University because of its devotion to interdisciplinary studies” grinned Leeman. “I knew that I wanted to study neuroscience and music, and the University has so many resources that allow me to do so. This made me view the University as the perfect place to explore both passions… read more about SNP Student Spotlight: Leeman's Leading Edge »

This past weekend junior Mackenzie Warren, a busy community leader, took the opportunity to be celebrated by others during her birthday. A devoted student here at Duke University, Warren knew that the University would be the ideal oyster to nurture her passion for people as a psychology major. The Houston native attended an accelerated, academically-intense high school that did not offer many sports or extracurricular enrichment. During her campus tour, however, Warren was impressed with the University’s ability to provide… read more about Undergraduate Student Spotlight: Mackenzie Warren, Born to Lead »

Sofia Silvosa hadn’t completely decided to major in psychology upon her arrival on campus but knew it had been a consideration of hers during high school. She notes that one of her reasons for attending Duke University is because of the freedom that the University’s classes offer and its top-ranking psychology department. Silvosa, who is starting her junior year studying abroad in Scotland at the University of Edinburgh, eventually decided to use the freedom that comes from a major in psychology to take her around the world… read more about Psychology: A World-class Major »