News

Study shows predictors of cognitive decline in midlife women varied by race

women talking in sunny office

Cognitive decline, or the weakening of our ability to think, learn, pay attention, remember, or reason, over time can be predicted by certain health risks present in later life. Hypertension, diabetes, depressive symptoms, and smoking are all known predictors. Current research has not shown how these risk factors affect cognition in midlife and if there are differing results between racial groups. A better understanding of how these risk factors influence cognition in midlife could lead to more effective and timely health interventions. 

John Bickford receives Outstanding Teaching Award

John BickfordJohn Bickford, Senior Lecturer

Outstanding Teaching Award

"I often tell people that being a lecturer at UMass Amherst feels like winning the career lottery. It is the perfect position for me, not only because I’m doing exactly what I’ve always wanted to do, but also because I’m doing it in an incredibly supportive environment. The university, the College of Natural Sciences, and especially the Psychological and Brain Sciences department have always done an amazing job of making me feel completely welcomed and valued here, and this great honor is another wonderful example of that. Moreover, the amazingly bright, talented, enthusiastic, and just plain delightful students at UMass are a constant source of inspiration for me. So I feel incredibly fortunate to be here, and deeply honored by this award."

Tweet Blitz: 2021 Undergraduate Theses

Every spring we're proud to showcase undergraduate research in a poster-fest attended by students and faculty alike. This year, we took that event virtual using online meeting rooms, and it was a great success! Here are some tweets and posters from our talented students, summing up their awesome projects!

Mackenzie SmithIs polarization beneficial? We found that it actually leads to more effective representatives! —Mackenzie Smith

Read abstract

The Influence of the Electorate’s Political Diversity on the Legislative Effectiveness of House Representatives
poster
Click to enlarge poster

2021 Senior Awards

Student Award
Emily Duryea Outstanding Overall Senior
Isabella Levesque Outstanding Overall Senior
Ciara Venter Outstanding Thesis
Kimberly Sikorski Outstanding Thesis
Miranda Boudreau Outstanding Thesis
Elodie Carel Outstanding Thesis
Isha Parasnis Outstanding Thesis
Maria DelPico Outstanding Thesis
Joe Minton Research Assistant Appreciation
Britt Mardis Teaching Assistant Appreciation
Akili Sundai Teaching Assistant Appreciation
David Cellucci Teaching Assistant Appreciation
Owen Colás Outstanding Internship Contribution
Catherine Fahey Outstanding Internship Contribution


Hear what some of our senior award winners had to say about their UMass experience:

 

The Power of Contact, a new report by the International Organization for Migration

cover illustration, groups of people mingling outdoors

Linda Tropp, professor of social psychology at UMass Amherst, contributed her expertise to a new report by the International Organization for Migration, The Power of Contact: Designing, Facilitating and Evaluating Social Mixing Activities to Strengthen Migrant Integration and Social Cohesion Between Migrants and Local Communities | A Review of Lessons Learned. This report highlights the value of intergroup contact to promote integration and social cohesion.

Read full report

Predictors of Contemporary under-5 Child Mortality in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A Machine Learning Approach

red cross and hands outstretched

Although child under-five years mortality remains a major public health concern (i.e., nearly 7% of live births in low- and middle-income countries), researchers have struggled to identify a hierarchy of correlates (representing potential causal factors) that can be replicated and that inform prioritization of prevention and intervention efforts. To address this gap, PBS faculty member Kirby Deater-Deckard has been working in an international collaborative group led by Prof. Gianluca Esposito (University of Trento, Italy, and Nanyang Technical University, Singapore) and Dr. Marc Bornstein (NICHD) that also includes team members at Duke University and UNICEF in New York.

Buju Dasgupta interviewed on the Mind & Life Institute Podcast

portrait of Buju Dasgupta

Buju Dasgupta is interviewed on the Mind & Life Institute Podcast with Wendy Hasenkamp! 
 
They cover fascinating topics, including:

  • the crucial role of social environments on implicit bias; 
  • the malleability of implicit bias by changing key characteristics of our local environments;
  • turning research into social impact;
  • changing bias against women and underrepresented groups;
  • increasing cross-disciplinary collaboration to advance research on equity through the Institute of Diversity Sciences.

Supportive Partners Protect Relationship Quality in People with Depression or External Stress

couple sitting watching the sunset

New findings emerge from UMass Amherst newlyweds study

Having a responsive, supportive partner minimizes the negative impacts of an individual’s depression or external stress on their romantic relationship, according to research by a University of Massachusetts Amherst social psychologist.

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