Skip to main content

News

Recent News

 

Making a study of adapting to change

October 2, 2019

Karl Rosengren

When Karl Rosengren’s oldest daughter was a toddler, he and his wife—Rochester’s new president, Sarah C. Mangelsdorf —observed her attempting to get into a doll-sized toy car that was no bigger than her foot.

Read more...


New training in AR/VR tech gives Rochester doctoral students an edge

September 18, 2019

Virtual reality training

A $1.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation will provide additional impetus to a University of Rochester initiative applying augmented and virtual reality in health, education, product design, remote communication, entertainment, and other fields.

Read more...


Q&A with Manuel Gomez-Ramirez, Ph.D.

September 6, 2019

Manuel Gomez-Ramirez

This summer, Manuel Gomez-Ramirez arrived from Brown University to join the University of Rochester (UR) as an assistant professor in the Departments of Brain and Cognitive Sciences (BCS) and Neuroscience. His Haptic Perception Lab will focus on developing mechanistic models of how objects are perceived and manipulated with our hands, with the ultimate goal of using these models to optimize neural stimulation strategies for brain-computer interfaces and neuroprosthetics. We sat down with Manny, the guitar-playing, cocktail-making neuroscientist, to talk about what he’s most looking forward to at UR.

Read more...


Why can we see moving objects against their backgrounds?

July 2, 2019

Animals camouflaged against their background, like this Florida leopard frog, become easier to detect once they start moving. New research from Rochester scientists explores why human beings are good at discerning moving objects and how we can train our brains to be better at this as we age. (University of Rochester photo / J. Adam Fenster)

According to new research from scientists at the University of Rochester, one reason human beings are good at discerning smaller moving objects in the foreground is that the brain becomes desensitized to the motion in the larger background. Conversely, when a person’s brain is more sensitive to background motion, the negative trade-off is that she will be less sensitive to smaller foreground objects. The research, published in the journal Nature Communications, could lead to new training programs for elderly adults and patients with conditions such as schizophrenia, which has been linked to weaker motion segregation.

Read more...


Brain stimulation helps patients with vision loss re-learn how to see

May 28, 2019

Krystel Huxlin, the James V. Aquavella, M.D. Professor in Ophthalmology at the University’s Flaum Eye Institute, is among the lead authors in a new study that shows how brain stimulation can enhance a patient's ability to re-train their brains to process visual information after a stroke or an injury. (University of Rochester photo / J. Adam Fenster)

Practice results in better learning. Consider learning a musical instrument, for example: the more one practices, the better one will be able to learn to play. The same holds true for cognition and visual perception: with practice, a person can learn to see better—and this is the case for both healthy adults and patients who experience vision loss because of a traumatic brain injury or stroke.

Read more...


2019 BCS University Research Award Winners

May 16, 2019

Briggs, Mitchell, Rucci head shots

Congratulations to Farran Briggs, Jude Mitchell, and Michele Rucci, who were all 2019 recipients of University Research Awards (URA).  Originally called Provost’s Multidisciplinary Awards, the University Research Awards (URA) provide "seed" grants for promising, high-risk projects, says Robert Clark, provost and senior vice president for research.

Read more...


Two degrees for a student with music on her mind

May 10, 2019

A photo of the student.

Hannah Dick ’19, ’19E knew she wanted to pursue a college degree in music. But that wasn’t all. Graduating with dual degrees in percussion and brain and cognitive science, she plans to use music to help people.

Read more...


All the info our brain needs for language nearly fits on a floppy disc

March 27, 2019

Frank Mollica

From New Scientist: As you learn your first language, your brain stores about 1.5 megabytes of information just a little over the amount that would fill a floppy disc (that is what the picture for the save icon represents, if you are too young to remember them).

Read more...


Microscopic eye movements affect how we see contrast

January 22, 2019

Michele Rucci

It is often difficult for a driver to see a person walking on the side of the road at night—especially if the person is wearing dark colors. One of the factors causing this difficulty is a decrease in contrast, making it hard to segment an object, such as a person, from its background.

Read more...


The science of seeing art and color

December 13, 2018

MAG Monet Exhibit

During three trips to London at the turn of the 20th century, Claude Monet painted more than 40 versions of a single scene: the Waterloo Bridge over the Thames River. Monet’s main subject was not the bridge itself, however; he was most captivated by the landscape and atmosphere of the scene, with its transitory light, fog, and mist.

Read more...


Attention Requires Balance in the Brain

October 29, 2018

Girl focus

The ability to focus attention is a fundamental challenge that the brain must solve and one that is essential to navigating our daily lives. In developmental disorders such as Autism this ability is impaired. New research published in the journal Nature Communications shows that nerve cells maintain a state of balance when preparing to interpret what we see and this may explain why the healthy brain can block out distractions.

Read more...


Professor recognized for transforming understanding of human language

September 4, 2018

Mike Tanenhaus

Michael K. Tanenhaus, a longtime professor of brain and cognitive sciences, is being recognized for work that has “transformed our understanding of human language and its relation to perception, action, and communication” by the premier academic society in his field.

Read more...


‘Groundbreaking and transformative’ work at Undergraduate Research Expo

May 3, 2018

President's Award winners, from left to right, Lauren Oey ’18, Harrah Newman ’18, Yiyun Huang ’18, and Perry DeMarche ’18 were honored at the 2018 Undergraduate Research Exposition. (University of Rochester photo / Lindsey Valich)

A diversity of subject matter was on display this year at the University of Rochester’s annual Undergraduate Research Exposition. Students presented projects in topics ranging from fluid dynamics, deforestation in Bolivia, and nomad cultures in Morocco to prenatal depression, meteorites, and software that affects education.

Read more...


Professor studies complex brain networks involved in vision

March 12, 2018

Farran Briggs

Our brains are made up of an intricate network of neurons. Understanding the complex neuronal circuits—the connections of these neurons—is important in understanding how our brains process visual information.

Read more...


A professor and his robot study how we see

February 21, 2018

Michele Rucci

Vision and art have always played a large role in Michele Rucci’s life.

Read more...


Training brains—young and old, sick and healthy—with virtual reality

February 13, 2018

Brenna James '20, a member of the women's basketball team, suffered a concussion in high school. Rochester researchers are using virtual reality to study how concussed patients' eyes track and move across the visual field. The goal is to create therapeutic treatments that can be used at home by patients.

An accidental discovery by Rochester researchers in 2003 touched off a wave of research into the area of neuroplasticity in adults, or how the brain’s neural connections change throughout a person’s lifespan.

Read more...