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Latest News From the College of Sciences


College of Sciences Researchers in the News

  • Losing a job in midlife: How to prepare and bounce back when downsized near retirement

    Being laid off when you're close to retirement can be devastating. It is more difficult for older employees to find new jobs. A 2015 study by the Georgia Institute of Technology’s School of Psychology and the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management found that unemployed Americans over 50 are likely to be job hunting for six weeks longer than those in their 30s and 40s and nearly 11 weeks longer than those in their 20s. School of Psychology Professor Ruth Kanfer was a co-author of the original study.

    USA Today, Jul 9, 2018

  • The older the better: Elderly people are more successful at warding off unhappiness than millennials, says new study

    A study has found that older people are better equipped to ward off unhappiness than millennials. The study found that the brains of young adults are geared toward 'hyper-vigilance' against threats and that older people experience the opposite effect. It found older people's brains attempted to block out threats and this 'positivity  effect' was enough to hinder bad memories being created. Speaking to The Times, Brittany Corbett, who led the research said: 'As we age, we try to have better overall wellbeing and protect our emotional health. Older adults that focus more on negativity avoidance seemingly live happier lives, have better health and longevity." Corbett is a member of the Memory and Aging Lab at Georgia Tech, directed by Audrey Duarte, an associate professor in the School of Psychology.


    Daily Mail, Jul 7, 2018

  • Dehydration may muddle your thinking

    Dehydration can impair your ability to think clearly, a new study suggests. Researchers found that athletes who lost fluid equal to 2% their weight took a hit to their cognition. Even this mild to moderate level of dehydration - the loss of 2 pounds for someone who weighs 100 pounds and four pounds for someone weighing 200 - led to attention problems and impaired decision making, according to the report in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.  In particular, dehydration led to impairment in tasks requiring attention, motor coordination, and so-called executive function, which includes things like map recognition, grammatical reasoning, mental math, and proofreading, for example. “We’ve known that physical performance suffers at a threshold of 2% of body mass, particularly when it’s from exercise in a warm environment,” said study coauthor Mindy Millard-Stafford, a professor in the School of Biological Sciences and director of the physiology lab at the Georgia Institute of Technology.


    Reuters, Jul 5, 2018

  • New research suggests two exoplanets might be more like Earth than we realized

    New evidence has surfaced suggesting that exoplanet Kepler-186f could have changing seasons and a climate, much like Earth. The discovery is exciting astronomers and leading to calls for newer, more detailed studies of this alien world. If Kepler-186f sounds familiar, that's because it's been in the news before: the Earthlike world has been a subject of scientific inquiry since it was first discovered in April 2014, with the help of NASA's Kepler Space Telescope, which revealed it to be an Earth-size planet whose orbit is located within a habitable distance from its sun. A new study published in the Astronomical Journal corroborates the previous findings and suggests there is even more reason to believe it could be an Earth 2.0. Using simulations, authors Yutong Shan and Gongjie Li analyzed the planet's spin-axis dynamics, meaning the relationship between the planet's axis of orbit relative to its orbit around its host star… “Our study is among the first to investigate climate stability of exoplanets and adds to the growing understanding of these potentially habitable nearby worlds,” said Li, an author of the study and assistant professor in the School of Physics.


    Salon, Jul 3, 2018

  • Sexual pleasure might help us learn – if rats are any guide

    How do rats know when their partners are feeling amorous? One way female rats show they’re feeling frisky is to wiggle their ears – or rather, very rapidly shake their head, so that it looks like their ears are moving. So when Mary Holder, a neuroscientist working at the School of Psychology at Georgia Tech, sees lady rats wiggling their ears, she knows they’re ready to mate. To the casual observer, studying ear wiggling in rats might seem trivial, but rat sex is actually crucial in improving our understanding of sexual behaviors in mammals. 

    Salon, Jul 1, 2018