News and Research Coverage
The special issue on "The Impact of Emotion on Cognition -- Dissociating between Enhancing and Impairing Effects" edited by Florin Dolcos, Mara Mather and Lihong Wang and published jointly in Frontiers in Emotion Science and Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience was awarded a 'Popularity Award' as this special issue is one of the most accessed Frontiers Research Topics.
Allison Foertsch, a first-year student in Gerontology, and Bruna Martins, a first-year student in the Clinical Science program in Psychology, both received National Science Foundation Graduate fellowships. Congratulations Allie and Bruna!
Scientific American Mind, January/February 2012
Emotion Selectively Distorts Our Recollections: Feelings Edit and Sculpt Memories
How can we explain emotional tunnel vision? "Countless stimuli vie for your notice, says Mara Mather of the University of Southern California. What wins out might be something eye-catching or startling, or it might be something you are deliberately trying to focus on, such as a phone call, while consciously screening out distractions. Emotions magnify this effect, intensifying the attention-snagging properties of a stimulus."
AARP, January 2012
Should Decisions Go Her Way... or His?
Stressed men tend to move quickly, especially to obtain rewards--such as earning money on investments--whereas stressed women tend to take their time, a new study from the University of Southern California finds. Lead researcher Nichole Lighthall says, "Men and women in our studies made decisions in a similar way under nonstressed conditions--they differed significantly only under stress."
Scientific American, November 2010
Older but Not Wiser? The Psychology Behind Seniors' Susceptibility to Scams
New studies help explain why, despite having more experience, senior citizens often make unprofitable financial choices.
LiveScience, October 2010
Stress Brings Out the Difference in Male, Female Brains
A new study finds that when men under stress looked at angry faces, they seemed to disengage, at least according to brain scans showing lower activity in brain areas responsible for processing other people's emotions and facial expressions. In contrast, stressed-out women showed more activity in those brain regions.
USC Gerontology, August 2010
The Science of Emotion
Kaoru Nashiro, a fourth-year Ph.D. candidate, earned an APA Division 20 award for her research.
APS Observer, July 2010
Under Pressure: Stress and Decision Making
We make decisions all the time, and many of those decisions are made under stressful conditions. Gaining a better understanding of how stress affects decision making is critical not only for psychological science, but has important, real-world implications.
UK Daily Mail, July 2009
How stress can make a man reckless
Nichole Lighthall found sex differences in how men and women make decisions under stress.
USC News, May 2009
Mara Mather Wins Award for Career Development
Mara Mather, associate professor of gerontology and psychology, has received a K02 award from the National Institutes of Health.
Psychology Today, February 2009
Stress decreases risk-taking in older adults
A paper by Mara Mather, Marissa Gorlick, and Nichole Lighthall in the February, 2009 issue of Psychological Science examined how risk-taking behavior was affected by stress both for young adults (between 18 and 33) and older adults (over 65).