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Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences (BCS) Discoveries

NSF's public investment in science, engineering, education and technology helps to create knowledge and sustain prosperity. Read here about the Internet, microbursts, Web browsers, extrasolar planets, and more... a panoply of discoveries and innovations that began with NSF support.

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man looking at EEG data on the screen What happens when 'Aha!' strikes
Research at Drexel University shows sudden insights are real--and you can train your brain to have more
Released  August 3, 2015
Robin Dodsworth and people at a market As a Southern community changes, an accent fades
Southern accents are declining in North Carolina. What does that tell us about social dynamics?
Released  July 27, 2015
Baby face Baby biases
Infants develop feelings about those who are like them and different from them at an early age
Released  July 10, 2015
Child looking outside the window from a high floor No fear of falling
Research investigates how infants learn to become wary of heights
Released  July 9, 2015
Mother and father reading to unborn baby. Rhyme time for fetuses
Research provides evidence of learning and memory six weeks prior to birth
Released  July 7, 2015
Two images of a woman wearing Was the dress gold and white or blue and black?
Recent Internet discussion connects to the research of Laurence Maloney, whose study of visual color perception could help in understanding the progression of degenerative eye disorders
Released  June 26, 2015
Kid on a stationary bike in the Hank Virtual Environments Lab Beyond looking both ways
SBE-funded researchers ask a fundamental safety question: What are kids thinking when crossing the street?
Released  June 26, 2015
Christopher Collins Documenting endangered languages
The N|uu language, spoken by a few elderly people in South Africa, has features that help build a greater understanding of human language
Released  June 15, 2015
Police on the street in Boston Marathon bombing aftermath Responding to terror (again): A study of the Boston Marathon bombing
Media exposure to prior tragedies may sensitize people to new disasters
Released  May 21, 2015
picture of Anne Kelly Knowles Geography and mapping give new dimension to study of the Holocaust
Research addresses questions about the scale of the Holocaust, the meaning of place, and the significance of spatial patterns
Released  May 19, 2015
Timothy Verstynen in graveyard holding a plastic skull and brain. A craving for brains (and knowledge)
Timothy Verstynen on using pop culture, including zombies and podcasting, to talk about serious research
Released  April 13, 2015
Baboon group in Amboseli, Kenya Born during a drought: Bad news for baboons
Findings have implications for human health
Released  April 1, 2015
Danielle Bassett Researcher studies how different brain regions interact during tasks
2014 MacArthur Fellow’s work has potential to diagnose and treat Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, addiction, stroke, autism, epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease
Released  December 8, 2014
hands holding a smartphone Experts identify easy way to improve smartphone security
Assigning risk scores to apps may slow down unwarranted access to personal information
Released  October 28, 2014
Marcus Raichle What happens to your brain when your mind is at rest?
Kavli Prize winner recognized as pioneer in research in the development and use of brain imaging techniques
Released  October 10, 2014
Patricia Wright shouldering a lemur Renowned scientist/conservationist Patricia Wright campaigns to save severely endangered lemurs
Patricia Wright describes her passion for lemurs in a video interview
Released  August 27, 2014
Children taking a test. Harvard University psychologists seek to unlock secrets of children's complex thinking
Study aims to uncover processes that help improve theoretical knowledge
Released  August 14, 2014
Student in science class with balance. Unlocking the secrets of children's complex thinking: The studies
Researchers question how executive function influences the process of learning
Released  August 14, 2014
Bijan Pesaran, New York University Complexity of eye-hand coordination
Research helps understand how brain systems interact to carry out cognitive processes
Released  August 1, 2014
owl monkeys Father's day special: And the best father in the animal kingdom is...
Award-winning primatologist and conservationist Patricia Wright discusses why owl monkeys and other species of small monkeys are extraordinarily devoted dads
Released  June 11, 2014
students at computers using Social Explorer Mapping tool used by Census Bureau has roots in NSF-funded project
Census Explorer, a new online tool that displays demographic information on maps of states, counties, and neighborhoods, is powered by Social Explorer, a data visualization tool developed by NSF-funded sociologist Andrew Beveridge
Released  March 27, 2014
Closeup of fossil bone structure Snakes Alive! NSF-funded researchers find oldest fossil evidence of modern African venomous snakes
Seasonal habitats may have given rise to active hunters earlier than previously reported
Released  March 19, 2014
Illustration showing surfaces of the mouse and human brains From dino brains to thought control--10 fascinating brain findings
Summaries of 10 findings about the brain that involve NSF-funded researchers
Released  February 11, 2014
Generic Discovery Image Hunting the spark of creativity
NSF-funded researchers envision harnessing collective wisdom from social networks
Released  November 4, 2013
Photo of the Philadelphia skyline at night Detecting social patterns from shifting dialects
A powerful computer program allows scientists to map shifts in regional accents. Such research can aid development of speech recognition technology
Released  August 20, 2013
Photo of sun radiating over highway filled with cars in traffic in Phoenix Summertime: Hot Time in the City
Parks are islands of coolness in cities' urban heat
Released  June 21, 2013
Photo of a father holding a baby. Six-month-old Word Learners
Study of infants challenges developmental sequence of human language learning
Released  March 8, 2012
Photo of a hunter enlarging a burrow and his dog at other burrow end and the words Photo Gallery. Older Is Better for Hunting Dogs
Research examines key demographic variables of Nicaraguan canines
Released  January 17, 2012
Image of seated child with three cyberbullies each with belt lock rising from her laptop. Foiling the Plan of a Cyberbully
Researchers suggest listening to students to craft prevention policies
Released  November 22, 2011
Illustration showing a depressed child holding a tablet with 3 cyberbullies coming out of tablet. Recognizing a Cyberbully
Anonymous nature of digital aggression clouds identities of virtual bullies
Released  November 15, 2011

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