Myra Altman, M.A., Jon Gooblar, M. A., and Hannah King, M. A.
Psychology Building Room 216 @ 4:00 pm
Johan Carlin
Psychology Building, Room 216A & 216B @ 4:00 pm
March 20, 2014

How to learn better at any age

You’re studying wrong. But don’t worry, it’s not too late to get much, much better.

PEOPLE COMMONLY BELIEVE that if you expose yourself to something enough times — say, a textbook passage or a set of terms from biology class — you can burn it into memory. Not so. Many teachers believe that if they can make learning easier and faster, the learning will be better. Much research turns this belief on its head: When learning is harder, it’s stronger and lasts longer. It’s widely believed by teachers, trainers, and coaches that the most effective way to master a new skill is to give it dogged, single-minded focus, practicing over and over until you’ve got it down. What’s apparent from research is that gains achieved during such practice are transitory and melt away quickly.

January 22, 2014

Listeners can distinguish voices of tall versus short people, study finds

Findings may have criminal justice implications, WUSTL psychologist says

Our voice can reveal a lot about us: our age, our gender, and now — it seems — our height as well.

A new study by researchers at Washington University in St. Louis, University of California, Los Angeles, and Indiana University 

found that listeners can accurately determine the relative heights of speakers just by listening to them talk. The key clue may be contained in a particular type of sound produced in the lower airways of the lungs, known as a subglottal resonance.

John Morton, study co-author and a psychology graduate student in Arts & Sciences at WUSTL, presented the study Dec. 3 at the 166th meeting of the Acoustical Society of America in San Francisco.

January 15, 2014

The Brain, in Exquisite Detail

ST. LOUIS — Deanna Barch talks fast, as if she doesn’t want to waste any time getting to the task at hand, which is substantial. She is one of the researchers here at Washington University working on the first interactive wiring diagram of the living, working human brain.

To build this diagram she and her colleagues are doing brain scans and cognitive, psychological, physical and genetic assessments of 1,200 volunteers. They are more than a third of the way through collecting information. Then comes the processing of data, incorporating it into a three-dimensional, interactive map of the healthy human brain showing structure and function, with detail to one and a half cubic millimeters, or less than 0.0001 cubic inches.