The Benefits of ‘Perceptual Learning’

An article in today’s New York Times about perceptual learning, which relies largely on gut-instinct, cites studies by UCLA researchers and colleagues in which school students were asked to solve mathematical problems that often required more intuition than mathematical knowledge. Philip J. Kellman, UCLA professor of cognitive psychology, is quoted.

Again, but faster! The spectacular courtship dance of a tiny bird

Julia Barske, a UCLA graduate student and doctoral candidate in ecology and evolutionary biology, has recently published data that shows that the females select the males that completed elements of the courtship dance in 50 milliseconds over the males that took 80 milliseconds. Barney Schlinger, professor and departmental chair of integrative biology and physiology and a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology is co-author of the study.

Wolves Are Wolf-Coyote Hybrids

The Boston Globe reported on genetic research by Robert Wayne, UCLA professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, and colleagues indicating that wolves in the eastern U.S. are hybrids of gray wolves and coyotes and that eastern coyotes are wolf-coyote-dog hybrids.

The healing power of hydrogen peroxide

Alvaro Sagasti, UCLA Professor of Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology, and UCLA postdoctoral scholar Sandra Rieger found that hydrogen peroxide, which is found in high concentrations in wounds, promotes the regeneration of sensory fibers in healing skin.

Electrode Experiment Shows Promise as a Paralyzed Man Stands

V. Reggie Edgerton, UCLA Professor of Integrative Biology and Physiology, and Susan Harkema of the University of Louisville in Kentucky, describe a new electrode experiment that helped a paralyzed man take steps on a treadmill, and regain other key functions. These studies may provide good hope for the quarter of a million Americans who are currently living with spinal cord injuries.

Species extinction rates may be overestimated

Stephen Hubbell, UCLA distinguished professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, is co-author on a new study published May 19 in the journal Nature. The study found that methods most widely used for calculating species extinction rates are “fundamentally flawed” and overestimate extinction rates by as much as 160 percent.