The Department of Psychology, one of the largest and most productive departments in the nation, is housed in Franz Hall. Its state-of-the-art facilities, numerous resources and renowned faculty provide ample opportunity for innovative research. Many departmental faculty and researchers are recipients of over $14 million in annual extramural funding, and are acknowledged leaders in their fields. Their scientific contributions, combined with the campus' remarkable growth and Los Angeles' cultural vibrancy, have hastened the University's emergence as a world-class research institution--the anchor of Southern California's intellectual and scientific achievement.
UCLA Department of Psychology
Behavioral Neuroscience (10)
Teaching Bioinformatics and Neuroinformatics Using Free Web-based Tools
This completely computer-based module’s purpose is to introduce students to bioinformatics resources. We present an easy-to-adopt module that weaves together
several important bioinformatic tools so students can grasp how these tools are used in answering research questions. This module integrates information gathered from websites dealing with anatomy (Mouse Brain Library), Quantitative Trait Locus analysis
(WebQTL from GeneNetwork), bioinformatics and gene expression analyses (University of California, Santa Cruz Genome Browser, NCBI Entrez Gene, and the Allen Brain Atlas), and information resources (PubMed).
This module provides for teaching genetics from the phenotypic level to the molecular level, some neuroanatomy, some aspects of histology, statistics, Quantitaive Trait Locus analysis, molecular biology including in situ hybridization and microarray analysis in addition to introducing bioinformatic resources. Students use these resources to discover 1) the region(s) of chromosome(s) influencing the trait, 2) a list of candidate genes—narrowed by expression data, 3) the in situ pattern of a given gene in the region of
interest, 4) the nucleotide sequence of the candidate gene, and 5) articles describing the gene. Teaching materials such as a detailed instructor’s manual, powerpoints, sample exams, and links to free web resources can be found at http://mdcune.psych.ucla.edu/modules/bioinformatics.
- 1 supplemental ZIP
Sex Differences and Organizational Effects of Androgen in Spinal Cord Motor Nuclei
This article describes a laboratory module taught at UCLA and offers digitized microscope images that will allow instructors to recreate this module at their home institutions with only a computer required. This module allows for 1) an exploration of the effects of hormones on neural development, 2) the demonstration of sex differences in the nervous system, 3) the production of robust and statistically significant data by novice undergraduates, 4) the discussion of sophisticated statistical analyses (ANOVAs with significant main effects and an interaction), and 5) the understanding of at least some of the neuroanatomy of the spinal cord. Specifically, this module both replicates and extends a previously published experiment on sexually dimorphic neurons in the spinal cord of rats (Grisham et al., 1992), which examined the effect of antiandrogen exposure (Flutamide) in utero on sexually dimorphic spinal motoneurons in male and female rats.
Open Access Policy Deposits (1790)
Why sleep is important for health: a psychoneuroimmunology perspective.
Sleep has a critical role in promoting health. Research over the past decade has documented that sleep disturbance has a powerful influence on the risk of infectious disease, the occurrence and progression of several major medical illnesses including cardiovascular disease and cancer, and the incidence of depression. Increasingly, the field has focused on identifying the biological mechanisms underlying these effects. This review highlights the impact of sleep on adaptive and innate immunity, with consideration of the dynamics of sleep disturbance, sleep restriction, and insomnia on (a) antiviral immune responses with consequences for vaccine responses and infectious disease risk and (b) proinflammatory immune responses with implications for cardiovascular disease, cancer, and depression. This review also discusses the neuroendocrine and autonomic neural underpinnings linking sleep disturbance and immunity and the reciprocal links between sleep and inflammatory biology. Finally, interventions are discussed as effective strategies to improve sleep, and potential opportunities are identified to promote sleep health for therapeutic control of chronic infectious, inflammatory, and neuropsychiatric diseases.
Retrieval dynamics and retention in cross-situational statistical word learning.
Previous research on cross-situational word learning has demonstrated that learners are able to reduce ambiguity in mapping words to referents by tracking co-occurrence probabilities across learning events. In the current experiments, we examined whether learners are able to retain mappings over time. The results revealed that learners are able to retain mappings for up to 1 week later. However, there were interactions between the amount of retention and the different learning conditions. Interestingly, the strongest retention was associated with a learning condition that engendered retrieval dynamics that initially challenged the learner but eventually led to more successful retrieval toward the end of learning. The ease/difficulty of retrieval is a critical process underlying cross-situational word learning and is a powerful example of how learning dynamics affect long-term learning outcomes.