Patients make more progress toward overcoming anxiety, fears and phobias when their therapy sessions are scheduled in the morning, new research suggests. An SMU study found that morning sessions helped psychotherapy patients overcome their panic and anxiety and phobic avoidance better, in part, because levels of cortisol — a naturally occurring hormone — are at their highest then, said clinical psychologist Alicia E. Meuret.
Journalist Simon Usborne tapped the human-speed expertise of SMU biomechanics expert Peter Weyand for an article in the London newspaper The Guardian examining the potential for humans to continue improving strength and speed beyond what has already been achieved. Usborne interviewed Weyand for his expertise on the mechanics of running and speed of world-class sprinters like Usain Bolt. The article "How fast can we go? The science of the 100m sprint" published Oct. 3, 2016.
A hard hit to the head typically prompts physicians to look for signs of a concussion based on symptoms such as forgetfulness, wobbly gait and disorientation. But symptoms such as those are subjective, says physiologist Sushmita Purkayastha, Southern Methodist University, Dallas. Now a new study aims to find noninvasive objective indicators to diagnose whether an athlete has suffered a concussion.
Students who make relevant arm movements while learning can improve their knowledge and retention of math, research has shown. Now researchers at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison have developed a model using geometry proofs that shows potential for wide adoption — a video game in which students make movements with their arms to learn abstract math concepts.
The New York Daily News quoted SMU Psychology Professor George W. Holden, psychology, for his expertise on spanking in an article about a Georgia principal paddling a 5-year-old boy as punishment. The paddling was caught on video and went viral on the Internet by viewers who were horrified and shocked. The article, "Shocking viral video of 5-year-old boy being paddled shines light on legal but 'damaging' corporal punishment," published April 15, 2016.
SMU scientists and their research have a global reach that is frequently noted, beyond peer publications and media mentions. It was a good year for SMU faculty and student research efforts. Here's a small sampling of public and published acknowledgements during 2015, ranging from research modeling that made the cover of a scientific journal to research findings presented as evidence at government hearings.
Two SMU psychology professors working with University of Maryland engineers have been awarded a National Institutes of Health grant that will bring nearly $2 million to their joint project to create a wearable device for pediatric asthma patients that helps them avoid asthma triggers. The asthma device will monitor air quality, carbon dioxide levels in the blood, physical activity and other stimuli to identify triggers and alert a patient when conditions are ripe for an attack.
Biology isn’t the only reason women eat less as they near ovulation, a time when they are at their peak fertility. Three new independent studies found that another part of the equation is a woman’s desire to maintain her body’s attractiveness, says social psychologist and assistant professor Andrea L. Meltzer, Southern Methodist University, Dallas.