Monday, January 13, 2014

Mental Maps

Andrew Mondschein, new faculty member in the
University of Virginia School of Architecture.
What are you missing every day on your daily commute? It may be more than you think if you take public transportation or rely on Google Maps to get you there. Andrew Mondschein, faculty member in the UVa School of Architecture, led a team of researchers who discovered that "cognitively active" travelers (i.e. those driving a car, walking, or riding a bike) are more aware of their surroundings as they navigate than "cognitively passive" travelers (i.e. car or bus passengers) who are simply moved from one location to another. Having gaps in your mental map, Mondschein theorized, can be more significant than just missing a billboard advertisement. Cognitively passive travelers may be missing job opportunities, goods and services available, and/or recreation activities that they might otherwise have noticed if they were navigating the streets on their own. “I think transportation planners need to consider the experience of travel in addition to simply establishing links between ‘A’ and ‘B’,” Mondschein said.  ”Travel is exploration, and there’s long-term value in this kind of learning." For more information, check out this article in UVa Today.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Insights on the Family

Tom Graham hosted two UVa professors on Virginia Insights (WMRA) to hear about their research on the family.

Sarah M. Corse, Ph.D. - co-author of the study "Intimate Inequalities: Love and Work in a Post-Industrial Landscape," presented at the August, 2013, annual meeting of the American Sociological Association. Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Virginia.
Robert E. Emery, Ph.D. - Co-author of "Overnight Custody Arrangements, Attachment, and Adjustment Among Very Young Children"  (August, 2013. "Journal of Marriage and Family").  Professor of Psychology and Director of the Center for Children, Families, and the Law, University of Virginia.  Author of numerous books, including  The Truth About Children and Divorce (Penguin Group).
To hear the interview, check out this link.

Getting older may not be a good excuse...

We've all had moments where the answer we are looking for is on the "tip of the tongue" and as age increases, it is easy to assume the temporary memory lapse and a few extra grey hairs are connected. Dr. Timothy Salthouse and U.Va. undergraduate researcher Arielle Mandell created a study to determine if age and a lapse in the brain's ability to recall facts are related. After quizzing over 700 participants, they initially found that older participants did struggle to recall answers as well as their younger counterparts. But after the researchers factored participants' general knowledge, for example, they found no association between how often the participants' memory recall failed and their performance on the types of memory tests often used in the detection of dementia. 

For more information, check out this article on NBC 29.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Marcia A. Invernizzi, 2013 Edlich-Henderson Innovator of the Year

The IRB-SBS would like to congratulate Marcia Invernizzi; she was recently and appropriately awared the 2013 Edlich-Henderson Innovator of the Year for her Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening, or PALS, assessments and teaching tools; they used in six countries and all 50 states to identify and provide customized learning experiences for young children at risk of becoming poor readers. She is the first researcher from the Curry School to receive this award. For more information about her award, check out this article on NBC 29's site.

Often our researchers only hear from our office about the things they need to do to correct their studies but please know that we are so proud of our UVa researchers and the contributions that they make to their fields and to the world. We look forward to seeing more recognition for your work!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Protecting Your Research Participants with Improved Data Management


Advancing technology continues to provide researchers with better and more efficient tools for collecting and processing data, tools that accelerate the progress of scientific study. Paper files are rapidly being replaced with digital data that exist on hard drives instead of in locked file cabinets. While these new modes of gathering and storing data offer significant advantages, they are not without their limitations and vulnerabilities. Hackers, viruses, and other security threats, in addition to hardware or software failures can cause significant loss to data stores and can violate research participants’ privacy and confidentiality. UVa requires its researchers to follow their Data Protection Standards as outlined by IT Services, but if your background isn’t IT heavy, it may be difficult to navigate on your own. UVa Library offers Scientific Data Consulting to help researchers improve their data collection and management techniques. If you have questions or need ideas, consider contacting their office; not only will you better protect research participants, you could improve your research in general.  Check out our Data Collection and Storage section for more information about IRB-SBS policies and recommendations.  

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Richard Bonnie Give Insight into Mental Health and Gun Policy

In a recent New York Times article, Professor Richard J. Bonnie, a professor in public policy in UVa's School of Law offered insight into the current dialog surrounding mental health and it's connection to gun control policies. “Anytime you have one of these tragic cases like Newtown, it’s going to expose deficiencies in the mental health system, and provide some opportunity for reform. But you have to be very careful not to overreact.” Bonnie led a state commission that overhauled policies after the 2007 Virginia Tech shootings that left 33 people dead. The vast majority of individuals with mental health conditions are not considered a threat and it is challenging to create a system that identifies those who are a threat and provides that information to those who need it without penalizing those who are not a threat. For more reading, see Health Affairs publication of an article written by Bonnie: "Mental Health System Transformation After the Virginia Tech Tragedy."

Monday, January 7, 2013

Madison House promotes Girls on the Run

Student volunteers at UVa's Madison House are implementing the Girls on the Run program with fifteen Johnston Elementary School girls. The program, started by Molly Barker (a four-time Hawaii Ironman athelete) in Charlotte, NC, helps provide young girls the opportunity for exercise while teaching them about making healthy choices and avoiding risky behaviors. See the full article posted on UVaToday.