Tag Archive | "college of arts and sciences"

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‘Islands of Creation’ Captures UM Researcher’s Fascinating Speciation Studies


By Robert C. Jones Jr.
UM News

Uy (Islands of Creation)

The groundbreaking research of J. Albert C. Uy, documented in the film Islands of Creation, could help unravel the mystery of speciation. Here, Uy and his wife, UM researcher Floria Mora-Kepfer Uy, return to Frigatebird Island, part of the Solomon Islands, after conducting fieldwork. Photo courtesy of Day’s Edge Productions.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (April 8, 2015) – An evolutionary biologist fascinated by the way new species evolve, J. Albert C. Uy has longed to have his research featured in a film geared toward the general public. But concerns over the way some nature documentaries distort science always dissuaded him from collaborating with filmmakers.

Read the full story

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Autism Researchers Discover Age-Specific Brain Changes

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Autism Researchers Discover Age-Specific Brain Changes


UM News

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (March 20, 2015) – The field of autism research has tried to find a central theory underlying brain changes associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Now, a new University of Miami study shows that individuals with the disorder exhibit different patterns of brain connectivity than typically developing (TD) individuals and that these patterns adjust as the individual ages.

“Our findings suggest that developmental stage must be taken into account to accurately build models that show how the brains of individuals with autism differ from neurotypical individuals,” said Lucina Uddin, assistant professor of psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences and corresponding author of the study. “We believe that taking a developmental approach to examining brain connectivity in autism is critical for predicting response to treatment in young children with ASD.”

The human brain is composed of more than one trillion cells called neurons. They interact with one another to form complex signaling networks. Previous studies have identified patterns of both functional hypo- and hyper-connectivity of these signaling networks in individuals with ASD. Published in the journal NeuroImage: Clinical, the study, “Developmental Changes in Large-Scale Network Connectivity in Autism,” attempts to explain these conflicting results by indicating that the developmental stage of the individual plays a key role.

The key findings include:

  • Children (ages 7 to 11) with ASD exhibit hyper-connectivity within large-scale brain networks as well as decreased between-network connectivity when compared to TD children.
  • Adolescents (ages 11 to 18) with ASD do not differ in within-network connectivity, but have a decrease in between-network connectivity when compared to TD adolescents.
  • Adults (older than 18) with ASD show neither within- nor between-network differences in functional connectivity compared with typical adults.

The findings suggest that alterations in the networks of the brain’s cortex may trigger the complex behavioral characteristics observed in individuals with ASD.

“This study helps us understand the functional organization of brain networks and how they change across the lifespan in autism,” said Jason S. Nomi, postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Psychology at UM and lead author of the study.

The researchers are currently working to explicitly characterize an important developmental transition in individuals with autism: the onset of puberty.

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Designing Online Equality: Lunch and Learn on April 9


OnlineEquityJoin Women’s and Gender Studies at the University Center’s Storm Surge Room at 11 a.m. on Thursday, April 9  for a Lunch and Learn with UM Law Professor Mary Anne Franks, vice president of the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, who will discuss the impact of online harassment against women and how to fight it. A free lunch will be provided, but attendees are requested to bring their own drink. Read more about the forum and Professor Franks.

 

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Know Justice, Know Peace: A Symposium on Race, Social Justice, and the American Dream on April 1


UM News

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (March 27, 2015)—Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin, the African-American teenager from Miami Gardens who neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman fatally shot in Sanford, Fla., will be among the speakers at a symposium on race, social justice, and the concept of the American dream at  7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 1, at the Student Activities Center Ballrooms on the Coral Gables campus.

Tickets to the symposium are free but required for entry. Faculty and staff with a valid ’Cane Card may pick up one ticket at the SAC, room 206, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Monday, March 30 through Wednesday, April 1, or while supplies last.

Fulton is the co-founder of the Trayvon Martin Foundation, a not-for-profit organization to create awareness about racial, ethnic, and gender profiling and to educate youth on conflict resolution techniques. Other speakers include:

Jasiri X, a Pittsburgh rapper who released a video for a song called “Trayvon” in May 2012. The video recounts the night Martin was killed.

Johnetta Elzie, a 25-year-old who went to the streets to protest the shooting of Mike Brown, Jr., an unarmed 18-year-old shot in Ferguson, MO. She has used her Twitter account to raise awareness about other cases like Brown’s. She now has more than 20,000 followers, and publishes a daily newsletter about events in Ferguson that has more than 7,000 subscribers.

Dr. Jelani Cobb, an American writer, author and associate professor of history and director of the Institute for African-American Studies at the University of Connecticut. Cobb reported on the trial of Zimmerman, who was acquitted in Martin’s death, for The New Yorker.

The symposium will be moderated by UM’s David Ikard, director of the Africana Studies Program and professor of English. Ikard has published extensively on racial politics in the U.S. and is currently working on a book, Lovable Racists, Magical Negroes and White Messiahs, which uses Martin’s death and related instances of racial injustice to discuss the challenges of racial relations in the 21st century.

The symposium is co-sponsored by the  Africana Studies Program and the Division of Student Affairs.

 

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UMindfulness Lecture with Zindel Segal: The Mindful Way Through Depression on April 7


Join UM’s Amishi Jha and the College of Arts and Sciences on Tuesday, April 7  at 5:30 p.m. for another stimulating UMindfulness lecture featuring Zindel Segal, Distinguished Professor of Psychology in Mood Disorders at the University of Toronto-Scarborough. His study of mindfulness meditation and anti-depressant medication has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, CNN Health Online, and The New York Times. The author of 10 books and more than 150 scientific publications, Segal’s latest publications, The Mindful Way Through Depression and The Mindful Way Workbook, are patient guides for dealing with stress and achieving balance in everyday life.

The lecture will be held at the Newman Alumni Center, 6200 San Amaro Drive, Coral Gables. To learn more, watch Segal’s TED talk. To RSVP for the lecture, click here.

The Mindful Way Through Depression and The Mindful Way Workbook will be on sale before and after the lecture.

 

 

 

 

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