WashU Expert: Some parasites turn hosts into ‘zombies’

From haunted houses to video games, movies and trick-or-treaters, zombies are everywhere this time of year. But zombies aren’t real — or are they? While the flesh-eating undead portrayed on television are just fiction, there are clear examples of parasites that have evolved to manipulate their hosts, often in ways that affect host behavior to favor […]

How neighborhoods can protect — or harm — older adults’ cognitive health

Does your neighborhood help protect your cognitive health as you age? A growing body of research led by scientists at Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Michigan suggests older adults’ access to civic and social organizations, cultural centers — such as museums and art galleries — and recreation centers may help protect […]

Parents’ mental health was worse during pandemic, study finds

While having a child attend a private school or school with above-average instructional quality was associated with better mental health of parents during the COVID-19 pandemic, hybrid school was associated with worse parental mental health, as was working from home, finds a new study from the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis. The study is […]

How racial violence affects Black Americans’ mental health

Black Americans experience an increase in poor mental health days during weeks when two or more incidents of anti-Black violence occur and when national interest surrounding the events is higher, according to a new study involving a researcher at Washington University in St. Louis. Previous research has shown that experiencing racism, even vicariously, can harm […]

Widening political rift in U.S. may threaten science, medicine

The lightning speed with which scientists developed and tested the COVID-19 vaccine is a true scientific triumph — one that would not have been possible without the more than 70,000 volunteers who participated in clinical trials of the vaccine. Public participation is critical to the success of any medical research. Yet recruiting volunteers for trials […]

Stronger memories can help us make sense of future changes

Memory is as much about the future as it is the past. Whether experiencing something new, or something we’ve experienced a hundred times, people use memories of the past to navigate subsequent encounters. Traditionally, psychologists believed that the more ingrained a memory of something was, the more difficult it would be to update your understanding […]

Brown School researchers awarded $3.2 million grant to study child growth, development in Haiti

Trish Kohl and Lora Iannotti, associate professors at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis, have received a five-year $3.2 million grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health to study stunted growth and development in children in Haiti. “Recent estimates show 250 […]

WashU Expert: Grieving in the time of a pandemic

Some 23,000 people across the globe — including more than 1,000 Americans — have died as a result of COVID-19 as of March 26. Along with many aspects of life since the virus took hold, grieving also has become more complicated for the friends and families of those who died. “There are two reasons,” said Brian […]

Coping during coronavirus

Tim Bono is an assistant dean in Arts & Sciences and a lecturer in psychological and brain sciences at Washington University in St. Louis. Bono is also author of Happiness 101: Simple Secrets to Smart Living & Well-Being. Bono As precautions surrounding the coronavirus pandemic have shut down our favorite restaurants, social activities and beloved university traditions, […]

Battling treatment resistant opioid use disorder

Similar to treatment resistant depression, there is a subpopulation of those addicted to opioids who do not respond to standard opioid use disorder (OUD) treatments. In a new paper, an addiction expert at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis suggests a new category for these types of patients: treatment resistant opioid use […]

Suicidal thoughts in 9- and 10-year-olds correlate to family dynamics, study found

Death by suicide in children has reached a 30-year high in the United States. During middle and high school, 10% to 15% of kids have thoughts of suicide, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. How early in a child’s life do these thoughts begin? New research from Washington University in St. Louis […]

McDermott wins Psychonomic Society award

Kathleen McDermott, professor of psychological and brain sciences in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, is one of two recipients of the 2019 Psychonomic Society Mid-career Award. The award is given to raise the visibility of the experimental study of cognition and of the best mid-career scientists within the field, within awardees’ institutions, […]