Alvarez on Alaska

Michael Alvarez writes about Alaska's controversial and still-undecided Senate race between Republican Joe Miller and current Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski—who Miller beat in the primary and who then mounted a write-in campaign—and how it all may come down to a court challenge over the 92,500 write-in ballots cast. 

The Polls Are Closed . . .

Calling last Tuesday's elections "historic" and "one of the most important midterm elections in recent memory," Caltech political scientist R. Michael Alvarez weighed in on the contrasts between the national and local results in an op-ed entitled, "GOP Tidal Wave Stopped at State Line," published in Sunday's Pasadena Star-News.

What You See Affects What You Want

When it comes to making choices, say Caltech's Antonio Rangel and his colleagues, much depends on which items catch—and keep—your eye. "We're interested in how the brain makes simple choices, like which item to pick from a buffet table," says Rangel, professor of neuroscience and economics. "Why is it that when we look at the buffet table, our gaze shifts back and forth between the items in order to make a choice? What is the role of visual attention in all this?"

 

Consumers Will Pay More for Goods They Can Touch, Caltech Researchers Say

We've all heard the predictions: e-commerce is going to be the death of traditional commerce; online shopping spells the end of the neighborhood brick-and-mortar store. While it's true that online commerce has had an impact on all types of retail stores, it's not time to bring out the wrecking ball quite yet, says a team of researchers from Caltech.

 

Learning Strategies are Associated with Distinct Neural Signatures

The process of learning requires the sophisticated ability to constantly update our expectations of future rewards so we may make accurate predictions about those rewards in the face of a changing environment. Although exactly how the brain orchestrates this process remains unclear, a new study by researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) suggests that a combination of two distinct learning strategies guides our behavior.

Burton H. Klein, 92

Burton H. Klein, professor of economics, emeritus, at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) passed away on February 12 at a retirement home in Santa Barbara, California. He was 92.

African-American Babies and Boys Least Likely to Be Adopted, Study Shows

Parents pursuing adoption within the United States have strong preferences regarding the types of babies they will apply for, tending to choose non-African-American girls, and favoring babies who are close to being born as opposed to those who have already been born or who are early in gestation. These preferences are significant and can be quantified in terms of the amount of money the potential adoptive parents are willing to pay in finalizing their adoption.

Caltech Receives More than $33 Million from American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

Research in genomic sciences, astronomy, seismology, and neuroeconomics are some of the many projects being funded at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

Caltech Scientists Find First Physiological Evidence of Brain's Response to Inequality

The human brain is a big believer in equality—and a team of scientists from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, has become the first to gather the images to prove it. Specifically, the team found that the reward centers in the human brain respond more strongly when a poor person receives a financial reward than when a rich person does. 

 

Caltech Neuroscientists Find Brain System Behind General Intelligence

A collaborative team of neuroscientists at Caltech, the University of Iowa, the University of Southern California, and the Autonomous University of Madrid have mapped the brain structures that affect general intelligence. The study, published the week of February 22 in the early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, adds new insight to a highly controversial question: What is intelligence, and how can we measure it?

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