Caltech and Princeton University Press Release Thirteenth Volume of Einstein Papers

A new volume in the Einstein Papers Project is scheduled to be released on September 25. This volume covers a turbulent 15 months in the physicist's life and includes several hundred previously unpublished and unknown articles and letters, some of which express his desire for "a normal life."

NIMH Awards $9 Million Grant to Caltech Researchers

The National Institute of Mental Health has awarded a five-year, $9 million grant to a research group Caltech to study the neurobiology of social decision making.

The grant establishes a Silvio O. Conte Center for Neuroscience Research, where researchers will use electrophysiology and functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate how humans make social decisions. 

Thinking and Choosing in the Brain

The frontal lobes are the largest part of the human brain, and damage to this area can result in profound impairments in reasoning and decision making. To find out more about what different parts of the frontal lobes do, neuroscientists at Caltech teamed up with researchers at the world's largest registry of brain-lesion patients. By mapping the brain lesions of these patients, the team was able to show that reasoning and behavioral control are dependent on different regions of the lobes than the areas called upon when making a decision.

Forging Ahead

Tom Harris came to Caltech with an undeclared major, thinking he would study computer science. But, having been an avid Lego builder as a kid, he was drawn to mechanical engineering. He also has an interest in medieval history, which similarly dates back to his childhood—he loved pirates and knights, and both his parents were history majors—and after he took Brown's medieval history class, his impression of the study of history changed.

L.A. Times Shines Spotlight on HSS

Caltech's core curriculum is designed to prepare students for the interdisciplinary nature of contemporary research in science and technology and requires that they complete what amounts to a class each quarter in the Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS). The Los Angeles Times recently focused the spotlight on this aspect of the Caltech experience, featuring several of the division's students. 

The Path Less Traveled

Growing up, Katie Brennan didn't have a lot of opportunities to travel. So when she started her biology studies at Caltech, one of her main goals was to explore the world. Thanks to a plenitude of funding from the Institute, Brennan—a graduating senior—can now cross two more continents and the mountains of Washington State off her list. 

Hands-On Research

A nuzzle of the neck, a stroke of the wrist, a brush of the knee—these caresses often signal a loving touch, but can also feel highly aversive, depending on who is delivering the touch, and to whom. Interested in how the brain makes connections between touch and emotion, neuroscientists at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have discovered that the association begins in the brain's primary somatosensory cortex, a region that, until now, was thought only to respond to basic touch, not to its emotional quality.

Caltech Research Shows Medicare Auction Will Face Severe Difficulties

Medicare's new method for buying medical supplies and equipment—everything from wheelchairs and hospital beds to insulin shots and oxygen tanks—is doomed to face severe difficulties, according to a new study by Caltech researchers.

Why Do People Choke When the Stakes Are High?

In sports, on a game show, or just on the job, what causes people to choke when the stakes are high? A new study by researchers at Caltech suggests that when there are high financial incentives to succeed, people can become so afraid of losing their potentially lucrative reward that their performance suffers.

Notes from the Back Row: "What Parents Want—Evidence from Child Adoption"

What do parents want—aside from kids who come home on time and never talk with their mouths full—and why is an economist trying to answer that question? Because, at its heart, economics is all about the process of making choices. 

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