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05/08/2012

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

Douglas Smith

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. 

03/27/2012

Inside the Brains of Jurors

Kimm Fesenmaier

When jurors consider shortening the prison sentences of convicted criminals, they use parts of the brain associated with sympathy and making moral judgments, according to new work by Caltech neuroeconomist Colin Camerer and colleagues.

03/23/2012

Modeling Markets

Marcus Woo

Chris Shannon, the Richard Merkin Professor of Economics and Mathematics, is one of Caltech's newest faculty members. Her research involves developing mathematical models to understand financial markets and other mechanisms that allocate goods, such as auctions.

03/15/2012

Katz Named Caltech's Inaugural Kay Sugahara Professor

Kimm Fesenmaier

Jonathan N. Katz, chair of the Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences, has been named the Kay Sugahara Professor of Social Sciences and Statistics. The Sugahara family endowed the new professorial chair with a $2 million gift in honor of the late Kay Sugahara.

01/23/2012

Neuroscientists Find That Status within Groups Can Affect IQ

Kimm Fesenmaier

Our cognitive abilities and decision-making skills can be dramatically hindered in social settings where we feel that we are being ranked or assigned a status level. These findings fly in the face of long-held ideas about intelligence and cognition that regard IQ as a stable, predictive measure of mental horsepower.

01/11/2012

Different Minds

Llike the autism spectrum itself, the spectrum of autism research at Caltech also runs a gamut.
image of people making different gestures
10/10/2011

Caltech Neuroscientists Pinpoint Specific Social Difficulties in People with Autism

Lori Oliwenstein

Researchers from Caltech have isolated a very specific difference in how high-functioning people with autism think about other people, finding that—in actuality—they don’t tend to think about what others think of them at all.

10/05/2011

Caltech Named World's Top University in New Times Higher Education Global Ranking

Kathy Svitil

Caltech has been rated the world's number one university in the 2011–2012 Times Higher Education global ranking of the top 200 universities, displacing Harvard University from the top spot for the first time in the survey's eight-year history. 

09/26/2011

Caltech Neuroscientists Record Novel Responses to Faces from Single Neurons in Humans

Katie Neith

Responding to faces is a critical tool for social interactions between humans. Without the ability to read faces and their expressions, it would be hard to tell friends from strangers upon first glance, let alone a sad person from a happy one. Now, neuroscientists from Caltech, with the help of collaborators at Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, have discovered a novel response to human faces by looking at recordings from brain cells in neurosurgical patients.

09/21/2011

Hedging Your Bets

Kimm Fesenmaier

When making decisions based on multiple interdependent factors—such as what combination of stocks and bonds to invest in—humans look at how the factors correlate with each other, according to a new study by researchers from Caltech and University College London.