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Exploding Head Syndrome

Brian Sharpless, Director, Psychology Clinic
Brian Sharpless

The unusual name will certainly get your attention, but fortunately Exploding Head Syndrome is not life-threatening or physically harmful. In a recent study more than 10 percent of people experienced the syndrome, a sleep disorder in which crashing or exploding sounds make it difficult to fall and stay asleep.

Dr. Brian Sharpless, Assistant Professor of Psychology at Washington State University and author of Sleep Paralysis, explains that instead of the auditory neurons in the brain shutting down in the process of going to sleep, they all fire at once causing the loud noises.

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Radio Health Journal

Long-term cannabis use linked to muted stress response WSU study shows

Carrie Cuttler
Carrie Cuttler

A new study by Washington State University psychology researchers reveals a dampened physiological response to stress in chronic cannabis users.

Using a nationally recognized procedure designed to provoke elevated levels of stress, Carrie Cuttler, clinical assistant professor of psychology, Ryan McLaughlin, assistant professor of integrative physiology and neuroscience, and colleagues in the WSU Department of Psychology examined levels of the stress hormone cortisol in both chronic cannabis users and non-users.

“To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to examine the effects of acute stress on salivary cortisol levels in chronic cannabis users compared to non-users,” Cuttler said.

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Freshman displays grit, glamour, community spirit

Washington State University freshman Emily Durr will have little time this summer between donning her goalie’s helmet and gear to compete in the national lacrosse championships and donning her sparkling crown and gown to compete in the International Junior Miss (IJM) Teen pageant finals.

The lively and lovely 19-year-old from Tacoma is Washington’s reigning IJM teen queen and a fierce defensive player on WSU’s women’s club lacrosse team.

Durr, who hopes to earn degrees in psychology and criminal justice, is also a an energetic crusader for curing type 1 diabetes. On May 6, she will lead a team in the JDRF “Walk for a Cure” at Cheney Stadium in Tacoma.

Last month, she spoke at an event in the Tri-Cities for the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, which is supporting her efforts to bring awareness and technological advancement to fight the disease. » More …

Graduate students win NSF research fellowships

Three Washington State University College of Arts and Sciences students have been chosen for National Science Foundation graduate research fellowships. The prestigious awards have trained generations of American scientists and engineers, including Nobel laureates.

The College of Arts and Sciences’ honorees are:

Avery Anne Lane, an anthropology student from Tucson, Ariz., who is working on a master’s in Courtney Meehan’s biocultural anthropology lab.

Shawn Trojahn, a biology master’s student from Virginia Beach, Va., who is looking at the global decline in biodiversity in the vulnerable mangrove forest, a habitat affected by logging and water pollution.

Lindsey Marie Lavaysse, a psychology master’s student from San Francisco, is focusing on occupational health and safety threats to vulnerable populations like pregnant and minority workers.

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WSU News

How you perceive intelligence could affect your confidence

Joyce Ehrlinger
Joyce Ehrlinger

What do you think about your own intelligence? Can you make yourself smarter over time, or are you stuck with the smarts you were born with? Your answer could reflect a key personality trait — namely, self-confidence — and whether you might want to help yourself to a big slice of humble pie.

It turns out, if you view your brainpower as a fixed, innate capacity, you’re also more likely to be … overconfident. This was suggested in a recent three-part study led by Joyce Ehrlinger of Washington State University. It found that students with a so-called “fixed mind-set” were more likely to overestimate their performance on a test than those with a “growth mind-set” (a belief that intelligence can change over time).

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Ozy Magazine