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WSU Ph.D. candidate creates food bank for students

Amy Nusbaum.Amy Nusbaum learned from a recent study that a significant amount of college students don’t get enough to eat, so she decided to set up a mini food bank.

“This is a thing I can do right now that’ll help the students right now. And it doesn’t need to be like a huge thing, it’s a mailbox outside of my office, that for most of the last few months I’ve just been buying stuff as it runs out,” said Nusbaum, a doctoral candidate in psychology.

She started to run out of food, but before she made another order to Amazon, she wanted to give others an opportunity to contribute as well.

“You know, I interact with a lot of people on social media who are interested in these things and maybe don’t know how to help — and the cougar community is so incredible,” she said.

She posted on social media with a link to her Amazon wish list, asking people to donate to the food bank. She was overwhelmed by the response.

Just a few days later, Nusbaum came home to about 20 Amazon boxes on her doorstep.

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Does CBD Work for Pain Relief?

While the scientific research behind CBD for pain relief is still lacking, what we do know is very promising. Believe it or not, marijuana has been used to treat pain as far back as 2900 B.C. More recently, scientists have started to discover that specific compounds found in marijuana, including CBD, are to thank for its pain-relieving effects.

Many studies suggest that how CBD works to relieve pain all comes down to the brain. Essentially it boils down to neurotransmitters in the brain. One theory is that it desensitizes a certain receptor that is known to be involved in pain – the TRPV1. This is the receptor that creates a kind of burning sensation of pain that you could feel from something like nerve damage. This is one particular type of pain that CBD could affect, and one which researchers are trying to learn more about.

Rebecca Craft.
Rebecca Craft

There is plenty of anecdotal proof when it comes to CBD and pain relief. Thus researchers have often focused on figuring out if that’s because of the placebo effect, says Rebecca M. Craft, professor of psychology and the director of the Experimental Psychology Doctoral Program at Washington State University

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Study: Officer Fatigue Raises Likelihood of Citizen Complaints

Fatigue and sleepiness on the job significantly raise the odds of officers drawing citizen complaints during their shift, according to a newly published study by a team of sleep specialists.

Their first-of-its-kind analysis finds that public complaints are roughly seven times more likely to occur on shifts with a traditionally high probability of officer tiredness—primarily, night shifts.

Samantha Riedy.

The study was led by Samantha Riedy, a PhD candidate in experimental psychology and a graduate research assistant at the Sleep and Performance Research Center at Washington State University (WSU). Joining her were Dr. Drew Dawson, a prominent sleep investigator with Central Queensland University in Australia, and WSU’s Dr. Bryan Vila, the foremost authority on the impact of sleep deprivation on police performance whose dataset from his classic “Tired Cops” research was used in this study.

“This [pattern] is not surprising,” Riedy writes, “given that night shift work is associated with greater fatigue; daytime sleep between night shifts tends to be reduced and less restorative than nighttime sleep; and off-duty court hours further restrict sleep between consecutive night shifts.”

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Law Officer Magazine

Foley Fellows: Faculty to share research across the state

Five Washington State University faculty will be speaking around the state about their research in a new partnership of the Thomas S. Foley Institute of Public Policy and Public Service and Humanities Washington, a nonprofit that aims to foster thoughtful conversation and critical thinking.

For the next two years, WSU’s “Foley Fellows” will be among more than 30 speakers that provide free public presentations on science, politics, music, philosophy, spiritual traditions, and more in dozens of communities throughout Washington.

The collaboration is the brainchild of Cornell Clayton, director of the Foley Institute and himself a former member of the Humanities Washington speakers bureau.

“It just fits so nicely with the Foley Institute mission,” Clayton said. In addition to engaging students in public service, the institute educates students and the public on public affairs and supports academic research on public policy and democratic institutions.

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WSU Insider

How different cultures shape children’s personalities in different ways

Masha Maria Gartstein.

As early as the fifth century B.C., the Greek historian Thucydides contrasted the self-control and stoicism of Spartans with the more indulgent and freethinking citizens of Athens.

Today, unique behaviors and characteristics seem ingrained in certain cultures.

Italians wildly gesticulate when they talk. Dutch children are notably easygoing and less fussy. Russians rarely smile in public.

As developmental psychologists, we’re fascinated by these differences, how they take shape and how they get passed along from one generation to the next.

Our work explores the way a society’s values influences the choices parents make — and how this, in turn, influences who their kids become. Although genetics certainly matter, the way you behave isn’t hard-wired.

In the past two decades, researchers have shown how culture can shape your personality.

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The Washington Post