Coastlines Online, UC Santa Barbara Alumni Association


Winter 2016


NSF grant will fund a video game that trains players to detect deception

Macbeth game

A research project spearheaded by the UC Santa Barbara Department of Communication received $549,061 from the National Science Foundation to develop a video game that helps players detect when they are being deceived. UCSB professor Norah Dunbar, head of the project, wants to create a game that could be used for training law enforcement and intelligence employees. Called VERITAS (Veracity Education and Reactance Instruction through Technology and Applied Skills), the game will instruct players on how to identify heuristics from credibility assessments and will teach them how to detect deception beyond visual cues.

SOURCE: The Current.Photo: Courtesy photo

UCSB neuroscience research program fosters inter-disciplinary collaboration

Brain Trust

UC Santa Barbara established a campus-wide program to encourage collaborative brain research under the federal initiative BRAIN (Brain Research through Advancing Innocative Neurotechnologies). Established by the federal government two years ago, the large-scale partnership between public and private research institutions cultivates discovery and innovation in neuroengineering. Neurophysiologist Bridget Queenan, from Johns Hopkins University, is the new UCSB Brain initiative campaign manager. Kenneth S. Kosik, director of the UCSB Brain Initiative, says neuroscience as a field of study requires a campus-wide approach. Queenan hopes to encourage a community of inquiry and innovation that goes beyond the lab.

SOURCE: The Current. Photo: Sonia Fernandez

UC Santa Barbara’s Craig Montell receives $2.5 million Pioneer Award

Professor Craig Montell

UCSB professor Craig Montell received the 2015 National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director’s Pioneer Award worth $500,000 per annum over the next five years. Montell, who serves as the Patricia and Robert Duggan Professor of Neuroscience in UCSB’s Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology (MCDB), will use the funding for research that could create a solution to reduce the spread of insect-borne diseases. Diseases like dengue fever are transmitted by insects to millions of people every year. Montell proposes to eliminate insect-borne diseases in an environmentally responsible manner by manipulating mosquito behavior.

SOURCE: The Current. Photo: Sonia Fernandez