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Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences (SBE) Discoveries

NSF's public investment in science, engineering, education and technology helps to create knowledge and sustain prosperity. Read here about the Internet, microbursts, Web browsers, extrasolar planets, and more... a panoply of discoveries and innovations that began with NSF support.

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Children taking a test. Harvard University psychologists seek to unlock secrets of children's complex thinking
Study aims to uncover processes that help improve theoretical knowledge
Released  August 14, 2014
Student in science class with balance. Unlocking the secrets of children's complex thinking: The studies
Researchers question how executive function influences the process of learning
Released  August 14, 2014
Bijan Pesaran, New York University Complexity of eye-hand coordination
Research helps understand how brain systems interact to carry out cognitive processes
Released  August 1, 2014
owl monkeys Father's day special: And the best father in the animal kingdom is...
Award-winning primatologist and conservationist Patricia Wright discusses why owl monkeys and other species of small monkeys are extraordinarily devoted dads
Released  June 11, 2014
Image of glial cells in a mouse brain The beautiful brain cells you don't know about
Hint: They're not neurons
Released  June 3, 2014
students at computers using Social Explorer Mapping tool used by Census Bureau has roots in NSF-funded project
Census Explorer, a new online tool that displays demographic information on maps of states, counties, and neighborhoods, is powered by Social Explorer, a data visualization tool developed by NSF-funded sociologist Andrew Beveridge
Released  March 27, 2014
Closeup of fossil bone structure Snakes Alive! NSF-funded researchers find oldest fossil evidence of modern African venomous snakes
Seasonal habitats may have given rise to active hunters earlier than previously reported
Released  March 19, 2014
Illustration showing surfaces of the mouse and human brains From dino brains to thought control--10 fascinating brain findings
Summaries of 10 findings about the brain that involve NSF-funded researchers
Released  February 11, 2014
Colin Camerer Behavioral economist studies science of decision-making
Using brain scans, MacArthur Fellow examines people's expressed values and the choices they later make
Released  January 6, 2014
Scientist Andrew Storfer checking a Tasmanian devil for tumor facial disease. Tasmanian devils: Will rare infectious cancer lead to their extinction?
Cartoon character's real-life counterpart may offer clues to human and other animal diseases
Released  November 13, 2013
Generic Discovery Image Hunting the spark of creativity
NSF-funded researchers envision harnessing collective wisdom from social networks
Released  November 4, 2013
Photo of the Philadelphia skyline at night Detecting social patterns from shifting dialects
A powerful computer program allows scientists to map shifts in regional accents. Such research can aid development of speech recognition technology
Released  August 20, 2013
Laurie Garrow Using Big Data to Design Policies to Improve Airline Customers' Experiences
Researcher explores ways to better understand how customers respond to airline practices
Released  July 15, 2013
Photo of sun radiating over highway filled with cars in traffic in Phoenix Summertime: Hot Time in the City
Parks are islands of coolness in cities' urban heat
Released  June 21, 2013
photograph of Ali Abbas Helping People Through the Decision-Making Process Using a Web-Based Application
Researcher was part of inaugural group of NSF Innovation Corps awards in 2011
Released  May 7, 2013
Woman cooking over an open fire Cooking Up Clean Air in Africa
Reducing air pollution and meningitis risk in Ghana
Released  January 3, 2013
Photo of a father holding a baby. Six-month-old Word Learners
Study of infants challenges developmental sequence of human language learning
Released  March 8, 2012
Image of a wolf howling in the forest. Studying Nature's Rhythms: Soundscape Ecologists Spawn New Field
Listen to biophony, geophony, anthrophony: The 'music' of Planet Earth
Released  February 6, 2012
Photo of a hunter enlarging a burrow and his dog at other burrow end and the words Photo Gallery. Older Is Better for Hunting Dogs
Research examines key demographic variables of Nicaraguan canines
Released  January 17, 2012
Image of seated child with three cyberbullies each with belt lock rising from her laptop. Foiling the Plan of a Cyberbully
Researchers suggest listening to students to craft prevention policies
Released  November 22, 2011
Illustration showing a depressed child holding a tablet with 3 cyberbullies coming out of tablet. Recognizing a Cyberbully
Anonymous nature of digital aggression clouds identities of virtual bullies
Released  November 15, 2011
Illustration showing a depressed child holding a tablet with 3 cyberbullies coming out of tablet. Defining a Cyberbully
Social scientists struggle to characterize new form of harassment
Released  November 8, 2011
Photo of Turkana warriors. Warfare Reveals Reasons People Cooperate
Research shows large-scale cooperation may have begun with fear of punishment
Released  July 27, 2011
Horizontal and vertical words in red, blue and green. Why Context Matters in the Long and Short of Words
MIT researchers improve 75-year-old language theory
Released  June 17, 2011
Image of nighttime lights visible on earth from outer space. Nighttime Lights Clarify Economic Activity
Combining lights and statistics may yield high-resolution global economic data
Released  June 10, 2011
Aisha Sohail, Heather Ames and Jasmin Leveille running simulations of artificial visual system. Transforming Robotics With Biologically Inspired Learning Models
Aisha Sohail describes the Neuromorphics Lab at CELEST and the work of building artificial brains to be used in robotics
Released  June 10, 2011
Optical micrograph showing an array of graphene transistors prepared on silicon carbide. Miracle Material
Two-dimensional graphene may lead to faster electronics, stronger spacecraft and much more
Released  May 19, 2011
Image of researcher Robert Walker on left and project manager Eugenio Arima on right. Journey to the Center of the Amazon
Researchers journey along the Transamazon Highway to learn about deforestation and the logging industry
Released  May 4, 2011
Images of the top and front of hominin skulls. Researchers Consider Ancestry of Recent Fossil Finds
Thought experiment stresses consequences of placing newly discovered fossils on human family tree
Released  March 16, 2011
Photo of a mother-son orangutan pair housed at Zoo Atlanta. Orangutans in the Mist
Cheryl Knott's NSF-supported work helps us understand why orangutans require protection and conservation
Released  February 9, 2011

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