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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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person with EEG cap looking at art At the intersection of neuroscience and art
Blending cognition and engineering to reveal the neural basis of creativity
Released  November 17, 2015
researcher setting a rat trap Where do rats move in after disasters? This team finds out
Post-Hurricane Katrina research aims to provide communities better data on rodent populations, dangers
Released  November 5, 2015
ruins showing structures at Ceren archeological site Buried in ash, ancient Salvadoran village shows images of daily life
Village of Ceren so well preserved that footprints and finger marks remain
Released  November 3, 2015
smart meter installation New electricity meters are smart -- but are they trusted?
Research examines how customers feel about key part of smart grid
Released  October 27, 2015
person sitting next to a lake formed in a flooded sinkhole Ancient fossils show effect of humans on Caribbean wildlife
Fossils found in flooded cave tell new story about nature-human interactions
Released  October 20, 2015
chart and numbers Accurate data that drives educated policy decisions
NSF's National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics focuses on the U.S. research and development enterprise
Released  October 20, 2015
smartphone being held The source of statistics: New frontiers in survey methodology
NSF-sponsored research looks into how a changing technological landscape affects survey collection
Released  October 20, 2015
An infographic shows examples of how NSF-supported cybersecurity research protects people Infographic: How NSF-supported research keeps you safe online
NSF investments in interdisciplinary research helped develop many of the web's basic protections
Released  October 19, 2015
part of building with the word Bank on it Cybersecurity research looks to guard networks from 'insider threats'
Experts mine computer system data to find potential vulnerabilities
Released  October 15, 2015
hand holding a magnifying glass over the world map with the word protect When hackers talk, this research team listens
Online conversations help fill critical gap in cybersecurity knowledge about attackers' motivations, possible targets
Released  October 8, 2015
Mota cave dig site From a very old skeleton, new insights on ancient migrations
Discovery in Ethiopia yields first ancient human genome sequence from Africa
Released  October 8, 2015
burnt trees in a forest Future wildfires may burn large parts of landscapes
Scientists look back at fire history to see into the future
Released  October 6, 2015
fingers picking a test tube U.S. R&D increased in 2013, outpacing GDP
Business R&D performance continues to drive increases
Released  September 21, 2015
drawing showing an American kestrel  bird NSF awards $20.4 million for research on how humans, environment interact
Studies continue mission of Dynamics of Coupled Natural and Human Systems program
Released  September 11, 2015
Wildfire in a forest In year of U.S. wildfires, Nepal earthquake, NSF awards $27.5 million in hazards research grants
Scientists will study ways to predict and respond to hurricanes, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, wildfires, drought
Released  September 9, 2015
Gtwo men talking Video: A new perspective on police interrogations
The camera angle of an interrogation video can actually influence viewers, research finds
Released  September 3, 2015
Three women next to houses damaged by storm Documenting the invisible damage of Katrina
Anthropologist's account of a family's eight-year recovery after Hurricane Katrina yields lessons for future disasters
Released  August 28, 2015
person looking through a microscope Company R&D expenditures in U.S. increased 6.7 percent in 2013
Latest figures show companies invested more of their own funds
Released  August 21, 2015
Landscape photos and text, Conserving Water - Producing Energy - Sustaining Food New grants foster research on food, energy and water: a linked system
Amid population growth, drought and increased urbanization, understanding food, energy and water availability is increasingly important
Released  August 14, 2015
man looking at EEG data on the screen What happens when 'Aha!' strikes
Research at Drexel University shows sudden insights are real--and you can train your brain to have more
Released  August 3, 2015
Robin Dodsworth and people at a market As a Southern community changes, an accent fades
Southern accents are declining in North Carolina. What does that tell us about social dynamics?
Released  July 27, 2015
pygmy slow loris clinging to a branch Saving the slow loris
Fighting wildlife trafficking with interdisciplinary research and a legacy of international collaboration
Released  July 13, 2015
Baby face Baby biases
Infants develop feelings about those who are like them and different from them at an early age
Released  July 10, 2015
Child looking outside the window from a high floor No fear of falling
Research investigates how infants learn to become wary of heights
Released  July 9, 2015
Baby in brain scanner Mental word practice
Simply listening prompts speech practice before an infant's first words
Released  July 8, 2015
Mother and father reading to unborn baby. Rhyme time for fetuses
Research provides evidence of learning and memory six weeks prior to birth
Released  July 7, 2015
multiple banknotes of U.S. and foreign currency Foreseeing US economic trends
Tim Kehoe's computer models gather international market data, predict impact of policy changes
Released  July 2, 2015
image of hand holding a pipette and petri dish in a lab Federal funding for science and engineering at universities down 6 percent
Latest figures show obligations down for R&D and facilities that support science and engineering
Released  June 30, 2015
Two images of a woman wearing Was the dress gold and white or blue and black?
Recent Internet discussion connects to the research of Laurence Maloney, whose study of visual color perception could help in understanding the progression of degenerative eye disorders
Released  June 26, 2015
Kid on a stationary bike in the Hank Virtual Environments Lab Beyond looking both ways
SBE-funded researchers ask a fundamental safety question: What are kids thinking when crossing the street?
Released  June 26, 2015

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