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Volume 62, Number 22    February 13, 2015         

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It's not bad, it's adaptive
Research by Associate Professor of Psychology Ezequiel Morsella that found a person's stream of consciousness is more susceptible to external stimuli than previously proven was the subject of a Feb. 4 Psych Central report. "Our conscious thoughts seem protected from our surroundings, but we found that they are much more tightly linked to the external environment than we might realize and that we have less control of what we will think of next," Moresella said. "A lot of things that seem bad about the brain reflect part of its overall architecture, which was selected through evolution because, in most cases, it is adaptive. ... If you could override these kinds of thoughts, it would not be adaptive."

Rational self-interest
A Feb. 5 Time report included comments from Professor of Communication Studies Joe Tuman about the influence of big business in elections. "There's no question that when business or corporations or entities that are affected by ballot initiatives give to the ballot initiative process, they're not doing so out of altruism," Tuman said. "They’re doing so out of rational self-interest."

Atmospheric rivers
In a Feb. 9 CBS News story, Professor of Meteorology John Monteverdi explained how a new airplane will improve both weather forecasting and understanding of the weather phenomena known as atmospheric rivers. "We need actual observations," Monteverdi said of the plane's ability to fly into storms. "The more we know about the structure of the rivers, the more we will be able to make accurate forecasts. The modeling results indicate that we're going to see intense atmospheric river events alternating with horrible droughts."

Know the geography
Associate Professor of Theatre Arts Barbara Damashek, a Tony-nominated director and longtime fixture in the Bay Area theatre scene, was the subject of a Feb. 9 San Jose Mercury News article. "There just isn't enough rehearsal time so you have to know where you are headed before you start. ... You have to know the geography of the playwright's world if you are going to dig deep," Damashek said. "Otherwise all you can do is skate over the surface of the text. When a line is spoken, it needs to carry with it the weight of a lifetime."

For more media coverage of faculty, staff, students, alumni and programs, see SF State in the News.


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Last modified Feb. 11, 2015 by University Communications.