Spring Course: Blogging about Cognitive Science

This spring, Prof. Seana Coulson & grad student Rose Hendricks will lead a seminar on Cognitive Science blogging. (more)

Keown, C.L., Berletch, J.B., Castanon, R., Nery, J.R., Disteche, C.M., Ecker, J.R., Mukamel, E.A. (2017) Allele-specific non-CG DNA methylation marks domains of active chromatin in female mouse brain. PNAS. 2017; Early Edition.
DNA methylation at gene promoters in a CG context is associated with transcriptional repression, including at genes silenced on the inactive X chromosome in females. Non-CG methylation (mCH) is a distinct feature of the neuronal epigenome that is differentially distributed between males and females on the X chromosome. However, little is known about differences in mCH on the active (Xa) and inactive (Xi) X chromosomes because stochastic X-chromosome inactivation (XCI) confounds allele-specific epigenomic profiling. We used whole-genome bisulfite sequencing in a mouse model with nonrandom XCI to examine allele-specific DNA methylation in frontal cortex. Xi was largely devoid of mCH, whereas Xa contained abundant mCH similar to the male X chromosome and the autosomes. In contrast to the repressive association of DNA methylation at CG dinucleotides (mCG), mCH accumulates on Xi in domains with transcriptional activity, including the bodies of most genes that escape XCI and at the X-inactivation center, validating this epigenetic mark as a signature of transcriptional activity. Escape genes showing CH hypermethylation were the only genes with CG-hypomethylated promoters on Xi, a well-known mark of active transcription. Finally, we found extensive allele-specific mCH and mCG at autosomal imprinted regions, some with a negative correlation between methylation in the two contexts, further supporting their distinct functions. Our findings show that neuronal mCH functions independently of mCG and is a highly dynamic epigenomic correlate of allele-specific gene regulation.
Cooperrider, K., Marghetis, T., and Núñez, R. (2017). Where does the Ordered Line Come From? Evidence From a Culture of Papua New Guinea. Psychological Science.
Number lines, calendars, and measuring sticks all represent order along some dimension (e.g., magnitude) as position on a line. In high-literacy, industrialized societies, this principle of spatial organization—linear order—is a fixture of visual culture and everyday cognition. But what are the principle’s origins, and how did it become such a fixture? Three studies investigated intuitions about linear order in the Yupno, members of a culture of Papua New Guinea that lacks conventional representations involving ordered lines, and in U.S. undergraduates. Presented with cards representing differing sizes and numerosities, both groups arranged them using linear order or sometimes spatial grouping, a competing principle. But whereas the U.S. participants produced ordered lines in all tasks, strongly favoring a left-to-right format, the Yupno produced them less consistently, and with variable orientations. Conventional linear representations are thus not necessary to spark the intuition of linear order—which may have other experiential sources—but they nonetheless regiment when and how the principle is used.

Research Opportunities (199s)
  • How children reason about the social world?
    Want to work with Dr. Adena Schachner’s Mind and Development Lab on studies exploring how children reason about the social world? We would like to invite motivated students to join our lab as research assistants for Winter Quarter 2017 and beyond (minimum 3 quarter commitment). We are currently running studies ...
    (click for details)

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Volunteers Needed for CC2UCSD Symposium

The Academic Enrichment Programs (AEP) is hosting a one-day Community College Symposium on Friday, May 19th (8am-4:30pm @ UC San Diego Qualcomm Institute). The purpose of the symposium is to expose community college students to the diverse areas of research in all departments at UC San Diego. Students from Community Colleges in the San Diego area will attend. The day will include research talks by faculty members and students, poster session by students, roundtable discussions, and tours.  We are currently seeking volunteers for this exciting event. 

Times Higher Education Ranks UC San Diego No.1 in the World

The University of California San Diego is listed first in a new Times Higher Education ranking of the world’s top “Golden Age” universities—the best 100 institutions that were founded between 1945 and 1966.

Su17 ANBI 173: How Monkeys See the World

How do other animals think? Can they lie? Do they mourn their dead? What does this tell us about ourselves? Come find out!

The last divide between humans and other animals is in the area of cognition. A comparative perspective to explore recent radical reinterpretations of the cognitive abilities of different primate species, including humans and their implications for the construction of evolutionary scenarios. Prerequisites: upper-division standing.

Spring 2017 Design@Large Talks


CSE Building, Room 1202

Wednesdays 4pm - 5:15pm

2017 UC Davis Pre-Health Conference

Our conference provides community-college, university, post-bac students and pre-health advisors with the information and skills necessary to succeed in the health-professions school admission process. It provides a unique opportunity for direct contact with deans of admission, admission officers, financial aid officers, faculty, and staff from a wide variety of health professional programs. This year, we will host 4,500 attendees.

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