Health Notes

July 19, 2007

AUSTIN, Texas—University of Texas at Austin researchers are available to discuss health issues from a variety of perspectives, from mental health and brain function to changes in the healthcare industry. The following is a summary of the latest health news and research from the university.

Depressed People Linger Longer on Negative Images
When presented with a series of photographs ranging from neutral to distressing, people who are depressed spend more time focused on negative images, according to psychologist Chris Beevers.

Researchers Examine Pressure and Performance
The National Institute of Mental Health awarded a five-year, $1.3 million grant to University of Texas at Austin psychologists Arthur Markman and Todd Maddox to support their research on what motivates people to learn and what causes people to "choke" under pressure. From sports arenas to office buildings to classrooms, people often perform tasks while trying to earn a reward or avoid punishment, Markman, director of the university's Similarity and Cognition Lab, said.

Changes in Men's Testosterone Levels Predict Competitiveness After a Loss
After a man loses a challenge, whether or not he is willing to get back into the game depends on changes in his testosterone levels, according to psychologist Robert Josephs. The researcher examined why some men back down after losing a competition, while others challenge their opponent again.

Professor to Help Advise Ways to Improve Mental Health Care
King Davis, professor of social work and executive director of the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health at The University of Texas at Austin, has been appointed to a three-year term on the Center for Mental Health Services National Advisory Council. The advisory council makes recommendations to the U.S. Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services in the areas of substance abuse and mental health services.

Expert Spotlight

Mark Hayward
Director, Population Research Center

512-471-8382
mhayward@prc.utexas.edu

Hayward researches the influence of socioeconomic status on the health of older Americans. He examines early influences on socioeconomic and race gaps in sick adults; race and ethnic disparities and life expectancy; and the health consequences of marriage, divorce and widowhood.

He is the author of several books and journal articles about health as a factor of racial inequality in retirement; the connection between childhood health and adult disease; and the socioeconomic origins of the race gap in chronic disease morbidity.

For more information contact: Tracy Mueller, public affairs specialist, College of Liberal Arts, 512-471-2404.