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OBSSR Connector Monthly Newsletter

The Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) Connector Monthly Newsletter is a monthly e-newsletter featuring updates from OBSSR Director William T. Riley, Ph.D., information about behavioral and social sciences in the news, events and announcements, findings from recently published research, funding announcements, and other updates. The current newsletter is provided below.
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April 23, 2020

Director's Voice

How to Help People Do What They Need to Do to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19.

“You tell me what you need people to do, and I’ll tell you how to help them do it.” Although a simplification, this statement by social and behavioral scientists to our infectious disease colleagues illustrates the nature of our collaboration during an infectious disease outbreak like the current COVID-19 outbreak. Without this collaboration, we risk that people will not do what we are telling them to do. That’s because telling people what to do is often a necessary but seldom a sufficient condition for them to do it.

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Research Spotlights

Findings from Recently Published Research

Controlling people’s movement altered the spread of COVID-19 in China

Controlling people’s movement altered the spread of COVID-19 in China

Worldwide, countries have enacted significant behavioral, clinical, and state interventions slow the COVID-19 epidemic. However, it remains unclear how interventions, such as restrictions on travel, affected COVID-19 spread in China. A global consortium of researchers supported by grants from the NIGMS, the Oxford Martin School, and the Republic of Ecuador conducted an epidemiological study to assess the impact of travel restrictions on the epidemic in China.
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New links between vaping, oral microbes, and infection

New links between vaping, oral microbes, and infection

With the increased use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), understanding the potential health impacts of vaping has become a critical issue. Researchers supported by grants from the NIDCR, NCI, NIEHS, and New York University show that vaping changes the oral microbiome. Previous research has shown that changes in the oral microbiome due to environmental and host factors can contribute several health issues, including cavities, gum disease, halitosis, and medical conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and some cancers.
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Researchers identify a consciousness “switch” in the brain

Researchers identify a consciousness “switch” in the brain

Consciousness is the capacity to experience your own environment and internal states, however minimal mechanisms that are needed for consciousness are unclear. Researchers supported by grants from the NIMH, ORIP, the U.S.-Israel Binational Science Foundation, and the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center have discovered an area deep in the brain that is sensitive to consciousness levels. Theories of consciousness emphasize the importance of recurrent activity and interaction between neurons.
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In the Know

Events and Announcements

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Funding Announcements

Recently Published FOAs

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Protocol Template for Behavioral and Social Sciences Research

Resource for communicating the science, methods, and operations of a clinical trial

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