Eureka!: beaker briefs

Research highlights from the desk, lab and field

By Marcene Robinson (BA ’13)

The Cocktail Party Effect

A little understood auditory phenomenon, termed the cocktail party effect, grants humans and other animals an amazing ability: Our ears can isolate important sounds and tune out surrounding noise. Using parakeets, UB researchers determined that the more complex the noise, the easier a sound is to distinguish.

Psychology researcher Micheal Dent

Simple Super-Sensors

What do explosives, cancer and fraudulent art have in common? They’re all difficult to detect. The gold standard is a sensing technique called SERS (surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy), but it’s expensive and complicated. Recently, a UB-led research team developed nanotechnology that makes the process simpler and cheaper. Da Vinci would approve.

Electrical engineering researcher Qiaoqiang Gan and Fudan University materials science researcher Suhua Jiang

Sleep-Inducing Glasses

In an unusual twist, researchers are turning to light as a possible treatment for insomnia in lung cancer patients. The study will examine whether light therapy glasses, which shine green light into the wearer's eyes, can trigger neurotransmitters in the brain and reset the wearer's sleep cycles. 

Nursing researcher Grace Dean