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School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts

Academic Year Begins with Sharper Focus on Emerging Fields of Excellence, Graduate Programs and Flexible Growth

The University of California, Merced, begins its eighth academic year today with record enrollment of approximately 5,600 students, a 23 percent increase in graduate-student enrollment and 26 newly hired faculty members to teach and conduct advanced research that may someday change the world.

Cognitive Science Student Studies Conflict

http://youtu.be/AVZS22SFLVgGraduate student Alexandra Paxton finds opinionated students, puts them in a room together and tells them to argue about a hot-button issue.

Then she records what happens.

Paxton, who is earning her doctoral degree in cognitive science, studies interpersonal synchrony — the phenomenon of how people in a conversation subconsciously synchronize their movements, such as nodding or gesturing. Specifically, she is seeking to understand what happens to that synchrony when people are at odds.

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