IMPACT: Sometimes Research Surprises Us

Diminishing pain and pleasure with acetaminophen

A social psychology study conducted by doctoral students Geoffrey Durso and Andrew Luttrell, along with Baldwin Way (all from psychology), found an unusual side effect for the common painkiller acetaminophen: it blunts emotions. In the study, participants who took the drug reported less-strong emotions when looking both at very pleasant and at very disturbing photos, compared to a placebo group. The findings could have an impact on psychological theory, or could be used to develop new therapeutic treatments.

Revealing the secret lives of urban coyotes

Research on urban coyotes in Chicago has provided a glimpse into a part of nature that is all around us but unseen. In partnership with National Geographic, “crittercams” uncovered that coyotes live among us very peacefully—despite conventional perception that they avoid urban human populations. Led by Stanley Gehrt (environmental and natural resources), the team also discovered that urban coyote populations are much larger than expected and live longer than their rural counterparts.