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Focus on mental health as cause of mass violence may be increasing stigma

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- In response to recent mass shootings and consistent public outcry, President Donald Trump's administration is considering a controversial proposal to monitor people with mental illness in hopes of preventing mass shootings. But focusing on mental illness as the root cause for mass violence may do little to solve the problem.

Instead, it will increase the American public's stigmatization of people with these conditions, according to a new paper by IU Distinguished Professor of Sociology and IUNI Advisory Board Member Bernice Pescosolido.

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Open Medicare data helps IU researchers uncover potential hidden costs of health care

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- An interdisciplinary team of Indiana University scientists studying Medicare data has found an association between health care industry payments to medical providers for non-research expenses and what these providers charge for medical services -- shedding new light on potential hidden costs to the public.

Their findings, published Sept. 20 in Nature Communications, demonstrate that medical providers receiving higher amounts of industry payments tend to bill higher drug and medical costs. Specifically, they found that a 10 percent increase in industry payments to medical providers is associated with 1.3 percent higher medical costs and 1.8 percent higher drug costs.

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Tracking coordinated disinformation campaigns online made easier with new BotSlayer tool

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University's Observatory on Social Media has launched a new tool in the fight against online disinformation: BotSlayer.

The software, which is free and open to the public, scans social media in real time to detect evidence of automated Twitter accounts -- or "bots" -- pushing messages in a coordinated manner, an increasingly common practice to manipulate public opinion by creating the false impression that many people are talking about a particular subject. The method is also known as "astroturfing" because it mimics the appearance of legitimate grassroots political activity.

IUNI's Marc McCarty developed the front end of this tool, just one of the many in the OSoMe portfolio that IUNI helped develop.

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Starting a conversation: Activities addressing mental illness reduce stigma among college students

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- College students who participate in fun, peer-directed activities that openly and honestly address mental illness are significantly less likely to stigmatize people with these conditions, according to a new study led by researchers at Indiana University.

The work, published online in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, is the first study to systematically survey a single graduating class over the course of their college careers on attitudes toward people with mental illness in conjunction with a sustained campaign on the topic. The study was led by Bernice Pescosolido, IU Distinguished Professor of Sociology and director of the Indiana Consortium for Mental Health Services Research.

Pescosolido was a founding member of IUNI and is currently an advisory council member there. 

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New $6 million center will investigate media and technology in society

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University will establish a $6 million research center to study the role of media and technology in society, with support in part from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, a nonprofit focused on fostering informed and engaged communities.

Called the Observatory on Social Media, the new center will investigate how information and misinformation spread online. It will also provide students, journalists and citizens with resources, data and training to identify and counter attempts to intentionally manipulate public opinion.

Major support for the center comes from Knight Foundation, which will contribute $3 million, as well as funds from the university. The center is a collaboration between the IU School of Informatics, Computing and EngineeringThe Media School and the IU Network Science Institute.

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Indiana University and Washington University Researchers Awarded Prizes in Neuroimaging at Alzheimer\'s Association International Conference

LOS ANGELES -- The Alzheimer’s Association presented its de Leon Prizes in Neuroimaging to Liana G. Apostolova, MD, and Brian A. Gordon, Ph.D. The Awards were presented on Saturday, July 13 at the Alzheimer's Imaging Consortium (AIC), a preconference meeting to the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) 2019 in Los Angeles.

The de Leon Prizes in Neuroimaging recognize a senior scientist and a new investigator who are judged to have each published the best paper in any peer-reviewed journal related to the topic of in-vivo neuroimaging of a neurodegenerative process. The awards are named after Mony Leon, Ed.D., professor of psychiatry and director, Center for Brain Health at NYU Langone Health, and one of the founders of the Alzheimer’s Imaging Consortium and the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Awards.

Apostolova serves as an advisory council member at IUNI.

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Person-to-person health interviews expanding to rural Indiana communities

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- As part of the Precision Health Grand Challenge initiative, Indiana University will reach out to the state's rural residents to gain insights into a variety of issues that affect health in Hoosier communities.

As part of this effort, IU researchers have selected a scientifically representative sample of Indiana households to receive interview invitations. The study began in late 2018 in Marion County and is now expanding to rural communities across the state. IUNI research faculty and staff have been involved in this effort since the beginning, as members of the Core Science team.

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Sociology researcher among National Academy of Medicine's 2019 Emerging Leaders

Indiana University professor Brea Perry has been named a 2019 Emerging Leader in Health and Medicine Scholar by the National Academy of Medicine.

This honor is part of the academy's Emerging Leaders in Health and Medicine Program, which provides a platform for a new generation of exceptional leaders to collaborate with the National Academy of Medicine and its members across generations and fields of expertise to advance science to improve health. Perry is an advisory council member at IUNI.

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New cloud-based tool accelerates research on conditions such as dementia, sports concussion

Scientists in the United States, Europe and South America are reporting how a new cloud-computing web platform allows scientists to track data and analyses on the brain, potentially reducing delays in discovery.

The project, called, is led by Franco Pestilli, associate professor in the Indiana University Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences' Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences and a member of the IU Network Science Institute, in collaboration with colleagues across the university. At IU, it is speeding research on disorders such as dementia, sports concussion and eye disease. 

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