Alan Castel, UCLA professor of psychology, has received a 2021–22 Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program award from the U.S. Department of State and the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. The title of his Fulbright Senior Scholar Award is “Curiosity as a Spark to Lifelong Learning: A Cross-Cultural Comparison.” He will collaborate with Professor Vered Halamish at Bar-Ilan University in Israel. The Fulbright Program is devoted to increasing mutual understanding between the people of the United States and those of other countries.
Castel is the author of “Better With Age: The Psychology of Successful Aging” (Oxford University Press), in which he shows that successful aging can be the norm. He cites hundreds of research studies, including his own, combined with personal accounts from Maya Angelou, Warren Buffett, John Wooden, Bob Newhart and Frank Gehry, among others.
Castel and his research team have shown that while divided attention impairs memory, we can still selectively focus on what is most important, even while distracted. He and his colleagues have also shown that very few people can draw the ubiquitous Apple computer logo on a blank sheet of paper from memory.
Fulbright scholars engage in cutting-edge research, and Fulbright alumni include 60 Nobel Prize laureates, 89 Pulitzer Prize recipients and 39 who have served as a head of state or government. The Fulbright Program, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary, is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program.