While a baby's experiences and memories are vital to his/her development, most of us can't remember what we did before our third birthday. Why is that?
It may be that as babies we just don't have the necessary mental equipment to store and organize memories properly, a hypothesis strengthened by the famous case of Henry Molaison. Molaison was unable to remember any new events that happened to him after a faulty brain operation. Though he still had temporary short-term memory and could learn new skills, he couldn't retain information for long.
We know that neurons continue to be added to our brains in our early years, and it's possible that when this building process has finished, memories can start to form.
Dog owners often say they "know" that their dog understands what they’re feeling. Now, scientists have the evidence to back this up. Researchers tested 17 adult dogs of various breeds to see whether they could recognize emotional expressions in the faces and voices of humans and other dogs - an ability that’s considered a higher cognitive talent because two different senses are involved. Each dog took part in two test sessions with 10 trials. One by one, they stood facing two screens on which the researchers projected photos of unfamiliar but happy/playful human or dog faces versus the same faces with angry/aggressive expressions (as in the photo above). At the same time, the scientists played a single vocalization - either a dog bark, [ ... ]
Could the most widely used personality questionnaire simply be a farce?
In case you don't know, the Myers-Briggs test is an assessment test believed by many to measure psychological preferences in how they perceive things and help them in making decisions. According to the Myers-Briggs test, there exist sixteen different types of personalities. This Myers Briggs Test has a series of questions that require your answers, which in turn determine the type of personality you have and provides you with general assumptions concerning how your personality type best suits you.
Back in year-3 of my undergrad., I had to spend $20 to take the test for an assignment I had to write. While it was interesting to note how my personality could be read throug [ ... ]
The study, titled "CFT 70 (Countermeasure and Functional Testing in Head-Down Tilt Bed Rest Study)," aimed to learn more about how human bone and muscle might deteriorate in space. According to Drew Iwanicki, who took part in the study and who is pictured above, he experienced some serious headaches because of increased blood pressure to his head. His spine went through some serious pain, and staying horizontal was difficult. However, as soon as the bed was tilted to the vertical position, after 70 days of course, his legs felt heavier and his heart started to beat at 150 BPMs. [ ... ]
. Would someone feel more calm after seeing the colour blue? Or perhaps they would feel more aggressive after having seen the colour red? Swiss psychiatrist, Max Lüscher, had completed a study in the 20th century that linked colour preference to your personality and your mental state. His belief was further hardwired after an experiment concluded that 151 out of 153 people were weaker after looking at the pink card, when compared to how strong they were when they had looked at the blue card.
According to a new study conducted out of Italy, staring into another individuals eyes could induce hallucinogenic effects. The experiment is simple: get two individuals to look into each other's eyes for 10 minutes while they are sitting in a dimly lit room. The sensations that ensue resemble mild "dissociation" - a rather vague psychological term for when people lose their normal connection with reality. It can include feeling like the world is unreal, memory loss and odd perceptual experiences, such as seeing the world in black and white
Healthy participants said they'd had "... a compelling experience unlike anything they'd felt before", they scored higher on a dissociative states questionnaire than control participants, and 75 per cent [ ... ]
Perhaps one of my favourite TEDtalks. Amy Cuddy’s research on body language reveals that we can change other people’s perceptions - and even our own body chemistry - simply by changing body positions. Her take-home message is simple, instead of faking it till you make it and living a life as an impostor, you must fake it till you become it.
In July 2011, a 52-year-old woman presented at a psychiatric clinic in the Netherlands reported that for her entire life she’d seen multiple peoples’ faces change into dragon-like faces. She was suffering from what is known as prosopometamorphopsia; a psychiatric disorder in which faces appear distorted. What made matters worse, researchers couldn’t work out what was causing this to occur. Various brain scans including MRI, electroencephalogram, and neurological examinations, as well as blood tests were all normal. One area of the brain that might be the cause is the fusiform gyrus, which is the part of our face recognition circuitry. The fusiform gyrus is located in the ventral occipitotemporal cortex, and damage to it can make people ha [ ... ]
Which of these faces looks more trustworthy to you?
Science says that some people just get away with more stuff, because they have more trustworthy looking faces.
A trustworthy face, as psychologists have determined over years of research in this area, has two major characteristics: The eyebrows are slightly lifted, so that together, they form a kind of upside-down V shape; likewise, the corners of the mouth are also lifted slightly. An untrustworthy face, on the other hand, is the opposite: The eyebrows point slightly downward, forming a V shape, and the corners of the mouth are turned down a bit, too.
Author Dr. John Bradshaw suggests that because domestic cats are still essentially wild animals, that they think of their owners as bigger cats that they're quite fond of (often performing grooming rituals on them), who have really delicious food (tastier than that mouse they killed and left on your porch).
Learning about how to become an elephant is almost synonymous with learning how to rediscover what it means to be human. Understanding elephants and saving elephants is a lesson in humanity. So many traits that are innate in elephants are those that we humans strive to be and possess. The "Elephant Lessons" take what we learn about elephant minds, culture and lives and applies it to our own everyday living to cultivate elephant qualities that are within each of us. Today's Lesson focuses on the Importance of Family.
Dame Daphne Sheldrick (photo shown above), the founder and director of The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, has lived in Kenya and has been hand-rearing baby and orphaned elephants for over thirty years. She notes that they share [ ... ]
I really enjoyed the way the folks at ASAP Science break it down in this video. Long story short, if you want the best bang for your buck, spend your money on others, and stop spending money on material goods. Having a five-dollar latte can be more beneficial than buying a $100,000 Porsche.
No one wants to be sad. So why do we love listening to sad songs so much? New research suggests that we're drawn to sad songs because they evoke mostly positive emotions, which is great for our mental health.
According to the study published by the journal PLOS One, researchers found that "a wide range of complex and partially positive emotions, such as nostalgia, peacefulness, tenderness, transcendence, and wonder," were brought out in the participants that took part in the study by sad music. These are emotions are all healthy, feel-good emotions. The researchers concluded that "Music-evoked sadness plays a role in well-being, by providing consolation as well as regulating negative moods and emotions."
You might think that it's better to be well-fed rather than starving when you're trying to make a big, life-changing decision, but new research suggests quite the opposite.
According to a research study conducted by Utrecht University in the Netherlands, people who were hungry because of having fasted overnight perform better on a complex decision task than sated people. (Click here to read the research). This provides a first piece of evidence that the hot state of hunger improves, rather than compromises, advantageous decision making. Their experimental evidence suggests that the "hot state of hunger promoted rather than compromised complex decisions with uncertain outcomes that are advantageous in the long run as hungry participants were [ ... ]
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