Smarter brains run on sparsely connected neurons

Public Release: 17-May-2018 Ruhr-University Bochum The more intelligent a person, the fewer connections there are between the neurons in his cerebral cortex. This is the result of a study conducted by neuroscientists working with Dr Erhan Genç and Christoph Fraenz at Ruhr-Universität Bochum; the study was performed using a specific neuroimaging technique that provides insights…

Research pinpoints optimal age of puppy cuteness

Public Release: 15-May-2018 The popular meme proclaiming that all dogs are puppies assumes that humans’ adoration of canines is not conditional on their age. But a new study led by Clive Wynne, professor of psychology and director of Arizona State University’s Canine Science Collaboratory, suggests otherwise. In a paper published this month in Anthrozoos: A…

Think chimpanzee beds are dirtier than human ones? Think again

Public Release: 15-May-2018   North Carolina State University Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) appear to keep tidier sleeping arrangements than humans do. That’s one finding of a recent study that evaluated the microbes and arthropods found in the treetop beds that chimpanzees make each night. “We know that human homes are effectively their own ecosystems, and human…

Why some people resist authority

Public Release: 14-May-2018   Neuroimaging research provides new insight into urge to rebel Society for Neuroscience Caption The urge to rebel against control over one’s decisions is associated with the connectivity between parietal and frontal brain regions (shown in color). The stronger the synchronous activation was in these regions, the more likely were the participants…

Is colonialism creating inappropriate regulation of traditional medicine practitioners?

PUBLIC RELEASE: 11-MAY-2018 MARY ANN LIEBERT, INC./GENETIC ENGINEERING NEWS CAPTION JACM (The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine) is a monthly peer-reviewed journal published online with open access options and in print that is dedicated to research on paradigm, practice, and policy advancing integrative health. CREDIT: MARY ANN LIEBERT, INC., PUBLISHERS New Rochelle, NY, May…

Hostile teachers can lose students 5 percent on test scores

PUBLIC RELEASE: 10-MAY-2018 TAYLOR & FRANCIS GROUP Teachers who antagonize their students by belittling them, showing favoritism, or criticizing their contributions can damage their learning potential, a new study warns. Investigating the influence of teacher ‘misbehavior’ on student learning, a team of communication experts set up a teaching experiment in which almost 500 undergraduate students…

Protecting campus free speech, even when it challenges beliefs

Public Release: 2-May-2018   Cornell University ITHACA, N.Y. – Colleges and universities are struggling with the question of who decides what is acceptable speech on campus. When does a controversial topic become hate speech? When should it be allowed as free speech? Two Cornell University researchers say psychological science’s extensive study of bias offers an…

Could robots be counselors? Early research shows positive user experience

Public Release: 3-May-2018   New research has shown for the first time that a social robot can deliver a ‘helpful’ and ‘enjoyable’ motivational interview University of Plymouth Caption Many participants in the University of Plymouth study praised the ‘non-judgmental’ nature of the humanoid NAO robot as it delivered its session — with one even saying…

The macabre world of mind-controlling parasites

Public Release: 1-May-2018 The gruesome new field of neuro-parasitology could provide insights into the neurological basis for behavior and decision-making Frontiers Imagine a parasite that makes an animal change its habits, guard the parasite’s offspring or even commit suicide. While mind-control may sound like something out of a science fiction movie, the phenomenon is very…

US autism rates rise 15 percent; New Jersey rates remain highest

Public Release: 26-Apr-2018 Rutgers researchers determine New Jersey’s autism prevalence rate is 1 in 34 Rutgers University IMAGE: Walter Zahorodny, an associate professor of pediatrics at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School who directed the New Jersey portion of the study, called the results “consistent, broad and startling. ” Credit: Photo: Nick Romanenko / Rutgers University…

Who is using guns for suicide?

Public Release: 26-Apr-2018   Boston University School of Medicine (Boston)–The average profile of an American using a gun for suicide is a married, white male over the age of 50 who is experiencing deteriorating health. “Gun suicides may be preventable particularly among older men who are being treated for failing health,” explained corresponding author Bindu…

New app could make cannabis use safer

Public Release: 24-Apr-2018 ‘Am I Stoned’ app designed to help users understand their impairment Experimental Biology 2018 IMAGE: A test of tapping speed helps app users assess their level of impairment from marijuana use. Credit: Harriet de Wit Although cannabis, also known as marijuana, has been shown to impair memory, reaction time and attention, it…

2.7 billion tweets confirm: Echo chambers on Twitter are very real

Public Release: 24-Apr-2018   Bipartisan users, who try to bridge the echo chambers, need to pay a price for their work: They become less central in their own network, lose connections to their communities and receive less endorsements from other users Aalto University IMAGE: The scatterplots display how the polarization on the topic of Obamacare…

Education, not income, the best predictor of a long life

Public Release: 16-Apr-2018 International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis IMAGE: This is a curve showing the relationship between income and life expectancy in 1970, 1990 and 2010. Credit: © Lutz/Kebede Rising income and the subsequent improved standards of living have long been thought to be the most important factors contributing to a long and healthy…