MedicineGossip isn't all bad - new study finds its social and psychological benefits
For centuries, gossip has been dismissed as salacious, idle chatter that can damage reputations and erode trust. But a new study from the University of California, Berkeley, suggests rumor-mongering can have positive outcomes such as helping us police bad behavior, prevent exploitation and lower stress.
Markerless motion capture offers a new angle on tennis injuries
A new approach to motion capture technology is offering fresh insights into tennis injuries - and orthopedic injuries in general.
Lie diet-tector: how scientists can reveal the truth about what you eat
Researchers have shown that they can determine which foods and in what amounts people have eaten over the last few days by analysing their urine.
Vitamin D could combat the effects of ageing in eyes
Researchers funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) have found that vitamin D reduces the effects of ageing in mouse eyes and improves the vision of older mice significantly. The researchers hope that this might mean that vitamin D supplements could provide a simple and effective way to combat age-related eye diseases, such as macular degeneration (AMD), in people.
Shoulder pain from using your ipad? Don't use it on your lap
The sudden popularity of tablet computers such as the Apple iPadŽ has not allowed for the development of guidelines to optimize users' comfort and well-being. In a new study published in Work: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment, and Rehabilitation, researchers from Harvard School of Public Health, Microsoft Corporation, and Brigham and Women's Hospital report that head and neck posture during tablet computer use can be improved by placing the tablet higher to avoid low gaze angles, and through the use of a case that provides optimal viewing angles.
UF researchers develop gene therapy that could correct a common form of blindness
A new gene therapy method developed by University of Florida researchers has the potential to treat a common form of blindness that strikes both youngsters and adults. The technique works by replacing a malfunctioning gene in the eye with a normal working copy that supplies a protein necessary for light-sensitive cells in the eye to function.
Lifelong brain-stimulating habits linked to lower Alzheimer's protein levels
A new study led by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, provides even more reason for people to read a book or do a puzzle, and to make such activities a lifetime habit.
Another clue in the mystery of autism
Although the genetic basis of autism is now well established, a growing body of research also suggests that environmental factors may play a role in this serious developmental disorder affecting nearly one in 100 children. Using a unique study design, a new study suggests that low birth weight is an important environmental factor contributing to the risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Seeking the neurological roots of conflict
MIT postdoc Emile Bruneau has long been drawn to conflict - not as a participant, but an observer. In 1994, while doing volunteer work in South Africa, he witnessed firsthand the turmoil surrounding the fall of apartheid; during a 2001 trip to visit friends in Sri Lanka, he found himself in the midst of the violent conflict between the Tamil Tigers and the Sri Lankan military.
Pictures of food create feelings of hunger
Max Planck researchers have proven something scientifically for the first time that laypeople have always known: the mere sight of delicious food stimulates the appetite.
Health benefits of exercise may depend on cellular degradation
The health benefits of exercise on blood sugar metabolism may come from the body's ability to devour itself, UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers report in the journal Nature.
Cohabiting couples are happier than wedded ones
When it comes to the well-being of married vs. cohabitating couples, the wedded ones experience few advantages in psychological well-being, health or social ties, according to a new study in the February issue of the Journal of Marriage and Family (74:1).
Magic mushrooms' effects illuminated in brain imaging studies
Brain scans of people under the influence of psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, have given scientists the most detailed picture to date of how psychedelic drugs work. The findings of two studies being published in scientific journals identify areas of the brain where activity is suppressed by psilocybin and suggest that it helps people to experience memories more vividly.
Could brain size determine whether you are good at maintaining friendships?
Researchers are suggesting that there is a link between the number of friends you have and the size of the region of the brain - known as the orbital prefrontal cortex - that is found just above the eyes.
Short-term memory is based on synchronized brain oscillations
Holding information within one's memory for a short while is a seemingly simple and everyday task. We use our short-term memory when remembering a new telephone number if there is nothing to write at hand, or to find the beautiful dress inside the store that we were just admiring in the shopping window. Yet, despite the apparent simplicity of these actions, short-term memory is a complex cognitive act that entails the participation of multiple brain regions. However, whether and how different brain regions cooperate during memory has remained elusive. A group of researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Tübingen, Germany have now come closer to answering this question. They discovered that oscillations between different brain regions are crucial in visually remembering things over a short period of time.
Speech area in brain misidentified for decades, researchers say
New clinical insights into patients suffering from brain damage and speech disorders are likely after Georgetown researchers proved that an area in the brain believed to be where human speech is processed is incorrect.
Kids under chronic stress more likely to become obese
The more ongoing stress children are exposed to, the greater the odds they will become obese by adolescence, reports Cornell environmental psychologist Gary Evans in the journal Pediatrics (129:1).
Why the brain is more reluctant to function as we age
New findings, led by neuroscientists at the University of Bristol and published this week in the journal Neurobiology of Aging, reveal a novel mechanism through which the brain may become more reluctant to function as we grow older.
The amygdala and fear are not the same thing
In a 2007 episode of the television show Boston Legal, a character claimed to have figured out that a cop was racist because his amygdala activated - displaying fear, when they showed him pictures of black people. This link between the amygdala and fear - especially a fear of others unlike us, has gone too far, not only in pop culture, but also in psychological science, say the authors of a new paper which will be published in the February issue of Current Directions in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
The pupils are the windows to the mind
The eyes are the window into the soul-or at least the mind, according to a new paper published in Perspectives on Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. Measuring the diameter of the pupil, the part of the eye that changes size to let in more light, can show what a person is paying attention to. Pupillometry, as it's called, has been used in social psychology, clinical psychology, humans, animals, children, infants-and it should be used even more, the authors say.