Shutting down a brain receptor in mice — a receptor that also exists in humans — can block pathological rage, a new study says. We didn't realize that mice could experience pathological rage. But stopping it, and the impulsive violence that could result, would be a way to treat the types of aggression that are common in some neurological and psychological disorders in people.
Pervasive, persistent optimism is one of those uniquely human traits/flaws — we tend to believe things are better than they really are, or that negative consequences won’t befall us, even if they befall others. It stands to reason that people would adjust their expectations when confronted with harsh reality, yet they don’t. Our brains are to blame, according to a new study — we’re wired to have a positive outlook.
The act of deception is probably as old as civilization — not long after humans began communicating, they began communicating lies. Shortly after that, they probably started trying to force others to tell the truth. Modern technology has given us a few options in this arena, from dubious polygraphs to powerful drugs — and now a new study suggests brain interference can work, too.
Contrary to popular belief, child-rearing may make men smarter
By Gregory MonePosted 11.01.2006 at 2:00 am 0 Comments
Though men do seem to be getting better at playing stay-at-home dad, they still can´t claim to be the best fathers in the animal kingdom. Among primates, that honor may belong to marmosets, small tree-dwelling monkeys whose males spend 70 percent of their time caring for newborns. The result of all this baby time, according to new research, adds up to more than just a sensitive monkey. The nurturing actually boosts mental activity.
Generally, if a company claims that its product does something cool, I don't believe it. That's my job, see? But I gotta hand it to Nintendo. Its newish Nintendo DS title, Brain Age (PopSci loves Brain Age), has actually made me smarter. Today is my one-month anniversary of playing the game, which claims to stimulate your prefrontal cortex with fun little mini games involving math, memory and split-second decisions. How do I know I've gotten smarter? Here are some examples:
1. I paid my rent not on time, but early. I usually forget until I'm crouching under the kitchen table on the sixth of the month while my landlady (Hi, Marie) pounds on the door.
2. I have already started Christmas shopping—no joke.
3. I destroyed a bunch of Irish folks in Charades at 5 a.m. Saturday night, solving most of the pantomimes within 10 seconds. It got to the point where they asked me to retire from competition and just come up with subjects.
And here's a prediction: New York City will have a blackout today or tomorrow. Our power grid is already waaay overtasked, and, with the damaged power lines in Queens, we can't handle two 100-degree days in a row. If I'm right about this, I'm running for office. —Joe Brown