Browsing: Exclusive

Fewer synapses, more efficient learning

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology and the Yale University studied the adhesion protein SynCAM1, which glues synapses together. When they increased the amount of SynCAM1 in neurons, the number of synapses grew. This would offer the neurons more routes for transmitting information. However, a behavioral experiment showed that mice without SynCAM1 learned better than animals with normal levels of the protein.

Illegal file sharers ‘Robin Hoods of the digital age’

Many illegal file sharers believe they are the ‘Robin Hoods of the digital age’ and are motivated by altruism and a desire for notoriety, according to new research which analyses why people illegally download digital media.

Common genetic influences for ADHD and reading disability

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and developmental reading disability (RD) are complex childhood disorders that frequently occur together; if a child is experiencing trouble with reading, symptoms of ADHD are often also present. However, the reason for this correlation remains unknown. A new study reported in the latest special issue of Cortex, dedicated to “Developmental Dyslexia and Dysgraphia”, has suggested that the disorders have common genetic influences, which may also lead to slow processing speed – the brain taking longer to make sense of the information it receives.

What Zen meditators don’t think about won’t hurt them

Zen meditation has many health benefits, including a reduced sensitivity to pain. According to new research from the Université de Montréal, meditators do feel pain but they simply don’t dwell on it as much. These findings, published in the month’s issue of Pain, may have implications for chronic pain sufferers, such as those with arthritis, back pain or cancer.

People in jobs traditionally held by the other sex judged more harshly for mistakes

In these modern times, people can have jobs that weren’t traditionally associated with their genders. Men are nurses; women are CEOs. A new study examines perceptions of people in high-powered jobs and finds that they’re likely to be judged more harshly for mistakes if they’re in a job that’s not normally associated with their gender.

Are all movie viewing experiences enjoyable?

We’ve all been there: we are watching a movie with a parent or relative when a steamy love scene appears. A new study published in Applied Cognitive Psychology shows that all of that squirming and averting of eyes is normal, especially when you are accompanied by your parents.

Profiling based on mobile, online behavior: a privacy issue

It’s illegal for businesses and law enforcement to profile a person based on their race, gender, or ethnicity, yet millions of Americans are being profiled every day based on their online consumer behavior and demographics.

Imitating someone’s accent makes it easier to understand them

In conversation, we often imitate each other’s speech style and may even change our accent to fit that of the person we’re talking to. A recent study in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, suggests that imitating someone who speaks with a regional or foreign accent may actually help you understand them better.

People with a university degree fear death less than those at a lower literacy level

People with a university degree fear death less than those at a lower literacy level. In addition, fear of death is most common among women than men, which affects their children’s perception of death. In fact, 76% of children that report fear of death is due to their mothers avoiding the topic. Additionally, more of these children fear early death and adopt unsuitable approaches when it comes to deal with death.

Fear of being envied makes people behave well toward others

It’s nice to have success—but it can also make you worry that the jealous people will try to bring you down. New research in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, has found that the fear of being the target of malicious envy makes people act more helpfully toward people who they think might be jealous of them.

Military deployment affects sleep patterns

A study in the Dec. 1 issue of the journal SLEEP found that deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan significantly influenced sleep quality and quantity in a population of 41,225 military service personnel. The study suggests that the promotion of healthier sleep patterns may be beneficial for military service members.

A third of LGBT youth suffer mental disorders

One-third of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth have attempted suicide in their lifetime — a prevalence comparable to urban, minority youth — but a majority do not experience mental illness, according to a report by researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago.