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The gray matter of Risk

King of Gamblers, 1937 movie directed by Robert Florey, main character played by Akim Tamiroff
Mon 22 Sep 20:03

Do you feel the adrenaline rush kick in when you are sitting at the roulette table in a casino at Las Vegas? Or do your better instincts prevail with a sense of foreboding, warning against gambling away your hard earned money? Well, believe it or not, your brain scan may predict which category you belong to! New research from a global scientific collaboration, led by Dr. Ifat Levy at the Yale School of Medicine shows that, a picture speaks a thousand words! And in this case- about your personality. Specifically, the scientists address, how big of a risk taker are you?

Now, how did the researchers measure risky attitude? The scientists...

Making the brain say, "I love Kale!"

Brain can be trained to actually prefer healthy foods
Wed 10 Sep 22:48
Tempted to order dessert after dinner even though you know you shouldn't? Well, you are certainly not an exception! Most of us at some point in our lives have been victims of irresistible fried foods and decadent desserts. But what if you could train your brain to drool over kale instead of cake and baked chips instead of French fries? Sounds incredible right? Not quite impossible, says Dr. Susan Roberts from Tufts University, who along with her team of researchers, has recently, shown that you can train your brain to actually prefer healthy foods!

How did the scientists conduct their study?...

Beware: Brain scans don't lie!

Can brain scan predict public preferences?
Thu 07 Aug 14:32
Have you noticed, when you watch a movie, a favorite scene seems to be favorited by everyone around you or a commercial that you like is also very popular because several people like it? Is it possible, while we pride ourselves in being unique, that we react the same way? This suggestion would be great news for advertisers because that would mean they have hit on the oh-so-elusive formula for selling products to people! This is because advertisers have a problem of predictability. It is hard to forecast beforehand how popular an advertisement would be. The advertising industry has to depend on...

Are we averse to thinking?

Thinking is a choice you must train
Tue 15 Jul 22:06
Do you enjoy sitting in solitude and thinking by yourself without fidgeting with your smartphone every few minutes? If your answer is no, do not worry, as it turns out you are not alone! A recent study published in the journal of Science by Dr. Timothy D. Wilson and his team from University of Virginia, shows that people prefer doing mundane activities as opposed to thinking!

One is virtually never alone in this day and age of incessant external inputs via Facebook and Twitter. As a result, perhaps not so surprisingly this study reports statistics from a recent survey that finds 83% of...

Sleep more to learn more

Learning is better if we sleep more hours.
Thu 12 Jun 03:23
Someone once remarked -"I say you work for eight hours and you sleep for eight hours-be sure they are not the same eight hours"! It turns out that recent scientific finding supports the theory that sleep is very vital for learning and memory.

One doesn't have to oversell the beauty of sleep. But in case you need hard evidence, past studies have shown a good night's sleep could solidify memories. Imagine sleeping after visiting a beautiful place and waking up with it etched in your memory ! On the other hand, less or disturbed sleep makes learning and retaining memories difficult. New research...

Science Explains Why You Forgot To Take Out The Trash

A familiar voice is usually recognized between other voices, but as we age, maybe we can select not to hear them
Thu 12 Sep 19:01
It's often nice to hear a familiar voice, but sometimes we're also guilty of tuning out wives, husbands, parents and even some friends. It turns out that our brains help us tune out spouses more effectively as we age.

Ingrid Johnsrude, a psychologist at Queens University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, and her colleagues found that a familiar voice helps us organize the voices we hear in a crowd, so we can focus on the familiar voice--or ignore it. As we grow older and/or harder of hearing, we can also use these audio cues as a guide to sorting out voices in a crowd. Another sign of aging,...

Chaos, Not Order, Spark Creativity

Source: morguefiles.com
Wed 14 Aug 02:27
Being neat and tidy has always been associated with order, tradition and general good sense. But being a slob may have a worse reputation than it deserves, according to a new study suggestig that a disorderly environment can spark creativity.

The study, led by University of Minnesota management professor Dr. Kathleen Vohs and published in Psychological Science on August 1st, found that an orderly environment encourages such "orderly" behavior as healthful eating, charitable giving, and a sense of tradition, while a disorderly environment can trigger creative behavior. In addition,...

Here comes the sun, little darling!

Sun exposing is better for our health
Wed 27 Aug 00:46
Ever heard of the "sick building syndrome"? Yes, you heard it right! What happens in this syndrome is that the building occupants experience increasing discomfort depending on how long they spend inside the building. Sick building syndrome (SHO), a term coined by the World Health Organization, was on the rise in 1970s. This led to not only growing media attention but it also captured the fancy of scientists. The current paper led by Dr. Boubekri from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is one of the first studies, to examine a relationship between impact of daylight at the workplace (or...

Nature versus nurture: What matters in infant brain development?

New discovery shows a critical role of mother´s presence and grooming in infant brain development
Fri 25 Jul 20:42
Washington Irving wisely remarked, "A mother's love endures through all". True to this adage, new discovery by scientists at Langone School of Medicine, Emotional Brain Institute and Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research based in New York led by senior investigator Dr. Regina Sullivan shows a critical role of mother's presence and grooming in key stages of infant brain development!

Our brain is comprised of several cell circuits similar to an electrical circuit. Just like an improper wiring could lead to a catastrophic electrical failure, so could improper wiring of neural...

Wired for imagination

New research
Sat 05 Jul 01:38

Have you wondered what makes Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Ludwig van Beethoven so different from you and me? Does it imply that people with artistically creative skill sets like writers, musicians, singers etc. have anything in common? One would naïvely guess not so much ! But it turns out that "experts" with varying skill sets, have their brains wired quite similarly. This is what new research led by Dr. Martin Lotze and his team from University of Greifswald, Germany suggests using brain scans.

How do the researchers investigate their theory ? The neuroscientists set an experiment...

Scientists Explain Why Snails Have A Twisted Shell

Snails, as some other gastropods, have coiled shells, Dpp protein seems to be the clue
Fri 13 Sep 02:05
Molecules called morphogens control the shapes of organisms. One morphogen, Dpp, makes most snail shells coil to the right as described in a recent report in the journal EvoDevo. Snails belong to the taxonomic class Gastropoda, the most diverse group of molluscs, originating during the Cambrian period about 500 million years ago. Some gastropods, like snails, have coiled shells while others, like limpets, do not. The uneven distribution of the morphogenic (or shape-determining) protein Dpp is the explanation.
Dpp, the gene carrying the info for making the Dpp protein, (christened...

Researchers Create a Hangover-Free, Rehydrating Beer

Source: Wikipedia.
Wed 21 Aug 05:03
Researchers have crafted a new breed of beer, containing electrolytes like those found in sport drinks, decreasing the risk of dehydration (and hangover) of this popular drink.

Beer, much like any other alcoholic drink, is a natural diuretic, not a good choice to quench your thirst on the summer months or following strenuous exercise. But now, Dr. Ben Desbrow from the Centre for Health Practice Innovation, in Queensland, Australia, is about to change the rules. His research is looking for ways to make beer a healthy choice, by adding electrolytes and reducing alcohol content.

"From our...

Our Alien Gold

Source: Wikipedia.
Mon 05 Aug 23:25
    All the gold on earth is alien. Every atom of the precious metal probably came to us from violent collisions of dying stars, according to a team from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.

The research team, led by astrophysicist Dr. Edo Berger, was studying the origins of short gamma ray bursts, two-tenths of a second-long blasts of radiation produced after the collision of two dying stars. Using the Magellan Telescopes at the Las Campanas Observatory in Chile, data from NASA's Swift satellite, and observations from the Hubble Space Telescope,...

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