March 8, 2017
Short men may have an increased risk of becoming bald prematurely. An international genetic study under the leadership of the University of Bonn at least points in this direction. During the study, the scientists investigated the genetic material of more than 20,000 men. Their data show that premature hair loss is linked to a range of various physical characteristics and illnesses. The work has now been published in Nature Communications.
It has already long been known that men with premature hair loss suffer from heart diseases and prostate cancer somewhat more often. The new genetic data now confirm suspicions that there are further connections to other characteristics and illnesses. In their study, the researchers analyzed genetic data from around 11,000 men with premature baldness. Around 12,000 men with no hair loss served as a control. The participants came from seven different countries.
February 27, 2017
We’re told not to judge a book by its cover, but we make instant judgments about people’s intelligence, trustworthiness or dominance based on their facial appearance. Now, researchers have investigated the reverse possibility: can the way people judge us influence how we look?
To answer this question, researchers led by Dr. Ruth Mayo and PhD candidate Yonat Zwebner at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem examined whether a person’s appearance can be influenced by their given name. To do this, they recruited independent observers and showed them color headshot photographs of complete strangers. Then they presented a list of names to the observers and asked them to choose the stranger’s real name based on his or her facial appearance.
February 26, 2017
CREDIT: PHOTO AND DRAWING BY R. BOURRILLON.
A newly discovered trove of 16 engraved and otherwise modified limestone blocks, created 38,000 years ago, confirms the ancient origins of the pointillist techniques later adopted by 19th and 20th century artists such as Georges Seurat, Vincent Van Gogh, Camille Pissarro, and Roy Lichtenstein.
February 17, 2017
A preference for the left or the right hand might be traced back to that asymmetry. “These results fundamentally change our understanding of the cause of hemispheric asymmetries,” conclude the authors. The team report about their study in the journal eLife.
Preference in the womb
To date, it had been assumed that differences in gene activity of the right and left hemisphere might be responsible for a person’s handedness. A preference for moving the left or right hand develops in the womb from the eighth week of pregnancy, according to ultrasound scans carried out in the 1980s. From the 13th week of pregnancy, unborn children prefer to suck either their right or their left thumb.
February 8, 2017
The same brain-chemical system that mediates feelings of pleasure from sex, recreational drugs, and food is also critical to experiencing musical pleasure, according to a study by McGill University researchers published today in the Nature journal Scientific Reports.
“This is the first demonstration that the brain’s own opioids are directly involved in musical pleasure,” says cognitive psychologist Daniel Levitin, senior author of the paper. While previous work by Levitin’s lab and others had used neuroimaging to map areas of the brain that are active during moments of musical pleasure, scientists were able only to infer the involvement of the opioid system.
February 5, 2017
When preschoolers spend time around one another, they tend to take on each others’ personalities, indicates a new study by Michigan State University psychology researchers.
The study, published online in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, suggests personality is shaped by environment and not just genes.
November 21, 2016
If you’ve ever had to seek medical attention for an illness or an injury during a vacation, you’re not alone. A new national survey by Orlando Health finds one in four vacations includes a trip to the ER and doctors say many patients are simply not prepared for the situation.
“When you’re going on vacation the last thing you want to think about is a medical emergency, but with just a few simple steps, you can rest assured that you will be prepared for any situation” said Steven Corbett, MD, an emergency medicine physician with Dr. P. Phillips Hospital at Orlando Health.
November 8, 2016
Older adolescents and adults can learn certain thinking skills including non-verbal reasoning more effectively than younger people, finds new UCL (University College London) research.
The study, published in Psychological Science, also highlights the fact that non-verbal reasoning skills can be readily trained and do not represent an innate, fixed ability. Read more
November 4, 2016
Almost all of us get songs stuck in our heads from time to time but why do certain tunes have the ‘stick factor’?
The first large-scale study, led by Dr Kelly Jakubowski at Durham University, may have some answers to this musical stickiness.
It has shown that songs that get stuck in your head – called earworms or involuntary musical imagery – are usually faster, with a fairly generic and easy-to-remember melody but with some unique intervals such as leaps or repetitions that set it apart from the “average pop song”. Read more
July 26, 2016
Police lineups in which distinctive individual marks or features are not altered can impair witnesses’ ability to distinguish between innocent and guilty suspects, according to new research in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
The research, conducted by a team of psychology researchers from the University of Warwick in the UK, builds on existing eyewitness identification studies suggesting that so-called “unfair lineups,” in which the police suspect stands out, make witnesses more willing to identify that suspect. Read more