Mind & Brain, News

No two autistic brains are alike – each has unique connections

Image: The networks in your brain. Credit: NIH

For most people, brains are pretty similar – our connections follow the same pattern, and while there are certainly exceptions, you could say that our brains are connected in pretty much the same way. But for autistic people, things are very different. A new study has found that each autistic brain has unique, highly idiosyncratic connections. We’re only starting to

Mind & Brain, News

People follow the norm… even the norm is a computer, and wrong

World of Warcraft is one of the most played computer games in history. In it, the player constructs an avatar and then completes quests.

People tend to follow the norm – that’s pretty well documented, and well understood. However, a new study has found that not only do people tend to follow other people, but they also follow the lead of a computer – even when it is blatantly wrong. In modern society, real life interactions and discussions are becoming rarer, substituted by computer

Mind & Brain, News

Learning a second language helps children see the world differently

Kids who learn a second language early in their lives see the world differently. Image via Online Universities.

Most kids believe that human and animal characteristics are innate – that is, looks, personality and language are intrinsic, inherited, and not something which can change over time. However, learning a second language can help them learn that some characteristics are acquired than inherited, enabling them to see the world in a different way.

Health & Medicine, Mind & Brain

Long working hours increase the risk of alcohol abuse

Alcohol and long working hours

The most comprehensive study of its kind found that people working more than  48 hours a week are at a significant risk of drinking more alcohol than it is safe. The study’s findings which included correspondents from 14 countries were not affected by socioeconomic status or region, suggesting they universally apply.  The findings bear important implications for work regulation policies

Diseases, Mind & Brain, News

Man wakes up after 12 years of coma: “I was aware of everything”

Painfully aware ... Martin Pistorius could hear and see everything around him but couldn’t communicate. Picture: YouTube/Thomas Nelson Source: Supplied.

When he was 12, Martin Pistorius came home with a sore throat. His condition quickly deteriorated and he was soon unable to move or even talk, and eventually crashed into a coma which would go on to last 12 years. It’s not clear what his disease was, and doctors don’t really know what happened to him, though the likely suspect is

Mind & Brain, News

If a gay Mormon man marries a woman, divorce is likely, study finds

Image via Salon.

While this study may seem hilariously obvious at first, it was actually necessary. When Mormon religion meets homosexuality, the results are often so mind blowing and saddening that you just need studies like this to explain how things really are. In a society which believes that homosexuality is something treatable just like alcoholism, you need a study to tell people that if a gay man marries a woman, divorce is very likely.

Mind & Brain, News

Naps are key to infant learning and memory consolidation

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People spend more of their time asleep as babies than at any other point in their lives, but even if this has been common knowledge for some time we’re only beginning to understand what role sleep plays during this key stage. University of Sheffield researchers claim that sleeping is key to leaning and forming new memories for infants as old as 12 months. Babies who didn’t nap were far less able to repeat what they had been taught only 24 hours earlier.

Mind & Brain, News, Technology

Computer knows you better than your friends – just by looking at your Facebook Likes

This is a graph showing accuracy of computer model's personality judgement compared with humans.
Credit: Wu Youyou/Michal Kosinski

Researchers have found that just by analyzing your Facebook Likes, a computer can judge your personality better than even your close friends. They went even further than that, and calculated how many Likes the algorithm has to analyze to figure your personality traits.