Mind & Brain, News, Psychology

When following goals, people pay attention to progress more than they do to setbacks

diet goal

Hopes are high this time of year, but before your make your New Year’s resolution you might want to consider an important cognitive bias: when following goals, progress is given a lot more consideration than setbacks. Say your resolution is to lose weight, so next year you’ll be on a diet. Chances have it, according to a study made by University…

Health & Medicine, Mind & Brain, News, Technology

Quadriplegic instructs robot hand to flex, move, rotate or grip objects with her thoughts

The four robot positions: fingers spread, scoop, pinch, and thumb up (credit: Journal of Neural Engineering/IOP Publishing)

The latest in brain-computer interface technology was recently demonstrated after woman with quadriplegia shaped a sophisticated robotic hand with ten degrees of freedom using her thoughts. Through the interface, she instructed the robotic hand to move up, down or sideways, pick up small or big objects and even squeeze them. In just a couple of years, brain-computer interfaces have shown they…

Mind & Brain, Neurology, News

Storing info in computers frees up memory in the brain, helping us learn new things better

brain storage

Widespread use of computers is said to make people dumber or more prone to forgetfulness. It’s true, while we’re less inclined to memorize things such as poems or mathematical formulas, this doesn’t necessarily make it a bad thing. A study made by US psychologists found that when people save information on their computers or phones, this frees up cognitive resources…

Mind & Brain, News

Magazines in Waiting Rooms are Old Because People Steal New Ones, Science Shows

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You see them at the dentist, at the vet, the hair salon – the old magazines on the table. Fashion magazines, car magazines, travel magazines, whatever… they all have one thing in common – they’re really old. Why don’t practitioners just put new magazines? A new study has now shown that they really do… but people just steal them. It’s…

Mind & Brain, News

Humane interrogation is four times more effective than torture, study shows

Image via The Atlantic.

The wave of outrage against CIA’s interrogation techniques (which often involved torture) has been strong and sharp. But aside for being highly unethical (up to the point of inhumanity), a new study has shown that torture is also pretty ineffective. The report shows that confessions are four times more likely when interrogators adopt a respectful stance towards the detainee, developing…

Mind & Brain, News

Sleep Scientists Suggest Starting Your Work Day a Bit Later

wake_up

We’ve all experienced it – waking up early in the morning can be really hard, and even if you do wake up, you’re just not productive; and then, in the night, you just can’t go to sleep – you stay up too late, it gets even harder to wake up the next day and the cycle continues. Now, a group…

Health & Medicine, Mind & Brain, Neurology, News

How the brain transforms bad experiences into long-lasting and unpleasant memories

Unpleasant memories are a lot easier to form than regular ones. Image: Silence of the Lambs.

Really bad experiences, like going through a particularly stressful or frighting situation, are a lot easier to remember than the things we do a day to day basis, or even those special pleasant experiences. That’s because we’re sort of evolutionary geared to remember those particularly nasty experiences so that we might avoid these in the future. A collaborative effort between New York…

Health & Medicine, Mind & Brain, News

Laughing gas can be used to treat depression

Laughing gas is used by recreational drug users (Photo: Christopher Pledger)

Talk about taking things literally, but it really seems like laughing gas or nitrous oxide, as it’s known by its chemical formula, can relieve chronic depression symptoms even in those cases where no other treatment seemed to render results. This is the first time that laughing gas was used as a potential treatment for depression. The findings – if replicated…

Mind & Brain, News

High heels really do have power over men, study shows

Women wearing high heels are more likely to be noticed and helped by men, a new study shows. Image via Moda Eyes.

Marilyn Monroe once said that if you give a woman the right shoes, she can conquer the world; that may be a bit of a stretch, but a new study published in a Springer journal has shown that if a woman wants attention or help from a man, high heels definitely go a long way. Previous research has already shown…

Mind & Brain, News

A Week of Camping can Reset your Body Clock and Help you Sleep

camping sleeping

Just one week of camping in the wild (or in any area without man-made light) can reset your body clock and return your natural sleep patterns, a new study has found. If you’re a night owl, if you’re having problems sleeping and just can’t set up a good sleep pattern – science has your problems figured out; all you need…