In the past few decades, the fortunate among us have recognised the hazards of living with an overabundance of food (obesity, diabetes) and have started to change our diets. But most of us do not yet understand that news is to the mind what sugar is to the body. News is easy to digest. The media feeds us small bites of trivial matter, tidbits that don't really concern our lives and don't require thinking. That's why we experience almost no saturation. Unlike reading books and long magazine articles (which require thinking), we can swallow limitless quantities of news flashes, which are bright-coloured candies for the mind. Today, we have reached the same point in relation to information that we faced 20 years ago in regard to food. We are beginning to recognise how toxic news can be.

Vocabularies of babies under age two are slightly smaller when parents mix elements from two different languages in the same sentence, a new study from Concordia University found.

But growing up bilingual does not confuse a baby and make learning to speak more difficult, rather it gives them an edge, a growing body of research suggests. They may be slower in picking up each language than children raised speaking just one, but that temporary drawback is offset by the benefits of bilingualism, said Concordia University psychology professor Krista Byers-Heinlein.

Short interruptions—such as the few seconds it takes to silence that buzzing smartphone—have a surprisingly large effect on one’s ability to accurately complete a task, according to new research.

The study, in which 300 people performed a sequence-based procedure on a computer, found that interruptions of about three seconds doubled the error rate.

A new study has revealed that the rise and fall of leaded gasoline strongly correlates with the pattern of violent crime rates in America.

Past research have linked high lead levels to birth defects, lower intelligence and hearing problems, but now researcher are beginning to uncover evidence that it also causes high levels of aggression.

Our observations prove that innovative tool-related problem-solving is within this species’ cognitive resources. As it is unknown for tools to play a major role in this species’ ecology, this strengthens the view that tool competences can originate on general physical intelligence, rather than just as problem-specific ecological solutions (see discussions in [2,4]). The precise cognitive operations underlying such innovations are still unknown, but future studies may continue to unravel them by modifying the tasks, and controlling the developmental history and pre-experimental experience across different groups of subjects.

It is known that childhood experience influences brain development but the only evidence scientists have had for this has usually come from extreme cases such as children who had been abused or suffered trauma. Martha Farah, director of the centre for neuroscience and society at the University of Pennsylvania, who led the latest study, wanted to find out how a normal range of experiences in childhood might influence the development of the brain.

Farah took data from surveys of home life and brain scans of 64 participants carried out over the course of 20 years. Her results, presented on Sunday at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in New Orleans, showed that cognitive stimulation from parents at the age of four was the key factor in predicting the development of several parts of the cortex – the layer of grey matter on the outside of the brain – 15 years later.

Children who grow up learning to speak two languages are better at switching between tasks than are children who learn to speak only one language, according to a study funded in part by the National Institutes of Health. However, the study also found that bilinguals are slower to acquire vocabulary than are monolinguals, because bilinguals must divide their time between two languages while monolinguals focus on only one.

Nagel concluded that democracies rarely or never elect the best leaders. Their advantage over dictatorships or other forms of government is merely that they "effectively prevent lower-than-average candidates from becoming leaders."

Forskning kring barn och lek visar ett tydligt samband mellan lek och kreativitet. Men det forskas väldigt lite kring vuxna och lek.

Lek för vuxna är ganska tabu. På jobbet riskerar man att ses som oseriös, inkompetent och fånig om man släpper fram sin lekfullhet. Men mycket tyder på att kreativt framgångsrika människor är just de som leker på jobbet. Och motsatsen till lek är inte arbete, det är depression. Det säger Samuel West, doktorand i psykologi vid Lunds universitet. Han forskar kring om det finns ett samband mellan en lekfull arbetsmiljö och

kreativa medarbetare.

The Gothenburg group has developed a psychological model of patterns as seen and selected by humans, and incorporated it in their IQ test solving programs. The result is a program that attacks abstract problems using approaches similar to those a very smart person would use.

...

"Our programs are beating the conventional math programs because we are combining mathematics and psychology. Our method can potentially be used to identify patterns in any data with a psychological component, such as financial data. But it is not as good at finding patterns in more science-type data, such as weather data, since then the human psyche is not involved," says Strannegård.

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