Panpsychism, the idea that inanimate objects have consciousness, gains steam in science communities

DNA, Atoms and particles (Getty Images/Yuichiro Chino) An expanding notion of what “consciousness” is could have profound repercussions By MATTHEW ROZSA Dr. Martin Picard is an associate professor of behavioral medicine at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, specializing in both psychiatry and neurology. Together, expertise in these two fields suits one well to understanding the essence of what makes one human. Picard is particularly knowledgable about mitochondria, a structure found within nearly all cells that have a nucleus. They provide most of the chemical energy that cells use in their various biochemical tasks, and are sometimes likened to batteries. Picard sees something else in mitochondria, too. Last year, he … Continue reading Panpsychism, the idea that inanimate objects have consciousness, gains steam in science communities

We’re More of Ourselves When We’re in Tune with Others

Music reminds us why going solo goes against our better nature. BY KEVIN BERGER When musicians have chemistry, we can feel it. There’s something special among them that’s missing when they perform alone. Anyone who’s heard a Mick Jagger solo album knows that’s the case. Clearly nature wants us to jam together and take flight out of our individual selves. The reward is transcendence, our bodies tell us so. What’s the secret of that chemistry? It’s a question that one of the most refreshing neuroscientists who studies music has been probing lately. Refreshing because her lab is not only in … Continue reading We’re More of Ourselves When We’re in Tune with Others

Stop Calling Them “Girls’ Bikes“

A case for pedaling a step-through bike by Eben Weiss Like a dog’s tail communicates its mood, a bike’s top tube indicates its intent. A level top tube implies a bicycle of classical proportions and dignified comportment. A sloping one suggests light weight and snappy acceleration. And a top tube low enough to easily lift your foot over in order to mount the bicycle means it’s a “girl’s” bike, and not one meant to be ridden hard by serious riders. Yeah, right. While the purpose of the step-through frame was originally to accommodate a woman’s wardrobe (women in pants was a radical … Continue reading Stop Calling Them “Girls’ Bikes“

Perfectionistic tendencies are associated with reduced cognitive flexibility and heightened emotional suppression

by Eric W. Dolan Perfectionistic individuals are more likely to view their problems as outside their control, according to new research published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, which may help to explain why they often struggle to cope with stressful events. But the new findings indicate that the emotion regulation strategy known as cognitive reappraisal could help perfectionists view difficult situations as more controllable. “I study psychological attributes that make it possible for people to achieve their goals. One of these attributes is cognitive flexibility — which is the ability that allows us to change our perspective or alter our behaviors,” … Continue reading Perfectionistic tendencies are associated with reduced cognitive flexibility and heightened emotional suppression

Protein in deadly spider venom blocks “death signal” after heart attack

By Nick Lavars As unlikely as it may seem, the venom of the deadly funnel web spider could prove a valuable source of a number of life-saving medicines, including drugs that kill skin cancer and reduce brain damage in stroke victims. Adding to these possibilities is new research demonstrating how a drug candidate built off a molecule in this spider venom can stop the “death signal” that results from a heart attack, potentially providing first responders with a powerful new way to intervene. The work was carried out by scientists at the Australia’s University of Queensland and actually builds off a previous study in which … Continue reading Protein in deadly spider venom blocks “death signal” after heart attack

Study: Alcohol Linked to More Than 700,000 Cancer Cases Worldwide Every Year

Though heavy drinking was most strongly linked to cancer, even light to moderate drinking contributed to over 100,000 cases a year, the researchers estimated. By Ed CaraYesterday New research this week is the latest to find that alcohol use is a major cancer risk, one that people aren’t necessarily too aware of. The study estimated that over 700,000 cases of cancer worldwide can be attributed to alcohol annually. The research, published in Lancet Oncology, was conducted by scientists in North America, Europe, and Africa. It’s meant to be an update to previous estimates of the cancer burden linked to alcohol use. For … Continue reading Study: Alcohol Linked to More Than 700,000 Cancer Cases Worldwide Every Year

THIS IS HOW NOSTRADAMUS PREDICTED THE END OF THE WORLD

BY DIANA BOCCO Nostradamus was born Michel de Notredame in 1503 in Saint-Remy-de-Provence, France. It’s fair to say Nostradamus didn’t have a boring life. He originally worked as an apothecary, then attended the University of Montpelier to pursue a medical degree. Along the way, he was expelled for practicing a “manual trade” (the use of herbal remedies), which was considered “too low” for a doctor (via Biography). The jury is out as to whether he eventually went back to school and received a medical license, but Biography points out he did work as a physician during the plague outbreak in Italy … Continue reading THIS IS HOW NOSTRADAMUS PREDICTED THE END OF THE WORLD

20% of all deaths could be prevented if cities were better designed

Many of the models for healthy urban design, like the superblock city or the 15-minute city, are rooted in Western cultural ideals. Here’s why that’s a problem. BY TOLULLAH ONI AND RIZKA MAULIDA By 2050, it is projected that almost 70% of the world’s population will be living in cities, up from 55% today. The fastest urban growth is happening in Asia and Africa, which is also where we’re seeing a rapid rise in people suffering from, and dying of, heart disease. The impact of noncommunicable diseases on the world population’s health is growing. Noncommunicable diseases are those that are not directly transmissible from one person to … Continue reading 20% of all deaths could be prevented if cities were better designed

Our brains “read” expressions of illusory faces in things just like real faces

“For the brain, fake or real, faces are all processed the same way.” by JENNIFER OUELLETTE  Human beings are champions at spotting patterns, especially faces, in inanimate objects—think of the famous “face on Mars” in images taken by the Viking 1 orbiter in 1976, which is essentially a trick of light and shadow. And people are always spotting what they believe to be the face of Jesus in burnt toast and many other (so many) ordinary foodstuffs. There was even a now-defunct Twitter account devoted to curating images of the “faces in things” phenomenon. The phenomenon’s fancy name is facial pareidolia. Scientists at the University of … Continue reading Our brains “read” expressions of illusory faces in things just like real faces

The psychology of penalty shootouts after England’s devastating loss in Euro 2020 final

England lost out to Italy in the Euros 2020 final after a devastating loss on penalties. By Rebecca Marano Gareth Southgate’s side were taken to a penalty shoot out following a 1-1 draw in Sunday night’s final at Wembley. It was Saka who saw his decisive spot-kick saved by Gianluigi Donnarumma and the Italians were crowned European champions following a 3-2 victory on spot kicks. Dr Andrew Manley, a Principal Lecturer in Sport & Exercise Psychology at Leeds Beckett, said that the mental side of a penalty shootout is often the hardest part. Dr Manley said: “Sven-Göran Eriksson said on reflection … Continue reading The psychology of penalty shootouts after England’s devastating loss in Euro 2020 final