This Week: Ancient water = ancient habitat?
In the News: Methane on the menu in the Gulf of Mexico?
Coming Thursday: Roaches: A lot smarter than you thought!
We lie for many reasons: Glory. Money. Both. Something else. Is there a science of detecting lies? Does the digital realm make lying harder? Easier? Both?
We spend ever-more hours with TV, cellphones, tablets and computers, is it rude or necessary to always answer your phone? Does distraction make you dumb? What about multitasking?
At the moment of loss or victory, an athlete’s face shows intense … what? Without seeing the body, you can’t tell whether an important point was won or lost. Adding the body language makes all the difference — and can even overwhelm the message of the face!
With the $6-billion slugfest thankfully in our rear-view mirror, we ponder the attachment to “my” team. How do we deal with the inevitable disappointment? Are we fair-weather fans or die-hards, and how does that affect our response to the big game? Could sports affiliation even protect against suicide?
Are we affecting the character of future generations by the way we choose mates? If choosing attractive mates tends to make the grandchildren more attractive, what about choosing mates who like to laugh or have fun?
Sick of the scare stories about holiday stress? Over-eating, over-this, over-that? What’s the upside of holidays, in terms of ritual and getting together with family and friends? What’s more conducive to happiness: giving or receiving?
In just a moment, our brains can go from calm, deliberate and focused, to alert, agitated and aroused. New neural networks get activated during the transition. Now a study of the fight-or flight-response fingers a common hormone in triggering the brainwide changes.
With the jobless rate still above 8%, what happens to depression, anxiety, brooding? Is job loss worse if you have more education? Could long-term job loss shorten your life?
Mother is your first — and most important — relationship. What does science tell us about the effects of mothering? What happens when groups of monkeys are raised without a mother? How does a “fragile family” affect young people? What are “social risk factors,” and why should we care about them?
Researchers finally accept that animals can have emotions. But is love one of those emotions, and how would we be sure? What does neurochemistry and behavioral studies tell us about emotions. Does your dog really love you? Your cat? Do they love each other?
How do victims of domestic violence benefit from prayer? A series of interviews shows a range of mechanisms: from zoning out to offering psychic protection to allowing forgiveness. A new study shows how real benefits could emerge from an appeal to an “imaginary other.”
Heard the rumor that people are happy — or not — depending on their genes and upbringing? “My bad,” says a 24-year study from Germany, which finds the opposite. Attitudes toward money, employment and neurotic mates all play a big role resetting your “happo-stat.”
Journal of Psycho-pharmacology. How do hallucinogens change consciousness? Psilocybin relieves terror of PTSD, death. Ecstasy may ease OCD. What’s new in psychedelic research?
For some people, laughter is a threat, conveying anger, disapproval and humiliation. In the strange world of the gelotophobe, laughter can actually make you feel worse. If you fear laughter, you tend to stay away from crowds, groups, restaurants — and the pranksters afoot on April Fools’ Day.
Can our evolutionary roots explain that self-destructive search for sex – and sexual companionship? Could Darwinian psychology constitute the cause home-wrecking, career-blitzing fatal attractions?