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What’s the best way for toddlers to acquire verb meaning? New research is shedding light on what kind of sentences are best at facilitating the growth of toddlers’ vocabularies. A new study conducted at Northwestern University provides evidence that toddlers can learn verbs after hearing them only twice. Sandra R. Waxman, Louis W. Menk Professor of Psychology at Northwestern University and Sudha Arunachalam, formerly a [...]
Subliminal Signs, or Misdirection? Last week’s cartoon,  which talks about what to say if someone hates you,  is here.  All rights reserved, and content including cartoons is © Donna Barstow 2014,  My own website is Donna Barstow Cartoons. And Like me  on Facebook to get notified of new cartoons. Thanks! I hope I’m not...
Chimpanzees spontaneously initiate and maintain cooperative behavior Without any pre-training or restrictions in partner choice among chimpanzees, researchers at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, found for the first time that chimpanzees housed in a socially complex, contained setting spontaneously cooperate with multiple partners of their choosing. This finding, which addresses long-standing doubt about the level of cooperation chimpanzees are [...]
Movies with gory and disgusting scenes more likely to capture and engage audience We know it too well. We are watching a horror film and the antagonist is about to maim a character; we ball up, get ready for the shot and instead of turning away, we lean forward in the chair, then flinch and cover our eyes – Jason strikes again! But what is going on in [...]
Researchers uncover new insights into developing rapid-acting antidepressant for treatment-resistant depression UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have generated fresh insights that could aid in the development of rapid-acting antidepressants for treatment-resistant depression. The researchers found that by blocking NMDA receptors with the drug ketamine, they could elicit rapid antidepressant effects in patients with treatment-resistant depression. Ketamine was developed as an anesthetic, but is better known publicly [...]
Grit better than GRE at predicting success in STEM fields Selecting graduate students in the fields of science and engineering based on an assessment of their character instead of relying almost entirely on their scores on a standardized test would significantly improve the quality of the students that are admitted and, at the same time, boost the participation of women and minorities in these key [...]
Neural reward response may demonstrate why quitting smoking is harder for some For some cigarette smokers, strategies to aid quitting work well, while for many others no method seems to work. Researchers have now identified an aspect of brain activity that helps to predict the effectiveness of a reward-based strategy as motivation to quit smoking. The researchers observed the brains of nicotine-deprived smokers with functional magnetic resonance [...]
Study tracks changes in social status, affiliation in religion Younger generations are closing the social class gap between evangelical Protestants and mainline denominations, a University of Nebraska-Lincoln sociologist of religion has found. And in what appears to be an important shift in the U.S. religious landscape, a growing number of younger-generation working-class Americans are not affiliated with any particular religious denomination. “When lower-class Americans [...]
Helping Young People Change: The Key of Motivation Adolescence: Such a time of turbulence. For those of us charged with helping young people feel better, parent them or educate them, sometimes it can feel like we are on the losing team no matter which trick, technique or skill we try. Luckily for both sides, we are not willing...
Blind Leading the Blind: Medications, Violins, and Gluten We make decisions and form beliefs based on intuitions and expectations all the time, but often those intuitions are unreliable. Two recent studies—one about violins and the other about gluten sensitivity—illustrate how "blinding" in research keeps us honest and objective, especially when certain results are expected.
How Do You Treat Mental Illness in a Bonobo? Brian is a male bonobo who was born at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, but spent most of his life at the Milwaukee County Zoo. His childhood was rough, thanks to an abusive father, and as he transitioned into early adulthood, his prospects seemed grim....
The Best Predictor of Divorce What would you consider to the best predictor of divorce in a relationship? Is it betrayal or cheating, perhaps financial stress or is it boredom? Dr John Gottman, world renowned relationship expert, has researched this very topic and come up with one single quality that, more than any other, predicts the demise of a relationship. […]
What Makes an Athlete Clutch? With the New York Rangers’ win on the brink of elimination in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals, their star goaltender Henrik Lundqvist continued his spectacular play in a hope to lead them to a miraculous comeback. Lundqvist has been superb for the Rangers, stopping 92% of the shots...
The Role of Personality & Psychology in Healthy Eating We’re getting fatter. An intelligent understanding of personality can help us to understand why we eat what we eat, and what we can do about it. Openness For a start, openness to experience has been negatively linked to BMI — that is, being open can help keep you slim. There...
With the right rehabilitation, paralyzed rats learn to grip again After a large stroke, motor skills barely improve, even with rehabilitation. An experiment conducted on rats demonstrates that a course of therapy combining the stimulation of nerve fiber growth with drugs and motor training can be successful. The key, however, is the correct sequence: Paralyzed animals only make an almost complete recovery if the training is delayed until after the growth promoting drugs have been administered.
Anti-conformity Research Led to Freud's Best Sarcastic One-Liner There are plenty of tests that study conformity, but measuring anti-conformity is a tougher proposition. How do you measure something that is only evident after you make your influence felt? Researching this led to some interesting experiments, and the best line ever delivered by Sigmund Freud....
Stupid Mistakes and Perfect Solutions Anna was having anxiety attacks in the morning on and off for the past two years. Therapist: “What happened two years ago?” Anna: “I was robbed while I went out for my morning jog.” Anna’s morning anxiety can be understood as anger that has been internalized from a loss of...
Synchronized brain waves enable rapid learning The human mind can rapidly absorb and analyze new information as it flits from thought to thought. These quickly changing brain states may be encoded by synchronization of brain waves across different brain regions, according to a new study.
Ingredients of a Good Dad: What the Science Says It’s time for our moment in the sun: Father’s Day  -  the day we dads are officially honored before things go back to normal for the other 364 days of the year. While all that glory may feel undeserved at times, it turns out we might just matter more than...
When a stressful hospital stay makes you sick Beeping machines, frequent needle sticks, unpredictable waits and sleep deprivation are among the barrage of stressors that some doctors say contribute to post-hospital syndrome.