The Language You Speak Influences Where Your Attention Goes

The Language You Speak Influences Where Your Attention Goes

Psycholinguistics is a field at the intersection of psychology and linguistics, and one if its recent discoveries is that the languages we speak influence our eye movements. For example, English speakers who hear candle often look at a candy because the two words share their first syllable. Research with speakers of different languages revealed that bilingual speakers not only look at words that share sounds in one language but also at words that share sounds across their two languages. When Russian-English bilinguals hear the English word marker, they also look at a stamp, because the Russian word for stamp is marka.

Even more stunning, speakers of different languages differ in their patterns of eye movements when no language is used at all. In a simple visual search task in which people had to find a previously seen object among other objects, their eyes moved differently depending on what languages they knew. For example, when looking for a clock, English speakers also looked at a cloud. Spanish speakers, on the other hand, when looking for the same clock, looked at a present, because the Spanish names for clock and present—reloj and regalo—overlap at their onset.

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Sleep allows immune cells to do maintenance work on the brain

Sleep allows immune cells to do maintenance work on the brain

Studies have shown that during sleep, the brain reactualizes, updating memories, and clearing up “waste.” New research in mouse models suggests that specialized immune cells keep the brain in good working order by maintaining it during sleep.

New research in mice shows that immune cells are better able to perform maintenance work on the brain during sleep.

Research conducted over the past few years has uncovered evidence that the brain gets a chance to refresh and update in many ways during sleep.

For instance, scientists have learned that the brain consolidates newly formed memories during sleep. They have also discovered that sleep provides an excellent opportunity to take out the neural “trash.”

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Heart attack risk higher in those who sleep too little or too much

Heart attack risk higher in those who sleep too little or too much

The right amount of sleep is protective of heart health. This was the conclusion of new research that found sleep duration can influence a person’s risk of heart attack, regardless of other heart risk factors, including genetic ones.

New research tracks sleep duration and a person’s risk of a heart attack.

In a recent Journal of the American College of Cardiology paper, scientists from the United States and the United Kingdom describe how they analyzed sleep habits and medical records of 461,347 people aged 40–69 years living in the U.K.

The data, which came from the UK Biobank, included self-reports of how many hours participants habitually slept per night and health records covering 7 years. It also included results of tests for risk genes.

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It’s never too late to start exercising

It’s never too late to start exercising

Summary: Older people who have never participated in resistance exercise programs have a similar ability to build mass muscles as those who frequently exercise and are of similar age. Researchers say that it doesn’t matter whether or not you have exercised throughout your life, starting late can still have excellent health benefits.

Source: University of Birmingham

Older people who have never taken part in sustained exercise programs have the same ability to build muscle mass as highly trained master athletes of a similar age, according to new research at the University of Birmingham.

The research shows that even those who are entirely unaccustomed to exercise can benefit from resistance exercises such as weight training.

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3 Secret Tactics for Dealing with Difficult People

3 Secret Tactics for Dealing with Difficult People

Difficult people can inhabit (and intrude into) many areas of our lives: work, home, neighborhood, social and professional affiliations, even at the sanctuary of the gym! Whether someone acts defensive, rude, passive-aggressive, critical, or lies and then turns things around, difficult people have something in common: they are frustrating to deal with.

In an already stressful world, having to interact with difficult people can take its toll, especially when those challenging people are family, co-workers, bosses, or neighbors (in other words, people who you have to see on a continuous basis). However, there are some tactics that may help you keep your sanity — and sense of control — intact. Listed below are some of my personal favorites that have helped me.

Have a Clear Goal

Over two decades ago, I was visiting my dear friend Amy, who was dying of lung cancer. Even though I was there to take care of her, she decided to give me a gift that I still use to this day and will continue to do so for the rest of my life. The gift was a simple but powerful sentence: “When you have to confront someone, make sure to have a clear goal in mind.” (Kindhearted and thoughtful Amy knew that I had to deal with a number of difficult people). Driving away from her house on that brisk Autumn afternoon, I found myself nodding my head in agreement.

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Computer use in midlife may prevent cognitive decline

Computer use in midlife may prevent cognitive decline

Researchers found that using a computer, playing games, and participating in social activities may reduce the risk of mild cognitive impairment.

Our brains go through changes as we get older, and some people may experience issues with memory, thinking, or judgment.

Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is the stage between age-related cognitive decline and dementia — however, MCI does not significantly affect daily life and activities.

People with MCI tend to forget things, lose their train of thought or the thread of conversations, and feel overwhelmed by making decisions. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 16 million people in the United States are living with cognitive impairment.

MCI may increase the risk of dementia, but not everyone with MCI goes on to develop the condition. To date, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have not approved any treatments specifically for MCI.

Lifestyle choices such as physical exercise and intellectual stimulation have positive effects on the brain. In recent years, researchers have been conducting more studies to find treatments that may prevent cognitive decline.

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Iatrogenic Disease: The 3rd Most Fatal Disease in the USA

Iatrogenic Disease: The 3rd Most Fatal Disease in the USA

Iatrogenic Disease is defined as a disease that is caused by medical treatment. Read major headlines around the globe on this serious disease.

How Prepared are You to Not Become a National Statistic?

If a Jumbo Jet crashed and killed 280 people everyday… 365 days a year… year after year… would you be concerned about flying??

Would you question the Federal Aviation Administration? Would you demand answers??

Think about it!

Close to 100,000 people dying every year from plane crashes?

Sounds Ridiculous??!!

Well think again. What if you were told that over 100,000 people are killed and over 2 million people maimed and disabled every year…year after year from modern medicine…would you believe it??

Well these may be my words…but read the following articles from the most respected medical journals and institutions (Journal of the American Medical Association, Harvard University, Centers for Disease Control, British medical journal The Lancet, New England Journal of Medicine and national news (New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, US World Report) and you be the judge.

Writing in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Dr. Starfield has documented the tragedy of the traditional medical paradigm in the following statistics:

Iatrogenic Disease: The 3rd Most Fatal Disease in the USA

* The term iatrogenic is defined as “induced in a patient by a physician’s activity, manner, or therapy. Used especially to pertain to a complication of treatment.” Furthermore, these estimates of death due to error are lower than those in a recent Institutes of Medicine report.

If the higher estimates are used, the deaths due to iatrogenic causes would range from 230,000 to 284,000.

Even at the lower estimate of 225,000 deaths per year, this constitutes the third leading cause of death in the U.S.

Dr. Starfield offers several caveats in the interpretations of these numbers:

First, most of the data are derived from studies in hospitalized patients.

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Why do people laugh in their sleep?

Why do people laugh in their sleep?

Laughing during sleep, or hypnogely, is relatively common and is not usually anything to worry about. In most cases, researchers believe that the cause is laughing at a dream during rapid eye movement sleep, which is entirely harmless.

In some cases, sleep laughing has links to sleep disorders. In rare cases, hypnogely can be a symptom of a neurological disorder.

Although Sigmund Freud and other prominent psychoanalysts have attributed sleep laughing to an unconscious manifestation of primal instincts and fears, experts dismiss this theory as not being entirely credible. Is it normal?

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Time for Understanding Time in the Brain

Time for Understanding Time in the Brain

“Time is passing too fast!” Many of us use that phrase every day when we feel like our kids are growing up fast or when a deadline sneaks up on us. When Virginie van Wassenhove hears that phrase, it conjures an entirely different point of view. She goes straight to consciousness, musing on how we perceive reality.

“When it comes to time, we tend to use linguistic shortcuts that may abuse the state of reality and fundamentally bias the way we think about time and the way scientists conceptualize issues related to time,” she says. “I am interested in understanding how the slow time scales of squishy matter afford us to assign meaning to reality.”

A cognitive neuroscientist at CEA and INSERM in Paris, van Wassenhove is working to understand the neural underpinnings of time. She has organized a symposium on the topic at the Cognitive Neuroscience Society (CNS) annual meeting in San Francisco this month — featuring scientists who are exploring evidence of how we construct mental models of time. Click to read

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Does herpes cause Alzheimer’s?

Does herpes cause Alzheimer’s?

Summary: The herpes simplex virus 1, the virus responsible for cold sores, may account for 50% of Alzheimer’s disease cases. HSV1 causes protein deposits which are characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease. Findings also reveal antiviral treatments can help to reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s in those with HSV1.

Source: Frontiers

What causes Alzheimer’s disease? The answer could be right under our noses, says leading expert Professor Ruth Itzhaki. Her latest paper presents a lifetime of research evidence that the herpes virus responsible for cold sores can also cause Alzheimer’s – and new data which show antiviral drugs drastically reduce the risk of senile dementia in patients with severe herpes infections. The review in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience raises the tantalizing prospect of a simple, effective preventive treatment for one of humanity’s costliest disorders.

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Link Between Psychiatric Disorders and Events During Prenatal Development Identified

Link Between Psychiatric Disorders and Events During Prenatal Development Identified

Summary: A new study reports genetic variants that are critical for the development of the brain during fetal development are also frequently found in psychiatric disorders.

Source: Aarhus University.

Particular genetic variants in the human genome that are important for the development of the brain early in the life of the foetus are frequently found in psychiatric disorders. This is shown by a study carried out by iPSYCH.

Researchers studied a total of eight million genetic variants and in connection with this they found that a number of these variants occur particularly often in people who have one of more of the following psychiatric disorders: schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder, autism and ADHD.

This background is provided by Professor Thomas Werge from the Mental Health Services & University of Copenhagen and the Lundbeck Foundation’s Initiative for Integrated Psychiatric Research, commonly referred to as iPSYCH, which has received a total of DKK 361 million in funding from the Lundbeck Foundation. He explains:

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A Fascinating Sign Of High IQ

A Fascinating Sign Of High IQ

This sleep pattern is linked to stronger reasoning and better analytical and conceptual thinking.

Despite higher intelligence, night owls tend to get slightly worse grades in school.

This may be because the school day starts too early for them.

Morning types who rise early, also known as ‘larks’, tend to do around 8% better in school.

Later in life, though, the higher intelligence of night owls tends to shine through.

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Want to Innovate? Science Says, “Be A Nonconformist!”

Want to Innovate? Science Says, “Be A Nonconformist!”

Creativity is a process of making something unique and useful, and this process can lead to innovation. Unique creations require flexibility of thought and skills to entertain and develop uncommon ideas, which are borne out of differing opinions, not consensus. Remarkable ideas that supersede current knowledge flourish in the presence of diverse intellectual perspectives where conformity and status quo are challenged. A diverse group can create distinctive ideas, drawing on the variety of experiences from different backgrounds, thoughts, views, and skills. Intellectual diversity, a multiplicity of ideas, philosophies, and perspectives, is the main contributor to creativity and innovation. However, when you are in a climate where intellectual diversity is not valued, you may be mistaken for a troublemaker. Notable innovators in history thought and behaved differently from others and were nonconformists. They were often misunderstood or seen as troublemakers, such as Click to read

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How Modern Life Is Changing Our IQs and Problem-solving Skills

Synopsis- How Modern Life Is Changing Our IQs and Problem-solving Skills

Our brains have been getting smarter in response to modern life, but a surprising new study suggests the trend may have peaked. So how can you maximise your thinking?

Can you solve this problem? You have a wolf, a goat and a cabbage, and you need to get all three across a river in one piece. You have a boat, but it’s so small that it can fit only you and one of the items, and you can’t leave the wolf and the goat or the goat and the cabbage alone together. How do you get them all across?

This classic logic puzzle is at least a thousand years old. It is attributed to Alcuin of York, a medieval poet and scholar who died in 804, though it probably circulated in oral form before then. There’s another version with a fox, a goose and a bag of beans, and a related tale about three lascivious (but jealous) husbands and their wives who must also be ferried across a river without any hanky-panky on the boat or the shore.

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Synesthesia: Hearing colors and tasting sounds

Synesthesia: Hearing colors and tasting sounds

Can you taste sounds or visualize symphonies of color whenever you hear a song? If your answer to these is “yes,” you may have a wonderful condition known as synesthesia, which you share with many great artists, writers, and musicians.

By his own account, Nabokov saw each letter in different colors, despite the fact that text was printed all-black on white paper.

Interestingly, both his wife and his son shared this fascinating ability, though they each saw different palettes of color for the alphabet.

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