Laura’s Psychology Blog

One Professor’s Observations of the World of Psychology….   

April 9, 2011

readings in psychology for April 9th 2011

My daughters know my love of flowers and on occcasions or for fun they send me some -- it's nice to be remembered. These are from Karen

Here is what I am reading today (in Chicago):

“With the help of two sets of brothers with autism, Johns Hopkins scientists have identified a gene associated with autism that appears to be linked very specifically to the severity of social interaction deficits.”

“Contagious yawning is not just a marker of sleepiness or boredom. For chimpanzees, it may actually be a sign of a social connection between individuals.”

“Individuals who call themselves liberal tend to have larger anterior cingulate cortexes, while those who call themselves conservative have larger amygdalas. Based on what is known about the functions of those two brain regions, the structural differences are consistent with reports showing a greater ability of liberals to cope with conflicting information and a greater ability of conservatives to recognize a threat, the researchers say.”

“Beauty is said to be in the eye of the beholder, but a new study reveals that the reverse is also true; unattractiveness is in the eye of the beheld. Research published in Ethology finds that people with bloodshot eyes are considered sadder, unhealthier and less attractive than people whose eye whites are untinted, a cue which is uniquely human.”

“Hearing the heartbeat of someone you are talking to gives the same feeling of personal contact as looking each other in the eye. This is the remarkable conclusion of research at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) in partnership with Stanford University and Philips Research. The research focuses on improving human contact when using digital communication channels.”

“The study is the world’s first investigation of how real-time functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) feedback from the brain region responsible for higher-order thoughts, including introspection, affects our ability to control these thoughts. The researchers find that real-time brain feedback significantly improves people’s ability to control their thoughts and effectively ‘train their brains.’”

One Response to “readings in psychology for April 9th 2011”

  1. jwestend Says:

    The science daily article on conversational heartbeat research is extremely intriguing on the one hand but also highly disturbing on the other. It disturbs me because of the extent we are willing to go to make electronic communications more personal and what this might mean for a society that values actual face to face communication less and less. The mere fact that we are attempting such technology is exciting nonetheless.

 

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