Maybe its the neuroscience in me, but I just love this Halloween Pumpkin!

Here is what I am reading today:

“The Sauder study shows that only 6.13 per cent of an S&P 500 CEO sample was born in June and only 5.87 per cent of the sample was born in July. By comparison, people born in March and April represented 12.53 per cent and 10.67 per cent of the sample of CEOs. “Our findings indicate that summer babies underperform in the ranks of CEOs as a result of the ‘birth-date effect,’ a phenomenon resulting from the way children are grouped by age in school,” says Sauder Finance Prof. Maurice Levi, co-author of the study to appear in the December issue of the journal Economics Letters.”

“More than 35 percent of American adults are obese and more than 28 percent sleep less than six hours a night. While weight-loss strategies incorporate lifestyle changes focusing on diet and exercise, modifications in an individual’s daily routine, including sleep behaviors, can help manage weight. “Various investigations, although diverse, indicate an effect of partial sleep deprivation on body weight management,” says lead investigator Sharon M. Nickols-Richardson, PhD, MD, professor, Department of Nutritional Sciences, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park. “The intriguing relationship between partial sleep deprivation and excess adiposity makes partial sleep deprivation a factor of interest in body weight regulation, particularly in weight loss.””

“Working mothers may have to juggle more tasks than their husbands, but the long-held belief that women are better than men at multitasking is a myth, according to new Swedish research. “On the contrary, the results of our study show that men are better at multitasking than women,” Timo Maentylae, a psychology professor at Stockholm University, said.”

“Can heterosexual men and women ever be “just friends”? Few other questions have provoked debates as intense, family dinners as awkward, literature as lurid, or movies as memorable. Still, the question remains unanswered. Daily experience suggests that non-romantic friendships between males and females are not only possible, but common—men and women live, work, and play side-by-side, and generally seem to be able to avoid spontaneously sleeping together. However, the possibility remains that this apparently platonic coexistence is merely a façade, an elaborate dance covering up countless sexual impulses bubbling just beneath the surface.”

Right now, your brain and nervous system are busy making sense of this sentence – just one example of how basic the brain is to every function of your waking and sleeping life. If you are sighted, nerve cells in your eyes are sensing the letters’ boundaries and transmitting the news from your eyes to the brain. (For Braille readers, nerves in the fingers send similar information from the skin up through the spinal cord to the brain.) About one fourth of the brain is involved in visual processing, more than any other sense. The precise process of reading, like many brain functions, is a topic of intense research by neuroscientists.”

“With bright blue hair and tattoos, Dr Caspar Addyman is not your average scientist. But then Britain’s “Babylab” is not your average laboratory. Here, inside one of the world’s leading infant-research units, Dr Addyman has spent the morning filtering through the results of his new Baby Laughter project. It is the first in-depth study since the Sixties into what makes infants chuckle.”

“Anesthesiologists aren’t totally lying when they say they’re going to put you to sleep. Some anesthetics directly tap into sleep-promoting neurons in the brain, a study in mice reveals.

The results may help clarify how drugs that have been used around the world for decades actually put someone under. “It’s kind of shocking that after 170 years, we still don’t understand why they work,” says study coauthor Max Kelz of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

Most neurons in the brain appear to be calmed by anesthetics, says neuropharmacologist and anesthesiologist Hugh Hemmings Jr. of Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City. But the new results, published online October 25 in Current Biology, show that two common anesthetics actually stimulate sleep-inducing neurons. “It’s unusual for neurons to be excited by anesthetics,” Hemmings says.”

“Neurobiologists at the Free University of Berlin have found that sleepy bees fail to remember lessons learned the day before, a finding that could help scientists discover the neural processes involved in sleep and memory formation. They present their research October 25 in the Journal of Experimental Biology.”