There’s great news for people who prefer real books over e-readers

Naomi Baron, American University linguistics professor and author conducted a series of cross-cultural studies with her colleagues asking college students around the world if they preferred electronic or hardcopy books. A whopping 92% said they preferred the latter. Reading physical books affects the brain differently than reading digitally.

sciencealert.com
Sighing is actually a life-saving reflex, and scientists have found the switch that controls it
Here's why we all need to be sighing 12 times an hour.
By Fiona MacDonald

Remember all those times your parents told you it was rude to sigh? Well, you can discount that advice entirely, because sighing’s actually a crucial reflex that keeps our lungs healthy, and researchers have just uncovered the switch in our brain that controls it.

The team identified two tiny clusters of neurons in the brain stem that automatically turn normal breaths into sighs when our lungs need some extra help - and they do this roughly every 5 minutes (or 12 times an hour), regardless of whether or not you’re thinking about something depressing.

“Unlike a pacemaker that regulates only how fast we breathe, the brain’s breathing centre also controls the type of breath we take,” said one of the researchers, Mark Krasnow, from Stanford University School of Medicine.

Continue Reading…

The science behind the munchies

According to a growing pool of research, there is evidence to suggest the munchies are brought on by getting high — to some degree. A 2014 study published in Nature Neuroscience and reported by Smithsonian Mag found certain senses like smell and taste became more acute in mice after THC was introduced to their system. The THC may be tricking your brain.

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list of personality types and stuff

MBTI
http://www.16personalities.com/free-personality-test

Love Language
http://www.5lovelanguages.com/profile/

Hogwarts House
http://www.thealmightyguru.com/Reviews/HarryPotter/Docs/Quiz-House.html

Divergent Fractions 
http://divergentthemovie.com/aptitudetest

Enneagram
http://similarminds.com/cgi-bin/similarminds.pl

Alignment 
http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd%2Fdnd%2F20001222b

5 Temperaments
http://personality-testing.info/tests/O4TS/

Big 5 Sloan 
http://similarminds.com/bigfive.html

Zodiac Sign (are you most like?)
http://www.zimbio.com/quiz/uW1gJfWu9ED/Zodiac+Sign

Right Vs. Left Brained
http://similarminds.com/brain.html

Hunger Games Districts
http://www.zimbio.com/quiz/2xNP21CNXf2/Hunger+Games+District+Live

Dark Side Vs. Light Side
http://www.buzzfeed.com/gregpgleason/are-you-more-the-light-or-the-dark-side-of-the-for-1ldcq

Element Bending 
http://www.buzzfeed.com/awesomer/which-element-would-you-bend#.bqow9Z6Y8D

Percy Jackson Cabin 
https://www.boombox.com/c/quiz/116605/d03d4b6c-d85f-4c0e-a1c3-c9155e973ce5

Superhero Team
http://moviepilot.com/quizzes/3484362

2

Most animals have smooth brains. The brains of humans (and a handful of animals we consider pretty intelligent – dolphins, chimps, elephants, pigs) start out smooth in the early days of gestation and get more and more wrinkled through infancy.

A wrinkled brain makes sense - folding means you can have a really big cortex but the different parts of the brain won’t be as far apart. But how do brains become wrinkled? Is it programmed somehow - does some genetic code determine the pattern of folds?

A new study from Harvard says no - its just simple physics. They created a 3D model of a smooth fetal brain and coated it with an elastomer gel “cortex.” When they immersed this brain in a special solution, the gel swelled, mimicking brain growth.

Lo and behold, the brain began to buckle, creating folds similar to size, shape and location of a real brain.

Image credit: Mahadevan Lab/Harvard SEAS

Since I get asked a lot about where to learn more about the human brain and behaviour, I’ve made a masterpost of books, websites, videos and online courses to introduce yourself to that piece of matter that sits between your ears.

Books

  • The Brain Book  by Rita Carter
  • The Pyschology Book (a good starter book)  by DK
  • Thinking, Fast and Slow  by Daniel Kahneman
  • Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking  by Susan Cain
  • The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat  by Oliver Sacks
  • The Brain: The Story of You  by David Eagleman
  • The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science  by Norman Doidge
  • This Is Your Brain on Music  by Daniel Levitin
  • The Autistic Brain by Richard Panek and Temple Grandin (highly reccomended)
  • Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind  by Yuval Noah Harari (not really brain-related, but it is single handedly the best book I have ever read)

Websites

Videos & Youtube Channels

Online Courses

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New brain implant could move paralyzed limbs with just a thought

It’s called a stent-electrode recording array, and it has been used for the last few years for neurological conditions, according to a paper by University of Melbourne researchers. But a 39-person team from 16 of the university’s departments think it could be used to make people walk again. But wait it gets even better.

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