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Speaking two languages rather than just one has obvious practical benefits in an increasingly globalized world. But in recent years, scientists have begun to show that the advantages of bilingualism are even more fundamental than being able to converse with a wider range of people. Being bilingual, it turns out, makes you smarter.
Full story at The New York Times
All of you phone-addicted moms-to-be might want to cut back while your chatting for two. A study by the Yale School of Medicine was released this week that indicates exposure to radiation from mobile phones in utero can affect brain development in little ones, causing behavioral issues like ADHD in their adult life.
Via Discovery News
Scientists haven’t nailed down the exact cause of our 240,000 lifetime yawns yet, but there’s good support for the yawn as a temperature regulator.
Navigated from Gizmodo
Researchers have long believed that triggering an endorphin release in the brain explained why alcohol makes us feel as good as it does, but it hasn’t been shown in humans until now. A new study makes big strides in explaining exactly why alcohol makes people feel so good.
Full story at The Atlantic
A mother’s health during pregnancy has measurable effects on her baby’s well-being, but a new study shows that her fitness before pregnancy matters too. Even before conception, a mother’s obesity may affect cognitive development in her baby-to-be.
Yet another brain myth bites the dust, joining “we only use 10 percent of our brain,” and other pseudoscience nonsense that tries to cram people in nice neat boxes. The left hemisphere of your brain, thought to be the logic and math portion, actually plays a critical role in creative thinking.
Navigated from Kurzweil AI
The brain’s white matter may explain some of autism’s mysteries—from communication disorders to restricted interests.
Autism has long been a scientific enigma, mainly due to its diverse and seemingly unrelated symptoms, until now. The findings also have implications for a number of other psychiatric illnesses that involve white matter deficiencies, such as schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease, and could provide a way to relate the anatomical deficiencies to thought processes.
A recent study used functional magnetic resonance imaging to see how love affects the brain. Its calculations of love has attracted plenty of attention. For example, the time taken to “fall in love” clocks in at about one-fifth of a second, not the six months of romantic dinners and sharing secrets some might expect.
Via Discovery News
Turns out, multi-tasking online doesn’t positively exercise our brains or mental state. Heavy Internet users are 2.5 times more likely to be depressed. And web addiction reduces the white matter in our brains, basically the transmitters responsible for our memory and sensory abilities.
Never let yourself forget how much we still don’t know about our brains and bodies. Specifically, the relationship between the two. Not only can a placebo fool the body into thinking sugar is a pain reliever, but the brain can fool the body into thinking it’s sick, complete with physical symptoms.