Humans news stories

When The Brain Scrambles Names, It’s Because You Love Them
21st January 2017 | | Humans

When Samantha Deffler was young, her mother would often call her by her siblings’ names — even the dog’s name. “Rebecca, Jesse, Molly, Tucker, Samantha,” she says.

A lot of people mix up children’s names or friends’ names, but Deffler is a cognitive scientist at Rollins College, in Winter Park, Fla., and she wanted to find out why it happens.

Too many tabs: Why some people can multitask online and others can’t
21st January 2017 | | Humans

Past research has shown that we have a very limited capacity to perform two or more tasks at the same time and brainpower suffers when we try.

But my new study suggests that some people are better at multitasking online than others. Being able to switch between multiple web pages and successfully find what you want all comes down to how good your working memory is.

Learning a Second Language Linked to Synesthesia
21st January 2017 | | Humans

People with synesthesia experience the sensory world in a unique way — for example, they “taste” words or “hear” colors. Now, new research suggests that people who learn a second language but aren’t exposed to that second language very early in life are more likely to have this sensory-switching ability than those who are natively bilingual.

Related: Bilingualism may save brain resources as you age
Related: Babies remember their birth language – scientists

Listen with your eyes: one in five of us may ‘hear’ flashes of light
21st January 2017 | | Humans

One in five people is affected by a synaesthesia-like phenomenon in which visual movements or flashes of light are “heard” as faint sounds, according to scientists.

The findings suggest that far more people than initially thought experience some form of sensory cross-wiring – which could explain the appeal of flashing musical baby toys and strobed lighting at raves.

The “Bad Is Black” Effect
21st January 2017 | | Humans

Research finds darker skin is associated with perceptions of evil

In two initial studies, the researchers specifically looked at whether the media tends to run darker photographs of celebrities and politicians when writing about their transgressions.

Nightmares May Signal Increased Risk of Suicide
21st January 2017 | | Humans

Suicide rates have been rising alarmingly in the U.S. and have reached a 30-year peak of 13 per 100,000 people, according to a 2016 report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As psychologists and public health officials scramble to find solutions, Michael Nadorff, a psychologist at Mississippi State University, argues that one treatable risk factor has been hiding in the dark: nightmares.

Deadly superbugs may be spreading, evolving quietly among the healthy
20th January 2017 | Animal Life, Humans

For years, researchers have been tracking a particularly nasty family of superbugs called CREs, or carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, which can thwart antibiotics in our last lines of defense. Researchers have watched in horror as clinical isolates gathered new molecular weaponry, spread through medical facilities across the globe, and started causing more and more life-threatening infections.

UV light can aid hospitals’ fight to wipe out drug-resistant superbugs
20th January 2017 | | Animal Life, Humans, Tech

A new tool — a type of ultraviolet light called UVC — could aid hospitals in the ongoing battle to keep drug-resistant bacteria from lingering in patient rooms and causing new infections.

Noise pollution from fracking may harm human health
20th January 2017 | Earth, Humans

Fracking creates noise at levels high enough to harm the health of people living nearby, according to the first peer-reviewed study to analyze the potential public health impacts of ambient noise related to fracking.

Caffeine may counter age-related inflammation
20th January 2017 | Humans

A chronic inflammatory process that occurs in some, but not all, older people may trigger cardiovascular problems, a new Stanford study shows. Part of the solution might be found in a cup of coffee.

Alt: How Your Morning Coffee Might Slow Down Aging

Science Says This Weird Virus Could Make You Fat
20th January 2017 | | Humans

It’s January, the month of new diets and gym memberships. In the spirit of starting off a brand new year, there’s no reason not to eat healthier and move around more. But if your aim is just to lose pounds, you might be on the wrong track. In her new book, The Secret Life of Fat, biochemist Sylvia Tara reveals what many dieters have suspected for a long time: There’s more to losing weight than just eating less and exercise.

High-sugar diet programs a short lifespan in flies
20th January 2017 | | Animal Life, Humans

Flies with a history of eating a high sugar diet live shorter lives, even after their diet improves. This is because the unhealthy diet drives long-term reprogramming of gene expression, according to a team of researchers.

Have Scientists Found a Way to Actually Reduce the Effects of Aging?
19th January 2017 | | Humans, Tech

There are some 200 different types of cells in the body, but they can all be traced back to stem cells. Before they differentiated into heart, liver, blood, immune cells, and more, they were called pluripotent, meaning they could become anything.

Yoga is the key to relieving long-term back pain, new study suggests
19th January 2017 | | Humans

With its catalogue of headstands and one-legged contortions, it might be thought yoga was best left only to those in peak physical condition.

Acupuncture may alleviate babies’ excessive crying (infantile colic)
19th January 2017 | | Humans

Acupuncture may be an effective treatment option for babies with infantile colic — those who cry for more than three hours a day on three or more days of the week — reveals research.

Revenge really is sweet: study shows the mood-enhancing effect of retaliation
19th January 2017 | Humans

When we feel ostracised, we’re more likely to behave aggressively. Previous research suggests that vengeance on those who we think have wronged us can be driven by a sense of justice, and may activate neural reward centres. But being ostracised can also lead to generalised aggression, even lashing out at unrelated people, so there seems to be more going on.

Weekend workouts can benefit health as much as a week of exercise, say researchers
19th January 2017 | | Humans

People who cram all their exercise into one or two sessions at the weekend benefit nearly as much as those who work out more frequently, researchers say.

A study of more than 60,000 adults in England and Scotland found that “weekend warriors” lowered their risk of death by a similar margin to those who spread the same amount of exercise over the whole week.

News stories covering humans, psychology and health.