Humans news stories

Are you ‘old’ yet? The cut-off has shifted
26th June 2017 | | Humans

Aging should be based on the number of years people are likely to live in a given country in the 21st century, say researchers. By that logic, 70 may be the new 60.

The new study also predicts an end to population aging in the United States and other countries before the end of the century.

An active sex life improves brain power in older adults
26th June 2017 | | Humans

Older adults who lead an active sex life are more likely to have increased cognitive function, according to a new Oxford University research collaboration.

Related: Adults ‘having less sex than 20 years ago’

How viewing cute animals can help rekindle marital spark
26th June 2017 | | Humans

One of the well-known challenges of marriage is keeping the passion alive after years of partnership, as passions tend to cool even in very happy relationships. Psychological scientists have now developed an unconventional intervention for helping a marriage maintain its spark: pictures of puppies and bunnies.

When lovers touch, their breathing, heartbeat syncs, pain wanes, study shows
26th June 2017 | | Humans

When an empathetic partner holds a lover’s hand, their heart rates and breathing rates sync and her pain subsides, new research shows. Authors say such ‘interpersonal synchronization’ could play a role in the analgesic impacts of touch.

Brain training could help the heartbroken, says neuropsychologist
23rd June 2017 | | Humans

Computerised tests could train those suffering unrequited love to avoid actions they might later regret, says Cambridge University professor Barbara Sahakian

Heroin Use Continues To Boom, Costing The US $51 Billion A Year
23rd June 2017 | | Humans

The US is currently in the grip of a major public health crisis, often called the “opioid epidemic”. Much of the media attention understandably focuses on the comparatively new threats of fentanyl and legal prescription drugs like oxycodone, but new research shows that heroin use has reached a 20-year high in the US. Not only that, “the devil’s drug” is now costing the US upwards of $51 billion a year.

Related: Business Health Lifestyle Legal Activism Science Reviews Smoking Marijuana Causes ‘Complete Remission’ of Crohn’s Disease, No Side Effects, New Study Shows

TSRI Anti-Heroin Vaccine Found Effective in Non-Human Primates
23rd June 2017 | | Animal Life, Humans, Tech

A vaccine developed at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) to block the “high” of heroin has proven effective in non-human primates. This is the first vaccine against an opioid to pass this stage of preclinical testing.

The Human Brain Can Create Structures in Up to 11 Dimensions
21st June 2017 | | Humans

Neuroscientists have used a classic branch of maths in a totally new way to peer into the structure of our brains. What they’ve discovered is that the brain is full of multi-dimensional geometrical structures operating in as many as 11 dimensions.

Primates at play show why monkeying around is good for the brain
20th June 2017 | Animal Life, Humans

Our study is part of a broader endeavour by biologists to try to understand what the biological function of play might be. It is very likely that play does have a function beyond simply being fun, given how much time and energy is dedicated to it by humans and so many other species, from orangutans to octopuses. It is highly unlikely that so many animals would have evolved to spend so much time and energy on a behaviour that didn’t benefit them in some way.

We need a science of philanthropy
20th June 2017 | | Humans

Billions of dollars are being donated without strong evidence about which ways of giving are effective

Philanthropists are flying blind because little is known about how to donate money well.

Related: Why Dr. Bronner’s Soap is Paying Millions on MDMA Research – The company’s goal is to “fund and fight for what’s right.”

Brain imaging reveals neural roots of caring
18th June 2017 | | Humans

When others suffer, we humans empathize. Our feelings of empathy take different forms, such as distress when we imagine and internalize someone’s pain and compassion as we sympathize with their condition. These different feelings involve distinct patterns of brain activity, according to a study. Feelings of empathy may seem subtle and personal, but this study found that the brain patterns associated with these feelings are consistent and predictable across individuals.

Babies can recognise faces while still in the womb, scientists find
18th June 2017 | | Humans

Babies can recognise faces while still in the womb, new research suggests.

Incredible moving images of unborn infants before their birth, shows that they turn their heads towards shapes which resemble faces – with the position of eyes and nose picked out.

Related: For humans, the appeal of looking at faces starts before birth
Related: Stop lying to your 4-year-old, new Stanford study says

Genes influence ability to read a person’s mind from their eyes
18th June 2017 | | Humans

Our DNA influences our ability to read a person’s thoughts and emotions from looking at their eyes, suggests a new study.

Suppressing the reasoning part of the brain stimulates creativity, scientists find
18th June 2017 | | Humans

If off-the-wall thinking gives you a headache, scientists might have the solution.

Researchers have found that suppressing activity in part of the brain involved in planning and reasoning can boost an individual’s ability to think in creative ways and solve mind-bending problems.

Making art activates brain’s reward pathway
18th June 2017 | | Humans

Coloring, doodling and drawing all showed significant bloodflow in the section of the brain related to feeling rewarded, a new study by an art therapist found.

Can you write your way to happiness?
18th June 2017 | | Humans

A growing number of diarists are using expressive writing or ‘bullet journalling’ to improve their health and productivity. But does keeping a daily log actually work?

News stories covering humans, psychology and health.