Friday, July 17, 2009

Psychology / Neuroscience Link Dump

I'm never going to get around to posting these links, so here is some stuff you might enjoy - follow the link to see more than the first paragraph.

Parts Of Brain Involved In Social Cognition May Be In Place By Age Six
Social cognition—the ability to think about the minds and mental states of others—is essential for human beings. In the last decade, a group of regions has been discovered in the human brain that are specifically used for social cognition. A new study in the journal Child Development investigates these brain regions for the first time in human children. The study has implications for children with autism.
In Adolescence, Girls React Differently Than Boys To Peers' Judgments
Teenagers yearn to fit in and be accepted by their friends. A new study suggests that girls and boys think differently about being judged by their peers as they move through adolescence.
Chocolate cravings and the menstrual cycle
I've just found a remarkable study on how female chocolate cravings vary throughout the hormone cycle and drop off after menopause. While the cravings are not solely explained by hormone changes, some of the effect does seem to be linked.
How Monkeys Teach Tool Use
How do baby monkeys learn to use tools? Apparently through lessons from mom, according to new findings that suggest education is a very ancient trait in the primate lineage. Long-tailed macaques near an old Buddhist shrine in Lopburi, Thailand, often pull hair from female tourists for use as dental floss. When female monkeys see their young watching them, they exaggerate their flossing. Primatologists at Kyoto University and their colleagues note that such overemphasis is much like what human mothers do when teaching infants, dubbed “motion­ese” by behavior scientists (after “motherese,” or baby talk).
Brain wiring creates false memories

BRAIN connections that encourage the formation of false memories have been identified. Such memories appear to be more likely in people with high-quality links between neurons in a particular brain area.

Individuals often recall the same events differently or report memories of things they should have been too young to recall. To find out if a tendency to manufacture false memories is reflected in brain structure, Lluis Fuentemilla at the University of Barcelona in Spain and colleagues induced them in 48 students in the lab.


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