Tag Archives | learning

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Synesthesia traced to childhood toy

Experiencing a color when viewing particular letters or numbers – known as color-graphemesynesthesia – may partly be a learned behavior, say Stanford researchers who uncovered startlingly similar color-letter pairings shared by a number of color grapheme synesthetes who played with the same childhood toy. Researchers Nathan Witthoft and Jonathan Winawer based their findings, appearing inPsychological […]

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Soil bacterium enhances brain’s ability to learn




Researchers from The Sage Colleges in New York say that the bacterium Mycobacterium vaccae, already believed to have antidepressant qualities, could also improve the brain’s ability to learn new tasks. The findings were presented yesterday at the 110th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology in San Diego. “Mycobacterium vaccae is a natural soil […]




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Oxytocin impacts learning processes




Released on a massive scale during orgasm, the neuropeptide oxytocin is also known to trigger childbirth and strengthen the emotional bond between a mother and new-born child. Now, researchers have found that it can also have a dramatic effect on men’s emotional empathy and learning processes. In the latest experiments, half the male participants received […]




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Microbe Colonies Show Sophisticated Learning Behaviors




Microbes may be smarter than we think, at least that’s according to Princeton University researchers who have shown for the first time that bacteria don’t just react to changes in their surroundings – they anticipate and prepare for them. The findings, reported in Science, challenge the prevailing notion that only organisms with complex nervous systems […]




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When Happiness Is A Disadvantage




Psychologists at the University of Virginia and the University of Plymouth in the UK have conducted experimental research that contrasts with the belief that happy children are the best learners. The findings, in the journalDevelopmental Science, indicate that where attention to detail is required, happy children may be at a disadvantage. The researchers conducted a […]




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Angry Looks Trigger Reward Circuits




Angry facial expressions are a turn-off for most people, but some people find angry expressions so rewarding that they will readily learn ways to encourage them. The findings may explain why some people like to tease each other so much, according to University of Michigan psychologist Oliver Schultheiss, who co-authored the study. “Perhaps teasers are […]




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Addicted To Knowledge




Neuroscientists at the University of Southern California have proposed a simple explanation for the pleasure of grasping a new concept: The brain is getting its fix. According to researcher Irving Biederman, the “click” of comprehension triggers a biochemical cascade that rewards the brain with a shot of natural opium-like substances. Writing in American Scientist, Biederman […]




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