"A new study suggests that people with left-brain dominance tend to listen to their mobile phones with their right ear, and vice-versa."
"By zapping the brain during mathematical lessons, scientists have improved students’ numerical skills by a third. Not only did the participants become quicker when calculating figures in their head, they also learned their arithmetic up to five times faster."
"New research suggest an aesthetic experience that reflects a person’s mood can help calm emotional turmoil. Thus, sad music or books may help someone get through heartbreak." That is good news, because if you're feeling down, this will probably do the trick.
"Researchers interviewed 24 young people between the ages of 19 and 34, and found that digital possessions after a breakup are often evocative and upsetting, leading to distinct disposal strategies. Twelve of the subjects were deleters; eight were keepers, and four others were selective disposers." —What kind are you? [Related]
"Carrying a guitar can increase the chances of you getting a date by a third, according to a study by researchers from the University of South Brittany. The study found that women were 31% more likely to give their number to a man carrying a guitar – double the amount of people who would give their number to the same man when he was empty-handed."
"A new study from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health suggests Americans are overdiagnosed and overtreated for depression."
"New research using rats suggests that even when individuals are forced to exercise, they still benefit from reduced anxiety and depression." Seriously, though, rats. Not getting smeared with eye makeup to see if they will explode reduces their anxiety and depression. Let's not go crazy and start applying this to humans, because man I do not want to exercise no matter how sad I feel.
"New research suggests chronic smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and increasing age are all associated with increased oxidative damage to brain tissue." —I am not sure what they're trying to say here, although that probably proves their point.
"Although the notion of listening to music to improve mood may not come as a surprise, researchers at the University of Missouri found that an individual can indeed successfully try to be happier, especially when cheery music aids the process." Coming hot on the heels of yesterday's revelation that sad music helps sad people feel happy, the question is obvious: Is there any kind of music that won't bring you joy? Insert Skrillex joke here!
"Clemson University researchers studied an issue raised in a recent news column that suggested an 'out' actor cannot convincingly play a heterosexual because knowing someone is gay will bias perceptions of his or her performance. Researchers discovered that although knowing an actor is gay significantly affected ratings of his masculinity, there was no significant effect on ratings of his acting performance."
Wait, so college psychology students aren't completely representative of the rest of our species? How will we ever believe bullshit studies again?
And here it is, a culmination of this morning's themes (Twitter, kids today, the arrival of spring): "As the spring semester nears the end, a growing number of college students are tweeting about their use of the ADHD medication Adderall. Twitter allows experts and policymakers the opportunity to track the use of Adderall, in much the same way an outbreak of influenza can be followed as it works its way across the nation. In the new study, BYU health science and computer science researchers report the findings of their six-month investigation in the Journal of Medical Internet Research." What did they learn? "Tweets about Adderall peak [...]
"Hand ratio, calculated by dividing hand length by palm width, was significantly smaller in [carpal tunnel syndrome] patients than controls. Wrist ratio, the depth of the wrist divided by the width at the base of the hand, was significantly larger in CTS patients." —Are you more likely to develop carpal tunnel syndrome? Who the hell knows? The only thing reading this article is more likely to do is make you spend the afternoon staring at your wrist and hands trying to figure out what the hell it all means. Good luck!
"For years, Dobson has speculated about why only humans have chins and what purpose they serve. While he hasn’t come to any concrete conclusions, he wondered if chins impact how we select mates. Some experts believe that we pick partners based on universal facial attractiveness—a set of traits, such as symmetrical facial features, that are overwhelmingly deemed hot (and biologically superior). Dobson thought that if women mated with men who had strong chins and men bred with women with smaller, weaker chins that skeletons would show this…. Dobson found there isn’t one dominant preferred chin shape for [...]
"Current marijuana users had significantly smaller waist circumference than participants who had never used marijuana, even after adjusting for factors like age, sex, tobacco and alcohol use, and physical activity levels. They also had higher levels of HDL ('good cholesterol'). The most significant differences between those who smoked marijuana and those who never or no longer did was that current smokers' insulin levels were reduced by 16 percent and their insulin resistance (a condition in which the body has trouble absorbing glucose from the bloodstream) was reduced by 17 percent."
“It would be a shame if this report convinced people that salt doesn’t matter." —Bonnie Liebman, director of nutrition at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, discusses the finding by "a prestigious group convened by the government" that you can actually have as much salt as you want, totally go crazy, you will probably live forever.
"Teenaged boys who play violent video games three or more hours a day may be desensitized to the physiological and emotional effects of the games, a new study suggests."
"Want to know the perfect formula for boosting your Twitter followers? Make sure your tweets are happy, interesting, and don't use too many hashtags."