Archive for: March, 2012

At #sciamblogs today: The Runner's High

Mar 12 2012 Published by under Behavioral Neuro

And the various ideas behind why it hurts SO good. Sci is at SciAm Blogs today talking about the runner's high, what might cause it, and WHY it might exist in the first place. Head over and check it out!

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Friday Weird Science: Got PMS? Time to Spot the Snake!

Mar 09 2012 Published by under Friday Weird Science, Uncategorized

I got wind of this study on the twitters today, courtesy of Jennifer Oulette at Cocktail Party Physics. The instant I saw the words "snake" and "PMS", well, I knew where this was going.

Because ladies, the most important thing you need to know is that when you're PMSing, you will be a snake hunter extraordinaire!

N. Masataka & M. Shibasaki "Premenstrual enhancement of snake detection in visual search in healthy women" Scientific Reports, 2012.

(Even better than these badgers!)

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6 responses so far

Now on the Guest Blog, Alma Dzib!

Mar 08 2012 Published by under Synaptic Misfires

The next two weeks, the Scientopia Guest Blog will be featuring Alma Dzib Goodin, who normally blogs at "talking about neurocognition". Alma has three posts up already, on Brain and Life (a good introduction!), Science and Social Impact, and The brain and its understanding of the world. Head over and check it out!

9 responses so far

At SciAm Blogs Today: Deafening Birdsong

Mar 07 2012 Published by under Behavioral Neuro

Sci's post had to go up late today due to embargoes, but I'm at SciAm talking about what happens in the brain when songbirds become deaf, which causes their songs to degrade. It's a really interesting study with some cool techniques. Head over and check it out!

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At BlogHer, 4 ways to tell if your study is CRAP

Mar 06 2012 Published by under Synaptic Misfires

Or baloney. Horrible even. Sci is at BlogHer today taking my delicate little claws to a "study" done by AshleyMadison on which men are most likely to cheat. Yes, THAT AshleyMadison. 4 ways to tell when a study probably isn't good science. 🙂

2 responses so far

At #sciam blogs today, the Genetics of Glee

Mar 05 2012 Published by under Behavioral Neuro

Or rather...what genetics might be partially responsible for people who sing in groups? I'm at SciAm Blogs today, covering a paper that not only looked at the genetics of choral singers vs non musicians, but it used the polymorphisms in the study to create...a choral piece. There is a link to listen at the end of the post. Science and singing!

3 responses so far

Friday Weird Science: Does the beer belly really exist?

Mar 02 2012 Published by under Friday Weird Science

It's a common assumption. We see a guy with a bit of a gut, and we just automatically think...he must like his beer. The idea of the beer gut is strong in Western culture. People talk about trying to lose it. Hipsters talk about trying to gain it. That chick from Pulp Fiction thinks they're sexy.

But here's the question: is a beer belly a beer BELLY? Does all the beer indeed go straight to your gut? Or does it also go elsewhere? Where do we find the answers to these burning life questions: the cure for cancer, the origins of life, the why of the beer belly?

For this, we need SCIENCE.

Schutze et al. (appropriately enough, this study is from Germany) "Beer consumption and the ‘beer belly’: scientific basis or common belief?" European Journal of Nutrition, 2009.

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8 responses so far

On Dissertating

Mar 01 2012 Published by under Academia

It seems to me that my Twitter feed has filled, a little more than usual, with young scientists writing the dreaded dissertation. This always takes me back (ok, it was like 1.5 years ago. Whatever) to that dreaded time when I, too, was writing the dissertation and wishing passionately for an end to the PhD.

Dissertating SUCKS. It's a group of people, older and (you think) wiser than you, all wanting to know just HOW much you can do, HOW well can you reason, and WHY can't you reason well ENOUGH? WHY didn't you think of that control back in your second year?! HOW could you have never read the suddenly incredibly important tiny work of literature that was never important before? Is that a misplaced "that/which" distinction?!?!?! All this culminates in a defense of your work while the committee in front of you does their best to (you hope) give you a thorough critique, but really it kind of feels like they are trying to squish you like a bug. Heck, there's even a snake fight.

Gather round, my friends.

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12 responses so far

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