Language May Help Create, Not Just Convey, Thoughts and Feelings

Learning another language can change your perspective on Life!

The language we speak may influence not only our thoughts, but our implicit preferences as well. That’s the finding of a study by psychologists at Harvard University, who found that bilingual individuals’ opinions of different ethnic groups were affected by the language in which they took a test examining their biases and predilections.

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Your Mind Is a Frequent, but Not Happy, Wanderer!

A recent Harvard study used an iPhone web app to gather 250,000 data points

People spend 46.9 percent of their waking hours thinking about something other than what they’re doing, and this mind-wandering typically makes them unhappy. So says a study that used an iPhone web app to gather 250,000 data points on subjects’ thoughts, feelings, and actions as they went about their lives.

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Scientists Establish Leech as Model for Study of Reproductive Behavior

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Injecting a simple hormone into leeches has resulted in a novel way to study how hormones and the nervous system work together to produce species-specific reproductive behavior.

Researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) have discovered that injecting a simple hormone into leeches creates a novel way to study how hormones and the nervous system work together to produce species-specific reproductive behavior.

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Language Structure Is Partly Determined by Social Structure

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Geographic distribution of the 2,236 languages included in the present study

Psychologists at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Memphis have released a new study on linguistic evolution that challenges the prominent hypothesis for why languages differ throughout the world.

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Developmental Delay May Explain Behavior of Easygoing Bonobo Apes

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Bonobo relaxing on a branch.

New research suggests that evolutionary changes in cognitive development underlie the extensive social and behavioral differences that exist between two closely related species of great apes. The study, published online on January 28th in Current Biology, a Cell Press publication, enhances our understanding of our two closest living relatives, chimpanzees and the lesser-known bonobos, and may provide key insight into human evolution.

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Genetic Variation Linked to Individual Empathy, Stress Levels

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A genetic variation may contribute to how empathetic a human is, and how that person reacts to stress.

Researchers have discovered a genetic variation that may contribute to how empathetic a human is, and how that person reacts to stress. In the first study of its kind, a variation in the hormone/neurotransmitter oxytocin’s receptor was linked to a person’s ability to infer the mental state of others.

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Hormone That Affects Finger Length Key To Social Behavior

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White-faced Capuchin (Cebus capucinus) checking its nails

Research at the universities of Liverpool and Oxford into the finger length of primate species has revealed that cooperative behavior is linked to exposure to hormone levels in the womb.

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Angry Faces: Facial Structure Linked To Aggressive Tendencies, Study Suggests

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New research finds that a quick glance at someone’s facial structure may be enough for us to predict their tendency towards aggression.

Angry words and gestures are not the only way to get a sense of how temperamental a person is. According to new findings in Psychological Science, a quick glance at someone’s facial structure may be enough for us to predict their tendency towards aggression.

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Chimpanzees Help Each Other On Request But Not Voluntarily

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Tool transfer upon recipient’s request.

The evolution of altruism has long puzzled researchers and has mainly been explained previously from ultimate perspectives—”I will help you now because I expect there to be some long-term benefit to me”. However, a new study by researchers at the Primate Research Institute (PRI) and the Wildlife Research Center (WRC) of Kyoto University shows that chimpanzees altruistically help conspecifics, even in the absence of direct personal gain or immediate reciprocation, although the chimpanzees were much more likely to help each other upon request than voluntarily.

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Rhesus Macaque Monkey Moms ‘Go Gaga’ For Baby, Too

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Baby rhesus macaque.

The intense exchanges that human mothers share with their newborn infants may have some pretty deep roots, suggests a study of rhesus macaques reported online on October 8th in Current Biology, a Cell Press publication. Continue reading… “Rhesus Macaque Monkey Moms ‘Go Gaga’ For Baby, Too”

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Monkeys’ Grooming Habits Provide New Clues To How We Socialize

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Grooming monkeys. A study of female monkeys’ grooming habits provides new clues about the way we humans socialize.

A study of female monkeys’ grooming habits provides new clues about the way we humans socialise. New research, published September 30 in Proceedings of the Royal Society, reveals there is a link between the size of the brain, in particular the neocortex which is responsible for higher-level thinking, and the size and number of grooming clusters that monkeys belong to.

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Light, Photosynthesis Help Bacteria Invade Fresh Produce

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Male common fruit fly (Drosophila Melanogaster). A common household nuisance, the fruit fly, is capable of intricate social learning much like that used by humans.

A common household nuisance, the fruit fly, is capable of intricate social learning much like that used by humans, according to new research from McMaster University.

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