The Head Lines section of Scientific American Mind's May/June issue mentioned the following articles in brief. Click on the links to learn more about them.
- Our ability to metabolize alcohol goes back millions of years, according to a genetic study.
- Athletic performance is strongly influenced by our circadian rhythms—early birds often play better during daytime games.
- Professional football players who started the sport before age 12 were found to be more impaired in memory and intelligence than those who started at an older age.
- Hot or cold climates may have influenced whether languages evolved to be tonal or not.
- Viruses in our DNA may affect brain development.
- A conscientious spouse can make promotions more likely at work.
- Dogs can tell the difference between happy and angry human faces.
- Video-based coaching could help parents improve the social and cognitive development of babies at high risk of autism.
- Extremely gifted boys choose higher paying and more prestigious jobs than extremely gifted girls do, according to research that has been following child prodigies since the 1970s.
- Extraordinary experiences may seem disappointing without friends or family around to share the thrill.
A single gene may have enabled the massive expansion of the neocortex in humans, Neandertals and other hominins, underlying the huge strides in intelligence that set hominins apart from apes.
- Symptoms may improve more if patients think they are taking a very expensive drug rather than a cheap one.
- People who have lucid dreams may also be better at metacognition, the ability to reflect on one’s own thoughts.
- Crows may understand analogies and the concept of “same” versus “different.”
- Letting your gut decide may not be the best course of action after all.