In the March/April 2013 issue of Scientific American MIND, we unveiled a lively new design for the Head Lines section of the magazine, including a news ticker along the bottom of the page. Here are the articles that the ticker mentions in brief.
- Whether reading French words or Chinese characters, people harness the same brain regions.
- A mother's brain can harbor cells that originated in a fetus. If a woman conceives a boy, she can end up with male cells in her brain.
- After blending 30 odors, researchers dubbed their new nondescript scent "olfactory white," akin to white light and white noise.
- Humans are innately good at deducing what someone else is thinking. A single location in the brain, the right temporoparietal junction, tucked behind the right ear, is where this reasoning is centered.
- Humans and katydids - but no other known insects - have remarkably similar ears.
- Fluoxetine, the active ingredient in Prozac, can end up in waterways. The drug can cause male fathead minnows to ignore - or even kill - females.
- Parrots parroting parrots: In the wild, parrots purposely mimic the calls of a specific individual to elicit a response from that other bird.
- Apes experience a midlife crisis, too. Captive chimps and orangutans show a dip in well-being in their late 20s to mid-30s, their middle age, before rebounding in old age.
- Guppies bred to have bigger brains also had smaller guts and fewer offspring than their dumber counterparts.
- Sleep medications are the second most common drug taken by astronauts, after painkillers. Most astronauts are sleep-deprived, averaging six hours of sleep a night. New LED fixtures could help prevent their insomnia.