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.
- Prions, the proteins behind mad cow disease, also help us learn by strengthening the connections between neurons.
- Happiness may come from hitting a time-management sweet spot of not feeling rushed yet having little excess time, according to a recent survey.
- Good grades can be contagious: High school students whose friends get higher marks tend to raise their own grade-point averages over time.
- Bumblebees, like sharks, have an electric sense: they can detect the electrical charge of a flower.
- Between five million and 14 million people in the U.S. suffer from compulsive hoarding, at least double the number of people diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder.
- Perch living in rivers contaminated by common antianxiety drugs, such as Xanax and Valium, were found to behave more boldly and antisocially.
- The first retinal implant was approved for use in the U.S. It required 20 years of development and more than $200 million in funding.
- Couples who used an oxytocin nasal spray became better communicators and experienced less stress than couples given a placebo spray.
- Warm weather impairs our ability to make complex decisions and may instill a distaste for making decisions at all.
- Rats outfitted with a brain prosthesis learned to perceive infrared light, revealing the brain's flexibility and pointing the way to sensory enhancement for humans.
- Dogs vary enormously in size and shape, yet they still recognize fellow canines.