Tony Delroys’ NightLife Links November 20

Mindfulness meditation trumps placebo in pain reduction

painScientists at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center have found new evidence that mindfulness meditation reduces pain more effectively than placebo.

This is significant because placebo-controlled trials are the recognized standard for demonstrating the efficacy of clinical and pharmacological treatments.

The research, published in the Nov. 18 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience, showed that study participants who practiced mindfulness meditation reported greater pain relief than placebo. Significantly, brain scans showed that mindfulness meditation produced very different patterns of activity than those produced by placebo to reduce pain.

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Wide-faced men negotiate nearly $2,200 larger signing bonus

Michael Haselhuhn and Elaine Wong are both assistant professors of management. CREDIT: UC Riverside

Michael Haselhuhn and Elaine Wong are both assistant professors of management.
CREDIT: UC Riverside

Having a wider face helps men when they negotiate for themselves but hurts them when they are negotiating in a situation that requires compromise. Additionally, men who are more attractive are better collaborators compared to less attractive men.

Those are among the findings outlined in a just published paper co-authored by Michael P. Haselhuhn and Elaine M. Wong, assistant professors of management at the University of California, Riverside’s School of Business Administration. The paper describes four negotiation simulations set up by the authors of the paper.

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Eating to impress

"These findings suggest that men tend to overeat to show off -- you can also see this tendency in eating competitions which almost always have mostly male participants," explains lead author Kevin Kniffin, Ph.D., of Cornell University. CREDIT: Daniel Miller

“These findings suggest that men tend to overeat to show off — you can also see this tendency in eating competitions which almost always have mostly male participants,” explains lead author Kevin Kniffin, Ph.D., of Cornell University.
CREDIT: Daniel Miller

Men eat more food when dining with women.

If you’re a man, how much you eat may have more to do with the gender of your dining companions than your appetite. A new Cornell University study, published in the journalEvolutionary Psychological Science, found that men will eat significantly more food in the company of women than they will with other men.

For the study, researchers observed 105 adults lunching at an all-you-can-eat Italian buffet over the course of two weeks. They recorded the number of pizza slices and how many bowls of salad each diner ate. Gender of each diner’s eating partner or partners was also noted. Before leaving the restaurant, the diners were intercepted by a researcher to ask them to complete a short survey indicating their level of fullness after eating, and their feelings of hurriedness and comfort while eating.

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Pump up the music — especially the bass — to make you feel powerful

photodune-5005929-headphones-xsIt’s the day of the big game – before heading out to the field, you put on your headphones and blast some music to pump you up. The music seemingly empowers you to do great things. This effect is not all in your head – according to new research, music truly does make us feel powerful. But not all songs have the same effect, researchers found, and the levels of bass are a key factor in their effectiveness.

“When watching major sports events, my coauthors and I frequently noticed athletes with their earphones on while entering the stadium and in the locker room,” says Dennis Hsu of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. “The ways these athletes immerse themselves in the music – some with their eyes steely shut and some gently nodded along the beats – seem as if the music is mentally preparing and toughening them up for the competition about to occur.”

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Endurance athletes who ‘go against the grain’ become incredible fat-burners

Abs of fit young womanElite performance on a diet with minimal carbs represents a paradigm shift in sports nutrition.

Elite endurance athletes who eat very few carbohydrates burned more than twice as much fat as high-carb athletes during maximum exertion and prolonged exercise in a new study – the highest fat-burning rates under these conditions ever seen by researchers.

The study, the first to profile elite athletes habitually eating very low-carbohydrate diets, involved 20 ultra-endurance runners age 21-45 who were top competitors in running events of 50 kilometers (31 miles) or more.

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Let your head do the talking

Intellectual Business Woman Wearing Glasses Head TiltedHead movements play an important role in conveying emotions through speech and music

When people talk or sing, they often nod, tilt or bow their heads to reinforce verbal messages. But how effective are these head gestures at conveying emotions?

Very effective, according to researchers from McGill University in Montreal. Steven R. Livingstone and Caroline Palmer, from McGill’s Department of Psychology, found that people were highly accurate at judging emotions based on head movements alone, even in the absence of sound or facial expressions.

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How a raisin can predict a toddler’s future academic ability

Dieter Wolke CREDIT: University of Warwick

Dieter Wolke
CREDIT: University of Warwick

A simple test using a raisin can predict how well a toddler will perform academically at age eight, according to research conducted at the University of Warwick.

Using just the piece of dried fruit and a plastic cup they have devised a test based on how long a 20-month old child can wait to pick up a raisin in front of them.

The toddlers were given a raisin that was placed under an opaque cup within easy reach. After three training runs toddlers were asked to wait until they were told (60 seconds) they could touch and eat the raisin. During the study it was found that those who were born very prematurely were more likely to take the raisin before the allotted time. In a follow on study the academics found that those who couldn’t inhibit their behavior as toddlers weren’t performing as well in school as their full-term peers seven years later.

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Moderate coffee drinking may be linked to reduced risk of death

Drinking coffeeDrinking a second or third cup of coffee may do more than get you through a long day — it may also reduce your risk of death from heart disease and other illnesses.

In a study reported in the American Heart Association journal Circulation, people who regularly drank moderate amounts of coffee daily –less than 5 cups per day — experienced a lower risk of deaths from cardiovascular disease, neurological diseases, Type 2 diabetes and suicide.

The benefit held true for drinking caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee, suggesting it’s not just the caffeine providing health perks but possibly the naturally occurring chemical compounds in the coffee beans.

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People tend to locate the self in the brain or the heart

Whether people locate their sense of self in the brain or the heart can have a major influence on people’s decision-making, according to a new study by management and business experts at Rice University and Columbia University.

Jigsaw puzzle of human head with red heart. Vector illustration.

Overall, the study found people tend to locate the self in the brain.

The paper, “Who You Are Is Where You Are: Antecedents and Consequences of Locating the Self in the Brain or the Heart,” will be published in the journal Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes.

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