Seeing is not remembering

People may have to "turn on" their memories in order to remember even the simplest details of an experience, according to Penn State psychologists. This finding, which has been named "attribute amnesia," indicates that memory is far more selective than previously thought.

Companies' bottom lines benefit when former politicians join leadership teams

Reza Houston, a doctoral student in the Trulaske College of Business and co-author on the study, tracked more than 300 individuals who moved between public companies and politics over 15 years. CREDIT University of Missouri

Reza Houston, a doctoral student in the Trulaske College of Business and co-author on the study, tracked more than 300 individuals who moved between public companies and politics over 15 years.
CREDIT
University of Missouri

Over the past year, many career politicians have announced their retirements. Of those retiring, some may be offered positions on boards of directors or leadership positions, such as CEO or CFO, at public companies. A new study from the University of Missouri has found that companies can experience a significant improvement to their bottom lines when a former politician takes a leadership role, but company leaders who move into the political area do not provide the same benefits.

“We found that the value created for firms is much greater when individuals move from politics to the board or executive team rather than the other way around,” said Reza Houston, co-author on the study and a doctoral student in the Trulaske College of Business. “In the United States, we have specific legislation that prevents politicians from providing ‘kickbacks’ to their former companies while they hold public office. Because of this, CEOs or other high-ranking company officials who move to political office do not increase the value of firm when compared to former politicians who join the leadership team of a company.”

read more

How noise changes the way the brain gets information

A synapse formed by the auditory nerve in a normal mouse (blue, left), and in a mouse exposed to noise for a week (blue, right). Researchers say it's likely that synapses become enlarged in noise-exposed mice to create space for more vesicles -- small round structures that store chemicals used to deliver messages to the brain. CREDIT Amanda M. Lauer, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

A synapse formed by the auditory nerve in a normal mouse (blue, left), and in a mouse exposed to noise for a week (blue, right).
Researchers say it’s likely that synapses become enlarged in noise-exposed mice to create space for more vesicles — small round structures that store chemicals used to deliver messages to the brain.
CREDIT
Amanda M. Lauer, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Cells that relay information from the ear to the brain can change in significant ways in response to the noise level in the environment.

That’s one major finding of a study out today in the Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Expose the cells to loud sounds for a prolonged period of time, and they alter their behavior and even their structure in a manner that may aid hearing in the midst of noise. End the ruckus, and the cells change again to accommodate for quieter environs.

read more

Nail biters, beware: Teeth grinding is next

Portrait Of Girl Biting NailsAnxiety disorders affect approximately one in six adult Americans, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. The most well-known of these include panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and social anxiety disorder. But what of brief bouts of anxiety caused by stressful social situations?

A new study by Tel Aviv University researchers, published recently in the Journal of Oral Rehabilitation, finds that anxiety experienced in social circumstances elevates the risk of bruxism – teeth grinding which causes tooth wear and fractures as well as jaw pain. According to the research, led by Dr. Ephraim Winocur of the Department of Oral Rehabilitation at TAU’s School of Dental Medicine and conducted by TAU doctoral student Roi Skopski in collaboration with researchers at Geha Mental Health Center in Petah Tikva, Israel, interaction with people is likely to trigger bruxism in the socially anxious.

read more

Late-night snacking: It it your brain's fault?

Researchers at BYU have shed new light on why you, your friends, neighbors and most everyone you know tend to snack at night: some areas of the brain don't get the same "food high" in the evening.

Just like humans, dolphins have social networks

Through intensive photo-ID surveys conducted along the Indian River Lagoon, which were carried out over a six- and-a-half year period, the researchers were able to learn about the association patterns as well as movement behavior and habitat preferences of some 200 individual dolphins. CREDIT Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, Florida Atlantic University

Through intensive photo-ID surveys conducted along the Indian River Lagoon, which were carried out over a six- and-a-half year period, the researchers were able to learn about the association patterns as well as movement behavior and habitat preferences of some 200 individual dolphins.
CREDIT
Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, Florida Atlantic University

They may not be on Facebook or Twitter, but dolphins do, in fact, form highly complex and dynamic networks of friends, according to a recent study by scientists at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute (HBOI) at Florida Atlantic University. Dolphins are known for being highly social animals, and a team of researchers at HBOI took a closer look at the interactions between bottlenose dolphins in the Indian River Lagoon (IRL) and discovered how they mingle and with whom they spend their time.

Through intensive photo-ID surveys conducted along the IRL, which were carried out over a six- and-a-half year period, the researchers were able to learn about the association patterns as well as movement behavior and habitat preferences of some 200 individual dolphins.

read more

Keeping food visible throughout the house is linked to obesity

food  bacon with herb parsley isolated on white

food bacon with herb parsley isolated on white

Researchers have identified two seemingly unrelated but strong predictors of obesity: having low self-esteem related to one’s weight and keeping food visibly available around the house, outside the kitchen.

The Ohio State University study focused primarily on determining whether the home environment – architectural features and food storage and availability – was associated with obesity, but also measured a number of psychological factors. While architectural features had no relationship to obesity status, several food-related findings did.

read more