Lonely, but alive

smalltalkWe humans are social creatures – so much so that isolation shortens our lives. But what is it about solitude that kills us? Could it be that the emotional pain of loneliness spurs us to an early demise? Not necessarily, according to a study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, which found that social isolation itself — not  loneliness — was the critical factor.

Read this story at Scientific American Mind.

Video Games to Treat Dyslexia?

kids-playing-video-gamesAttention training might trump language practice in treating dyslexia, and video games might provide just that, according to a recent study in Current Biology. Researchers at the University of Padua in Italy found that 10 kids with dyslexia who played an action-filled video game for nine 80-minute sessions increased their reading speed, without introducing mistakes.

Read more at Scientific American Mind.

Love that knows bounds

oxytocin,apartOxytocin, the so-called love hormone, activates feelings of trust and attraction between people when it is released in the brain, and it rises in the early stages of romantic love. Yet it is not just a Cupid’s arrow that spurs you to fall in love with the nearest person, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Neuroscience. Instead oxytocin’s social magic depends on whether or not a person is in a monogamous relationship.

Read this story at Scientific American Mind.

Personality circuits

We typically reveal our personalities through our behavior, but a new study suggests it might be apparent even when we are at rest — at least inside a brain scanner. In a study in PLoS One, researchers report that personality traits correlate with brain activity when a person is awake but not engaged in a task.

Read this article at Scientific American Mind.