October 23, 2011

Big friend list = big brain?

You know what they say about people with big brains...

Big Facebook friends lists.

That's not entirely true.

But a new study in Proceedings of the Royal Society B has neuroscience junkies abuzz this week: the number of Facebook friends we have may be linked to certain brain structures.

October 16, 2011

Why do we like to associate with what's familiar to us?

Firstly: apologies for the creepy pic. My posting begged a photo of twins, and this (from Stanley Kubrick's The Shining) was Halloween-appropriate.

Now I can't stop thinking about that God-awful bathtub scene. Onward...

When you walk into a room full of strangers—new class, a job orientation, the doctor's waiting room—what is your criteria for choosing next to whom you will sit?

According to a study published this past summer in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, chances are that you may find yourself subconsciously sitting next to someone who physically resembles you in some manner. ("Come play with us," your doppleganger may appear to beckon [okay, I'm done with that ridiculous movie now]).

October 8, 2011

Head-to-head competition: It really is mind over matter

Plain and simple, I miss rowing.

I miss everything about it—the power, the swing, hearing all eight oars click at once, the passion in your coxswain's voice, eating breakfast with forty wet and exhausted friends, the sunrises, maintaining the boats, and even traipsing down to the river at 5 in the morning (once I could get my butt out of bed—yeah, I even miss that part).

But perhaps the part I miss the most is pushing my body to the limit, both in racing and erging.

October 3, 2011

At face value: The amygdala recognizes the whole, not parts

Yesterday I was scanning through my iPhoto library when I came across some photos I had taken of my friends' eyes—just their eyes—from my freshman year of undergrad (it was finals week, and we were playing pool.

I can't claim the best study habits, but I got into grad school, alright?).

I turned to my boyfriend and had him identify whose eyes they were. To my surprise, he didn't get all of them correct, and he hesitated on most.

Aren't a person's eyes their most identifying feature?