How our body ‘listens’ to vibrations

The sensation of a mobile phone vibrating is familiar. The perception of these vibrations derives from specialized receptors that transduce them into neural signals sent to the brain. But how does the brain encode their physical characteristics? To understand this, neuroscientists from the University of Geneva (UNIGE) have observed what happens in the brains of mice whose forepaws perceive vibrations. […]

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Thyroid hormone helped our ancestors survive but left us susceptible

Although most victims survive the 735,000 heart attacks that occur annually in the U.S., their heart tissue is often irreparably damaged—unlike many other cells in the body, once injured, heart cells cannot regenerate. According to a new UC San Francisco study, the issue may date back to our earliest mammalian ancestors, which may have lost the ability to regenerate heart […]

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How our unconscious visual biases change the way we perceive objects

As the old saying goes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But while we can appreciate that others might hold different opinions of objects we see, not many people know that factors beyond our control can influence how we perceive the basic attributes of these objects. We might argue that something is beautiful or ugly, for example, but […]

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Our social judgments reveal a tension between morals and statistics

People make statistically-informed judgments about who is more likely to hold particular professions even though they criticize others for the same behavior, according to findings published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. “People don’t like it when someone uses group averages to make judgments about individuals from different social groups who are otherwise identical. They […]

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How does yo-yo dieting affect our heart health?

As we roll into 2019, many people will be trying out new diet regimes. For many of us, sticking to a nut-filled, burger-free, fish-heavy Mediterranean-style diet will only last a matter of days before we return to the realms of cheesecake and cheese boards. Though eating right over the long-term reduces the risk of cardiovascular problems, we know much less […]

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