09 AUG 2014 by ideonexus

 Did Lower Testosterone Help Civilize Humanity?

A new study appearing Aug. 1 in the journal Current Anthropology finds that human skulls changed in ways that indicate a lowering of testosterone levels at around the same time that culture was blossoming. “The modern human behaviors of technological innovation, making art and rapid cultural exchange probably came at the same time that we developed a more cooperative temperament,” said lead author Robert Cieri, a biology graduate student at the University of Utah who began this work as a...
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13 DEC 2013 by ideonexus

 Reasons to Give Up News

News misleads. News leads us to walk around with the completely wrong risk map in our heads. So terrorism is over-rated. Chronic stress is under-rated. The collapse of Lehman Brothers is overrated. Fiscal irresponsibility is under-rated. Astronauts are over-rated. Nurses are under-rated. News is irrelevant. Out of the approximately 10,000 news stories you have read in the last 12 months, name one that – because you consumed it – allowed you to make a better decision about a serious matter...
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Taking just the titles/headers of the reasons, and abbreviated explanations.

11 MAY 2013 by ideonexus

 The RDOC Matrix

The RDoC research framework can be considered as a matrix whose rows correspond to specified dimensions of function; these are explicitly termed “Constructs,” i.e., a concept summarizing data about a specified functional dimension of behavior (and implementing genes and circuits) that is subject to continual refinement with advances in science. Constructs represent the fundamental unit of analysis in this system, and it is anticipated that most studies would focus on one construct (or per...
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The new criteria and paradigm for evaluating mental illness and directing research.

20 JUL 2011 by ideonexus

 Health Benefits of a Vaginal Birth

Of its several advantages, "birtn stress" has been found to be especially beneficial for a newborn's breathing. Compared with babies born by C'Section, vaginally delivered babies are quicker to take their first breaths; their blood oxygen levels rise more rapidly after birth; and they are less likely to suffer any of a number of respiratory problems in the first few hours of life. Even among babies delivered by C-section, those who undergo several hours of labor before delivery do much better...
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The contractions and stress of being pushed through the birth canal give these babies a leg up in many physiological, and possibly cognitive, respects.

19 JUL 2011 by ideonexus

 Exercise During Pregnancy

There are two main reasons for concern about exercising during pregnancy. One is that it may reduce the baby's oxygen supply, since exercise, like other sources of stress, reduces blood flow to the uterus. Another risk is overheating. As we have already seen, fetal development is highly sensitive to temperature, and elevations of more than 2^0 C (or above 1020F) can increase the risk of miscarriage and affect the formation of the brain and eyes. Despite these theoretical concerns, there is ...
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There are some concerns about the mother exercising during pregnancy, but the benefits appear to outweight the potential deleterious effects and have no apparent effect on the child's IQ.