If you’ve played video games you have probably spent hours on end running around collecting various items and rewards such as coins, gems, heart pieces, armor, weapons or even high scores or achievements. Why spend all that time collecting things that aren’t real? Sure, that magic armor is useful in the video game world, but what about rewards that don’t even help you progress through the game, such as trophies and achievements? Continue reading Why collectibles make video games so addictive
You’ve probably gone into the grocery store and seen all the health labels posted on prepackaged food. There’s yogurt that improves immunity and digestion, heart healthy cereal and even pomegranate juice that claims to do everything from lowering cholesterol to alleviating erectile dysfunction. Could we see a decline in health problems with all this apparently healthy food on the market? The problem is that most of these food labels are misleading or downright false. Continue reading When did junk food become healthy?
Moving is a rather common event for American families. Chances are, you have moved at least once in your life. In 2002, 13 percent of American families above the poverty line had moved at least once. However, that number rose to 24 percent below the poverty line. Findings reported in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology shows that moving multiple times can lead to emotional, behavioral, and school problems for children. Continue reading Moving can negatively impact children
Since the beginning of human history, there have been many theories on the origin of life. Some theories include a creator or designer and some include life materializing spontaneously through chemical reactions. Regardless of what set it in motion, there are theories of where it actually began, ranging from the deep depths of the ocean to frozen ice caps to clay and to, most interestingly, the far reaches of outer space. Continue reading Not of this Earth
Ever since we were young we have heard adults say, “Think before you speak.” In school we are taught the importance of analyzing our decisions. We have essay topics like, “What do you feel about this and why?” However, how can you say why you feel the way you feel? Your emotions — not rational thoughts — govern your feelings, and emotions are hard to explain. Continue reading How not thinking can lead to better decisions
Violent video games have always been a topic of controversy. The Columbine shooters loved the violent video game Doom and Adam Lanza — the Sandy Hook elementary school shooter — played Call of Duty. It’s not unusual that people have placed much of the blame on the violence depicted in these games. However, what about the other millions of people that play Call of Duty and don’t commit violent crimes? Continue reading Do violent video games cause violence?
The discovery of Broca’s area in the brain was a major leap in the world of science, shifting the paradigm to the way we study the brain today. Broca’s area is the area in the brain that controls the motor movements to produce speech. In contrast, Wernicke’s area is the area responsible for understanding and analyzing speech.
Pierre Paul Broca is the one credited with discovering the localized areal of the brain the produces language. However, he wasn’t the first one to come up with the idea. It was actually the founder of phrenology, Franz Joseph Gall, that first believed the area of the brain that produced speech was located in the anterior lobes. Phrenology is a pseudoscience where the bumps on the skull were felt to determine one’s personality traits or intelligence. Continue reading Mystery patient solves mystery of the brain
We typically think babies learn to talk around one to two years old. It seems that the beginnings of language starts with that first word such as “ma ma” or “da da” or maybe even that first coo or baby talk. However, research suggests that infants begin learning language far earlier than that. Continue reading Learning language in the womb
Released in November of 2011 on the Nintendo Wii, Skyward Sword is the latest installment in the Legend of Zelda video game series. The game breaks away from some the conventional game play of the Zelda series and introduces some new concepts while still staying true to the Zelda formula. Many of the concepts are a great leap within the Zelda franchise while others fall flat. Continue reading LoZ Skyward Sword: New blood in an old classic
In a futuristic world, man combines with machine to eliminate biological problems such as disease. That might sound like the setup to a science fiction movie, but it could become reality. Continue reading Dental hygiene goes bionic
NightSky is an action-puzzle game recently released in Nintendo’s 3DS eShop. It’s exceedingly simple, yet complex at the same time. It has a certain quality to it that will keep you coming back for more. Continue reading NightSky: Simplicity at its best
When it comes to where people acquire their political beliefs, political scientists have analyzed many possibilities that might factor in, such as household income, gender and church attendance. It has long been thought that a person’s political ideals are something that comes mostly from their parents, friends or other environmental factors. However, there have emerged an increasing number of studies that suggest genetics may have an underlying role in both voter turnout and the way people vote. Continue reading Voting: Nature or nurture?
The effects of television on children is a subject that has been studied many times over. Because of the worry about its link with aggression and obesity in children, many researchers have scrutinized this topic. In this day and age there are more than ten screens in any given household with television sets, computers, and hand held devices. In these fast-paced times it becomes too easy for parents to plop their children in front of the television to keep them occupied while they are busy. Continue reading Effects of television on children’s development
It seems obvious that children with parents who are involved in their education would have better academic success. They have a good support system, someone to help them with homework and projects (maybe too much) and the motivation to make their parents proud. An interesting question, however, is how does their performance compare to children who go to good quality schools but have little parental involvement? With a good school comes good teachers, a positive learning environment and encouragement to do extracurricular activities, which would certainly help children academically. Continue reading Parental involvement promotes academic success
In 2005, University of Brown researcher Dr. Suzanne De La Monte discovered signs of insulin resistance in the autopsied brains of Alzheimer’s sufferers. She dubbed the discovery Type 3 diabetes. Continue reading Alzheimer’s: A new type of diabetes?
If you’re having trouble learning and retaining new skills, science may have found a solution. It turns out hopping on a treadmill can build your “muscle memory” the same way you would build actual muscles. Sounds crazy, but according to a new study by scientists at the University of Copenhagen, it’s not such a far fetched idea. Continue reading Working out improves muscle memory
We have all heard that the other senses in deaf or blind people become stronger to compensate for the loss of vision or hearing, but how? It has long been thought that people deaf or blind from birth have learned to make better use of their other senses. For example, a blind person will learn to pay attention to the sounds of their environment to help them navigate the world better. However, recent studies show that it is more than just learning; the brains of people who are born deaf are actually able to reroute themselves to make better use of the areas of the brain normally used to process auditory information. Continue reading Enhanced senses in the deaf and blind