Entries in neuroscience (6)


Kids vs. Scantily Clad Women: Which Do New Dads Prefer and Why?

We’ve written previously that fatherhood is associated with decreased levels of testosterone in dads (except for when a testosterone boost might come in handy). For the most part, the general belief has been that the dads’ lower testosterone limits their impulses to mate (presumably not with their baby-momma), thus keeping them invested in their children.

Some recent research from Emory University, however, suggests another, or additional, possibility.1 Specifically, the researchers compared the testosterone and oxytocin hormone levels of a group of fathers of 1-2 year old children with hormone  levels of men without children. In addition to collecting blood samples to measure the hormones, the researchers also scanned the brains (via MRI scans) of all the men while they were looking at 3 types of pictures: 1) children’s faces (of the same sex and age as their own kids, and depicting a range of emotional expressions), 2) unknown adult faces displaying similar emotions, and 3) scantily clad women. The research team was interested in whether fathers vs. non-fathers responded neurologically (i.e., as assessed via increased brain activation) to the different types of images and, if so, what role hormones play in those neural responses.

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Friendship in the Brain



Clinical psychologist and guest contributor, Dr. David Sbarra, recently wrote a great piece on how "Our Brains are Built for Friendship". Follow this link for the full story over on YouBeauty.com.




image source: sarahrosecav.wordpress.com


Just Do It: Having Sex Can Make You Smarter

A rat searching for cheese in a maze is one of the more iconic images associated with psychology. Some recent research extends beyond rats’ GPS capabilities by examining their sexual activity. Yup, rodent sex; we’re going there.

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The Best Pick Up Line Ever

They'll be putty in your hands.

From www.fromupnorth.com


Patrick Swayze was Right: Pain Don't Hurt

Researchers recently made 17 women hot…by applying intense heat to their forearms. Women felt less pain when looking at pictures of romantic partners versus when looking at strangers or other objects. Brain scans taken during the heat exposure indicated that parts of the brain associated with safety were more active in the partner condition, whereas areas associated with pain were less active, especially when women were in longer relationships or with particularly supportive partners.

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Feeling Your Pain, Quite Literally

Some research is just too cool; here’s a now classic study worth sharing.

For a long time scientists have been curious about the link between empathy and pain. In particular, people use so-called “mirror neurons” to help interpret what others are experiencing, to help remember their own experiences, and to help predict or imagine the past or future.

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