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White Noise Backgrounds Improve Distinction Between Tones

Against a background of continuous white noise, hearing pure sounds becomes even more precise, researchers from the University of Basel show in a new study. The findings could be applicable to the development of more sensitive cochlear implants. Despite the importance of hearing in human communication, we still understand very little of how acoustic signals […]

What Your Friends’ Brains Look Like When They Think About You

The brain activity patterns found in your friends’ brains when they consider your personality traits may be remarkably similar to what is found in your’s when you think of yourself, a new study suggests[1]. Those same friends will have a different brain activity pattern when they think of someone else in your group — and […]

Do Music Lessons Really Make Children Smarter?

In 2004, a paper appeared in the journal Psychological Science, titled “Music Lessons Enhance IQ.” The author, composer and University of Toronto Mississauga psychologist Glenn Schellenberg, had conducted an experiment with 144 children randomly assigned to four groups: one learned the keyboard for a year, one took singing lessons, one joined an acting class, and […]

Acting Changes The Brain: It’s How Actors Get Lost In A Role

At our English boarding school in the 1990s, my friends and I would spend hours immersed in roleplaying games. Our favourite was Vampire: The Masquerade, and I can well remember experiencing a kind of psychological hangover after spending an afternoon in the character of a ruthless undead villain. It took a while to shake off […]

What Happens In Your Brain When You Taste Food

The sensation of taste includes five established basic tastes: sweetness, sourness, saltiness, bitterness, and umami. Scientific experiments have demonstrated that these five tastes exist and are distinct from one another. Taste buds are able to distinguish between different tastes through detecting interaction with different molecules or ions. Sweet, savory, and bitter tastes are triggered by […]