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Latest Robert Sapolsky Stories

Stress Hormone Cortisol May Speed Up Short-Term Memory Loss
2014-06-18 07:54:35

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online While cognitive decline is a relatively normal part of the aging process, some factors could amplify or speed up that process. Working with laboratory rats, researchers at the University of Iowa have found that the stress hormone cortisol could be one of those factors contributing to cognitive decline, according to a new report published in the Journal of Neuroscience. The UI study team found that elevated amounts of cortisol slowly...

2013-06-11 23:18:34

Acclaimed Professors from Stanford, Princeton & Harvard Share Insights About How Evolution Affects Our Reasoning SAN FRANCISCO, CA (PRWEB) June 11, 2013 Three of the world´s preeminent neuroscientists will be featured in a thought-provoking program segment entitled “The Biology and Psychology of Ethical Behavior” at the Being Human 2013 event to be held in San Francisco´s newly restored Nourse Theater on Saturday, September 28, 2013. The second annual Being Human...

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2011-08-19 15:56:23

When a male rat senses the presence of a fetching female rat, a certain region of his brain lights up with neural activity, in anticipation of romance. Now Stanford University researchers have discovered that in male rats infected with the parasite Toxoplasma, the same region responds just as strongly to the odor of cat urine. Is it time to dim the lights and cue the Rachmaninoff for some cross-species canoodling? "Well, we see activity in the pathway that normally controls how male...

2010-03-08 12:50:37

Is aggression always the best response to a challenge? Testosterone may not necessarily cause aggression but behavior can drive testosterone secretion. In an evaluation for Faculty of 1000, Robert Sapolsky highlights a study published in Nature which assessed how testosterone affects human behavior in a 'pro-social' situation "“ an environment where it is beneficial for a person to help someone else. In an 'Ultimatum Game', a 'proposer' is given power to decide how a sum of money is...

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2004-11-30 02:00:00

WASHINGTON -- The immune cells of women under extreme mental stress age faster than those in women not facing such pressure, a new study reports. While previous reports have linked physical effects with stress, the new analysis helps pinpoint an important focus for these problems. The study focused on the telomeres in the chromosomes of particular immune cells of 58 women between the ages of 20 and 50. Telomeres cap the ends of chromosomes and shorten as cells reproduce, a measure of age....


Word of the Day
humgruffin
  • A terrible or repulsive person.
Regarding the etymology of 'humgruffin,' the OED says (rather unhelpfully) that it's a 'made-up word.' We might guess that 'hum' comes from 'humbug' or possibly 'hum' meaning 'a disagreeable smell,' while 'gruffin' could be a combination of 'gruff' and 'griffin.'