community · environment · psychology

Communities and Brains

This was interesting article about how living in larger households, or in this specific study living as a couple versus living separately after a divorce, consumes less resources overall and is better for the environment. Communes for the environment!

Speaking of groups, I found this an interesting use of group loyalty and playing with America’s usual perceptions of two supposedly polar opposite institutions, or just a cheap way for the military to get some publicity: Miss Utah, who is also an active member of the military, will be competing for the title of Miss America. What’s interesting is the military is actually paying for her training and travel to the competition.

On to brains.

One study has found that a high fever ( > 100.4) reduces symptoms of autism in children. Apparently the fever connects or stimulates nerve cells in the child’s brain. I’m curious why they only studied children (2-18) and not grown-ups. Perhaps because grown-ups don’t go to the hospital when they have a high fever.

And finally, 5-year-old chimps have better short term memories than college students, according to one study series done by researchers at Kyoto University. What was amazing to me was that the chimps were memorizing things in less than 3/10 of a second sometimes. That seems a) impossible for a human brain, and b) an adaptation to living in a setting of constant potential predation (baby chimps are tasty!). However, and even the researchers admit this, the real test would be to see how the young chimps fare against human kids.

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