Author Archive

A little different this time.

April 26, 2012 Leave a comment

So I wanted to do something a little different this time on the blog. I just wanted to take a minute and look back at the blog as a whole. I noticed that there were some really interesting post that were posted throughout the semester. I really took the time and effort to look for articles that I thought would be the most interesting for you guys. I have never written or read a blog before, so this was new to me. Also, coming here to the U.S., things like Twitter looked like it’s going to take over the world. I will hopefully never get one and this other website called Tumblr? Sometimes I feel like such an international student not knowing these things that everybody should know about. I feel like Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook definitely have a “science” behind them. Technology is changing the world faster than we thought it would. I remember having a CD walkman and thinking it was the coolest thing in the world. And now, we have things like iPod nanos. I remember the first time my parents brought home a cellphone. Those big Nokia cellphones with the big buttons and everything. Now, we have touch screens and bluetooth. Who knows what technology will have advanced to in 5, 10, 15, years. It is a little scary, I have to admit. I feel like by the time our generation has children, our children won’t even know how to write. All they would know is how to type on a computer. Have you guys ever thought of that? I think about how different “science” will even be in a few years. I feel like science is the world’s future. What do you guys think? And for the international students out there, do you think it’s just my imagination that America may be a little more into technology than other countries? Why do you think so? Just give us your general thoughts about science. No articles, no scientific terms, just science.


Recalling Memory? Is it gender difference?

April 23, 2012 1 comment

A new study shows that our emotional memories and how they affect us is influenced by our gender, personality and the methods we use to manage our feelings. This study is shown in Emotion , a journal of the American Psychological Association.

Psychology professors from the University of Illinois wanted to examine how personality traits and gender impacts their emotional state.

They wanted to do this study because they believed that other studies of personality and its relationships with memory, only focused on women and negative memories.

Other studies have shown that people with high neuroticism are more prone to become ill with affective disorders like depression and anxiety-related problems.

The researchers used surveys such as questionnaires and verbal cues to asses personality and to give more than 100 autobiographical memories in each of 71 participants. Thirty-eight of them were women. The findings showed that both men and women who were high in friendliness and aggressiveness tended to remember more positive than negative life events. Men who were high in neurtoicisms tended to recall a greater proportion of negative memories than men who were low in neuroticism. Women who were high in neuroticism tended to return to the same negative memories over again and again.

It is important to understand that none of these study subjects were diagnosed with depression or other emotional disorders. But both female and male partic

ipants were more prone to have lower moods after recalling negative autobiographical memories.

Men who made an effort to think differently about their memories were likely to recall more positive memories than their peers. Men who used used suppression did not effect the recalling of positive or negative memories. However, women’s suppression was significantly associated with the recall of negative memories but with a lower mode afterward.


These findings are beneficial for both men and women to help them with understanding how they can deal with their negative and positive memories.




What do you guys think? Do you think that our abilities to recall memories are affected by gender and personality or does it just depend on the person only?

Do you talk to yourself?

April 18, 2012 3 comments

Most people talk to themselves every few days and many actually talk to themselves on an hourly basis. Why do people do this? What is the point? Research suggests that self-directed speech in children helps guide their behavior.

Franklin P. Jones once said “One advantage of talking to yourself is that you know at least somebody’s listening.” This is so true.

Reserachers also wanted to know if talking to yourself helps adults too.

In a recent study published in Quarteryly Journal of Experimental Psychology, experiments were conducted to discover if talking to yourself helps when searching for certain things.

In the first experiments, participants were shown 20 pictures of random objects and were asked to find a specific one. Some participants saw a text label telling them what object they should find. But, some participants were asked to search again while actually telling themselves what to search for. The people who spoke to themselves found the objects faster.

In another experiment, participants went on a virtual shopping spree, in which they just saw photos of items that are commonly found on supermarket sheaves. They were asked to find these items as quickly as possible.

This study literally explains my life. I can’t count how many times I tell myself out loud what I need to do. I have the worst memory but when I tell myself the same things over and over again, I end up remembering better. I’m sure when we are all looking for something, we say the name of the object out loud. Unless, I am the only “crazy” one, and everybody else just finds things without talking to themselves.

Do you guys talk to yourselves? Don’t be shy. Speak up.

Television helpful to drug addicts

April 18, 2012 Leave a comment

Television can do more than we think. Apparently, just watching a five minute video can help whitewash memories of past drug use in former heroin addicts.A new study shows that it can ease their cravings. This happens because these videos weakens the mental ties between drug related paraphernalia and the desire to use. This method may be a very strong way to help people struggling with addiction. 

This method seems to cripple the connection between using a drug and cues that remind someone of using. Researchers decided to first test this idea on animals such as rats. Next, they moved on to people who were dealing with heroin addiction in China.

This study involved 66 people going under a two-step process. First, they watched a video of a natural scene or of people using heroin. The heroin scene was a quick reminder for the addicts. Each time they remember something, the drug user becomes fragile and vulnerable. Participants spend about an hour more watching drug related movies and slide shows. There were people using fake heroin in these clips and slides shows.This was a trial called “extinction session.” The researchers varied the time between the reminder and the extinction sessions. This process was repeated for two days.

The tests shows that the memories of people who had drug reminders 10 minutes before the extinction sessions reported less craving for heroin. Even bodily responses were chagned as well. There were changes in blood pressure.

Researchers are very interested in this study. They want to do more outside of the lab and see if this relationship exists between drug craving and drug relapse.

This was such an interesting article. I believe that there could be some relationship between craving and relapse. What do you guys think? Read the article for more detail and for who these researchers are.


Soccer players actually do have it all

April 11, 2012 6 comments

Soccer players are hot, talented and have a lot of money. And now, a new study shows that they are pretty smart too. This study shows that soccer players actually have “superior executive functions, the brain processes for responsible for planning and abstract thinking.” Apparently, the more the player is talented the better these functions are.

This ability is called game intelligence and it is used in the way we make decisions. The author of the new study is Predrag Petrovic, a neuroscientist at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden.

The researchers measured these executive functions using a standardized test called D-KEFS. This assesses skills inproblem solving, creativity, and rule making. Talented players had a higher percentage of executive functions than regular players.

This study may not be very accurate but there is some promise here. I am sure future studies will be done. They don’t know if athletes obtain these functions over time or whether they are inherited.

The author of the study thinks it is both but they still need further evidence.I agree with him. I just thought it was really interesting because

I love soccer. And I always wondered how these players are so talented. There has got to be something in their brain that helps them decide who to pass the ball to or who to dribble in order to make a goal.

Who else loves this game?  Do you guys think that these functions are obtained over time or inherited? Or both?

And yes, Messi is one of the best players. He is also my favorite. And Pique.

Sex Matters

April 10, 2012 2 comments

I realize that this topic may be a tad inappropriate or maybe even an uncomfortable topic for most, but I really felt like I had to share it. Not talking about sex can actually lead to more problems than we think.

A comprehensive national survey was given to U.S. citizens and showed that most doctors do not ask their patients about their sexual health. This has consequences. Only 40% of doctors asked their patients if they experience any sexual problems or dysfunction. The percentages are even lower for doctors who ask their patients about sexual orientation and their sexual lives as a whole.

There is evidence showing high prevalence of sexual function concerns among women. Research shows that about a third of young and middle-aged women experience some kind of sexual problem. Women do not talk about these problems because their doctors do not ask

them. Therefore, women think it is an unimportant topic and continue with their unsatisfying sexual life.

This study also shows that gender,age,race, medical school location, religious affiliation influence whether or not doctors will bring up sexual matters. Women who experience sexual problems may have other medical problems as well. The fact that these sexual problems are not being talked about is more dangerous than doctors realize. The study also showed that doctors feel more comfortable with talking about sex with men because there are more available treatments for their sexual problems.

However, women are starting to take initiative in talking about sex. They have started because they have seen that they are not alone. They have seen other women experience the same problems from the media such as the internet.

I just found this topic so interesting because when I come to think of it, it is very true. The only question I have been asked is if I am sexually active. That is the common question women and men are asked. I believe that they should be asked more questions because sexual problems can be problems caused by other medical issues.

What do you guys think? Are you comfortable enough to discuss your doctor visits? Are you comfortable enough to discuss sexual matters with your doctor? Do you believe that the actions of these doctors have more affect than they realize?

New way of Learning Science

April 10, 2012 3 comments

US high school students need a new way to learn science. Only 21% of seniors were proficient in science knowledge.

A group of scientists and educators led by Professor William Schmidt from Michigan State University have created a new way of learning science. They have created a concept called 8+1 Science that helps students focus on understanding eight fundamental science concepts. The “plus one” represents the question of why things happen around us-another fundamental part of science. The eight concepts are: atoms, cells, radiation, systems change, forces, energy, conservation of mass and energy, and variation.

I didn’t go to high school in the US but my highschoool in Greece used both the American and British curricula.

This group of scientists created this new system in order to help students learn science and actually apply it to real-life situations. Some states are actually participating in the process to develop this new system. They want to help students learn key concepts instead of  them just memorizing facts and forgetting them a month later.

I think this could actually work. I really hope this gets put into schools because with the way things are going, students are learning less and less. They are more distracted with other things such as TV and booze and focus less on school. This will effect education as a whole. If high school students learn better than this will effect who goes to what college. Students who never thought they had a chance might be able to change the world because of this new system. I definitely think it will take a long time to get this system up and running.

What do you guys think? Do you think this could make a difference? Or will this idea just fade out and high school kids will continue going the way they are going? Or do you think that the system is just fine the way it is? How was your experience with science in high school?