New research suggests that anxiety triggers the release of a scent that causes other humans who smell it to empathize with you. This may have evolved to help speed up spread of fear within a population so groups can get away quickly from dangerous situations. To run the experiment, University of Dusseldorf psychologist Bettina Pause and her colleagues had students undergoing brain scans sniff absorbent pads taken from the armpits of other students just before a final exam and, separately, while they were exercising. Pleasant.
None (of the sniffing students) perceived a difference between the two types of sweat, but the pre-exam sweat had a different effect on brain activity, lighting up areas that process social and emotional signals, as well as several areas thought to be involved in empathy...
Fellow students smell your exam fear
A previous experiment found that sweat from skydivers activated anxiety circuits in sniffers' brains.
Texas State University’s Body Farm (AKA Forensic Anthropology Center at Texas State University or FACTS) is a 45-year-old facility where the corpses of medical body donors are left to decompose so that researchers can observe the rate at which human remains are consumed by the elements, scavengers and microbes, allowing them to accurately date the […]
A better understanding how a sperm swims its way toward an egg could help inform new treatments for male infertility. Researchers from the University of York have now come up with a mathematical formula to model how large numbers of moving sperm interact with fluid they’re swimming through. From the University: By analysing the head […]
Dr Gale Ridge is a public entomologist at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, where an average of 23 people a day call, write or visit; an increasing proportion of them aren’t inquiring about actual insects, they’re suffering from delusional parasitosis, and they’re desperate and even suicidal.
When you can’t wait for the world’s longest meeting to end, the mindless leg bouncing makes your boredom obvious and just annoys everybody else. Everyone knows the TPS reports need the damn cover sheet, but some sadistic colleague keeps forgetting, probably on purpose just to eat into your lunch hour. Enough is enough!While serving a […]
What could be more fun than a slingshot that shoots tiny airplanes? A slingshot that shoots tiny glowing airplanes of course! These toy planes are outfitted with ultra-bright LEDs, so you can fly all night without losing them in the trees.Whether you are a regular-sized child, or an overgrown adult one, these light-up flyers offer […]
You know the drill. You go to the dentist and they ask you how often you floss. You lie through your teeth and say, “every day!” (Bonus points if you have some cilantro or chives stuck in your gums from lunch). You don’t want to keep up the charade any longer, but rubbing that tiny strand […]