Dyslexia is not just about reading, or even language. It’s about something more fundamental: How much can the brain adapt to what it has just observed? People with dyslexia typically have less brain plasticity than those without dyslexia, two recent studies have found.
Have you ever wondered how you would act at the end of the world? Players’ actions in a video game could reveal insights into how an impending apocalypse might affect people’s behaviour. A team of researchers analysed how players behaved in a beta test of ArcheAge, a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG).
Read the full story in New Scientist.
There’s a little too much wishful thinking about mindfulness, and it is skewing how researchers report their studies of the technique.
Researchers at McGill University analysed 124 published trials of mindfulness as a mental-health treatment, and found that scientists reported positive findings 60% more often than is statistically likely. The team also examined another 21 trials that were registered with databases such as ClinicalTrials.gov; of these, 62% were unpublished 30 months after they finished. The findings hint that negative results are going unpublished.
Chalk up another win for computers. Software developed at the University of Rochester in New York has outstripped humans in its ability to identify emotions in speech. The researchers plan to use it to understand the effects of emotion in parent-child interactions.
If you’ve ever been around a preschooler, you’re familiar with their incessant questions. It can be tempting to brush them off with a “Because I said so,” but new research shows that can hurt your credibility.
Five-year-olds and even three-year-olds can tell the difference between poor explanations and those that provide new information.