May 9, 2017

Flame Retardants: A Safety Perk Or Health Hazard?

Since they made their first tentative forays into the textile world in the 1970’s, flame-retardants have become so common they are almost implicit. We rarely see ‘low fire danger’ tags announcing the presence of this chemical cocktail. Rather, we see tags announcing ‘high fire danger.’ What would you rather buy to put on yourself or your child? It’s an obvious choice, that is, until you know what studies are beginning to reveal. It turns out flame-retardants might not be so innocuous, especially for children and babies. Flame-retardants are in our upholstery, electronics, soft furnishings, mattresses, car seats and even clothes. […]
March 21, 2017

Criticising Others Impairs Cognitive Ability

It’s hard not to jump in and tell someone when they’re doing something wrong. But it appears there is a difference between explaining an error and just being down right rude. In a recent study1, researchers have found that putting people down actually impairs their cognitive abilities and in fact, makes their performance worse. The researchers of University of Florida specifically targeted the neonatal emergency wards in hospitals to see how families of patients criticising medical staff impacted their performance. With thousands of patients dying in hospitals every year due to preventable errors, a team of American researchers at the […]
January 24, 2017
Cognitive Science

Cognitive Science Can Tell Us Why We Repeat Mistakes

“If you want to avoid repeating history, its best not to try and learn from it [1].” That might seem like a counterintuitive statement, but as researchers look into the cognitive science behind why we repeat mistakes, it seems to be the conclusion they are arriving at. There appears to be three key elements that play into the repetition of mistakes: post error slowing, mistake pathways in the brain, and the old feel-good hormone dopamine. The latter is an easy correlation to explain: if there was an element of reward or enjoyment tied up with your mistake, then it’s likely […]
October 7, 2016

Get Out The Books! Early Reading Skills Linked to Higher Intelligence.

Story at a Glance. New study finds that children who read earlier have a high IQ later in their development. The children’s intelligence was measured not only with verbal intelligence testing but nonverbal intelligence testing as well. The differences in reading ability showed a clear link to differences in intelligence later on. These differences where noticeable by as early as the age of seven. We all know reading is important. But for the first time we’ve got some concrete evidence that learning to read early increases the level of intelligence in kids. Researchers at the University of Edinburgh and the […]
August 11, 2016

Listen To Your Gut Part  2: The Ecosystem Of The Gut Is Important For Well-being.

Story at a glance The gut has a diverse range of bacteria, called gut micorbiota. A healthy gut is full of balanced micorbiota. Dysbiosis is the shift away from normal micorbiota, which may cause some diseases.  Scientists are studying microbiota to help understand the nature of gastrointestinal, autoimmune and even brain disorders.  The health of your gut influences mental health and vice versa. In our previous blog we discussed the scientific discovery of the second brain, not located in your noggin where you’ll find your first brain, but oddly, in your gut. The lining of the gut with its complex […]
August 2, 2016

The Doorway Effect

  Story at a glance:  Walking through doorways does really cause us to forget Events are processed one at a time and concentrating on something takes up most of our thought processes Different parts of memory compete with each other Ever had that moment where you walk into a room to get something only to completely forget why you’re there? You’ve probably done it so many times you might even start wondering if you’ve got a dodgy memory!  Well there’s two pieces of good news, one, you don’t. Your memory is fine! And two, you’re not alone! In fact you’re […]
June 2, 2016

Concussion: The Movie, The Health Issue, The Reason We Should Be A Little More Concerned

It happens to boxers and football players. It even happens to most children over the course of childhood. It is the simple concussion. For many years, this hasn’t been a hot topic, but a new movie is shining a little light on what can happen when this occurs repetitively. “Concussion – the movie,” stars Hollywood heavy-weight Will Smith and is a dramatised account of Dr. Bennett Omalu who first shone the light on what was happening to American Football players as a result of repetitive concussions.   The movie has already attracted a number of awards and nominations, with some calling […]