A weekly trail mix of thought-provoking essays and research.
1. I Asked a Psychopath How to Stop Caring About Rejection
This brilliant article summarises the feelings of a psychopath with insight. I think is a valuable approach as instead of demonising people with psychopathy, it is better to understand:
- With rejection, I always ask myself “why did this happen?” I never ask “why am I not worthy?” When I get rejected I feel bad for like negative-two seconds. It’s just, oh how do I fix it?
- Everything for me is a percentage. For example if I think something’s against me at about 20:1, I’ll put in 20 different proposals or versions to make sure I get what I want. Doing that trains your expectations too. If your chances are 20:1 and you only put in one attempt, then you can’t get upset if it doesn’t work.
2. New research finds that dopamine is involved in human bonding
From Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
“We found that social affiliation is a potent stimulator of dopamine,” says Barrett. “This link implies that strong social relationships have the potential to improve your outcome if you have a disease, such as depression, where dopamine is compromised. We already know that people deal with illness better when they have a strong social network. What our study suggests is that caring for others, not just receiving caring, may have the ability to increase your dopamine levels.”
3. The reasons behind right- and left-handedness revealed
Epigenetic factors appear to be at the root of it, reflecting environmental influences. Those influences might, for example, lead to enzymes bonding methyl groups to the DNA, which in turn would affect and minimise the reading of genes. As this occurs to a different extent in the left and the right spinal cord, there is a difference to the activity of genes on both sides.
Unlike other forms of caregiving, the act of mothers singing to infants is a universal behaviour that seemingly withstands the test of time.
4. Infant brains engage through song
From University of Miami
“High cognitive scores during infant-directed singing suggested that engagement through song is just as effective as book reading or toy play in maintaining infant attention, and far more effective than listening to recorded music.”
“Mothers around the world sing to their infants in remarkably similar ways, and infants prefer these specialised songs. The tempo and key certainly don’t need to be perfect or professional for mothers and infants to interact through song. In fact, infants may be drawn to the personalised tempo and pitch of their mother, which encourage them to direct their gaze toward and ultimately communicate through this gaze.”
5. Use it or lose it: how the brain chooses what memories to store
“This goes some way to answering the long-standing question of whether the formation of generalised memory is simply a result of the brain’s network ‘forgetting’ incidental features,” Morrissey explains. “On the contrary, we show that groups of neurons develop coding to store shared information from different experiences while, seemingly independently, losing selectivity for irrelevant details.”
Have a lovely weekend everyone!