Birth Control Messing With Your Mind?

A recently published study has shed light on the memory-altering effects of one of the most widely used hormone-regulating drugs in the world: the birth control pill.

 

What's the Latest Development?


Birth control pills alter the way women remember events, according to a new study out of U.C. Irvine. "The researchers arrived at this conclusion after an experiment involving 72 women who were either naturally cycling or on the pill. Every woman in the study viewed either a brief, narrated story containing ‘emotionally arousing’ elements or one containing only 'neutral' elements." Women on the pill had better recall of the overall events of the story which researchers connect with elevated hormone levels.  

What's the Big Idea?

Memories are stronger when they are accompanied by emotion at the time of the event and hormone levels often influence the formation of emotion. "What's most exciting about this study is that it shows the use of hormonal contraception alters memory," said Shawn Nielsen, one of the researchers involved in the study. "There are only a handful of studies examining the cognitive effects of the pill, and more than 100 million women use it worldwide." None of the research indicated that women lose memory by taking the pill. 

Car culture and suburban sprawl create rifts in society, claims study

New research links urban planning and political polarization.

Pixabay
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Canadian researchers find that excessive reliance on cars changes political views.
  • Decades of car-centric urban planning normalized unsustainable lifestyles.
  • People who prefer personal comfort elect politicians who represent such views.
Keep reading Show less

How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Keep reading Show less

NASA astronomer Michelle Thaller on ​the multiple dimensions of space and human sexuality

Science and the squishiness of the human mind. The joys of wearing whatever the hell you want, and so much more.

Flickr / 13winds
Think Again Podcasts
  • Why can't we have a human-sized cat tree?
  • What would happen if you got a spoonful of a neutron star?
  • Why do we insist on dividing our wonderfully complex selves into boring little boxes
Keep reading Show less