Why radicals can't recognize when they're wrong

It's not just ostriches who stick their head in the sand.

  • Not only does everyone have personal experience with how difficult it can be to change people's minds, but there's also empirical research showing why this is the case.
  • A new study in Current Biology explains why some people seem to be constitutionally incapable of admitting they're wrong.
  • The study shows the underlying mechanism behind being bull-headed, and there may be some ways to get better at recognizing when you're wrong.
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Microdoses of LSD change how you perceive time

A study on the effects of LSD microdosing shows some fittingly strange results.

  • A new study offers some of the first evidence that microdosing – taking tiny, regular doses of LSD – does have measurable effects.
  • Subjects taking LSD were less accurate when estimating how long an image appeared on a screen than subjects who were sober.
  • The mechanism that causes this effect remains unknown, but several ideas have been put forward.
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How antibiotics used in factory farming destroy our microbiomes

Good bacteria are our friends. We need to protect them.

  • More and more research nowadays links good gut flora to several health benefits, such as the inhibition of Alzheimer's to a fast metabolism.
  • Since we're over prescribed antibiotics, and because much of the meat we consume comes from animals that were fed antibiotics, we are destroying much of the good bacteria, and often at the risk — because of our diets — of replenishing them.
  • A well-rounded diet that's light in animal protein, high in macronutrients, and supplemented with a good intake of prebiotics can ensure we're keeping probiotics flourishing.

'Disturbing' music influences us to take fewer financial risks, Israeli researchers find

Want to make safer investments? Pay attention to the music playing in the background.

Photo credit: Theo Wargo / Getty Images for Firefly
Mind & Brain
  • A recent study examined the different ways fast/arousing and slow/calming music affects the ways people make financial decisions.
  • The results show that people made safer investments while listening to fast/arousing music, a finding that might be explained by the fact that people tend to be more risk averse when their working memory becomes overloaded.
  • Although everyone experiences music differently, it's worth keeping in mind that subtle situational factors can influence the ways we make important decisions.
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How will Denver change if it decriminalizes magic mushrooms?

Psilocybin doesn't just make you trip; it can have lasting effects on how you see the world.

Matt Cardy/Getty Images
Mind & Brain
  • In May, Denver will vote on whether or not to decriminalize magic mushrooms.
  • In addition to their ability to combat depression and anxiety, magic mushrooms can also affect people's perspective, including their political positions.
  • If Denverites begin to use more magic mushrooms, how will this change their community?
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How to learn a new language while you sleep

Sleep encoding turns out to be a real thing.

Laura Li prepares to take a nap in YeloSpa, in New York, on May 1, 2018, where New Yorkers can pay for a cabin to take a nap, and recharge energy without having to return to their homes. (Photo by HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP/Getty Images)
Surprising Science
  • While it was believed you cannot learn new information while asleep, a new study in Switzerland makes the case for sleep encoding.
  • 41 native German speakers were introduced to a nonsense word alongside a German word to forge a relationship.
  • When tested while awake, the real word was defined by the nonsense word 10 percent higher than random chance, suggesting a bond was formed while asleep.
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