Monkeys are capable of inferential reasoning, study shows

A recent study showed that monkeys can make logical choices when given an A or B scenario.

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  • For centuries, humans have wondered which cognitive abilities animals share with people.
  • In a new study, researchers presented baboons with a "hidden-item" task designed to test their understanding of disjunctive syllogisms.
  • The results showed that the baboons were not only successful in the task, but also displayed signs of confidence in their decision making.
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Why large groups of people often come to the same conclusions

Study confirms the existence of a special kind of groupthink in large groups.

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  • Large groups of people everywhere tend to come to the same conclusions.
  • In small groups, there's a much wider diversity of ideas.
  • The mechanics of a large group make some ideas practically inevitable.
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Serotonin plays a key role in patience and impulse control, research says

There is a neurological link between serotonin levels and the brain's ability to control impulses and patience levels.

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  • Prior research has suggested a possible link between a lack of serotonin receptors in the brain and impulsive behaviors.
  • A recent study from the Neural Computation Unit at the OIST explored this further, resulting in evidence that there is in fact a neurological factor to the brain's ability to control impulses and manage patience.
  • This research could reveal more data on how serotonin impacts regions of the brain, which could eventually lead to the development of new drug treatments for conditions such as depression and addiction, among others.
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Is free will an illusion?

Philosophers have been asking the question for hundreds of years. Now neuroscientists are joining the quest to find out.

  • The debate over whether or not humans have free will is centuries old and ongoing. While studies have confirmed that our brains perform many tasks without conscious effort, there remains the question of how much we control and when it matters.
  • According to Dr. Uri Maoz, it comes down to what your definition of free will is and to learning more about how we make decisions versus when it is ok for our brain to subconsciously control our actions and movements.
  • "If we understand the interplay between conscious and unconscious," says Maoz, "it might help us realize what we can control and what we can't."

Can fake news help you remember real facts better?

A 2020 study published in the journal of Psychological Science explores the idea that fake news can actually help you remember real facts better.

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  • In 2019, researchers at Stanford Engineering analyzed the spread of fake news as if it were a strain of Ebola. They adapted a model for understanding diseases that can infect a person more than once to better understand how fake news spreads and gains traction.
  • A new study published in 2020 explores the idea that fake news can actually help you remember real facts better.
  • "These findings demonstrate one situation in which misinformation reminders can diminish the negative effects of fake-news exposure in the short term," researchers on the project explained.
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