Rats 'feel the distress' of other rats, Dutch neuroscientists say

They seem to have a mechanism for caring similar to ours.

Image source: Ukki Studio/Shutterstock
  • A new study demonstrates that a rat will respond to another's pain.
  • Freezing in place as another rat is shocked is one of empathy's visible indicators.
  • The rats' mechanism for feeling the distress of others seems to be similar to our own.
Keep reading Show less
Surprising Science

How ‘extinction neurons’ help us block out our worst memories

A recent study could help improve treatments for PTSD, anxiety and phobias.

  • A new study examined how the effects of fear-related memories can be silenced in the brain.
  • Forming new and positive "extinction memories" can help to silence fearful memories.
  • The study found that the hippocampus plays a significant role in "extinction training."
Keep reading Show less
Surprising Science

Earth at 2°C hotter will be horrific. Now here’s what 4°C will look like.

This is what the world will be like if we do not act on climate change.

  • The best-case scenario of climate change is that world gets just 2°C hotter, which scientists call the "threshold of catastrophe".
  • Why is that the good news? Because if humans don't change course now, the planet is on a trajectory to reach 4°C at the end of this century, which would bring $600 trillion in global climate damages, double the warfare, and a refugee crisis 100x worse than the Syrian exodus.
  • David Wallace-Wells explains what would happen at an 8°C and even 13°C increase. These predictions are horrifying, but should not scare us into complacency. "It should make us focus on them more intently," he says.
Keep reading Show less
Videos

How financial insecurity sinks American IQ scores

Being on shaky financial footing is making Americans dumber.

  • Not being able to pay your bills has the functional equivalent of lowering your IQ by 13 points. Many Americans have scarcity mindsets because of their inability to pay their bills.
  • In a scarcity mindset, your functional bandwidth decreases — it influences you to be less generous and less reasonable.
  • The opposite of a mindset of scarcity is a mindset of abundance, which is what many entrepreneurs have. Abundance mindsets tend to build on to themselves if the environment is right.
Keep reading Show less
Videos

The U-curve of happiness: Why old age is a time of psychological bliss

Here's why many 80 year olds are probably happier than you.

  • The U-curve of happiness shows that we humans are most content at the beginnings and ends of our lives.
  • The famous midlife crisis is the trough of our happiness because it's a time when we have responsibility for people older and younger than us, and we grow aware that we may not fulfill the dreams of our youth.
  • Children and people in their 80s are uniquely able to live in the moment and be happy because they live at a neurological and psychological sweet spot, respectively.
Keep reading Show less
Videos