Learning! Roundup: Undoing Isolation, Diet Culture, Your Brain on Poverty, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, and More!

Photo by Carlos Santos.

Undoing Isolation

Social isolation is really bad for us - our brains are, as one headline puts it, obsessed with being social. So much so that the absence of social connections leads to depression, PTSD, and a host of other mental problems. So here's a proposition that is a Black Mirror episode waiting to happen: what if we could take a pill to counteract the negative cognitive effects of social isolation? I really don't like this as a solution to the loneliness problem in our cities.

Diet Culture or Actual Health

This is a fantastic article about the contrast between diet culture, which equates thinness with both health and moral goodness, and actual health, including links to actual research and scathing rebuke where the research doesn't even exist.

Income and the Brain

A study on the impact of poverty on brain function has shown that people with lower socioeconomic status have less grey matter and fewer connections in their brains. This relationship held even after researchers controlled for other health factors, cognitive ability, and their childhood socioeconomic status.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

There may, at last, be a cause and a cure for polycystic ovary syndrome! Polycystic ovary syndrome can cause infertility, as well as very painful ovarian cysts and irregular cycles. New research shows the cause may happen before birth, which has lead to treatments that have been successful in mice.

Neural Connections

Here's a surprising reveal: new research shows that intelligence is associated with fewer neural connections, not more. More efficient, I guess?

Stress and Bad News

While we are under stress, our brains get better at processing bad news than good news. It makes some evolutionary sense, but has some pretty negative consequences when we live in a world that is constantly stressful.


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