Learning! Roundup: Sad Songs for the Depressed, a Sort of Telepathy, Impulsive Immunity, and More!

A roundup of research and learning for the week, including sad songs, telepathy, gender non-conformity rules, and more
Photo by Eric Nopanen.

Sad Songs Say So Much

Sad music tends to make us feel pretty low, so it was a bit concerning that people with depression tend to seek out sad music to listen to. It turns out, however, that listening to sad music might make people with depression feel calmer, or even uplifted, not sadder. (Although, I have to say, when I was in the throws of depression, I'm pretty sure sad songs just made me feel sadder.)

A Sort of Telepathy

Scientists have been been using AI to try to turn people's brain waves into speech. Right now, a machine can read someone's brainwaves and come out with speech that is often intelligible, which is pretty huge, actually. Also, I would like to state for the record now that I do not want to live in a world where thoughts are just announced, willy-nilly!

Impulsive Immune Systems

New research shows that the presence of inflammation in the body can lead us to be more short-term in our thinking. Perhaps because inflammation is generally caused by injury, and then our bodies need us to focus on things that allow us to heal in the short-term, instead of benefiting us in the longer-term.

Gendered Gender Non-Conformity

This one confirms something feminist thinkers have been saying for a while: parents are more likely to keep boys on track towards more traditional gender norms than boys. This effect was more pronounced in fathers than mothers and adds some scientific backing to the argument that we still prioritize maleness in our society.

Exercise Benefits Little Swimmers

And by little swimmers, I mean sperm. A mice study shows that the brains of baby mice whose fathers exercised regularly had a boost over those who weren't.

Potential vs. Past

When hiring for managerial positions, men are generally judged based on their potential and women on their past performance. This, of course, gives men more opportunities for growth and women ore opportunities to stay in the exact same place.


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