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Elephants’ ‘body awareness’ adds to increasing evidence of their intelligence | University of Cambridge
“This is a deceptively simple test, but its implications are quite profound,” says Dr Plotnik. “The elephants understood that their bodies were getting in the way, so they stepped aside to enable themselves to complete the task. In a similar test, this is something that young children are unable to understand until they are about two years old.

“This implies that elephants may be capable of recognising themselves as separate from objects or their environment. This means that they may have a level of self-understanding, coupled with their passing of the mirror test, which is quite rare in the animal kingdom.”

Species that have demonstrated a capacity for self-recognition in the mirror test all show varying levels of cooperative problem-solving, perspective taking and empathy, suggesting that ‘self-awareness’ may relate to effective cooperative-living in socially intelligent animals. A more developed self-understanding of how an individual relates to those around may underlie more complex forms of empathic perspective taking. It may also underlie how an individual targets help towards others in need. Both aspect are seen in studies of human children.
behavior  psychology 
3 days ago by cnk
The Obesity-Impulsivity Axis: Potential Metabolic Interventions in Chronic Psychiatric Patients. - PubMed - NCBI
Recently, a strong association was found between impulsivity and obesity which may explain the high prevalence of metabolic disorders in individuals with mental illness even in the absence of exposure to psychotropic drugs. As the overlapping neurobiology of impulsivity and obesity is being unraveled, the question asked louder and louder is whether they should be treated concomitantly. The treatment of obesity and metabolic dysregulations in chronic psychiatric patients is currently underutilized and often initiated late, making correction more difficult to achieve. Addressing obesity and metabolic dysfunction in a preventive manner may not only lower morbidity and mortality but also the excessive impulsivity, decreasing the risk for aggression. In this review, we take a look beyond psychopharmacological interventions and discuss dietary and physical therapy approaches.
self  treatment  management  behavior  dietary  diet  intervention  correlation  obesity  impulsivity  impulse  control  metabolic  disorder  metabolism  mental  illness  neurobiology  peer-reviewed  research  aggression  physical  therapy 
11 days ago by Michael.Massing
s4e04: You can't say no
"I can't point to the exact moment, but at some point after the second Internet boom, and definitely during the First Great Mobile App Explosion, it became increasingly clear that product managers and designers were getting very excited about things like cognitive psychology and persuasion. Here we are now in 2017, and it feels like it's increasingly rare for an interaction with an app or website to let the user simply say: "no". 

There's an easy reason for this because we like easy explanations: digital and interactive lets us measure things. We choose what we want to measure, and then we change things so that what we measure moves in the way we want it to move. Most of the things we're concerned (as a species? As a post-capitalist neo-liberal society that's optimized itself into rewarding and needing short-term gain?) about, we want to move Up and To The Right, which generally means that they're increasing because we like numbers to get bigger. There is probably a cognitive psychology paper on why we like numbers to get bigger, along with a whole host of other papers that have failed to replicate the effect. 

Anyway.

Because of this, because of things we *can* measure (and because of things we *can't* measure or choose *not* to measure), it's easy (I think!) for us to design ourselves and our artifacts into blind spots. 

One easy example: mobile apps like it if you turn on notifications. By turning on notifications, that app has a chance to get your attention (which, we're reminded, is increasingly the only thing we have left to choose what to do with) when you're not using it. Everything wants your attention. Our wise and benificent leaders, those OS designers who hold more and more power over the interactions that we repeat every minute, every hour, every day, decided that maybe it's not such a good idea to let apps send notifications to us by default. So they have to ask. 

The polite way of asking, of course, is to a) ask nicely, and b) let the person you're asking decline."
ui  cognition  behavior  culture  dark  patterns  no 
13 days ago by earth2marsh
Low-dose penicillin in early life induces long-term changes in murine gut microbiota, brain cytokines and behavior : Nature Communications
We find that penicillin has lasting effects in both sexes on gut microbiota, increases cytokine expression in frontal cortex, modifies blood–brain barrier integrity and alters behaviour.
Microbiome  behavior  antibiotics  penicillin 
14 days ago by snowinsoho

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