December-19: Around the World


Eating alone could make you unhappy

Family that eats together


A survey of about 8,000 adults by Oxford Economics and the National Centre for Social Research published by Sainsbury’s suggested eating alone has a stronger link to being unhappy than any other factor except mental illness.

The respondents were asked questions that measured happiness, satisfaction, self-worth and anxiety on a ‘wellbeing’ scale from 0 to 100. Those who always ate alone scored almost eight points lower on average than those who never did.  Researchers have suggested that eating alone may affect how much we eat, what we eat, and our mood.

Find your partner


Can’t stop checking your phone? Blame your brain

Addicted to phone


A new study by researchers at Haas School of Business has found that the search for information taps the same neural code as the search for money. The researchers conducted an MRI of those playing a gambling game where they were asked to assess a series of lotteries and then choose how much money they wanted to invest. Some of the lotteries had valuable information and other had little information. They noted that the participants’ curiosity increased when the stakes were higher as well as when more information was available.

The researchers derived that the players’ behaviour was determined by the economic motivation and curiosity-driven impulses. People just seek information, irrespective of whether it is of any use to them. It also directly explains why we are information hungry and constantly check the notifications on our phones.

It is human


Brain map can tell what you are reading

Bookmark your reading

Neuroscientists at the University of California, Berkeley created interactive maps that can predict the brain areas activated by different word categories. For instance, words associated with numbers stimulate one area while words related to locations activate another. The brain processes the words in the same way irrespective of the fact whether it is by reading or listening. The findings yield fresh insights into the complex brain activity of comprehension. They should also improve the understanding of language processing difficulties such as dyslexia.

The brain knows it all

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