A common pain medication might make you go from “so cute!” to “so what?” when you look at a photo of a kitten. And it might make you less sensitive to horrifying things, too. It’s acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol. Researchers say the drug might be taking the edge off emotions — not just pain

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Of the 10 leading causes of death in the United States, Alzheimer’s disease is the only one for which there is no effective treatment. The disease has a staggering reach: Roughly one out of every five of us is at risk of developing Alzheimer’s dementia in our lifetime

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West Virginians are most likely to report near-daily use of drugs or medications that alter their mood or help them relax, followed by residents of Rhode Island. Southern states make up six of the top 10 highest drug use states, while Alaskans, Wyomingites and Californians are least likely to say they use such drugs almost every day

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When we uncritically accept connection as a good thing, we overlook difficult, important questions: Are some forms of virtual communication more nourishing than others? Might some in fact be harmful? Is it possible that Facebook, for instance, leaves some people feeling more lonely? No one knows for sure

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Scans show that brain regions crucial for the development of language, memory and reasoning skills tend to be smaller in those from poorer backgrounds

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Technology and Persuasion

March 23, 2015

Persuasive technologies surround us, and they’re growing smarter. How do these technologies work? And why?

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People asked to choose between two written moral statements tend to glance more often towards the option they favour, experimental psychologists say. More surprisingly, the scientists also claim it’s possible to influence a moral choice: asking for an immediate decision as soon as someone happens to gaze at one statement primes them to choose that option

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Blocking the High

March 17, 2015

One man’s quixotic quest to cure addiction. If you could take the high out of drugs, what would be the point in taking them? Sujata Gupta meets the unorthodox doctor who thinks he can block some of the world’s most addictive pills.

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