Bio · Science

Tears Served as a Means of Communication Before the Evolution of Language

Leading expert in neurology Michael Trimble, British professor at the Institute of Neurology in London, examines the physiology and the evolutionary past of emotional crying.

Trimble explains that biologically, tears are important to protect the eye. They keep the eyeball moist, flush out irritants and contain certain proteins and substances that keep the eye healthy and fight infections. He explains that in every other animal on planet Earth, tears seem to only serve these biological purposes.

However, in humans, crying or sobbing, bawling or weeping seems to serve another purpose: communicating emotion. Humans cry for many reasons- out of joy, grief, anger, relief and a variety of other emotions. However, our tears are most frequently shed out of sadness. Trimble said that it was this specific communicative nature of human crying that piqued his interest.

“Humans cry for many reasons,” he told Scientific American. “But crying for emotional reasons and crying in response to aesthetic experiences are unique to us.”

Continue at Medicaldaily

Human-ities · Science

Men and women are from Earth: Examining the latent structure of gender.

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In a recent study published at The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Bobbi J. Carothers of Washington University in St. Louis and Harry T. Reis of the University of Rochester say:

“Although gender differences on average are not under dispute, the idea of consistently and inflexibly gender-typed individuals is. That is, there are not two distinct genders, but instead there are linear gradations of variables associated with sex, such as masculinity or intimacy, all of which are continuous.”

Analyzing 122 different characteristics from 13,301 individuals in 13 studies, the researchers concluded that differences between men and women were best seen as dimensional rather than categorical. In other words, the differences between men and women should be viewed as a matter of degree rather than a sign of consistent differences between two distinct groups.

Digital Media · Performativity · Sculpt/Install · Technology

0,1: Turn the light off by blinking.

An interactive installation based on Arduino.

The lights in the gallery are temporarily turned off whenever the person wearing the glasses blinks.

It all happens so fast that the person wearing the glasses does not even notice the change.

Via Michal Kohút

Human-ities · Science

Empathy’s surprising roots in the sense of touch

When a friend hits her thumb with a hammer, you don’t have to put much effort into imagining how this feels. You know it immediately. You will probably tense up, your “Ouch!” may arise even quicker than your friend’s, and chances are that you will feel a little pain yourself. Of course, you will then thoughtfully offer consolation and bandages, but your initial reaction seems just about automatic. Why?

Neuroscience now offers you an answer: A recent line of research has demonstrated that seeing other people being touched activates primary sensory areas of your brain, much like experiencing the same touch yourself would do. What these findings suggest is beautiful in its simplicity—that you literally “feel with” others.

Excerpt from an article written by Jakub Limanowski, at Scientific American. Continue HERE