A Connection Between Romance and What We Watch?

Folks who have trouble with romantic relationships may use movies and television as a way to experience what they have trouble with in real life. A new study suggests that those with attachment issues are more likely to be engaged in the stories of the media they consume. Meaning they feel more connected to the characters and think about they, the viewer, would do in the characters’ situations.

The results further suggest this provides a consequence free space in which to deal with relationships issues.

The study examined a little over one thousand Americans eighteen or older. It examined to facets of attachment in romantic relationships—avoidance an anxiety. Those who score high in avoidance tend to keep an emotional distance from their partners. Those who score high in anxiety are what we colloquially refer to as “needy”. In other words, they need constant validation their partner cares about them.

The participants also answered lots of questions about how they engage with the media they consume. Without much surprise, those who scored highly in avoidance, but low in anxiety felt very little connection to the characters and their problems. According to researchers, they treat the characters as they do people in their real lives. So then, those who scored high in anxiety were strongly connected to the stories and characters from their media consumption.

Most interesting were those that scored high in both avoidance and anxiety. They were the most absorbed with the stories and characters in the media they consumed. They made comments saying that the media helped them understand people they weren’t familiar with. That they imagined the outcomes of different choices the characters could have made. That they liked to imagine they new the characters personally.

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Asking Your Kids the Right Questions

The kinds of questions teachers ask children when they read books affect how much children learn, according to a new study. The study observed teachers during classroom story time and discovered the questions they ask are often too simple.

Only 24% of what teachers said when not reading the text were even questions. And those questions were answered correctly 85% of the time. While this study observed teachers, the same applies to parents and their children during story time.

Classrooms were monitored while teachers read a 25-page story called Kingdom of Friends in which two friends argue but learn to resolve their differences. All discussion was transcribed by researchers, both the teacher and children. Some five thousand questions by teachers and just under thirty five hundred child responses were recorded.

Over half, 52%, of questions were yes or no type questions. As we would expect most these questions were answered one-word style by children. The rest of the questions asked why and how.

The latter type, researchers say, are the type we need more of because they tend to produce more complex answers from the children.

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Sunlight Becomes Physical Fuel?

Researchers at OSU have developed a potentially world changing molecule—one that absorbs sunlight efficiently. But not only that, one that itself can be a catalyst to turn photons into hydrogen (a clean alternative to fossil fuels).

The new molecule absorbs energy from the all of the visible spectrum. Additionally it collects fifty percent more energy than current solar cells. Discoveries like these could lead the transition from fossil fuels to sustainable energy that don’t contribute to climate change.

Essentially, the scientists have found a very efficient way to store solar energy—the molecule takes photons (energy molecules from the sun) and stores it in the chemical bonds of hydrogen to be used at a later date. Hydrogen is a clean burning fuel that produces no carbon or carbon dioxide.

The system researchers created enables the molecule to be put in a excited state where it absorbs photons (even from the low-energy infrared, which had before been difficult to collect energy from) and is able to store two electrons to make hydrogen. Being able to store two photons and two electrons to make hydrogen is unprecedented.

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What Ancient People Settled N. America?

Anthropologists study of four ancient skulls uncovered in Mexico suggests that the first people to settle in North American were more diverse, biologically, than previously suspected. The skulls belong to individuals who live anywhere from nine thousand to thirteen thousand years ago.

These skulls and their analysis muddle the theory that the first settlers in the Americas were much more biologically similar. Scientists have long talked about the settlement of the Americas as if North and South shared a common narrative, but there stories are indeed very different.

Archaeologists unearthed the four skulls between 2008-15. They found them in submerged caves in Quintana Roo, Mexico. When the people the skulls belonged to were living the caves were above sea level.

The oldest of the skulls was very much akin to North American arctic people. The second oldest skull was more alike to European people. The third more alike to Asian or Native American peoples. The fourth sharing similarities with arctic peoples but having some South American features.

The skulls are very important because in North American fewer than 20 skeletons over eight thousand years old have been found, where as in South America between 300 to 400 have been found.

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Our Brains and Language

New research has found that humans are born with a part of the brain that is wired already to see words and letters, setting the ground work for reading.

Looking at brain scans from newborns, scientists found that the part of the brain, the visual word form area” or VWFA is connected to the language part of the brain. Researchers say this makes it fertile ground to develop a sense of visual words. Even before exposure to language.

The VWFA is specializes in this way for reading only as individuals that are becoming literate. Some scientists thought that the VWFA only became receptive to language when exposed to it. Like the parts of the brain that sees faces, scenes or other objects as babies learn about them.

Researchers found this wasn’t true though that the VWFA comes out formed to be receptive to language.

Researchers found the VWFA was different because of its functional connection to the language part of the brain and comes preprogrammed unlike the way the visual cortex develops facial recognition.

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