Simple Exposure to New Things Prepares Us to Learn

Before humans enter any kind of formal education they are able to learn to identify everyday items like a “couch” or a “cat” just be running across them in their day-to-day life with absolutely no intent to learn what they are.

Authors of this new study stated that simple exposure to new objects make humans ready to learn. People often observe new things out in their day-to-day life without intending to learn about them. But the research demonstrates just observing the new thing in real life makes a person ready to learn about it later.

The study was created from five different experiments with 438 adult participants and all the experiments demonstrated similar results.

In one study participants took part first in an exposure phase in which they played a simple computer game that features colorful images of unfamiliar creates. They game gives no detail or context about the creatures. Unknown to participants, however, each creature was predetermined to belong to either an A Group or B Group.

Like in real life, the creatures that fit into either category shared common traits like somewhat different colored or shaped body parts. Control participants were shown a different set of creatures. Later in the experiment participants were put through a learning process where in they were taught how to categorize the creatures into two invented categories of creatures “flurps’ and “jalets.”

The results demonstrated that those who were exposed to the creatures initially learned how to categorize them much more quickly than the control group who played the computer game with unrelated creature images.


Posted in OSU

New Research on the Link Between Diet and ADHD

According to a new article in Nutritional Neuroscience, a proper diet including fruits and vegetables may help reduce some symptoms of ADHD.

Data used in this research was collected in collaboration with the Micronutrients for ADHD in Youth Study. This study explored the effects of vitamin and mineral supplement with 36 ingredients in treating children 6-12 years of age who have symptoms of ADHD or poor emotional control.

The study revealed that those children of the 134 that took the micronutrients were three times more like to show improvement in their ADHD and emotional control symptoms when compared to those who took a placebo.

A similar study involving the same children demonstrated that families who had a higher level of food insecurity where more like to have children who demonstrated severe symptoms of emotional control issues.

These and other studies begin to capture an image that clearly demonstrates the connection between diet and ADHD and emotional control symptoms.


Protecting Coral Reefs

The oceans of Earth are some of the most diverse ecosystems on our planet. However, increasing average temperatures are the cause of death for many marine animals including coral reefs. A new study has recognized a need for a global collaboration to save the six thousand some coral species in our oceans.

The study authors stated that coral reefs are an essential ecosystem for our planet. They provide natural protection for coastlines against erosion and storms. The also service large portions of our economy like tourism.

The study suggests the use of mesoscale sanctuaries—these sanctuaries would extend thousands of miles and cross national boundaries in the hopes of protecting coral reef.

Warming caused by climate change is the number one threat to coral reefs currently, according to study authors. This is why sanctuaries would need to cross national borders.

Creating a homogeneous approach would provide the most benefit to coral reefs, however, working with many different governments and politicians it can be almost impossible to consistently protect the environment.

Even though coral reefs account for only 0.1% of the Earth’s surface about 30% of marine species are somehow connected to the ecosystem they create.


Posted in OSU

Employees Highly Value Independence in the Workplace

According to new research, from the job seeker’s perspective, there are multiple factors beyond pay that can make a potential job position appealing. Some of this include the ability to work remotely and flexible work hours have increased in value to workers.

Much of the discourse is about attracting workers—but this research reveals what becomes important after the employee is retained. The new research shows those things are these other benefits. Once an employer has the worker in the door are non-wage amenities.

Autonomy as a general concept is something workers value highly, according to the data. Being able to build one’s own good work habits is highly sought after. Not everyone wants to be handed a to-do list by their boss. The data also demonstrated that on the job independence was associated with wage increases of 3.8%.

Independence on the job can also take the form of working alone versus on group projects. Working alone versus working on a team was associated with a wage increase of 8.4%.

The desire for independence is so high that even when working in groups, according to the study, many preferred to be evaluated only on their own contribution to the project and not the group’s work as a whole.


Keep the Science Out of My Cookies

Why are people OK with science creating a product that battles odor-causing bacteria but they don’t want science to have anything to do with their snack cakes?

Over a series of 10 different studies, study authors discovered that people don’t like science being used as a marketing device when it comes to pleasure inducing products, like cookies. Consumers, however, tend to like “science-based” marketing when it comes to utility products where in science created a better, perhaps easier to use product.

The researchers stated that this has much to do with how lay people in the public view science and scientists. While the general public often views scientists as competent but also as cold. These traits don’t pair well with pleasure products, according to the study authors.


Posted in OSU