Brief asides


POSTED: Wednesday, March 31, 2010


News we forgot to tell you about earlier because we were too stressed

If you want to remember something, your chances of doing so are best when you're relaxed. That's the finding of researchers who have been working with people with learning disabilities and dementia.

Reporting on an article that appeared in the journal Nature, Reuters said scientists apparently already knew that “;relaxed minds are better at receiving new information,”; but that this new research has “;pinpointed the mechanism by which relaxation neurons work together to improve memory.”; Specifically, “;synchronization in the brain is influenced by 'theta waves' which are associated with relaxation, daydreaming and drowsiness, but also with learning and memory formation.”;

So take it easy and you might not forget to do those important things you had wanted to get done today.


Must be nice to be a 'supertasker'

Only 2.5 percent of motorists were able to drive safely while using a hands-free cell phone, according to a new study. Researchers at the University of Utah assessed 200 people as they simultaneously participated in a freeway driving simulation and a cell-phone conversation that involved memorizing words and math problems. Each person was measured in braking reaction time, following distance, memory, and math execution. Results showed performance suffered while driving and talking on a hands-free cell phone for all but about 2.5 percent of the participants, whom the researchers dubbed “;supertaskers.”;