Neurosciency Friday: James Bond, Lobotomies, and more

It’s time for this week’s installment of Neurosciency Friday (inspired by NPR Science Friday!), in which I bring you science news and tidbits from around the web! 

– Three British scientists analyzed James Bond’s drinking habits, and found that 007 ingested 92 units of alcohol per week, and it’s possible that he wanted his martinis “shaken, not stirred” due to his resulting cerebellar tremor.  Hmm…

– Does anyone remember the “marshmallow task”?  Here’s a refresher from Wikipedia:

In these studies, a child was offered a choice between one small reward (sometimes a marshmallow, but often a cookie or a pretzel, etc.) provided immediately or two small rewards if he or she waited until the experimenter returned (after an absence of approximately 15 minutes).

Recently, researchers at the University of Rochester reported that the marshmallow task may be an indicator of children’s beliefs about the stability of the world, not just a measurement of the ability to delay gratification.

– The LA Times reports on a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that suggests it may be possible to develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder from watching media coverage of an event.

– The Department of Veterans Affairs approved the use of lobotomies to treat mental illness in veterans in 1943 — the controversial practice was advanced by eminent neurosurgeons such as Walter Freeman.  The United States government lobotomized 2,000 veterans after World War II.  The Wall Street Journal recounts the fascinating  history.

Nanosponges could be used to treat MRSA in the future.

MIT scientists have determined that the most difficult tongue twister is: “pad kid poured curd pulled cod.”  (Just reading that gives me a headache.  Whew.)

Have a good weekend!


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