Month: June 2015

The look of concen­tration

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Evolution / Health / Myths

Most young kids do it. Michael Jordan was famous for it. And it’s quite possible you do it too. What am I talking about? Sticking your tongue out when you concentrate. It’s incredibly common and over the years there have been a variety of theories attempting to explain the habit. Recent research supports the suggestion it’s connected to the way humans evolved spoken language. A quirky tongue? Next time you have the opportunity, watch a […]

The sound of music

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Myths / Psychology

Today I saw something I’ve never seen before: a man breaking out into dance in the supermarket. One aisle over, I caught another shopper smiling and humming along. I don’t normally notice the music being played in shops, but I also felt more energised than I had moments earlier. Whether it be how long you spend in a shop, the amount you spend, even whether you buy French or German wine, music has power over our behaviour. And shops are using it to their advantage.

When am I going to die?

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Health / Medicine / Myths

Remember when Marty McFly desperately tried to warn the 1955 Doc Emmett Brown that in 1985, Doc was going to be gunned down by Libyan terrorists in Back to the Future? Doc insists that he doesn’t want to know about the future. How about you? Would you want know in advance when you are going to die? New research out of the UK can tell you the chances you’ll still be alive in five years based on your answers to some very simple questions.

It’s not all in the mind

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Health / Myths / Psychology

Want to build more muscle, play sport more skillfully and heal better after injury, all without lifting a finger? I’m talking about <em>visualisation</em>: imagining your body doing something before you actually do it. Rather than an urban myth, it turns out there is lots of science behind the power of mental training.