Old Folks Just Arn’t as Afraid of Loss


New Scientist (one of my favorite science magazines — and for good reason) recently published an article on their website talking about how new brain scans are showing that old people simply don’t have as much fear of loss.

Scientists took brain scans and of people experiencing either wins or losses, and separated the groups by age. The younger groups (19-27) consistently experienced more activity in their insula and caudate, a place for processing emotion, while experiencing failure. The older group (over 65) experienced less activity during losses, but similar amounts of activity during wins.

Clearly getting older has it’s benefits. Read the article for yourself at the New Scientist website.


Women’s Brains Damaged More Quickly from Alcohol


For some reason, the masculine ideal has often always included being able to hold ones liquor. Perhaps it is for the best, then, that women do not share this ideal. Research from Russia recently found that women in addition to more quickly experiencing cardiac and liver damage, have now been found to more rapidly experience cognitive decline from alcohol abuse as well.

From Yahoo! News:

Compared with the alcoholic men, the researchers found that alcoholic women performed worse on tests of visual working memory, cognitive flexibility, and spatial planning and problem solving.

Flannery pointed out that women metabolize alcohol differently than men do. A woman will experience the alcohol effects faster than a man of the same weight. One reason is that men have more water in their bodies, which better dilutes alcohol’s effects. Women may also have less of an enzyme that converts alcohol into an inactive substance.