Findings — From the July 2015 issue

Findings

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For every percentage point the foreclosure rate increased during the subprime-mortgage crisis, the average block in mixed black and white American neighborhoods gained 9.6 black residents and lost 4.5 white residents. Black Americans die younger in areas with more Google searches for “nigger.” Democrats would win more elections if black Americans died at the same rate as white Americans. Teachers presented with recurrent misbehavior by imaginary students will judge those students to be troublemakers if they are named DeShawn or Darnell but not Greg or Jake. White Americans with blue eyes are likelier than those with brown eyes to be alcoholics. The U.S. Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association warned that food-safe flavorings may become unsafe when inhaled from e-cigarettes. Happiness creates a signature smell in human sweat that can induce happiness in those who smell it. Test subjects told to discuss their close relationships talk sexier when given 1.5 milligrams of MDMA per kilogram of body weight. Probiotics encourage the Dutch not to dwell on bad experiences. A forensic examiner published a report describing a suicide by eight gunshots to the head. The more mice think, the faster their brain tumors grow. Fidgeting improves learning in children with ADHD. The more autistic a human is, the more androgynous he or she appears. There is no such thing as pure autism. There is no such thing as pure dominance.

Researchers correlated activation of the dopaminergic system in the medial orbitofrontal and medial prefrontal cortices with the passionate stage of romantic love, activation of the posterior cingulate cortex with the sense of having a body, activation of the insula with certainty about the truth of a nontestable proposition, and exceptional activation of the presupplementary motor area and the midcingulate cortex with the extemporizing of British comedians. Neuroscientists explained the psychological underpinnings of suspense by studying responses to E.T.A. Hoffmann’s “The Sandman” and Felix Mendelssohn’s “Venetian Boat Song.” Prominent composers in the nineteenth century died 2.2 years earlier if another major composer lived in the same city. The best way to get a song unstuck from your head is chewing gum. OCD may have first been reported in the ninth century, in Abu Zayd al-Balkhi’s Sustenance of the Body and Soul. Scientists urged further study of dance addiction. German women accept virtually no direct invitations to casual sex from average-looking requesters on university campuses or in clubs, but when brought into laboratories and presented with photos of ten men who, they are told, want to have sex with them in a safe environment, consent to sex with an average of 2.73 average-looking putative suitors, as compared with men’s consent rate of 3.57. Middle initials are overrepresented among lead authors of psychology articles.

Evidence of extensive cannibalism, including such practices as marrow extraction and the fashioning of skulls into skullcaps, was discovered at Gough’s Cave in Cheddar Gorge. Chins, which are unique to modern humans, are not useful. Low-back pain is more prevalent among people with chimpanzeelike spines. Female baboons whose bottoms swell the most during ovulation do not necessarily make the best mothers. Female Fongoli chimpanzees are likelier than males to use sharpened sticks to stab bush babies in their tree holes. Alpha-male Sebitoli chimpanzees assume responsibility for looking before they let their groups cross the road. A Dutch chimpanzee knocked a drone from the sky. A Chernobyl fox made itself a sandwich. A wild orphan wallaby died on the Isle of Man. Kansas dams are destroying the peppered chub. Flame retardants may cause hyperthyroidism in old Swedish house cats, and sharp, high-pitched sounds were confirmed to cause seizures in old house cats everywhere. There is no pattern to the undulation of the octopus’s arms. Pollen seeds clouds. The Sichuan bush warbler exists. The Myanmar Jerdon’s babbler persists.

“Exit Eden No. 17” and “Exit Eden No. 14,” photographs by Doug Fogelson from the series Exit Eden. Courtesy the artist

“Exit Eden No. 17” and “Exit Eden No. 14,” photographs by Doug Fogelson from the series Exit Eden. Courtesy the artist

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