INFANTS CAN TELL THE MUSIC THEY ARE HEARING IS HAPPY OR SAD.
Even before learning to talk, infants can easily distinguish cheerful tunes from depressing compositions, a new classical music study has revealed. In the study, 5-month-old babies were shown to pick out an upbeat tune. In fact, by the time the babies turn 9 months old, they can even single out the sorrowful sound.
Such musical experiments, according to Ross Flom Brigham Young University psychology professor and study author, have offered another example of how babies make sense of the world long before they can talk.
"One of the first things babies understand communicatively is emotion, so for them the melody is the message. Our study showed that by nine months, babies are categorizing songs as happy or sad the same way that preschoolers and adults do," said Flom.
Flom said that this period of learning about emotion in sounds is a natural step before learning to talk.Infants master so many things in such a short time frame.
The results of the musical study will be published in the upcoming issue of the academic journal Infant Behavior and Development.
ALOE VERA. GARLIC. GREEN TEA...MOST POPULAR HERBAL MEDICINES.
The most popular herbal medicines used Down Under include aloe vera, garlic and green tea, according to a new study.
Led by Professor Charlie Xue of RMIT University and colleagues, this first of its kind study surveyed in Victoria on their use of the 24 most common medicinal herbs in Australia.
Results indicated that Aloe vera, garlic and green tea turned out to be the most popular herbs. There were more popular herbs including echinancea, ginger, peppermint, ginseng, gingko biloba, evening primrose, dandelion and St John's wort. Over 90 percent of study participants were found to believe their herbal medicine had been helpful in enhancing their general health
and wellbeing, or providing relief from specific medical conditions.
"From a clinical perspective that is quite important," ABC Online quoted Xue, as saying. In his opinion people went for herbal help to treat chronic conditions, and the most common among them are skin problems, sleep disorder, anxiety, stomach, cold, flu and fever.
Those who took herbal medicine were not found to be aware of the scientific evidence on its effectiveness and safety. On the other hand, they tended to rely more on recommendations from others, including the internet, friends and family.
The study is published in the current issue of the journal Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety.
MENTAL BARRIERS BEHIND OBESITY.
Are you overweight and always find some excuse or the other to avoid doing exercise? Well, if you think it's just laziness, think again, for a study claims that it is only a mental block which is hampering your efforts.
An international team has carried out the study and found that obese women often have a "phobia of exercise" which stops them being active because they feel self-conscious and are afraid of injury. According to researchers, these mental barriers are real problems which must be overcome to encourage overweight women to exercise more. "This is the first time we've been able to look at what stops obese women from getting the activity they need. These might
sound like excuses to some people, but for those who have these aversions, they're real problems. "There is an underlying attitude about weight loss, that it's easy if you just eat less and exercise more. But if losing weight were easy, we wouldn't have the obesity epidemic we have today," lead researcher Melissa Napolitano of Temple University said Overweight or obese women were more likely to report feeling self-conscious about their looks while exercising, feeling a lack of self-discipline, hating to fail so not even trying, fearing injury, thinking of activity as hard work, having minor aches and pains, and feeling too overweight to exercise, the researchers found.
EXCESS BOOZING MAKES THE BRAIN TINY.
The more you drink alcohol, the smaller your total brain volume gets, according to a new study by Wellesley College, Massachusetts. The study found that even moderate alcohol consumption can lead to decline in brain volumes. Lower brain volumes have been linked to progression of dementia and problems with thinking, learning and memory.
The study said there was a significant negative linear relationship between alcohol consumption and total cerebral brain volume.
The research team led by Carol Ann Paul, MS, of Wellesley College also found that although men were more likely to drink alcohol, the association between drinking and brain volume was stronger in women. This could be due to biological factors, including women's smaller size and greater susceptibility to alcohol's effects.
"The public health effect of this study gives a clear message about the possible dangers of drinking alcohol," the authors write.
"This study suggests that, unlike the associations with cardiovascular disease, alcohol consumption does not have any protective effect on brain volume," they added.
The report appears in the October issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.