A study published this week in the journal Neuron suggests why people learn better when their curiosity is piqued.
Researchers from UC Davis conducted fMRI scans on students and found evidence that activity in the midbrain was enhanced during states of high curiosity. The study indicated that curiosity was related to an increase in the activity of the brain chemical dopamine, which seemed to strengthen the students’ memories.
While this may be good news for human students and teachers, researchers have yet to test the findings on cats, a group to which curiosity is often said to be lethal. Good luck getting those proposals past IRB cat!
It was a long week, wasn’t it, kittens? But we made it through.
Scientists have discovered a new kind of mushroomy, jellyfishy type thingie that nobody had ever studied before. A paper published this week in the journal PLOS ONE describes the discovery of the previously unknown creatures off the coast of Australia. Lead author Jean Just, of the Natural History Museum of Denmark, admitted “we don’t even know if they’re upside down.”
The animals are described as looking like floppy chanterelle mushrooms but feeling like dollops of gelatin. The two new species described in the study were officially named Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides. As yet, almost nothing is known about them, and only 18 specimens have been studied.
Mushroom Cat says “ohai” to his newly discovered cousins.
California has been experiencing drought conditions for over a year, and now geological monitoring stations show that the drying ground is actually rising up. According to this article by Sarah Zielinski in Smithsonian Magazine, “Measurements of these subtle movements, made using GPS instruments, suggest that the western United States is missing some 62 trillion gallons of water, enough to cover the entire region six inches deep.” Alarming news for farmers and thirsty kitties alike.
Yeah, I’m not even going to try to explain. You can haz wikipedia.