A new web culture of pleasure: ASMR videos give you "brain orgasms."
Videos have been popping up and gaining an underground following on YouTube and Reddit which feature tranquil ambient noises—women whispering soft nothings as if directly in your ear, the pages of a book turning, the sound of a comb brushing hair. The effect triggers an ancient reaction in the mind that some describe as a warm wave of euphoria rushing over your body and tingling deep into your spine. It has been dubbed ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) or also known more crudely as a brain orgasm. While not a true "orgasm" (though it feels pretty damn naughty), ASMRs are thought to be more closely tied to the calming pleasure primates experience when grooming each other. Check out the link here to give some of the videos a try. You might want to wait until there's no one else around. [MedicalDaily]
The children of older men are less likely to succeed.
New research published in JAMA Psychiatry suggests that children born to older men are more likely to have a variety of mental and health problems. A child conceived by a man over the age of 45 is three and a half times more likely to be diagnosed with autism, 13 times more likely to have ADHD, and staggeringly, 25 times more to have bipolar disorder. The odds of suicide and substance abuse problems also spiked by twofold. The increased risks of mental health issues can greatly stymie learning and academic achievement, hindering youngsters abilities to become successful, independent, and emotionally stable later in life. [LATimes]
You're not on Facebook? You might be a sociopath.
Scientists are increasingly looking toward the ubiquitous presence of social media platforms in our everyday lives to explain and understand psychology. According to Medical Daily, recent studies have focused on sites like Facebook and Twitter to analyze users' habits. One study suggested that frequent posters could display narcissistic behavior while another suggested people that way too frequently post pictures of themselves could suffer from major issues of insecurity and narcissism. One study went so far as to imply that not having an Internet presence at all could mean that a disconnected person is a psychopath, or even a murderer. However dubious and exceedingly tentative these studies' conclusions may be, it's important to note that some view of humanity does emerge out of the digital omniverse, and scientists are more than ready to tap into the plethora of information at their literal fingertips. [MedicalDaily]
Preventing public health problems NSA-style.
A study from the journal Preventive Medicine suggests that public health officials could use the "big data" of social media like Twitter to track, predict, and eventually tackle major urban health threats like HIV and widespread drug use and addiction. In a method that sounds like only Phillip K. Dick could have dreamed up, analysts would use an algorithm to gather recurring themes from Tweets and posts that could suggest unseemly behavior is rampant in a given city or state, marking that given area for official health policy and action. [EurekAlert]