Showing posts from June, 2017

Even When It's Off, It's Playing with Your Brain

You always know where it is.  When you're in the shower.  Driving home from work.  Watching TV.

No, we're not talking about your partner.  We're discussing your phone.

Now a new study says the mere presence of our phone, well, reduces brain power, according to

Your cognitive capacity is significantly reduced when your smartphone is within reach — even if it’s off. That’s the takeaway finding from a new study from the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin. McCombs Assistant Professor Adrian Ward and co-authors conducted experiments with nearly 800 smartphone users in an attempt to measure, for the first time, how well people can complete tasks when they have their smartphones nearby even when they’re not using them. In one experiment, the researchers asked study participants to sit at a computer and take a series of tests that required full concentration in order to score well. The tests were geared to measure participants’ available cogni…

Did You Know Sleeping at the Wrong Time May Worsen OCD?

I admit I'm compulsive.

No, I'm not one of those sad sacks who pile rotten eggs and dirty dishes from 2013 in the sink, climbing over boxes and mountains of clothes to get from end of the living room to the other.

But I have to finish an article the minute it's assigned and I will drive on the shoulder until I can squeeze into a line of unmoving cars.  I didn't say I was polite!

Now a new study says that people who go to bed late may just be developing OCD. reports that these late-night-lovers have less control over OCD symptoms.

A late bedtime is associated with lower perceived control of obsessive thoughts, according to new research from Binghamton University, State University of New York, the web site reports. Binghamton University Professor of Psychology Meredith E. Coles and former graduate student Jessica Schubert (now at University of Michigan Medical School) monitored 20 individuals diagnosed with OCD and 10 individuals endorsing subthreshold OCD …

Morality, Anyone? It's Still Out There

It almost seems like it's out of vogue.

Morality, that is.  

We have a president who lies just about every time he opens his mouth, a congress that looks the other way, an attorney general who fidgets and flushes uncomfortably when asked to speak the truth (and doesn't).

But how do we find out way back?

Experts say it's how guilty we feel when we do something wrong, and then, what we do about it. I'm ashamed to admit that recently, with my new car and too-big side mirrors, I clipped someone else's mirror driving by.  I think most of the damage was done to my mirror -- I had to have it soldered back into place.  But I didn't leave a note for the other person, and to this day (about a week and a half later), I still feel guilty.  Unlike the teenager who backed into my two-month-old car at a high school event and did leave a sorrowful note under my windshield.  (I was parked in a fire lane so I covered the cost of my new driver's side door.)

According to newswise.c…

Think the Best Way to Work Is All Speed, All the Time? Not So Fast, Actually

When given a task, who hasn't set about it with great gusto and panache, hoping to get it done quickly?

Well now a new study is saying that's not the way to do it.

According to, real productivity comes when we have an initial push, yes, but then lie back a little.

Researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing (figures, right?) developed a model to gain insight into how workers’ efforts are best distributed over a single workday. The ideal profiles of effort follow one of two patterns, depending on the nature of the work:

A high-low-high effort pattern, they found, is the best way to manage fatigue when the rate at which the employee works can be modulated. The idea is to begin and end the day with maximum intensity, but take it easier in the middle.But in some jobs, effort cannot be modulated. Workers operating a machine, or attending to customers at a retail store or restaurant, or performing mental tasks that require constant concentration must be eit…