Alix Spiegel http://wcbe.org en The Secret History Behind The Science Of Stress http://wcbe.org/post/secret-history-behind-science-stress The modern idea of stress began on a rooftop in Canada, with a handful of rats freezing in the winter wind.<p>This was 1936 and by that point the owner of the rats, an endocrinologist named Hans Selye, had become expert at making rats suffer for science.<p>"He would subject them to extreme temperatures, make them go hungry for long periods, or make them exercise a lot," the medical historian <a href="https://humanities.exeter.ac.uk/history/staff/jackson/">Mark Jackson </a>says. Mon, 07 Jul 2014 20:07:00 +0000 Alix Spiegel 59021 at http://wcbe.org The Secret History Behind The Science Of Stress How A Woman's Plan To Kill Herself Helped Her Family Grieve http://wcbe.org/post/how-womans-plan-kill-herself-helped-her-family-grieve This story is in no way an endorsement of suicide. It's a description of one woman's choice and what came of it.<p>Five years ago, after doctors told her that she had Alzheimer's disease that would eventually steal her ability to read, write and recognize people, Sandy Bem decided to kill herself.<p>Sandy was 65 years old, an unsentimental woman and strong willed. For her, <em></em><em></em>a life without books and the ability to recognize the people she loved wasn't a life she wanted.<p>And so she decided there was only one thing to do. Mon, 23 Jun 2014 07:27:00 +0000 Alix Spiegel 58221 at http://wcbe.org How A Woman's Plan To Kill Herself Helped Her Family Grieve Mind Over Milkshake: How Your Thoughts Fool Your Stomach http://wcbe.org/post/mind-over-milkshake-how-your-thoughts-fool-your-stomach <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pIfhxt0JCok</p> Mon, 14 Apr 2014 07:22:00 +0000 Alix Spiegel 54268 at http://wcbe.org Mind Over Milkshake: How Your Thoughts Fool Your Stomach Play It Again And Again, Sam http://wcbe.org/post/play-it-again-and-again-sam <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EH45A6ek45s</p> Mon, 07 Apr 2014 22:58:00 +0000 Alix Spiegel 53975 at http://wcbe.org Play It Again And Again, Sam So You Think You're Smarter Than A CIA Agent http://wcbe.org/post/so-you-think-youre-smarter-cia-agent The morning I met Elaine Rich, she was sitting at the kitchen table of her small town home in suburban Maryland trying to estimate refugee flows in Syria.<p>It wasn't the only question she was considering; there were others:<p>Will North Korea launch a new multistage missile before May 10, 2014?<p>Will Russian armed forces enter Kharkiv, Ukraine, by May 10? Rich's answers to these questions would eventually be evaluated by the intelligence community, but she didn't feel much pressure because this wasn't her full-time gig.<p>"I'm just a pharmacist," she said. Wed, 02 Apr 2014 07:55:00 +0000 Alix Spiegel 53670 at http://wcbe.org So You Think You're Smarter Than A CIA Agent When Memories Never Fade, The Past Can Poison The Present http://wcbe.org/post/when-memories-never-fade-past-can-poison-present On Feb. 21, Alexandra Wolff ate steak, mashed potatoes and broccoli for dinner. Later that night, sitting in her room, she spent 20 minutes scanning pictures in <em>InStyle</em> magazine.<p>She remembers those things, just as she remembers that on Aug. 2 she stopped at Target and bought Raisin Bran; and on April 17 she wore a white button-down shirt; and on Oct. Fri, 27 Dec 2013 21:18:00 +0000 Alix Spiegel 48742 at http://wcbe.org When Memories Never Fade, The Past Can Poison The Present If Your Shrink Is A Bot, How Do You Respond? http://wcbe.org/post/if-your-shrink-bot-how-do-you-respond <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejczMs6b1Q4</p> Mon, 20 May 2013 07:04:00 +0000 Alix Spiegel 35932 at http://wcbe.org If Your Shrink Is A Bot, How Do You Respond? Big Sibling's Big Influence: Some Behaviors Run In The Family http://wcbe.org/post/big-siblings-big-influence-some-behaviors-run-family Patricia East is a developmental psychologist who began her career working at an OB-GYN clinic in California. Mon, 29 Apr 2013 20:07:00 +0000 Alix Spiegel 34720 at http://wcbe.org Big Sibling's Big Influence: Some Behaviors Run In The Family Boston Blasts A Reminder Of 'The Fragility Of Life' http://wcbe.org/post/boston-blasts-reminder-fragility-life From the first explosion in Boston on Monday to the second, just 15 seconds elapsed. And in those 15 seconds, three people were mortally wounded, including an 8-year-old boy. Wed, 17 Apr 2013 14:37:00 +0000 Alix Spiegel 34112 at http://wcbe.org Boston Blasts A Reminder Of 'The Fragility Of Life' Would Angry Teens Chill Out If They Saw More Happy Faces? http://wcbe.org/post/would-angry-teens-chill-out-if-they-saw-more-happy-faces All day long we're surrounded by faces. We see them on the subway sitting two by two, pass them on the sidewalk as we make our way to work, then nod to them in the elevator.<p>But most of those faces don't tell us much about the emotional life of the person behind the face.<p>"People don't just go around the world smiling or grimacing or frowning," says psychologist <a href="http://www.bristol.ac.uk/expsych/people/marcus-r-munafo/index.html">Marcus Munafo</a> of the University of Bristol. Mon, 08 Apr 2013 21:25:00 +0000 Alix Spiegel 33637 at http://wcbe.org Would Angry Teens Chill Out If They Saw More Happy Faces? Mining Books To Map Emotions Through A Century http://wcbe.org/post/mining-books-map-emotions-through-century Were people happier in the 1950s than they are today? Or were they more frustrated, repressed and sad?<p>To find out, you'd have to compare the emotions of one generation to another. Mon, 01 Apr 2013 19:41:00 +0000 Alix Spiegel 33263 at http://wcbe.org Mining Books To Map Emotions Through A Century New Voices For The Voiceless: Synthetic Speech Gets An Upgrade http://wcbe.org/post/new-voices-voiceless-synthetic-speech-gets-upgrade Ever since she was a small child, Samantha Grimaldo has had to carry her voice with her.<p>Grimaldo was born with a rare disorder, Perisylvian syndrome, which means that though she's physically capable in many ways, she's never been able to speak. Instead, she's used a device to speak. She types in what she wants to say, and the device says those words out loud. Mon, 11 Mar 2013 08:41:00 +0000 Alix Spiegel 32067 at http://wcbe.org New Voices For The Voiceless: Synthetic Speech Gets An Upgrade To Spot Kids Who Will Overcome Poverty, Look At Babies http://wcbe.org/post/spot-kids-who-will-overcome-poverty-look-babies Why do some children who grow up in poverty do well, while others struggle?<p>To understand more about this, a group of psychologists recently did a <a href="http://pss.sagepub.com/content/early/2013/01/29/0956797612457381.abstract">study</a>.<p>It began in a small spare room where a series of very poor mothers and their 5-month-old babies came to watch a soothing video. Soothing the baby was the point, says Elisabeth Conradt, a postdoctoral researcher at Brown University's <a href="http://www.brown.edu/Departments/Children_at_Risk/Home.htm">Brown Center for the Study of Children at Risk</a>. Mon, 25 Feb 2013 21:55:00 +0000 Alix Spiegel 31288 at http://wcbe.org To Spot Kids Who Will Overcome Poverty, Look At Babies Why Even Radiologists Can Miss A Gorilla Hiding In Plain Sight http://wcbe.org/post/why-even-radiologists-can-miss-gorilla-hiding-plain-sight <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJG698U2Mvo</p> Mon, 11 Feb 2013 08:33:00 +0000 Alix Spiegel 30427 at http://wcbe.org Why Even Radiologists Can Miss A Gorilla Hiding In Plain Sight No Mercy For Robots: Experiment Tests How Humans Relate To Machines http://wcbe.org/post/mercy-robots-experiment-tests-how-humans-relate-machines <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Kf9coMuVuI</p> Mon, 28 Jan 2013 08:25:00 +0000 Alix Spiegel 29630 at http://wcbe.org No Mercy For Robots: Experiment Tests How Humans Relate To Machines Shootings Leave Sandy Hook Survivors Rethinking The Odds http://wcbe.org/post/shootings-leave-sandy-hook-survivors-rethinking-odds About a month ago, Declan Procaccini's 10-year-old son woke him early in the morning in a fright.<p>"He came into my bedroom and said, 'Dad, I had a horrible, horrible dream!' " Procaccini says. "He was really shaken up. Thu, 27 Dec 2012 21:20:00 +0000 Alix Spiegel 28072 at http://wcbe.org Shootings Leave Sandy Hook Survivors Rethinking The Odds Weekend Vote Will Bring Controversial Changes To Psychiatrists' Bible http://wcbe.org/post/weekend-vote-will-bring-controversial-changes-psychiatrists-bible This weekend, 20 people from around the country will meet in a nondescript hotel room in Arlington, Va., and take a vote. Fri, 30 Nov 2012 22:11:00 +0000 Alix Spiegel 26743 at http://wcbe.org Weekend Vote Will Bring Controversial Changes To Psychiatrists' Bible Give And Take: How The Rule Of Reciprocation Binds Us http://wcbe.org/post/give-and-take-how-rule-reciprocation-binds-us In 1974, Phillip Kunz and his family got a record number of Christmas cards. In the weeks before Christmas they came daily, sometimes by the dozen. Kunz still has them in his home, collected in an old photo album.<p>"Dear Phil, Joyce and family," a typical card reads, "we received your holiday greeting with much joy and enthusiasm ... Merry Christmas and Happy New Year's. Love Lou, Bev and the children."<p>The cards from that year came in all shapes and sizes, but the basic message was the same. Mon, 26 Nov 2012 09:49:00 +0000 Alix Spiegel 26423 at http://wcbe.org Give And Take: How The Rule Of Reciprocation Binds Us Jersey Shore Storm Survivors Face Uncertain Future http://wcbe.org/post/jersey-shore-storm-survivors-face-uncertain-future The barrier islands off the coast of New Jersey were hit hard by Superstorm Sandy, and for the moment, most residents are banned from living in their homes because the area is far too damaged.<p>Which is why this past weekend, in a Red Cross shelter at Pinelands High School in Egg Harbor, N.J., on the mainland, around 100 stranded island residents were lining up for dinner, while Red Cross volunteers worked hard to keep things reassuring.<p>"Excuse me everybody!" shouted one of the volunteers, waving her arms above her head. Tue, 06 Nov 2012 21:51:00 +0000 Alix Spiegel 25478 at http://wcbe.org Jersey Shore Storm Survivors Face Uncertain Future Charming, Cold: Does Presidential Personality Matter? http://wcbe.org/post/charming-cold-does-presidential-personality-matter <em>As part of NPR's coverage of this year's presidential election, </em>All Things Considered<em> asked three science reporters to weigh in on the race. The result is a three-part series on the science of leadership. In Part 2, Jon Hamilton examined <a href="http://www.npr.org/2012/10/24/163561729/in-animal-kingdom-voting-of-a-different-sort-reigns">leadership in the animal kingdom</a>.</em><p>Charming or cold. Flexible or rigid. Paranoid or impulsive or calculating.<p>How important is the personality of a president? Tue, 23 Oct 2012 21:46:00 +0000 Alix Spiegel 24719 at http://wcbe.org Charming, Cold: Does Presidential Personality Matter?