Weekend Update: The latest research on love, orgasms and the benefits of meat


Does this image calm you? Read on...

It’s been ages since the previous Weekend Update, taking in some of the interesting insights into science and the human condition being uncovered by researchers around the world. Here’s the latest on what’s been happening:


  • High on love? You’ve probably heard people compare the experience of being in love to being high on drugs. There might be more truth to that comparison than you thought, thanks to the work being done by researchers at Syracuse University in New York State. According to research published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, falling in love takes just one-fifth of a second, and involves the stimulation of a dozen different parts of the brain, leading to increased levels of dopamine, adrenaline, oxytocin and vasopressin. The results: a euphoric feeling similar to the effects of cocaine.


  • Liar, liar… A recent 130-page article in the Journal of Sexual Medicine based on interviews with 5,865 Americans aged 14 to 94 years delved deep into the sex lives of our southern neighbours. One of the most noteworthy findings: when they asked men if their latest sex partner experienced an orgasm, 85 percent said “yes”. Yet when women were asked if they had an orgasm the last time they had sex, only 64 percent said “yes”.


  • The Peace of Meat. For a lot of Canadians, there’s nothing like a nice, juicy steak done on the barbecue. Now, if the thought of a steak on the barbecue makes you feel more relaxed, there might be a good reason for that. Researchers at McGill University in Montreal showed 82 men a series of images and assessed whether each image made research participants more or less aggressive or had no effect. To their surprise, they actually found that images of meat actually had a calming influence.


  • Stay focused, be happy. A new article in the journal Science raised a few eyebrows recently when it reported that human beings spend a surprising amount of time daydreaming. According to Harvard University psychologists Matthew Killingsworth and Daniel Gilbert, the average human being spends about 47 percent of his or her time daydreaming — and the more people allowed their minds to wander, the less happy they tended to be. Using a mobile app that allowed researchers to find out what participants were doing and thinking at any one time, and how happy they were when they were doing it, they found that people were both most focused and happiest when making love. Exercise and conversation also tended to boost happiness, while resting, working or using a computer tended to be less happy times.


  • Branding ourselves. You might have noticed that some people prominently wear clothing or jewellery that readily identifies them by their religious persuasion, while others always wear clothing or carry gadgets with conspicuous brand logos. Are the two practices linked? They might very well be, according to a new study from Duke University. In two completely separate experiments, researchers found that people with stronger religious orientations tended to be less interested in product branding, while the opposite was true for less religious people. Whether it be that piece of religious jewellery or that brand logo on our clothes, it’s all about “belonging” according to Prof. Gavan Fitzsimons: “We’re signalling to others that we care about ourselves and that we feel good about ourselves and that we matter in this world.”


  • Got a kid with ADHD? Try turning up the white noise. A researcher at a Swedish university might have come up with a way of dealing with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) that avoids both the costs and the side effects of prescription medication. Stockholm University’s Dr. Goran Soderlund studied 51 students in neighbouring Norway. He found that students who normally have difficulty paying attention performed better on a memorization test when there was white noise in the background than in a quieter room — but that the white noise had the opposite effect on students without ADHD. The probable reason: Students with ADHD usually lack adequate levels of dopamine in the brain, causing it to operate at a suboptimal level — and the child to become hyperactive to compensate for that.



About theviewfromseven
A lone wolf and a bit of a contrarian who sometimes has something to share.

2 Responses to Weekend Update: The latest research on love, orgasms and the benefits of meat

  1. DriveGoddess says:

    Now I know why us writers are such miserable bastards….heheheheh….regarding the daydreaming snippet…..

  2. unclebob says:

    So if we want some of the alpha males engaged in gang activity to calm down, we should consider handing out free steaks?

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