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Molly Cule
167252.  Wed Apr 18, 2007 7:12 am Reply with quote

Quote:
A new academic study uses magnetic resonance imaging to plumb the working of the brain during fierce ideological arguments. When a group of committed Republicans and Democrats discussed their differences, the centers of the brain bearing on the emotions "lit up," driving each group to opposite conclusions.
"We did not see any increased activation of the parts of the brain normally engaged during reasoning," says Drew Westen, director of clinical psychology at Emory University, who led the study. "What we saw instead was a network of emotion circuits lighting up." Opinions were shaped by emotional impact rather than logic or analysis. The circuits for cognitive reasoning were not engaged.


http://www.townhall.com/columnists/SuzanneFields/2006/01/30/the_triumph_of_truthiness

 
eggshaped
167255.  Wed Apr 18, 2007 7:18 am Reply with quote

Man gets hives from watching footy.

Quote:
"When Portugal scored the only goal of the match to win 1-0, he became extremely upset, and developed the rash of urticaria on his trunk and limbs. This persisted for 36 hours and then settled. Four days later, the man watched England v Morocco. When a member of the English team was sent off, he became agitated and subsequently developed the same rash."


link

During the 1998 world cup Risk of admission for acute myocardial infarction increased by 25% on 30 June 1998 (the day England lost to Argentina in a penalty shoot-out) and the following two days.

link

But it's not as bad if you win the cup, as the study "Lower Myocardial Infarction Mortality in French Men the Day France Won the 1998 World Cup of Football" shows.

link

And it's also pretty bad in domestic football, deaths from heart attacks among football fans increas after a home defeat for their team

link

 
eggshaped
171409.  Wed May 02, 2007 2:01 am Reply with quote

Dogs wag their tails when sad as well as when happy. You can tell whether it has positive or negative feelings depending on which direction it wags.

Quote:
When dogs feel fundamentally positive about something or someone, their tails wag more to the right side of their rumps. When they have negative feelings, their tail wagging is biased to the left.

“This is an intriguing observation,” said Richard J. Davidson, director of the Laboratory for Affective Neuroscience at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. It fits with a large body of research showing emotional asymmetry in the brain, he said.


link

 
MatC
171443.  Wed May 02, 2007 4:47 am Reply with quote

That's a brilliant factoid, egg. They do have weird working days, these science boys, don't they? "Tuesday: Made dogs unhappy then watched their bottoms."

Why do cats wag their tales? And also, why do cats use purring for both pleasure and distress?

 
Gray
171450.  Wed May 02, 2007 5:08 am Reply with quote

I've never heard a distressed cat purr. Hiss, yes, but never purr.

Cat tails are fun to watch, though - very descriptive of their mood. If they flick the whole length of it about, they're annoyed and defensive. If they only twitch the end of it, they're playful and happy. If they chase it, they're a dog.

Lions, tigers, jaguars and leopards (Panthera) can only purr while breathing out, bless them.

 
MatC
171490.  Wed May 02, 2007 6:57 am Reply with quote

Gray wrote:
I've never heard a distressed cat purr. Hiss, yes, but never purr.


Nonetheless, they do it. They purr, for instance, when injured, ill - or, indeed, dying. It's a disconcerting experience. (I imagine there is googlage on this, though haven't looked.)

 
MatC
171498.  Wed May 02, 2007 7:13 am Reply with quote

Hold on, though - if even Gray doesn’t know about this, is it possibly of Gen Ig interest?

Cats purring for non-happy reasons:
http://www.i-pets.com/rpet18.html
http://www.scs.unr.edu/~cvachon/purring.html
http://www.aspca.org/site/PageServer?pagename=kids_ask_catspurr

 
eggshaped
171499.  Wed May 02, 2007 7:17 am Reply with quote

If not, I wonder if it's note-fodder for the non-dead floating fish?

 
MatC
171500.  Wed May 02, 2007 7:25 am Reply with quote

Good idea, egg - “Pets Do the Strangest Things - and it doesn’t necessarily mean what you thought it meant.” Wonder if there are any more examples?

 
Gray
171502.  Wed May 02, 2007 7:26 am Reply with quote

Hmmm. Those are pet sites, and even the 'edu one talks about a vet "with a keen interest in animal behaviour". I'd want an actual study, I think, to be convinced.

I can imagine that an injured cat might purr, though, purely to get help from the nice friendly human. So they do it to communicate "be my friend" maybe.

 
MatC
171504.  Wed May 02, 2007 7:31 am Reply with quote

Quote:
Hmmm. Those are pet sites, and even the 'edu one talks about a vet "with a keen interest in animal behaviour". I'd want an actual study, I think, to be convinced.

In that case, Gray, I would have to plead “own sources!” I speak from personal experience. No doubt there are more authoritative sources out there - those were just the ones at the top of the list. But honestly, if you asked a few cat people - owners, vets, CPL volunteers and so on - half of them would have experienced this. I suspect it is too well known for GI.

Quote:
I can imagine that an injured cat might purr, though, purely to get help from the nice friendly human. So they do it to communicate "be my friend" maybe.


Well ... yes. Obviously. Or in other words: "Cats purr when they are distressed".

 
eggshaped
171507.  Wed May 02, 2007 7:41 am Reply with quote

I think that cats purring when in distress or pain is well accepted. "Vocalizing in the House-Cat; A Phonetic and Functional Study" seems to be the best place to start if you want something scientific, but it, and a number of other papers I've found, are frustratingly pay-per-view.

The interesting research in this field at the moment is about why they do it - there seems to be a lot of studies claiming that purring may help them deal with pain.

link

 
suze
171518.  Wed May 02, 2007 8:45 am Reply with quote

That paper by Mildred Moelk is rather long, and is also 63 years old - so I'm afraid to say that I lack the inclination to read it properly just now.

The paper linked below however is somewhat shorter and can be accessed by everybody - and a significant part of its content appears to be lifted straight from the Moelk paper. (While it's from a pet site, it appears to have been written by a linguistics student - so is of course therefore highly reputable!)

http://www.messybeast.com/cat_talk.htm

As egg says, the notion that cats purr when in extremis appears not to be new.

 

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