The human body may be an eternal enigma, but it sure does provide for endless amounts of intriguing insight. This week's Around the Web has taken on the daunting task of studying how people function on a mental and physical basis. All right: a few scientists may have done most of the heavy lifting, but we swear we rounded up the articles ourselves.
No, this isn't going to lend any insight on your personal drinking boundaries, but it is about limits. Recent research performed by scientists at the University of California in San Francisco has shown that the same brain functions which allow for us to zero in on a private conversation in a buzzing environment (say, cocktail party) also prevent us from being able to truly multitask in life. As a fast-paced society that is only speeding up, it's important for us all to take note of the fact that the human brain isn't wired to perform at maximum efficiency when being forced to process multiple stimuli. We may think that we're proving something – to others as well as ourselves – when we juggle tons of activities at once, but what we're too often doing is creating risky situations (i.e. driving and chatting/texting on a cell phone). We pass this along in hopes that you will share the wisdom, too.
People who only want to be photographed on one side of their body are just vain, right? Well, it turns out they are actually pretty astute (and, yes, perhaps a little vain as well). Studies performed at Wake Forest University have concluded that our eyes prefer the left side of the body – a fact that most portraitists have been living and painting by for years. A part of the research even involved creating a mirror image of the left cheek so that it appeared to participants as the right cheek – and they steadfastly chose it over its counterpart. We won't blame you if you keep this article to yourself; you never know when you may have to convince a photo-loving friend to switch swides.
Playing computer games can make you smarter – and we can prove it! Or if we can't, at least the University of Maribor in Slovenia can. Their studies have proven that improving short-term recall can boost one's intelligence. Subjects involved in the research were made to complete 100 minutes of working memory training exercises per week, and they were handsomely rewarded with results that showed their IQ had improved by 15 percent. Do the smart thing and browse the original for links to sites that have memory games at the ready.