New data allows for unique conflict research

Which factors increase the risk for armed conflict and war? What circumstances make conflict resolution more likely to be successful? If work for peace is to bear fruit; these questions needs to be answered. Today, the Uppsala Conflict Data Program (UC…

Indoor plant intervention: New answers for health care design?

NORWAY — Could a plant “intervention” improve the well-being of patients in a difficult rehab process? Scientists from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences and Sweden’s Uppsala University investigated this question in a recent study of 43…

Drivel on Facebook more valuable than we think

Superficial contacts on Facebook, apparently unnecessary comments, and banal status updates may be more worthwhile than we think. This is shown in a new report from the National IT User Center. The report also predicts the new social media will ulti…

A Smile Really Is Contagious

Scientists in Sweden have figured out why it’s so difficult to keep a straight face if others around you are grinning away. It’s your unconscious mind taking control. The researchers at Uppsala University had volunteers look at pictures of expressionless, happy, and angry faces. In return they were told to adopt blank, happy, or angry expressions. When they had to meet a smile with a frown, or a frown with a smile, they had trouble. Twitching in the subjects’ faces — measured with electronic equipment — indicated they simply didn’t have control of their muscles. It’s believed that there’s a shortcut to the part of the brain that recognizes faces and expressions that bypasses the area responsible for conscious processing.

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