The man could not stand dirt. When he built his company’s first factory in Fremont, Calif., in 1984, he frequently got down on his hands and knees and looked for specks of dust on the floor as well as on all the equipment.
There’s a reason why being kind to others is good for you — and it can now be traced to a specific nerve.
When it comes to staying healthy, both physically and mentally, studies consistently show that strong relationships are at least as important as avoiding smoking and obesity. But how does social support translate into physical benefits such as lower blood pressure, healthier weights and other physiological measures of sound health? A new study published in Psychological Science suggests that the link may follow the twisting path of the vagus nerve, which connects social contact to the positive emotions that can flow from interactions.
A new study by researchers at the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds at the Waisman Center of the University of Wisconsin-Madison shows that adults can be trained to be more compassionate. The report, published Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, investigates whether training adults in compassion can result in greater altruistic behavior and related changes in neural systems underlying compassion.
"Our fundamental question was, 'Can compassion be trained and learned in adults? Can we become more caring if we practice that mindset?'" says Helen Weng, lead author of the study and a graduate student in clinical psychology. "Our evidence points to yes."
New techniques are letting researchers look at the activity of the whole brain at once. Most brain areas multitask, and the brain is dynamic. It can respond differently to the same events in different times and circumstances.