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Can fearful memories be erased?

In the movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind , Joel and Clementine's relationship ends so sourly that the couple elects to have their mutual memories swept away via a non-surgical procedure called "targeted memory erasure." No such tool actually exists.

September 3, 2009 — Lynne Peeples

Common good is best achieved through rewards, not punishment

To promote the common good, should helpers be rewarded, or should free riders be punished? Although the bulk of previous research has fingered punishment as the best enforcer, a new study published online today in Science found that rewards are more effective.

September 3, 2009 — Katherine Harmon

Music to Monkeys' Ears? Try Metallica, or the Metro

Music is known to induce terror and tears, as well as inspire dance. Even basic human speech itself is laced with emotional direction: a musical pattern of long drawn out sounds versus short brief ones can be the difference between calming and exciting a child.

September 2, 2009 — Lynne Peeples

Check please: Can the din of a restaurant help Parkinson's patients with speech troubles?

Parkinson's disease sufferers typically face a long, difficult battle against the disorder's degenerative effects on their motor skills and speech. While many scientists are studying the potential for drugs, surgery and exercise to slow the disease's impact on the central nervous system—including tremors, stiff muscles and impaired movement—one team of researchers is experimenting with technology designed to help Parkinson's sufferers fend off voice and speech problems.

August 26, 2009 — Larry Greenemeier

Very old and very young are quicker than many assume

Humans have long enjoyed crowing about their intellectual superiority in the animal kingdom. But just as some studies—of tool-wielding birds and language-discerning rodents—have begun to chip away at our cognitive place in the sun, others have set their sights on two human groups whose intelligence might have been underestimated—the very young and the very old.

August 21, 2009 — Katherine Harmon

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