15-21 Feb 2011
Doped out and Socially Dazed

Scientists at the University of Granada were the first to investigate the relation between drug abuse and the recognition of basic emotions—happiness, surprise, wrath, fear, sadness and disgust. They found that drug abusers had difficulty recognising negative emotions (wrath, fear, disgust and sadness) from people’s expressions.

The scientists also found drug-specific characteristics in the harm they do. Consuming cannabis and cocaine adversely affects work memory and reasoning, while cocaine is associated with alterations in inhibition. 

The researchers carried out a neuropsychological evaluation of 123 polysubstance abusers and 67 no-drug users with similar social and demographic variables.

The study revealed that 70 per cent of drug abusers presented some type of neuropsychological deterioration, regardless of the type of substance consumed. Deterioration was seen most in working memory, fluency, flexibility, planning, multitasking abilities and interference.

María José Fernández Serrano, lead author of the paper, thinks that the results obtained “should be employed to develop political and social policies aimed at promoting adequate rehab programmes adapted to the neuropsychological profile of drug-abusers”.

Till Yawns Do Us Part

Conflicts can kill a marriage, we all know. New research now shows that boredom is as big if not a bigger reason for unsuccessful marriages, according to a study with a self-explanatory title: ‘Marital Boredom Now[,] Predicts Less Satisfaction 9 Years Later’. It is published in the journal Psychological Science. For the study, 123 couples were studied during the seventh and 16th year of their marriage. While the premise of the study was conclusively proven, the converse was not. Greater satisfaction with the relationship at year seven did not mean that in year 16 the couple would be less bored with each other. Interestingly, the 38 couples who divorced before the 16th year were more bored (though it was statistically insignificant) than the 123 couples who stayed married.

Of course, the couples had their quota of conflicts. What the study therefore seems to suggest is that it is as important to add ‘positives’ (shared exciting activities) to a relationship as it is to keep out the negatives (fighting).

Question of Ethics
Should you encourage a minor girl who is clearly trying to seduce you?

You move to a city and find yourself next door to a family with an alluring young daughter.  You’re in your early thirties and she’s not 16 yet (the age of consent), but she is obviously sexually aware, perhaps even active. She flirts with you and you flirt back. One day she invites you home when her parents aren’t home. She’s the one making the move, you’re tempted, but should you go for it?

A Touch of Faith

You live in the world, the world does not live in you

Devi Prasad of Maihar


What grows down once it grows up?

A goose