Brain

Better tie that string around your finger a little tighter.

It may turn out the reason some people grow increasingly forgetful as they age is less about how old they are and more about subtle changes in the way the brain files memories and makes room for new ones - differences perhaps better blamed on patterns of cell-to-cell communication than the number of birthday candles decorating the cake.

People’s long-term satisfaction with their lives often parallels that of their spouse, says a University of Toronto researcher in a study that deals a blow to theories that individual happiness depends mainly on genetic disposition.

New research findings now appearing online in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology began with a professor's desire to understand why her husband often seemed to ignore her requests for help around the house.

"My husband, while very charming in many ways, has an annoying tendency of doing exactly the opposite of what I would like him to do in many situations," said Tanya L. Chartrand, an associate professor of marketing and psychology at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business.

A novel experiment conducted by Carnegie Mellon University Professor George Loewenstein and colleagues may explain why people try a drug, such as heroin, for the first time despite ample evidence that it is addictive. The results of the study, which are being published in the Journal of Health Economics, reveal that even longtime addicts underestimate the influence that drug cravings have over their behavior.

In side-by-side taste tests, pub-goers agree: “MIT Brew” tastes better than Budweiser — as long as tasters don’t learn beforehand that the secret ingredient is balsamic vinegar.

It sounds more like a fraternity prank than a psychology experiment, but the beer-guzzling participants in a recent study were doing their part for psychology. In this case, helping researchers determine just what it is about consumers’ knowledge of food products that af-fects their taste judgments.Does Knowledge Of Food Products Affect Taste Judgment?

A new computer-based technique could eliminate hours of manual adjustment associated with a popular cancer treatment. In a paper published in the Feb.