Friday, May 5, 2017

**How the Brain Plays Apart in the Different Lifespans Between Men and Women

In the article titled “Why is Life Expectancy Longer for Women than it is for Men?” from Scientific American, the author discusses different reasons as to why women live longer than men. Although this fact makes sense due to the fact that there is overall more men born, there are other genetic and social reasons also. If you look at the people close to you in life, you may be able to notice that the males are much more likely to attempt something dangerous or unethical much more than females. Women's bodies have been given many advantages also. In the body of a woman there are many hormones produced to help them through pregnancy; and these hormones have many other positive effects on the body. Although many of these reasons are based on the body releasing chemicals, what about the brain? There are different chemicals in the male and female body that affect them differently. These chemicals can alter the brain to have people make rash decisions without really thinking about it, but they can also make people overthink things and change their actions due to outside forces.

With the male brain, some chemicals are more common than in the female brain. Testosterone, for example, is a chemical that males have a lot of, and it makes them much more aggressive and impulsive. Woman produce much more estrogen and also a chemical called oxytocin which is a bonding or relationship chemical. This difference can make it more common for males to act out of aggression or impulse much more than women; which in turn makes them more likely to do something dangerous and life threatening. Male brains also contain less neural connections to the hippocampus which makes them pick up on less sensorial information. Woman on the other hand pick up sensorial information great, and observe much more than men do. So in other words, they have a hard time reading people and situations which could get them into trouble. Male brains also utilize more gray matter whereas the female brain utilize more white matter. Grey matter is the part of the brain that contains action and processing centers that are localized. White matter connects the grey matter to other processing centers. Because men don’t utilize as much white matter, they can get sucked into a deep focus and not pay attention to what is going on in their surroundings. This can be dangerous for men for a couple reasons. Many jobs and activities that can be considered dangerous are even more dangerous for people who are extremely focused. They are able to block out interruptions or things that could distract them; which could mean not hearing someone when they're trying to tell you what you're doing wrong or to watch out for something. This means that they are much more likely to get into a accident, no matter what the activity or circumstances are.

Yes, it is true that men have a shorter lifespan than women and that is true for many reasons; biological, physical, and mental differences that all lead to more men dying younger. It isn't a weakness in any way, but instead it makes the male to female ratio more equal. Of all the reasons why, I believe that the brain differences play a big part in that. I believe that men and women are both smart and strong; but women are just more observative and pay attention to multiple things at once. I believe that this is not only due to the previous differences, but also because women are raised to be more cautious and aware of their surroundings.

Friday, April 14, 2017

**5 Things You Thought You Knew About Your Brain

Now a days, there are many random facts that fly around people's ears, and some we catch. We like to have these facts remember, awaiting the day that they could come in handy. It has also become a very normal thing to believe the things you hear or read, and to reiterate them to others who might be unsure about the topic. But have you ever thought about them not being true? Here are the top 5 myths about the brain you most likely believed were true, and have passed on to others.

I know this may seem very surprising and wrong, but believe me when I say this; you use 100% of your brain. For some reason is has become a very commonly know fact that people use 10% of their brain, but that's wrong. There isn't an activity or certain time when your brain only uses 10%. You use 100% of your brain all the time, including when your sleep. Although one part may be working harder during a certain activity, all parts are in use.

This next popular myth is one that you won’t believe is false. If I was to ask you how many senses you had, your answer would be 5, correct? And I’m sure if you had to list them out you would say the normal answer of touch, smell, taste, hear, and sight; but what if that wasn’t all of them? Well that's not even close to all of our senses. There have been many researchers who believe there to be 21 or even more senses. You have senses that you probably didn't even realize we're senses. That includes things like sense of balance, sense of temperature, sense of hunger, sense of times, and even your sense of tension.

A third common myth is that drinking kills brain cells. It is true that you can damage your brain from drinking a large amount, but to actually kill brain cells the person would actually have to die. There are also brain disorders that can come from drinking an excessive amount of alcohol; but drinking moderately won’t harm your brain, as long as you are responsible.

Another false fact about your brain is that people who use drugs can get holes in their brain. No drugs have ever been proven to actually create holes in a human's brain. The only known way to create a hole in your brain would be physical trauma. Drugs just use chemicals to make your brain feel extra good ad that eventually leads to the dependance on drugs for happiness.

The fifth misleading myth about the brain is the bigger your brain, the smarter you are. Size actually has no effect on IQ. Otherwise, blue whales and their 6,000lb brain would have taken over the world long ago. There is also no such thing as a left brained or right brained person; nor does that affect someone's personality. We are all full brained.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

**Why are Serial Killers Serial Killers?

In the article “The Making of a Serial Killer” by Berit Brogaard, she discusses the mind of a serial killer. At the beginning she mention that nobody truly knows how a serial killer becomes a serial killer; which I think is an important fact to remember. She then goes on to talk about the possibility of serial killers having it in their DNA, that some people could just have it in their DNA. The problem with the experiments on the DNA and brain are that not all psychopaths are criminals. This means that this brain abnormality could just cause aggressiveness or manipulative traits. It also could just be because of mental ailments such as schizophrenia and extreme sexual fetishes. They have thought about childhood abuse being the cause of serial killers, but that's not it either. Yes, childhood abuse could cause post traumatic stress syndrome or anxiety, but they claim it can’t lead to psychopathy. There is a connection between childhood abuse and serial killers, but the list of serial killers who grew up with a normal childhood is very long. This means that there must be something that starts these people down this path. They mentioned that if it was a brain abnormality, then could it be corrected?

Many people are unable to understand social cues or know when enough is enough; maybe these serial killers were never taught these things as kids. Maybe their parents weren't paying enough attention to them and not helping them understand that some things weren't okay to do. Maybe these people are psychotic and not psychopaths. The difference is that psychopaths have a disorder within their own personality whereas psychotic people are just people who have lost any sense of reality that they had. It's almost like they're on drugs and hallucinating. Then at the end of this article examples are given of these two different disorders. The stories for psychotic people are more about them listening to the voices in their heads and doing things for crazy unrealistic reasons. But stories of psychopaths killing are planned, and well thought out. They know just what they're doing and how to do it so they can get exactly what they want.

I think that it is very possible that psychopaths are this way because of their childhoods. I believe as a child you are very susceptible of things you see and hear around you. If your parents aren't giving you the attention and proper guidance you need then you are left to think whatever you want about whoever. They are unable to know the difference between something bad to do, and something that's okay. Without the proper social interactions they can't learn how to be compassionate, or even feel guilty for doing something wrong. As for the psychotic, I believe that there is a chemical imbalance or some kind of abnormality in the brain. Maybe they have a mental illness or it was caused by drugs, but they don't have a normal mind. I believe that serial killers are smart and educated people, and it's terrifying to know there's people out there who are capable of doing these things.

Serial Killer Statistics

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This infographic compares motives and methods between male and female serial killers. It seems that 80% of females killers use poison as their method with the reason being money 72% of the time. I’m thinking that women use poison more because it's easier than having to take someone down, especially if they're just trying to steal money. Males are much more likely to use firearms as their weapon of choice. I think men like to use firearms because it is an easy way for them to manipulate people with them being alive and conscious, which makes sense with their motive being sex 55% of the time. Men also use suffocation, stabbing, and bludgeoning(beating to death) much more than women. I think this may be because women are much more vulnerable and typically weaker than men. This makes it easy for them to physically take and hurt them. Women are more likely to bludgeon or shoot their victim rather than stab or suffocate them. Drowning is a much smaller method than the rest, but women are much more likely to do it than men. To be more specific, they are nearly 2 times more likely to kill their victim by suffocation.

This shows some interesting differences between male and female serial killers. It seems as though men prefer to feel power when killing. It also seems as though they enjoy the crime scene with blood and horrific images; which is very different from women killers. They seem to like and keep things simple and discreet when getting what they want. They seem to not be into the messy part of killing’ but instead the part where they don’t have to truly do anything. You are able to see obvious differences here. These differences between sexes make it easier when finding killers also. Police and detectives are able to make an educated decision on the sex of a killer based on these methods and motives.

This infographic above shows the relationship between child abuse and serial killers. It gives visual examples as to the connection between the two. It seems as though the majority of abused children end up going down this harsh path. Children of physical abuse are 7 times more likely to become serial killers. Kids who are sexual abused also have a high rate to take the path of a killer. In the 3rd row over you can see that when it comes to psychological abuse, the amount of serial killers grow. Psychological abuse leads to 50% of all serial killers. I think this might be because these kids have learned first hand how to manipulate people. After they’ve experienced that pain and hurt, they want to feel the other side of it; the side when they feel the power. When a child experiences neglect it seems they have an equal chance of becoming a serial killer as they do becoming a normal human being. Children who experience no abuse are obviously more likely to follow a path of love and life. You can see in this graph that when kids are abused, they are much more likely to abuse and hurt others.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Why the Fidget Cube is Great

Why I Believe in the Fidget Cube
I first heard of the fidget cube from a friend who knew someone with ADHD. I had heard of ADHD but I didn't fully know what it meant or even what it exactly stood for. ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. It is a chronic condition that makes people hyper and have impulses they wouldn't normally have. With this condition people feel the need to constantly move or fidget with something, which is why the fidget cube is so useful.

I myself, do not have ADHD but I am aware of the Fidget Cube. After hearing about it once I started asking people about it and they all said it had helped them focus, so, naturally  wanted to try it for myself. I was able to use my friends while she was playing in a basketball game, and the Fidget Cube honestly helped me focus so much more.
Buy the Fidget Cube
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What is the Fidget Cube
The fidget cube is a cube that has a type of toy on each side. On one side of the cube there is 5 little buttons, 3 of them have sound to the click, while the other 2 click silently for people who feel the urge to repeatedly click a pen. Another side has a joystick almost like the ones found on a x box controller for people to glide their thumbs on things. On a third side of the cube there is a switch that can be flipped back and forth. There is also a side for rolling that has a little ball that can be rolled around with your thumb or tactiles gears to fidget with also. The fifth side has a rotating dial that helps those who like to spin things or flip pencils in their hand. On the last side is called Breath because it is said to relieve stress and anxiety while just feeling cool to hold in your hand. It comes from the ancient called the worry stone that is supposed to help calm you down when you rub it.

How Does it Actually Work
Now I know there's of course going to be people who are skeptical of how this really works but just think about all those urges you have when sitting down in a long meeting or when you're trying to get paperwork done. Those types of activities are boring and so make you want to fidget. Yes, the fidget cube is great for people who love to fidget and can't sit still, but it can also help others. Scientific studies have shown that fidgeting can now only calm you down, but it can make you focus easier and better. Whether it helps you focus in class, work, or even just trying to power through a movie/show marathon, the fidget cube is great to have.

Fidget Cube brings those who need to move a way out without annoying everyone around them. There's nothing that drives others crazier than when people tap their pens or fingers on their table, or when people walk around incessantly clicking pens. It also is an all in one device so it has something to satisfy all fidgeters.