Hundreds of new genes may underlie intelligence—but also autism and depression

Being smart is a double-edged sword. Intelligent people appear to live longer, but many of the genes behind brilliance can also lead to autism, anxiety, and depression, according to two new massive genetic studies. The work also is one of the first to identify the specific cell types and genetic pathways tied to intelligence and mental health, potentially paving the way for new ways to improve education, or therapies to treat neurotic behavior. Read more.


People’s egos get bigger after meditation and yoga

According to Buddhist teaching, the self is an illusion. The religion preaches a fundamentally selfless worldview, encouraging followers to renounce individual desires and distance themselves from self-concern. To advance this perspective, millions of people around the world practice yoga and meditation.

But a recently published psychological study directly contradicts that approach, finding that contemporary meditation and yoga practices can actually inflate your ego. Read more.


10 Strategies Smart People Use to Handle Difficult People

While I’ve run across numerous effective strategies that smart people employ when dealing with difficult people, what follows are some of the best. To deal with difficult people effectively, you need an approach that enables you, across the board, to control what you can and eliminate what you can’t. The important thing to remember is that you are in control of far more than you realize. Read more.

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Smile! Your dog’s brain will light up in response

As every dog lover—and scientist—knows, man’s best friend is good at reading faces. Dogs can tell the difference between happy and not-so-happy expressions, such as anger and sadness. Like us, they watch the left sides of peoples’ faces—where emotional cues first appear. And they even seem to be able to interpret our emotions and modulate their behavior accordingly. But what are the neural mechanisms that control how dogs process human faces? Read more.