A little bit of stress goes a long way and can have far-reaching effects. Neuroscientists from the University of Washington have found that a single exposure to uncontrollable stress impairs decision making in rats for several days, making them unable to reliably seek out the larger of two rewards.Well, who - when reading this - wouldn't come to think of all those stressed bankers & brokers, politicians & other stressed out decision makers.
And right. The article ends:
"Decision making, both large and small, is part of our lives. People are prone to make mistakes under stress. Look at what has been going on with the stock market. People are under huge amounts of stress and we have to question some of the decisions that are being made."Some people might call the following nitpicking, thus just to make sure: This blogger would take up the cudgel on behalf of basic research, whenever politicians would refuse tax-funded (sic!) support, as long as there would not at least the invention of a teflon pan be guaranteed.
Full Science article here.
Still, sometimes, I am ... well, surprised when coming to learn that certain scientists, i.e. ladies and gentlemen who - to slightly a great degree make a tax-funded living* - after years, sometimes even decades of research would come to a result ...
... and here, esteemed readers, I do once again feel reminded of a certain passage in Thoreau's Walden and particularly its last sentence: [...] which I seriously think a ready wit might write a twelvemonth or twelve years beforehand with sufficient accuracy.
* and may nobody tell me the very scientists whose exorbitant research result even made it into Science were able to acquire third-party funds for their "project". Please!