Money. Power. Fame. Success. All accomplishments in life that we’ve been told can “go to our head”—meaning, in the idiomatic sense, that we grow pompous, callous, and strangely forgetful of the people who cheered us on and the places from which we come. advertisement advertisement But such forces can also “go to your head” in a much less figurative way. As in, they can literally mold the shape of your brain. That’s the finding of a recent publication from the University of Pennsylvania and international collaborators, who studied the neural effects of socioeconomic status. According to the team, which is called BIG BEAR—for Brain Imaging and Genetics in Behavioral Research—such factors as your education, your job, your income, and the neighborhood in which you live can chisel the brain’s architecture across a variety of lobes, structuring its relative gray matter volume. Using the United Kingdom’s Biobank —a research-based treasure trove of human … [Read more...] about The neuroscience behind money and power: How socioeconomic status can literally shape your brain
US President Joe Biden (File image: Reuters) As Americans deal with the highest inflation in decades, President Joe Biden has declared that combating rising costs is a priority for his administration. Lately, he has cited one policy in particular as an inflation-fighting tool: shrinking the nation’s budget deficit. “Bringing down the deficit is one way to ease inflationary pressures in an economy,” Biden said this month. “We reduce federal borrowing and we help combat inflation.” The federal budget deficit — the gap between what the government spends and the tax revenue it takes in — remains large. But Biden has pointed out that it shrank by $350 billion during his first year in office and is expected to fall more than $1 trillion by October, the end of this federal budget year. Rather than stemming from any recent budget measures by his administration or Congress, the deficit reduction largely reflects the rise in tax receipts from strong economic growth and the winding … [Read more...] about Biden’s curious talking point: Lower deficits offer inflation relief
The capture of Mariupol would represent the Kremlin’s biggest victory yet of the war in Ukraine. It would help Moscow secure more of the coastline, complete a land bridge between Russia and the Crimean Peninsula, which Russia seized in 2014, and free up more forces to join the larger and potentially more consequential battle now underway for Ukraine’s eastern industrial heartland, the Donbas. (Image: AP) The Ukrainian forces who made a determined last stand in a Mariupol steel mill against Russian troops were a mixture of seasoned soldiers, border guards, a controversial national guard regiment and volunteers who took up arms in the weeks before Russias invasion. As Russia announced it had completed its takeover of Mariupol with the surrender of the fighters who served as the final obstacle, Ukraine's government did not confirm the city's fall. Earlier in the week, Ukrainian officials said its combantants in the Azovstal steel plant had completed their mission and were being … [Read more...] about Explainer: Who were Mariupol’s last defenders?