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Second Languages

The window for acquiring a new language stretches almost until adulthood–longer than previously believed, finds a study in Cognition. Nearly 670,000 participants took a grammar quiz through a Facebook app. About 246,000 were native English speakers and 424,000 had...

Our Big Brains

The human brain evolved its disproportionately large size more in response to ecological challenges–like finding food and shelter–than to the need to adapt to complex social situations, suggests a study in Nature. The proportion of brain size to body...

Autism Genetics

Previous research has suggested that the genetic risk for autism is largely passed through the maternal line. However, those studies examined “coding DNA,” the genetic material that directly codes for proteins and makes up only about 2 percent of...

Twins in the Classroom

Many school encourage or require that twins be placed in separate classrooms. But a study in Developmental Psychology finds that separating twins has no significant effect on their academic performance. Researchers analyzed data from two longitudinal studies–one from the...