🧠 Teen brain crisis 🤖 Killer robots ☕ Caffeine hack

🧠 Teen brain crisis 🤖 Killer robots ☕ Caffeine hack

Obvious statement: the pandemic was stressful for everyone. Less obvious: what did chronic stress over multiple years do to our brains?

For teenagers, it looks like it substantially aged them.

The best news, hacks, & facts from the past week!
December 4, 2022
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Teenage brains are now in their 20's

image: teen destination

Obvious statement: the pandemic was stressful for everyone. Less obvious: what did chronic stress over multiple years do to our brains?

For teenagers, it looks like it substantially aged them.

When we're teenagers, our hippocampus (memory center) and amygdala (threat center) naturally grow, and tissues in our cortex (executive function center) naturally thin out.

This process accelerated by several years in a cohort of 163 teenagers observed by researchers as they lived through COVID-19 lockdowns.

“We already knew from global research that the pandemic adversely affected mental health in youth, but we didn’t know what, if anything, it was doing physically to their brains until now,” Ian Gotlib, one of the researchers, laments.

Given reports of anxiety and depression are up 25%+ relative to pre-pandemic years, the findings aren't especially shocking - they're more so concerning.

"It's not clear if the changes are permanent," says Goflib. We don't know if chronological age will catch up to brain age. We don't know if memory or cognitive problems will emerge. We don't know much of anything from a longitudinal standpoint.

Researchers will continue to closely study this generation to fill in gaps, but in the meantime, look to minimize chronic stressors (violence, neglect, dysfunction, etc.) in your own life and in the lives of those around you - doing so has never been more critical.


Dad brain, wolf parasite, killer robots...

image: dadlife

The time American fathers devote to child care has tripled since 1970 and we now know the brain changes post-fatherhood. Visual processing, attention, and empathy improve.

Aging Tech

Disney recently launched an AI system that can automatically alter the age of actors. So called "re-aging" will save months of visual effects work on any given production.


The toxoplasma gondii parasite causes wolves it infects to take risks and seize their spot as pack leader. P.S. 10% of humans in the US are infected and entrepreneurs over-index.


A new study just revealed that low-frequency sounds undetectable to the human ear (aka "sub-hearing sounds") can make people dance more.

Killer Robots

Last week, San Francisco city supervisors granted permission to the SFPD to kill civilians using robots under certain circumstances. Dissenting supervisors were appalled.


Avoid drinking caffeine first-thing

image: eat this, not that

I listen to pretty much every bit of content neuroscientist Andrew Huberman puts out. Recently, I learned something new from him in a podcast interview he did.

TL;DR don't drink caffeine until you've been awake for 90 minutes!

Why? Rather than fumble through the answer, let's hear from the Hubinator himself...

"Caffeine is an adenosine antagonist. The longer you're awake, adenosine builds up in your bloodstream. It's what makes you feel fatigue. Caffeine blocks your adenosine receptors, but then when it wears off, the adenosine that's still around binds to those receptors and you crash.

So one thing you can do is when you wake up in the morning, don't ingest caffeine for 90 minutes. Push that off so the adenosine and adenosine receptor interactions can all take place and dissipate. Then you drink caffeine and what you'll find is that if normally you would crash around 2 or 3 in the afternoon, you don't experience that crash."

Want the full podcast episode? Reply to this email and I'll send you the link!

  1. Sunny side up is the way eggs are most often portrayed and least often ordered.
  2. Knowing that tomorrow is Sunday is better than the Sunday itself.
  3. You'll never find out what you're really best at.
  4. Parents in the future will tell their kids about times they went viral on the internet.
  5. The hardest part about learning Ethics is finding that somehow, in someway, you are a horrible person.

Audrey Hepburn: “Nothing is impossible. The word itself says: 'I'm possible!'"

Today I learned that taking a photo causes your brain to outsource the memory. You don't retain the info as well as you would if you just viewed the scene. This is called the photo-taking impairment effect. (more here)

celerity [ suh-lair-uh-tee ] - noun
swiftness of movement
When the alarm went off, everyone headed to the exits with celerity.

Q: How many legs does a lobster have?
A: (see below next section)

image: twitter


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