Innate teaching skills ‘part of human nature’

A small but novel study of hunter-gatherers concludes that teaching is part of the human genome, that it is a part of our human nature, researchers say. The Aka are among the last of the world’s hunter-gatherers, but their way of life accounts for 99 percent of human history. That they teach, and how they teach, offers new insight into who we are as humans and how we might best learn. —> Read More

Even Black Kids In Kindergarten May Face Racial Bias

A new study prompted by the spate of unarmed black men killed in America suggests people may be more likely to mistake a toy or a tool for a gun when an African American is holding it. And this inherent negative bias was found to extend to black kids as young as five years old.

The research, published this week in the journal Psychological Science, conducted several tests to gauge inherent bias towards white or black people. Researchers quickly showed 64 white participants a photo of either a black or white five-year-old’s face and then an image of a gun or a toy. They asked them to ignore the face they saw and then identify the object as either the threatening or safe object.

During the first test, subjects were quicker to identify guns after seeing photos of black boys than they were when seeing white children. When researchers showed the participants white faces, the participants mistakenly labeled guns as toys in greater frequency than when primed with an image of a black kid.

A second test introduced men into the trials and replaced the toys with common tools, but researchers found similar results linking black adults, regardless of age, to the threatening objects in greater frequency.

Lead study author Andrew Todd, an assistant professor of psychology and brain sciences at the University of Iowa, told The Huffington Post the impetus for the report was linked to “the alarming rate at which young African Americans … are shot and killed by police in the U.S.”

“Although such incidents have multiple causes, one potential contributor is that young Black males are stereotypically associated with violence and criminality,” Todd said in a statement.

The study notes that further research can be done to see if the bias extends to black women, —> Read More

Adventurous Panda Cub Needs Mom’s Help Getting Down From Tree

Bei Bei is brave, but he is not that brave.

The adorable 5-month-old giant panda cub climbed a tree inside his enclosure at the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington, D.C., on Monday. He made it several feet off the ground, but soon appeared to lose confidence when coming down, and needed a helping hand from his mom Mei Xiang.

The zoo posted footage of the tender moment between the mother and cub on Facebook, and now it’s going viral.

The incident was a big moment for little Bei Bei, who ventured outside for the first time last week. Until now, he’s been more known for his frequent naps.

Look who’s stepping outside! #BeiBei ventured outside for the first time today with Mei Xiang. #WeSaveSpecies

A video posted by Smithsonian’s National Zoo (@smithsonianzoo) on Feb 4, 2016 at 11:26am PST

Last month Bei Bei fell asleep during his official public debut. In December, he snoozed through his unveiling to the media. And he hardly kept his eyes open during a medical checkup.

But now he’s becoming more active.

Bei Bei’s diet is also gradually switching to more solid foods, like bamboo and sweet potatoes, although he’ll continue nursing from his mom for the next year.

Born on Aug. 22, Bei Bei lives at the zoo with parents —> Read More

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