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Who are You, Now: Does Personality Change as We Age?

Are you the same “you” that you were twenty years ago? Thirty? Forty? What about fifty years ago? While science still struggles to quantify, measure, and categorize personality, some have a different question: how stable is personality in the first place? Do the high school version of yourself and the retiree version of yourself still have some common immutable core? It depends how you look at it, says a study by lead author Rodica Damian of University of Houston and her co-authors Marion Spengler of the University of Tuebingen in Germany, Brent W. Roberts of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and UH grad student Andreea Sutu. The paper in question goes by the catchy title “Sixt

Medicinal Music: Stroke Recovery

Last week, we talked about a study suggesting that listening to a Bach sonata boosts the effectiveness of a painkiller. Today, it’s more good news for music fans: we’ll be looking at how the simple activity of listening to songs helps those recovering from a stroke. The connection between the nebulously defined “music therapy” and stroke recovery is not new. In 2008, Finnish music therapist Anita Forsblom teamed up with Teppo Särkämö of the University of Helsinki for an experiment involving 60 stroke patients. One third were asked to listen to music every day, another third was assigned daily audio book consumption, and the final third served as the control group. Both the music group and th