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Psst! The Human Brain Is Wired For Gossip

Psst! The Human Brain Is Wired For Gossip
hide captionLearning juicy details about someone can change the way you see them — literally, according to a new study. August Darwell/Getty Images Hearing gossip about people can change the way you see them — literally. Negative gossip actually alters the way our visual system responds to a particular face, according to a study published online by the journal Science. The findings suggest that the human brain is wired to respond to gossip, researchers say. And it adds to the evidence that gossip helped early humans get ahead. "Gossip is helping you to predict who is friend and who is foe," says Lisa Feldman Barrett, distinguished professor of psychology at Northeastern University and an author of the study. Barrett is part of a team that has been studying how gossip affects not just what we know about an unfamiliar person but how we feel about them. That may seem like a strange thing to ask. So the team brought in volunteers and had them look at faces paired with gossip. Science/AAAS

http://www.npr.org/2011/05/20/136465083/psst-the-human-brain-is-wired-for-gossip

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