Athletes And Art: The Week’s Best Psychology Links

Our weekly round-up of the best psychology coverage from elsewhere on the web

The Olympic Games begin in Tokyo later this month — but things are going to be very different from normal. How will the rules and restrictions surrounding the games affect athletes’ wellbeing? Jo Batey takes a look at The Conversation.

Undark has a fascinating podcast this week about psychologists’ attempts to understand the minds of extremists.

As pandemic restrictions continue to ease up, you will probably be having more face-to-face conversations than you’ve had in the past year-and-a-half. But it’s only natural to find things a bit awkward at first, Tara Well tells Alex Abad-Santos at Vox.

We’re still in the early stages of understanding “long Covid”, the persistent symptoms some people experience after a coronavirus infection and which can include psychological problems such as anxiety and depression. Careful research is needed to help people with long Covid, writes Stuart Ritchie at Unherd, who warns that that these patients are in danger of being “pawns in our debates over pandemic policy”.

There’s a cool video at The Verge about neuroscientist Simón(e) Sun, who is studying homeostatic plasticity and making music out of the recordings she takes from neurons.

Researchers have developed an algorithm which can predict what kind of art people will like.  The programme analysed how the “low-level” features of art like colours and edges related to people’s judgements of the artwork. It could then determine to a high degree of accuracy whether they would like a new painting, reports Sarah Wells at Inverse.  

Finally, all your questions about learning languages are answered in this post by linguist Natalie Braber at BBC Science Focus.

Compiled by Matthew Warren (@MattBWarren), Editor of BPS Research Digest

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