Hey all! I like to spend time Monday doing a weekly check-in with myself. I am excited to be planning lectures for the first class I'm teaching this fall but also pretty anxious! How are all of you?

#MentalHealthMonday
I feel that when I look at the previous week and acknowledge how I was feeling about work, it can help me break out of bad cycles such as feeling down on myself if I think I wasn't as productive or feeling afraid of something I have been putting off. Especially now, I feel that
a week can quickly become a month so a weekly check in with myself and acknowledging "Maybe I didn't accomplish all my goals last week and that's why I am feeling bad and that's okay. This week maybe I will try something else" helps break things up and gets me a fresh start. It's
also a good time to give yourself credit like "Well I *did* get to accomplish this thing!" or "I finally wrote that scary email I was putting off for a while!" which can be really hard things to take time and celebrate when we feel like we have to be productive all the time!
But if it is a big deal to you, it is good to take a moment and acknowledge it! It is also a good practice to acknowledge when you didn't do what you wanted as long as you also make sure not to blame or beat yourself up. We really don't have to be productive all the time!

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More from @realscientists

Apr 11
There seems to be some interest in this topic of why we all find the same images memorable and forgettable, so let me tell you a bit more about it. Let's start with faces! @WilmaBainbridge has taught us a lot about what makes pictures of faces memorable and forgettable.
@WilmaBainbridge even has a website where you can upload your own pictures and get feedback from a computer model about how memorable they are. Let me know if you try it! brainbridgelab.uchicago.edu/resmem/
What makes a face photo memorable? Atypical faces tend to be more memorable than typical ones, as do faces that are judged as intelligent, responsible, trustworthy, attractive and kind. wilmabainbridge.com/papers/jepg-20…
Read 8 tweets
Apr 11
Yesterday I shared a some fascinating facts about different types of memory. Now let me tell you a bit more about what I do. I study our ability to remember whether we've seen specific things before; it's often called 'familiarity' memory.
We've all had that experience of walking down the street, seeing someone, and remembering that we know them but not being able to recall details such as who they are. We are interested in understanding: what's going on in our brains when that happens?
One thing that inspires us to study visual familiarity is how amazing we all are at it. I can ask you to flip through thousands of photos (that will take you hours) followed by a memory test. You'll be amazing at it. How do our brains do this? pnas.org/doi/abs/10.107…
Read 5 tweets
Oct 8, 2021
We had our department's doctoral students' meeting today. High time to share more about the topic I'm working on for my dissertation!

All please welcome #evolution of #altruism!
Put simply, altruism means unconditionally helping another. You might think it's a human trait, but it's actually present in lots of animal species! Let's have a look at some.

In the previous tweet, you could see an example of guarding against predators. Is that altruism?
Keeping guard - called sentinel behavior - makes you more exposed and vulnerable to predators, while it protects others in your group.

Is there a benefit for the sentry?
We'll get to that! Meerkat sentry. Credit: Emily P. Robinson, Fight for Wildlif
Read 41 tweets
Oct 7, 2021
I meant to tweet more actively this week, but my three-year-old's fever derailed these plans. Luckily, she's better now. This came at the same time as me starting an elimination diet to find out what's problematic for my breastfed baby.

Let's have a look at infant allergies.
This may come as a surprise to most non-parents, but food allergies are surprisingly common in infants. The estimates vary a lot, but fluctuate around 5%: one in twenty infants having a food allergy. You likely know some.

But it's hard to know for sure for reasons we'll look at.
Disclaimer: unlike evolutionary biology and astrobiology, it's not my field of study. But I've raised one child with allergies already, it looks like the younger one may have them too, and I'm planning to tackle the topic as a science writer.
Read 26 tweets
Oct 7, 2021
I mentioned the movie Europa Report in the #Europa thread yesterday. It's an amazing piece of science fiction about this moon.

But there are plenty of interesting takes on life in a subsurface ocean in SF! Let's have a look at a few...
'A Darkling Sea' by James Cambias is an interesting novel featuring a civilization in an exoplanetary subsurface ocean. Much recommended!

goodreads.com/book/show/1793…
"Innumerable Glimmering Lights", a short story by Rich Larson, has no human characters, but that doesn't mean they aren't relatable. They're the right mix of alien and familiar, and it would be interesting to see a larger piece of the world crafted there.

goodreads.com/book/show/3694…
Read 10 tweets
Oct 3, 2021
"All these worlds are yours. Except Europa. Attempt no landing there." - 2010: Odyssey Two, by A.C. Clarke

Most of you think we'll first discover life outside of Earth on Europa or Enceladus. Let's have a look at these amazing worlds of ice and water! 🧵 Europa. Image: NASA / JPL/ ...
In 1610, Europa, Io, Ganymede and Callisto were discovered almost at the same time by Simon Marius and Galileo Galilei.

We remember the latter better, but those names were selected by Marius. If not for him, we might have been calling them after the Medicis, Galileo's patrons... Galileo's drawings of Jupit...
It wasn't until the Pioneers & Voyagers in the 1970s, though, until we got a closer look at the moon and could marvel at it.

Look at this composite image captured by the Galileo probe. Does anything look strange to you? How does it differ from our Moon?

I'll give you a moment. Europa.
Read 39 tweets

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