How ‘navigational hazards’ in metro maps confuse travelers

Peter B. Lloyd, a PhD student in the School of Computing, working alongside Dr Peter Rodgers in the same department, and Dr Maxwell J. Roberts, a cognitive psychologist at the University of Essex, is carrying out a series of studies on the New York City subway map. This is sometimes ranked as the most complex metro map in the world, but the results are expected to be applicable to other cities.

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Intimacy in later life does not slow memory loss

Older people who enjoy a sexually active and emotionally close relationship with their partner tend to perform better at memory tests than sexually inactive older adults on a short-term basis, but this is not the case over a longer period of time. This is according to a study using data from more than 6000 adults aged 50 and over. The research by Mark Allen of the University of Wollongong in Australia is published in Springer’s journal Archives of Sexual Behavior.

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Weird World 

Major shifts in global freshwater

A new global, satellite-based study of Earth’s freshwater distribution found that Earth’s wet areas are getting wetter, while dry areas are getting drier. The data suggest that this pattern is due to a variety of factors, including human water management practices, human-caused climate change and natural climate cycles.

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Earth & Climate 

Natural regeneration or tree-planting? Study points to bias in forest restoration studies

When embarking on a reforestation project, is it better to let an area regenerate on its own, or take active steps like planting trees? Recent high-profile research has suggested that natural regeneration is more effective. However, UMBC’s Matthew Fagan and colleagues have just published their own research in Science Advances suggesting those studies were biased, and advocating for a more nuanced approach to forest restoration.

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