This Week in Health: Autism linked to heightened creativity
Check out this week's latest health news.
Location of study: U.K.
Study subjects: Over 300 people who filled out an online survey and completed creativity tests
Results: Joint research out of the University of Stirling and the University of East Anglia has uncovered an apparent relationship between autism and creative thinking. Respondents who had more autistic traits performed better on creativity tests, generating more out-of-the-box responses to problems. However, they also created fewer overall responses.
Significance: When it comes to problem-solving, researchers say that most people initially respond with obvious solutions first before trying more in-depth, cognitively demanding approaches (which often yield more creative answers). People with more autistic traits seem to bypass this first step and go straight to higher-level problem-solving.
Study subjects: 487 heterosexual couples
Location of study: U.S.
Results: Divvying up child care responsibilities isn’t only fair—it also leads to more sex and better relationship satisfaction among parents, suggests a new study. Researchers found that those who embraced an equal partnership with regard to parenting duties fought less, had more sex, and were more satisfied with their sex lives.
Significance: Instances where the load is not shared can be a breeding ground for relationship problems. Case in point: the lowest-quality relationships and sex lives were reported among couples where the woman was doing the majority of the child care. "[I]t could be a situation where one partner is being over-burdened and the other one is not,” says Daniel L. Carlson, assistant professor of sociology at Georgia State University. “One is benefitting while the other may be resentful."
Location of study: U.S.
Study subjects: Over 255,000 adults
Results:In a new study put out by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, researchers found that people—particularly men—slept better when natural settings were within reach. Similar findings were reported for people 65 and older. Natural surroundings could be anything from a local park to a nearby beach.
Significance: Researchers say that living close to green spaces and natural amenities appears to increase physical activity levels. This, in turn, might foster better sleep habits. They add that people over the age of 65 would likely improve their sleep habits and overall quality of life if they spent more time out in nature.
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