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Be nice, and your brain will grow

Or maybe it's the other way around: if your brain grows -- a specific region of the brain which scientists have recently linked to altruistic behavior, that is -- you'll be nice. They're not sure yet. What Duke University researchers do know, however, is that the posterior superior temporal sulcus is larger in people who regularly engage in what the study calls "helping behaviors," which is to say, activities which have no obvious benefit to oneself.

Examples of "true" altruism, though, can be tough to find. According to the researchers, it's a fairly rare phenomenon in terms of human behavior; we usually engage in "reciprocal" altruism and expect something in return for our generosity. Being cheated or cuckolded is closer to true altruism than, say, giving your car to Goodwill and taking a fat tax deduction at the end of the year. While there's certainly still more research to be conducted, the implications thus far are fascinating: perhaps truly selfless acts are rare because the people who perform them regularly are, well, abnormal!

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Bone Broth 101
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Whether you drink it on its own or use it as stock, bone broth is the perfect recipe to master this winter. Special thanks to the Institute of Culinary Education

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Why Can Parrots Talk and Other Birds Can't?
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If you've ever seen a pirate movie (or had the privilege of listening to this avian-fronted metal band), you're aware that parrots have the gift of human-sounding gab. Their brains—not their beaks—might be behind the birds' ability to produce mock-human voices, the Sci Show's latest video explains below.

While parrots do have articulate tongues, they also appear to be hardwired to mimic other species, and to create new vocalizations. The only other birds that are capable of vocal learning are hummingbirds and songbirds. While examining the brains of these avians, researchers noted that their brains contain clusters of neurons, which they've dubbed song nuclei. Since other birds don't possess song nuclei, they think that these structures probably play a key role in vocal learning.

Parrots might be better at mimicry than hummingbirds and songbirds thanks to a variation in these neurons: a special shell layer that surrounds each one. Birds with larger shell regions appear to be better at imitating other creatures, although it's still unclear why.

Learn more about parrot speech below (after you're done jamming out to Hatebeak).

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