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Thinking Before Eating Makes Food More Enjoyable

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Thinkstock

It can be hard to resist tearing into a particularly mouthwatering dish of food as soon as it hits the table, but research [PDF] suggests that it might be best to hold on a second.

Under experimental conditions, researchers gave participants very specific instructions on how to consume a chocolate bar:

"Without unwrapping the chocolate bar, break it in half. Unwrap half of the bar and eat it. Then, unwrap the other half and eat it."

Compared to participants not given the unwrapping ritual instructions, the test group reported that they enjoyed their eating experience more, would be willing to pay more money for the chocolate bar, and even reported it tasting better.

What does that mean for us non-experimental eaters? It means that taking a minute to really appreciate your food can have a huge impact on how much we end up enjoying it. A true lover of food might pause to take in the aromas of a dish, and the religious might say grace; still others might snap a picture on their phone to upload to their social networks. Any pre-eating ritual should do the trick—as long as you manage not to drool with anticipation in the meantime.

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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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iStock

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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