Robin Marantz Henig - Quotes

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The English language has 112 words for deception, according to one count, each with a different shade of meaning: collusion, fakery, malingering, self-deception, confabulation, prevarication, exaggeration, denial. ---->>>

In the womb, humans are free of microbes. Colonization begins during the journey down the birth canal, which is riddled with bacteria, some of which make their way onto the newborn's skin. ---->>>

Angels, demons, spirits, wizards, gods and witches have peppered folk religions since mankind first started telling stories. ---->>>

It's almost a rite of passage for the middle-aged, it seems, to invent generational stereotypes for dumping on the young. ---->>>

Elderly parents tend to think their relationship with their middle-aged children is smoother than the children do. Adult grandchildren, who have little stake in pulling away from their grandparents, tend to describe that relationship as less rose-colored than do Gram and Gramps. ---->>>

Hardships of early human life favored the evolution of certain cognitive tools, among them the ability to infer the presence of organisms that might do harm, to come up with causal narratives for natural events and to recognize that other people have minds of their own with their own beliefs, desires and intentions. ---->>>

I regret not working harder to create true friendships with other couples, not seeking out people with whom to go do things and go places - people with whom to have a few crazy, memorable bonding adventures. ---->>>

The human brain has evolved the capacity to impose a narrative, complete with chronology and cause-and-effect logic, on whatever it encounters, no matter how apparently random. ---->>>

Lies can be verbal or nonverbal, kindhearted or self-serving, devious or bald-faced; they can be lies of omission or lies of commission; they can be lies that undermine national security or lies that make a child feel better. And each type might involve a unique neural pathway. ---->>>

Anxiety is not fear, exactly, because fear is focused on something right in front of you - a real and objective danger. ---->>>

Biology sets the context, and that is critical, but obesity still boils down to whether a person eats too much or exercises enough. ---->>>

Even though loneliness affects so many of us, it has gotten scant research attention compared to related conditions like depression or anxiety. ---->>>

Kids don't shuffle along in unison on the road to maturity. They slouch toward adulthood at an uneven, highly individual pace. ---->>>

Many of us are tethered to bodies that sabotage us in our struggle to keep from getting fat, or to slim down when we do. ---->>>

Whatever the reason for any one individual's tendency to gain weight, the only way to lose the weight is to eat less and exercise more. ---->>>

As the brain matures, one thing that happens is the pruning of the synapses. Synaptic pruning does not occur willy-nilly; it depends largely on how any one brain pathway is used. ---->>>

Beliefs about how lying looks are plentiful and often contradictory: depending on whom you choose to believe, liars can be detected because they fidget a lot, hold very still, cross their legs, cross their arms, look up, look down, make eye contact or fail to make eye contact. ---->>>

Friends and relatives might be surprised that I think of myself as lonely. I'm married to a man I not only love but like, and we spend a lot of time together. If I feel like socializing, I can usually find someone to meet for coffee or a drink. ---->>>

I'm always made a little uncomfortable by studies that assert that Millennials are the most narcissistic generation in history. To me, being young has always meant being self-absorbed; in many ways, that's what youth is for. ---->>>

In the modern world, the anxious temperament does offer certain benefits: caution, introspection, the capacity to work alone. These can be adaptive qualities. ---->>>

The 20s are like the stem cell of human development: the pluripotent moment when any of several outcomes is possible. Decisions and actions during this time have lasting ramifications. ---->>>

For humans and animals alike, truly vigorous, wholehearted, spontaneous play is something of a biological frill. ---->>>

If you're satisfied with your social life, according to psychologists, you tend to be satisfied with life in general. ---->>>

Regret is a bitter emotion, so painful that the urge to avoid it often drives decision-making strategies. ---->>>

The essence of play is that the sequence of actions is fluid and scattered. ---->>>

The limbic system explodes during puberty, but the prefrontal cortex keeps maturing for another 10 years. ---->>>

The real thing young people should fear is missing out on those few, true, long-term friendships that make for a richer, happier life. ---->>>

The tenuousness of modern life can make anyone feel overwrought. ---->>>

Through social media, young people are constantly being pinged about a whole slew of potentially better matches or social activities. ---->>>

To me, it's always interesting to see what people end up regretting, as a way maybe to avoid such regrets in your own life. ---->>>

Alright, alright, I admit it: my husband is the quiet, kind, accepting parent, and I'm the one who wants so much to be part of our two daughters' lives than I can't even let them finish a story without interrupting. ---->>>

As people construct a life narrative, researchers have found, they tend to remember more events from the teens and twenties than from any other time. It's called the 'reminiscence bump.' ---->>>

I'm a freelance writer, and I work alone at a big desk in the living room of my apartment. There are many days when I don't utter a single word to anyone but my husband. ---->>>

Parents bobble between a nostalgia-infused yearning for their children to play and fear that time spent playing is time lost to more practical pursuits. ---->>>

Scientists who study play, in animals and humans alike, are developing a consensus view that play is something more than a way for restless kids to work off steam; more than a way for chubby kids to burn off calories; more than a frivolous luxury. ---->>>

Some of my happiest moments are the ones I spend with my husband, a few close relatives, and a handful of very good friends who know me well and like me anyway. ---->>>

Some people, no matter how robust their stock portfolios or how healthy their children, are always mentally preparing for doom. They are just born worriers, their brains forever anticipating the dropping of some dreaded other shoe. ---->>>

The chance you passed up or missed could have had any number of different outcomes, and it's easy to fantasize about how much better every one of those outcomes would have been. ---->>>

The music that was popular in your youth seems to be the music you recall most vividly - and most nostalgically - for the rest of your life. But so is the music that was popular in your parents' youth. ---->>>

There's very little about being in a functional-M.R.I. scanner that is natural: you are flat on your back, absolutely still, with your head immobilized by pillows and straps. The scanner makes a dreadful din, which headphones barely muffle. ---->>>

When a trait is universal, evolutionary biologists look for a genetic explanation and wonder how that gene or genes might enhance survival or reproductive success. ---->>>

When my husband and I were in our twenties, we thought it would be fun to take up cross-country skiing as a hobby. We were living outside Chicago for graduate school, the winters were long and hard, and the terrain was flat; it seemed a good way to get us out of the apartment, and maybe even a way to start us off on a cool new thing to share. ---->>>

Biography

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Occupation: Writer
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Robin Marantz Henig is a freelance science writer and a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine. Her articles have also appeared in Scientific American, Seed, Discover and assorted women's magazines. In addition, she writes book reviews and occasional essays for the Washington Post, as well as articles for The New York Times science section, op-ed page, and Book Review (wikipedia)