Beth Newhart

Beth Newhart

Reporter, Technology and Mind & Behavior


Beth Newhart, based in Chicago, covers Mind & Behavior and Technology for The Academics Times. Beth is a journalist with experience covering culture, business, tech, finance, food, beverage and more. Her work has been featured in international publications, including BeverageDaily, DairyReporter, Crain Communications and Time Out Group. She has a bachelor's degree in journalism from Loyola University Chicago.

Certain essential oils have convulsant properties and have been associated with seizures for centuries, though everyday use of oils has generally been considered safe for the average person. But after conducting the largest ever case study of essential oil-related seizures in adults, a group of Indian neurologists have found evidence suggesting their use may not be as safe as we previously assumed.

Humans use divergent thinking to work through problems creatively and find multiple solutions, a concept not well understood or widely researched in young, preschool-age children. Now, behavioral scientists have explored the thought processes of 4-year-olds from the Netherlands and provided the first empirical evidence that their divergent thinking shows "remarkable similarities" to what has been reported in adults.

Humanoid robots are now capable of vocalizing their thought processes, "thinking out loud" in a way that mimics how humans use their inner thoughts to evaluate situations, gain clarity or seek moral guidance, according to a new study from Italy that found robots were better able to resolve conflicts and complete tasks when using self-dialogue.

A new analysis of longitudinal data from British adults revealed that those who sleep less than seven hours per night during middle age are at an increased risk of developing dementia once they reach 70 years old, highlighting the importance of good sleep habits throughout adulthood.

Autonomous social robots are designed for human communication and interaction, but are humans ready to integrate them into daily life? A South Korean study has revealed that working parents are open to the idea of using social robots in child care functions such as socialization, entertainment and consultation, but they are less interested in using them for educational purposes with their kids.

A prototype developed by engineers in South Korea can accommodate virtual reality experiences on a device resembling a pair of sunglasses, introducing a new optical system that drastically reduces the physical size of headsets and bringing VR technology closer to adoption.

Brain temperature differs from body temperature and is an important indicator of health after an injury, but it's difficult to measure without invasive procedures such as the implantation of temperature probes. A group of researchers has proposed a new biophysical model that can predict personalized brain temperature using data from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of individual brain tissue and vessel structures.

Employees dealing with work-induced stress can experience changes to their physiology, according to organizational behavior researchers, which may result in their personality traits fluctuating or even fundamentally changing over time.

Stressful situations alter brain activity in regions responsible for self-control, like the prefrontal cortex, but these changes in brain activity do not necessarily cause binge eating in people with eating disorders, according to new research, suggesting for the first time that the triggers for this behavior are more complex than previously thought.

In order to prevent another global pandemic, scientists have been exploring methods to better detect and contain new viruses before they spread. To that end, a group of engineers have developed an algorithm-based monitoring system that can be integrated into airports for early detection of coronavirus and other respiratory-virus outbreaks.

When presented with an opportunity to change or improve something, adults are more likely to rely on addition to correct a problem, instead of subtracting from it, a team of researchers determined in the first study to analyze additive and subtractive cognitive processes.

People who score high in personality traits that are a part of the "Dark Tetrad"—narcissism, Machiavellianism, psychopathy and sadism—are more likely to interfere in the romantic lives of their family and friends when they dislike or disapprove of a significant other, a new study determined.