How Trees Mother Their Seedlings and What We Can Learn About Connection From Forests

May 3, 2021 0 Comments

Well hello! I’m so glad you’re here. A version of this article also appeared in the It’s Not Just You newsletter. Sign up here to receive a new edition every Sunday.

Forest ecologist Suzanne Simard studies what she calls “mother trees.” They are tall old-growth trees with vast root systems connected to hundreds of other trees via a network of fungi that allows them to share resources and information. Mother trees are the source of a forest’s resilience and renewal in the face of modern stressors, like climate change.

This breakthrough research revealed stunningly complex communications and cooperation among trees. A mother tree can even recognize its own saplings and direct more carbon, nutrients, and water to them if needed, but will also support other neighbor trees in distress.

Simard’s work led to a revolutionary premise: that the forest is a bit like a mutual aid society. “I discovered that Read the rest

Zoom Fatigue Is Real, and More Women Experience It Than Men

May 3, 2021 0 Comments

Zoom fatigue is not only a real phenomenon, it appears to affect more women than men, primarily due to a symptom called mirror anxiety. Daily usage and longer meetings appear to exacerbate Zoom fatigue, a recent study in SSRN shows.

Zoom fatigue isn’t Zoom-specific. It’s a feeling of exhaustion associated with use of videoconferencing tools like Zoom. The fatigue is presumed to be caused by the complex spatial dynamics that take place in video calls and/or by the additional cognitive load these calls require.

Specifically, the researchers looked at feelings of mirror anxiety, being physically trapped, hyper-gaze from a grid of staring faces, and the cognitive load from producing and interpreting nonverbal cues.

The researchers conducted a convenience sample of 10,591 participants. The self-report data from the Zoom & Exhaustion Fatigue (ZEF) scale included open-ended questions. The researchers analyzed the responses using the meaning extraction method to discover key themes. … Read the rest