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October 17, 2018

The 9 most important things in the new Batman: Arkham Knight trailer

It’s one of the most anticipated games of 2015, and the latest instalment of the Arkham series of Batman games from Rocksteady studios – Batman: Arkham Knight, has a new trailer.

Once your excitement has died down a little bit, here are the nine most important things we spotted in the new teaser.

1. All the bad guys

Harley Quinn, Penguin, The Riddler, Two-Face, Scarecrow… they’re all back. And from what the narration tells us they’re teaming up to finish off the Dark Knight and his beloved Gotham once and for all.

2. Scarecrow’s accomplice

One of the first shots we see of Scarecrow – who appears to be the central villain this time around – sees him with a fairly kitted out accomplice. Who could that be? Azrael – the mysterious figure from Arkham City who told Batman they would meet again? In Gotham lore Azrael transforms from villain to hero, so could this be a major story arc in Arkham Knight?

3. Jetpacks

Arkham Knight looks like it may pose Batman some new threats, and one of those is the always awkward bad-guy-with-jetpack-carrying-machine-gun threat. Good luck, Bruce.

4. Poison Ivy is our narrator

In one of those inexplicable moments of exposition, we discover that the narrator for the early part of the trailer was Poison Ivy, who seems to be filling in Batman on what Scarecrow and co are up to.

5. Scarecrow is tech-ed up

We also get a flash of what appears to be some sort of exo-skeleton Scarecrow is wearing. It looks to be a way of quickly administering his Fear Toxin. Either that or he wants a part in the next Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.

6. Gotham looks stunning – but abandoned by most

The Gotham City in Arkham Knight is one ravaged by fear. Scarecrow and his cronies appear to have taken control of it, with only the Gotham Police Department and Batman sticking around, with the rest of the city’s residents having wisely chosen to evacuate. It still looks gorgeous though.

7. Jim Gordon

Of course the fearless police commissioner is still on the scene, leading Gotham’s beleaguered police force against the criminal underworld.

8. Big takedowns are still central to gameplay

The bulk of the in-game action we see revolves around the trademark takedowns and combat moves that have made this franchise so playable in the past. That is most definitely still the case here, with plenty of combo attacks on show.

9. The Batmobile

We already knew that Arkham Knight marked the debut of the Batmobile as a playable part of the game, and we see another flash of a chase here. But more strikingly, we see the Batmobile providing ‘assists’ to Batman during combat scenes – stunning enemies in mid-air to finish them off. Now that is some combination.

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The 9 most important things in the new Batman: Arkham Knight trailer

Babies hesitant to touch plants

A new Yale study suggests that humans should thank evolution for our hesitation to reach out and touch poison ivy.

Researchers at the Infant Cognition Center discovered that infants took five seconds longer on average to touch plants than other novel objects, a finding that demonstrated a potential evolutionary origin of the behavior. Researchers said this behavior is an innate defense mechanism against dangers such as toxins or thorns present on the plants. This behavior retains benefits today, since parents can still intervene to prevent children from touching potentially harmful plants, said Annie Wertz, co-author of the study and psychology postdoctoral fellow.

“Plants were a fundamental food source that presented both costs and benefits in their interactions with human beings,” Wertz said. “Although they provide a food source, there is a possibility of coming in contact with gnarly toxins that they must protect themselves against. Since plants present a stagnant danger, it is often better to just avoid interacting with them.”

In the first part of the study, researchers recorded how long it took babies to reach out and touch a series of objects, including real plants, fake plants and novel objects that mimicked certain qualities of plants like the color and shape — like a tube with streaming paper that resembled leaves. To make sure the babies did not grab at the objects that contained certain plant characteristics, they also exposed the subjects to common objects like spoons and lamps.

They found that babies took five seconds longer to touch the real plants than the objects that featured only certain characteristics of the plant, showing that babies hesitated to touch plants as a whole and not simply characteristics of it like its green color or leaves, Wertz said. They also found no difference in the time it took to touch the objects that featured plant characteristics and household objects, demonstrating that babies were not attracted by its novel attributes.

Since babies have limited exposure to plants, the results of the study suggest the demonstrated avoidance is more innate than previously suspected, said Laurie Santos, a Yale professor of psychology, in an email to the News. Santos said she is collaborating with Wertz to study whether infant capuchin monkeys might show similar effects as demonstrated in this study, adding that existing data suggests the effect is not present among adult monkeys.

The information uncovered with infant experiments can be applied to our understanding of how innateness interacts with environmental exposure, said Brian Scholl, a Yale professor of psychology.

“The nature of the mind is not arbitrary — think about the challenges faced by our ancestors versus their modern counterparts. Plants were a major component of how they survived,” he said.

The study opens questions about what part of the plant is key in identifying it as an entity and not its individual components, Wertz said.

The Infant Cognition Center at Yale opened in 1990.

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Babies hesitant to touch plants

Goats chow down on poison ivy at Sandy Hook, NJ


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    Goats chow down on poison ivy at Sandy Hook, NJ

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