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AROUND THE STATE

Socializing can make part of brain bigger

NEW YORK (AP) -- If you spend time with a lot of friends, a part of your brain may be unusually large.

That part is called the amygdala, and it's deep in your brain. Researchers found that among volunteers who got brain scans, those with a bigger amygdala tended to report seeing more friends and family regularly.

Lisa Feldman Barrett, of Northeastern University, reports the work in a paper published online Sunday by the journal Nature Neuroscience. She says the result makes sense because the amygdala is at the center of a brain network that's important for socializing.

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School ponders switch to gender separation

SYRACUSE (AP) -- A Syracuse middle school is pondering a switch to separate students by gender in hopes of improving students' academic performances.

The principal of Clary Middle School wants the School Board's permission to make the change, which would create separate academies for girls and boys.

The School Board is expected to vote on the idea next month. The school has about 370 students in grades six to eight. If the change is approved, Clary would be the only public school in the city to separate students by gender.

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Woman's leg trapped in elevator shaft

NEW YORK (AP) -- Firefighters and hospital employees needed more than an hour to free a woman who was seriously injured when her leg was caught between an elevator car and the wall of the shaft.

Officials didn't know how the woman ended up in the elevator shaft at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn shortly before 5 p.m. Saturday.

Rescuers attempted to get the leg free by pushing the elevator car back, but that wasn't successful.

Rescuers ended up having to cut a hole in the elevator car.

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