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Reduced activity of a brain protein linked to post-traumatic stress disorder People with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have reduced activity of the protein serum and glucocorticoid regulated kinase 1 (SGK1) in their prefrontal cortices, and experimentally reducing the protein’s activity in rats leads to PTSD-like behavior, according to a new study in PLOS Biology. The study by Pawel Licznerski, Ronald Duman and colleagues of the Department of [...]
Smiles all round: why sharing happy news is good for you and everyone you know I have some good news for you: happiness is contagious and affects the happiness of others with whom you are connected. That’s right – according to recent research by the University of Pennsylvania – making yourself and those around you happy is not only possible, but really quite easy. All you have to do, quite [...]
New role for insulin: Studies tie the hormone to brain’s ‘pleasure’ center Insulin, the hormone essential to all mammals for controlling blood sugar levels and a feeling of being full after eating, plays a much stronger role than previously known in regulating release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centers, new studies by researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center show. “We [...]
THE PARADOX: The Big Secret of Emotion Regulation The mind-body system for regulating emotions is a paradox! The mind-body-vehicle and passengers metaphors from the last two blogs help explain why despite our best intentions, we can get off … ...
The Positive Perspective: Replacing ‘Despite’ with ‘Because’... People often ask me, “How do you do your research?” I’m a kind of street scientist. I don’t have a lab full of undergrads eating marshmallows to study; I rely on my own observations. Really, I feel more like Samuel Johnson or William Hazlitt or … ...
The Lie Of The “Skinny Mirror” Mirrors and reflections are an unavoidable part of life. It is virtually impossible to get through a day without being confronted with our “mirror-image”  whether we like what we see or not.  Some are comfortable with what they see. Some are not. I was not … ...
STOP: The Surprising Power of Waiting Most people believe that waiting is a waste of time and it’s best to fill that time with something… anything. Whether we’re in line at a the grocery story, waiting … ...
Do We Find Happiness or Does Happiness Find Us? Relationship guru Maggie Scarf relates a story about a memorable party she and her husband once gave. As she tells it, a somewhat plastered guest overturned a punch bowl, which landed in the leek soup. Two couples left with the wrong spouses, several noisy quarrels broke out, and Scarf herself seriously considered leaving and staying at the neighbors’ for the night.
Bodily maps of touch and social relationships are tightly linked A study conducted by Aalto University and the University of Oxford shows that the bodily maps of touch are consistent across a wide range of European cultures. The recent results obtained by a Finnish-English research group show that the human body has a precisely defined touch maps that are tightly linked to social touch that [...]
Mental maps: Route-learning changes brain tissue in the hippocampus Fifteen years ago, a study showed that the brains of London cab drivers had an enlargement in the hippocampus, a brain area associated with navigation. But questions remained: Did the experience of navigating London’s complex system of streets change their brains, or did only the people with larger hippocampi succeed in becoming cab drivers? Now, [...]
When it comes to children’s ability to think, weight and activity level both matter, study finds Weight and physical activity levels are both factors in a child’s ability to acquire and use knowledge, a new study finds. “The question this paper asks that has not been asked before is whether it is just fitness that influences children’s cognition,” said Dr. Catherine Davis, clinical health psychologist at the Georgia Prevention Institute at [...]
Head movements play a key role in conveying emotions through speech and music When people talk or sing, they often nod, tilt or bow their heads to reinforce verbal messages. But how effective are these head gestures at conveying emotions? Very effective, according to researchers from McGill University in Montreal. Steven R. Livingstone and Caroline Palmer, from McGill’s Department of Psychology, found that people were highly accurate at [...]
Study finds complete symptom resolution reduces risk of depression recurrence People who have had an episode of major depression are at high risk for having another episode. Now, researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have found that the risk of recurrence is significantly lower for people with complete, rather than partial depressive symptom resolution. The findings, published online October 27 in [...]
Ferguson effect? Negative publicity reduces police motivation but doesn’t result in depolicing Recent negative publicity surrounding police after several shootings of unarmed civilians appears to have diminished some officers’ motivation to be in law enforcement but does not decrease willingness to carry out their duties, according to a study published by the American Psychological Association. “It appears that officers in our sample have been affected by negative [...]
New finding helps explain why many alcohol drinkers also are smokers Alcohol and nicotine use have long been known to go hand in hand. Previous research shows that more than 85 percent of U.S. adults who are alcohol-dependent also are nicotine-dependent. Now, researchers from the University of Missouri School of Medicine have found that nicotine cancels out the sleep-inducing effects of alcohol. It’s a finding that [...]
Like No One Is Watching We’d like to believe ourselves to be “good” people – kind and altruistic – it’s not that easy when life’s challenges are in front of us. The culture we live in seems to have rapidly deteriorating standards of how we treat others. Here are five tips to consider if you'd like to get your own personal compass back on track and feel good about making good choices!
Are You Ready to Co-Parent? While the goal post-divorce should be finding a way to peacefully co-parent with your ex, this may not always be possible. Both individuals need to be ready and able to … ...
Boost Energy and Mood Naturally To some people, it may look like I take a lot of medications. But in reality I don’t have any prescriptions. All those capsules and tablets are supplements from the … ...
Will Social Media 'Hijack' Your Vote in 2016? Facebook and other Internet companies have the power to influence your emotions. And that power could impact the results of the 2016 elections ... and you may never know it happened.
Prostate Screening Pros and Cons (Video)   A prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, test measures the level of proteins made by cells in the prostate. Physicians use the test to detect prostate cancer. Introduced in the 1980s, … ...