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What is ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis)?…A Quick Summary &... Applied Behavior Analysis, or ABA, is a science which is founded on the principles of learning and behavior. The BACB (Behavior Analyst Certification Board) provides examples of uses for ABA including “building the skills and achievements of children in school settings; enhancing the development, abilities, … ...
Jared Padalecki’s Open Battle with Depression Supernatural is a show with one of the biggest cult followings in history with fans that are notoriously supportive and protective of its stars, including Jared Padalecki. In recent months, … ...
Severe mental health problems decline in kids, but more... Mention the topic of kids and psychiatric medication, and certain buzzwords are likely to spring to mind: “overdiagnosed,” “overmedicated,” “overtreated.” According to the often-repeated storyline about children and mental illness in … ...
Obese teens' brains unusually susceptible to food commercials, study finds TV food commercials disproportionately stimulate the brains of overweight teenagers, including the regions that control pleasure, taste and -- most surprisingly -- the mouth, suggesting they mentally simulate unhealthy eating habits that make it difficult to lose weight later in life.
Study on neurogenesis in the olfactory bulb The integration of new neurons in the adult brain is a phenomenon more generally compromised in the brains of depressed patients, new research shows. This new work confirms that neurogenesis in the human olfactory bulb is a marginal phenomenon in adults. These findings shed light on the special features of the human brain.
Intuitive control of robotic arm using thoughts alone Through a clinical collaboration between Caltech, Keck Medicine of USC and Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center, a 34-year-old paralyzed man is the first person in the world to have a neural prosthetic device implanted in a region of the brain where intentions are made, giving him the ability to perform a fluid hand-shaking gesture, drink a beverage, and even play 'rock, paper, scissors,' using a robotic arm.
Proteins may slow memory loss in people with Alzheimer's Certain proteins may slow the devastating memory loss caused by Alzheimer’s disease, according to a groundbreaking new study. The researchers found evidence that an elevated presence of a protein called neuronal pentraxin-2 may slow cognitive decline and reduce brain atrophy in people with Alzheimer's disease.
How to Cut Cravings Chips. Chips and dip. Ruffles and onion dip, to be precise. Yeah. I could go for some of that right now. Seems like every afternoon I’m seeking something salty. The latest food craving. Other times it’s ice cream after I get my daughter in bed. … ...
Memories influence choice of food The stronger our memory is of a certain food, the more likely we are to choose it -- even if it is the more unattractive option. Psychologists conducted a study on how memory influences our choices by offering various foods and using scans to track brain activity. The researchers were able to show that the influence of memory is mediated by increasing communication between the relevant brain areas.
Why We Should Listen to Our Inner Critics Have you found yourself in this situation: You’re working on treating yourself with more compassion. But then your inner critic starts: You’re enormous. Ugly. Stupid. Undeserving. Lazy. Are you sure … ...
Switching off brain circuit renders mice 'out of touch' with environment New research suggests that the apparent simplicity of tactile sensation comes from a clever two-stage brain circuit. By manipulating this circuit with light-driven optical genetic tools, researchers made laboratory mice literally "lose touch" with their surroundings as their feet became unable to sense rough or smooth surfaces.
Experts map surgical approaches for auditory brainstem implantation A technique called auditory brainstem implantation can restore hearing for patients who can't benefit from cochlear implants. A team of experts has mapped out the surgical anatomy and approaches for auditory brainstem implantation.
Confessions of a Know-it-All The feeling of knowing is an essential brain sensation, without which we would not likely strive to learn. And yet, the feeling of being right is not necessarily connected to actually being correct.
Brain tumors: Millimeter by millimeter towards a better prognosis A method known as navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation (nTMS) has been gaining importance in neurosurgery for some time now. Among other applications, it is used to map brain tumors before an operation and to test whether important regions of the brain, for example motor and language areas, are affected. Doctors have now shown that preoperative nTMS analysis of motor areas improves the prognosis of patients with malignant brain tumors.
Playbuzz: Making Fun of Mental Illness & Bipolar Playbuzz, the self-proclaimed “#1 shared Publisher on Facebook,” apparently thinks making fun of mental illness is perfectly a-okay by them. They have a quiz called “How Bipolar Are You” that’s generated over 4,600 comments on Facebook. The “fun” quiz actually doesn’t review the diagnostic criteria … ...
The Psychology of Plagiarism: Is Cheating the New Normal? Have we become a nation of cheaters, so focused on getting what we want that we don't care what means we use?
Development of face perception earlier in Japanese children than Western children Face perception plays an important role in social communication. There have been many studies of face perception in human using non-invasive neuroimaging and electrophysiological methods, but studies of face perception in children were quite limited. Scientists have now investigated the development of face perception in Japanese children, by using an electroencephalogram (EEG). The team also compared their results for Japanese children with the previous findings for Western children.
Why “Getting Over It Quickly” Doesn’t Work     Whether the words are said to us or not, many of us feel it. When bad things happen, we simply want to get over it – and fast. … ...
Infections can affect your IQ New research shows that infections can impair your cognitive ability measured on an IQ scale. The study is the largest of its kind to date, and it shows a clear correlation between infection levels and impaired cognition.
Three Tricky Ways to Cultivate Courage Last week, I lead a workshop for 20 top female executives from around the world—it was a great pleasure, and a great honor. We worked on the issues that are holding them back at work, as well as the things that are keeping them from enjoying the lives they’ve worked so hard to create. Not surprisingly, there are many structural and cultural aspects of their workplaces (male domination, for example) thwarting their careers and their lives. These brilliant executives didn’t just need strategies for changing their workplaces. They needed strategies for cultivating courage, given the difficulty of the work ahead of them. Isn’t that what we all need? Courage to live lives where we can fulfill our greatest potential at work and at home? Where we can fulfill our potential for joy? Here is my question for you: What are you afraid of? Where is your fear holding you back? If we are to live and work from our sweet spot—that place of great strength, but also great ease—we need courage. Courage to be authentic, to take risks, to be different. Here are my three favorite tactics for building bravery. 1. Manipulate your thoughtsOur thoughts profoundly influence what we feel and what we do. When we think about times when we’ve done poorly at something, we are likely to feel insecure and weak, upping the odds that we’ll actually do something insecure and weak. That said, trying to control what we don’t think about doesn’t work. (Consider the old experiment where researchers tell their subjects not to think of a white bear: Most people immediately start thinking about a white bear.) In other words, it doesn’t work to say to yourself, “I have to stop being afraid.” Instead, take a two-pronged approach to thinking brave thoughts. First, pay attention. If you notice yourself having a thought that undermines your attempts at bravery, simply label it as such: “Oh, there’s a fearful thought.” For example, say you are trying to get yourself to ask a question at a conference, but you are too afraid to raise your hand, and you notice yourself imaging that the presenter thinks you are dumb. Say to yourself, “That is a thought that will make me feel afraid to ask my question,” and take a deep breath. Noticing your not-brave thoughts can give you the distance you need to not act according to that thought and the feeling it produces. Second, actively fill your mind with courageous thoughts. Consider times when you’ve been brave before. Focus on how people just like you have done what you are mustering the courage to do. Think about how the last time you did it, it wasn’t that hard. Think about how you’ll regret it if you don’t do it. Think about how the worst-case scenario is something you can deal with. Remind yourself of your long-term goals. 2. Consider that your fear isn’t legitimateSometimes fear is more about excitement and thrill and passion than it is a warning that you are about to do something dangerous. As Maria Shriver writes in And One More Thing Before You Go, often “anxiety is a glimpse of your own daring… part of your agitation is just excitement about what you’re getting ready to accomplish. Whatever you’re afraid of—that is the very thing you should try to do.” I love Harvard-trained sociologist and life-coach Martha Beck’s advice about how to know whether or not your fear is holding you back. Legitimate fear, she says, tends to make us want to get the heck out of whatever situation we are in. I once lived in a really nice neighborhood, but I had a really scary neighbor. Every time he’d stop to chat with me, friendly and normal-seeming as he was, the hair on my neck would stand up, and my heart would start racing and thudding in my chest. It was all I could to do not run and hide from him. It turns out that my fear was legitimate: After I moved, I found out that he was fresh out of a maximum security prison for violent sex crimes. Not-helpful fear, on the other hand, makes us hesitate rather than bolt. We are afraid of looking stupid, and so we don’t ask a burning question. We fear failing, and so we don’t even try. Years ago, I was terribly afraid to make a desperately desired career change. I wasn’t happy, but my current job brought me a lot of security. What if I couldn’t make it in my new field? I waffled—hesitated—for more than a year before making the leap into a new profession. My fear was unfounded. I was immediately far happier and just as successful as I had been in my old job. I wished I’d had the courage to make the change sooner. The key is knowing the difference between legitimate and not-helpful fear. Do you have the desire to get the heck out of whatever situation is making you fearful? If so, your fear is likely legitimate. Run like the wind, my friend. But if your fear is making you hesitate, consider that your fear is unfounded. Take a deep breath, and make the leap. 3. Make specific plans for obstacles you might faceThis is an important technique not just for being more courageous, but also for being more successful in your endeavors. Ask yourself: What obstacles are you likely to encounter? People who plan for how they’re going to react to different obstacles tend to be able to meet their goals more successfully; in other words, scary challenges don’t stop them, especially when they formulate “If X, then Y” plans for each potential difficulty. For example, say you’d like to stop working weekends but are afraid that your team will start to question your dedication. Here is what an “If X, Then Y” plan might look like: IF my team grumbles or pushes-back because I’m not working on the weekends anymore, THEN I will forward them Leslie Perlow’s Harvard Business Review article about how ‘Predictable Time Off’ improves both work quality AND quality of life, even in client-oriented businesses. It is important to remember that the hard things we have to do or say are actually rarely what make us uncomfortable. It is the fear we feel that makes us uneasy. Fear is the thing that in truth makes actions hard, not the action that we think we are afraid of. Not doing something because we are afraid is actually not the easy way out in the long run. Though it might seem counterintuitive, it is finding the courage to try, or push ahead, or speak up, or make a change that will help us live and work from our sweet spot. Ironically, when we do the hard thing, ultimately we find more ease. What is your favorite way to cultivate courage? Inspire others in the comments here. Want more tips for being brave? Check out Chapter 9 of The Sweet Spot: How to Find Your Groove at Home and Work.