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Repeated head blows linked to smaller brain volume, slower processing speeds The Impact of repeated head blows is evident at relatively young age, researchers report, and is linked to a heightened risk of cognitive impairment. Researchers warn that there do seem to be important indicators of brain damage linked to repeated blows to the head, which could be used to inform future regulations.
Kidney-brain connection may help drive chronic kidney disease Salt intake accelerated kidney scarring in rats with chronic kidney disease by activating a brain-kidney connection called the renin-angiotensin axis that interlinks the damaged kidney and brain by afferent and efferent sympathetic nerves, scientists report. Targeting these nerves reduced salt-induced kidney scarring, they add.
Be Daring, Be Original, Be You and Celebrate 30 Days Alcohol Free! One of my best moments of celebration was during a family caravan holiday to the Grampians, a beautiful location marked by mountains and forest. Being a couple with young children, our caravan was typically well equipped with every necessity for a happy, enjoyable and relaxing holiday – or so I thought. Unfortunately I made one […]
Virtual bodyswapping reduces bias against other races In 1959, John Howard Griffin, a white American writer, underwent medical treatments to change his skin appearance and present himself as a black man. He then traveled through the segregated US south to experience the racism endured daily by millions of black Americans. This unparalleled life experiment provided invaluable insights into how the change in [...]The post Virtual bodyswapping reduces bias against other races appeared first on PsyPost.
Transgender kids show consistent gender identity across measures A study with 32 transgender children, ages 5 to 12, indicates that the gender identity of these children is deeply held and is not the result of confusion about gender identity or pretense. The study, led by psychological scientist Kristina Olson of the University of Washington, is one of the first to explore gender identity [...]The post Transgender kids show consistent gender identity across measures appeared first on PsyPost.
Researchers discover brain circuit that controls compulsive overeating and sugar addiction Compulsive overeating and sugar addiction are major threats to human health, but potential treatments face the risk of impairing normal feeding behaviors that are crucial for survival. A study published January 29th in the journal Cell reveals a reward-related neural circuit that specifically controls compulsive sugar consumption in mice without preventing feeding necessary for survival, [...]The post Researchers discover brain circuit that controls compulsive overeating and sugar addiction appeared first on PsyPost.
Many religious people view science favorably, but reject certain scientific theories A new study finds that many U.S. adults — roughly one in five — are deeply religious, know a lot about science, and support many practical uses of science and technology in everyday life, but reject scientific explanations of creation and evolution. “We were surprised to find that many people who are knowledgeable about science [...]The post Many religious people view science favorably, but reject certain scientific theories appeared first on PsyPost.
Feelings of loneliness and depression linked to binge-watching television It seems harmless: getting settled in for a night of marathon session for a favorite TV show, like House of Cards. But why do we binge-watch TV, and can it really be harmless? A recent study by researchers at the University of Texas at Austin found that the more lonely and depressed you are, the [...]The post Feelings of loneliness and depression linked to binge-watching television appeared first on PsyPost.
Novel eye-tracking technology detects concussions and head injury severity New research out of NYU Langone Medical Center could move the medical community one step closer toward effectively detecting concussion and quantifying its severity. Neuroscientists and concussion experts from NYU Langone and elsewhere, in a study publishing online January 29 in Journal of Neurotrauma, present a unique, simple and objective diagnostic tool for concussion that [...]The post Novel eye-tracking technology detects concussions and head injury severity appeared first on PsyPost.
Work on Yourself: Expressing Your Emotions Tom was reluctant to talk about his feelings. He had learned from his tough guy father that such matters were for “weaklings,” not to be discussed in broad daylight. Tom made the right choice. He chose to work on his relationship with himself, which was in tatters. His homework was...
Feeling Overwhelmed? 5 Tips that May Help Many of us tend to think these kinds of thoughts daily: “I’m sooo busy. Life has been really overwhelming. I feel like I’m being torn apart. I wish I could clone myself, so I could keep up. I’ll relax after I’m done with all the tasks on my list —...
Walking on ice takes more than brains: 'Mini-brain' in spinal cord aids in balance Scientists have discovered how a "mini-brain" in the spinal cord aids in balance. Much of the balancing act that our bodies perform when faced with a task such as walking on an icy surface happens unconsciously, thanks to a cluster of neurons in our spinal cord that function as a "mini-brain" to integrate sensory information and make the necessary adjustments to our muscles so that we don't slip and fall, researchers report.
How Body Language Helps Us Make Decisions Sometimes the mind is too confused or too overwhelmed to give us useful information about what the right thing to do is. We get trapped in self doubt and anxiety and may end up doing nothing at all, which makes us feel depressed and not in control. When the mind is...
Infants create new knowledge while sleeping There is no rest for a baby's brain -- not even in sleep. While infants sleep they are reprocessing what they have learned. Researchers have discovered that babies of the age from nine to 16 months remember the names of objects better if they had a short nap.
Study on dopamine neurons could instruct research into mobility and neurological disorders For the first time, researchers have shown when and why dopamine releasing cells in the forebrain are activated. The team has examined transparent hatchling zebrafish to gain new insights into the working of neurons in areas of the brain that are normally difficult to access. As a result, they have discovered for the first time both when and why the particular cells in the brain that affect movement are active.
Brain circuit that controls compulsive overeating and sugar addiction discovered Compulsive overeating and sugar addiction are major threats to human health, but potential treatments face the risk of impairing normal feeding behaviors that are crucial for survival. A new study reveals a reward-related neural circuit that specifically controls compulsive sugar consumption in mice without preventing feeding necessary for survival, providing a novel target for the safe and effective treatment of compulsive overeating in humans.
New deep-brain imaging reveals separate functions for nearly identical neurons New deep-brain imaging shows activity of individual, genetically similar neurons to particular behaviors of mice. Scientists watched as one neuron was activated when a mouse searched for food while a nearly identical neuron next to it remained inactive until the mouse began eating.
15 Statements of Commitment to Heal and Strengthen Commitment is a conscious choice to express your love for your partner and relationship with a clear series of choices to consciously shape your future together. Commitment is a foundation that nourishes a sense of safety, trust, and security, all key ingredient in forming a healthy, vibrant relationship. The same neurochemicals that make partners...
Heart (Bhakti) Path by Way of Gnani (Brain) Detours We start out (in life) by resonating with all that cosmically is. Why? Because at the outset of life we are barely distinguishable from not-us, i.e. from all that cosmically is. And then we individuate, differentiate. As Ego evolves away from Eco, this baseline resonance is lost. Narcissistic correction is...
Shame and Motivation to Change We know the feeling only too well: Our pulse quickens. Our faces flush. The feeling is so bad that we want to escape at all costs. Shame has been called our “most dreaded emotional experience.”1 Whether we suffer shame ourselves or witness shame in others, who among us actively seeks the experience that Brené Brown defines as “believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging–something we’ve experienced, done, or failed to do makes us unworthy of connection”? Shame may well deserve its bad rap, with repercussions ranging from the inconvenience of ineffective workplace team performance to using shame as a way to manipulate others to the lifelong debilitating shame resulting from childhood trauma. Shame researchers such as Brown make compelling arguments for why we should be careful not to let shame rule our lives, and why guilt may be a preferable negative emotion, as it focuses our attention on specific events or behavior rather than the self. But is shame always bad for us? Maybe not, at least not if we are interested in self-change. Shame as a Predictor of Wanting to Change The authors of “Shame and the Motivation to Change the Self” (Emotion, December 2014) found that feeling shame was a stronger predictor than guilt or regret for motivation for positive self-change. They offer the following definitions of guilt and shame (emphases added): “Guilt arises when a person focuses on what specifically he or she did wrong (‘I did a bad thing’), often results when one has harmed an important relationship, and generally motivates reparative motivations including efforts to apologize for, fix, or undo the blameworthy act.” “Shame has a more dispositional focus in which people attend to negative aspects of the self (‘I was a bad person’) and has been linked to distancing motivations aimed at escaping the blameworthy event or hiding from public view.” The researchers looked at to what extent emotions predicted wanting to change oneself (the “urge to be a better person,” wanting to change completely or change aspects of one’s personality); the desire for reparation (feeling the need to apologize or otherwise take action to “make things better”); and the urge to distance oneself (wanting to hide or remove oneself from a shameful situation). They found that shame "was uniquely associated with the motivation to change the self above and beyond moral self-blame and harm to others." Why would shame more so than guilt predict a desire for self-change? One possibility raised in the study is that because we feel the need to apologize and make reparations when we feel guilty, we may be less motivated to make more global changes in ourselves. Shame As a First Step Toward Personal Growth In 1967 Kazimierz Dabrowski wrote in Personality-shaping Through Positive Disintegration of shame’s role in the long-term process of personal change and growth. Dabrowski proposed that shame indicates a "readiness" to address disharmony between who we want to be and who are are, and he provides examples of how sensitive children who are prone to shame can be helped to distinguish between when their highly tuned responses are useful and when they are not. In Dabrowski's theory, shame is an important but ultimately only first step toward personality growth. Dr. Cheryl Ackerman explains that only when shame and guilt occur in relation to who we know we want to or should be—our evolving understanding of our ideal self—rather than in response to the judgment of others, do they "take on a development role." The conflict for such a person is one of an internal hierarchy, based on "a vision of who she should be based on internal reflection and consciousness."2 Any shame we feel is shame for ourselves based on who we know we should be rather than an external expectation. We can work past this shame by striving to live our lives more closely to our own ideals so as to reduce the inner conflict. Bridging the Gap The authors of the Emotion article suggest that when shame persists through the process of change or if we "try to suppress or deny" shame rather than allow ourselves to experience it, our "motivation to change might not always translate into actual change." They also ask if believing that we can change plays an important role in bridging the gap between desire for change and change itself. Dabrowski's theory offers another possibility, that shame arising from a desire to change to please our own higher nature may be more adaptive than shame felt as the finger-pointing of others. And, here, the issue becomes in part one of semantics, for as Brené Brown reminds us, referring to guilt, the "ability to hold something we've done or failed to do up against who we want to be is incredibly adaptive. It's uncomfortable, but it's adaptive" ("Listening to Shame"). 1 Lickel, B., Kushlev, K., Savalei, V., Matta, S., & Schmader, T. (2014). Shame and the motivation to change the self. Emotion,14(6), 1049-1061 2 Ackerman, Cheryl M. (2009). The essential elements of Dabrowski's Theory of Positive Disintegration and how they are connected. Roeper Review,31(2),81-95 "Shame" image by Anthony Easton/flickr: PinkMoose [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons Topics:  Personality Emotion Regulation Self-Help Subtitle:  Could the emotion we run from the fastest help us to be better people? Blog to Post to:  Creative Synthesis Teaser Text:  We know the feeling only too well: Our pulse quickens. Our faces flush. The feeling is so bad that we want to escape at all costs. But is shame always bad? Teaser Image:  Mature Audiences Only:  Images:  Content Topics:  Empathy Personality Change Personality Motivation Child Development Environment Guilt Trauma Ethics and Morality Embarrassment Quote