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Implacable optimism: Steven Pinker on human nature, violence, feminism and religion Oliver Burkeman explores human nature, violence, feminism and religion with one of the world’s most controversial cognitive scientists. Can he dent Steven Pinker’s optimism? In the week that I interview the cognitive psychologist and bestselling author Steven Pinker in his office at Harvard, police release the agonising recordings of emergency calls made during the Sandy [...]
The Alzheimer’s enigma: The disease that has troubled the science world’s best detectives The cause of Alzheimer’s disease has troubled the science world’s best detectives. Michael Regnier asks: can such a mystery really be solved if we gather enough clues? The King of Crete demanded that, to atone for the death of his son, the city of Athens send him seven young men and seven young women every [...]
Novel protein fragments may protect against Alzheimer’s disease The devastating loss of memory and consciousness in Alzheimer’s disease is caused by plaque accumulations and tangles in neurons, which kill brain cells. Alzheimer’s research has centered on trying to understand the pathology as well as the potential protective or regenerative properties of brain cells as an avenue for treating the widespread disease. Now Prof. Illana [...]
Preschool teacher depression linked to behavioral problems in children Depression in preschool teachers is associated with behavioral problems ranging from aggression to sadness in children under the teachers’ care, new research suggests. The study identified one contributing factor to this link: a poor-quality atmosphere in the child care setting that exists as a result of the teacher’s depressive symptoms. In this study, “teacher” refers [...]
Men and women use mental health services differently Women with chronic physical illnesses are more likely to use mental health services than men with similar illnesses; they also seek out mental health services six months earlier than those same men, according to new study from St. Michael’s Hospital and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES). “Chronic physical illness can lead to depression,” [...]
Researchers identify brain circuits involved in stress-induced fevers When we feel mentally stressed, we often also feel physiological changes, including a faster heart rate and an increase in body temperature. This increase in body temperature is known as psychological stress-induced hyperthermia, which is a basic stress response broadly observed in mammals. The response is helpful for warming up the muscles during “fight or [...]
Can you supercharge your brain? The U.S. military is very interested In the summer of 2010, Ryan Clark twisted his ankle during a gym class. It was painful, but inconvenient more than anything. He was put on crutches for a week and his ankle healed. Then, six weeks later, the pain returned – only this time, it was a lot worse. Ryan ended up in a [...]
The Pain Detective: On the hunt for new ways to treat pain Where do the drugs we take every day come from? What journey do they take from the minds of scientists working in the pharmaceutical industry to the shelves in a dispensary? The Pain Detective follows Colin Froy, a retired policeman living with cancer, chronic pain and a wry sense of humour, as he becomes our [...]
Reconnecting to Our Authentic Selves Many things can stand in the way of reconnecting to our true selves. “Adulthood is filled with all kinds of stressors, responsibilities, and sacrifices that can leave us feeling disheartened and disillusioned,” said Casey Radle, LPC, a therapist who specializes in anxiety, depression and self-esteem. These never-ending responsibilities and productivity...
Psychology Around the Net: June 28, 2014 This week’s Psychology Around the Net covers everything from online dating and trophy wives to music and lessons in depression. Social Psychology and Why Wearing Red Improves Your Online Dating Chances: Wearing red can remind potential partners of flushing, blushing, and even dominance! America’s Most Depressing Jobs? Hint: if you...
A spook’s guide to the psychology of deception Last February, a file from the Edward Snowden leaks was released from a 2012 GCHQ presentation called ‘The Art of Deception: Training for Online Covert Operations’. It describes the ‘Online Covert Action Accreditation’ course which draws heavily on the psychology of influence and persuasion. This post will look at how they’re piecing together the science […]
Hypo-Mania It hits me every time without warning! One day all of a sudden I stop sleeping even though I’m utterly exhausted. I become creative, I start many different projects and my motivation and drive goes through the roof. I should have noticed it was happening a few weeks ago when...
Black men can be emotional eaters, too Stress eating or emotional eating seems to be something people seem to expect only women to do.
Psychologists Find that Nice People Are More Likely to Hurt You People who are agreeable are also more likely to make destructive choices, if they think doing so will help them conform to social expectations. That's the finding of psychologists, who suggest that disagreeable, ornery people may be more helpful than we think....
New insights could help in battle to beat Parkinson’s disease Scientists have taken a step closer to understanding the causes of Parkinson’s disease, identifying what’s happening at a cellular level to potentially help develop future treatments. Researchers at the University of Bristol, and their US-based collaborators at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and the Mayo Clinic, have shown that a genetic change, known [...]
We feel as we speak: Researchers explain the link between language and emotions A team of researchers headed by the Erfurt-based psychologist Prof. Ralf Rummer and the Cologne-based phoneticist Prof. Martine Grice has carried out some ground-breaking experiments to uncover the links between language and emotions. They were able to demonstrate that the articulation of vowels systematically influences our feelings and vice versa. The research project looked at [...]
Researchers explore the genetic underpinnings of nerve-cell spacing The functional organization of the central nervous system depends upon a precise architecture and connectivity of distinct types of neurons. Multiple cell types are present within any brain structure, but the rules governing their positioning, and the molecular mechanisms mediating those rules, have been relatively unexplored. A new study by UC Santa Barbara researchers demonstrates [...]
Are conservatives more obedient and agreeable than their liberal counterparts? Over the last few years, we’ve seen increasing dissent among liberals and conservatives on important issues such as gun control, health care and same-sex marriage. Both sides often have a difficult time reconciling their own views with their opposition, and many times it appears that liberals are unable to band together under a unifying platform. [...]
Social pressure stops Facebook users recommending products on social media sites Facebook has more than 1.23 billion active users worldwide, with over 50 per cent of all users logging on to it on any given day. Most of Facebook’s revenue comes from advertising and the company is looking at ways to make the site a more effective advertising platform for marketers. This includes selling ads that [...]
The US Can't Afford to Continue the Death Penalty Death penalty cases are extravagantly expensive and drain funding from programs that might actually reduce crime.