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Anxiety in invertebrates opens research avenues For the first time, CNRS researchers and the Université de Bordeaux have produced and observed anxiety-like behavior in crayfish, which disappears when a dose of anxiolytic is injected. This work, published in Science on June 13, 2014, shows that the neuronal mechanisms related to anxiety have been preserved throughout evolution. This analysis of ancestral behavior [...]
No such thing as a ‘finished article’: The truth behind online news News delivery and consumption has rapidly changed in the digital era.  No longer print-bound, the BBC, Guardian, Daily Mail and FT use blog format online news delivery, giving live commentary and many edited versions.  Powerful news sources such as Twitter also abound, challenging the more conventional channels to beat to a faster pace. Whilst such [...]
3 Ways to Navigate Anxious Thoughts with Self-Compassion For so many of us when we start having anxious thoughts, we get self-critical. We berate ourselves for our worries, sweaty palms and all-over shakiness. We call ourselves names. We become ashamed and embarrassed. What is wrong with you? You’re an idiot for getting anxious over something so small! When...
Weaken the Fiction in Your Head: 3 Strategies “Here’s my advice to you,” said the mindfulness expert I consulted. He wrote on small piece of paper, then set it in front of me. It said, “WTF.” I looked up at him with an amused smirk. “Weaken The Fiction,” he said with a smile. Oh indeed, the incredible fiction...
4 Ways to Deliver the Perfect Apology Love may mean never having to say you’re sorry, but there are times when you’ve got no alternative. Whether in your romantic, work, or social life in general these 4 tips will make sure you achieve the forgiveness you seek.
Finding Time for Yourself My husband and I were talking yesterday and remembering a quote from the movie “Parenthood.”  Steve Martin, father of three, tells his wife, “My whole life is have to!”  I said I feel that way sometimes, and my husband does, too–like everything we do is something we have to do. ...
Psychology Around the Net: June 21, 2014 We have everything from social media to consumerism in this week’s Psychology Around the Net. Facebook “Likes” and Twitter Followers Predict Personality Traits and More: Recent research has used social media traits such as Facebook likes and Twitter followers of friends, products, and photos to identify or predict substance abuse,...
5 Ways to Celebrate the Summer Solstice The Summer Solstice not only is the first day of summer, but it’s also the longest day of the year. After the Summer Solstice, the days start to get “shorter” (i.e. the amount of daylight we have starts to dwindle little by little). This year, the Summer Solstice falls on...
Spike activity 20-06-2014 Quick links from the past week in mind and brain news: OK Go’s new music video is like standing naked under a waterfall of optical illusions while wearing hipster spectacles. The mighty Neurocritic looks at advances in physical brain tweaking and the possible rebirth of paradise engineering. The Dana Foundation has an excellent piece on […]
Equations reveal the rebellious rhythms at the heart of nature From the beating of our hearts to the proper functioning of our brains, many systems in nature depend on collections of ‘oscillators’; perfectly-coordinated, rhythmic systems working together in flux, like the cardiac muscle cells in the heart. Unless they act together, not much happens. But when they do, powerful changes occur. Cooperation between neurons results [...]
Creating friendships between African-American and Caucasian couples can reduce prejudice Recent research findings from Wayne State University show that the physical presence of romantic partners in intergroup friendships – friendships with different racial and ethnic groups, religious groups, or sexual orientations – positively influences interactions with people who are perceived to be different from themselves. The study, “Creating positive out-group attitudes through intergroup couple friendships [...]
Researcher find how the human brain processes thoughts during natural communication For the first time, neuroscientists were able to find out how different thoughts are reflected in neuronal activity during natural conversations. Johanna Derix, Olga Iljina and the interdisciplinary team of Dr. Tonio Ballfrom the Cluster of Excellence BrainLinks-BrainTools at the University of Freiburg and the Epilepsy Center of the University Medical Center Freiburg (Freiburg, Germany) report on the link [...]
Sunshine addiction is a hot topic – but does ‘tanorexia’ really exist? By Mark Griffiths, Nottingham Trent University If the many media reports are to be believed: “Sunshine can be addictive like heroin.” The claim comes via a study published in Cell based on an experiment carried out on mice at Harvard Medical School. Researchers found that ultraviolet light exposure leads to elevated endorphin levels – the [...]
Bullied in the Workplace? Don’t Lose Your Power by Emotional dumping is when you verbally offload the intense rage or fear you feel onto someone you think should care and fix it now. For example, if you’ve been the target of workplace bullying, you might spew forth your outrage onto human resources or senior managers. You might expect them...
Following direction: How neurons can tell top from bottom and front from back The question of how neurons and their axons establish spatial polarity and direction in tissues and organs is a fundamental question of any organism or biological system. Our cells and axons precisely orient themselves in response to external cues, but what are the core pathways and how are they integrated? Lead author Dr. Naomi Levy-Strumpf [...]
No evidence of long-term PTSD risk in patients with awareness during surgery Patients with confirmed episodes of awareness during anesthesia and surgery don’t seem to be at increased risk of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or other problems with psychosocial well-being at long-term follow-up, reports a study in Anesthesia & Analgesia. “We found no indication that intraoperative awareness with recall had any long-term effects on patients’ psychosocial outcome,” concludes [...]
Report shows citizen-designed county redistricting worked The citizen-designed redistricting plan for the Ventura County supervisorial districts has brought fairer representation, according to a study by a California Lutheran University professor published June 19 bySAGE Open, an open-access journal by SAGE. Gregory Freeland, chairman of the Department of Political Science, compared Ventura County supervisors’ decisions to their constituents’ votes on state propositions [...]
Gene critical for development of brain motor center found A research team describes a gene called Snf2h, which is found in our brain's neural stem cells and functions as a master regulator. When they removed this gene early on in a mouse's development, its cerebellum only grew to one-third the normal size. It also had difficulty walking, balancing and coordinating its movements, something called cerebellar ataxia that is a component of many neurodegenerative diseases.
Stanford scientists tie social behavior to activity in specific brain circuit A team of Stanford University investigators has linked a particular brain circuit to mammals’ tendency to interact socially. Stimulating this circuit — one among millions in the brain — instantly increases a mouse’s appetite for getting to know a strange mouse, while inhibiting it shuts down its drive to socialize with the stranger. The new [...]
Benefits of PTSD treatment going unmeasured, says Institute of Medicine Report A report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) finds that the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) do not measure the effectiveness of treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), calling into question millions of dollars spent to improve service members’ mental health. The report also found that neither agency [...]