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Our ability to identify the source of pain varies across the body “Where does it hurt?” is the first question asked to any person in pain. A new UCL study defines for the first time how our ability to identify where it hurts, called “spatial acuity”, varies across the body, being most sensitive at the forehead and fingertips. Using lasers to cause pain to 26 healthy volunteers
A safe dose of ecstasy can be deadly in a hot environment A moderate dose of MDMA, commonly known as Ecstasy or Molly, that is typically nonfatal in cool, quiet environments can be lethal in rats exposed to conditions that mimic the hot, crowded, social settings where the drug is often used by people, a study finds.  Scientists have identified the therapeutically-relevant cooling mechanism to enable effective interventions
Complex neural circuitry keeps you from biting your tongue Eating, like breathing and sleeping, seems to be a rather basic biological task. Yet chewing requires a complex interplay between the tongue and jaw, with the tongue positioning food between the teeth and then moving out of the way every time the jaw clamps down to grind it up. If the act weren’t coordinated precisely,
The Advantages of Being Conflict-Avoidant Have you ever been told that you’re conflict-avoidant? Do you cringe in shame when people utter these dreaded words or ones like it? Do you find yourself leveling such accusations toward others? The pitfalls of avoiding conflict may be obvious. We may conceal our genuine feelings, desires, and viewpoints because...
RU ready to quit smoking? Texting can help Getting counseling through text messages doubled the odds of kicking the habit compared with those who relied on Internet searches and basic information brochures.
Brain traffic jams that can disappear in 30 seconds Motorists in Los Angeles, San Francisco and other gridlocked cities could learn something from the fruit fly. Scientists have found that cellular blockages, the molecular equivalent to traffic jams, in nerve cells of the insect’s brain can form and dissolve in 30 seconds or less. The findings, presented in the journal PLOS ONE, could provide scientists
New evidence links air pollution to autism and schizophrenia A new study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives describes how exposure to air pollution early in life produces harmful changes in the brains of mice, including an enlargement of part of the brain that is seen in humans who have autism and schizophrenia. As in autism and schizophrenia, the changes occurred predominately in males. The
Looking for the best strategy? Ask a chimp If you’re trying to outwit the competition, it might be better to have been born a chimpanzee, according to a study by researchers at Caltech, which found that chimps at the Kyoto University Primate Research Institute consistently outperform humans in simple contests drawn from game theory. The study, led by Colin Camerer, Robert Kirby Professor
Exploring a legal and ethical gray area for people with dementia Many of the legal and ethical options for refusing unwanted interventions are not available to people with dementia because they lack decision-making capacity. But one way for these people to ensure that they do not live for years with severe dementia is to use an advance directive to instruct caregivers to stop giving them food
New findings out on brain networks in children at risk for mental disorders Attention deficits are central to psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, and are thought to precede the presentation of the illnesses. A new study led by Wayne State University School of Medicine researcher Vaibhav Diwadkar, Ph.D. suggests that the brain network interactions between regions that support attention are dysfunctional in children and adolescents
Alcohol-related terms can increase aggression New psychology research shows that exposing people to alcohol-related words can influence aggressive behaviour in ways similar to actually consuming alcohol. Researchers found however that this aggressive behaviour occurred when people were subjected to provocation in a way that was not a clear-cut insult. Although it has been long known that drinking alcohol can increase
Couples sleep in sync when the wife is satisfied with their marriage A new study suggests that couples are more likely to sleep in sync when the wife is more satisfied with their marriage. Results show that overall synchrony in sleep-wake schedules among couples was high, as those who slept in the same bed were awake or asleep at the same time about 75 percent of the
Three gene networks discovered in autism, may present treatment targets A large new analysis of DNA from thousands of patients has uncovered several underlying gene networks with potentially important roles in autism. These networks may offer attractive targets for developing new autism drugs or repurposing existing drugs that act on components of the networks. Furthermore, one of the autism-related gene pathways also affects some patients
Argument with dad? Find friendly ears to talk it out With Father’s Day approaching, SF State’s Jeff Cookston has some advice for creating better harmony with dad. In a recent study, he found that when an adolescent is having an argument with their father and seeks out others for help, the response he or she receives is linked to better well-being and father-child relationships. Adolescents who receive
Stop presses: Research discovers ‘narcissists’ are only human By Peter Kinderman, University of Liverpool Words are powerful things, and the words we use to classify and pathologise can be powerfully negative – something I’ve argued here before. Unfortunately, psychologists use pejorative and scientifically inaccurate language too – even when they are conducting positive and life-affirming research. A recent example of this was the
It's the 30th Birthday of Tetris, the World's First Electronic Drug Happy Birthday, Tetris! Alexey Pajitnov released the block-stacking, productivity-killer on June 6, 1984—and it has been available on nearly every gaming device since. Why has this simple game endured while so many others ended up in 8-bit heaven? A psychologist explains what makes it uniquely addicting....
A Seed of Awareness   Botanically, a seed is not the potential for life; it’s already a life—a tiny plant life with a lunch box of its own food, awaiting a journey of life. In my book The Lotus Effect (2010), I shared a story about 1,300-year-old lotus seeds that managed to germinate and...
6 Common Fears in Addiction Recovery – and How Fear is normal at every stage of recovery. Everyone enters rehab with some trepidation, even if they’ve been in and out of treatment for years. Likewise, most people leave rehab full of worry. What will happen when they leave the one place they know they can stay sober? How will...
ADHD and Fun in Bed Before you get all judgy and shout at me, this post is not about sex. I’ll put that out there right now because believe it or not, I alluded to a Beatles song once in a post title and a reader got his nose out of joint because my post...
The Secret to Bringing Out Your Best Is your success a function of who you know? Perhaps, but more importantly it's a function of who knows you and who you care about pleasing.