|Lawmakers say e-cigarette marketing targets kids
||A Congressional report sounds the alarm on marketing of electronic cigarettes, especially efforts made by companies to sell their products to young people.
|Casual marijuana use linked with brain abnormalities
||Researchers found that young adults who used cannabis just once or twice a week showed significant abnormalities in two important brain structures.
|Teenagers who have had a concussion also have higher rates of suicide attempts
||Teenagers who have suffered a traumatic brain injury such as a concussion are at 'significantly greater odds' of attempting suicide, being bullied and engaging in a variety of high-risk behaviors, a new study has found. They are also more likely to become bullies themselves, to have sought counseling through a crisis help-line or to have been prescribed medication for anxiety, depression or both.
|Brain anatomy differences between deaf, hearing depend on first language learned
||In the first known study of its kind, researchers have shown that the language we learn as children affects brain structure, as does hearing status. 'What we've learned to date about differences in brain anatomy in hearing and deaf populations hasn't taken into account the diverse language experiences among people who are deaf,' says one of the authors.
|Brain changes associated with casual marijuana use in young adults, study finds
||The size and shape of two brain regions involved in emotion and motivation may differ in young adults who smoke marijuana at least once a week, according to a new study. The findings suggest that recreational marijuana use may lead to previously unidentified brain changes, and highlight the importance of research aimed at understanding the long-term effects of low to moderate marijuana use on the brain.
|SSRI use during pregnancy linked to autism and developmental delays in boys
||In a study of nearly 1,000 mother-child pairs, researchers found that prenatal exposure to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), a frequently prescribed treatment for depression, anxiety and other disorders, was associated with autism spectrum disorder and developmental delays in boys.
|Extract Money From People Using the Ambiguity Effect
Are you comfortable with uncertainty? Are you willing to take money from those who aren't comfortable with it? Then I have just the rigged game for you! Make money from people's uncertainties with the Ambiguity Effect....
|9 Enlightening Quotes on Narcissists"”and Why
||Whether as a character trait or a full-fledged personality disorder, the nature of narcissism just teems with irony and paradox. Take, for example, this ambiguous quote that, without explanation, may well seem baffling: "I thought narcissism was about self-love till someone told me there is a flip side to it. . . . It is unrequited self-love." read more
|Nature Versus Nurture Is Not So Black and White
||Who we are is a sum-total of genes intermingling with environment, not a definitive formulation of cause-and-effect.read more
|Cultivating happiness often misunderstood
||The concept of maximizing happiness has been explored by researchers, who have found that pursuing concrete 'giving' goals rather than abstract ones leads to greater satisfaction. One path to happiness is through concrete, specific goals of benevolence -- like making someone smile or increasing recycling -- instead of following similar but more abstract goals -- like making someone happy or saving the environment.
|Combining Google Glass and mobile EEG headsets
||Personal Neuro Seeks to Combine Google Glass with EEG (Medgadget): "What do you get when you mix Google Glass and EEG? That's the question that the people at Ottawa-based Personal Neuro (Devices) are on their way to answering...Medgadget: How does this compare to existing commercial EEG systems from companies such as Interaxon, NeuroSky, and Emotiv? [...]
|Want to stick pins in your partner? Face it, you're hangry | Dean Burnett
||A study suggesting low blood sugar increases aggression in relationships alters our view of the link between diet and brainAn increased willingness to insert pins into your partner, or rather a voodoo doll representing him or her, is proof that low blood-sugar levels increase aggression between spouses, according to researchers at Ohio State University, in the US. The number of pins was said to show the level of aggression felt towards a partner, with more pins inserted when blood glucose levels were low.While being "hangry" has a certain logic, it could also be argued that low blood-sugar levels make someone more able/willing to think that voodoo is a real thing. Brace yourself for the headline: "Hunger causes married couples to use black magic!" My money is on the Mail. Continue reading...
|Sluggish cognitive tempo: the ADHD-like disorder that explains daydreaming?
||According to emerging research, many children previously diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder could be living with another condition entirely but not everyone agreesThe tough-minded call it naughtiness. Some parents blame dull teaching. More than a century after it was first described, there are still plenty of people who wonder whether children who can't concentrate at school are really suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Now a group of researchers think that millions of them are not, but that they are living with something else instead.Sluggish cognitive tempo (SCT), as the condition has been called, was the big story in the January issue of the Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology. And to some extent it does tidy up a loose end that has been hanging around for decades: many of those diagnosed with ADHD are not hyperactive at all. Continue reading...
|How To Ask For Help
||Asking for help can be easy for some, and painfully tough for others. There are many myths that tend to keep others from asking support or assistance. Here are a few:Myth: Asking for help makes us look vulnerable.Truth: Asking for help actually creates an atmosphere of empowerment. It communicates to others that, while you may not have the answers, you are willing to find them and make things better.Myth: Holding things in and keeping personal issues under wraps keeps us feeling secure.Truth: In reality, not allowing yourself to be "known" actually keeps you socially isolated, and therefore, insecure. When you seek the counsel of others, you'll not only connect with them, but you'll also realize that you're not alone in your struggle.Myth: Asking help bothers others.Truth: We are hardwired for caregiving - and most people find it meaningful to help when asked if it's within the margins of their abilities to do so.Myth: Highly successful people never ask for help.Truth: Actually, successful individuals will tell you that the key to success is knowing your strengths and weaknesses. Learning how to delegate, asking for help and letting others show you the way are part of the plan. Successful people are driven and motivated -- and when the going gets tough, the tough ask for help!When it comes to asking for help, remember to: Have realistic expectations for the kind of help you are seekingExpress your needs simply and clearlyLet others know you are there to help them as wellPraise your pals for their assistance and pat yourself for asking for help
|Guilt and Shame and Crime
||When people do something wrong, there are two distinct emotions that they commonly experience: guilt and shame. These emotions differ based on what people feel bad about. When people feel bad about the action they performed, then they experience guilt. When they feel bad about themselves for having done something bad, then they experience shame.read more
|Can Gratitude Help You Thrive?
||I’ve come to believe that living in a state of gratitude is the gateway to grace.
Grace and gratitude have the same Latin root, gratus. Whenever we find ourselves in a stop-the-world-I-want-to-get-off mindset, we can remember that there is another way and open ourselves to grace. And it often starts with taking a moment to be grateful for this day, for being alive, for anything.
The Oxford clinical psychologist Mark Williams suggests the “ten finger gratitude exercise,” in which once a day you list ten things you’re grateful for and count them out on your fingers. Sometimes it won’t be easy. But that’s the point—“intentionally bringing into awareness the tiny, previously unnoticed elements of the day.”
Gratitude exercises have been proven to have tangible benefits. According to a study by researchers from the University of Minnesota and the University of Florida, having participants write down a list of positive events at the close of a day—and why the events made them happy—lowered their self-reported stress levels and gave them a greater sense of calm at night.
I find that I’m not only grateful for all the blessings in my life, I’m also grateful for all that hasn’t happened—for all those close shaves with “disaster” of some kind or another, all the bad things that almost happened but didn’t. The distance between them happening and not happening is grace.
And then there are the disasters that did happen, that leave us broken and in pain.
For me, such a moment was losing my first baby. I was thirty-six and ecstatic at the prospect of becoming a mother. But night after night, I had restless dreams. Night after night I could see that the baby—a boy—was growing within me, but his eyes would not open. Days became weeks, and weeks turned into months. Early one morning, barely awake myself, I asked out loud, “Why won’t they open?” I knew then what was only later confirmed by the doctors. The baby’s eyes were not meant to open; he died in my womb before he was born.
Women know that we do not carry our unborn babies only in our wombs. We carry them in our dreams and in our souls and in our every cell. Losing a baby brings up so many unspoken fears: Will I ever be able to carry a baby to term? Will I ever be able to become a mother? Everything felt broken inside. As I lay awake during the many sleepless nights that followed, I began to sift through the shards and splinters, hoping to find reasons for my baby’s stillbirth.
Staggering through a minefield of hard questions and partial answers, I began to make my way toward healing. Dreams of my baby gradually faded, but for a time it seemed as if the grief itself would never lift. My mother had once given me a quotation from Aeschylus that spoke directly to these hours: “And even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God.” At some point, I accepted the pain falling drop by drop and prayed for the wisdom to come.
I had known pain before. Relationships had broken, illnesses had come, death had taken people I loved. But I had never known a pain like this. What I learned through it is that we are not on this earth to accumulate victories, or trophies, or experiences, or even to avoid failures, but to be whittled and sandpapered down until what’s left is who we truly are. This is the only way we can find purpose in pain and loss, and the only way to keep returning to gratitude and grace.
I love saying grace—even silently—before meals and when I travel around the world, observing different traditions. When I was in Tokyo in 2013 for the launch of HuffPost Japan I loved learning to say itadakimasu before every meal. It simply means “I receive.” When I was in Dharamsala, India, every meal started with a simple prayer.
Growing up in Greece, I was used to a simple blessing before each meal, sometimes a silent one, even though I wasn’t brought up in a particularly religious household. “Grace isn’t something that you go for, as much as it’s something you allow,” wrote John-Roger, the founder of the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness. “However you may not know grace is present, because you have conditioned the way you want it to come, for example, like thunder or lightning, with all the drama, rumbling, and pretense of that. In fact, grace comes in very naturally, like breathing.”
Both monks and scientists have affirmed the importance of gratitude in our lives. “It is a glorious destiny to be a member of the human race,” wrote Thomas Merton, a Trappist monk from Kentucky, “though it is a race dedicated to many absurdities and one which makes many terrible mistakes: yet, with all that, God Himself gloried in becoming a member of the human race. A member of the human race! To think that such a commonplace realization should suddenly seem like news that one holds the winning ticket in a cosmic sweepstake.”
What the foremost researchers in the field of gratitude, Robert Emmons of the University of California, Davis, and Michael McCullough of the University of Miami, have established is that “a life oriented around gratefulness is the panacea for insatiable yearnings and life’s ills… At the cornerstone of gratitude is the notion of undeserved merit. The grateful person recognizes that he or she did nothing to deserve the gift or benefit; it was freely bestowed.” Gratitude works its magic by serving as an antidote to negative emotions. It’s like white blood cells for the soul, protecting us from cynicism, entitlement, anger, and resignation.
It’s summed up in a quote I love, attributed to Imam Al- Shafi’i, an eighth-century Muslim jurist: “My heart is at ease knowing that what was meant for me will never miss me, and that what misses me was never meant for me.”
Adapted from Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder. Copyright © 2014 by Christabella, LLC. Excerpted by permission of Harmony Books, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
|Are People Born Nice or Nasty?
||Genes which influence social behaviour enable some 'nice' people to overcome feelings of fear.â†’ Dr Jeremy Dean is a psychologist and author of PsyBlog. His latest book is
"Making Habits, Breaking Habits: How to Make Changes That Stick"
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|MRI pinpoints region of brain injury in some concussion patients
||Researchers using information provided by a magnetic resonance imaging technique have identified regional white matter damage in the brains of people who experience chronic dizziness and other symptoms after concussion. The findings suggest that information provided by MRI can speed the onset of effective treatments for concussion patients.
|Outgoing behavior makes for happier humans: Across cultures, extroverts have more fun
||Happy is as happy does, apparently -- for human beings all over the world. Not only does acting extroverted lead to more positive feelings across several cultures, but people also report more upbeat behavior when they feel free to be themselves.
|New therapy helps to improve stereoscopic vision in stroke patients
||Humans view the world through two eyes, but it is our brain that combines the images from each eye to form a single composite picture. If this function becomes damaged, impaired sight can be the result. Such loss of visual function can be observed in patients who have suffered a stroke or traumatic brain injury or when the oxygen supply to the brain has been reduced (cerebral hypoxia). Those affected by this condition experience blurred vision or can start to see double after only a short period of visual effort.