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5 Habits Proven to Reduce Risk of Alzheimer's and Dementia Adopting just one of these healthy habits reduces the rate of dementia by one-quarter.→ Dr Jeremy Dean is a psychologist and author of PsyBlog. His latest book is "Making Habits, Breaking Habits: How to Make Changes That Stick" Related articles:10 Simple Habits Proven to Make You Happier Habits and The Unexpected Benefits of Weak Self-Control Irregular Bedtimes Reduce Children's Cognitive Performance The Myth of Cognitive Decline: Elderly Know More and Use it Better Boosting Your Brainpower in Old Age: Do Scientists Really Think Mental Workouts Can Help?
Non-academic young people take brain stimulants more frequently than students Three per cent of young men in Switzerland take cognitive enhancement drugs at least once each year. Students hope this consumption will improve their exam performance, while their non-academic contemporaries seek primarily to remain awake for longer. "Brain stimulants", "Neuroenhancers" and "Smart Pills" – the terms used for chemical-induced cognitive enhancement are numerous. While these substances are actually intended for use in the treatment of attention disorders, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, they are often taken for other purposes.
A majority prefers letting computers decide When individuals engage in risky business transactions with each other, they may end up being disappointed. This is why they'd rather leave the decision on how to divvy up jointly-owned monies to a computer than to their business partner. This subconscious strategy seems to help them avoid the negative emotions associated with any breaches of trust, according to a new study.
The Wisdom of Crowds and the Search for Flight MH370 Can the Wisdom of Crowds effect be used to solve the mystery of Flight MH370? Are the masses more intelligent than the experts?read more
Medical marijuana research for PTSD clears major hurdle A researcher at the University of Arizona is a step closer to studying how medical marijuana affects veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Protein family that helps the brain form synapses surveyed by researchers How does nature make the different types of synapses that connect neurons? And how are synaptic defects linked to cognitive disorders? A Nobel Prize winning researcher used new instruments to identify more than 450 isoforms of the neurexins, a family of proteins thought to help define synaptic form and function. The findings illuminate basic brain functions and will lead to better understanding of autism, schizophrenia and related conditions.
Form of epilepsy in sea lions similar to that in humans, researchers find California sea lions exposed to a toxin in algae develop a form of epilepsy that is similar to one in humans, according to a new study. Every year, hundreds of sea lions wash up along the California coast, suffering seizures caused by exposure to domoic acid, a neurotoxin that can produce memory loss, tremors, convulsions and death. Domoic acid is produced by algae blooms that have been proliferating along the coast in recent years, accumulating in anchovies and other small fish that the sea lions feed on.
Sharper view into brain: Exact border between two important brain regions detected Deep in the human brain, two small but very important regions lie close together: the amygdala, which plays an important role in the generation and perception of emotions, and the hippocampus, which is a central switchboard for memories. These two small neighboring regions have until now been hard to tell apart in neuroimaging investigations of the living human because of their small dimensions, the amygdala being only the size of an almond. Ultra-high-field magnetic resonance imaging is now offering unprecedented clarity.
Mental health on the go: Reducing anxiety with smartphone app Playing a science-based mobile gaming app for 25 minutes can reduce anxiety in stressed individuals, according to research. The study suggests that 'gamifying' a scientifically-supported intervention could offer measurable mental health and behavioral benefits for people with relatively high levels of anxiety. The game is based on an emerging cognitive treatment for anxiety called attention-bias modification training. The treatment involves training patients to ignore a threatening stimulus (such as an angry face) and to focus instead on a non-threatening stimulus (such as a neutral or happy face). This type of training has been shown to reduce anxiety and stress among people suffering from high anxiety.
Intelligent People Are More Inclined to Trust Others Seven ways that trust benefits both individuals and society as a whole.→ Dr Jeremy Dean is a psychologist and author of PsyBlog. His latest book is "Making Habits, Breaking Habits: How to Make Changes That Stick" Related articles:Highly Trusting People Better Lie Detectors People Are Happier When They Do The Right Thing Can You Get Things Done Without Making People Hate You? 10 Smart Studies that Help Unlock the Mysteries of Intelligence Urban Living: Green Spaces Improve Your Mental Health
Challenging Advocates When Their Values Would Do US Harm Passionate advocates who want to impose their values on society put us all in danger by ignoring the tradeoffs their choices often involve. This is true for genetically modified food, climate change, childhood vaccination, gun control, and many more
Suppressing unwanted memories reduces their unconscious influence on behavior Researchers have shown that, contrary to what was previously assumed, suppressing unwanted memories reduces their unconscious influences on subsequent behavior, and have shed light on how this process happens in the brain.
Rats' brains may 'remember' odor experienced while under general anesthesia, study suggests Rats' brains may remember odors they were exposed to while deeply anesthetized, suggests research. In the study, rats were exposed to a specific odor while under general anesthesia. Examination of the brain tissue after they had recovered from anesthesia revealed evidence of cellular imprinting, even though the rats behaved as if they had never encountered the odor before.
The pain of flight MH370 lies in its ambiguity | Pauline Boss Families of passengers of the missing Malaysian airlines plane may be faced with a lifetime of unresolved grief. But there is a way for them to find healingHaving a family member go missing is called "ambiguous loss". It is one of the most painful types of loss because there is no possibility of closure or resolution. With no official proof of loved ones being dead or alive, relatives and friends of the missing flight MH370 suffer the agony of not knowing. Unlike with certain death, there is no official verification, no funeral or rituals of support, and no finality. People understandably maintain hope. And sometimes, just enough times to keep hope alive, a missing person does come walking out of the jungle or a kidnapped child is found alive.The families and friends of the missing are stuck in a painful limbo where relationships are brutally ruptured and yet grief is frozen. While those who wait for news may exhibit symptoms of depression, anxiety and anger, we must remember that the source of pathology lies in their irrational situation of loss. The ambiguity is the culprit. Oscillating between hope and despair, families understandably resist change because they still hope to find the missing person. Our task is to have patience with their suffering and learn to hold the ambiguity with them.After decades of studying families of the missing, I find that people accustomed to finding answers and solving problems may suffer more because they insist on closure. For example, many New Yorkers were stunned and some even angry just weeks after 9/11 when families of the missing continued to hope that their loved ones would turn up alive somewhere. (A few actually did.) One year later, a New York reporter doing a story on the anniversary of 9/11 asked me why I thought New Yorkers weren't over it yet. My answer: "Because you're trying to get over it."Paradoxically, as TS Eliot suggests, what we do not know about a missing loved one becomes all that we know. Another poet, John Keats, recommends in his letters to a young poet that he develop a capability for living with unanswered questions. Keats called this "negative capability" – and this is what it takes to live with loved ones gone missing. This is also the way for the rest of us to stop pressuring these families to find closure.In cases of ambiguous loss, meaning will not emerge from absolute thinking. Rather, it comes from our being able to hold two opposing ideas at the same time (I think of F Scott Fitzgerald). Such paradoxical thinking requires a cognitive shift toward multiple meanings – the only way one can survive with ambiguous loss. Decades after her boy was kidnapped, a mother told me: "He's probably dead ... but maybe not. I still hope to see him once before I die." She has found the capability for living with what remains a mystery, as the families of passengers on flight MH370 may also have to.The ability to hold two conflicting ideas in one's mind at the same time provides the resilience to move forward even while the ambiguity persists. Given the absurdity of ambiguous loss, human strength emerges not from one absolute truth, but from holding on to an array of possibilities.Malaysia Airlines flight MH370MalaysiaAsia PacificAir transportAirline industryPsychologyPauline © 2014 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds
Stand by Me: Kids and Killers As we watched the sentencing hearing last week for Tyler Hadley for the murder of his parents, an issue was raised about a friend who was aware of it but took his time calling the police. We wonder about other cases like this of kids who know about murder and aid a cover-up. What's happening? read more
Efforts to close the achievement gap in kids start at home By the time children are three years old, those from professional families have heard about 30 million more words than children from lower-income households.
States urge top retailers to stop selling tobacco More than two dozen states joined forces urging Walmart and four other retail giants to stop selling tobacco products at their pharmacy chains.
A plunge in preschool obesity? Despite recent claims, scientists conclude that there have been no significant changes in obesity in youth or adults in the past decade.
The Danger That Lurks Inside Vladimir Putin's Brain Vladimir Putin's actions in Crimea are driven partly by a psychological profile characterised by contempt for others, and this in turn is a natural outcome of the near-unfettered power he has held directly or by proxy for the last 15 years in Russia. Appeasement of his actions will only reinforce this contempt and strong sanctions are the only way of addressing this. read more
4 Wonderful Ways Meditation Relieves Pain Meditation thickens critical areas of the cortex, changes attitudes to pain and more...→ Dr Jeremy Dean is a psychologist and author of PsyBlog. His latest book is "Making Habits, Breaking Habits: How to Make Changes That Stick" Related articles:10 Remarkable Ways Meditation Helps Your Mind Meditation is an Effective Treatment for Depression, Anxiety and Pain 8 Wonderful Psychological Effects of Being Compassionate Meditation Changes How Genes Are Expressed Unique Human Brain Area Identified that Separates Us From Monkeys