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Active thyroid may raise risk of depression in older individuals When older individuals' thyroid glands are more active than average, it may be a risk factor for depression, according to new research. Beyond its role in regulating the body's metabolism, the thyroid gland also can influence mental health. Past research has found links between an increased risk of depression and both over- and underactive thyroid glands. This study is the first to find an association between depression and thyroid activity variations within the normal range.
Mechanism behind activation of dormant memory cells discovered The electrical stimulation of the hippocampus in in-vivo experiments activates precisely the same receptor complexes as learning or memory recall. This has been discovered for the first time. The latest findings very much form part of the highly controversial subject of "cognitive enhancement." Scientists are currently discussing the possibility of improving mental capacity through the use of drugs -- including in healthy subjects of all age groups, but especially in patients with age-related impairments of cognitive processes.
Footsie, Putters, Creepy Robots, Pain and Nakedness: 5 Wacky Psych Experiments and What They Tell Us About Being Human Studies reveal ironic mental processes, our love of secrets, why robots are creepy and more...Some psychology experiments are so wild and wacky that, at first glance, you can't help wondering if the experimenters are unhinged. Harvard psychologist Daniel Wegner, who sadly passed away last year, was dedicated to making his experiments interesting to take part in and having them produce deep psychological insights... Continue reading - - > → Jeremy Dean is a psychologist and author of PsyBlog. His latest book is "Making Habits, Breaking Habits: How to Make Changes That Stick"
Are Two Actual People Still Required for a Relationship? For a lot of people, especially older people, the concept of virtual relationships can be rather disturbing. But for younger people, those who increasingly live their lives half in the digital universe and half in the real world, it's not upsetting at all. read more
The musical brain: Novel study of jazz players shows common brain circuitry processes both music, language The brains of jazz musicians engrossed in spontaneous, improvisational musical conversation showed robust activation of brain areas traditionally associated with spoken language and syntax, which are used to interpret the structure of phrases and sentences. But this musical conversation shut down brain areas linked to semantics -- those that process the meaning of spoken language, according to results of a novel study.
Sleep: The Clean-Up Crew of a Dirty Mind Your brain cleans up after the lights go out just as a party host tidies up empty glasses and smoky ashtrays once guests have gone home.read more
Brain signals move paralyzed limbs in new experiment To help people suffering paralysis from injury, stroke or disease, scientists have invented brain-machine interfaces that record electrical signals of neurons in the brain and translate them to movement. Usually, that means the neural signals direct a device, like a robotic arm. Researchers are now bringing brain-machine interfaces to the next level: Instead of signals directing a device, they hope to help paralyzed people move their own limb, just by thinking about it.
Workings of working memory revealed Cognitive scientists have identified specific brain regions that work together to allow us to choose from among the options we store in working memory. Keep this in mind: Scientists say they've learned how your brain plucks information out of working memory when you decide to act. Say you're a busy mom trying to wrap up a work call now that you've arrived home. While you converse on your Bluetooth headset, one kid begs for an unspecified snack, another asks where his homework project has gone, and just then an urgent e-mail from your boss buzzes the phone in your purse. During the call's last few minutes these urgent requests -- snack, homework, boss -- wait in your working memory. When you hang up, you'll pick one and act.
Potential solution for feeding, swallowing difficulties in children with digeorge syndrome, autism Research reveals new information on the pathogenesis of feeding and swallowing difficulties often found in children with neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism and intellectual disability.
'Beautiful but sad' music can help people feel better Music that is felt to be 'beautiful but sad' can help people feel better when they're feeling blue, new research concludes. The research investigated the effects of what the researchers described as Self-Identified Sad Music (SISM) on people's moods, paying particular attention to their reasons for choosing a particular piece of music when they were experiencing sadness -- and the effect it had on them. The results showed that if an individual has intended to achieve mood enhancement through listening to 'sad' music, this was in fact often achieved by first thinking about their situation or being distracted, rather than directly through listening to the music chosen.
Protein's role in human memory and learning: Deficiency in SNX27 could explain the learning difficulties in Down's syndrome Scientists have identified the precise role of the protein, SNX27, in the pathway leading to memory and learning impairment. The study broadens the understanding of the brain's memory function and could be used to explain defects in the cognitive development of those with Down's syndrome. The newly established knowledge could potentially facilitate exploration of strategies to improve memory and learning abilities in Down's syndrome.
Dreams, déjà vu and delusions caused by faulty 'reality testing,' research shows New research has delved into the reasons why some people are unable to break free of their delusions, despite overwhelming evidence explaining the delusion isn't real.
Dreams: 10 Striking Insights From Psychological Science Why dreams are remembered or forgotten, where dreams are controlled in the brain, what they mean and more...1. Why the brain remembers dreams Some people recall all kinds of dreams, others hardly anything. Why the big difference? Part of the reason... Continue reading - - > → Jeremy Dean is a psychologist and author of PsyBlog. His latest book is "Making Habits, Breaking Habits: How to Make Changes That Stick"
Family problems experienced in childhood and adolescence affect brain development New research has revealed that exposure to common family problems during childhood and early adolescence affects brain development, which could lead to mental health issues in later life. The study used brain imaging technology to scan teenagers aged 17-19. It found that those who experienced mild to moderate family difficulties between birth and 11 years of age had developed a smaller cerebellum, an area of the brain associated with skill learning, stress regulation and sensory-motor control. The researchers also suggest that a smaller cerebellum may be a risk indicator of psychiatric disease later in life, as it is consistently found to be smaller in virtually all psychiatric illnesses.
Chronic Pain Relief More Likely When Psychological Science Involved Psychologists play primary role in chronic pain treatment, comprehensive review finds
Some eating disorder sufferers are unaware that condition can be fatal Families speak out about how important it is to let young people know that an eating disorder can be fatal.
Saliva could predict depression in teen boys A saliva test for teenage boys with mild symptoms of depression could help identify those who will later develop major depression.
Mothers' voices can help train preemies to feed A pacifier-activated recording of mother singing may improve a premature baby's feeding, which in turn could lead to its leaving the hospital sooner.
Newly Proposed Parts of Personality Why are some proposed parts of personality accepted; others rejected?read more
A brain circuit for recognizing change To answer the seemingly simple question "Have I been here before?" we must use our memories of previous experiences to determine if our current location is familiar or novel. Scientists have now identified a region of the hippocampus, called CA2, which is sensitive to even small changes in a familiar context. The results provide the first clue to the contributions of CA2 to memory and may help shed light on why this area is often found to be abnormal in the schizophrenic brain.