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Drug Reverses Schizophrenia in Mice by Curbing Synaptic Pruning Experimental chemical restores some lost brain cell function in schizophrenia.→ 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:Marijuana Does Not Cause Schizophrenia Copper Pinpointed as Main Environmental Cause of Alzheimer's Disease Possibility of Selectively Erasing Unwanted Memories New Study of Improvising Jazz Pianists Shows Similar Brain Circuits Used for Music and Language Can Having Sex Make You Smarter?
Act Like a Doctor, Think Like a Patient Why Can't a Doctor Think Like a Patient?read more
Suicide Prevention Sheds a Longstanding Taboo: Talking About Attempts For decades, mental health organizations have featured speakers with various disorders. But until now, discussing suicide attempts has been virtually off limits.
My Ideas, My Boss's Property Workers are being forced to sign over their ideas to their employers.
How to Be Real Without Being Obnoxious Some people who pride themselves on being authentic may be missing something important. Being authentic means contacting what we're most deeply experiencing. Authenticity without kindness may be brutality.read more
Spike activity 11-04-2014 Quick links from the past week in mind and brain news: Things I've learned since being sectioned. Good piece on the appropriately named Sectioned blog. The New York Times covers the latest in rising fads in proposed psychiatric diagnoses: sluggish cognitive tempo. Don't Throw Out The Baby With The Dead Salmon. Neuroskeptic discusses critiques of [...]
Hereditary trauma: Inheritance of traumas and how they may be mediated Extreme and traumatic events can change a person -- and often, years later, even affect their children. Researchers have now unmasked a piece in the puzzle of how the inheritance of traumas may be mediated. The phenomenon has long been known in psychology: traumatic experiences can induce behavioural disorders that are passed down from one generation to the next. It is only recently that scientists have begun to understand the physiological processes underlying hereditary trauma
The Facial Expression That Makes You Appear Smarter Study finds men's actual intelligence can be read in their facial features but women's cannot.→ 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:Beard Psychology: 4 Signals That Serious Facial Hair Sends How Aging Changes What Makes You Happy The "˜Beer Goggles' Effect: What Causes It? 10 Smart Studies that Help Unlock the Mysteries of Intelligence High Emotional Intelligence Dramatically Improves Decision-Making
Coma alarm dreams Intensive Care Medicine has published a wonderfully written and vivid account from a teenager who spent time brain injured and hallucinating in an intensive care unit. The writer describes how he was admitted to intensive care at the age of 15 after suffering a head injury and had intense and bizarre hallucinations which are, as [...]
Circumstances of the life and brain Neurosurgeon Henry Marsh has written a philosophical, incisive and exasperated book about brain surgery called Do No Harm. It's a hugely entertaining read as Marsh takes us through the practical and emotional process of operating, or not operating, on patients with neurological disorders. He does a lot of moaning – about hospital management, computerisation, administration [...]
Happiness and Its Discontents Are you satisfied with your life? How are you feeling? Does either question tell us what we really want to know?
Why odd numbers are dodgy, evens are good, and 7 is everyone's favourite What's your lucky number? An online survey threw up a hot favourite: people find 7 clever, cheery, divine. And our reactions to numbers shine a fascinating light on how our brains work, especially in the oh-so-superstitious far eastThink of the number 7. Do you like it? Do you love it? Do you remain unmoved?You may think these are frivolous questions, but when I launched an online survey asking people to submit their favourite numbers and explain the reasons why almost 4,000 people declared a devotion to 7. Continue reading...
How We Know Babies Are Born With The Structure of Language Study finds that two-day-old infants prefer word-like basic linguistic building blocks.→ 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 Superb Psychological Advantages of Learning Another Language Origins of Language: Neanderthals May Have Been Able to Talk Can You Copy Other People's Body Language Too Much? New Study of Improvising Jazz Pianists Shows Similar Brain Circuits Used for Music and Language Why Concrete Language Communicates Truth
This is how stigma works Sussex Police issue a statement about "˜Concern for missing Chichester man', ITN News report it as "˜Police warn public over missing mental health patient'. Sussex police: Police are appealing for information about missing 43-year old Jason Merriman, who left The Oaklands Centre for Acute Care in Chichester on unescorted leave at 12.45pm on Friday 11 [...]
Danger! A Frightening New Mental Illness The makers of illness have done it again. Their new diagnosis of "sluggish cognitive tempo" is as frightening as it is silly. Diagnosis as a way of life is controlling our lives.read more
This column will change your life: the case against hope 'Scratch the surface of our hope-fixated culture and you discover The Shawshank Redemption lied to us: sometimes, giving up hope sets you free'Thirteen days after Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 vanished, an American TV survivalist named EJ "Skullcrusher" Snyder went on CNN to make the case for not giving up hope. Why, the host asked him, should the relatives be optimistic? "I'll tell you why [because] you never give up hope," said Snyder, who makes a living fighting nature's most brutal forces, armed only with his wits and a production crew from the Discovery Channel. Those passengers might still be alive, he explained, so "there's always hope. No one should ever give up hope." He was right, of course, that theoretically the plane could have landed in secret. If you'd known someone on it, you'd probably have clung to that thought. But Snyder's glibness highlighted what a platitude "never give up hope" has become. Being against hope is like being in favour of pushing baby pandas off cliff tops. Isn't hope what motivates the oppressed to fight tyrants, what keeps people going in the most desperate deprivation? What might have become of EJ "Skullcrusher" Snyder, for that matter, if he hadn't had hope (and a production crew)?So it's striking to encounter recent research, published in the Economic Journal, suggesting that hope makes people feel worse. The researchers' starting point was what happens to the long-term unemployed when they reach retirement age. According to 25 years of German data, "retiring from unemployment" delivers a significant increase in life satisfaction. It isn't explained by other factors, like a change in benefits, and the employed don't get the same boost when they retire. Nor, the authors argue, is it simply that other people judge the jobless more harshly. It's that when you're unemployed, there's always the hope of finding a job, and people "thus feel the permanent pressure to fulfil the norms of their social category Ironically, it is hope that keeps them unhappy while unemployed, and it is only when hope fades that they will recover." Retirement means the end of hoping for a job, which feels like a release. Continue reading...
MH370 and the black box of the mind Psychoanalyst Josh Cohen on the flight recorder as a potent image of our helpless relationship to the world and to ourselvesOccasionally, perhaps when you feel most inured to the traumatic images that assail us daily on the TV screen or in the papers, you see something that tears you out of your glassy indifference. That, at least, was the effect on me of the pictures of the families of the flight MH370 passengers, eyes knitted in prayer, mouths flung open in rage.Imagine howling. The phrase, spoken by Claudio in Measure for Measure, came to mind as my eyes fell on their faces and shut tightly, as though reflexively shamed by the indecency of looking at them. But why, when we stare with such casual composure at all manner of grief and suffering, should these images induce such particular and intense aversion? Continue reading...
Raising a Moral Child The tactics are different from those used for encouraging achievement.
Why Do We Work Better Under Pressure? Do you produce your best work if you wait until the last minute to do it, and are under the stress of an impending deadline? If you don't, chances are you know someone who does. But why? What is it about the tension of putting things off that gets our creative juices flowing? ...
Green space keeps you from feeling blue If you start feeling better as spring begins pushing up its tender shoots, you might be living proof of a trend discovered in data from a new study: The more green space in the neighborhood, the happier people reported feeling. "The greening of neighborhoods could be a simple solution to reducing stress," says the lead author. "If you want to feel better, go outside."