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Do patients in a vegetative state recognize loved ones? Patients in a vegetative state do not respond to what is happening around them and exhibit no signs of conscious awareness. Now research has shown that the brains of patients in a vegetative state emotionally react to photographs of people they know personally as though they recognize them.
Brain waves encode information as time signals A research team has examined the synaptic mechanisms of rhythmic brain waves. This was made possible through custom-design tools developed in collaboration with the institute's machine shop.
Making dementia friendly neighbourhoods A European team of experts will explore, investigate and evaluate the role of the neighborhood in the everyday lives of people with dementia and their families in a new research project announced during the G8 dementia summit.
Growth spurts could be a 'baby illusion', scientists believe The phenomenon explains why many parents believe their first child has shot up in size after the birth of a new siblingWhen a mother tells her first-born: "My, how you've grown", it could be due to a "baby illusion", scientists believe.The birth of a second son or daughter often coincides with an apparent growth spurt in a parent's first child. But this only because of the mind playing tricks, say psychologists. When the new sibling arrives the first-born child ceases to be the youngest, and therefore seems to shoot up in size overnight."Contrary to what many may think, this isn't happening just because the older child just looks so big compared to a baby," said Dr Jordy Kaufman, from Swinburne University of Technology in Australia. "It actually happens because all along the parents were under an illusion that their first child was smaller than he or she really was. When the new baby is born, the spell is broken and parents now see their older child as he or she really is."Kaufman's team began by asking 747 mothers if they remembered experiencing a sudden change in their first child's size after giving birth for the second time. In 70% of cases the mothers said they had encountered the phenomenon. Their "erstwhile youngest" child suddenly appeared bigger after the new infant's arrival.The researchers asked the mothers to estimate the height of one of their young children, aged two to six, by placing a mark on a blank wall. They then compared the height of the marks to each child's real height. The results, reported in the journal Current Biology, showed that mothers underestimated the height of their youngest child by 7.5 centimetres on average. In contrast, height estimates for the eldest child were almost accurate."The key implication is that we may treat our youngest children as if they are actually younger than they really are," said Kaufman. "In other words, our research potentially explains why the 'baby of the family' never outgrows that label. To the parents, the baby of the family may always be 'the baby'."The findings are a reminder of how illusory perceptions of the world can be. "We cannot trust the accuracy of our perceptions," Kaufman added. "In this case, it shows that our feelings and knowledge of our children affect how we actually perceive them. But it's important to consider that this misperception may actually make it easier to quickly distinguish one's youngest child from the other children."Parents and parentingFamilyPsychologytheguardian.com © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds
ADHD: About 1 in 20 adults may have a disorder usually associated with grade school Research on ADHD in older adults in evolving.
Sex and intimacy after the baby arrives New research from the University of Michigan offers a much more nuanced view of relationship dynamics in the so-called fourth trimester "” and delivers a few surprises.
Pot smokers, schizophrenics may share similar brain changes New findings may have implications for youths with mental disorders.
"Borderline" Provocations: How NOT to Respond Patients who have the traits of borderline personality disorder often are experts at inducing in those closest to them feelings of anxious helplessness, anxious guilt, or overt hostility. If you want to continue to feel that way, here is a list of the best ways to help them help you to do so.read more
Marketing study shows ethnically diverse workforce may improve customer experience Service-oriented businesses that want to succeed with minority customers should consider hiring frontline employees who represent those ethnic groups, particularly when the business caters to Hispanics or Asians, a recent study contends.
Five most effective parenting programs to reduce problem behaviors in teens Researchers evaluated about 20 parenting programs and found five that are especially effective at helping parents and children at all risk levels avoid adolescent behavior problems that affect not only individuals, but entire communities.
Art Elevates the Mind by Increasing Empathy, Critical Thinking and Tolerance Study of school trips to a museum provides evidence that art can elevate the mind.→ Jeremy Dean is a psychologist and author of PsyBlog. His latest book is "Making Habits, Breaking Habits: How to Make Changes That Stick"
The Rise of the Selfie! Is it the Hallmark of Digital Life? The digital age has ushered in many changes in how we communicate but perhaps the most influential"”and least talked about"”is how images dominate our daily lives, and the conscious and unconscious ways they alter how we react and connect. Witness the selfie...read more
Heavy marijuana users have abnormal brain structure, poor memory Teens who were heavy marijuana users had abnormal changes in their brains related to memory and performed poorly on memory tasks, reports a new study. The brain abnormalities and memory problems were observed in the subjects' early twenties, two years after they stopped smoking marijuana, possibly indicating long-term effects. Memory-related structures in their brains appeared to shrink. The younger drug abuse starts, the more abnormal the brain appeared. The marijuana-related brain abnormalities look similar to schizophrenia-related brain abnormalities.
The True Meaning Of Friendship The Japanese have a term, kenzoku, which translated literally means "family." The connotation suggests a bond between people who've made a similar commitment and who possibly therefore share a similar destiny. It implies the presence of the deepest connection of friendship, of lives lived as comrades from the distant past.read more
Holiday stress calls for an attitude adjustment The holidays can be filled with good stress or bad stress depending on your attitude.
Marijuana Does Not Cause Schizophrenia New study on marijuana use finds little evidence that the drug causes schizophrenia.→ Jeremy Dean is a psychologist and author of PsyBlog. His latest book is "Making Habits, Breaking Habits: How to Make Changes That Stick"
Remembering Sandy Hook Research in ACT shows that social connection and caring requires enough perspective taking and empathy to feel what it is like to be someone else and enough psychological flexibility not to run away when that is hard. Horrific events such as the Sandy Hook disaster challenge us to do this instead of looking away, but the suffering of those who died demands nothing less.read more
19 Reasons Why Willpower Fails You, And What To Do About It Willpower is an essential ingredient in achieving, overcoming, and becoming -- so why does it so often fail us? Here are 19 science-based reasons why will and will alone isn't enough, with suggestions peppered in along the way about what we can do about it.read more
Spanking Children Promotes Antisocial Behaviour and Slows Mental Development 90% of studies on spanking agree that it's bad for children.→ Jeremy Dean is a psychologist and author of PsyBlog. His latest book is "Making Habits, Breaking Habits: How to Make Changes That Stick"
This column will change your life: don't blame the lazy. It may not be their fault Willpower is something you might have less of thanks to luck or upbringing, not a magic power that lazy people refuse to useAs we stumble again into the season of overindulgence – that sacred time of year when wine, carbs and sofas replace brisk walks for all but the most virtuous – a headline in the (excellent) new online science magazine Nautilus catches my eye: "What If Obesity Is Nobody's Fault?" The article describes new research on mice: a genetic alteration, it appears, can make them obese, despite eating no more than others. "Many of us unfortunately have had an attitude towards obese people [as] having a lack of willpower or self-control," one Harvard researcher is quoted as saying. "It's clearly something beyond that." No doubt. But that headline embodies an assumption that's rarely questioned. Suppose, hypothetically, obesity were solely a matter of willpower: laying off the crisps, exercising and generally bucking your ideas up. What makes us so certain that obesity would be the fault of the obese even then?This sounds like the worst kind of bleeding-heart liberalism, a condition from which I probably suffer (I blame my genes). But it's a real philosophical puzzle, with implications reaching far beyond obesity to laziness in all contexts, from politicians' obsession with "hardworking families" to the way people beat themselves up for not following through on their plans. We don't blame people for most physical limitations (if you broke your leg, it wouldn't be a moral failing to cancel your skydiving trip), nor for many other impediments: it's hardly your fault if you're born into educational or economic disadvantage. Yet almost everyone treats laziness and weakness of will as exceptions. If you can't be bothered to try, you've only yourself to blame. It's a rule some apply most harshly to themselves, mounting epic campaigns of self-chastisement for procrastinating, failing to exercise and so on.But who says it's correct? The philosopher John Rawls is often interpreted as saying it isn't. The fair society, he famously claimed, was the one we'd have constructed if we'd been behind a "veil of ignorance" – without knowing if we'd be born rich or poor, strong or weak, good at maths, or sports, or nothing. "We do not deserve our initial place in the distribution of native endowments, any more than we deserve our initial starting place in society," Rawls wrote. You don't deserve praise for being born sighted rather than blind, or growing up wealthy. Do we really deserve praise for having, or blame for lacking, "the superior character that enables us to make the effort to cultivate our abilities"? Two rival notions of willpower do battle among psychologists these days. One is that it's a learned skill. (You can, for example, teach children distraction techniques to resist temptation.) The other is that it's a depletable resource: if forced to use lots in one domain – resisting impulse purchases because you're poor, say – you'll have less left over elsewhere. Either way, it's something you might have less of thanks to luck or upbringing, not a magic power that lazy people inexplicably refuse to use.None of which means effort should never be rewarded, or that it isn't sometimes strategic to make people – including yourself – feel bad: guilt's a great motivator. But when people fail to act in their own interests, moralising might not be justified. I'd start a movement to campaign for the rights of the lazy and weak-willed, but I suspect I'd have trouble signing people up.oliver.burkeman@theguardian.comFollow Oliver on TwitterPsychologyHealth & wellbeingOliver Burkemantheguardian.com © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds