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Neuroscientists forge path toward understanding human brain Metastable dynamics – a subtle blend of integration and segregation in the brain that occurs on multiple levels (cells, brain regions, networks) – underlies the real-time coordination necessary for the brain's dynamic cognitive, behavioral and social functions, neuroscientists have found.
Brain scans are fascinating but behaviour tells us more about the mind | Catherine Loveday Catherine Loveday: Cognitive profiling helps us to understand the nature of specific brain disorders
What happened when? How the brain stores memories by time New research shows that a part of the brain called the hippocampus stores memories by their "temporal context" -- what happened before, and what came after -- and not by content. From brain scans of the hippocampus as the volunteers were answering questions in this study, researchers could identify patterns of activity specific to each image. But when they showed the volunteers the same images in a different sequence, they got different patterns of activity. In other words, the coding of the memory in the hippocampus was dependent on its context, not just on content.
A brain signal for psychosis risk Only one third of individuals identified as being at clinical high risk for psychosis actually convert to a psychotic disorder within a three-year follow-up period. This risk assessment is based on the presence of sub-threshold psychotic-like symptoms. Thus, clinical symptom criteria alone do not predict future psychosis risk with sufficient accuracy to justify aggressive early intervention, especially with medications such as antipsychotics that produce significant side effects.
Growing old stressfully: chronic stress and prematurely aged cells | James Kingsland James Kingsland: Apparently healthy older men who have poor social support networks and abnormal physiological responses to stress show signs of accelerated cell ageing James Kingsland
Is Nonviolence Effective? The evidence for the effectiveness of nonviolent resistance is mounting. In the past 100 years, nonviolent campaigns were nearly twice as likely to achieve full or partial success as were violent campaigns and the advantage for violent campaigns held even when controlling for the authoritarianism of the regime.read more
Estradiol preserves key brain regions in postmenopausal women at risk for dementia When initiated soon after menopause, hormone therapy with estradiol prevented degeneration in key brain regions of women who were at heightened dementia risk, according to a new study. The investigators also found that another type of hormone therapy, marketed under the brand name Premarin, was far less protective. Premarin is a mixture of 30-plus substances derived from the urine of pregnant mares. Estradiol -- the dominant sex-steroid hormone in woman -- accounts for about 17 percent of Premarin's total content. Other Premarin components exert various endocrinological effects on different tissues.
High mortality from Alzheimer's disease A new study has suggested that Alzheimer's disease causes six times as many deaths as the official statistics would indicate.
Emotions vented online are contagious Research shows feelings posted on Facebook can spread to others.
New rehabilitation methods for amputees, stroke patients developed When use of a dominant hand is lost by amputation or stroke, a patient is forced to compensate by using the nondominant hand exclusively for precision tasks like writing or drawing. Presently, the behavioral and neurological effects of chronic, forced use of the nondominant hand are largely understudied and unknown. Now, researchers have shed light on how a patient compensates when losing a dominant hand and suggest improved rehabilitation techniques for those suffering from amputation or stroke.
Nicotine withdrawal weakens brain connections tied to self-control over cigarette cravings A new brain imaging study shows how smokers suffering from nicotine withdrawal may have more trouble shifting from a key brain network"”known as default mode, when people are in a so-called "introspective" state -"” and into a control network that could help exert more conscious, self-control over cravings and to focus on quitting for good.
Happiness and mitigation of climate change: Economic degrowth compatible with wellbeing if work stability is maintained Policies aimed at effectively mitigating climate change through a reduction in economic growth and consumption of fossil fuels would have a monetary impact on the economy, but also an impact on the wellbeing and happiness of individuals. Researchers have taken advantage of the current economic crisis to analyze the impact this situation would have.
12 Most Mind-Blowing Mental Delusions and Syndromes Alice-in-Wonderland syndrome, thought insertion, clinical lycanthropy, Paris syndrome 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:Genetic Trigger Discoverd For Most Common Form of Mental Disability and Autism 20 Wonderful Effects Exercise Has on the Mind Mind Pops: Memories That Come From Nowhere Marijuana Does Not Cause Schizophrenia Power Up: The Performance Benefits of a Simple Mental Exercise
Chronic pain research delves into brain: New insight into how brain responds to pain New insights into how the human brain responds to chronic pain could eventually lead to improved treatments for patients, researchers say. Chronic pain is common throughout the world. More than 100 million Americans are believed to be affected by chronic pain. "People living with chronic headache and other forms of chronic pain may experience reduced quality of life, as the pain often prevents them from working, amongst other things. It is therefore imperative that we understand the causes of chronic pain, not just attempt to treat the symptoms with medication," the lead author said.
How Accurate Are People's Beliefs About Psychology? Because people are largely ignorant about how their minds work, psychology and philosophy of mind need to go beyond introspection, intuitions, thought experiments, and surveys. read more
Letters: aid workers need to blow off steam Emotional and physical release is crucial for people working under stress, but controlled and long-term training is much better than drinking and partying, says a psychologist to aid workersIn July 1999 I was in Kosovo on my first assignment as a mental health officer. I was invited to a party that one of the humanitarian aid agencies was giving, mainly for expatriates. We were in the middle of a Muslim neighborhood where people had suffered massacres and very strong oppression for the last 10 years. The party had very big loudspeakers playing western music, a lot of dancing, alcohol and couples getting together.I was pretty shocked. Why would we do this? Why we would we be so disrespectful, in the middle of an Islamic neighborhood, where people were trying to recover from a war?In hindsight, the party reflected the needs of these expatriates who came to Kosovo and found a horrific situation. There were mass graves being opened, and stories of immense suffering and torture. People were trying to connect with each other in a non-professional environment, to relax by drinking alcohol and letting the tension out of their bodies with dancing and movement.At the party I met an Albanian Kosovar who was interpreter for human rights work, and when I told her that I was a psychologist she broke down crying. In a corridor with people dancing and drinking around us, she cried and explained that her job was translating stories of war, torture and missing family members – things she had gone through herself in the past. As she translated she would sometimes start crying, and the expatriate she worked for would say, "well, if you can't cope with this maybe you should quit your job." But of course she couldn't, because her whole family was financially dependent on her. She wanted to help tell the world what had happened to her society, but she was in need herself.Hearing her reflecting on her feelings within the context of this party made me wonder how else aid workers could find ways of relaxing, getting the body moving and sharing, besides drinking alcohol until 5am. That's where my interest in psychosocial support for aid workers started.In the last 15 years aid agencies have recognised their staffs' need for psychosocial support, but not many are meeting it, because few have the capacity. Even those that do can often only offer short training modules of one to four hours during induction programmes or short field visits. In the field, faced with the compelling and urgent needs of others, aid workers have less capacity to tune into their own needs.There are very good mindfulness-based stress management courses than could help, but they take time – typically two-hours once a week for eight weeks. The idea is to go slowly enough to be able to actually realise what you are learning and build it into your daily life. But the daily life of aid workers is often not very stable, and always very time constrained. When they're not in the field, they're resting at home for just one month between deployments. Few can take two months off for mindfulness training.That's why the Garrison Institute in upstate New York created the contemplative-based resilience training. Incorporating secular meditation, yoga and movement, and psychosocial education, the material is specifically adapted for aid workers and covered in a four-day residential training that fits their schedules. Online forums keep participants connected to each other after the initial training, and they can access einforcing video, audio and documentary resources via an app on their phones.Researchers will be formally studying CBRT's effectiveness, but the anecdotal evidence so far – including my own experience teaching it and observing of what works for aid workers in the field – is that this kind of training could meet aid workers' needs for connection, movement and physical and emotional release. That could be a great boon to individual workers, their organisations and the millions who benefit from their work.Carla Uriarte is a clinical and social psychologist at the Garrison InstituteViews and reviews is a weekly space to share the correspondence we get from our readers and also for our members to tell us what global development books you are reading. Sign up here to become a member. Global healthPost-traumatic stress disorderPsychologyHealth & wellbeingAlcoholismProfessional developmentDealing with riskAlternative medicinetheguardian.com © 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
Genes bring music to your ears Multiple regions in the human genome are reported to be linked to musical aptitude, according to a new study. The function of the candidate genes implicated in the study ranges from inner-ear development to auditory neurocognitive processes, suggesting that musical aptitude is affected by a combination of genes involved in the auditory pathway. The perception of music starts with specialized hair cells in the inner ear, which transmit sounds as electronic signals through the auditory pathway to the auditory cortex, where sounds are primarily recognized. In addition to simple sensory perception, the processing of music has been shown to affect multiple other regions of the brain that play a role in emotion, learning and memory.
Play it again, Sam: How the brain recognizes familiar music Research reveals that the brain's motor network helps people remember and recognize music that they have performed in the past better than music they have only heard. A recent study sheds new light on how humans perceive and produce sounds, and may pave the way for investigations into whether motor learning could improve or protect memory or cognitive impairment in aging populations.
8 Ways to Say No Without Ruining Your Reputation What are the polite, respectable ways to turn down requests?read more
APA Task Force Report Highlights Problem of Human Trafficking of US Women and Girls Points out shortcomings in current policies, programs; calls for research, public education