|Are you sleeping too much?
||Symptoms of to omuch sleep include anxiety, restlessness, loss of appetite and memory problems, as well as dysfunction in social settings.
|Putting the Neuro into Economics
||The neuroscience of decision-making has direct implications for the reality of economics. Too much of economics is based on incorrect theories of human behavior. "Neuroeconomics" needs to be about more than using economic language to do neuroscience experiments - it needs to be about rebuilding economics from the ground up. The details matter.read more
|Gambling addicts present brain function abnormalities that affect their decision-making capacity
||Researchers have analyzed similarities and differences in psychological profile and brain function when comparing cocaine addicts and gambling addicts. The study reveals that gambling addicts present brain function abnormalities affecting their decision-making capacity.
|Do you want the good news or the bad news first?
||There's good news and there's bad news. Which do you want to hear first? That depends on whether you are the giver or receiver of bad news, and if the news-giver wants the receiver to act on the information.
|Repetition in music pulls us in, together
||A researcher explores the psychology of repetition in music, across time, style and cultures.
|Considerable gender, racial, sexuality differences in attitudes toward bisexuality
||Men who identify themselves as heterosexual are three times more likely to categorize bisexuality as "not a legitimate sexual orientation," an attitude that can encourage negative health outcomes in people who identify as bisexual.
|Bad boys: Research predicts whether boys will grow out of it or not
||Using the hi-tech tools of a new field called neurogenetics and a few simple questions for parents, a researcher is beginning to understand which boys are simply being boys and which may be headed for trouble.
|Pleasure, pain brain signals disrupted in fibromyalgia patients
||New research indicates that a disruption of brain signals for reward and punishment contributes to increased pain sensitivity, known as hyperalgesia, in fibromyalgia patients. Results suggest that this altered brain processing might contribute to widespread pain and lack of response to opioid therapy in patients with fibromyalgia.
|Visual representations improved by reducing noise in the brain
||Neuroscientists have revealed how the activity of neurons in an important area of the rhesus macaque's brain becomes less variable when they represent important visual information during an eye movement task. This reduction in variability can improve the perceptual strength of attended or relevant aspects in a visual scene, and is enhanced when the animals are more motivated to perform the task.
|Music gives people a voice when words fail them at the end of their lives | Bob Heath
||A music therapist describes how improvising songs can open a vital channel of communication in palliative careAll that was dear to me, down below the seaI cannot hold this piece of driftwoodWhen life abandons meLiz, a patient at the Sobell House hospice, 2013In palliative care, when clients and their therapists get to know one another they do so with a shared knowledge, whether voiced or not, that while both of them are going to die eventually, at least one of them is going to be doing it very soon.The relationship between client and therapist is always unique. And whatever you may think about "therapy", all (or most) of it is based on a fundamental human process. Where there is trust and dialogue, there is an opportunity for creativity and healing. But how do you talk about dying when you know that it's about to happen? Are you frightened, angry, anxious or depressed? Are you full of remorse? Or are you relieved? What will you leave behind? Who will you leave behind?A few classic movie scenes spring to mind where the hero on the very brink of death sees his life flash before him, a 10-second review of an entire life in colour, and then he's gone. Off to ... wherever.But if, for instance, you are dying of cancer after active, curative treatment has stopped, the 10 seconds can become 10 weeks, or 10 months. And then what do you do? Do you simply wait for the end of the movie, do you try to stop it now and freeze the picture, or do you hit rewind and look at it again, frame by frame? Or do you make a new movie altogether?Serious illness, pain, exhaustion and the fear of death can contribute to an overwhelming sense of having "lost our voice". Many clients talk about their feelings of powerlessness and a silence in which they become invisible. "How can I tell my daughter how much I love her when we're too frightened to even look at each other most of the time?"As a music therapist working with people at the end of their lives, I have become familiar with these dilemmas. And over the past 10 years or so I've used therapeutic songwriting as a way to enable clients to be creative when they are trying to say the unsayable or think the unthinkable. I have lost count of the number of times I've heard myself saying, "I don't know the answer to that, but let's put it in the music and see where it takes us." And of course, music and song being what they are, we can be taken to all sorts of places, often surprising and often at great speed.Sitting in a music room with someone who has been robbed of the mechanics of speech by a brain tumour or a stroke and hearing them reconnect with their language through singing is one of the most inspiring experiences I encounter in my work. I love the way that it still surprises me, every time it happens.We all reveal ourselves in music. Whether we consider ourselves to be musical or not, human beings have a relationship with music that is as ancient as mankind itself, and yet at the same time is as contemporary and relevant as this very moment in time. Our world is full of songs.Through improvising in music we can begin to identify some of these feelings and begin to name and describe them. By creating songs in these exchanges, singing the words, clients can experience a new sense of expressive freedom and honesty. The songs they leave behind talk to us of people experiencing themselves in new ways, making surprising discoveries, creating valuable legacies for their families and, at times finding reconciliation and peace.Medicine Unboxed is a project that connects the public with healthcare professionals in a scientific, political and ethical conversation about medicine, illuminated through the arts. For more information on this year's event, visit our Facebook page, follow @medicineunboxed, or visit our Pinterest boards to learn about the conference programme Medical researchPsychologyHealthHealth & wellbeingtheguardian.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
|The dark side of psychology in abuse and interrogation | Chris Chambers
||Chris Chambers: A new report reveals the role of US psychologists in the torture of prisonersChris Chambers
|Expert in Workplace Violence Prevention Available to Discuss Bullying in Professional Sports
||Psychologist Joel Dvoskin has worked with Fortune 100 companies and the NBA
|Wives matter more when it comes to calming down marital conflicts
||Marriage can be a battlefield. But a new study has found that, when it comes to keeping the peace, it's more important for wives -- than for husbands -- to calm down after a heated argument.
|New insights into brain neuronal networks
||A paper published proposes a novel understanding of brain architecture using a network representation of connections within the primate cortex.
|Race and Romance, Online
||A sociologist's analysis of interactions on OkCupid.com finds that race still matters in internet dating but also that "racial boundaries are more fragile than we think."
|Magnesium levels vital to brain health as population ages
||A clinical study shows that a magnesium formula prevents synapse loss and reverses memory decline in mice with Alzheimer's Disease.
|Eight Ways to Find More Meaning at Work
||Do you experience meaning at work—or just emptiness?
In the United States people spend on average 35-40 hours working every week. That’s some 80,000 hours during a career—more time than you will spend with your kids, probably.
Beyond the paycheck, what does work give you? Few questions could be more important. It is sad to walk through life and experience work as empty, dreadful, a chore—sapping energy out of your body and soul. Yet many employees do, as evidenced by one large-scale study showing that only 31 percent of employees felt engaged with their work.
Of course, different people look for different types of meanings—and, moreover, different workplaces provide different meanings. The phrase “meaning at work” refers to a person’s experience of something meaningful—something of value—that work provides. That is not the same as “meaningful work,” which refers to the task itself. Work is a social arena that provides a variety of meaningful experiences; even if an employee doesn’t find her tasks to be especially fulfilling, she might derive meaning from other aspects of her job, such as friendships with colleagues.
So, what are the sources of meaningful experiences at work? We have compiled a list of ways that work can become more meaningful, based on our reading of literature in organization behavior and psychology.
1. Contributions beyond yourself. The people at the nonprofit Kiva channel micro-loans to poor people who can use the money to get a small business going and improve their lives. Their work clearly has a greater purpose—that of helping people in need. This taps into a longing to have a meaningful life defined as making contributions beyond oneself.
The problem, however, is that most work doesn’t have such a higher purpose, either because work is basically mundane or because—let’s face it—the company doesn’t really have a social mission. Critics like Umair Haque arguethat work that involves selling yet more burgers, sugar water, fashion clothes, and the like has no broader purpose whatsoever. In this view, Coke’s “Open Happiness” is just a slogan devoid of meaning.
However, as Teresa Amabile and Steve Kramer argue, much work can be infused with some level of purpose. Companies that make real efforts in social responsibilities do this; for example, Danone, the $25-billion large and highly successful consumer goods company selling yogurt, has defined their business as providing healthy foods (which led them to sell off their biscuit business). The litmus test here is whether employees experience that their work makes positive contributions to others. Then they experience meaning at work.
2. Learning. Many MBA graduates flock to McKinsey, BCG, and other consultancies so that they can rapidly acquire valuable skills. General Electric is renowned for developing general managers; people who want to become marketers crave to learn that trade at Procter & Gamble. Work offers opportunities to learn, expand the horizon, and improve self-awareness. This kind of personal growth is meaningful.
3. Accomplishment. Work is a place to accomplish things and be recognized, which leads to greater satisfaction, confidence, and self-worth. In the documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi, we see Japan’s greatest sushi chef devote his life to making perfect sushi. Well, some critics like Lucy Kellaway at the Financial Times say there isn’t a real social mission here. But, from watching the movie, his quest for perfection—to make better sushi, all the time—gives his life a deep sense of meaning. And for Jiro, the work itself gives him a deep intrinsic satisfaction.
4. Status. At cocktail parties, a frequent question is, “Where do you work?” The ability to rattle of a name like “Oh, I am a doctor at Harvard Medical School” oozes status. For some, that moment is worth all the grueling nightshifts. A high-status organization confers respect, recognition, and a sense of worth on employees, and that provides meaning at work for some.
5. Power. As Paul Lawrence and Nitin Nohria wrote about in their book Driven, for those drawn to power, work provides an arena for acquiring and exercising power. You may not be one of those, but if you are, you experience work as meaningful because you have and can use power.
6. Belonging to a community. Companies like Southwest Airlines go out of their way to create a company atmosphere where people feel they belong. In a society where people increasingly are bowling alone, people crave a place where they can forge friendships and experience a sense of community. The workplace can complement or even be a substitute for other communities (family, the neighborhood, clubs etc.). Workplaces that provide a sense of community give people meaning.
7. Agency. Employees experience meaning at work when what they do actually matters for the organization—when their ideas are listened to and when they see that their contributions has an impact on how the place performs. A sense of real involvement gives people meaning.
8. Autonomy. As Dan Pink shows in his book Drive, autonomy is a great intrinsic motivator. Some people are drawn to certain kinds of work that provides a great deal of autonomy—the absence of others who tell you what to do, and the freedom to do your own work and master your task. For example, entrepreneurs frequently go into business by themselves so that they can be their own boss. This kind of freedom gives work meaning.
There are no doubt other sources as well, but the research suggests these eight seem to be especially important. Even so, the more of these is not necessarily better: Experiencing one deeply may just be enough. But if you don’t experience any of these, you may want to start by picking one to develop, in collaboration with your boss or colleagues.
Which of these are important to you? And which does your current workplace give you?
|Advice to a Student: How to Do Better Next Term
||This is a good way to begin. Improving your college experience will involve patience and work.You'll also face a set of frustrating and annoying choices; these make many students whine (you should hear my office during registration) but making such choices is an excellent way to take responsibility for your own education–and that, funnily enough, is what I can help you do.read more
|Calm candidates perform better on tests used to screen job applicants
||Applying for a job can be stressful at the best of times and even more so in today's very competitive job market. For some it is especially daunting when standardized tests -- a proven tool in the selection process -- are required. A new study shows that candidates' reactions impact their performance on the test and on the job, but don't change the ability of the tests to reliably predict job performance.
|Antidepressant drug induces a juvenile-like state in neurons of the prefrontal cortex
||Fluoxetine, a commonly prescribed anti-depressive drug, induces a juvenile-like state in the mouse prefrontal cortex. Brain development and maturation has been thought to be a one-way process until now, in which plasticity diminishes with age. The possibility that the adult brain can revert to a younger state and regain plasticity has not generally been considered until now.