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Survey finds that online bullying has declined The results of a new survey were released today, exploring the pervasiveness of digital abuse among teens and young adults, how it is affecting America's youth and how they're responding to it.
Genes interact with parental care in producing childhood behavioral problems, study suggests A new study suggests that some children may be genetically predisposed to developing behavioral problems in child care and preschool settings. Previous research found that some children develop behavior problems, despite the benefit of academic gains, however, it was never known why some youngsters struggle in these settings and others flourish. This study indicates that some children may act out due to poor self-control and temperament problems that they inherited from their parents.
Washing your hands makes you optimistic Washing our hands influences how we think, judge and decide. This is what researchers confirmed through experiments when examining how physical cleansing affects us after failure.
Jim Birley obituary Leading social psychiatrist who transformed the understanding of schizophreniaProfessor Jim Birley, who has died aged 85, was a social psychiatrist who made a great breakthrough in the understanding of mental illness. In the late 1960s, the prevailing view was that schizophrenia was a largely biologically based disease, but Birley showed the role that stressful life events played in the illness. In 1960 he had conducted a pilot study which showed that patients suffering from both initial and subsequent psychotic attacks were likely to have undergone a life crisis within the previous three weeks.Birley's 1968 paper based on these findings, Crises and Life Changes and the Onset of Schizophrenia, was rejected by the British Journal of Psychiatry as being too far-fetched, but it was published by the American Journal of Health Behavior and is now regarded as a classic. Birley also led the campaign against poor psychiatric practices abroad, particularly in Russia and China.He was the son of a neurologist, also called James Birley, famed for his work on fatigue and stress in first world war pilots. Jim was born near Harley Street but the family moved to his grandparents' house in rural Essex when he was six after his father died. He later said that being brought up in a large family in the country was an advantage for a social psychiatrist.He was head boy at Winchester college and went on to Oxford, moving to St Thomas hospital, London, for his clinical training. In 1954, two years after qualifying, he did his national service in the army. He was impressed by the way deep sleep treatment – now discredited – helped a colleague, and this sparked his interest in psychiatry. Returning to civilian life, he undertook junior medical posts and then worked for a year under William Sargant, the notorious psychiatrist who espoused drastic physical treatments ranging from deep sleep to frontal lobotomy.He then moved in the opposite direction, joining the Medical Research Council's social psychiatry research unit at the Maudsley hospital in south London, which alerted him to the social and familial context of mental illness. In 1969 he became consultant psychiatrist at the Maudsley, where he remained until retiring in 1990.The Maudsley used to pass their long-term patients, even ones who lived nearby, to Cane Hill hospital, a huge institution near Croydon. Birley built up services locally and in the 1970s established the Windsor Walk Housing Association, providing supported accommodation for occupants who were regarded as residents rather than patients. He helped furnish the homes, scavenging furniture and, with his wife, Julia, nailing down stair-carpet at weekends.Around this time he also established the Camberwell Rehab Association, a company that trained and employed patients: they made fuse boxes and suchlike and survived for 30 years until losing out to competition with cheap imports. In 1971, after meeting the former health minister David Ennals, he founded the Southwark Association for Mental Health. He funded it with a charity shop and an annual fete to raise funds. The Maudsley hospital has a James Birley unit, an 18-bed facility for acutely ill women.Birley carried a huge clinical load, with walk-in emergency clinics that lasted late into the evenings. His patients adored him, and he cared deeply for them, never trying to offload them on to other doctors – and he still found time to be dean of the Institute of Psychiatry from 1971 to 1982. Thereafter, becoming active in the Royal College of Psychiatry, he was the college's dean from 1982 toll 1987 when he became its president, a post he retained until 1990.He was alarmed by government "reforms" (his punctuation); the 1989 white paper Working for Patients was "written by people who didn't understand the NHS, and it had Mrs Thatcher's fingerprints all over it". He represented the RCP at the World Psychiatric Association meeting in 1989, when the Soviets were readmitted under strict conditions. In 1993-94 he was president of the British Medical Association, during which time he published a report on doctors' involvement in torture overseas.He was a leading member of what is now the Global Initiative on Psychiatry. This international group has campaigned with considerable success against poor psychiatric practices abroad, especially in the former communist countries and China.Former colleagues considered him a kind, gentle, modest, caring, tolerant and humorous person; a great clinician, intellectually astute yet humble. He treated everyone with the same courtesy and was a wonderful mentor to his students and trainees. In addition, he had a few redeeming vices: one of these was surreptitiously planting rhododendrons in the municipal park adjoining his garden. At home he went in for practical jokes, gardening and music.Birley had once suffered a manic episode and spoke openly about it, showing that it could happen to anyone. It had occurred when the Maudsley was being picketed: he briefly became manic, feeling that he had seen the light. His family and friends noticed, and three colleagues sent him home with a tranquiliser, which he said made him feel as if he had stepped into a hot bath. Two days later he was as right as rain.He was appointed CBE in 1990; among other honours he was a distinguished fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.He is survived by his wife, Julia, their children Rosalind, Margaret, Humphrey and Ellen, and 10 grandchildren."¢ James Leatham Tennant Birley, psychiatrist, born 31 May 1928; died 6 October 2013Mental healthPsychologyHealthCaroline © 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
High blood sugar tied to memory problems Blood sugar considered safely below diabetes or even pre-diabetes levels may still be linked to a raised risk of memory problems, a new study suggests.
Study finds reservoir of hidden HIV bigger than once thought Completely eradicating the virus may be much more difficult than previously thought.
Violent crime rises for second consecutive year Violent crime in the United States rose for the second year in a row, indicating that the nation's two-decade decline in crime has ended.
Childhood Poverty and Stress Harms Adult Brain Function Childhood stress and poverty linked to problems regulating the emotions in adulthood, according to a new study.→ Jeremy Dean is a psychologist and author of PsyBlog. His latest book is "Making Habits, Breaking Habits: How to Make Changes That Stick"
Seeing the song: Study aims to understand how, when the auditory system registers complex auditory-visual synchrony Imagine the brain's delight when experiencing the sounds of Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata" while simultaneously taking in a light show produced by a visualizer. A new study did more than that. To understand how the brain responds to complex auditory-visual stimuli like music and moving images, the study tracked parts of the auditory system involved in the perceptual processing of "Moonlight Sonata" while synchronized with the light show made by the iTunes Jelly visualizer.
Emotionally intelligent people may influence emotions of others based on their own goals Emotionally intelligent people have the ability to manipulate others to satisfy their own interest.
Fright Night Halloween has ancient cultural roots but three basic human motives underpin it. What can this peculiar festival tell us about the differences between fear and disgust, and why is it fun?read more
Child neurologist finds potential route to better treatments for Fragile X, autism Researchers describe a major reason why current medications only moderately alleviate Fragile X symptoms. His team discovered that three specific drugs affect three different kinds of neurotransmitter receptors that all seem to play roles in Fragile X. As a result, current Fragile X drugs have limited benefit because most of them only affect one receptor.
Lower blood sugars may be good for the brain Even for people who don't have diabetes or high blood sugar, those with higher blood sugar levels are more likely to have memory problems, according to a new study.
Teen with Tourette's aims to stop bullying Teen says his disorder led to teasing and bullying, and now leads a national foundation to stop bullying.
Anthropologist examines the motivating factors behind hazing It happens in military units, street gangs and even among athletes on sports teams. In some cultures, the rituals mark the transition from adolescence to adulthood. And in fraternities and sororities, it's practically a given. With a long history of seemingly universal acceptance, the practice of hazing is an enduring anthropological puzzle.
Are We Wired to Be Social? Even though our brain didn't evolve to play chess we can all learn the game. Is being social just another hard problem we can learn how to solve or is there something deeper in our operating systems that make us social?read more
Synesthesia Could Explain How Some People See "˜Auras' Experience of 'auras' around people may be result of a neuropsychological condition called synesthesia.→ Jeremy Dean is a psychologist and author of PsyBlog. His latest book is "Making Habits, Breaking Habits: How to Make Changes That Stick"
The delight of fright | Nathalia Gjersoe Halloween allows us to revel in the dark, disquieting and mysterious. But why do so many of us take delight in terror and when does this strange proclivity develop?Nathalia Gjersoe
Changes in epigenetic DNA functions links diabetes predisposition to Alzheimer's disease Diabetes and dementia are rising dramatically in the United States and worldwide. In the last few years, epidemiological data has accrued showing that older people with diabetes are significantly more likely to develop cognitive deterioration and increased susceptibility to onset of dementia related to Alzheimer's disease.
Multiple ssclerosis: Functional change in brain as cause of cognitive disorders Over the course of the disease, multiple sclerosis is very often combined with a deteriorating memory and attention deficits. Researchers have now demonstrated by means of a meta-analysis of functional image data that increased activations in the involuntary attention system in the brain are responsible for these disorders in MS patients.