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Study reveals the number of Facebook ‘friends’ college students can actually identify Ever wonder if that person with 800 Facebook “friends” really has 800 friends? So did a group of researchers at California State University and Yale University, who recently published a study that examined the popular social networking website. The research, published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior, found that the average college student could [...]
Brain study reveals mindfulness could help prevent obesity in children Mindfulness, described as paying attention on purpose and being in the present moment with acceptance, could be an effective way to help children avoid obesity. New research published in the journal Heliyon suggests that the balance in brain networks in children who are obese is different compared to healthy-weight children, making them more prone to [...]
Why are habits so hard to break? Getting hooked changes the brain, scientists find By now, you might have discovered that taming your sweet tooth as a New Year’s resolution is harder than you think. New research by Duke University scientists suggests that a habit leaves a lasting mark on specific circuits in the brain, priming us to feed our cravings. Published online Jan. 21 in the journal Neuron, the [...]
Discovery of consoling behavior in prairie voles may benefit autism research Researchers at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, have discovered that a social laboratory rodent, the prairie vole, shows an empathy-based consoling response when other voles are distressed. This is the first time researchers have shown consolation behavior in rodents, and this discovery ends the long-standing belief that detecting the distress of others [...]
Three Easy Rules on How to Find a Mate Last week’s cartoon asked the question: Would you do this or that if you won the Powerball Lottery? It’s kind of fun to think about. For any cartoon you enjoy, … ...
Neuroscientists develop new tools to safely trace brain circuits Scientists at Columbia University’s Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute have developed a new viral tool that dramatically expands scientists’ ability to probe the activity and circuitry of brain cells, or neurons, in the mouse brain. These findings highlight an innovative feat of molecular engineering that allows the creation of a more complete map [...]
Study finds brain region known as the thalamus enhances and stores sensory information Every day, we constantly absorb information through our sensory organs, which the brain then needs to process correctly. The information initially reaches the main relay center, the thalamus, and then travels to the cerebral cortex. The neurons in the so-called higher-order thalamus form the connecting lines between both areas of the brain. Prior to this, [...]
Study: Controlling parents create mean college kids College students whose parents lay on the guilt or try to manipulate them may translate feelings of stress into similar mean behavior with their own friends, a new study by a University of Vermont psychologist has found. Those students’ physical response to stress influences the way they will carry out that hostility – either immediately [...]
Chronic stress and anxiety can damage the brain A scientific review paper warns that people need to find ways to reduce chronic stress and anxiety in their lives or they may be at increased risk for developing depression and even dementia. Led by the Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest Health Sciences, the review examined brain areas impacted by chronic anxiety, fear and stress [...]
Slow down your typing to improve your writing: study The quality of your writing will likely get better if you simply type slower, according to a recent study. Researchers from the University of Waterloo asked study participants to type essays using both hands or with only one. Using text-analysis software, the team discovered that some aspects of essay writing, such as sophistication of vocabulary, [...]
Scientists discover method to potentially repair nerve damage Nerve damage from neurodegenerative disease and spinal cord injury has largely been considered irreversible, but Dartmouth researchers report progress in the effort to synthesize rare natural products that promote regeneration and growth of injured nerve cells. The findings appear in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. A PDF is available on request. Neurotrophins, or [...]
Why sports wins and sunshine may lead you to gamble The fact that your favorite sports team unexpectedly won yesterday won’t improve your chances of winning the lottery and yet it might increase the likelihood that you’ll buy a ticket, according to new research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. Analyzing two years’ worth of daily lottery purchases in [...]
Living in Liminal Time “If you are not trained in how to hold anxiety, how to live with ambiguity, how to entrust and wait, you will run…anything to flee this terrible cloud of unknowing.”– … ...
Computer modeling provides insight into cellular-level effects of schizophrenia risk genes Numerous genetic variants associated with risk for schizophrenia have been identified. However, little is known about how these genes have their effects in the brain. A proof-of-concept study published in the inaugural issue of the journal Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging proposes a computer model for measuring the cumulative impact of multiple genetic variations [...]
Forget 1 in 4: Everyone Has Mental Health Concerns A few weeks ago, I got a call from an older male family member asking me about panic attacks and anxiety. Turns out he has been experiencing them for the … ...
Study helps fill in gaps in our visual perception A Dartmouth College study sheds light on how the brain fills in the gaps of how we visually perceive the world around us. The findings appear in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Visual images and other raw sensory data must reach the cerebral cortex to be perceived, but the data are often [...]
Be SMART and Avoid Failing at New Year’s Resolutions Do you know people who have a hard time maintaining their big New Year’s goals past February? Who are the people around you who joke, “Yeah, I made a resolution to lose weight, but then Valentine’s Day came around.” Or “I made a resolution to … ...
Mixed emotions a sign of emotional depth, not indecision, say researchers Experiencing mixed emotions shows emotional complexity, not indecision, and people living in different parts of the world vary in their ability to distinguish between multiple feelings they’re having at once, according to new research. A project from the University of Waterloo examined how people across 16 cultures vary in their tendency to see situations as [...]
You May Have #FOMO, or is it #FOKU? Even though I have an awareness of my relationship to my smartphone, even though I take measures to limit my use, even though I have strong boundaries with my kids … ...
5 Strategies to Cope with Social Anxiety at Events I’ve struggled with an anxiety disorder for years and the familiar sensation of a butterfly trying to erupt from my stomach is like an old (annoying) friend. It was only recently though, that I realised I also have social anxiety. It’s different from my standard fears about irrational, illogical things. Normally I can conquer them […]