Posts

August 11, 2014

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2:27 PM | Contrary Mary & Denial of Mental Illness
What therapists can learn from a client with schizophrenia, one who is in denial.
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2:15 PM | How to Learn Anything Better By Tweaking Your Mindset
New study finds that changing your mindset during learning directly impacts what you recall. 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:You Can Learn a New Language While You Sleep, Study Finds Humming in Sync: How Our Brains Can Learn So Quickly Rethinking The Stress Mindset: Can You Find The Upside of Pressure? How We Learn: Reading and Math Ability Driven By The Same […]
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2:03 PM | Is Imagination Just Another Form of Remembering?
Now that we’re in the dog days of summer, I find myself imagining the perfect summer vacation – long trips to Greece, or maybe Fiji… somewhere I have never been. My imagined trips would not be complete without my memories from past trips – the feel of the breeze from the shore, happy times spent […]
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2:00 PM | Me and My Body (and You and Your Body)
Recently I read the story of Robin Korth – called “My ‘Naked’ Truth.” Truth be told, I’m not exactly sure how I came across it. But once I started reading, I couldn’t stop. Here is a beautiful woman, vibrant and alive in the decade just one ahead of mine (Robin is 59, I am 44) […]
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1:40 PM | Psychological Barriers in Economic Inequality Reduction
Today I wrote a blog for New Left Project on psychology research examining perceptions of, and responses to, economic inequality. The post features cutting-edge research by prominent social psychologists Mike Norton and Dan Ariely, as well as research from my own laboratory at the University of Illinois. An excerpt:"The United States is one of the most unequal and rigidly stratified societies in the industrialised world.  In the wake of the Great Recession, it has become […]
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1:00 PM | Quitting the 9 to 5 before starting it
I recently stumbled upon a blog post at raptitude titled “The frightening thing you learn when you quit the 9 to 5.” I’m not sure why I was so drawn to it, since I’ve never actually worked a traditional 9 to 5 job. Maybe I was trying to mentally prepare for the day I quit a […]
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8:48 AM | Do infant dummies (pacifiers) impede the emotional connection between adult and baby?
Dummies (known as pacifiers in the US) can calm a crying baby in seconds, so their appeal is obvious. However, a new study warns there could be a price to pay. Magdalena Rychlowska and her colleagues claim that because dummies obscure babies' faces, they interfere with the way that adults respond to babies' emotions.The researchers used electrodes to record the facial muscles of 29 women (average age 21; two of them were mothers) while they looked at photographs of two young babies expressing […]
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7:43 AM | Risk of neurodevelopmental disorder in cases of hypospadias
"This is the first study to identify an increased risk for neurodevelopmental disorders in patients with hypospadias, as well as an increased risk for ASD [autism spectrum disorders] in their brothers, suggesting a common familial (genetic and/or environmental) liability".Rainy days and Mondays... @ Wikipedia That was the conclusion reached in the study by Agnieszka Butwicka and colleagues [1] looking at various neurodevelopmental outcomes associated with a diagnosis of […]

August 10, 2014

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8:00 PM | The Conscious Claustrum
Originally posted on NeuWrite San Diego:Consciousness and Crick The definition of consciousness, as a biological phenomenon, remains contested. Some definitions consider language necessary for consciousness, while for others, more basic aspects of experience suffice. Only recently has the study…
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3:09 PM | Two decades in: What autism means in our house
This is Bobby, our oldest, wearing our cat Hammy, as you do, naturally. In December Bobby will turn 25. A quarter of a century old. 1/4 of his way to 100, although fractions are not his strong suit, so he probably, almost certainly, wouldn't be able to describe it in those terms to you.Bobby is autistic and intellectually disabled. That's what the government, both local and national, focuses on. His impairments. His not-able to's. Every year I fill out guardianship papers and SSI paperwork to […]
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2:28 PM | Body Image Boosters from the Blogosphere 8.10.14
A positive body image goes beyond liking your looks. It encompasses taking good care of yourself and leading a fulfilling life. In this weekly series, I share some of my favorite posts from some of my favorite bloggers on this topic. Sometimes I also share relevant pieces that I’ve written elsewhere. Hope you find these […]
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2:27 PM | Cross-cultural cultural cognition road trip: Australia
I was soooo psyched that Guy, S., Kashima, Y., Walker, I. & O'Neill, S. Investigating the effects of knowledge and ideology on climate change beliefs. European Journal of Social Psychology 44, 421-429 (2014) were able to make good use of the cultural cognition worldview scales in their study of Australians' perceptions of beliefs about climate change that I've decided to go & investigate matters there for myself. I'll be giving these open lectures in Melbourne next […]
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2:20 PM | 6 Rules for a Happy Life and Healthier Environment
These six rules for personal happiness may also help save our environment. Pursuing true happiness not only benefits you but also the environment, according to research presented at the American Psychological Association's 122nd Annual Convention. Dr. Miriam Tatzel reviews decades of psychological research, arguing that the fundamentals of a happy life are also good for the environment... Dr Jeremy Dean is a psychologist and author of PsyBlog. His latest book is "Making Habits, Breaking […]
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12:00 PM | The Judge in the Asylum (Part 1 of 2)
Well into the 20th century, family members of people with mental health problems had little choice but to place their loved ones in asylums. And with little hope of their ever coming out again. Despite the occasional success story, most...            Related StoriesWeeding Out The Immigrants (Part Two of Two)Why Don't People Intervene in Domestic Violence?Off To Washington 
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10:30 AM | The One Trait that Predicts Sexual Satisfaction in Long-Term Couples
Think a satisfying sex life in a long-term relationship is kind of an anomaly? Sure, people pretend it exists because it makes for good romantic comedies and keeps us married folks somewhat hopeful of our futures. But it’s not actually a “thing” in real life, right? Well — yes and no. It is far too […]
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10:13 AM | Interview with Dr. Jan Kalbitzer, author of the "Twitter Psychosis" article
Today I'm chatting with Dr. Jan Kabitzer, a Physician and Leader of the Neurochemistry Research Group at Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin.Dr. Kabitzer is first author of the “Twitter Psychosis” article that made international news and took social media by storm on August 6, 2014. His provocatively titled paper, “Twitter Psychosis: A Rare Variation or a Distinct Syndrome?” (Kalbitzer et al., 2014), appeared online a week earlier in The Journal of Nervous […]
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9:41 AM | Vitamin D deficiency and dementia risk: a micropost
I'm a little late in getting to the paper by Thomas Littlejohns and colleagues [1] (open-access) reporting that: "vitamin D deficiency is associated with a substantially increased risk of all-cause dementia and Alzheimer disease". The media have been all over this study as per the BBC commentary (see here) and some rather more critical discussion by the NHS Choices website (see here).I don't need to add anything further to discussions aside from saying that correlation might not necessarily be […]
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4:01 AM | Getting Serious About Cuddling

August 09, 2014

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11:35 PM | 3 Creative Ways to Combat the Blues
Often, stress, disappointments, and mundane realities of everyday life plague our inner worlds so much that it’s difficult to experience positive emotions such as joy, peace, and spontaneity. Unfortunately, it becomes a vicious cycle. The negative emotions build up even more, sapping our mental and physical energies to the point where it’s a challenge just […]
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8:59 PM | The Best Friend Problem
Best friends are sacred. They are to be treasured. They are our playmates when we are children, partners in crime when we are adolescents, and our confidants when we reach adulthood. They are our mirrors, they give us our true reflections. We are so protective of these relationships, and for good reason, we need them […]
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6:30 PM | When You Feel Shame About Your Mental Illness
A mental illness affects everything from your thoughts to your behavior to your relationships. It may sap your energy, mood and sleep. It may distort your beliefs about yourself and sink your self-esteem. It may feel like your days are regularly filled with a series of obstacles. Navigating life with a mental illness is tough […]
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2:30 PM | On Hating Yourself Less
In her informative yet entertaining book, “Unworthy: How to Stop Hating Yourself,” Anneli Rufus tells this story: Accepting his third annual Teacher of the Year award, Jeremy gazed out at an auditorium packed with wildly applauding children, parents, and colleagues. Silently he mourned. I was supposed to get my doctorate. I should be famous by […]
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2:00 PM | The Vitamin Which May Reduce Risk of Alzheimer’s and Dementia
Elderly people low in this vitamin were more than twice as likely to develop dementia. 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:How Cynical Personality Traits Affect Dementia Risk 5 Habits Proven to Reduce Risk of Alzheimer’s and Dementia The Effects of Vitamin E on Alzheimer’s and Age-Related Memory Problems Autism: Vital Link Found Between Vitamin D and […]
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10:30 AM | Psychology Around the Net: August 9, 2014
This week’s Psychology Around the Net is all about older adults and sleep, depressed children, and — thank goodness — tips for happiness! How Sleep Changes as You Age, and Why You’ll Need Even More of It: As we get older, we don’t sleep as much as when we were younger; however, as our bodies […]
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8:00 AM | Link feast
Our pick of the best psychology and neuroscience links from the past week:Is It Bad To Bottle Up Your Anger?Claudia Hammond examines the myth that suppressing anger is always bad for your health.When It's Bad To Have Good ChoicesDifficult choices cause us anxiety whether they're trivial or heart-wrenching, explains Maria Konnikova.Heal Thyself: A History of Self-HelpRobin Ince presents the first in a three-part Radio 4 Series (you can listen again on iPlayer).Video Games "Beneficial" For […]
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4:01 AM | The Best Way to Pick Someone Up If You're a Barista
See other great pickup lines on buzzfeed.com (some of these are NSFW). Check out our articles on flirting here.
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3:30 AM | Tips for Test-Takers from “Thinking Fast and Slow”
Dear Friends, Have you ever felt like there were two people inside you vying for control? I’m rereading Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman, the Nobel prize-winning psychologist who studies reasoning and decision-making. Kahneman explains that our minds do contain two agents: A System One which makes quick, emotionally-based decisions, and a System Two which reasons slowly and […]

August 08, 2014

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11:29 PM | How Warren Buffett Found the Key to Happiness
Money will not change how healthy you are or how many people love you. — Warren Buffett So let’s start off with a tough reality: it’s unlikely that any of us will be as rich as Warren Buffett. In fact, he’s so rich that one-thousandth of a percent of his wealth is still about $6.5 […]
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10:00 PM | Psychiatry and inflammation (again)
I'd like to bring two papers to your attention in today's very quick post."The Death Star plans are not in the main computer"First up is the article by Kahn & Sommer [1] (open-access) titled: 'The neurobiology and treatment of first-episode schizophrenia'. It's about as good a read as we have so far on the topic of "brain changes in the first phase of schizophrenia" and the various management options for first-episode schizophrenia. Outside of the very important fact that "It is highly […]

Kahn RS & Sommer IE (2014). The neurobiology and treatment of first-episode schizophrenia., Molecular psychiatry, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25048005

Friedrich MJ (2014). Research on Psychiatric Disorders Targets Inflammation., JAMA : the journal of the American Medical Association, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25054339

Citation
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9:25 PM | How useful is neural oscillation entrainment?
I've been struggling with this question for a while.  I haven't looked at it deeply.  It's more like a nagging ache that I've been meaning to examine closely at some point.  Here's the basic observation/idea in the auditory domain: -Observation #1: Neural oscillations tend to entrain in the phase of their response to periodic stimuli.-Observation #2: Many natural sounds, such as speech, are quasi periodic.-The Claim: Oscillation entrainment facilitates perception by synching […]
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