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Develop Means To Help Stress Sufferers.
Try as we may to suppress memories of highly stressful experiences, they nevertheless come back to bother us even causing attacks of intense fear or other undesirable behavioral impairments. Now, a group of German, Israeli and British scientists and students have found that a gene-based approach offers promise for development of a treatment that can suppress these reactions, while not impairing memory itself.
Worried to Death:
Lifelong inhibitions hasten rodents' deaths.
In rats with a fear of novel situations, an exaggerated hormonal response to minor types of stress adds up to a shorter life than that of bold rats.
same brain region as cocaine
Humour tickles drug centre that gives hedonistic high.
women scramble men's ability to assess the future
Men lose the ability to think rationally when they see beautiful women, suggests new research.
Tooth May Forecast Drinking Problem. FRIDAY, Nov. 14 (HealthDayNews)
Having a sweet tooth precedes alcoholism and may serve as a marker for the genetic risk for developing the disease. That's the sobering conclusion of a study in the November issue of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.
Alcohol Consumption Linked To Brain Shrinkage
A study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and other institutions found a link between low to moderate alcohol consumption and a decrease in the brain size of middle-aged adults. Brain atrophy is associated with impaired cognition and motor functions. The researchers also found that low or moderate consumption did not reduce the risk of stroke, which contradicts the findings of some previous studies.
Fairy Tales Damage Girls' Self-Esteem? MONDAY, Nov. 24 (HealthDayNews)
As you tuck your daughter into bed tonight, you may want to think twice about what bedtime story to read to her. Classic fairy tales, such as Cinderella, Snow White and Hansel and Gretel, are loaded with subtle -- and many not so subtle -- messages that beauty is inherently good and should be rewarded, while people who are ugly are evil, wicked and mean. These messages may have more of an effect on girls and their self-esteem than parents realize, new research contends.
Behavior Among Monkeys May Be More Nature Than Nurture (December 4,
An unusual experiment with monkeys who were switched between mothers shortly after birth has demonstrated the importance of nature over nurture in behavior.
Research Finds Some Animals Know Their Cognitive Limits (December 2,
Humans are able to feel uncertainty. One of the important questions in the field of animal and human psychology is whether this metacognitive capacity is uniquely human, or whether nonverbal, nonhuman animal species have a level of metacognition that approaches that of humans.
clue to schizophrenia
Drug-induced discovery sheds light on mental illness. 21 November 2003.
Opposites Should Attract Nov. 21, 2003
Genetic and field studies on the personality of birds, which researchers suggest could reflect on the behavior of humans and other animals, reveal that mates with opposing personalities produce offspring with higher survival rates.
Pain, and Depression.
Anger, pain and depression are three negative experiences so closely bound together it can sometimes be hard to know where one ends and the other begins.
All in Your Mind: What's Behind Psychosomatic Illness? TUESDAY, Nov.
People who suffer trauma injuries and show signs of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression immediately after are more likely to be afflicted with psychosomatic ailments a year later.
Angry People Live Longer? FRIDAY, Nov. 14 (HealthDayNews)
If you're mad and you show it, you might just live longer than those who simply seethe, new findings from an ongoing study of elderly priests and nuns show. Researchers report those who failed to vent their spleens were twice as likely to die over a five-year study period.
Students Get Bad Grades. WEDNESDAY, Oct. 29 (HealthDayNews)
Smoking and asthma and poor grades seem to go hand in hand. An American study found inner-city students in schools with the poorest academic ratings have a much higher rate of tobacco exposure and experimentation than students at other schools.
Children Suffer Behavioral Problems. THURSDAY, Nov. 13 (HealthDayNews)
Young students plagued by bullying may be at greater risk for developing depression and antisocial behavior, says a study in the current issue of Child Development.
Uncover Neurobiological Basis For Romantic Love, Trust, And Self (November
In new studies, scientists are discovering the neurobiological underpinnings of romantic love, trust, and even of self. New research also shows that a specific brain area - the amygdala - is involved in the process of understanding the intentions of others, in particular when lying is involved.
May Involve Both Vision And Hearing (November 10, 2003)
Dyslexia may stem from how the brain processes sight and sound together rather than simply a problem "decoding" the written word reported researchers from Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center today at the annual Society for Neuroscience meeting in New Orleans.
Studies Show Factors Responsible For Enhanced Response To Music (November
In new studies, scientists are uncovering the factors responsible for an enhanced brain electrical response to music; the effects on the brain of growing up in a musical or non-musical environment; and which areas of the brain process different aspects of music including speaking and singing.
You Suffer From Psychosis? The Nose Knows (October 29, 2003)
Your nose could provide the first reliable diagnostic tool for predicting a person's likelihood of developing psychosis, new research has found.
Gene Linked To Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Analysis of DNA samples from patients with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and related illnesses suggests that these neuropsychiatric disorders affecting mood and behavior are associated with an uncommon mutant, malfunctioning gene that leads to faulty transporter function and regulation.
May 'Hard-Wire' Before Birth (October 22, 2003)
Refuting 30 years of scientific theory that solely credits hormones for brain development, UCLA scientists have identified 54 genes that may explain the different organization of male and female brains.
games can treat phobias
Customised versions of the popular PC games Half-Life and Unreal Tournament are a cheap and effective therapy.
Basis For Creativity Linked To Mental Illness (October 1, 2003)
Psychologists from the University of Toronto and Harvard University have identified one of the biological bases of creativity. The study in the September issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology says the brains of creative people appear to be more open to incoming stimuli from the surrounding environment.
Research Finds Gene Variations That Alter Antidepressant Side Effects
(September 30, 2003)
Researchers at Stanford University Medical Center have identified a genetic marker that can explain why some people experience side effects to common antidepressants while others do not. They also found that a key liver enzyme involved in breaking down these antidepressants surprisingly played no role in the development of side effects nor in how well the drugs worked.
Drug Promising Therapy For Cocaine Abuse (September 23, 2003)
Research funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Institutes of Health, suggests that gamma vinyl-GABA (GVG)--a drug used to treat epilepsy--may prove to be an effective treatment for cocaine addiction.
point to schizophrenia cells
Faulty cells, not chemistry, may underpin brain disorder. See http://www.nature.com/nsu/030901/030901-11.html also a study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center, University of Cambridge and the Stanley Medical Research Institute appears to offer the first hard evidence that schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, severe psychoses that affect 2 percent of the population, may have similar genetic roots. See http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/09/030910072122.htm
Give Women Longevity. TUESDAY, Aug. 5 (HealthDayNews)
Relationships with family and friends may help protect older women against death, and marriage may be the most beneficial relationship of all. So claims a study in the July issue of Psychosomatic Medicine.
Nicotine Use May Lead To Lasting Addiction, Study Finds (September 10,
People who begin smoking in their teens may be particularly vulnerable to long-term nicotine addiction, according to an animal study conducted by Duke University Medical Center pharmacologists. The study emphasizes that the age at which individuals begin using nicotine can have a major physiological impact to encourage later use of the drug.
People who experience a sense of spirituality in church may be reacting to the extreme bass sound produced by some organ pipes. Many churches and cathedrals have organ pipes that are so long they emit infrasound which at a frequency lower than 20 Hertz is largely inaudible to the human ear. But in a controlled experiment in which infrasound was pumped into a concert hall, UK scientists found they could instill strange feelings in the audience at will.
Andrea's Top Five Stress Busters!
The same fight-or-flight instinct that saved your prehistoric ancestor could be killing you slowly by creating stress. Dr. Andrea Pennington explains what's going on inside your body, and has some great ways to outsmart those stress-causing hormones.
Pouring your emotions out on paper could help wounds heal quicker, researchers say. It is thought that writing about troubling experiences helps people deal with them.
Drug Use Impairs Ability to Learn from Future Experiences. There's another reason to say no to drugs. The results of a recent rat study indicate that past use of amphetamines and cocaine can impair the brains ability to learn from new experiences.
Humans React Like Pavlov's Dogs
Most people would probably consider their tastes more discerning than those of the family pet. But according to new research, humans can be trained to crave food in a manner reminiscent of Pavlov's dogs. The results may help scientists better understand compulsive eating disorders and substance addiction.
About one in a hundred people worldwide suffer from schizophrenia. Now neuroscientists may have found a gene variation that predisposes people to this brain disease. As this ScienCentral News video reports, it could lead to genetically targeted drugs for schizophrenia.
Evidence is growing that a key mechanism underlying major depression--a sometimes heritable, often lifetime illness, with repeated remissions and relapses--involves dysregulation of the signaling proteins called cytokines.
Or Cocaine Exposure May Limit Brain Cell Changes That Normally Occur With
Researchers know that certain kinds of experiences, such as those involved in learning, can physically change brain structure and affect behavior. Now, new research in rats shows that exposure to stimulant drugs such as amphetamine or cocaine can impair the ability of specific brain cells to change as a consequence of experience.
Scientists have recently come to understand a great deal about the role that stress plays in the two most common classes of psychiatric disorders: anxiety and major depression, each of which affects close to 20 million Americans annually, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. And much investigation focuses on developing the next generation of relevant pharmaceuticals, on finding improved versions of Prozac, Wellbutrin, Valium and Librium that would work faster, longer or with fewer side effects.
Christian Perring reviews Rethinking the DSM: A Psychological Perspective edited by Larry E. Beutler and Mary L. Malik.
Scientists tracking the progress of children diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as they became teenagers have shed new light on the link between ADHD and the risk of developing alcohol and substance use problems. The researchers found that individuals with severe problems of inattention as children were more likely than their peers to report alcohol-related problems, a greater frequency of getting drunk, and heavier and earlier use of tobacco and other drugs. The findings indicate that childhood ADHD may be as important for the risk of later substance use problems as having a history of family members with alcoholism and other substance use disorders. The study appears in the August issue of the Journal of Abnormal Psychology.
Transporter Gene Shown To Influence College Drinking Habits
Researchers have identified a genetic factor that may predispose young people to harmful drinking habits. A team of scientists interviewed college students about their alcohol consumption and then analyzed their genetic profiles, or genotypes.
Scientists Pinpoint Brain Cells Involved In Drug Addiction Relapse
Relapse among recovering drug addicts can now be linked to specific nerve cells in a particular region of the brain, according to a team of researchers at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. The discovery may help pave the way for new addiction therapies and intervention strategies.
YOU WISH UPON A STAR
Apparently around one-third of us suffer from CWS, otherwise known as Celebrity Worship Syndrome. You may think taking an interest in the antics of the rich and famous is a bit of harmless fun, but psychologists are starting to suspect that worshipping celebrities is the top of slippery slope that leads to depression, anxiety and psychosis. However, on the other hand are evolutionary biologists who believe paying special attention to successful individuals is among the cleverest things our big-brained species does.
Can the psyche be treated without considering the spirit? While secular therapists have brought soul language into therapy, clergy who specialize in pastoral counseling find themselves grappling with ways to integrate modern therapeutic techniques into their work without losing sight of the spiritual dimension (The Philadelphia Inquirer). See http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/news/local/6496697.htm
Crime (10 Aug) - Programmes aiming to change young offenders and those that support victims need to be re-thought because they are often the same people, according to new research sponsored by the Economic & Social Research Council. This latest in a series of reports tracking 4,300 young people who started secondary school in Edinburgh in August 1998, shows that victimisation and offending are closely linked. See http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2003-08/esr-yoa080503.php
Promiscuity (9 Aug) - Men and women both have a strong promiscuous streak, says a psychologist who claims the desire for a fling is hard-wired into our genes. But they are still oh-so-different: men lust after plenty of partners, while women demand quality over quantity. See http://www.canada.com/vancouver/vancouversun/story.asp?id=039D4D2B-FA59-418D-8A2C-03E90E41AB1A
Suicide (4 Aug) - Psychiatrists agree now on a point that was long debated: Suicide can run in families. They do not know, however, how this risk is transferred from one family member to another -- whether it is ''learned'' behavior, passed on through a grim emotional ripple effect, or a genetic inheritance, as some scientists theorize. But new research published this week in the American Journal of Psychiatry prepares ground for a genetic search, suggesting that the trait that links high-suicide families is not simply mental illness, but mental illness combined with a more specific tendency to ''impulsive aggressiveness.'' See http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/216/metro/Genetic_scientists_eye_high_suicide_families+.shtml
Happiness helps fight off colds
Squirting cold virus up the noses of volunteers reveals that people with more positive emotions are three times less likely to get sick. See http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99993989
To some, male infidelity is evolutionary
A fierce debate about whether jealousy, lust and sexual attraction are hardwired in the brain or are the products of culture and upbringing has recently been ignited by the growing influence of a school of psychology that sees the hidden hand of evolution in everyday life. See http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/news/front/6440097.htm
The Terror of the Therapeutic
Margaret Atwood's new novel considers the price we may pay for looking to technology to remedy our ills, personal and social. See http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2003/130/12.0.html
A Gerontologist Gets Older
David Petty, author of Aging Gracefully, has long taught about the process of aging. Now, he is personally learning that one of the most important aspects is the spiritual side. See http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2003/130/22.0.html
Short Training Period Can Strengthen Key Regions of Dyslexic Brains. For the 10 to 15 percent of school-aged children in the U.S. who suffer from dyslexia, the written word often feels like an insurmountable obstacle. But a spate of research is helping scientists get to the root of the condition and suggest novel methods of treatment. New findings suggest that some therapies can make a difference quickly. Scientists report that dyslexic children showed normal brain activation patterns during reading tests after just three weeks of specialized instruction. See http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?chanID=sa003&articleID=000589FC-8AC9-1F1C-B4FD80A84189EEDF
Who's the daddy? Being a big, macho male does not always impress the female. Contrary to commonly accepted wisdom, the females of some species prefer to mate with weedier partners. In salmon this may be due to the earlier maturation of the smaller males, which could be a sign of higher genetic quality, or perhaps because weaker males are less likely to harm females during mating. See http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99994003
Stress (27 Jul) - Scientists at Oxford University have pioneered the world's first test for accurately measuring stress. A simple blood sample could be used to select people for the right jobs, help drivers know when to take a break, monitor stress at work and diagnose those in need of medical help. See http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/health/story.jsp?story=427888
False memories (24 Jul) - False memories are a common occurrence in the courtroom and in everyday life, and have long been considered by psychologists as a side effect of efforts to boost memory. New research from Tufts University has answered the question of how to increase memory, without also increasing corresponding false memories. See http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2003-07/tu-tup072403.php
Domestic violence (24 Jul) - Children who witness their parents using violence against each other and who regularly receive excessive punishment are at increased risk of being involved in an abusive relationship as an adult, according to a 20-year study that followed children into adult romantic relationships. In partner violence cases that result in injury, the study finds that being the victim of physical abuse and conduct disorders as a child are also important risk factors. See http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2003-07/apa-etv072203.php
Tending hungry hearts and unsettled minds | A new crop of popular psychology titles keeps pace with the national malaise (Publishers Weekly). See http://publishersweekly.reviewsnews.com/index.asp?layout=article&articleid=CA308250&publication=publishersweekly
Exercise Best Way To Reduce Anxiety, University Of Missouri Study Finds
Recently, most experts have agreed that a moderate to low amount of regular exercise can ease personal tension and stress. However, a new study by researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia shows that a relatively high-intensity exercise is superior in reducing stress and anxiety that may lead to heart disease. Moreover, the researchers found that high-intensity exercise especially benefits women. See http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/07/030715091511.htm
Why do we dream? Ernest Hartmann, a professor of psychiatry at Tufts University School of Medicine and the director of the Sleep Disorders Center at Newton Wellesley Hospital in Boston, Mass., explains. See http://sciam.rsc03.net/servlet/cc?lJpDWBWEpIllFJhtJHlmDgLmEaEW
Where's Poppa? Absent dads linked to early sexual activity by daughters. Long-term studies conducted in the United States and New Zealand indicate that girls are particularly likely to engage in sexual activity before age 16 and to get pregnant as teenagers if they grew up in families without a father present. See http://www.sciencenews.org/20030719/fob2.asp
Gene More Than Doubles Risk Of Depression Following Life Stresses
Among people who suffered multiple stressful life events over 5 years, 43 percent with one version of a gene developed depression, compared to only 17 percent with another version of the gene, say researchers funded, in part, by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). See http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/07/030718084416.htm
Mate choice (7 Jul) - Not looks or money but rather life-long fidelity is what most people seek in an ideal mate, according to a Cornell University behavioral study that also confirmed the "likes-attract" theory: We tend to look for the same characteristics in others that we see in ourselves. See http://www.news.cornell.edu/releases/July03/mate_preference.hrs.html
Depression (5 Jul) - New findings suggests that some people with depression might have problems metabolizing the B vitamin folate -- supporting the idea that supplements could help ward off the condition, researchers say. See http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=571&ncid=751/20030705/hl_nm/vitamin_depression_dc
do not attract in mating game
People search for partners of similar income, attractiveness and education, suggests new research - stability may be the reason. See http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99993887
Schizophrenia (1 Jul) - People at risk of developing schizophrenia may soon be identified years before they develop any symptoms, psychiatrists have said. See http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/3036656.stm
Development - education (23 Jun) - Constructivist pedagogy draws on Piaget's developmental theory. Because Piaget depicted the emergence of formal reasoning skills in adolescence as part of the normal developmental pattern, many constructivists have assumed that intrinsic motivation is possible for all academic tasks. This paper argues that Piaget's concept of a formal operational stage has not been empirically verified and that the cognitive skills associated with that stage are in fact "biologically secondary abilities" (Geary and Bjorklund, 2000) culturally determined abilities that are difficult to acquire. Thus, it is unreasonable to expect that intrinsic motivation will suffice for most students for most higher level academic tasks. See http://human-nature.com/ep/articles/ep01127137.html
The God of 12 steps | Spiritual component in recovery programs is essential to some, irritating to others (Deseret Morning News, Salt Lake City). See http://deseretnews.com/dn/view/0,1249,505040006,00.html
Psychopathy (20 Jun) - The levels of two chemicals in the spinal fluid may give doctors extra clues about the presence of psychopathic personality traits. The findings of a Swedish research team may also bring scientists closer to understanding the root cause of these problems. See http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/3007342.stm
Shyness (19 Jun) - Whether a person avoids novelty or embraces may depend in part on brain differences that have existed from infancy, new findings suggest. When shown pictures of unfamiliar faces, adults who were shy toddlers showed a relatively high level of activity in a part of the brain called the amygdala. Adults who were more outgoing toddlers showed less activity in this brain structure, which is related to emotion and novelty. See http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2003-06/aaft-bsa061203.php
Addiction (18 Jun) - Adolescents are more vulnerable than any other age group to developing nicotine, alcohol and other drug addictions because the regions of the brain that govern impulse and motivation are not yet fully formed, Yale researchers have found. See http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2003-06/yu-aan061803.php
Eye Movement Studies To Help Diagnose Mental Illness
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago are studying subtle abnormalities in eye movements that may one day be used to diagnose psychiatric disease. See http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/06/030618080220.htm
UCSD Researchers Identify Gene Involved In Bipolar Disorder
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine have identified a specific gene that causes bipolar disorder in a subset of patients who suffer from this debilitating psychiatric illness. See http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/06/030617080403.htm
Decision making (12 Jun) - In a paper reported in the June 13 issue of Science, Princeton psychologists used brain-imaging technology to study people as they made decisions that caused them needlessly to lose money and found that negative emotional states can override logical thinking. The study supports a growing area of research called behavioral economics, which departs from conventional theory by considering psychological factors other than pure logic in individual decision-making. See http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2003-06/pu-srn061103.php
Like Fine Wine, Personality Improves with Age. Growing older gives us much to grumble about, but new findings may help to offset those woes: personality, scientists say, appears to improve with age. Some experts argue that personality is genetically programmed to stop changing at a certain age. Others assert that some aspects may morph throughout adulthood, but not much. The new work suggests that personality is plastic and that the changes that come with age are generally for the better. See http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?chanID=sa003&articleID=000F2D32-30BE-1EBC-BDC0809EC588EEDF
Worrying news. People prone to anxiety are more likely to get cancer, suggests a study of over 60,000 people in Norway. The findings add to the controversy over whether purely psychological factors can trigger cancer. One theoretical link is that negative psychological states decrease the efficiency of the immune system, therefore allowing cancer cells to grow undetected. Another study, of people with depression, does indeed reveal dramatic reductions in immune functions. See http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99993767
Happiness - meditation (22 May) - Buddhists who meditate may be able to train their brains to feel genuine happiness and control aggressive instincts, research has shown. See http://news.independent.co.uk/world/science_medical/story.jsp?story=408411
Manic depression (21 May) - Important developments in the treatment of manic depression were presented for the first time today at the American Psychiatric Association's (APA) annual meeting, the largest psychiatric congress in the world, which indicate that Seroquel (quetiapine) is an effective, well tolerated and fast-acting treatment for the manic symptoms of manic depression. See http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2003-05/shi-ntc052103.php
Schizophrenia (15 May) - Researchers at the University of Alberta have discovered a genetic flaw in a family suffering with schizophrenia that may help to explain an important biochemical process implicated in the onset of the disease. See http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2003-05/uoa-rdi051503.php
Consciousness (19 May) - There are all sorts of gaps in our conscious experience which has prompted some to argue that we don't actually see the world as it really is. Yes, seriously, could it all be a grand illusion? The conundrum of human consciousness strikes again on All in the Mind. See http://www.abc.net.au/rn/science/mind/s849289.htm
Neuroscience - dyslexia(18 May) - Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to study brain activity in children, researchers today confirmed part of an eighty-year-old theory on the neurobiological basis of reading disability, and shed new light on brain regions that change as children become accomplished readers. See http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2003-05/gumc-wor051603.php
Angry kids at greater risk of heart disease
Hostile children are up to three times more prone to key risk factors leading to cardiovascular disease than more serene kids. See http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99993741
Video games boost visual skills
Gamers score off the charts in several standard vision tests, while non-gamers improve dramatically after just 10 hours action. http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99993775
Infant crying (12 May) - Infants are born into an uncertain parenting environment, which can range from indulgent care of offspring to infanticide. Infant cries are in large part adaptations that maintain proximity to and elicit care from caregivers. There is not strong evidence for acoustically distinct cry types, however, but infant cries may function as a graded signal. See http://www.bbsonline.org/Preprints/Soltis-11072002/Referees/
Is Not Set By 30; It Can Change Throughout Life
Do peoples personalities change after 30? They can, according to researchers who examined 132,515 adults age 21-60 on the personality traits known as the Big Five: conscientiousness, agreeableness, neuroticism, openness and extraversion. These findings are reported in the May issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, published by the American Psychological Association (APA). See http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/05/030513075924.htm
Absent fathers linked to teenage pregnancies
Girls from fatherless families become sexually active earlier but the usual explanation - higher family stress - is being challenged. See http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99993724
Schizophrenia (15 May) - Researchers at the University of Alberta have discovered a genetic flaw in a family suffering with schizophrenia that may help to explain an important biochemical process implicated in the onset of the disease. See http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2003-05/uoa-rdi051503.php
Free will(8 May) - Now that the human genome - the sum of all our genes - has been decoded, does it appear that a person's destiny is fixed for all time in the letters of his or her DNA? See http://www.kansas.com/mld/kansas/news/5809543.htm
Neuroscience (8 May) - Neuroscience is now big business, with discoveries coming thick and fast. The time to worry about the future of our brains is now, says Steven Rose. See http://www.guardian.co.uk/life/lastword/story/0,13228,951057,00.html
Violent song lyrics increase aggression
Songs loaded with violent imagery do increase aggressive thoughts and emotions, new research shows. See http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99993695
Blowing Off Self-Esteem. Psychologists debunk the notion that high self-regard leads to high performance. See http://sciencenow.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/2003/509/3?etoc
Schizophrenia - genetics (7 May) - Studies of a gene that affects how efficiently the brain's frontal lobes process information are revealing some untidy consequences of a tiny variation in its molecular structure and how it may increase susceptibility to schizophrenia. People with a common version of the gene associated with more efficient working memory and frontal lobe information processing may pay a penalty in adverse responses to amphetamine, in heightened anxiety and sensitivity to pain. Yet, another common version may slightly bias the brain toward a pattern of neurochemical activity associated with psychosis, report researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). See http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2003-05/niom-gep050703.php
Schizophrenia (6 May) - Auditory hallucinations are a hallmark of schizophrenia: 50 percent to 75 percent of the 2.8 million Americans who suffer from the illness hear voices that are not there. See http://www.nytimes.com/2003/05/06/health/psychology/06VOIC.html
Bipolar disorder (6 May) - A study by researchers at the San Francisco VA Medical Center indicates that people with bipolar disorder may suffer progressive brain damage. See http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2003-05/uoc--ssb050603.php
No Psychology articles in April
Be Grateful, Be Happy: Counting your blessings can improve your outlook on life. See http://sciencenow.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/2003/321/3?etoc
Psychoanalysis (22 Mar) - Sigmund Freud is both revered as a giant of twentieth-century thought and derided by mainstream psychologists and psychiatrists for his lack of scientific rigour. But in recent years, Freud's inspired guesses have been put under systematic scrutiny - and many have been proved to be accurate. Oliver James, a psychologist himself, and the son of psychoanalysts, explains how. See http://www.guardian.co.uk/weekend/story/0,3605,918281,00.html
Psychotherapy(12 Mar) - Despite the huge growth in the number of psychotherapists, you'd be better off talking to an intelligent friend, says Raj Persaud. See http://www.telegraph.co.uk/connected/main.jhtml;$/2003/03/14/ixconn.html
Marriage - happiness (16 Mar) - In a large longitudinal study that sheds new light on the association between marital status and happiness, researchers have found that people get a boost in life satisfaction from marriage. But the increase in happiness is very small -- approximately one tenth of one point on an 11-point scale -- and is likely due to initial reactions to marriage and then a return to prior levels of happiness. Data from the 15-year study of over 24,000 individuals living in Germany also indicates that most people who get married and stayed married are more satisfied with their lives than their non-married peers long before the marriage occurred. See http://www.apa.org/releases/married_happy.html
Alcohol Dependence Linked To Chemical Deficit
Anxiety has long been linked to substance abuse. It is the key psychological factor driving the impulse to drink alcohol and one of the first symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. Now, researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have discovered they can control the urge to drink in experimental animals by manipulating the molecular events in the brain that underlie anxiety. See http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/03/030319075740.htm
Binge eating (20 Mar) - A weak gene -- not weak willpower -- makes some binge-eaters stuff themselves, a study suggests. But it also points to possible help: a future pill that might cool their appetites. See http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/national/AP-Binge-Eating-Gene.html
Neurotheology (21 Mar) - According to Horizon (BBC2), our belief in belief is hardwired into our brains, and visions - like that of St Paul on the road to Damascus, on which sects, cults and denominations are founded - can be explained as fits of temporal lobe epilepsy. See http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv_and_radio/story/0,3604,918780,00.html also http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/horizon/2003/godonbrain.shtml
People Will Believe Almost Anything: Memories of impossible events can be implanted into people's minds. See http://sciencenow.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/2003/218/1?etoc also http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/02/030217115223.htm
Memories of Space Alien Abduction: True believers react as though they really were kidnapped by little green men. See http://sciencenow.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/2003/217/1?etoc
Headship with a Heart: How biblical patriarchy actually prevents abuse. By Steven Tracy. See http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2003/002/5.50.html
Wrath Control: Pop psychology teaches that restraining anger will only make you sick. Not according to Jesus. By M. Blaine Smith. See http://ChristianityToday.com/ct/2003/002/8.68.html
Why do we Fall in Love? http://health.discovery.com/centers/loverelationships/articles/fallinlove.html
The Top Ten Myths of Marriage http://health.discovery.com/centers/loverelationships/articles/marriage_myths.html
Grieving Parents Head for an Early Grave: Jan. 31,2003 Parents who lose a child run a major risk of dying prematurely, according to a Danish study which suggests the stress of grief may lead to cancer, heart disease, heavy smoking and reckless drinking. See http://health.discovery.com/news/afp/20030127/grief.html
Child abuse (Feb 7, 2003) - Most men who were abused as boys do not go on to abuse children themselves, a study suggests. Researchers at the Institute of Child Health in London have found evidence to suggest that just one in eight continues the cycle of abuse. See http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/2732083.stm
Meditation (Feb 4, 2003) - In a small but highly provocative study, a University of Wisconsin-Madison research team has found, for the first time, that a short program in "mindfulness meditation" produced lasting positive changes in both the brain and the function of the immune system. See http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2003-02/uow-usr020303.php
NEUROBIOLOGY: Why? The Neuroscience of Suicide By Carol Ezzell: Brain chemistry might explain why some people impulsively choose to end their lives. See http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?colID=1&articleID=0006AF90-5BC7-1E1B-8B3B809EC588EEDF
Playing with Fire-- Why People Engage in Risky Behavior: For a teenager, sneaking a beer is one thing; shooting up heroin is quite another. Missing a parentally imposed curfew is almost expected; disappearing for days is heart-wrenching. There is risk, and then there is risk. Figuring out what differentiates experimenting teenagers from delinquents and lifelong reckless hearts is not easy; behaviors typically stem from complex social, environmental, and biological interactions. Even defining risky conduct can be difficult. See http://www.the-scientist.com/yr2003/jan/research3_030127.html
Child Development (23 Jan) - Children growing up in single-parent families are twice as likely as their counterparts to develop serious psychiatric illnesses and addictions later in life, according to an important new study. See http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/news/nation/5018073.htm
Neuroscience: Battle for your Brain. - Science is developing ways to boost intelligence, expand memory, and more. But will you be allowed to change your own mind? By Ronald Bailey. See http://www.reason.com/0302/fe.rb.the.shtml
Discover Anxiety And Aggression Gene In Mice; Opens New Door To Study Of
Mood Disorders In Humans
Researchers report finding a gene that is essential for normal levels of anxiety and aggression. Calling it the Pet-1 gene, researchers at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine Department of Neurosciences say that when this gene is removed or "knocked out" in a mouse, aggression and anxiety in adults are greatly elevated compared to a control mouse. See http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/01/030123072840.htm
Time MagazineCover: Your
Mind, Your Body See http://www.time.com/time/covers/1101030120/story.html
Depression: Power of Mood A Formula for Joy?
Graphic: Stress's Toll
Disorders: Through the Ages
Remedies: What You Can Do
The Year in Medicine: A to Z
Special Report: Carbs vs. Fats
Drug Use Associated With Psychiatric Disorders Later In Life
Children who start to use alcohol, marijuana or other illicit drugs in their early teen years are more likely to experience psychiatric disorders, especially depression, in their late 20's. See http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/01/030115070706.htm
Depression (15 Jan) - A persistent, long-lasting headache or an endlessly painful back may indicate something more serious than a bad week at the office. A new study finds that people who have major depression are more than twice as likely to have chronic pain when compared to people who have no symptoms of depression. This study could change how depression is diagnosed and treated, say Stanford School of Medicine researchers. See http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2003-01/sumc-dac_1011503.php
Freud's Comeback: "Couching Tiger" (11 Jan) - The followers of Freud are making a major comeback in the land of the hidden dragon. Mao dismissed psychiatry as 'a phony science' that is '90 per cent useless,' but his edict has been lifted. http://www.globeandmail.com/servlet/ArticleNews/Health/health/health_temp/1/1/3/
Psychiatric disorders: The chicken or the egg? http://www.nature.com/nrnlink/v4/n1/full/nrn1027_fs.html
Afterlife: Cognition and culture (26 Nov) - A new study by a University of Arkansas psychologist proposes that beliefs about the afterlife may amount to more than a cultural construct. They may in fact have a biological basis - arising from the human brain's unique ability to comprehend the mental states of other people. See http://testsite.ascribe.org/cgi-bin/spew4th.pl?ascribeid=%20PST&year=2002&public=1