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November 2005

November 9

The Neurobiology of the Self
How does the brain's activity give rise to a constant sense of being oneself? Biologists are slowly teasing out an answer.

September 2005

September 20

Brain Serotonin Could Link Anxiety, Anorexia
Women with a certain type of anorexia nervosa show altered serotonin activity in their brains, a finding doctors believe could link the eating disorder to anxiety levels.

Battle in the brain predicts risky behaviour
Pleasure and anxiety centres decide when a safe bet beats a dicey one.

NIMH Study To Guide Treatment Choices For Schizophrenia
A large study for the first time provides detailed information comparing the effectiveness and side effects of five medications -- both new and older medications -- that are currently used.

August 2005

August 2

Medication Eases Obsessive-compulsive Symptoms
A medication used to ease symptoms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease, also is helpful in treating people with treatment-resistant obsessive-compulsive.

Stress Slows Wound Healing; Oxygen Helps
Wound healing is slow when an animal is stressed, but supplying oxygen almost completely reverses the effect, according to researchers at the University of Illinois.

July 2005

July 20

Self Tests
A fascinating collection of tests that are as fun to share as they are to take. 

Emotional Eating
Why do we eat junk food when we're stressed?

July 6

Psyching Out Evolutionary Psychology: Interview with David J. Buller
Philosopher of science David Buller has a bone to pick with evolutionary psychology, the idea that some important human behaviors are best explained as evolutionary adaptations to the struggles we faced tens to hundreds of thousands of years ago as hunter-gatherers.

Scans Show How Hypnosis Affects Brain Activity
The word "hypnosis" tends to conjure up images of subjects partaking in silly activities they might not otherwise agree to. But over the past few decades, scientific study of hypnosis has begun to identify how the approach can work to alter processes such as memory and pain perception. According to a new report, hypnotic suggestions regulate activity in certain regions of the brain and can help it manage cognitive conflicts.

Training the Brain
Cognitive therapy as an alternative to ADHD drugs.

Women Feel More Pain Than Men, Research Shows
Women feel pain more than men despite the popular notion that the opposite is true, according to research by the University of Bath, in England. Scientists investigating gender differences.

May 2005

May 30

Learning Software Developed By Rutgers-Newark Scientist Helps 450,000 Students With Reading
About 450,000 American schoolchildren all have used educational Fast ForWord software products developed from research that began in the lab of Rutgers-Newark professor of neuroscience Paula Tallal.

May 16

Alcohol may hit women's brains harder
Do women pay a higher price for alcohol abuse than men?

Angry heart flutters prove most dangerous
Heightened emotion linked to premature cardiac contractions.

Decipher your Dreams

Pheromone attracts straight women and gay men

April 2005

April 11

Exploding the Self-Esteem Myth 

TV may turn four-year-olds into bullies
New research suggests this age group is particularly influenced by the violence in kids' TV - the more they watch, the higher the risks.

How Animals Do Business
Humans and other animals share a heritage of economic tendencies, including cooperation, repayment of favors and resentment of unfair pay.

March 2005

March 29

Genes contribute to religious inclination
Genes play a key role in long-term religious behaviour, a new twins study suggests, and the effects of a religious upbringing may fade with time.

What is . . . neurotheology?
Neurotheology is the scientific study of what happens to brain activity during religious or spiritual experiences. It is a recent development, made possible because of advances in brain-imaging. The idea is to use the latest tools available within psychology and neuroscience to detect which parts of the brain are active during spiritual experiences. (Times, London) 

February 2005

February 21

Exploding the Self-Esteem Myth
Boosting people's sense of self-worth has become a national preoccupation. Yet surprisingly, research shows that such efforts are of little value in fostering academic progress or preventing undesirable behavior.

Study Shows Like Personalities Lead to Marriage Satisfaction
If you're wondering whether a new mate is marriage material, the results of a new study hint that you're better off looking for a bird of the same feather instead of waiting for an opposite to attract.

January 2005

January 23

Family First
Dr. Phil’s new book Family First has one feature that sets it apart from the crowded shelves of family self-help books: his chapter on divorced and blended families. He has seen first hand that the official line we’ve been given about divorce and remarriage is misleading at best and down-right false at worst. The happy talk we have been given that “children of divorce do just fine” is simply untrue. Dr. Phil might help these struggling couples see that divorce won’t necessarily solve every problem they now face. As parents, they will still have to interact with each other, even after divorce. Sometimes, brand new problems emerge while old problems are simply transferred to a different arena. "Marriage is hard, but divorce is harder." Comments by Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse.

First biological test for ADHD unveiled
The 10-minute test for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder claims a high accuracy and could one day predict which cases will respond to drugs.

Controversial Drug Shown To Act On Brain Protein To Cut Alcohol Use
A naturally occurring hallucinogen advocated by some clinicians as a potent anti-addiction drug has been rigorously studied for the first time, confirming its ability to block alcohol craving in rodents, and clarifying how it works in the brain. The new research findings about the drug Ibogaine open the way for development of other drugs to reverse addiction without Ibogaine's side effects, potentially adding to the small arsenal of drugs that effectively combat addiction.