Sleep-deprived people make risky decisions based on too much optimism DURHAM, N.C., and SINGAPORE -- The powers that be in Las Vegas figured out something long before neuroscientists at two Duke University medical schools confirmed their ideas this week: Trying to make decisions while sleep-deprived can lead to a case of optimism. The scientists showed, using a functional MRI, that a night of sleep deprivation leads to increased brain activity in brain regions that assess positive outcomes, while at the same time this deprivation leads to decreased activation in the brain areas that process negative outcomes. Sleep-deprived individuals in the study tended to make choices that emphasized monetary gain, and were less likely to make choices that reduced loss. While this wasn't true for all of the subjects, the findings are worth heeding.
New research shows a possible explanation for the link between mental health and creativity. By studying receptors in the brain, researchers at the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet have managed to show that the dopamine system in healthy, highly creative people is similar in some respects to that seen in people with schizophrenia. High creative skills have been shown to be somewhat more common in people who have mental illness in the family. Creativity is also linked to a slightly higher risk of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Certain psychological traits, such as the ability to make unusual pr bizarre associations are also shared by schizophrenics and healthy, highly creative people. And now the correlation between creativity and mental health has scientific backing.
The end of 2010 fast approaches, and I'm thrilled to have been asked by the editors of Psychology Today to write about the Top 10 psychology studies of the year. I've focused on studies that I personally feel stand out, not only as examples of great science, but even more importantly, as examples of how the science of psychology can improve our lives. Each study has a clear "take home" message, offering the reader an insight or a simple strategy they can use to reach their goals , strengthen their relationships, make better decisions, or become happier. If you extract the wisdom from these ten studies and apply them in your own life, 2011 just might be a very good year.
Psychological research suggests simple actions can project power, persuade others, increase empathy, boost cognitive performance and more… We tend to think of body language as something that expresses our internal states to the outside world. But it also works the other way around: the position of our body also influences our mind.
A wealth of psychological insights from ten more key social psychology studies. Over the last 7 months I’ve been exploring 10 more of my favourite social psychology studies, each with an insightful story to tell about how our minds work. This follows on from an article I wrote two years ago (10 brilliant social psychology studies).
10 Hidden Benefits of Smiling Smiles are about much more than just showing pleasure. Psychological research reveals 10 ways to use them to your advantage. People are always smiling, especially in groups, but it doesn’t just signal that they’re happy, far from it.
WHAT YOU ARE ABOUT TO READ IN THE NEXT PARAGRAPH IS COMMONLY BELIEVED, BUT NOT TRUE – You read by recognizing the shapes of words and groups of words. Words that are in all capital letters all have the same shape: a rectangle of a certain size. This makes words displayed in all uppercase harder to read than upper and lower case (known as “mixed case”).
“Music helps me concentrate,” Mike said to me glancing briefly over his shoulder. Mike was in his room writing a paper for his U.S. History class.
ChitoGauze (Photograph courtesy of HemCon Medical Technologies, Inc.) HemCon Medical Technologies manufactures bandages and wound dressings that harness the power of the sea. The company's products use chitosan, a biopolymer made from a component in the exoskeletons of crab, shrimp and other crustacean exoskeletons.
December 18, 2009 3:30 AM Patching Damaged Hearts Early attempts to grow heart-repair patches with embryonic stem cells kept running into a glitch: because oxygen and nutrients only penetrated the outer edges of the patch, cells in the center died. Five Body Parts You May Be Able to Regrow Soon(ish)
Neurotransmitter Molecules Neurotransmitters can be broadly split into two groups – the ‘classical’, small molecule neurotransmitters and the relatively larger neuropeptide neurotransmitters. Within the category of small molecule neurotransmitters, the biogenic amines (dopamine, noradrenaline, serotonin and histamine) are often referred to as a discrete group because of their similarity in terms of their chemical properties.
Love Deactivates Brain Areas For Fear, Planning, Critical Social Assessment Love Deactivates Brain Areas For Fear, Planning, Critical Social Assessment Andreas Bartels and Semir Zeki of the Wellcome Department of Imaging Neuroscience, University College London have found using Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) that love turns down activity in some areas of the brain in part so that we will not see flaws in the object of our affections. However the key result was that it's not just that certain shared areas of the brain are reliably activated in both romantic and maternal love, but also particular locations are deactivated and it's the deactivation which is perhaps most revealing about love. Among other areas, parts of the pre-frontal cortex – a bit of the brain towards the front and implicated in social judgment – seems to get switched off when we are in love and when we love our children, as do areas linked with the experience of negative emotions such as aggression and fear as well as planning.
Fear burns memories into our brain, and new research by University of California, Berkeley, neuroscientists explains how. Scientists have long known that fear and other highly emotional experiences lead to incredibly strong memories. In a study appearing online today (Tuesday, June 14) in advance of publication in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, UC Berkeley’s Daniela Kaufer and colleagues report a new way for emotions to affect memory: The brain’s emotional center, the amygdala, induces the hippocampus, a relay hub for memory, to generate new neurons. The figure shows newly born nerve cells (green) colocalizing with a neuronal marker which indicates immature nerve cells (red). Astrocytes are labelled in blue.