Map of global emotions shows the world is more stressed out than ever

The world hasn’t been this stressed since at least 2006, when Gallup started its annual survey of global emotions. (Credit: Steve Christo / Corbis via Getty Images) If you’re feeling worse than ever, you’re not alone. Negative emotions have ...

Molecular Changes in the Brain in the Aftermath of a Traumatic Event May Help Explain Long-Term Susceptibility or Resilience

Summary: In mice genetically more susceptible to PTSD following a stressful event, researchers found an increased expression of cortisol receptors on neurons in the CA1 region of the dorsal hippocampus. Those increased receptors enabled an elevated expression of the HCN1 ...

Observations in Macaques Provide New Insights Into How Mothers Form Attachments to Their Newborns

Summary: Female macaques appear to form an attachment to their infants via tactile sensations of their soft textures rather than on other cues, including sight and sound. Source: Harvard Neurobiologist Margaret Livingstone never expected to publish a study on maternal ...

Heart Medication Shows Potential as Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder

Summary: Spironolactone, a medication commonly used to lower blood pressure and for treating heart-related problems, shows potential for the treatment of alcohol use disorder. Source: NIH A medication for heart problems and high blood pressure may also be effective for treating ...

Nearly One in Ten in the US Reports Having Depression

Summary: A new study finds that the prevalence of depression is highest in women, adolescents, and young adults. Source: Columbia University Increases in depression without commensurate increases in treatment are widespread, reports a study conducted at Columbia University Mailman School of ...

Social Touch and Its Newly Discovered Neural Pathway

Summary: A neural pathway that leads directly from the thalamus to the hypothalamus plays a critical role in processing touch information, a new study reveals. Source: ETLE Touch plays an important role in social behavior. A kind gesture, a hug, ...

Plato’s “Republic” was a totalitarian nightmare, not a utopia

Literature and philosophy are littered with visions of utopia drawn up by thinkers with various ideological frameworks. Some are based on alternative economic systems; some fit a specific view of human psychology; others hope to find harmony with nature. ...

Multitude of Stressful Events in 2020 May Have Harmed Social Development of Young Adults

Summary: The stressful events of 2020 may have harmed the social development of young people at a crucial point in their lives, a new study reports. Source: Society for Personality and Social Psychology 2020 was a uniquely stressful year – ...

Don’t Look at Me Like That: Integration of Gaze Direction and Facial Expression

Summary: The emotional expressions of faces influence how their gazes shape our attention. Source: University of Würzburg Does eye contact always attract attention? Not in every case, as a research team at the University of Würzburg’s Institute of Psychology has ...

2 in 3 Parents Say Their Child Is Self-Conscious About Their Appearance

Summary: 1 in 3 parents say their children have been treated unkindly due to their appearance, and 1 in 5 parents say their children avoid certain activities based upon insecurities about their appearance. Source: University of Michigan The majority of ...

Life inside a reeducation camp in Mao Zedong’s China

In his book The Gulag Archipelago, Russian writer Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn reflects on the eight years he spent inside a system of Soviet prison camps scattered across the Siberian tundra. Inside the gulag, political prisoners like Solzhenitsyn were sent out ...

Fit for Work at Over 50

Summary: Workers over 50 often benefit from better mental performance, self-confidence, psychological resilience, and a greater sense of well-being, especially if exposed to specific training sessions. Source: University of Bonn Am I over the hill? This question comes up regularly ...

Teen Alcohol Misuse Is a Driver of Poorer Health and Dissatisfaction in Midlife

Summary: Teenagers with problematic alcohol use are more likely to experience poorer health and worse life satisfaction during their mid-thirties. Source: Research Society on Alcoholism Alcohol misuse in adolescence affects physical health and life satisfaction over multiple decades, outcomes that ...

Malevolent creativity: How human nature blinds us from novel threats

There’s a military aphorism that generals are always fighting the last war. It’s a natural human tendency to focus on the kinds of threats you’re used to while playing down the likelihood or importance of some new sort of ...

Escape the perfectionist trap with the Japanese philosophy of “wabi sabi”

I’m a bit of a perfectionist. I plan vacations to a T, my mind replays blunders on loop, and the thought that there might be typos in my articles makes my jaw clench in agitation. Okay, maybe more than ...

Adults Show Poorer Cognition, Better Well-Being with Age

Summary: Significantly worse symptoms of depression, anxiety, and loneliness were seen in younger people, while older people showed greater mental well-being. However, when it came to cognition, task performance was worse in older adults. Source: UCSD The young and old ...

Cannabis Users No Less Likely to Be Motivated or Able to Enjoy Life’s Pleasure

Summary: Cannabis users show no difference in motivation for rewards, pleasure from rewards, or the brain’s response to reward-seeking than non-cannabis users. Source: UCL Adult and adolescent cannabis users are no more likely than non-users to lack motivation or be ...

Why Are Young People So Miserable?

Summary: Examining a dozen measures of psychological well-being, researchers found young adults tally the lowest scores of any age group. Source: Harvard Twenty years ago, life satisfaction surveys of those 18 and older showed the highest readings among America’s younger ...

Fruit, Vegetables and Exercise Can Make You Happier

Summary: Consuming fruits and vegetables, and exercise makes people happier, not the other way around, a new study reports. Increased happiness was associated with eating more fruits and vegetables in women, and in exercising more in men. Source: University of ...

Personalized Prediction of Depression Treatment Outcomes With Wearables

Summary: A new multitask model artificial intelligence algorithm based on data from wearables predicts treatment outcomes on an individual basis for those with depression. Source: WUSTL Over the past several years, managing one’s mental health has become more of a ...

Fitness Trackers Reveal Links Between Exercise, Memory, and Mental Health

Summary: Specific intensities of exercise over a long period of time are associated with different aspects of memory and mental health. Source: Dartmouth College Exercise can improve your cognitive and mental health — but not all forms and intensities of ...

How a subtle gesture can make anyone feel a sense of belonging

Excerpted from Belonging: The Science of Creating Connection and Bridging Divides by Geoffrey L. Cohen. Copyright © 2022 by Geoffrey L. Cohen. Used with permission of the publisher, W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. All rights reserved. A friend ...

If you want people to like you, should you talk more or less?

In conversations with strangers, people tend to think they should speak less than half the time to be likable but more than half the time to be interesting, according to new research my colleagues Tim Wilson, Dan Gilbert and ...

Obtaining Effects Through Virtual Reality Comparable to Those of Psychedelic Drugs

Summary: Researchers reveal how participating in a group virtual reality experience can produce responses similar to those triggered by psychedelics. Source: Singular Research Centers Network A paper published in the journal Scientific Reports demonstrates how virtual reality group experiences can produce responses ...

Stress and Worry Over the State of the World Keeps Some Americans up at Night

Summary: 1 in 5 Americans report trouble falling asleep at night, citing worry and stress over world events as a reason for their sleeplessness. Source: Ohio State University A new national survey by The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center finds many ...

Our overworked society has created a bunch of adrenaline junkies

Maybe this sounds familiar? You start the day with one to several cups of coffee, each kick-starting your body to secrete a dose of stress hormones. You then spend the next eight-plus hours over-scheduled, overworked, and procrastinating. The workload ...

Past History of Abuse Leads to Worse Menopause Symptoms

Summary: Women who have experienced physical, sexual, or financial abuse face worse menopause symptoms and poorer well-being two decades later. Source: NAMS Adversity occurring early in a woman’s life will likely continue taking its toll physically and mentally years after ...

Moral Illusions May Alter Our Behavior

Summary: Moral illusions can fool our decision-making, making us more selfish, a new study reveals. Source: Linkoping University Just as optical illusions can fool the eye to present a distorted image of reality, moral illusions can fool our decision-making ability, ...

Problems Persist for Kids Exposed to Cannabis in the Womb

Summary: Prenatal exposure to cannabis was associated with an increased risk of neuropsychological disorders, including anxiety and depression, in children. The risk grows as they enter adolescence and adulthood. Source: WUSTL Children who were exposed to cannabis in the womb ...

US Presidential Narcissism Linked to Longer Wars

Summary: Evaluating former United States presidents, researchers report wars last longer under presidents who score highest on narcissistic personality traits. Source: Ohio State U.S. wars last longer under presidents who score high on a measure of narcissism, new research suggests. ...

When tragedy becomes banal: Why you’re having crisis fatigue

When Vladimir Putin launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine by land, air and sea on Feb. 24, 2022, the images of war were conveyed to dismayed onlookers around the world. Far from the action, many of us became aware ...

No, 90% of new businesses don’t fail. Here’s why.

Adapted from Build for Tomorrow copyright © 2022 by Jason Feifer. Used by permission of Harmony Books, an imprint of Random House, a division of Penguin Random House LLC, New York. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt ...

Withstand Psychiatric Stress: Jumping Gene Strongly Linked to Depression, Fear, and Anxiety

Scientists discovered a gene that plays an important role in reducing depression, fear, and anxiety. By combining neuroscience with molecular biology, scientists have discovered that a well-known gene works to withstand psychiatric stress. Researchers have found that Tob, a ...

How Many Drinks Is Too Many?

Summary: Even low doses of alcohol can spark transcriptomic and epigenomic changes in brain areas associated with addiction. Source: University of Illinois A new rodent study shows that even small quantities of alcohol can trigger epigenomic and transciptomic changes in ...

Daytime Eating May Benefit Mental Health

Summary: The time of day at which you eat your meals may have a significant impact on symptoms of anxiety and depression, a new study reports. Source: Brigham and Women’s Hospital Beating the blues with food? A new study adds ...

Would you trust a female mechanic? A look at the subtle prejudice of “epistemic injustice”

The team is hunched over the quiz paper. Marie knows the answer. “It’s leopards,” she says, confidently. Keegan, who’s holding the pen, makes an unsure noise. Marie frowns. After a few long, awkward moments, Nick pipes up. “I think ...

Children Don’t Believe Everything They Are Told

Summary: As children age, they become more skeptical of what adults tell them. Older children, therefore, are more likely to effectively test surprising claims made by adults. Source: Society for Research in Child Development Children learn on their own through ...

How We Misunderstand Anxiety and Miss Out on Its Benefits

Summary: Feeling anxious actually releases dopamine, motivating us to take action to pursue rewards and make changes to bring forth the futures we desire. Source: UC When you or a loved one feels anxious, how do you respond? According to ...

Bullies Have Increased Risk for Violent Offenses

Summary: Children who bully others between the ages of 8 and 9 are more likely to commit violent offenses by the age of 31. Source: University of Turku Children who bullied others at the age of 8–9 have higher hazard ...

Food Insecurity Has Lasting Impacts on the Brains and Behavior of Mice

Summary: Food insecurity has lasting effects on both behavior and brain function in mice. Mice who grew up with food insecurity were more flexible in uncertain situations. Source: UC Berkeley While food insecurity is a problem for a growing segment ...

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