New research using cutting-edge brain imaging technology has offered the first glimpse into how new concepts develop in the human brainNew research using cutting-edge brain imaging technology has offered the first glimpse into how new concepts develop in the human brain -- to the point where it's possible to tell exactly what kind of object someone's thinking about
Harvard researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital find that participating in an eight-week mindfulness meditation program appears to make measurable changes in brain regions associated with memory, sense of self, empathy, and stress.
As we turn our awareness to the shift from “me” to “we,” we are faced with the joys and sorrows of maintaining healthy relationships. Supported by both Buddhism and Western psychology, the keys to healthy relationships include not only empathy and compassion, but also the assertive strength and boundaries that allow us to keep our heart open. These states of mind are based on underlying states of your brain. The emerging integration of modern neuroscience and ancient contemplative wisdom offers increasingly skillful means for activating those brain states--and thus for cultivating a caring heart, effective communication, balance during upsets and more fulfilling relationships.
Gender, age and place of residence influence development of depressive symptoms among older people, new research shows. Residents of the Italian island of Sardinia are known for their longevity. Now, a new study also shows that elderly Sardinians are less depressed and generally are in a better mental frame of mind than peers living elsewhere.
Jone Johnson Lewis's insight:
Where we live -- the culture around us -- can influence whether we experience symptoms of depression.
Inspiration has been linked with people at risk of developing bipolar disorder for the first time in a study led by Lancaster University. For generations, artists, musicians, poets and writers have described personal experiences of mania and depression, highlighting the unique association between creativity and bipolar disorder – experiences which are backed up by recent research. But, until now, the specific links between inspiration - the generation of ideas that form the basis of creative work - and bipolar disorder has received little attention.
A new psychology study has found that a sample of mostly white American children -- as young as seven, and particularly by age 10 -- report that black children feel less pain than white children. The author noted that this finding is important because many kinds of explicit biases emerge in early childhood, but those types of biases often decline in later childhood. However, the racial bias in children's perceptions of others' pain appears to strengthen from early to late childhood.
Jone Johnson Lewis's insight:
Really? Is it any surprise that children "as young as seven" might be influenced by family biases or -- gasp -- media programming?
For people 60 and older who do not have dementia, light alcohol consumption during late life is associated with higher episodic memory -- the ability to recall memories of events -- researchers report.
Researchers have some new insights into how power diminishes a person's capacity for empathy. According to scientists, a sense of power shuts down a part of the brain that helps us connect with others.
The Department of Defense announced a $40 million investment in direct brain recording. The aim is to develop new, memory-aiding treatments for traumatic brain injury, the signature wound of the wars in Iraq and in Afghanistan.
Ever notice how Harry Potter's T-shirt changes from a crewneck to a henley shirt in the "Order of the Phoenix," or how in "Pretty Woman," Julia Roberts' croissant inexplicably morphs into a pancake? Don't worry if you missed those continuity bloopers. Vision scientists at UC Berkeley and MIT have discovered an upside to the brain mechanism that can blind us to subtle visual changes in the movies and in the real world.
Researchers at The Ohio State University have found a way for computers to recognize 21 distinct facial expressions -- even expressions for complex or seemingly contradictory emotions such as "happily disgusted" or "sadly angry." In the current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, they report that they were able to more than triple the number of documented facial expressions that researchers can now use for cognitive analysis.
Many children are admitted to general acute wards with mental health problems mistaken for physical disease. Somatic symptoms, such as abdominal pain, headaches, limb pain and tiredness, often mask underlying problems and result in the NHS spending money on investigations to eliminate wrongly diagnosed disease. A literature review examines how children's nurses can recognize such complaints and help to address them.
Jone Johnson Lewis's insight:
Though one wonders as well how often a children's mental health issues lead to ignoring real physical problems.
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