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Optogenetics illuminates pathways of motivation through brain

Optogenetics illuminates pathways of motivation through brain | Mom Psych | Scoop.it

Bioengineers have isolated the neurons that carry split-second decisions to act from the higher brain to the brain stem. In doing so, they have provided insight into the causes of severe brain disorders such as depression.

 

In organisms as complex as humans, the neural mechanisms that help answer the question, "Is it worth my effort?" can fail, leading to debilitating mental illnesses. Major depressive disorder, for instance, which affects nearly 20 percent of people at some point in life, is correlated with underperformance in the parts of the brain involved in motivation. But researchers have struggled to work out the exact cause and effect.

 
Clinicians refer to this slowing down of motivation in depressed patients as "psychomotor retardation." According to Deisseroth, who is also a practicing psychiatrist, patients may experience this symptom mentally, finding it hard to envision the positive results of an action, or, he said, they may feel physically heavy, like their limbs just do not want to move.


"This is one of the most debilitating aspects of depression, and motivation to take action is something that we can model in animals. That's the exciting opportunity for us as researchers," said Deisseroth, who also holds the D.H. Chen Professorship. 

More:  http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121118141528.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily%2Fmind_brain+%28ScienceDaily%3A+Mind+%26+Brain+News%29 

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Mom Psych Home

Mom Psych Home | Mom Psych | Scoop.it

Psychology studies can seem confusing and contradictory. Mom Psych cuts through the clutter to bring the latest research home.


On the Web at http://www.mom-psych.com/

On Twitter at https://twitter.com/TheMomPsych

On Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/MomPsych.

 

Aunt Psych is also on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuntPsych

 

 

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Why People with Bipolar Disorder Are Bigger Risk-Takers

Why People with Bipolar Disorder Are Bigger Risk-Takers | Mom Psych | Scoop.it
Researchers have discovered that circuits in the brain involved in pursuing and relishing rewarding experiences are more strongly activated in people with bipolar disorder, guiding them towards riskier gambles and away from safer ones.
Gina Stepp's insight:

It's important to note that people with bipolar disorder sometimes also have psychotic episodes:  for instance, they may have hallucinations or delusions that lead them to believe they have special powers or that various fictional events have occurred. Estimates are that as many as 50 percent of people in bipolar depression, or 70 percent of those in manic episodes, experience psychosis. This factor also would certainly affect risk taking.

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Study Finds That Suicides Are Far More Likely to Occur after Midnight

Study Finds That Suicides Are Far More Likely to Occur after Midnight | Mom Psych | Scoop.it
A new study provides novel evidence suggesting that suicides are far more likely to occur between midnight and 4 a.m. than during the daytime or evening.
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What is Punishment?

What is Punishment? | Mom Psych | Scoop.it

On May 21st, a story came out of China about a father who had tried to punish his daughter for cheating and went too far. Tragic stories like these emphasize how confused many parents are about punishment, as well as about how behavior change works in general. What is punishment and how is it best used?

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Video Stories, Other Bonding Exercises Could Help Foster Families Connect

Video Stories, Other Bonding Exercises Could Help Foster Families Connect | Mom Psych | Scoop.it
Researchers develop a parenting program known to improve communication in non-foster families for use in foster families.
Gina Stepp's insight:

Kids may be put into foster care because their birth homes are abusive, but even so . . . kids are wired to connect to their birth parents no matter how complicated the relationship. This is why programs like these are vital . . .

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Study Finds Family-Based Exposure Therapy Effective Treatment for Young Children with OCD

Study Finds Family-Based Exposure Therapy Effective Treatment for Young Children with OCD | Mom Psych | Scoop.it
Researchers find developmentally sensitive family-based CBT including exposure/response prevention to be more effective in reducing OCD symptoms and functional impairment in young children than a similarly structured relaxation program.
Gina Stepp's insight:

Until last year, OCD was filed under "anxiety disorders" by the DSM, the mental health diagnostic manual. Now it's a separate category . . . 

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Domestic Violence Victims More Likely to Take up Smoking

Domestic Violence Victims More Likely to Take up Smoking | Mom Psych | Scoop.it
Study finds women who experienced physical or sexual violence perpetrated by their partner were 58 percent more likely to be smokers.
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Catastrophic Thoughts about the Future Linked to Suicidal Patients

Catastrophic Thoughts about the Future Linked to Suicidal Patients | Mom Psych | Scoop.it
A new study finds that distorted, catastrophic thoughts about the future are characteristic to those who attempt suicide.
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Rescooped by Gina Stepp from Personalidad, vínculo y amor en la infancia y en la vida adulta
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Attachment: The gift that keeps on giving : UMNews : University of Minnesota

Attachment: The gift that keeps on giving : UMNews : University of Minnesota | Mom Psych | Scoop.it

"Secure attachment means the child is confident—not anxious—about the availability and responsiveness of an adult," says Sroufe. "That confidence is the basis for confidence in oneself and others, and the ability to form adult relationships."


Via Josep A. Pérez Castelló
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Study: Online Self-Injury Information Often Inaccurate

Study: Online Self-Injury Information Often Inaccurate | Mom Psych | Scoop.it
People seeking help or information online about cutting and other forms of self-injury are likely finding falsehoods and myths, according to new research from the University of Guelph.
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Feeling Mostly Dead? It Must Be Daylight Saving Time

Feeling Mostly Dead? It Must Be Daylight Saving Time | Mom Psych | Scoop.it

I was going to write a post about Daylight Saving Time yesterday, but I was feeling very draggy for some reason. It couldn’t have anything to do with that tiny little nudge forward of the clock’s hour hand Sunday morning, could it? What does the research tell us about that?

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An Aunt of Good Intentions

An Aunt of Good Intentions | Mom Psych | Scoop.it
My brother took his wife on a kid-free vacation for four days and left his offspring with me. I planned a sensational schedule of activities that was sure to solidify my position as the best aunt e...
Gina Stepp's insight:

Think you had a rough winter? Hah! It couldn't have been colder than the one we had in Southern California . . .(but nothing keeps a good Aunt down.)

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Parents' Attitudes about Helping Their Grown Children Affect Their Mental Health

Parents' Attitudes about Helping Their Grown Children Affect Their Mental Health | Mom Psych | Scoop.it
Older parents frequently give help to their middle-aged offspring, and their perceptions about giving this help may affect their mental health, according to a team of researchers.
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Rescooped by Gina Stepp from Woodbury Reports Review of News and Opinion Relating To Struggling Teens
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Review of ADHD drug approvals highlights gaps between approval process, long-term safety assessment - PsyPost

Review of ADHD drug approvals highlights gaps between approval process, long-term safety assessment - PsyPost | Mom Psych | Scoop.it
Over the last 60 years, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved 20 medications for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) based on clinical trials that were not designed to study their long-term efficacy and safety or to detect rare adverse events, researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital report today in PLOS ONE. The study highlights gaps inRead More

Via Lon Woodbury
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I Wanna be a Grandma

I Wanna be a Grandma | Mom Psych | Scoop.it
This is a mock letter which represents the feelings expressed to me by many parents whose adult daughters are unmarried and in their thirties.   Dear Daughter, It’s not about you, it’s about m...
Gina Stepp's insight:

Do you think your parents are putting undue pressure on you to start a family when you don't feel ready? As they work at understanding your perspective, maybe it's also helpful to understand theirs—and to see the love and vulnerability that drives it.

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Addicted Aunt Puts Down the Smart Phone

Addicted Aunt Puts Down the Smart Phone | Mom Psych | Scoop.it

"Technology does not shape our lives; we use it to our own purposes to enhance the lifestyle we have chosen. You can’t blame the phone if you don’t like where society is going. I found another quote that supports my position so bear with me."

Gina Stepp's insight:

In her latest post on Aunt Psych, Jo wonders whether she suffers from smartphone addiction. (On the other hand, maybe she enjoys every minute of it.)

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Teen Pregnancy Declines: The Greatest Story Never Told

Teen Pregnancy Declines: The Greatest Story Never Told | Mom Psych | Scoop.it
Rates are decreasing, but the mission has not yet been accomplished, as the National Campaign notes. The United States still has higher rates (about 3 in 10 girls) than other industrialized nations.
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Having a Sense of Purpose May Add Years to Your Life

Having a Sense of Purpose May Add Years to Your Life | Mom Psych | Scoop.it
Feeling that you have a sense of purpose in life may help you live longer, no matter what your age, say researchers.
Gina Stepp's insight:

What's your sense of purpose?

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Discrimination Associated with Mental Health Woes in Black Teens

Discrimination Associated with Mental Health Woes in Black Teens | Mom Psych | Scoop.it
The vast majority of African-American and Afro-Caribbean youth face racial discrimination, and these experiences are associated with an increased risk of mental health problems, researchers find.
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The Emotional Pain Body, Witches and EQ: Part 2

The Emotional Pain Body, Witches and EQ: Part 2 | Mom Psych | Scoop.it

In a previous article I talked about the painbody [some people call this "emotional baggage"] and how it undermines emotional intelligence (EQ). Now let’s talk about how to deal with the painbody in our lives. 

Gina Stepp's insight:

Please join Dr. Sam Alibrando as he addresses emotional intelligence on his blog, "The EQ Psych."

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Hereditary Trauma

Hereditary Trauma | Mom Psych | Scoop.it

Scientists have begun to understand the physiological processes underlying the long-known phenomenon referred to as hereditary trauma.

Gina Stepp's insight:

The hereditary changes not only affect mental health and behavior, but also metabolism . . . and they persist even as far as the third generation, the researchers found.

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5 Common Parenting Habits that Hurt Sibling Relationships

5 Common Parenting Habits that Hurt Sibling Relationships | Mom Psych | Scoop.it
I don't care how perfect you are as a parent, there are going to be some occasions when your children squabble. This is why Erma Bombeck's timeless wisdom resonates: "Never have more children than ...
Gina Stepp's insight:

This was inspired by a recent video that came across my Facebook feed. A father videotaping a son's meltdown at the news he was having a little sister. Some great parenting opportunities were entirely missed there because preparing kids for accepting a new sibling starts before the baby is born. Don't try this at home, folks!

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Stop Blaming Parents For Being Parents

Stop Blaming Parents For Being Parents | Mom Psych | Scoop.it
Every few years a new label is devised to describe yet more behaviors parents should avoid. This year’s addition is “snowplow parents,” parents who push their emerging adult kids by intervening in ...
Gina Stepp's insight:

Ruth Nemzoff, Resident Scholar at the Brandeis Women's Studies Research Center, writes the new Mom Psych blog "Grandma Psych." In today's post she addresses our obsession with criticizing every move parents make.

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Lon Woodbury's curator insight, March 18, 10:15 AM

In defense of helicopter parents, it was just pointed out to me yesterday that kids on the autistic spectrum, for example, often need a lot more support than neurotypical children do and helicopter parents makes sense at times in those situations. -Lon

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Mild Autism? Or Something Else?

Mild Autism? Or Something Else? | Mom Psych | Scoop.it

Do you know how to recognize whether someone's diagnosis of your child is accurate? How important is accuracy in a diagnosis anyway?

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High Family Stress Can Impact a Child's Immune System

High Family Stress Can Impact a Child's Immune System | Mom Psych | Scoop.it
Our bodies are equipped to handle everyday stress . . . that is, stress that lasts only briefly. On the other hand, a difficult, stressful situation or long-term increase in stress can negatively affect the immune system.
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The Red Couch Sessions: Dr. Sam Alibrando - YouTube

Are you emotionally intelligent? Find out, as Dr. Alibrando explains the concept behind his book "Follow the Yellow Brick Road: How to Change for the Better ...
Gina Stepp's insight:

There are some interesting analogies to be made between Frank Baum's characters in the Wizard of Oz and considerations in emotional intelligence . . . Dr. Sam Alibrando explains in this interview.

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