Psychology and Neuropsychology
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University of Queensland study claims that ‘violent games kill empathy’

University of Queensland study claims that ‘violent games kill empathy’ | Psychology and Neuropsychology | Scoop.it
A study performed by Queensland University’s School of Psychology is claiming there is a causal link between violent videogames and a diminished capacity for empathy.

 

144 people participated in the study, with research fellow Brock Bastian concluding that “Participants rated the themselves as being significantly dehumanised after playing Mortal Kombat…I imagine after prolonged and repeated use of these games, people would start to see themselves as a less caring, feeling person”.

 


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The boy who learned to speak again after losing his left brain hemisphere

The boy who learned to speak again after losing his left brain hemisphere | Psychology and Neuropsychology | Scoop.it

The boy who learned to speak again after losing his left brain hemisphere http://t.co/GxkKVKqVxj @ResearchDigest #neuropsychology


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Brain injuries 'link' to young offenders - BBC News

Brain injuries 'link' to young offenders - BBC News | Psychology and Neuropsychology | Scoop.it

"BBC NewsBrain injuries 'link' to young offendersBBC NewsIn the report, Repairing Shattered Lives, Professor Huw Williams from the University of Exeter's Centre for Clinical Neuropsychology Research, describes traumatic brain injury as a "silent..."

 

Comment: trauma comes in many forms and degrees. Besides major clinical trauma, there are many sub-clinical traumas and brain injuries, especially in early stages of development, that create microscopic and submicroscopic damage to the brain, affecting behavior throughout life. PR


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How the bilingual brain copes with aging: As brain power decreases, older adults find new ways to compute language

How the bilingual brain copes with aging: As brain power decreases, older adults find new ways to compute language | Psychology and Neuropsychology | Scoop.it

Older bilingual adults compensate for age-related declines in brainpower by developing new strategies to process language, according to a recent study published in the journal Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition


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The cognitive neuropsychology of recollection

The cognitive neuropsychology of recollection | Psychology and Neuropsychology | Scoop.it
The cognitive neuropsychology of recollection http://t.co/wkbzUv1rC9

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Research Uncovers How And Where Imagination Occurs In The Brain - Huffington Post

Research Uncovers How And Where Imagination Occurs In The Brain - Huffington Post | Psychology and Neuropsychology | Scoop.it


... 2011 study in the journal Neuropsychology. HealthDay reported on the study of 70 people ages 60 to 83, with varying levels of music experience.


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Best methods to diagnose ADHD debated

Best methods to diagnose ADHD debated | Psychology and Neuropsychology | Scoop.it
A growing west Michigan-based neuropsychology practice claims that up to 60 percent of its clients previously diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are missing the telltale brain wave patterns characteristic of the disorder.

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American Institute Health Care Professionals's curator insight, October 25, 2013 2:28 PM

#couldyourADHDdiagnosisbewrong #bestwaystotellifyouhaveADHD #diagnosingADHD Could your ADHD diagnosis be wrong?   Doctors are debating whether the best methods to diagnose ADHD are valid.    If this holds true then maybe you don't have ADHD after all?

Could your difficulty paying attention or your lack of mental focus be from something other than ADHD?   Yes it could be!   There are a number of sources that can trigger those symptoms.    You could be suffering from stress and anxiety or maybe just allergies?   There have been several cases where children had asthma and not ADHD.

Too often than not doctors are willing to overlook other causes and head straight to an ADHD diagnosis.   They are too quick to prescribe ADHD drugs to solve the problem.   Most of the time, children do not need to be put on psychotropic drugs.   

As parents and adults we owe it to our children and ourselves to find an alternative way to treat ADHD.    They are out there.   There are excellent ways to control ADHD that do not involve taking, sometimes addictive and harmful, drugs.   If you want to learn more about alternative treatments for ADHD, there are certified ADHD counselors that can help.   

If you are looking for an online ADHD counseling certificate program the American Institute of Health Care Professionals in a good place to start.    They offer ADHD counseling courses online with open enrollment year round.

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How To Wire Your Brain For Happiness

How To Wire Your Brain For Happiness | Psychology and Neuropsychology | Scoop.it

The secret to lasting happiness might be neatly summed up in a cheesy neuroscience joke: "The neurons that fire together, wire together."

 

"It’s a classic saying, and it’s widely accepted because it’s very true," neuropsychologist Rick Hanson, author of Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science Of Contentment, Calm and Confidence, tells The Huffington Post. “The longer the neurons [brain cells] fire, the more of them that fire, and the more intensely they fire, the more they’re going to wire that inner strength –- that happiness, gratitude, feeling confident, feeling successful, feeling loved and lovable.”

 

But on a day to day basis, most of us don’t stay with our positive experiences long enough for them to be encoded into neural structure (meaning there's not enough wiring and firing going on). On the other hand, we naturally tend to fixate on negative experiences. Positive and negative emotions use different memory systems in the brain, according to Hanson, and positive emotions don’t transfer as easily to long-term memory.

 

Hanson argues that the problem is we're wired to scout for the bad stuff -- as he puts it, the brain is like velcro for negative experience and teflon for positive ones. This "negativity bias" causes the brain to react very intensely to bad news, compared to how it responds to good news -- research has even shown that strong, long-lasting relationships require a five to one ratio of positive to negative interactions in order to thrive, by virtue of the fact that the negative interactions affect us so much more strongly. The brain has evolved to be constantly scanning for threats, and when it finds one, to isolate it and lose sight of the big picture, according to Hanson.

 

"We've got this negativity bias that's a kind of bug in the stone-age brain in the 21st century," he says. "It makes it hard for us to learn from our positive experiences, even though learning from your positive experiences is the primary way to grow inner strength."

 

The way to "hardwire happiness" into the brain, then, is to take in the good -- being present to life's tiny, joyful moments.

“[Lingering on the positive] improves the encoding of passing mental states into lasting neural traits," says Hanson. "That’s the key here: we’re trying to get the good stuff into us. And that means turning our passing positive experiences into lasting emotional memories."

 

Hanson shared some of neuropsychology's best secrets for overcoming your negativity bias and hardwiring happiness into the brain, optimizing your potential for joy.

 

Take in the good.

 

We all encounter positive moments each day, and no matter how small or seemingly insignificant they are, they can be instrumental in changing our perspective. But in order to do so, we must take the time to appreciate these moments of joy and increase their intensity and duration by lingering on them for longer, effectively "wiring" them into our brains.

 

"People don't recognize the hidden power of everyday experiences," says Hanson. "We're surrounded by opportunities -- 10 seconds here or 20 seconds there -- to just register useful experiences and learn from them. People don't do that when they could."

 

When you appreciate and maximize the small, positive experiences, he says, “increasingly there’s a sense of being filled up already inside, or already feeling safe inside, or already feeling loved and liked and respected. So we have less of a sense of striving ... Insecurity falls away because you’ve got the good stuff inside of yourself.”

 

Focus on the positive experiences with the greatest personal impact.

 

Certain experiences will have a greater positive effect depending on your individual negativity bias at the time. For instance, if you're worried about a health scare, you need experiences that address this worry -- so rather than seeking success or praise at work, you'd want to look for things that gave you a sense of safety or a feeling of wellness.

"You want experiences that are matched to your problem, like matching the medicine to the illness," Hanson says.

 

We have three fundamental needs for safety, satisfaction and connection, he explains. So if you have a safety-related issue like a health scare, you'd want to seek positive experiences that boost your feelings in that sector. If the issue is connection-related, you should focus on small moments of positive interaction with others. And if you're anxious and feeling threatened, it would help to feel stronger and more protected inside.

 

Be on your own side.

 

An essential ingredient of happiness, as research has recently reaffirmed, is setting an intention for joy and then insisting upon it.

"We don't get on our own side; we don't take a stand in which we are for ourselves, and that's foundational," says Hanson. "There's a joke in the therapy world: 'How many therapists does it take to change a lightbulb? Only one, but the lightbulb has to want to change.' It's lame, and it's profound, because right there is square one."

 

He explains that if someone we love is upset or worried, we try to help them move beyond that state of mind. But when we are upset or worried ourselves, we often don't help ourselves the same way. Instead, we tend to stay upset and ruminate over things longer than we need to.

 

Maintain a sense of wonder.

 

Einstein once said, "He who knows it not and can no longer wonder, no longer feel amazement, is as good as dead, a snuffed-out candle." And when it comes to taking in the good, a sense of wonder is key. Experiencing moments as fresh and new, with a childlike awe, allows them to stick in the brain for longer, potentially becoming part of our lasting emotional memory.

 

“The more that things seem fresh and new, the more that you’re looking at them with beginner’s mind or child’s mind, that’s going to increase brain structure because the brain is always looking for what’s new,” Hanson says.

 

Open your eyes and look around.

 

The secret to bliss could be as simple (and extraordinarily difficult) as paying attention. Mindfulness -- the cultivation of a focused awareness on the present moment, developed through practices like meditation and deep breathing -- is perhaps our greatest tool when it comes to increasing our capacity for happiness.

 

“I think of attention as the combination of spotlight and vacuum cleaner: it illuminates what it rests upon, and then shuuup! It sucks it into our brain.," Hanson says. "The problem is, most people don’t have very good control over that spotlight, and they have a hard time pulling it away from what’s not helpful.”

 

It can be very difficult to pull our attention away from the negative, which can take the form of rumination, self-criticism, obsession and anxiety, according to Hanson. But one way to change this, and to create more lasting positive memories in the brain, is to make a concerted effort to notice those little, everyday pleasant encounters: A smile from a stranger, a small gesture of caring from a friend or a little personal victory.

 

"Mindfulness is a great way to get control over your spotlight," explains Hanson, who is also a longtime meditation teacher and author of Buddha's Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom. "It can help you stay with -- for 10 or 20 seconds at a time -- these positive experiences, and it can help you be present in your own life, so that you're showing up for the good experiences that are here for you."


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The Science Behind What Naps Do For Your Brain--And Why You Should Have One Today

The Science Behind What Naps Do For Your Brain--And Why You Should Have One Today | Psychology and Neuropsychology | Scoop.it
Studies of napping have shown improvement in cognitive function creative thinking and memory performance. Ready set . . . snooze.
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Stimulant treatment for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and ...

Annabeth P. Groenman, MSc, Department of Clinical Neuropsychology, VU University Amsterdam, Amsterdam and Department of Cognitive Neuroscience, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behavior, Radboud ...

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MIT discovers the location of memories: Individual neurons | ExtremeTech

MIT discovers the location of memories: Individual neurons | ExtremeTech | Psychology and Neuropsychology | Scoop.it

The main significance here is that we finally have proof that memories (engrams, in neuropsychology speak) are physical rather than conceptual. We now know that, as in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, specific memories could be erased. It also gives us further insight into degenerative diseases and psychiatric disorders, which are mostly caused by the (faulty) interaction of neurons. “The more we know about the moving pieces that make up our brains,” says Steve Ramirez, co-author of the paper. “The better equipped we are to figure out what happens when brain pieces break down.”


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Prefrontal mechanisms of behavioral flexibility, emotion regulation and value updating

Prefrontal mechanisms of behavioral flexibility, emotion regulation and value updating | Psychology and Neuropsychology | Scoop.it

Two ideas have dominated neuropsychology concerning the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC). One holds that OFC regulates emotion and enhances behavioral flexibility through inhibitory control. The other ascribes to OFC a role in updating valuations on the basis of current motivational states. Neuroimaging, neurophysiological and clinical observations are consistent with either or both hypotheses. Although these hypotheses are compatible in principle, we present results supporting the latter view of OFC function and arguing against the former. We found that excitotoxic, fiber-sparing lesions confined to OFC in monkeys did not alter either behavioral flexibility, as measured by object reversal learning, or emotion regulation, as assessed by fear of snakes. A follow-up experiment indicated that a previously reported loss of inhibitory control resulted from damage to nearby fiber tracts and not from OFC dysfunction. Thus, OFC has a more specialized role in reward-guided behavior and emotion than has been thought, a function that includes value updating.


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The Neuropsychology of Persuasion: 6 Shortcuts to Winning Someone Over | Big Think TV | Big Think

The Neuropsychology of Persuasion: 6 Shortcuts to Winning Someone Over | Big Think TV | Big Think | Psychology and Neuropsychology | Scoop.it
The Neuropsychology of Persuasion: 6 Shortcuts to Winning Someone Over http://t.co/WN8pY0Vt

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A New Map of How We Think: Top Brain/Bottom Brain - Wall Street Journal

A New Map of How We Think: Top Brain/Bottom Brain - Wall Street Journal | Psychology and Neuropsychology | Scoop.it
A New Map of How We Think: Top Brain/Bottom Brain
Wall Street Journal
Our theory has emerged from the field of neuropsychology, the study of higher cognitive functioning—thoughts, wishes, hopes, desires and all other aspects of mental life.

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Leeza Trainor's curator insight, November 12, 2014 8:35 AM

We all know about how we have a left and right brain hemisphere, but not many people know about top down or bottom up processing.

Ryan Kowalkowski's comment, November 12, 2014 10:45 AM
Very interesting. I've even heard stories of people who have the 2 halves of their brains separated, and one of their eyes can comprehend shapes and colors, and the other one can read, but neither can do both. Really cool stuff.
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Ganzfeld hallucinations

Ganzfeld hallucinations | Psychology and Neuropsychology | Scoop.it

The cognitive science journal Cortex has just released a special issue on the neuropsychology of paranormal experiences and belief, and contains a fantastic article on hallucinations induced by the Ganzfeld procedure.


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