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Ask Beatty – 04.10.17

Beatty talked about Dr. Barbara Fredrickson’s research findings about how to become less negative and more positive by DOING the following 8 mental exercises. She also discussed what couples need to DO if they hope to have happy and satisfying relationships. Did you know that Spring is the most depressing time of the year and that suicide spikes during this time of the year. Adopt Beatty’s mantra in life: Acknowledge, Address and RESOLVE!

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Sick cities: why urban living can be bad for your mental health

You are lying down with your head in a noisy and tightfitting fMRI brain scanner, which is unnerving in itself. You agreed to take part in this experiment, and at first the psychologists in charge seemed nice. They set you some rather confusing maths problems to solve against the clock, and you are doing your best, but they aren’t happy. …

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Study: What Happens When You’re Hypnotized?

Skeptics view hypnosis as a little-understood parlor trick, but a new study reveals real changes occur in the brain when a person enters an hypnotic state. Some parts of the brain relax during the trance while others become more active, said study senior author Dr. David Spiegel, associate chair of psychiatry at the Stanford University School of Medicine. “I hope …

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Yearly cost of US premature births linked to air pollution: $4.33 billion

The annual economic cost of the nearly 16,000 premature births linked to air pollution in the United States has reached $4.33 billion, according to a report by scientists at NYU Langone Medical Center. The sum includes $760 million spent on prolonged hospital stays and long-term use of medications, as well as $3.57 billion in lost economic productivity due to physical …

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David Shultz – Consciousness may be the product of carefully balanced chaos

Is my yellow the same as your yellow? Does your pain feel like my pain? The question of whether the human consciousness is subjective or objective is largely philosophical. But the line between consciousness and unconsciousness is a bit easier to measure. In a new study of how anesthetic drugs affect the brain, researchers suggest that our experience of reality …

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Larry Schwartz – Can a Pill Make You Smarter? The Brave New World of Smart Drugs

In the 2011 movie Limitless, our loser-turned-hero Bradley Cooper takes a pill, writes a novel in a few days, becomes an investment tycoon, and performs other tricks of mental derring-do. And of course at the end of the movie (spoiler alert!), he gets the girl. If only such a pill really existed. Well, it may. Sort of. Welcome to the world …

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Do we have free will? Researchers test mechanisms involved in decision-making

Our choices seem to be freer than previously thought. Using computer-based brain experiments, researchers from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin studied the decision-making processes involved in voluntary movements. The question was: Is it possible for people to cancel a movement once the brain has started preparing it? The conclusion the researchers reached was: Yes, up to a certain point—the ‘point of …

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Stories that force us to think about our deepest values activate a region of the brain once thought to be its autopilot

Everyone has at least a few non-negotiable values. These are the things that, no matter what the circumstance, you’d never compromise for any reason – such as “I’d never hurt a child,” or “I’m against the death penalty.”  Real-time brain scans show that when people read stories that deal with these core, protected values, the “default mode network” in their …

Why doesn’t everyone believe in God?: The skeptical brain may hold the answer – LALA STONE

Christopher Obal used to be a Christian. He grew up in Queens, New York, and when he was 5 years old, his parents left Catholicism for a very different form of Christianity. While they didn’t claim a specific denomination, he said the churches they went to would probably be described as Pentecostal, evangelical and charismatic. “We attended churches where people …

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One More Reason to Unplug Before Bedtime – Christopher Bergland

We all know from first-hand experience that the digital age has most of us “plugged in” 24/7. What is the detrimental impact on parents and children of being “plugged in” to digital devices—or in front of a television screen—both day and night? New studies show that turning off the television, unplugging other digital devices, and reading a book before bedtime can: improve a child’s brain function, mental imagery, imagination, theory of mind …