Browsing: Mental Health

The latest news about mental health, psychiatry, and abnormal psychology research

Prenatal exposure to pesticides linked to attention problems

Children who were exposed to organophosphate pesticides while still in their mother’s womb were more likely to develop attention disorders years later, according to a new study by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley.

Researchers uncover early step in the cascade of brain events leading up to addiction

A regulatory protein best known for its role in a rare genetic brain disorder also may play a critical role in cocaine addiction, according to a recent study in rats, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), a component of the National Institutes of Health. The study was published today in the journal Nature Neuroscience.

Culture matters in suicidal behavior patterns and prevention

Women and girls in the United States consider and engage in suicidal behavior more often than men and boys, but die of suicide at lower rate-a gender paradox enabled by U.S. cultural norms of gender and suicidal behavior, according to a psychologist who spoke Thursday at the 118th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association.

Meditation Helps Increase Attention Span

It’s nearly impossible to pay attention to one thing for a long time. A new study looks at whether Buddhist meditation can improve a person’s ability to be attentive and finds that meditation training helps people do better at focusing for a long time on a task that requires them to distinguish small differences between things they see.

Brain Study Shows That Thinking About God Reduces Distress—But Only for Believers

Thinking about God may make you less upset about making errors, according to a new study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. The researchers measured brain waves for a particular kind of distress-response while participants made mistakes on a test. Those who had been prepared with religious thoughts had a less prominent response to mistakes than those who hadn’t.

Study Suggests Intervention for Overcoming Reading-Comprehension Difficulties in Children

Effective reading requires recognizing words and also understanding what they mean. Between 7-10 percent of children have specific reading-comprehension difficulties. These children can read text aloud accurately but do not understand what they have just read. A new study in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, identifies a training program which may help children overcome reading-comprehension difficulties.

Researchers Discover First Genes for Stuttering

Stuttering may be the result of a glitch in the day-to-day process by which cellular components in key regions of the brain are broken down and recycled, says a study in the Feb. 10 Online First issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. The study, led by researchers at the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), part of the National Institutes of Health, has identified three genes as a source of stuttering in volunteers in Pakistan, the United States, and England.

To Make One Happy, Make One Busy

In Greek mythology, the gods punished Sisyphus by condemning him to roll a rock up a steep hill for eternity. But he was probably better off than if they’d condemned him to sit and stare into space until the end of time, conclude the authors of a new study on keeping busy. They found that people who have something to do, even something pointless, are happier than people who sit idly.

Remembering to Forget: The Amnesic Effect of Daydreaming

When your mind drifts, it’s hard to remember what was going on before you stopped paying attention. Now a new study has found that the effect is stronger when your mind drifts farther – to memories of an overseas vacation instead of a domestic trip, for example, or a memory in the more distant past.

Scientists Identify Brain Circuits Related to the Initiation of Termination of Movement Sequences

In humans, throwing a ball, typing on a keyboard, or engaging in most other physical activities involves the coordination of numerous discrete movements that are organized as action sequences. Scientists at the National Institutes of Health and the Gulbenkian Institute in Portugal have identified brain activity in mice that can signal the initiation and termination of newly learned action sequences. The findings appear online today in the current issue of Nature.

Can Blocking a Frown Keep Bad Feelings at Bay?

Your facial expression may tell the world what you are thinking or feeling. But it also affects your ability to understand written language related to emotions, according to research published in the July issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.