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Browsing: Mental Health

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

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.

Air Force Suicide Prevention Program Reduces Suicide Rate

A U.S. Air Force suicide prevention program is associated with reduced suicide rates among Air Force personnel during times in which the program was rigorously implemented and monitored, according to an NIMH-funded study published online ahead of print May 13, 2010, in the American Journal of Public Health.

Is Your Left Hand More Motivated Than Your Right Hand?

Motivation doesn’t have to be conscious; your brain can decide how much it wants something without input from your conscious mind. Now a new study shows that both halves of your brain don’t even have to agree. Motivation can happen in one side of the brain at a time.