Circadian rhythms: Their role and dysfunction in affective disorder

All humans are synchronised to the rhythmic light-dark changes that occur on a daily basis. Rhythms in physiological and biochemical processes and behavioural patterns persist in the absence of all external 24-hour signals from the physical environment, with a period that is close to 24 hours.

Eye movements reveal readers’ wandering minds

It’s not just you…everybody zones out when they’re reading. For a new study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, scientists recorded eye movements during reading and found that the eyes keep moving when the mind wanders—but they don’t move in the same way as they do when you’re paying attention.

Our best and worst moments occur within social relationships

In the first study of its kind, researchers have found compelling evidence that our best and worst experiences in life are likely to involve not individual accomplishments, but interaction with other people and the fulfillment of an urge for social connection.

Core values unite Americans, despite divisions

Americans are united when it comes to many core values, according to a University of Michigan survey. But the nation is deeply divided about certain issues, including gay marriage, immigration, and universal healthcare.

Walking boosts brain connectivity and function

A group of “professional couch potatoes,” as one researcher described them, has proven that even moderate exercise – in this case walking at one’s own pace for 40 minutes three times a week – can enhance the connectivity of important brain circuits, combat declines in brain function associated with aging and increase performance on cognitive tasks.

Natural selection alone can explain eusociality

Scientists at Harvard University have sketched a new map of the evolutionary labyrinth species must traverse to reach eusociality, the rare but spectacularly successful social structure where individuals cooperate to raise offspring.

Oxytocin makes people trusting, but not gullible

Oxytocin (OT) is a hormone that plays an important role in social behavior—it has even been nicknamed “the love hormone” and “liquid trust.” Increased levels of OT have been associated with greater caring, generosity, and trust. But does OT increase people’s trust in just anybody or does it act more selectively?

Cognitive behavioral therapy appears beneficial for adults with ADHD

Adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) who received medication and individual sessions of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) showed greater improvement in symptoms through 12 months compared to patients who did not receive CBT, according to a study in the August 25 issue of JAMA.

Alcohol-based hand disinfectants improve business productivity

The placement of alcohol-based hand disinfectants in businesses can reduce illness and absenteeism amongst the work force. A study published in the open access journal, BMC Infectious Diseases, has found that incidences of absenteeism in public administrations due to the common cold, fever and cough are significantly reduced when alcohol-based hand disinfectants are used by employees.

Body clock drugs could ease psychiatric disorders and jet lag

Researchers funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the Medical Research Council (MRC) have successfully used a drug to reset and restart the natural 24 hour body clock of mice in the lab. The ability to do this in a mammal opens up the possibility of dealing with a range of human difficulties including some psychiatric disorders, jet lag and the health impacts of shift work.

Gene scan finds link across array of childhood brain disorders

Mutations in a single gene can cause several types of developmental brain abnormalities that experts have traditionally considered different disorders. With support from the National Institutes of Health, researchers found those mutations through whole exome sequencing – a new gene scanning technology that cuts the cost and time of searching for rare mutations.