Deep brain stimulation helps severe OCD, but pioneer advises caution

When obsessive-compulsive disorder is of crippling severity and drugs and behavior therapy can’t help, there has been for just over a year a thread — or rather a wire — of hope. By inserting a thin electrode deep into the brain, doctors can precisely deliver an electrical current to a cord of the brain’s wiring and soften the severity of the symptoms. “Deep brain stimulation” therapy for OCD won Food and Drug Administration approval in 2009 for extreme cases under its humanitarian device exemption.

Therapeutic lifestyle changes offer many mental health benefits

Lifestyle changes—such as getting more exercise, time in nature, or helping others—can be as effective as drugs or counseling to treat an array of mental illnesses, according to a new paper published by the American Psychological Association.

One in three have tried dating websites with middle-aged suitors using them most

In Oxford University study suggests that nearly one in three of us who use the internet have visited online dating sites. An international survey of 24,000 men and women who are presently online found that just six per cent had gone to dating websites in 1997 but by 2009, 30 per cent of the sample had tried them with 15 per cent finding their current partner that way.

Human sentence processing unconcerned by sentence structure

The hierarchical structure of sentences appears to be less important in human sentence processing than hitherto assumed. Readers seem to pay attention to simple word sequences above all. These are the conclusions of research conducted by Dr. Stefan Frank and Prof. Rens Bod from the Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC) of the University of Amsterdam (UvA). Their findings, which run counter to the prevailing view, will soon be published in the renowned scientific journal Psychological Science.

Female topics encourage girls to study science

Girls are more interested in studying science if topics are presented in a female friendly way. This is one of the findings of Dr Sylvie Kerger the University of Luxembourg whose research is published online the British Journal of Educational Psychology by BPS Journals in partnership with Wiley-Blackwell.

Gene important for daily rhythms of the sleep-wake cycle

Northwestern University scientists have discovered a new mechanism in the core gears of the circadian clock. They found the loss of a certain gene, dubbed “twenty-four,” messes up the rhythm of the common fruit fly’s sleep-wake cycle, making it harder for the flies to awaken.

Treatment for manic-depressive illness restores brain volume deficits

In a massive research effort published in Biological Psychiatry, eleven international research groups collaborated to pool brain imaging data from adults with bipolar disorder. This allowed them to perform a mega-analysis to evaluate the differences in brain structure between individuals with bipolar disorder and healthy comparison subjects.

Drivers engaging in secondary task may pay more attention to road

Although many human factors/ergonomics studies conducted over the past few years indicate that drivers who talk on the phone fail to attend to the road and increase the likelihood of an accident, the monotony of driving may also pose an accident risk. New research by HF/E researchers at the University of Kansas, Lawrence, published in Human Factors, suggests that drivers who lose focus on the road because of boredom may actually increase their attention by engaging in a secondary task, particularly during the last leg of their journey.