Mindfulness meditation training changes brain structure in 8 weeks

Participating in an 8-week mindfulness meditation program appears to make measurable changes in brain regions associated with memory, sense of self, empathy and stress. In a study that will appear in the January 30 issue of Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, a team led by Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) researchers report the results of their study, the first to document meditation-produced changes over time in the brain’s grey matter.

Bullying and lack of parental support linked to mass shootings

It’s easy for American society to label young killers as simply crazy. But new research suggests that a complex array of factors – from bullying to lack of parental support to ineffective mental health services – are potentially involved when a student turns to violence.

Are positive emotions good for your health in old age?

The notion that feeling good may be good for your health is not new, but is it really true? A new article published in Current Directions in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, reviews the existing research on how positive emotions can influence health outcomes in later adulthood.

Brain’s clock influenced by senses

Humans use their senses to help keep track of short intervals of time according to new research, which suggests that our perception of time is not maintained by an internal body clock alone.

Creating simplicity: How music fools the ear

New research published in BioMed Central’s open access journal BMC Research Notes suggests that the brain simplifies complex patterns, much in the same way that ‘lossless’ music compression formats reduce audio files, by removing redundant data and identifying patterns.

Nightmares can be cured with a self-help method

In the last 2010 issue of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, a group of researchers of the University of Utrecht has tested a self-help method for treating nightmares in a randomized controlled trial.

Neural mechanisms underlying the inability to express emotions are unraveled

This German study demonstrates that the supragenual anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) is constantly activated more strongly in alexithymic subjects and that this activation is related to the symptoms of alexithymia and not to associated symptoms such as depression.

Challenging the limits of learning

Although we’re convinced that baby is brilliant when she mutters her first words, cognitive scientists have been conducting a decades-long debate about whether or not human beings actually learn language.

Macho women face backlash at work

Working women who demonstrate stereotypical male behaviours should try to be mindful of their conduct or they are likely to face set-backs because they don’t fit the female stereotype.

Writing by hand strengthens the learning process

When writing by hand, our brain receives feedback from our motor actions, together with the sensation of touching a pencil and paper. These kinds of feedback is significantly different from those we receive when touching and typing on a keyboard.

Students more likely to retake the SAT if their score ends with ’90’

High school students are more likely to retake the SAT if they score just below a round number, such as 1290, than if they score just above it. That’s the conclusion of a study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, which found that round numbers are strong motivators.