Endocannabinoid Blockers Improve Obesity-Related Health Complications

An experimental compound appears to improve metabolic abnormalities associated with obesity, according to a preliminary study led by researchers at the National Institutes of Health. A report of the study, which was conducted with obese mice, appears online today in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

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.

Good and Bad in the Hands of Politicians

Politicians’ gestures can reveal their thoughts, according to a new study published July 28, 2010, in the open-access journal PLoS ONE. “In laboratory tests, right- and left-handers associate positive ideas like honesty and intelligence with their dominant side of space and negative ideas with their non-dominant side,” says Daniel Casasanto of the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics.

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.

Predicting Relationship Breakups With a Word-Association Task

Here’s a way to tell a romantic relationship is going to fall apart: find out what people really think about their partners. The researchers in a new study used a so-called implicit task, which shows how people automatically respond to words – in this case, whether they find it easier to link words referring to their partner to words with pleasant or unpleasant meanings.