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Posts published in March 2018

Our Perception of Sex

Perceptual illusions are not only great fun, they also remind us of a basic truth: Our perceptions are more than projections of the world into our brain. As our brains assemble sensory inputs they construct our perceptions, based partly on…

Blonde Vs Brunette Science: More #metoo for Blondes?

Blonde women are arguably the most sexually objectified and stereotyped women, but could this equate to more #metoo scenarios for blondes? Women often report experiencing increased attention and harassment from strangers as a given when going blonde. With an increased…

Different Coping Styles May Cause, Prevent, or Treat OCD

People with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) tend to fall back on maladaptive coping strategies such as rumination and thought suppression, according to new research; even though adaptive coping skills such as acceptance and problem-solving could improve their quality of life. Unfortunately, many…

What Parents Come to Understand about the Heritability of Behavior

Long ago, I read a jest that most people believe in the shaping power of environmental nurture—until they have their second child.   That pretty well sums up the results of a not-yet-published survey of 1000 Americans by an Emily…

Dying Young and the Psychology of Leaving a Legacy

Often the biggest existential distress that we carry is the idea that no-one will remember us when we are gone—initially we know that our friends and family will hold who we are, but after a generation, these people are likely…

Carpe Diem—Living with Fear

“Live life to the fullest.” “Celebrate life.” “Carpe diem.” I’ve heard them all. But what if I don’t feel like it? What if I’m having a lousy brain day, restricted to a darkened room with a blinding headache, and seizing…

Psychology’s Third Most Misunderstood Concept?

In an earlier post, I offered my nominee for psychology’s most misunderstood concept: negative reinforcement (which is not a punishing, but a rewarding event—withdrawing or reducing something aversive, as when taking ibuprofen leads to relief from a headache).    Second…

Creatine and the Brain

The human brain depends on a constant energy supply, which is needed for proper functioning. Energy supply impairments can jeopardize brain function and even lead to the pathogenesis or progression of neurodegenerative diseases. Chronic disruption of energy causes degradation of cellular…

Scientific Meeting » RDoC Office Hours: March Session

The NIMH Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) unit holds monthly virtual “office hours” via video conference. Discussion topics may include the basic principles of the initiative, general queries about designing and applying for grants based on RDoC ideas, and the role…

Why Does Everyone Else Seem to Be Having More Fun?

On most subjective and socially desirable dimensions, we tend to exhibit self-serving bias. We perceive ourselves as more moral than most others, healthier than others, more productive at work, better able to get along with others, and even better drivers.…

Good Things and Bad Things Come in Bundles

My colleague, Lindsay Root Luna, has new data showing that virtues correlate. People’s scores intercorrelate on scales assessing humility, justice, wisdom, forgiveness, gratitude, hope, and patience. Show her a forgiving person and she will likely show you a humble, grateful…

Dietary Intake of Omega Fatty Acids and Brain Health

Omega fatty acids are well known to be important for the normal functioning of our body. These fatty acids are essential for the formation of the cell membrane. They play a critical role in brain health. In addition, they are…