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California Psychiatry and Psychology Resource

Nootropic Effects of Psychedelic and Addictive Substances

In my previous article on the subject of nootropics, I was writing about the brain enhancing effects of some medicines and natural compounds. However, a large number of nootropics have received little recognition from official science and remain rather poorly…

Antidepressants: An Emperor with No Clothes?

On rare occasion, I have reported startling findings that challenge current wisdom: Brain training games do NOT boost intelligence. Traumatic experiences are NOT often repressed. Seasonal affective disorder (wintertime blues) is NOT widespread.   The just-arrived lectures from the 2016…

Do We Sense Each Other’s Sickness?

Social behavior is important for our survival as a species. But social interaction also gives pathogens a chance to spread, and it thereby increases our exposure to infection. Our immune system is a complex defense system that has evolved to…

Nurturing the Brain – Part 11, Magnesium

Magnesium is everywhere—it does not occur free in nature, but in combination with other elements it is the eighth-most abundant chemical element in the Earth’s crust and the third-most abundant element in seawater; it is even the ninth-most abundant in…

Nootropics: How Smart Can You Get on Smart Drugs?

The use of smart drugs is becoming “trendy”. Lots of people are taking various substances regularly, many others try them from time to time. The idea of enhancing the brain’s ability, or tapping into its unused reservoir is definitely sexy,…

My Amazing Co-Authors

I am blessed to be collaborating with two incredibly high-achieving people. My introductory text co-author, Nathan DeWall, tells the story (here) of how he harnessed his own latent power of self-control. As research has shown and Nathan has experienced, self-control…

New Breakthroughs in Concussion Diagnostics

Concussion is the most common form of traumatic brain injury. While serious concussions present with overt symptoms, the diagnosis of mild concussions remains a clinical difficulty. Researchers recently developed two novel methods for the diagnosis of concussion that may aid…

Prevention Is the Best Medicine for Dementia

Population aging is bringing about a substantial increase in the prevalence of neurocognitive disorders. Current projections estimate that, by 2050, more that 130 million people will be affected by dementia worldwide. As experts assemble to devise strategies to face this…

Are Sleep Apps Effective Tools For Behavioral Change?

Smartphones are technological Swiss Army knives – easy to carry and, thanks to apps, able to do almost anything. All you need is a smartphone and an internet connection to unfold a thousand tools. Apps make communication, traveling, working, and…

Nathan DeWall on the Science of Self-Control

Originally posted on Quartz on July 2, 2017.   I’m often asked how I was able to go from inactive academic to participating in invitation-only ultramarathons.  While it’s no small feat, the three components of self-control–standards, monitoring, and strength–fortified my…

Another Famous Psychology Major

We psychology teachers take bemused pleasure in noting one-time psych students who later become famous—people such as Jon Stewart, Gloria Estefan, Natalie Portman, Mark Zuckerberg, and (to balance the ledger) serial killer Ted Bundy.   To such lists I can…

Is the Sage on a Stage Finally Being Replaced by a Guide on the Side?

In Improving How Universities Teach Science: Lessons from the Science Education Initiative, Carl Wieman—a Stanford physicist, Nobel laureate, and Carnegie U.S. University Professor of the Year (but let’s not feel intimidated)—advocates active learning, which in a recent NPR interview, he…

Calling B.S. on Engagement Myths

Hardly a week goes by without some headline discussing the dire state of engagement. Typically, these headlines are propagated using data from a consulting firm, whose data indicate that scores of people are disengaged or, at the very least, unengaged.…