Brain and Behavior

IQ Can Be Linked to Physical and Psychiatric Disorders

The idea that how smart you are might be connected with how healthy you are is not new. Those who studied social sciences have probably seen the published works on the subject dating back to 1980s.

The problem is not so easy to study academically, though. It is hard to separate the influence of various social factors on both intelligence level and health from a pure connection between health and brightness. As a result, many of the existing studies have been inconclusive. Factors such as age, sex, social and economic level, and education of the study cohort may seriously affect the conclusions. However, when these factors are taken into account, or the study groups are designed in a way minimizing their influence, rather interesting findings emerge.

Continue Reading

Children and Teens

Psychology Around the Net: October 22, 2016

Once again, my friends, I come to you from behind a computer screen with a box of tissues on one side and a trash can on the other. Tears are running down my cheeks, I can't stop sneezing, and even though I can't breathe my nostrils aren't too stopped up to -- well, I won't get gross.

Wasn't it just a few months ago I was suffering from allergies? Can you even get allergies in the fall? According to WebMD, you sure can, and thanks to a myriad of potential culprits (mold spores and pollen hiding out in fallen leaves and dust mites triggered from turning the heat on for the first time), I am once again down for the count.

Still, that hasn't stopped me from bringing you this week's latest in mental health news! Keep reading for healthy tips for how to break off a friendship, Instagram's new mental health "flagging" feature, ways you can beat election stress, and more.

Continue Reading

Brain Blogger

Lucid Dreaming Can Improve Physical Skills, Scientists Say

Can we significantly improve physical skills by practicing them while we sleep? Yes, scientists say. New research published in the Journal of Sports Sciences confirms that practicing motor skills while lucid dreaming can lead to real life improvements in skill performance that can be equivalent to practice in waking life.

Lucid dreaming is when the dreamer becomes aware that he or she is actually dreaming. This awareness typically comes hand in hand with greater control of what one’s dream self is doing, as well as the content of the dream.

Continue Reading

Brain and Behavior

Can We Improve Brain Function With Moderate Alcohol Consumption?

It is well documented that excessive consumption of alcohol is linked to various serious health problems. Heavy drinking is a known risk factor for diseases such as cardiovascular problems, some types of cancer, cirrhosis, dementia, depression, pancreatitis and high blood pressure, among others. But what about low-to-moderate alcohol consumption?

A number of studies published in recent years present a view rather different from the traditional negative assumptions. Contrary to popular beliefs, they claim that moderate alcohol intake can be beneficial.

Continue Reading

Brain and Behavior

ADRA2B: The Genetic Variation that Determines Our Emotional Reactions

A new scientific study validates how truly awesome we are.

It's a tough world out there for a person who is super sensitive.

If you're a woman and you're sensitive, people think of you as being fragile or crazy. If you're a man and you're too sensitive, people might think you're weak or, god forbid, womanly.

But a recent study about the brains of sensitive people proves that there's nothing wrong with sensitive people, we're just programmed differently. In fact, our sensitivity is a great thing!

Continue Reading


Psychology Around the Net: October 8, 2016

If the image didn't give it is my birthday!

I've been celebrating since last night -- not because I'm a person who likes a big deal made out of her birthday, but because I have family members and friends who love me and want to celebrate life with me.

I'm blessed, and I'm eternally grateful for it.

So, while I take a break this morning and check out What Science Has to Say About Being in Your 30s (much of which I'm pretty used to at this point, I'm sure), why don't you check out some of this week's latest in mental health news such as how psychology explains our fear of clowns, how we're sabotaging ourselves during the pursuit of happiness, how our personalities can help us choose the best careers, and more!

Continue Reading


How Do You Spot a Narcissist on Facebook?

Narcissists tend to use Facebook for validation, posting about their accomplishments including their diet and fitness routine, according to researchers at Brunel University London.

I do it. In fact, I do it all the time. I post to Facebook about how I worked out early or how great I'm doing at my fitness routine.

I share these posts because you wouldn't think I do any kind of fitness, and because I want to encourage myself to continue to exercise. I'm sort of accepting my body and body-shaming myself at the same time.
Continue Reading

Mental Health and Wellness

5 Ways Your Breasts Affect Your Mental Health

It's serious.

When you think about your boobs do you ever stop and think about how they could impacting your mental health?

I'm a person with an anxiety disorder and depression. It's not out of the ordinary for me on a bad day to cancel my plans because I can't find a shirt that "feels" right on my skin.

But I've never really stopped to think how my boobs have affected my mental health.

Continue Reading


The Powerless Pose: How the ‘Power Pose’ Debacle Illustrates Good Science at Work

The recent news that Amy Cuddy, a co-author of the original “power pose” study (and TED Talk presenter on the subject) no longer believes in this effect has grabbed headlines. And in January 2016, Slate published an article whose headline trumpeted the claim that the original study was “the latest example of scientific overreach.”

Many people are surprised, and maybe a bit angry, that scientists were wrong. Maybe the millions of people who watched the TED Talk feel a bit foolish because they unnecessarily struck silly poses in the mirror before going on a job interview!

The sky is falling, Chicken Little! How can we trust anything that researchers say?!

There’s just one problem with such a reaction: this saga is a pristine example of science working the way it’s supposed to!
Continue Reading


Psychology Around the Net: October 1, 2016

Ah, October, my absolute favorite month. How I've missed thee.

This year, I get to start off my favorite month at a wedding later today, watching two sweet friends marry and begin their lives together.

Speaking of marriage, let's take a look at some of this week's latest in mental health topics such as surviving a marriage with a special needs child as well as how the "selfie culture" is affecting young women's mental health, today's most common personality type, how your body reacts to food when you're stressed, and more.

Continue Reading


Are You Turning Towards Your Partner?

Well known couples therapists and founders of the Gottman Method for couples therapy, John and Julie Gottman have a wealth of knowledge when it comes to what keeps couples together in a healthy relationship and what can break a relationship apart. In what they coined The Sound Relationship House, the foundation and inside of a healthy relationship rest on things like trust and commitment, fondness and admiration, turning towards and a positive perspective of your partner, as well as a healthy conflict style, and shared meaning.

Today I am focusing on the idea of turning towards instead of turning away from your partner. In Gottman’s research (in which he interviewed newlyweds and again after 6 years) he noticed one thing that stood out was that those who were still married after 6 year were turning towards one another 86% of the time, and those that divorced had turned towards only 33% of the time. What I gather from this piece of evidence is that the idea of turning towards instead of turning away plays a huge role on the health of your relationship and overall success of it.
Continue Reading