How does the brain work?

Can a “psychological autopsy” help us determine violent and criminal motives? Why do power outages affect a person’s mental health? Do you know the right way to approach a service dog?

Find out in today’s Psychology Around the Net!

Las Vegas Shooting: Police Conducting ‘Psychological Autopsy’ of Gunman Stephen Paddock in Search for Motive: Retired FBI profiler Jim Clemente says a “psychological autopsy” might establish a motive for Stephen Paddock’s shooting spree, and that if suicide didn’t destroy Paddock’s brain, experts might be able to find a neurological disorder or malformation.

Concepts in Psychology That Even the Experts Get Wrong: A team of five psychologists recently published a review of a fairly high number of words and word-pairs that even professionals in the mental health field have been using wrong as well as explanations on how to properly use them.

Largest Twin Study Pins Nearly 80% of Schizophrenia Risk On Heritability: The largest study involving twins and schizophrenia has researchers estimating that as much as 79% of the risk of schizophrenia can be explained by genetic factors, indicating that genetics have a significant influence on the risk for schizophrenia.

How Power Outages Can Affect Mental Health: Most of Puerto Rico is still plunged in darkness, and according to some studies living without power can plunge some people into mental health problems. Looking at recent disasters, Dr. Shao Lin’s 2016 study on the impact of Hurricane Sandy found a significant increase in emergency room visits for mood disorders, psychosis, substance abuse, and suicide throughout New York.

35 People Who Transitioned On How It Impacted Their Mental Health: These people share their stories about how transitioning — whether it involved making social changes like changing the way one dresses, his or her name, or preferred pronoun or medical interventions such as hormone therapy and surgery — has positively affected their mental health. (TRIGGER WARNING: Some stories include eating disorders, self-harm, and suicide.)

The Best Way to Greet a Service Dog: Service dogs help people with a multitude of health issues — including both visible and invisible problems they’re trying to manage — but that doesn’t make it any easier for us dog lovers to want to reach out for an ear scratch or too. Here are several ways you can talk to the dog’s owner and find out if it’s OK to pay some extra attention to their doggos.