Brain and Behavior

No, Researchers Have Not Discovered the Cause of OCD

If "fake news" is an epidemic, we see it no place more clearly than in the media relations offices of universities that promote their professors' latest research results. Some of the blame falls on the researchers themselves, who have eschewed conservative, careful language in their studies and instead have turned to hyperbole and over-generalization.

The latest example of scientific "fake news" is the supposed discovery of the single cause of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). And we don't have to look any further than the news release published by the University of Würzburg to see how bad the problem is.

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Antidepressant

Mothers’ Depression, Not SSRI Use, Best Explains Researchers’ Results

Back in October, researchers published the findings from a study that suggested that mothers who take a common form of antidepressants (SSRIs like Prozac) while pregnant are at greater risk for producing offspring that will later have speech or language problems.

However, this month, the researchers got some push back in the journal where the original study was published. And in reviewing the results of the study, it appears the researchers overstated the association and import of the relationship they found.

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Anxiety and Panic

Psychology Around the Net: March 11, 2017


Happy Saturday, sweet readers!

Well, depending on where you live in the world, you'll be "springing forward" late tonight (or early tomorrow -- just depends on how you look at it). Soon, the sun will start rising earlier and setting later (which is great news for many people who deal with the most common type of seasonal affective disorder), but before we reap the benefits of more sunlight, we first must adjust to "losing" an hour of our day.

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General

Delayed High School Start Times Benefit Students

From prior research, educators and psychologists have long suspected that starting the school day a little later in the morning would greatly benefit students. In America, most secondary school days start between 7:30 and 8:30 am -- meaning that children and teens have to get up pretty early each morning to make homeroom on time.

The problem is that children -- and teenagers especially -- forgo sleep in order to make these early start times. Because sleep is so vitally important to both our overall health and mental health, this results in less-than-optimal academic performance by teens early in the morning.

A new large-scale research provides more insight into the benefits of later start times for high school.

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Brain and Behavior

Neuroeconomics: Merging Psychology and Economic Theory


In an attempt to explain the internal processes governing the occurrences in the economic world, neuroeconomics is an emerging interdisciplinary field attempting to merge psychology and economic theory. Simply put, the biological basis of behavioral economics -- how and why people make judgements and decisions with economic consequences in terms of simple cerebral biology. But why should we be interested?
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Brain and Behavior

Psychology Around the Net: February 25, 2017


How's your Saturday going, sweet readers?

Swimmingly, I hope!

Whether you're waking up with a cup of coffee (or tea), taking a break from the weekend, or just winding down, take some time to check out this week's latest mental health news. We've got everything from how wandering minds affect our mental well-being to figuring out when self-help programs are actually helpful to the research that shows cats aren't causing psychotic symptoms.

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Addiction

Can Women Fight Addiction with Birth Control?


A new study suggests hormones can make women more susceptible to addiction, so could the birth control pill help with recovery?

Hormonal fluctuations can wreak havoc on a woman’s body. From PMS to menopause, the ups and downs can trigger weight gain, depression, and exhaustion, among other inconveniences that affect how women work, play, and communicate. Now, a new study suggests hormones might also make women more susceptible to addiction, specifically cocaine, and that birth control could be the key to helping some women kick the habit.

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