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Anxiety and Panic

How Social Media Feeds Social Anxiety

Fingers flying, incessant texting, phones held to ear as secondary appendages gives the illusion we are well connected. We are chattering and snapping and “selfieing” (I think I just made that word up -- you can do that these days) all the live long day. Meanwhile scientists quietly dispense reports underlining an incredible finding: We are socially anxious people. Extremely socially anxious. So what gives?
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Brain and Behavior

Psychology Around the Net: November 4, 2017

This week's Psychology Around the Net covers artificial intelligence and psychiatry, a decline in teachers' mental health, how to continue making progress, and more.

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Artificial Intelligence Is Here and It Wants to Revolutionize Psychiatry: Are we more comfortable sharing our true feelings and deepest secrets with a machine we assume won't (or at least at this point in time, can't) judge us or bring other uncomfortable consequences? Could artificial intelligence make a...
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Podcast: What Toll Does Texting Take on Us?

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In this episode of the Psych Central Show, hosts Gabe Howard and Vincent M. Wales welcome Dr. Lori Russell-Chapin, who shares her experiences working in the field of neurofeedback. Specifically, she speaks on how technology – especially the intense use of handheld technology such as texting on smartphones – is affecting our brains. Dr. Russell-Chapin describes the differences that can be seen in the brain waves of a heavy texter as opposed to a “normal” baseline brain, how we seem to be losing our paralinguistic abilities, and offers insight to ways in which we can achieve a better balance in our lives by changing the way in which we use such technology.
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Brain and Behavior

Smartphone-Based Interventions for Depression

Technology is rapidly advancing and more people are depending on it to stay in touch with friends, finding the quickest way to work or doing their weekly shopping. It is no surprise that people are turning to their smartphones to improve their mental wellbeing. There are many mobile applications available on smartphones that claim to improve your mental health, however not all mental health apps are created equal and it is important to know how to make sure the one you are using is truly helpful.

Joseph Firth and colleagues conducted the first meta-analysis of apps for depressive symptoms in October 2017, which was published in the
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Smartphone Use in America: Is It Contributing to Cognitive Decline?

I may not be a genius, yet I do believe I possess critical thinking ability. While my refusal to allow myself to be hijacked by the siren song lure and promise of smartphone dependence and over-reliance, I recognize that I’m likely in the minority. Still, a growing body of scientific evidence points to the possibility that smartphones, despite their usefulness, may be culprits in the dumbing down of America. In short, smartphones may be making us dumber.

Already, I can hear the cries of outrage and imagine the flurry of protests. After all, smartphones have made our lives simpler, brought technology to our fingertips (literally), erased geographic boundaries, connected us in ways never possible, and so much more.
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Brain and Behavior

Woman as Lab Rats: Orgasm in an fMRI Machine

When you review the history of psychological research, you come across some pretty weird studies.

In the Stanley Milgram experiments, for instance, we saw researchers insisting that a subject provide a (seemingly real) electrical shock to another subject in order to study how people obey authority figures. Philip Zimbardo examined power structures in the Stanford prison experiment, where subjects were randomly assigned a role of either prisoner or guard.

Psychology's history is filled with odd experiments like these.

So when I came across an experiment describing women as mere lab rats whose brains needed examining while reaching orgasm -- sometimes with a partner -- I was intrigued. The more I read, the more bizarre it became.

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Exercise & Fitness

The Power of Sleep: 5 Ways to Improve Your Sleep Patterns for Lasting Mental Health

A full night's rest is rare these days and when it comes to your mental and emotional health it is critical. Research shows that we can be more irritable and easily frustrated with lack of sleep. We may have a short-temper and perceive our experiences with increased fear and worry. We may also suffer cognitive deficits and memory problems. We suffer and our relationships suffer too.

To help you get more restorative sleep, review these great tips that will help you transition your way into an energizing morning. You may not even need that second cup of coffee!
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How Technology Can Help Your Sobriety

Whether you need some words of encouragement or to be talked out of picking up a drink, instant communication is extremely valuable.

It’s no secret that people have been going through the process of getting sober for decades. But over the years, that process has changed. The stigma around alcoholism and addiction has shifted and the advancements of technology have allowed for a more open dialogue. For those of us who have gotten sober in recent years, technology has likely been part of the ride. Inventions such as the internet and smartphones have provided us with a number of resources that haven’t always been around.

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