Happy Saturday, sweet readers!
I hope all my fellow Americans had an amazing Fourth of July last week. I don’t know who Independence Day thinks it is, landing right smack in the middle of the week, but I hope everyone managed some celebrations!
Keep reading this week’s Psychology Around the Net for the latest on using environmental psychology to improve your workplace design, how folic acid might help babies in the womb from developing severe mental illness, the new mental health education requirements implemented by Virginia and New York (they’re the first two U.S. states to do it!), and more.
Training in Musical Improvisation May Teach Your Brain to Think Differently: The results of a new study out of Columbia University suggest you can improve musical improvisation with practice as your brain learns to categorize musical structures in new ways.
Separated Triplets Offer A Glimpse Into ‘The Wild West Of Psychology’: Triplets Eddy Galland, David Kellman, and Bobby Shafran weren’t just separated at birth when they were adopted. They were separated at birth on purpose as part of a scientific experiment related to nature versus nurture and heredity versus environment.
How to Use Environmental Psychology to Improve Workplace Design: Laura Shook Guzman of Soma Vida, a coworking a coyoga space, is a clinical psychologist with a specialty in somatic psychology (studying how our mind-body connection affects our thoughts, feelings, and emotional states), and she has some insight on how we can introduce design psychology to coworking models so that we’re better embodying the concept of wellness.
Folic Acid Linked to Mental Illness Prevention in Womb: According to researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital, women might be able to prevent severe mental illness in their children by consuming enough folic acid while they’re pregnant. Says Dr. Joshua Roffman of the MGH Department of Psychiatry and senior author of the report, “The idea that the risk for these illnesses begins in the womb has gained biological support in recent years. The field is really moving in the direction of prevention.”
New York and Virginia Become the First States to Require Mental Health Education in Schools: In an effort to combat the rise of depression and other psychological problems American youth face, New York and Virginia enacted mental health education laws on Sunday. The states’ statutes differ, but as the first two U.S. states to do this, they’re definitely setting a precedence.
Endless Gaming May Be a Bad Habit. That Doesn’t Make It a Mental Illness: Last month, the World Health Organization added “internet gaming disorder” (I.G.D.) to its manual of psychiatric diagnoses; however, some mental health professionals are skeptical that it exists as a stand-alone problem, and are concerned about the “fuzzy” diagnostic criteria and the potential for overdiagnosis.