MedicineWorld.Org
Your gateway to the world of medicine
Home
News
Cancer News
About Us
Cancer
Health Professionals
Patients and public
Contact Us
Disclaimer

Medicineworld.org: Archives of psychology news blog


Go Back to the main psychology news blog

Subscribe To Health Blog RSS Feed  RSS content feed What is RSS feed?

Archives Of Psychology News Blog From Medicineworld.Org


May 16, 2006, 10:41 PM CT

Helping Hands: Are Two More Trouble than One?

Helping Hands: Are Two More Trouble than One? Author Kyle Reed demonstrates his apparatus for investigating haptic communication when two people try to complete a simple physical task together.
Having another person help you with a simple physical task often seems to be more trouble than it's worth. However, scientists at Northwestern University have found that in some cases, pairs perform better than individuals even when each individual thinks the other is a hindrance.

Authors of the study included psychology experts, neuroscientists, and robotics scientists who were interested in the possibility of haptic communication. Haptics, from the Greek haptiko, relates to the sense of touch and motion. A number of other kinds of pair interactions have been heavily studied, including facial expression, gesture, spoken language, and visually observing each other's actions. The scientists wished to determine if pairs could coordinate effectively through a haptic channel of communication, which has been little studied.

Their experiment, described in the May 2006 issue of Psychological Science, was designed to be as simple as possible, yet to isolate haptic interactions from other kinds of interactions. In the experiment two individuals grasped opposite ends of a rigid two-handled crank. A marker was attached to the crank. The participants were asked to move the marker toward a target as quickly as possible whenever a target appeared. Each participant had to deal with the other's actions, as experienced solely through the shared forces and motions of the crank. A curtain kept them from seeing each other and they were asked not to talk.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


May 11, 2006, 0:19 AM CT

Young Adults Happier Than Adolescents

Young Adults Happier Than Adolescents
Eventhough young adults are faced with a diversity of life choices, they seem to be coming to terms with themselves and their lives in their 20s, says new University of Alberta research that shows psychological well-being improves after adolescence and girls improve faster than boys.

Dr. Nancy Galambos from the Department of Psychology followed a sample of the same cohort of people over a seven-year period and looked specifically at how 18-25 year olds make the transition from adolescence to adulthood. Few studies have tracked changes in psychological well-being in this age group.

"I see these results as good news," said Galambos. "We can expect the average 18-year-old to show improved mental health over the course of the next seven years. I think it is important to note, though, that these are average trends, and we cannot ignore the fact that some mental health problems first appear in the early 20s and rates of clinical depression are quite high in this age group. So a certain proportion of young people will not do well during this period."

Another interesting finding was that improved psychological well-being reduced the gender differences first appearing in adolescence. As expected, women showed significantly higher levels of depressive symptoms and lower levels of self-esteem at age 18 than men, but on both indicators women improved at a faster rate than did men by age 25, bringing the two genders closer together.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


May 10, 2006, 0:10 AM CT

Hurricane Linked To Long-term Mental Distress

Hurricane Linked To Long-term Mental Distress
Florida State University sociologists in Tallahassee, Fla. have found that some South Floridians who survived 1992's Hurricane Andrew suffered mental health problems a number of years later, a finding that has led the scientists to predict even more dire consequences for those who lived through last year's devastating Hurricane Katrina.

The researchers, sociology doctoral student and lead author David Russell and professors John Taylor and Donald Lloyd, presented their findings at the 2006 annual meeting of the Southern Sociological Society held recently in New Orleans. Eventhough the short-term mental health consequences of Hurricane Andrew have been documented, this study of adolescents is the first to show that it had long-term effects on mental health.

"We found that people who experienced previous stressful events and who had pre-existing symptoms of psychological distress were more adversely affected by exposure to hurricane-related stressful events," Russell said.

"Based on our findings, we believe intervention efforts should include assessments of the previous experiences and psychological well-being of disaster victims. Doing so will aid response workers in identifying those most at risk for developing post-disaster psychological problems."........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


May 8, 2006, 11:49 PM CT

Antidepressant Drug May Help Depression In Diabetics

Antidepressant Drug May Help Depression In Diabetics
team of scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis found that an antidepressant medicine may reduce the risk of recurrent depression and increase the length of time between depressive episodes in patients with diabetes.

"That's important not only because people with diabetes will feel better if we can control their depression. It's also key to helping manage blood sugar," says Patrick J. Lustman, Ph.D., principal investigator and professor of psychiatry. "As depression improves, glucose levels also tend to improve."

Eventhough depression affects about 5 percent of the general population, the rate is about 25 percent for patients with diabetes. Lustman's team previously demonstrated that therapy with antidepressant drugs and psychotherapy is an effective way to treat depression in patients with diabetes, but often depression would quickly redevelop.

"As we better understand depression, it's clear that for a number of patients, it is a chronic and recurring disease," Lustman says. "That appears to be particularly true for patients with diabetes compared to those otherwise free of medical illness".

Eventhough they knew that short-term therapy with antidepressants was helpful with mood and with control of blood glucose, Lustman's team didn't know whether the drug could prevent the recurrence of depression in patients with diabetes. He also didn't know what would happen to glucose levels in the months following successful depression treatment.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


May 8, 2006, 11:44 PM CT

Social Stress Prompts Hamsters To Overeat

Social Stress Prompts Hamsters To Overeat
Put a mouse or a rat under stress and what does it do? It stops eating. Humans should be so lucky. When people suffer nontraumatic stress they often head for the refrigerator, producing unhealthy extra pounds.

When Syrian hamsters, which are normally solitary, are placed in a group-living situation, they also gain weight. So researchers at the Center for Behavioral Neuroscience at Georgia State University are using hamsters as a model for human stress-induced obesity. They want to begin unraveling the complex factors that lead people to eat when under stress and hope that the information can eventually be used to block appetites under this common scenario.

The study, "Social defeat increases food intake, body mass, and adiposity in Syrian hamsters," by Michelle T. Foster, Matia B. Solomon, Kim L. Huhman and Timothy J. Bartness, Georgia State University, Atlanta, appears in the recent issue of the American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology published by The American Physiological Society.

Hamsters similar to humans

In the study, the scientists look at nontraumatic stress -- the stress we experience in everyday life, such as getting stuck in traffic or trying to complete a major project at work. It is distinct from traumatic stress, such as suffering the death of a loved one. Traumatic stress typically dulls the human appetite, said Bartness, the study's senior researcher and an authority on obesity.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


May 4, 2006, 4:46 PM CT

Attitudes And Consequences Of College Drinking

Attitudes And Consequences Of College Drinking
Professors at Kansas State University have found that males tend to be greater risk takers when it comes to alcohol, while women tend to use more protective strategies, including drinking only with friends, counting the number of drinks, limiting the amount of money spent on drinking and eating food before drinking.

Steve Benton, professor of counseling and educational psychology, Ronald Downey, professor of psychology, and Sheryl Benton, assistant professor of counseling and educational psychology and assistant director of Counseling Services, have done a study and paper on college student drinking, attitudes of risk and drinking consequences.

"My belief is that we have to face the fact that a certain percentage of college students will drink," Steve Benton said. "So, what can we do to reduce the likelihood of them getting into trouble?".

The scientists looked at how risk, along with other factors, play out in understanding the kinds of behavior people get into.

"Students who tend to have attitudes that make them greater risk takers are more likely to get into trouble when drinking," Steve Benton said. "Even when controlling the amount of alcohol, it's not how much you drink that affects the amount of trouble, but how risky you are."

He said that if a person doesn't care what others think and doesn't worry about laws, then they're more likely to get into trouble. Those with a lower-risk attitude will get into less trouble.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


May 3, 2006, 11:38 PM CT

PMS: A Fact Of Life Or All In The Mind?

PMS: A Fact Of Life Or All In The Mind?
Premenstrual distress: An unavoidable condition a number of women suffer with relentless regularity. Or is it? Can heterosexual women learn a thing or two from their lesbian sisterhood?

In her keynote talk: "Premenstrual Syndrome and Self-policing: Constructing and Deconstructing Premenstrual Distress in Lesbian and Heterosexual relationships", Professor Jane M Ussher, will put forward her views to delegates of an international 3-day conference for psychology experts to be held at the University of Leicester, entitled "Qualitative Research and Marginalisation."

Professor Ussher is Professor of Women's Health Psychology and Director of the Gender Culture and Health Research at the University of Western Sydney, Australia, and a world-renowned expert in her field.

Her talk draws on her recently published book 'Managing the Monstrous Feminine: Regulating the Reproductive Body' (Routledge, 2006), She commented: "The majority of women experience physical and psychological changes in the premenstrual phase of the cycle, but only some women experience distress associated with these changes, and position them as PMS. My paper argues that this distress and self-diagnosis is associated with practices of self-policing - negative self-judgement, self-silencing, self-sacrifice, over responsibility and self blame.........

Posted by: Emily      Permalink         Source


May 3, 2006, 10:39 PM CT

Monkey Business And Human Business

Monkey Business And Human Business
Little attention has been paid to whether systematic economic biases such as risk-aversion are learned behaviors - and thus easily ameliorated through market incentives - or biologically based, arising in novel situations and in spite of experience. In a groundbreaking new study from the Journal of Political Economy, Yale scientists extend this question across species, exploring how a colony of capuchin monkeys responds to economic decisions. They found that monkeys doing business - including trading and gambling - behave in ways that closely mirror our own behavioral inclinations.

"Traditionally, economists have remained agnostic as to the origins of human preferences," write M. Keith Chen, Venkat Lakshminarayanan, and Laurie R. Santos. "[But] if much of the fundamental structure of our preferences were so deep rooted as to extend to closely-related species, this would bolster the assumption of preference stability."

As part of the study, the scientists presented capuchin monkeys with two payoff-identical gambles: one in which a good outcome was framed as a bonus, and the other in which bad outcomes were emphasized as losses. Like humans, the monkeys displayed a strong preference for the first option, and like humans, the monkeys seemed to weigh the losses more heavily than comparable gains.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


May 2, 2006, 0:14 AM CT

Does IQ drop with age?

Does IQ drop with age?
If college students had to perform under conditions that mimic the perception deficits a number of older people have, their IQ scores would take a drop.

As people grow older, do they really lose intelligence or is something else happening that drives down IQ scores? It was a question that scientists asked in the lab during two coding experiments to test out their hypothesis that older people suffer perception problems that impair their abilities to perform well on intelligence tests.

Grover C. Gilmore, professor of psychology and dean of Case's Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, led the National Institute of Health-funded investigation, "Age Effects in Coding Tasks: Componential Analysis and Test of the Sensory Deficit Hypothesis." Findings from the experiments are published in the recent issue of the American Psychological Association's journal, Psychology and Aging. Other researchers are Ruth A. Spinks and Cecil W. Thomas.

"Even subtle deficits, such as a reduction in spatial contrast sensitivity, can impair performance on intelligence tests," concludes Gilmore.

Perception deficits gradually appear over the life span of individuals and seem to reach problem levels in elderly adults and can greatly impact functions in people with dementia or other cognitive-impaired conditions.........

Posted by: Daniel      Permalink         Source


May 2, 2006, 0:06 AM CT

Melatonin Improves Winter Depression

Melatonin Improves Winter Depression
Scientists at Oregon Health & Science University(OHSU) have found that melatonin, a naturally occurring brain substance, can relieve the doldrums of winter depression, also known as seasonal affective disorder, or SAD. The study is publishing online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

The study was led by Alfred Lewy, M.D., Ph.D., an internationally recognized pioneer in the study of circadian (24-hour) rhythm disturbances, such as those found in air travelers and shift workers, as well as in totally blind people.

Lewy and colleagues in the OHSU Sleep and Mood Disorders Lab set out to test the hypothesis that circadian physiological rhythms become misaligned with the sleep/wake cycle during the short days of winter, causing some people to become depressed. Commonly these rhythms track to the later dawn in winter, resulting in a circadian phase delay with respect to sleep similar to what happens flying westward. Some people appear to be tracking to the earlier dusk of winter, causing a similar amount of misalignment but in the phase-advance direction. Symptom severity in SAD patients correlated with the misalignment in either direction.

The therapy of choice for most SAD patients is bright light exposure, which causes phase advances when scheduled in the morning. Because patients know when they are exposed to bright light, however, there is a considerable placebo response associated with it. Melatonin can also cause phase advances, but it has to be taken in the afternoon. The Lewy team used afternoon melatonin to test if it was more antidepressant than melatonin taken in the morning, which causes phase delays.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source



Older Blog Entries   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13  

Did you know?
Too little evidence exists to recommend or rule out estrogen as a treatment for schizophrenia in women, a new review of studies finds.People diagnosed with schizophrenia suffer distorted perceptions of reality and hallucinations. Today, estrogen is strictly an experimental therapy for the psychotic symptoms associated with the mental illness.

Medicineworld.org: Archives of psychology news blog

Acute bacterial meningitis| Alzheimer's disease| Carpal tunnel syndrome| Cerebral aneurysms| Cerebral palsy| Chronic fatigue syndrome| Cluster headache| Dementia| Epilepsy seizure disorders| Febrile seizures| Guillain barre syndrome| Head injury| Hydrocephalus| Neurology| Insomnia| Low backache| Mental retardation| Migraine headaches| Multiple sclerosis| Myasthenia gravis| Neurological manifestations of aids| Parkinsonism parkinson's disease| Personality disorders| Sleep disorders insomnia| Syncope| Trigeminal neuralgia| Vertigo|

Copyright statement
The contents of this web page are protected. Legal action may follow for reproduction of materials without permission.