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Posts Tagged "Stress"

Anthropology in Practice

Is there joy in missing out?

Photo by Kate Ter Har. Click on image for license and information.

Researchers talk about our attachment to social media in terms of the fear of missing out (FOMO). We can’t look away from our mobile devices because we might miss the possibility to make or enhance a connection. After all, one of the benefits to having a large social network is the access to social support. [...]

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Beautiful Minds

Are You Mentally Tough?

Parkour Training

Forty seconds before round two, and I’m lying on my back trying to breathe. Pain all through me. Deep breath. Let it go. I won’t be able to lift my shoulder tomorrow, it won’t heal for over a year, but now it pulses, alive, and I feel the air vibrating around me, the stadium shaking [...]

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Beautiful Minds

The Complexity of Greatness: Beyond Talent or Practice

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What is greatness and how do people get there? Is greatness born or made? Is greatness the result of talent or practice? Few other questions have caused such intense debate, controversy, and diversity of opinions. The heights of human accomplishment have always fascinated us, and for good reason. The striving for greatness is a fundamental [...]

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Beautiful Minds

Turning Adversity into Creative Growth

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“I create – in order not to cry.” — Painter Paul Klee There’s little doubt that trauma can be immensely painful, often leaving deep emotional and psychological scars long after the stressful experience has passed. But can there be a silver lining? In recent years, psychologists have become increasingly interested in the positive life changes [...]

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Dog Spies

The Unexpected Dog Killer

Alison Kennedy-Benson permission granted Dog Spies

For some, it happens in the bathroom. For others, it’s the living room. All across America, as fireworks go off on July 4th, many dogs experience varying degrees of fear and stress. Some crouch and huddle in the bathtub; others pace, pant and whine in the living room; others wildly dig and chew; and of [...]

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Dog Spies

Would Your Dog Make a Good Cadaver Detection Dog?

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Sitting on the couch, with your dog curled up by your side looking ever-so-peaceful, maybe you’ve been overcome by the thought, “Gosh, wouldn’t Banjo make the most perfect therapy dog!?” Unfortunately, there’s a lot more to being a therapy dog than many realize, reminds certified applied animal behaviorist Patricia McConnell in a recent article for [...]

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Guest Blog

Aging: Too Much Telomerase Can Be as Bad as Too Little

How do I knock off thirty years from my age? Faust, the protagonist in Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s famous play, poses this question to Mephistopheles in the chapter Hexenküche (Witches’ kitchen). Mephistopheles provides some pretty good advice – considering that he is the devil and this fictitious exchange takes place in the dark Middle Ages: Begib [...]

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Guest Blog

The Potential of LSD, Heroin, Marijuana and Other Controlled Substances in Brain Research

no drugs sign

Imagine being an astronomer in a world where the telescope was banned. This effectively happened in the 1600s when, for over 100 years, the Catholic Church prohibited access to knowledge of the heavens in a vain attempt to stop scientists proving that the earth was not the center of the universe.  ‘Surely similar censorship could [...]

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Guest Blog

A primatologist discovers the social factors responsible for maternal infanticide

Chicago’s nineteenth ward reeked of overripe fruit and kerosene the day Mary Stastch killed her baby. According to the Chicago Tribune on July 29, 1911, the unemployed single mother and recent immigrant from Austria left Cook County Hospital earlier that week and "wandered about Chicago for two days with the baby in her arms, looking [...]

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MIND Guest Blog

The Growing Economic Burden of Depression in the U.S.

Credit: Luis Sarabia/Flickr

Depression in America costs society $210 billion per year, according to the newest data available, yet only 40 percent of this sum is associated with depression itself. My colleagues and I have found that most of the costs of depression are for related mental illnesses, such as anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as [...]

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MIND Guest Blog

Creativity, Madness and Drugs

This blog appears in the In-Depth Report Genius, Suicide and Mental Illness: Insights into a Deep Connection San Diego—Would we have Poe’s Raven today if the tormented author had taken lithium to suppress his bipolar illness? Not likely, considering the high frequency of psychiatric illnesses among writers and artists, concluded psychiatrist Kay Jamison of Johns [...]

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Not bad science

Are pigs stupid? Perhaps they’re just stressed

The pigs in the enriched housing did better on the task

Pigs are one of the top animals consumed across the world. According to the US Census Bureau, in 2010, around one hundred million metric tons of pork were consumed that year, with 10% of this being in the US (although it does seem that overall meat consumption is declining). With so many of us eating [...]

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Observations

Less Sleep Means More Stress for Teens

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Teens stay up late at night and sleep late into the morning, a result of a natural shift in their circadian rhythms. That biological schedule puts them at odds with the adult world, as well as early start times for high school. But does the mismatch cut down on how much they actually sleep, and [...]

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Observations

Major Phobias Might Hasten Aging

phobias might cause premature aging

Do you get panicky in wide-open spaces? Tight, closed ones? What about in high places or—eek!—around arachnids? If these fears are frequent or debilitating, you might have a phobic anxiety. And you would not be alone—at least 8 percent of Americans have at least one. All of this psychological stress could be taking a toll [...]

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Observations

Can You Predict a Monkey’s Social Status by Looking at Its Genes?

rhesus macaques in India

Rhesus macaques, which are some of the best studied of all monkeys, establish hierarchies in their social groups. Whenever two macaques tussle over a piece of food, say, or the right to mate, the monkey with the higher rank usually wins. Primatologists have established that monkeys of a lower social status are generally more stressed [...]

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Observations

City Living Changes Brain’s Stress Response

stressed brain in urban environment

Cities can be stressful places, and are a far cry from the sparsely populated landscapes in which our prehistoric ancestors evolved. All of that noise, traffic, pollution and crowding has a well-documented impact on our mental health. People who live in cities are more likely to have mood or anxiety disorder (21 percent and 39 [...]

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Observations

Stress tests devised to reliably reveal personality in birds

greenfinch from animal personality test of stress and behavior

Most dog and cat owners will happily describe their pet’s disposition down to the smallest, human-like detail. But how much of that is over-reaching anthropomorphizing and how much is an individual animal’s actual "personality" shining through? Researchers in the U.K. devised a series of tests to see how individual animals respond—both behaviorally and biologically—to different [...]

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Observations

Bush-league male mates stress out female finches

male finches can stress out females if incompatible

Whether they are finding love in a flock or a lab, female Gouldian finches (Erythrura gouldiae) know what they’re looking for: a fit male with head feathers that match their own. And the females that don’t end up with a desirable mate are slower to lay eggs and wind up more physiologically stressed, according to [...]

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Observations

It’s getting better all the time: Happiness, well-being increase after 50

happiness wellbeing increase after 50 decrease stress worry anger

Despite weighty concerns such as aging, planning for retirement or caring for older friends and family, people in the U.S. seem to get happier with age. A new study reports that these changes are consistent regardless of whether individuals were employed, had young children at home or lived with a partner. General well-being (characterized by [...]

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Observations

A phone call from Mom reduces stress as well as a hug

mom phone voice stress hormone girl

A hug from Mom can help soothe a stressed child, but new research shows that just hearing her voice can initiate the same biochemical responses—even if the mother is speaking over the phone. The hormone oxytocin promotes bonding between mother and child and has long been associated with close physical contact (often through early-infant skin-to-skin [...]

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