Psychology In the News

  • Breathing is linked to brain function and behavior. Inhaling causes neurons in the olfactory cortex, amygdala, and hippocampus to be stimulated. This causes research participants to be able to recognize a facial expression as fearful more quickly when they are inhaling as compared to when they are exhaling.

  • While Alzheimer's symptoms typically occur after the age of 65, the process occurs much earlier in life when neurons in the brain experience a mid-life surge. This surge can become the beginning of Alzheimer's, it all depends on the presence of interluekin33.

  • With recent events, such as hurricanes, mass shootings, and raging wildfires, many Americans are beginning to feel overwhelmed by the number of negative events and are questioning how much more of it they can take. This phenomenon is called "disaster fatigue" and thankfully, there are several ways to combat it.

  • Working from home, or "telecommuting", is become more and more common as technology advances. Many workers who telecommute report that they are happier than workers who travel to their same place of work every day. However, telecommuting can also make it very difficult for one to separate one's home life from work.

  • Women are typically more altruistic than men when it comes to helping others. However, a recent study found that when women's dopaminergic system is disrupted (using a drug called Amisulpride), they become more selfish. On the other hand, when men's dopaminergic system is disrupted using the same drug, they became more generous.

  • Empathy is crucial to forming meaningful relationships, but can it also hurt your health? Psychologists have found that empathizing with others can lead to feelings of stress, as well as low levels of inflammation.

  • Three US scientists have won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine "for their discoveries of molecular mechanisms controlling the circadian rhythm," otherwise known as our biological clock.

  • Oxytocin is typically thought of as the "love hormone" or "cuddle drug", but oxytocin can amplify the effects of both positive and negative social interaction. New research has found that blocking oxytocin can actually help mice recover from social anxiety by increasing their interactions with new mice after a stressful social experiment.

  • Are you one of those people who takes pictures everywhere you go? Or perhaps you're one of those people that get annoyed by all the picture-taking? Well, according to several studies, taking photos can actually boost visual memory, but impair audio memory. So you might want to take your camera to some place like a museum, but not to that concert you've been waiting all year for.

  • Despite its bad reputation, scientists find that anger can sometimes have positive benefits, such as providing feedback in social relationships, giving us the courage to be assertive, and causing creative bursts.

  • Have a big project or test coming up? Want to finish comps in a timely manner? Researchers find that planning complex tasks backwards helps you reach your goals more quickly and efficiently.

  • Have you ever wondered why creativity tends to decline as we get older? Research shows that it may be because of tension that exists between two types of thinking called exploration and exploitation.