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- Background TV can be bad for kids
Leaving the television on can be detrimental to children's learning and development, according to a new study. Researchers found that background television can divert a child’s attention from play and learning. Regardless of family demographics, parenting can act as a buffer against the impacts of background TV, the research team found.
- Wives with more education than their husbands no longer at increased risk of divorce
For decades, couples in which a wife had more education than her husband faced a higher risk of divorce than those in which a husband had more education, but a new study finds this is no longer the case. "Overall, our results speak against fears that women's growing educational advantage over men has had negative effects on marital stability," a co-author said. "Further, the findings provide an important counterpoint to claims that progress toward gender equality in heterosexual relationships has stalled."
- 'Big picture' thinking doesn't always lead people to indulge less, study says
Buy the latest electronic gizmo du jour, or use that money to fix a leaky roof? Go out with friends, or stay home to catch-up on work to meet that looming deadline? And after you've finished that big project, do you treat yourself to a slice of chocolate cake or settle for a piece of fruit? Self-focus plays an important role in how consumers make decisions, says new research from a business professor.
- Greater odds of adverse childhood experiences in those with military service
Men and women who have served in the military have a higher prevalence of adverse childhood events (ACEs), suggesting that enlistment may be a way to escape adversity for some. ACEs can result in severe adult health consequences such as posttraumatic stress disorder, substance use and attempted suicide.
- How stress hormones promote brain's building of negative memories
Scientists have discovered a key component to better understanding how traumatic memories may be strengthened in women. Their study's findings suggest that developing clinical treatments that could lower norepinephrine levels immediately following a traumatic event might offer a way to prevent this memory-enhancing mechanism from occurring.
- Wide-faced men negotiate nearly $2,200 larger signing bonus
Having a wider face helps men when they negotiate for themselves but hurts them when they are negotiating in a situation that requires compromise. Additionally, men who are more attractive are better collaborators compared to less attractive men.
- Physical work environment in hospitals affects nurses' job satisfaction, with implications for patient outcomes, health care costs
Architecture, interior design, and other physical aspects of their work environments can enhance early-career nurses’ job satisfaction, a study has shown. The research team conducted a nationwide survey of RNs to examine the relationship between RNs' physical work environment and job satisfaction. They found that RNs who gave their physical work environments higher ratings were also more likely to report better workgroup cohesion, nurse-physician relations, workload, and other factors associated with job satisfaction.
- The 92 percent clean plate club: You're not alone in eating everything on your plate
If you're a member of the Clean Plate Club -- you eat pretty much everything you put on your plate -- you're not alone! A new study shows that the average adult eats 92 percent of whatever he or she puts on his or her plate. "If you put it on your plate, it's going into your stomach," says the author of the forthcoming book on the subject.
- Dopamine transporter: Stampede supercomputer used to study common link between addiction, neurological disease
The XSEDE-allocated Stampede supercomputer has been used to study the dopamine transporter. Stampede is ranked seventh on the Top 500 list of supercomputers. Its research links altered dopamine signaling and dopamine transporter function to neurological and psychiatric diseases including early-onset Parkinsonism, ADHD, and cocaine addiction.
- Lacking trust in one's doctor affects health of emotionally vulnerable cancer patients
The physical and mental well-being of people with cancer may be affected by how they feel about their relationship with their physician and by differences in attachment styles, finds a new study. Patients who feel anxious and uneasy with their doctor may be impacted the most. "Anxiously attached patients may experience and report more physical and emotional problems when the relationship with their physician is perceived as less trusting," said the lead author.
- Potential genetic link between epilepsy, neurodegenerative disorders
A potential link between epilepsy and neurodegenerative disorders has been uncovered by new research. "This is, to our knowledge, the first direct genetic evidence demonstrating that mutations in the fly version of a known human epilepsy gene produce seizures through altered vesicle transport," says the senior author of the study.
- Extra exercise helps depressed smokers kick the habit faster
People diagnosed with depression need to step out for a cigarette twice as often as smokers who are not dealing with a mood disorder. And those who have the hardest time shaking off the habit may have more mental health issues than they are actually aware of, research suggests. While nearly one in five North American adults are regular smokers, a figure that continues to steadily decline, about 40 per cent of depressed people are in need of a regular drag.
- Are state Medicaid policies sentencing people with mental illnesses to prison?
A link between Medicaid policies on antipsychotic drugs and incarceration rates for schizophrenic individuals has been uncovered by a new study. Researchers found that states requiring prior authorization for atypical antipsychotics had less serious mental illness overall but higher shares of inmates with psychotic symptoms than the national average. The study concluded that prior authorization of atypical antipsychotics was associated with a 22 percent increase in the likelihood of imprisonment, compared with the likelihood in a state without such a requirement.
- Preschoolers can reflect on what they don't know
Contrary to previous assumptions, researchers find that preschoolers are able to gauge the strength of their memories and make decisions based on their self-assessments. The findings contribute to research on the reliability of children's eyewitness testimony in a court of law, and they carry important implications for educational practices. "Previous emphasis on the development of metacognition during middle childhood has influenced education practices," says an author. "Now we know that some of these ideas may be adapted to meet preschoolers' learning needs."
- Vitamin D deficiency raises risk of schizophrenia diagnosis
Vitamin D-deficient individuals are twice as likely to be diagnosed with schizophrenia as people who have sufficient levels of the vitamin, according to a new study. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium and is needed for bone and muscle health. The skin naturally produces this vitamin after exposure to sunlight. People also obtain smaller amounts of the vitamin through foods, such as milk fortified with vitamin D. More than 1 billion people worldwide are estimated to have deficient levels of vitamin D due to limited sunshine exposure.
- Death of a parent during childhood is associated with greater mortality in early adulthood
Experiencing the loss of a parent during childhood or adolescence is associated with a greater risk of mortality, according to a new study. Individuals who lost either a mother or a father during childhood had a greater risk of mortality in the years following the parent's death compared with people unaffected by parental death during childhood.
- Clients of violence interventional advocacy program find experience supportive
Participants who received care through a Violence Intervention Advocacy Program -- an interventional program targeting the physical, mental, emotional and social needs of violently injured youths -- were less likely to retaliate for their injuries and experienced life changing behaviors through connections to caring, steady, supportive adults who helped them feel trust and hope, researchers report.
- How children categorize living things
"Name everything you can think of that is alive." How would a child respond to this question? Would his or her list be full of relatives, animals from movies and books, or perhaps neighborhood pets? Would the poppies blooming on the front steps make the list or the oak tree towering over the backyard? The children's responses in a recent study revealed clear convergences among distinct communities but also illuminated differences among them.
- Understanding how neuro cells turn cancerous
New research, for the first time, brings scientists nearer to understanding how some cells in the brain and nervous system become cancerous. The team studied a tumor suppressor called Merlin. Their results have identified a new mechanism whereby Merlin suppresses tumors, and that the mechanism operates within the nucleus. The research team has discovered that unsuppressed tumor cells increase via a core signalling system, the hippo pathway, and they have identified the route and method by which this signalling occurs.
- Retail pricing strategies: Do consumers prefer Deep Discounts or Everyday Low Prices?
Sometimes finding the best bang for your buck feels like a wild goose chase. It’s hard to know which stores offer the best prices at any given time. According to a new study, when trying to maximize savings, consumers will choose retailers they believe offer the lowest prices the majority of the time.
- I’ll have what he's having? How consumers make choices about new products
Have you found yourself at a fancy restaurant trying to impress new friends or in a foreign country and unsure of what to order? Not wanting to appear foolish, you just go along with everyone else. According to a new study, we’re more likely to copy other people’s choices when we lack social acceptance or enough information to make an informed decision.
- Empathy or justice: What makes consumers donate more to charity?
Have you ever received a request for help and wondered how deserving the recipients are of your donation? This way of thinking may seem inconsistent with your moral values, especially if you consider yourself an otherwise compassionate and empathic person. A new study suggests that moral identity decreases donations when recipients are deemed to be responsible for their plight.
- Why do challenging tasks make consumers believe drugs wear off faster?
Imagine that you have a cup of coffee and sit down to read People magazine. How long do you think the energy boost will last before you reach for another cup? Would you need more caffeine if you tried to read War and Peace? A new study finds that consumers wrongly believe that pharmacological products such as coffee and aspirin lose their effectiveness when they engage in more strenuous activities.
- Why consumers choose high-effort products
Stuck in traffic? On hold for what seems like an eternity? Consumers often face situations that undermine their feelings of control. According to a new study, when a person's sense of control is threatened, they are more likely to seek out products that require hard work.
- Overdoing it: Multiple perspectives confuse consumers
When it comes to television advertising, simple may be best, says one expert, whose study reports that multiple angles and perspectives in commercials may actually prevent consumers from forming positive associations about the products. She found this to be particularly true for consumers who imagine using the products themselves in the course of evaluating them.
- Study reveals 'unhappiest' cities in the U.S.
New research identifies the unhappiest cities in the U.S., but finds that some young people are still willing to relocate to them for a good job opportunity or lower housing prices. The analysis suggests people may be deciding to trade happiness for other gains.
- Can strong parental bond protect infants down to their DNA?
Scientists are launching a groundbreaking study looking at critical periods early in a child’s life when exposure to stressors matters most. The goal is to track telomeres – a cellular marker for aging and stress – to discover the biological mechanism for how early trauma gets under the skin, potentially stealing time from a child’s biological clock. Can parents create a biological buffer that shields children decades later from disease and toxic stress?
- Schizophrenia's genetic 'skyline' rising as genetic code linked to illness grows
The largest genomic dragnet of any psychiatric disorder to date has unmasked 108 chromosomal sites harboring inherited variations in the genetic code linked to schizophrenia, 83 of which had not been previously reported. By contrast, the 'skyline' of such suspect variants associated with the disorder contained only 5 significant peaks in 2011. Researchers combined data from all available schizophrenia genetic samples to boost statistical power high enough to detect subtle effects on risk.
- Neuroprotective role of immune cell discovered
A type of immune cell widely believed to exacerbate chronic adult brain diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease and multiple sclerosis, can actually protect the brain from traumatic brain injury and may slow the progression of neurodegenerative diseases, according to research. "Our findings suggest the innate immune system helps protect the brain after injury or during chronic disease, and this role should be further studied," the lead researcher said.
- High school lacrosse players at risk for concussions, other injuries, study finds
High school players experienced 1,406 injuries over the four academic years from 2008 through 2012, a new study reports. The overall injury rate was 20 per 10,000 lacrosse competitions and practices. More than 22 percent of those injuries were concussions, making that the second most common injury diagnosis behind sprains and strains (38 percent).
- Low strength brain stimulation may be effective for depression
Brain stimulation treatments, like electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), are often effective for the treatment of depression. Like antidepressant medications, however, they typically have a delayed onset. For example, a patient may receive several weeks of regular ECT treatments before a full response is achieved. Thus, there is an impetus to develop antidepressant treatments that act to rapidly improve mood. Low field magnetic stimulation (LFMS) is one such potential new treatment with rapid mood-elevating effects, report scientists.
- Rigid connections: Molecular basis of age-related memory loss explained
From telephone numbers to foreign vocabulary, our brains hold a seemingly endless supply of information. However, as we get older, our ability to learn and remember new things declines. A team of scientists has identified the molecular mechanisms of this cognitive decline using latest high-throughput proteomics and statistical methods.
- Innovative system anticipates driver fatigue in the vehicle to prevent accidents
Scientists have created a devise integrated in smart materials capable of monitoring cardiac and respiratory rhythms in order to prevent drivers from falling asleep.
- Children's impulsive behaviour is related to brain connectivity
The changes in the brain that are associated with impulsiveness -- a personality trait that causes difficulties in inhibiting a response in the face of a stimulus and leads to unplanned actions without considering the negative consequences -- has been the focus of recent study. These patterns can serve as an indicator for predicting the risk of behavioral problems. A new study analyzes whether the connectivity of an infant's brain is related to children's impulsiveness.
- 'Moral victories' might spare you from losing again
Coaches tend to overreact to close losses, and their hasty personnel adjustments tend to backfire in the long run, research shows. Researchers focused on whether coaches adjusted their personnel following games where the margin of victory or defeat was small. After narrow wins, coaches changed their starting lineup one-fourth of the time. But after narrow losses, they changed their starting lineup one-third of the time.
- Epigenetic tie to neuropsychiatric disorders found
Dysfunction in dopamine signaling profoundly changes the activity level of about 2,000 genes in the brain's prefrontal cortex and may be an underlying cause of certain complex neuropsychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia, according to scientists. This epigenetic alteration of gene activity in brain cells that receive this neurotransmitter showed for the first time that dopamine deficiencies can affect a variety of behavioral and physiological functions regulated in the prefrontal cortex.
- Try, try again? Study says no: Trying harder makes it more difficult to learn some aspects of language, neuroscientists find
Neuroscientists find that trying harder makes it more difficult to learn some aspects of language. When it comes to learning languages, adults and children have different strengths. Adults excel at absorbing the vocabulary needed to navigate a grocery store or order food in a restaurant, but children have an uncanny ability to pick up on subtle nuances of language, sometimes speaking a second language like a native speaker within months. Brain structure plays an important role in this "sensitive period" for learning language, which is believed to end around adolescence.
- Mental health issues in children with relatives who participated in manhunt after Boston Marathon
Children with relatives who were called upon to participate in the interagency manhunt following the Boston Marathon attack carried a particularly heavy mental health burden, according to a study that included surveys of Boston-area parents and other caretakers.
- New research links bad diet to loss of smell
Could stuffing yourself full of high-fat foods cause you to lose your sense of smell? A new study by neuroscientists says so, and it has researchers taking a closer look at how our diets could impact a whole range of human functions that were not traditionally considered when examining the impact of obesity.
- Philosopher uses game theory to understand how words, actions acquire meaning
Why does the word "dog" have meaning? If you say "dog" to a friend, why does your friend understand you? A philosopher aims to address these types of questions in his latest research, which focuses on long-standing philosophical questions about semantic meaning. Philosophers and a mathematician are collaborating to use game theory to analyze communication and how it acquires meaning.
- Mothers of children with autism benefit from peer-led intervention
Peer-led interventions that target parental well-being can significantly reduce stress, depression and anxiety in mothers of children with disabilities, according to new findings. In a first-of-its-kind study, researchers examined two treatment programs in a large number of primary caregivers of a child with a disability. Participants in both groups experienced improvements in mental health, sleep and overall life satisfaction and showed less dysfunctional parent-child interactions.
- Diagnostic criteria for Christianson Syndrome
A new study provides the most definitive characterization of the autism-like intellectual disability disorder Christianson Syndrome and provides the first diagnostic criteria to help doctors and families identify and understand the condition. Initial evidence suggests CS could affect tens of thousands of boys worldwide.
- Missing sleep may hurt your memory
Lack of sleep, already considered a public health epidemic, can also lead to errors in memory, finds a new study that found participants deprived of a night’s sleep were more likely to flub the details of a simulated burglary they were shown in a series of images. "People who repeatedly get low amounts of sleep every night could be more prone in the long run to develop these forms of memory distortion," one researcher said. "It's not just a full night of sleep deprivation that puts them at risk."
- Brain waves show learning to read does not end in 4th grade, contrary to popular theory
Teachers-in-training have long been taught that fourth grade is when students stop learning to read and start reading to learn. But a new study tested the theory by analyzing brain waves and found that fourth-graders do not experience a change in automatic word processing, a crucial component of the reading shift theory. Instead, some types of word processing become automatic before fourth grade, while others don't switch until after fifth.
- Children as young as three recognize 'cuteness' in faces of people, animals
Children as young as three are able to recognize the same ‘cute’ infantile facial features in humans and animals which encourage caregiving behavior in adults, new research has shown. A study investigating whether youngsters can identify baby-like characteristics – a set of traits known as the ‘baby schema’ – across different species has revealed for the first time that even pre-school children rate puppies, kittens and babies as cuter than their adult counterparts.
- Large twin study suggests that language delay due more to nature than nurture
A study of 473 sets of twins followed since birth found twins have twice the rate of language delay as do single-born children. Moreover, identical twins have greater rates of language delay than do non-identical twins, strengthening the case for the heritability of language.
- Enzyme linked to Alzheimer’s disease
Unclogging the body’s protein disposal system may improve memory in patients with Alzheimer’s disease, according to researchers.
- Genetic risk for autism stems mostly from common genes
Using new statistical tools, scientists have discovered that most of the genetic risk for autism comes from versions of genes that are common in the population rather than from rare variants or spontaneous glitches.
- New HIV prevention recommendations combine biomedical, behavioral approaches
In an innovative approach to HIV prevention, an interdisciplinary group of experts has come together for the first time to lay out a framework of best practices to optimize the role of the clinician in achieving an AIDS-free generation. The recommendations are intended as guidelines for clinicians to implement a combined biomedical-behavioral approach to HIV care and prevention. They are based on a comprehensive review of data that was either published or presented at scientific conferences over the past 17 years.
- Researchers identify brain network with mapping technique
A new image-based strategy has been used to identify and measure placebo effects in randomized clinical trials for brain disorders. The researchers used a network mapping technique to identify specific brain circuits underlying the response to sham surgery in Parkinson's disease patients.
- Performance improvement program helps doctors better manage depression, report researchers
A performance improvement initiative for physicians can significantly increase their use of evidence-based practices in screening for and treating depression, researchers report. Depression is a common and potentially disabling condition that can be difficult to treat. One in three US adults will experience a major depressive episode during their lifetime, yet a quarter of patients are undiagnosed, and fewer than half of those who are diagnosed receive treatment.
- Antipsychotic drugs linked to slight decrease in brain volume
A new study has confirmed a link between antipsychotic medication and a slight, but measureable, decrease in brain volume in patients with schizophrenia. For the first time, researchers have been able to examine whether this decrease is harmful for patients' cognitive function and symptoms, and noted that over a nine year follow-up, this decrease did not appear to have any effect.
- Experts urge new discipline combining benefits of neuroscience, psychology treatments
For some conditions, such as bipolar disorder, psychological treatments are not effective or are in their infancy. A 'culture gap' between neuroscientists and clinical scientists is hindering mental health treatment, say the life scientists, who call on scientists from both disciplines to work together to advance the understanding and treatment of psychological disorders.
- New clues to brain's wiring found by scientists
New research provides an intriguing glimpse into the processes that establish connections between nerve cells in the brain. These connections, or synapses, allow nerve cells to transmit and process information involved in thinking and moving the body. Researchers have identified a group of proteins that program a common type of brain nerve cell to connect with another type of nerve cell in the brain.
- New cellular garbage control pathway with relevance for human neurodegenerative diseases
Several human neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's disease, are linked to an accumulation of abnormal and aggregated proteins in cells. Cellular 'garbage' can be removed from cells by sweeping them to a cellular recycling station known as the lysosome. Scientists have now discovered a new family of helper proteins that recognize labeled protein waste and guide them efficiently to the lysosome for destruction and recycling.
- Weight management program also reduces depression among black women
An intervention program aimed at helping obese women maintain their weight without adding pounds also significantly reduced depression in nearly half the participants, according to a new study. The study cites past research showing that women are twice as likely as men to suffer from depression, and more than one in seven black women will suffer major depression.
- 'Support' cells in brain play important role in Down syndrome
A group of cells in the brain has been identified by researchers who say that it plays an important role in the abnormal neuron development in Down syndrome. After developing a new model for studying the syndrome using patient-derived stem cells, the scientists also found that applying an inexpensive antibiotic to the cells appears to correct many abnormalities in the interaction between the cells and developing neurons.
- Getting a grip on robotic grasp: New wrist-mounted device augments the human hand with two robotic fingers
Twisting a screwdriver, removing a bottle cap, and peeling a banana are just a few simple tasks that are tricky to pull off single-handedly. Now a new wrist-mounted robot can provide a helping hand -- or rather, fingers. Researchers have developed a robot that enhances the grasping motion of the human hand.
- Losing sleep over your divorce? Your blood pressure could suffer
It's normal for people to experience trouble sleeping after a divorce, but if sleep problems last too long, they can lead to potentially harmful increases in blood pressure, a new study finds. The research suggests that poor sleep quality might be one of the reasons divorce is linked to negative health effects.
- Vision loss associated with work status
Vision loss is associated with a higher likelihood of not working, researchers report. Also, people who do not work have poorer physical and mental health, are less socially integrated and have lower self-confidence, they say.