Uncategorized Ultrasound and counter-factual thinking

Ultrasound and counter-factual thinking

New research in primates has shown for the first time that counterfactual thinking is causally related to a frontal part of the brain, called the anterior cingulate cortex. And scientists have proven that the process can be changed by targeting neurons (nerve cells) in this region using low-intensity ultrasound. The study was led by Dr …

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Uncategorized Smiling has a small impact on making people happier

Smiling has a small impact on making people happier

“Conventional wisdom tells us that we can feel a little happier if we simply smile. Or that we can get ourselves in a more serious mood if we scowl,” said Nicholas Coles, UT PhD student in social psychology and lead researcher on the paper. “But psychologists have actually disagreed about this idea for over 100 …

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Uncategorized Life satisfaction and a sense of oneness 

Life satisfaction and a sense of oneness 

People who believe in oneness – the idea that everything in the world is connected and interdependent — appear to have greater life satisfaction than those who don’t, regardless of whether they belong to a religion or don’t, according to research published by the American Psychological Association. “The feeling of being at one with a …

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Uncategorized Neural patterns key to understanding PTSD

Neural patterns key to understanding PTSD

For decades, scientists have viewed emotional memory as a double-edged sword: while the entire emotional event is highly memorable, details of the event are often fuzzy. This lack of detailed recollection may lead to faulty reactivation of negative memories. For example, if someone is bitten by a dog, he or she may become anxious around …

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Uncategorized Empathy and cooperation go hand in hand

Empathy and cooperation go hand in hand

In a new analysis, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania investigate cooperation with an evolutionary approach. Using game-theory-driven models, they show that a capacity for empathy fosters cooperation, according to senior author Joshua Plotkin, an evolutionary biologist. The models also show that the extent to which empathy promotes cooperation depends on a given society’s system …

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Uncategorized Measuring health impacts from oil and natural gas extraction

Measuring health impacts from oil and natural gas extraction

An examination of peer-reviewed studies published over six years on hazardous air pollutants associated with the extraction of oil and natural gas finds that measurements of hazardous air pollutant concentrations near operational sites have generally failed to capture levels above standard health benchmarks; yet, the majority of studies continue to find poor health outcomes increasing …

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Uncategorized Poverty marks on our genes

Poverty marks on our genes

A new Northwestern University study challenges prevailing understandings of genes as immutable features of biology that are fixed at conception. Previous research has shown that socioeconomic status (SES) is a powerful determinant of human health and disease, and social inequality is a ubiquitous stressor for human populations globally. Lower educational attainment and/or income predict increased …

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Uncategorized Gut microbiome fights cancer

Gut microbiome fights cancer

The advent of immune checkpoint inhibitors–which “release the brakes” of the body’s immune system to launch an efficient tumor attack–are a major breakthrough in cancer immunotherapy. However, these treatments don’t work for everybody and are often associated with significant side effects. The ability to stratify patients based on potential response to immune checkpoint inhibitors could …

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Uncategorized One hour a week walking staves off disability

One hour a week walking staves off disability

Just one hour a week of brisk walking — as if you are late to an appointment or trying to make a train — staves off disability in older adults with arthritis pain, or aching or stiffness in a knee, hip, ankle or foot, reports a new Northwestern Medicine study. “This is less than 10 …

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