By studying the phenomenon of contagious yawning, the researchers learned that people's reactions in virtual reality can be quite different from what they are in actual reality. They found that contagious yawning happens in VR, but people's tendency to suppress yawns when they have company or feel they're being watched don't apply in the VR environment. Further, when people immersed in VR are aware of an actual person in the room, they do stifle their yawns. Actual reality supersedes virtual reality.
Positive interactions on social media are not making young adults feel more connected, whereas negative experiences increase the likelihood of them reporting loneliness.
People with schizophrenia have a hard time integrating information about a reward -- the size of the reward and the probability of receiving it -- when assessing its value, according to a study in Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging.
A new study identifies the neurons in the human visual cortex that selectively respond to faces. The researchers showed that the neurons in the visual cortex (in the vicinity of the Fusiform Face Area) responded much more strongly to faces than to city landscapes or objects. In an additional experiment, the neurons exhibited face-selectivity to human and animal faces that appeared within a movie. The results provide unique insights into human brain functioning at the cellular level during face processing.
For optimal performance the brain can strike a balance of being alert, but not overly excited, using a circuit mechanism newly teased out by scientists at MIT's Picower Institute for Learning and Memory.
Emergency and urgent hospitalizations are associated with an increased rate of cognitive decline in older adults, report researchers at Rush University Medical Center. Results of their study, published in the Jan. 11, 2019, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, shows that hospitalization may be a more of a major risk factor for long-term cognitive decline in older adults than previously recognized.
A new 16-item parent questionnaire (CNI-PPC) to measure 'connectedness to nature' in very young children has been developed by Dr. Sobko and her collaborator Professor Gavin Brown, Director of the Quantitative Data Analysis and Research Unit at the University of Auckland. The results revealed that parents who saw their child had a closer connection with nature had less distress, less hyperactivity, and fewer behavioral and emotional difficulties, and improved pro-social behavior.
A study published today in the journal Gut shows that women with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are at greater risk of developing a mental illness after giving birth compared to the overall population. Study authors found that more than one-fifth of pregnant women with IBD had a new-onset mental health diagnosis. For every 43 pregnancies, there is one extra case of mental illness in a woman with IBD, compared to other women.
Bad decision-making is a trait oftentimes associated with drug addicts and pathological gamblers, but what about people who excessively use social media? New research from Michigan State University shows a connection between social media use and impaired risky decision-making, which is commonly deficient in substance addiction.
Everyday objects and people have an emotional meaning. A wool sock might have an emotional value if it was the last thing grandmother knitted before her death. The same applies to words. A stranger's name has no emotional value, but if a loving relationship develops, the name suddenly has positive connotations. Researchers at the University of Göttingen investigated how the brain processes such stimuli -- positive or negative. Results were published in the journal Neuropsychologia.