Psychology

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News • Mental health

Robots can be used to assess children’s mental wellbeing

According to a new study, robots can be better at detecting mental wellbeing issues in children than parent-reported or self-reported testing.

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News • Dementia destigmatisation

"This Is Us": Alzheimer's storyline in TV drama found to have positive impact

The inclusion of a narrative about Alzheimer’s disease in primetime TV drama “This Is Us” was found to help reduce stigma around dementia and motivate family discussions about plans for aging.

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News • Surprising results

Experts expected smoking to increase during the pandemic – but the opposite happened

Danish smokers bought less tobacco and more quit smoking during the Covid pandemic, new research finds. This comes as a surprise given that mental health and exercise habits waned during the lockdown.

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News • Impact of language in PCOS patients

“Words matter” when diagnosing women with polycystic ovary syndrome

The language used by doctors when diagnosing female patients with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) can negatively impact their wellbeing and how they view their condition, new research finds.

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News • For the first time

Similarity between schizophrenia and dementia dicovered

Researchers for the first time compared schizophrenia and frontotemporal dementia, disorders that are both located in the frontal and temporal lobe regions of the brain.

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News • Hashtag hygiene

Covid-19 disinformation: experts explain "infodemic"

More than 225,000 tweets with the hashtags #scamdemic and #plandemic led to an “infodemic” of misinformation and disinformation on Twitter during the first year of the pandemic, a new study finds.

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News • Addressing coronavirus vaccine hesitancy

Covid-19: Could a chatbot help overcome vaccine concerns?

French researchers have found that addressing concerns related to the Covid-19 vaccination via a chatbot interface might be capable of swaying the vaccine-hesitant. Vaccine hesitancy is one of the major challenges in containing the Covid-19 pandemic. Previous studies have revealed that mass communication—through short messages relayed by television or radio—is not a very effective means of…

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News • SARS-CoV-2 in the media

Does 'beautifying' the Coronavirus make us underestimate its danger?

Colourful, 3D rendered scientific images are fascinating - but can they deceive viewers? New research from Spain suggests this might be the case. According to the study by the Instituto de Radio Televisión Española and the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona conducted during the Covid-19 lockdown, black and white images of SARS-CoV-2 make the virus seem more infectious. The results, published on…

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Article • Immersive imaging distraction

VR system to reduce MRI scan anxiety

Claustrophobia or anxiety can overwhelm small children and people with cognitive difficulties, especially in a confining and noisy MRI scanner tube. Their restless reactions can then render scan images useless. To help such patients to relax during scanning, a team from King’s College London (KCL) has designed an immersive environment with a special virtual reality (VR) headset for use with MRI…

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News • Psychology of the pandemic

How gamification helps us cope with Covid-19

A pandemic is not a game. Yet, human response in dealing with Covid-19 resembles patterns known from games: people hoard resources, compare leaderboards and graphs, play certain social roles, establish a good-versus-evil narrative, and align themselves with prominent hero figures. The reasoning behind this is simple.

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News • Stress, depression, anxiety

Suppress or sustain? How our brain handles traumatic memories

Two clusters of brain cells compete to promote either the persistence or disappearance of traumatic memories, according to a new study conducted in mice. The findings could provide important insights into human conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety disorders, and associated problems such as alcohol use disorder (AUD) that can arise from the persistence of traumatic…

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News • Post-traumatic stress disorder

Is PTSD on the rise - or just overdiagnosed?

Some clinicians are concerned that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) diagnosis has risen throughout Western society since the late 1980s. Is this correct? And if so, has the true incidence of PTSD really spiralled out of control, or has it simply become overdiagnosed? Experts debate the issue in The BMJ this week. PTSD is a serious and uncommon condition resulting from severe trauma, but it…

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News • Sex differences in medication

A drug that could help men help cope with fear (but might make things worse for women)

A research team from the Institut de Neurociències at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (INc-UAB) has showed that inhibition through a drug of the Tac2 neuronal circuit, involved in the formation of the memory of fear, has opposite effects on the ability to remember aversive events in mice according to sex: it is reduced in male mice and increased in female mice.

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News • Reducing hospital-related stress and anxiety

Website helps children and parents to prepare for hospitalization

Every year, millions of children around the world are admitted to hospital for having anaesthesia and surgery. Many of them experience preoperative anxiety which negatively affects both their hospital experience and medical outcome, as well as their future relationships with healthcare services from both a short-term and long-term point of view. A new, internationally aimed website offers…

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News • Gesundheit!

Why stress relief is also allergy relief

Increased allergic reactions may be tied to the corticotropin-releasing stress hormone (CRH), suggests a new study. These findings may help clarify the mechanism by which CRH induces proliferation of mast cells (MC) – agents involved in the development of allergies in the human nasal cavity.

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