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Psychology & Neuroscience Archives | OUPblog

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9780199982875

The neuroscience of cinema

Why do we flinch when Rocky takes a punch in Sylvester Stallone’s movies, duck when the jet careens towards the tower in Airplane, and tap our toes to the dance numbers in Chicago or Moulin Rouge? With this year’s Academy Awards upon us, we want to know what happens between your ears when you sit down in the theatre and the lights go out. Take a look at some of the ways our brains work when watching a movie—you may just find some of them to be all too familiar.

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Mood food: a brief look at addictive eating

Researchers have noted that some addictive behaviours may partly depend upon gender. For instance, men are more likely to be addicted to drugs, gambling, and sex whereas women are more likely to suffer from ‘mall disorders’ such as eating and shopping. Food is – of course – a primary reward as it is necessary for our survival.

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Psychotherapy now and in the future

The 20th century has been called ‘the century of psychiatry’, and in many ways one could read that as ‘the century of psychotherapy’. A hundred years ago, at the onset of World War I, psychotherapy had touched the lives of only a tiny number of people, and most of the population had simply never heard of it. Since then it has reached into almost every aspect of our lives—how we treat the mentally ill, how we understand our relationships, our appreciation of art and artists, and even how we manage our schools, prisons, and workplaces.

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Chinese New Year and psychology [infographic]

With China’s continued emergence as an economic and political superpower, there is a growing need for those in the West to understand the distinct way in which the Chinese people view the mind and its study. Although Chinese philosophy is steeped in considerations of the nature of the mind, psychology as it is understood in the West was not a discipline practiced in China until its introduction in the 19th Century.

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How disease names can stigmatize

On 10 February 2015, the long awaited report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) was released regarding a new name — Systemic Exertion Intolerance Disease — and case definition for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Because I was quoted regarding this report in a New York Times article, in part due to having worked on these issues for many years, hundreds of patients contacted me over the next few days.

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Aha!

A toast to your unconscious mind

We like to think that we can control the contents of our mind, but if we watch ourselves think, we will quickly realize that this isn’t so.If you don’t believe me, try this experiment. Sit in a quiet room for five minutes, during which time you stare at a blank wall and try to empty your mind of thoughts.

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Can love really be addictive?

If evidence for love addiction was purely based on the lyrics of pop songs (Robert Palmer, Roxy Music), there would be little doubt that love addiction exists. For those in the academic community who believe in the concept of ‘love addiction’ unsurprisingly define it as the condition in which people become addicted to the feelings of being in love.

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What’s love got to do with it?

The time of year approaches that has gaggles of teenage girls quivering anxiously in school corridors: outwardly bemoaning the late arrival of the postman; while inwardly breathing a huge sigh of relief.

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Five tips for women and girls pursuing STEM careers

Many attempts have been made to explain the historic and current lack of women working in STEM fields. During her two years of service as Director of Policy Planning for the U. S. State Department, from 2009 to 2011, Anne-Marie Slaughter suggested a range of strategies for corporate and political environments to help better support women at work. These spanned from social-psychological interventions to the introduction of role models and self-affirmation practices.

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Teen dating violence: myths vs. facts

Teen dating violence is a major public health concern, with about 1 in 10 teens experiencing physical violence or sexual coercion, and even higher rates of psychological abuse. Some progress toward awareness, prevention, and intervention with these youth has been made.

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Mental contamination in obsessive-compulsive disorder

When we think of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or OCD for short, lots of examples spring to mind. For example, someone who won’t shake your hand, touch a door handle, or borrow your pen without being compelled to wash their hands, all because of a fear of germs.

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What is it like to be depressed?

How are we to understand experiences of depression? First of all, it is important to be clear about what the problem consists of. If we don’t know what depression is like, why can’t we just ask someone who’s depressed?

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Introducing Anaesthesia

“Sorry mate, I didn’t see you”: perceptual errors and inattentional blindness

“Sorry mate, I didn’t see you”. It’s a common refrain heard after many a road-traffic collision, describing the frequent type of motorbike accident when a car pulls out at an intersection. It turns out that these sorts of events might be more complicated than they first appear. These sorts of situational awareness failures may in fact result from a well-described, but not well-known, psychological phenomenon called inattentional blindness.

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Gait disturbances can help to predict dementia in older adults

About 500,000 Canadians are living with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia. This number is expected to soar to 1.1 million within 25 years. To date, there is no definitive way for health care professionals to forecast the onset of dementia in a patient with memory complaints.

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Adderall and desperation

“Butler Library smells like Adderall and desperation.”
That note from a blogger at Columbia University isn’t exactly scientific. But it speaks to the atmosphere that settles in around exam time here, and at other competitive universities.

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