Brain and Behavior

3 Ways to a New Brain for the New Year

(Back by popular demand…re-post from 1 year ago!) It was the evening of January 1st when my oldest son garnered the family’s attention at the dinner table. “It’s New Year’s Day,” he announced with a dramatic flair, “and I’ve got something important to tell you all.” While his tone was serious, I detected a twinkle… read more

Smile More for a Happier You

Pop culture and media try to convince us that smiling people are happier…and you would be too, if you smiled more. But can the act of smiling actually influence the way you feel? The psychological hypothesis of facial feedback proposes that facial movements do in fact influence one’s emotional state. Yet since this theory was… read more

Microbiota Transfer Therapy for Autism Improvements

Scientific research reports a correlation between Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and abnormal gut microbiota. In a clinical trial of Microbiota Transfer Therapy (MTT), 18 participants diagnosed with ASD underwent a comprehensive program including bowel cleanse, antibiotics, antacids, and fecal microbiota transplant. After the 18-week research trial scientists reported improvements in ASD symptoms and reduced gastrointestinal… read more

Adjust to College by Embracing Solitude

I could hear the tears in her voice: “Mom, I’m so lonely! I don’t know anyone here!” My heart ached for her, but I knew urging her to get out and ‘make friends’ would only add to her introverted angst. Instead, I reminded her to embrace the solitude; to relish the quiet times alone for… read more

The Self-Absorbed Brain

Ever been accused of being self-absorbed? Well new research confirms that you are…but don’t feel too bad about it. Your brain is automatically and instinctively self-centered; in fact, all healthy human brains are! The Association for Psychological Science published a fascinating research study on the apparent automaticity of the human brain’s self-absorption. Participants were tested… read more

Neurological Underpinnings of Dyslexia

Dyslexia can be a devastating disability for children and adults alike, who are otherwise functionally and developmentally typical in every way. Patients, parents, and scientists have long searched for deeper understanding of this cognitive phenomenon, and recent research brings insight! An article published in the Journal of Neuroscience describes new findings in regard to the… read more

The Youthful Female Brain

As a woman I often envy the speedy metabolism of my husband and sons. It seems they can devour half a cheesecake with little consequence, while my overindulgence appears to go right to my hips. But what about brain metabolism? New research offers exciting evidence that my female brain metabolism is even more to be… read more

Growth Mindset For Summer

A person’s mindset refers to how flexible they believe their personality and personal attributes are. A fixed mindset is if person doesn’t believe that they are able to change much, while a growth mindset means they believe they can improve or change their attributes. Researchers wanted to evaluate how a person’s mindset can also reflect… read more

The Importance of Exercise for Young Adults

We all know and understand the overall health benefits of exercise at any age. Current research has revealed the unique importance of exercise for young adults, and how it can impact lifestyle, brain function, and future quality of life. Many young adults (age 18-35) are encountering life changes such as career development, marriage, and parenthood… read more

Tracing Back Memories

The young man sat in front of his counselor and recounted the disturbing and obscure image that had been haunting him: a tricycle with front wheel spinning crookedly toward the sky, as blood seeped from beneath a mud-encrusted truck tire. “What then? Close your eyes and try to envision what happens next,” the therapist would… read more

Me, Me, and More of Me

Juliana came in from school and rushed straight to her room. After 45 minutes of meticulously arranging her hair and make-up she sat in the afternoon sunlight by her window and smiled coquettishly into her smart phone. She spent half an hour posing, snapping pictures, and editing every perceivable flaw. Finally happy with the results,… read more