Laura’s Psychology Blog

One Professor’s Observations of the World of Psychology….   

October 13, 2011

readings in psychology for 13th october 2011

Over the years, I have been an advisor to many clubs. Being around students is fun, it is one of the perks of the job!

Here is what I am reading today:

“Staining performed by Konrad Talbot, PhD, targeting a marker for nerve cells involved in inhibition are shown in cross sections of the hippocampus, which is a part of the brain known to be affected in schizophrenia and involved in memory and cognition. In normal mice (top; A and B) a number of inhibitory cells are found. This staining is reduced in mice with reduced dysbindin….”

“Neurons within the cerebellum are responsible for the construction of motor memory, which is associated with the learning of physical activities and behaviors”

Personally, I like the Luna Lovegood ‘Spectrespecs!

“This finding, described online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, sheds light on what researchers call “theory of mind” abilities—our intuitive skill for figuring out what other people think, intend, and believe. One key aspect of such abilities in terms of social interactions is to be able to figure out what others think of us—in other words, to know what our social reputation is. It is well known that social reputation usually has a very powerful influence on our behavior, motivating us to be nice to others.”

“Melatonin, best known for its role in sleep regulation, delayed the onset of symptoms and reduced mortality in a mouse model of Huntington’s disease, say researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Harvard Medical School. Their findings, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, show for the first time that certain receptors for the hormone reside in the mitochondria, and that there are fewer of them both in affected mice and human brains.”

“Previous studies have found that health outcomes improve during an economic downturn. Job loss means less money available for potentially unhealthy behaviors such as excessive drinking, according to existing literature on employment and alcohol consumption. A new study by health economist Michael T. French from the University of Miami and his collaborators has concluded just the opposite–heavy drinking and alcohol abuse/dependence significantly increase as macroeconomic conditions deteriorate.”

“New research to be published Oct. 13 confirms The Beatles’ lyrical hypothesis and finds that “the kind of thing that money just can’t buy” is a happy and stable marriage”

13 Responses to “readings in psychology for 13th october 2011”

  1. jennapetersen Says:

    I found the article about the effects of the economy on alcohol consumption extremely interesting. It does not surprise me that the most recent research has found that when the economic situation within our country declines, binge drinking increases. The recent economic downfall greatly affected many families in my hometown. I saw many of my family’s great friends lose their jobs that they had for years and become depressed with their financial situations. Some families had to move out of houses that their children were born in, which was very difficult on them. Although none of the families I knew turned to alcohol as an escape, I can understand why people would. I feel that when people become depressed, such as when they are in a financial hardship, they might turn to alcohol. Alcohol allows people to relax and forget about their current situation. I found it interesting that the researchers found that binge drinking was greater in higher income families. This may be because the economic decline hit the upper class very hard. Many people making high incomes lost their jobs and may have been affected more greatly by the depression.

  2. jennapetersen Says:

    I enjoyed reading the article about materialistic couples. One of my guilty pleasures is reality television and I love watching the Real Housewives shows on Bravo. The majority of the females on this show are beautiful women that live in extraordinary houses with extremely rich husbands. These women are addicted to beauty, clothing, jewelery, and everything that costs money. The husbands love to show-off their money and expect their wives to be the most perfect “housewives.” The most entertaining part of the show is watching how the couples get along. Most of them bicker constantly, and a few couples on the shows have already filed for divorces. This television show directly relates to the findings in this article. When couples care about materialistic items, such as clothes, cars, and houses, they put less time into their marriage. Their marriage takes the back seat to their money. I think the lesson to learn from this article is the cliche “money can’t buy happiness.” Relationships take work and should always be placed first. If couples continue worrying about unimportant things, their marriage will suffer.

  3. annieaitken Says:

    As much as I wanted to write my response to the Harry Potter costume site, I decided the article pertaining to schizophrenia might be a bit more relevant. I find it to be very interesting that a study on schizophrenia would be found in the hippocampus. Since the study is showing a connection between a gene and the protein dybindin, it would be interesting to know if we could detect schizophrenia before the symptoms started appearing. It is interesting that since this protein may also be connected to short term memory, this in turn has an effect on why therapy may not work for schizophrenics.

  4. Susan Carnohan Says:

    The article on “Can’t Buy Me Love” was of interest to me since I have been happily married 37 years; although, there were times, especially in our early years when life and love was not easy. As human beings, we are meant to be relational. It took me some time to realize the importance of relationship over stuff and money. The seeking after materialistic goods gets in the way of people learning how to relate in a functional manner with other individuals. People in our society tend to substitute money and things for the giving of themselves. The ultimate happiness occurs when people can connect in a healthy way relationally. But it takes work and time to learn how to do this. Now, just being with my husband, no matter where, is satisfying. I do not need to go out to dinner, to an entertainment venue, nor do I need him to give me elaborate gifts. The freedom of just being happy to be with him is incredibly liberating.

  5. akinsella Says:

    I really enjoyed reading the article about autism and social difficulties. This discovery is a very vital piece of information regarding the social interactions amongst people with autism. I was very interested in reading this article because eventually, I want to work with autistic children as a career. Understanding the way their brain operates, their approach to social interactions, and what they are motivated by would all be very useful things to know. This study will open up the field even more, allowing what I’m sure will be very important research down the road.

  6. akinsella Says:

    I was very surprised when I read the article “When economy goes down booze consumption goes up”. For me, this article proved was yet another evidence that served as a wake up call to not rely on “common sense”. When first hearing about the two concepts (economy success and alcohol consumption), I assumed that there would be a positive relationship – the better the economy is doing, the more cash flow; therefore, the more alcohol consumption. However, this study proved just the opposite. Once explained, it made sense. Individuals are resorting to drinking as a “last resort”. Out of fear, out of insecurity, out of desperation – people begin drinking when the hard times reach them. One of the statements found from this study shocked me the most – the fact that the higher the income and education level of an individual, the more likely they would excessively use alcohol. What an interesting study! Definitely made me think more and brought a very hot issue to the tables with this article that we all need to be VERY aware of.

  7. lexi williams Says:

    I thought the article about economics and alcohol consumption was interesting. As a fifth year in college, I have witnessed many individuals that have been involved in moderate social drinking, as well as many who have been involved in binge drinking and/or unhealthy drinking habits. From my perspective, I could never understand why people who drink when they were upset. Maybe its because I have no history of family alcoholism, or because I myself am only a moderate drinker, but it seems contradictory to me that an unhappy person would drink. For example, I had a roommate who drink when she was having really bad stress and anxiety. To me, this is the stupidest decision ever, and she would continue to make decisions like this even though she knew it would make her more unhappy. I saw her life in a downward spiral, and it got so back that one day my friends and I had to have a lifestyle intervention with her. She still to this day doesn’t really see that what she was doing to herself was affecting her badly. She would merely blame the bad things that happened on “bad luck”. For me, this article reminds me of this situation. It is so sad to me that Americans are drinking more due to the bad economy, and I see no beneficial outcome for anyone in this. Can’t everyone see that this will only make things worse?!

  8. carlyk Says:

    The article about the possible link between melatonin and Huntington’s Disease was of particular interest to me. I personally know a family that has been greatly affected by this horrible illness and to learn that there may be a sense of hope for the future victims of Huntington’s is very encouraging. It is a very unique disease in that it has a 50% inheritance rate whereas most genetic diseases have only a 25% rate. This research study offers a great sense of hope by claiming that life-span was stretched to about 18% in the animal subjects. Also, if this possible treatment is further developed, it could lead to even better results to help ease the aggressiveness of Huntington’s. It would be very encouraging to see this research continue and hopefully make more progress.

  9. carlyk Says:

    The article about materialistic couples did not come as a surprise to me. Though it may just be an old saying, the phrase “can’t buy me love” has always rung true in my opinion. I’ve seen several other studies similar to this one in which the findings were nearly identical. It is interesting, too, that how the couples perceive their financial stability is even more important than their actual financial stability. As a society, we have truly developed a money-centered type of mentality and it has lead to a great deal of unhappiness, especially in marriages. I hope that couples will have the opportunity to take a step back and realize that they may be caught up in the same type of situation, whether they recognize it or not. It is certainly a sad truth but unless our materialistic behavior is brought to attention, it will continue to follow this unfortunate trend.

  10. mfitzpatrick Says:

    The article about how “materialistic couples have more money, but more problems” was throughly entertaining. I have come to find, however, after having divorced parents who both have remarried, that the main dispute all my parents tend to have deals with financial issues, even being non-materialistic couples. It is completely not surprising that materialistic couples tend to have more problems; the more money you have, the more worries there are about who gets what, and how much each person can spend and what to spend on, etc. It’s unfortunate but I can definitely see the correlation.

  11. mfitzpatrick Says:

    The Harry Potter costumes are amazing! I definitely love Luna Lovegood’s spectrespecs. Personally, I would love to have the sorting hat! It would be pretty cool to find out what house I was really in!

  12. giulianna.riso Says:

    I really enjoyed the article about making memories taking time. I am a dancer and have been since I was a little girl. I was on a dance team in high school, so looking back I know that once I rehearsed a routine several times, I would start to gain muscle memory and not have to think so hard about remember what move comes next in the dance. It is really interesting that neurons from a single part of the brain can be traced to figure out what they are responsible for controlling!

  13. dlheller Says:

    I found the article about materialistic couples not surprising since money is often a huge cause of tension in relationships. The article notes the study’s overall findings were somewhat surprising to Carroll because materialism was only measured by self-evaluations. However, relationships require much more than artificial love to last. If couples don’t invest in each other and have chemistry beyond their love for money then it seems obvious that materialistic couples may have more money, but also more problems.

 

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It is not a lack of love,
but a lack of friendship
that makes unhappy marriages
-------- Nietzsche

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