Study: ‘Moral enhancement’ technologies are neither feasible nor wise

Public Release: 16-May-2017 North Carolina State University A recent study by researchers at North Carolina State University and the Montreal Clinical Research Institute (IRCM) finds that “moral enhancement technologies” — which are discussed as ways of improving human behavior – are neither feasible nor wise, based on an assessment of existing research into these technologies.…

Psychological ‘vaccine’ could help immunize public against ‘fake news’ on climate change

Public Release: 22-Jan-2017   University of Cambridge   In medicine, vaccinating against a virus involves exposing a body to a weakened version of the threat, enough to build a tolerance. Social psychologists believe that a similar logic can be applied to help “inoculate” the public against misinformation, including the damaging influence of ‘fake news’ websites…

The current state of psychobiotics

Public Release: 25-Oct-2016   Cell Press   IMAGE: This is a systems level overview of psychobiotic action. Credit: Sarkar et al./Trends in Neurosciences 2016 Now that we know that gut bacteria can speak to the brain — in ways that affect our mood, our appetite, and even our circadian rhythms — the next challenge for…

Drinking beer helps us see happy faces faster

  Date: September 18, 2016 Source: European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP) Summary: What does drinking beer really do? A new study has shown that drinking beer affects the way we see specific emotions and allows us to see happy faces faster. It also has surprising effects on sexual perception.   FULL STORY What does drinking…

What free will looks like in the brain

Public Release: 13-Jul-2016   Johns Hopkins University   IMAGE: An illustration of the human brain indicates where researchers found activity relating to free-will decisions. Credit: Johns Hopkins University Johns Hopkins University researchers are the first to glimpse the human brain making a purely voluntary decision to act. Unlike most brain studies where scientists watch as…

Brain modification can prevent Bullying

“When we artificially induced the rapid GABA neuron activation between the basal forebrain and lateral habenula, we watched in real time as the aggressive mice became docile and no longer showed bullying behavior,” Public Release: 29-Jun-2016 Motivation to bully is regulated by brain reward circuits The Mount Sinai Hospital / Mount Sinai School of Medicine…

Emotion detector

Public Release: 27-Apr-2016   Facial expression recognition to improve learning, gaming Inderscience Publishers A computer algorithm that can tell whether you are happy or sad, angry or expressing almost any other emotion would be a boon to the games industry. New research published in the International Journal of Computational Vision and Robotics describes such a…

The first happiness genes have been located

Public Release: 25-Apr-2016   Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam scientists have found a genetic overlap between happiness and depression   For the first time in history, researchers have isolated the parts of the human genome that could explain the differences in how humans experience happiness. These are the findings of a large-scale international study in over 298,000…

Transfer of gut bacteria can induce social withdrawal behaviors

Public Release: 20-Apr-2016 Transfer of gut bacteria affects brain function and nerve fiber insulation Researchers transferred fecal bacteria from the gut of depressed mice to genetically distinct mice exhibiting non-depressed behavior. The study showed that the transfer of microbiota was sufficient to induce social withdrawal behaviors and change the expression of myelin genes and myelin…

Boost fundraising with something simple: Sandpaper

Public Release: 25-Mar-2016   Society for Consumer Psychology Not getting enough charitable donations? Try having people to touch sandpaper before you ask for money. A new study shows that touching rough surfaces triggers the emotion of empathy, which motivates people to donate to non-profit organizations. “We found that when people were experiencing mild discomfort as…