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readings in psychology for march 2 2011

Posted Mar 02 2011 1:56pm

At the beautiful University of Virginia with my daughter Kristin!

Here are some readings for today:

“A review of more than 160 studies of human and animal subjects has found “clear and compelling evidence” that — all else being equal — happy people tend to live longer and experience better health than their unhappy peers.”

“A brain imaging study at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory reveals a subtle difference between ordinary obese subjects and those who compulsively overeat, or binge: In binge eaters but not ordinary obese subjects, the mere sight or smell of favorite foods triggers a spike in dopamine — a brain chemical linked to reward and motivation.”

“What should you do when you really, REALLY have to “go”? Make important life decisions, maybe. Controlling your bladder makes you better at controlling yourself when making decisions about your future, too, according to a study to be published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.”

“When your brain encounters sensory stimuli, such as the scent of your morning coffee or the sound of a honking car, that input gets shuttled to the appropriate brain region for analysis. The coffee aroma goes to the olfactory cortex, while sounds are processed in the auditory cortex.”

“The body is a dancer’s instrument, but is it attuned to the mind? A new study from the University of California, Berkeley, suggests that professional ballet and modern dancers are not as emotionally in sync with their bodies as are people who regularly practice meditation.”

“Recently, scientists developed a methane release measuring technique as way of tracking the discharge of the gas without disrupting the regular management of the herd.”

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