The Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS), the official name of child protective services/social services here in Los Angeles County, was on a week-long strike over horrendous caseloads, low pay, and terrible schedules. To put this in context, Los Angeles County received almost 17,000 reports of threats to children’s safety (abuse, neglect, etc.) in …
Oxytocin has gotten a lot of hype as the biological basis of our favorite human emotion, Love. Oxytocin is a hormone produced by the hypothalamus and released by the posterior pituitary gland. The oxytocin system is involved in HPA axis and autonomic nervous system functions as well as reproductive functions and social behaviors. We are …View full post
From Empire State Building to the Sydney Opera House, iconic landmarks around the world are shining blue at night in honor of the sixth annual United Nations-sanctioned World Autism Awareness Day. “Light It Up Blue” is a global-initiative lead by Autism Speaks and spans throughout April as part of Autism Awareness Month. There …View full post
Can music help us heal?
The first piece of research evidence that turned me on to my field was a finding presented in a Health Psychology course as an undergraduate. Researchers found that after surgery, patients healed faster, and were released from the hospital sooner, if they had a window that looked out on to …View full post
We all know what poor sleep looks like (see: zombie apocalypse), but do we have a good understanding of what healthy sleep is? Most psychological and medical research on sleep has been focused on sleep disorders such as insomnia and sleep apnea, but healthy sleep is not necessarily the absence of these disorders. Since …View full post
Experiences early in life, when infants are highly dependent on their caregivers, can have profound effects on the brain. Research has shown that even young infants quickly learn the special relevance of their caregiver. For example, infants prefer their caregivers to strangers, learn to stay close to their caregivers, and are soothed by …View full post
I love that Angela Duckworth is expanding the conversation about success in education and other arenas beyond IQ. In doing so she follows other great thinkers like Howard Gardner who brought us the concept of multiple intelligences. Or Daniel Goleman who talked about emotional intelligence. And as a researcher …
In 1992, the Dalai Lama invited an up-and-coming neuroscientist, Richie Davidson, out to Dharamsala, India to discuss the future of neuroscience research. Why, wondered the Dalai Lama, don’t scientists devote more effort to the study of positives like happiness or compassion?
Since that pivotal conversation the field has accepted the Dalai Lama’s challenge, …