Shaheen Lakhan

435 posts · 748,296 views

Brain Blogger covers topics from multidimensional biopsychosocial perspectives. It reviews the latest news and stories related to neuroscience, psychiatry, and neurology. It serves as a focal point for attracting new minds beyond the science of the mind-and-brain and into the biopsychosocial model.

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  • February 2, 2011
  • 07:00 AM

Willpower, Glucose, and Belief

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

The first step to more willpower is a step away from simple nostrums.... Read more »

  • January 30, 2011
  • 07:00 AM

Catch Some Zzz’s to Lose Some Pounds

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

The average length of a night of sleep for an adult in the United States has decreased by 2 hours in the last 50 years. Increasing evidence reports the damaging effects of sleep deprivation and restriction on hormone release, cardiovascular function, and glucose regulation. Now, in fact, evidence shows that sleep loss undermines dietary efforts [...]... Read more »

Copinschi G. (2005) Metabolic and endocrine effects of sleep deprivation. Essential psychopharmacology, 6(6), 341-7. PMID: 16459757  

Nedeltcheva AV, Kilkus JM, Imperial J, Kasza K, Schoeller DA, & Penev PD. (2009) Sleep curtailment is accompanied by increased intake of calories from snacks. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 89(1), 126-33. PMID: 19056602  

Nedeltcheva AV, Kilkus JM, Imperial J, Schoeller DA, & Penev PD. (2010) Insufficient sleep undermines dietary efforts to reduce adiposity. Annals of internal medicine, 153(7), 435-41. PMID: 20921542  

Van Cauter E, Spiegel K, Tasali E, & Leproult R. (2008) Metabolic consequences of sleep and sleep loss. Sleep medicine. PMID: 18929315  

  • January 24, 2011
  • 07:00 AM

The Beauty of First Impressions

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Oscar Wilde once claimed, “It is better to be beautiful than good, but it is better to be good than ugly.” This may be most true when meeting new people. Researchers in British Columbia suggest that beautiful people make better first impressions. In the study, people more accurately described and had a more positive impression [...]... Read more »

Schiller D, Freeman JB, Mitchell JP, Uleman JS, & Phelps EA. (2009) A neural mechanism of first impressions. Nature neuroscience, 12(4), 508-14. PMID: 19270690  

  • January 21, 2011
  • 07:00 AM

Cartoon – Hormone Therapy and Dementia

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

I get to tolerate menopausal symptoms or become demented while on hormone replacement therapy. So, spare me your complaining about hair loss. A new study published in the Annals of Neurology finds that hormone therapy may be beneficial against dementia for women in midlife (mean age, 48.7 years), but an increased risk for those taking [...]... Read more »

  • January 19, 2011
  • 05:20 PM

The Neuroscience of Fear and Loathing

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Fear is an innate emotion that is triggered by environmental stimuli perceived as potentially threatening or harmful. This emotion is so basic to human existence that its expression on a human face can be accurately recognized by anyone in the world. Thus, fear is a highly evolved, universal emotion whose existence is critical to survival. [...]... Read more »

Ekman P, Sorenson ER, & Friesen WV. (1969) Pan-cultural elements in facial displays of emotion. Science (New York, N.Y.), 164(3875), 86-8. PMID: 5773719  

Feinstein JS, Adolphs R, Damasio A, & Tranel D. (2011) The human amygdala and the induction and experience of fear. Current biology : CB, 21(1), 34-8. PMID: 21167712  

Koenigs M, Huey ED, Raymont V, Cheon B, Solomon J, Wassermann EM, & Grafman J. (2008) Focal brain damage protects against post-traumatic stress disorder in combat veterans. Nature neuroscience, 11(2), 232-7. PMID: 18157125  

  • January 15, 2011
  • 08:43 AM

Imagine the Possibilities

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Researchers have discovered a way for people to eat less: imagine eating. Better than any diet pill, workout routine or all-cabbage-all-the-time regimen, simply thinking about eating food will make a person eat less. The work is based on a process called habituation — a phenomenon that decreases the responsiveness to and motivation for obtaining food. [...]... Read more »

Epstein LH, Robinson JL, Roemmich JN, Marusewski AL, & Roba LG. (2010) What constitutes food variety? Stimulus specificity of food. Appetite, 54(1), 23-9. PMID: 19765625  

Epstein LH, Robinson JL, Temple JL, Roemmich JN, Marusewski A, & Nadbrzuch R. (2008) Sensitization and habituation of motivated behavior in overweight and non-overweight children. Learning and motivation, 39(3), 243-255. PMID: 19649135  

Epstein LH, Robinson JL, Temple JL, Roemmich JN, Marusewski AL, & Nadbrzuch RL. (2009) Variety influences habituation of motivated behavior for food and energy intake in children. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 89(3), 746-54. PMID: 19176724  

Epstein LH, Temple JL, Roemmich JN, & Bouton ME. (2009) Habituation as a determinant of human food intake. Psychological review, 116(2), 384-407. PMID: 19348547  

Morewedge CK, Huh YE, & Vosgerau J. (2010) Thought for food: imagined consumption reduces actual consumption. Science (New York, N.Y.), 330(6010), 1530-3. PMID: 21148388  

Myers Ernst M, & Epstein LH. (2002) Habituation of responding for food in humans. Appetite, 38(3), 224-34. PMID: 12071689  

  • January 11, 2011
  • 07:08 PM

Own Your Actions to Keep New Year’s Resolutions

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

New Year’s Day is really nothing more than an arbitrary day on the calendar, but it does allow people a chance to reflect on their life and their accomplishments. Many people, in turn, promise to change behaviors or circumstances they don’t like in the year ahead. While a lot of resolutions are aimed at living [...]... Read more »

Koestner R, Lekes N, Powers TA, & Chicoine E. (2002) Attaining personal goals: self-concordance plus implementation intentions equals success. Journal of personality and social psychology, 83(1), 231-44. PMID: 12088128  

McManus C. (2004) New Year's resolutions. BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 329(7480), 1413-4. PMID: 15604158  

Sheldon, K., Elliot, A., Ryan, R., Chirkov, V., Kim, Y., Wu, C., Demir, M., & Sun, Z. (2004) Self-Concordance and Subjective Well-Being in Four Cultures. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 35(2), 209-223. DOI: 10.1177/0022022103262245  

  • January 7, 2011
  • 07:00 AM

Social Network Addiction – A Scientific No Man’s Land?

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

While social network addiction is not included in the DSM IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), many researchers advocated its inclusion in DSM V. As the proposed category is on the way to being left out, the argument continues.... Read more »

  • January 2, 2011
  • 07:00 AM

Strong Bones Equals Weak Heart

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Adequate calcium intake is an important nutritional factor for skeletal health. Calcium (when taken with adequate Vitamin D) prevents bone loss and decreases the risk of fractures and associated morbidity and mortality. Most adults require 1000 mg of calcium daily. (Children and postmenopausal women require slightly more.) For decades, physicians and pharmacists have been advocating [...]... Read more »

Bolland MJ, Barber PA, Doughty RN, Mason B, Horne A, Ames R, Gamble GD, Grey A, & Reid IR. (2008) Vascular events in healthy older women receiving calcium supplementation: randomised controlled trial. BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 336(7638), 262-6. PMID: 18198394  

Hsia J, Heiss G, Ren H, Allison M, Dolan NC, Greenland P, Heckbert SR, Johnson KC, Manson JE, Sidney S.... (2007) Calcium/vitamin D supplementation and cardiovascular events. Circulation, 115(7), 846-54. PMID: 17309935  

Ross AC, Manson JE, Abrams SA, Aloia JF, Brannon PM, Clinton SK, Durazo-Arvizu RA, Gallagher JC, Gallo RL, Jones G.... (2010) The 2011 Report on Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D from the Institute of Medicine: What Clinicians Need to Know. The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism. PMID: 21118827  

Shah SM, Carey IM, Harris T, DeWilde S, & Cook DG. (2010) Calcium supplementation, cardiovascular disease and mortality in older women. Pharmacoepidemiology and drug safety, 19(1), 59-64. PMID: 19757413  

  • December 30, 2010
  • 07:00 AM

The Power of One

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

This month, United States Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin released her first report on the effects of tobacco smoke. (This is Dr. Benjamin’s first such report, but it is the 30th in a series of similar reports since 1964.) The 700-page report outlines, in much detail, the effects that cigarettes and smoking have on a [...]... Read more »

Vrieling A, Bueno-de-Mesquita HB, Boshuizen HC, Michaud DS, Severinsen MT, Overvad K, Olsen A, Tjønneland A, Clavel-Chapelon F, Boutron-Ruault MC.... (2010) Cigarette smoking, environmental tobacco smoke exposure and pancreatic cancer risk in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. International journal of cancer. Journal international du cancer, 126(10), 2394-403. PMID: 19790196  

  • December 24, 2010
  • 07:00 AM

Love Can Alleviate Pain

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

The early stages of a new, romantic relationship are associated with feelings of euphoria, which likely arise from brain mechanisms responsible for sensations of pleasure or reward. Imaging studies have shown that viewing pictures of a new, romantic partner elicits brain activity in multiple reward processing centers in the brain. Interestingly, these findings have now [...]... Read more »

Kelley AE, & Berridge KC. (2002) The neuroscience of natural rewards: relevance to addictive drugs. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 22(9), 3306-11. PMID: 11978804  

Master SL, Eisenberger NI, Taylor SE, Naliboff BD, Shirinyan D, & Lieberman MD. (2009) A picture's worth: partner photographs reduce experimentally induced pain. Psychological science : a journal of the American Psychological Society / APS, 20(11), 1316-8. PMID: 19788531  

  • December 21, 2010
  • 07:00 AM

Low-Carbohydrate Diets are Not Created Equal

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Low-carbohydrate diets have been among the most popular weight-loss strategies of the last several decades. But, new research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine indicates that the type of low-carbohydrate plan one chooses affects not only the waistline, but the risk of mortality. In a large, prospective, observational study, researchers evaluated whether the type [...]... Read more »

Fung TT, van Dam RM, Hankinson SE, Stampfer M, Willett WC, & Hu FB. (2010) Low-carbohydrate diets and all-cause and cause-specific mortality: two cohort studies. Annals of internal medicine, 153(5), 289-98. PMID: 20820038  

Halton TL, Willett WC, Liu S, Manson JE, Albert CM, Rexrode K, & Hu FB. (2006) Low-carbohydrate-diet score and the risk of coronary heart disease in women. The New England journal of medicine, 355(19), 1991-2002. PMID: 17093250  

Kennedy ET, Bowman SA, Spence JT, Freedman M, & King J. (2001) Popular diets: correlation to health, nutrition, and obesity. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 101(4), 411-20. PMID: 11320946  

Sjögren P, Becker W, Warensjö E, Olsson E, Byberg L, Gustafsson IB, Karlström B, & Cederholm T. (2010) Mediterranean and carbohydrate-restricted diets and mortality among elderly men: a cohort study in Sweden. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 92(4), 967-74. PMID: 20826627  

Trichopoulou A, Psaltopoulou T, Orfanos P, Hsieh CC, & Trichopoulos D. (2007) Low-carbohydrate-high-protein diet and long-term survival in a general population cohort. European journal of clinical nutrition, 61(5), 575-81. PMID: 17136037  

  • December 12, 2010
  • 07:00 AM

Preventing HIV Before Exposure

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Currently, more than 33 million people worldwide are living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Each year, there are nearly 3 million new infections. The growing worldwide burden of this infection, which causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), has prompted researchers to investigate novel approaches to infection control and prevention. A recent investigation published by [...]... Read more »

Abdool Karim Q, Abdool Karim SS, Frohlich JA, Grobler AC, Baxter C, Mansoor LE, Kharsany AB, Sibeko S, Mlisana KP, Omar Z.... (2010) Effectiveness and safety of tenofovir gel, an antiretroviral microbicide, for the prevention of HIV infection in women. Science (New York, N.Y.), 329(5996), 1168-74. PMID: 20643915  

Golub SA, Kowalczyk W, Weinberger CL, & Parsons JT. (2010) Preexposure prophylaxis and predicted condom use among high-risk men who have sex with men. Journal of acquired immune deficiency syndromes (1999), 54(5), 548-55. PMID: 20512046  

Johnson WD, Diaz RM, Flanders WD, Goodman M, Hill AN, Holtgrave D, Malow R, & McClellan WM. (2008) Behavioral interventions to reduce risk for sexual transmission of HIV among men who have sex with men. Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online). PMID: 18646068  

Oster AM Md, Dorell CG Md Mph, Mena LA Md Mph, Thomas PE Phd, Toledo CA Phd, & Heffelfinger JD Md Mph. (2010) HIV Risk Among Young African American Men Who Have Sex With Men: A Case-Control Study in Mississippi. American journal of public health. PMID: 21088266  

Supervie V, García-Lerma JG, Heneine W, & Blower S. (2010) HIV, transmitted drug resistance, and the paradox of preexposure prophylaxis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107(27), 12381-6. PMID: 20616092  

Grant, R., Lama, J., Anderson, P., McMahan, V., Liu, A., Vargas, L., Goicochea, P., Casapía, M., Guanira-Carranza, J., Ramirez-Cardich, M.... (2010) Preexposure Chemoprophylaxis for HIV Prevention in Men Who Have Sex with Men. New England Journal of Medicine, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1011205  

  • December 9, 2010
  • 07:00 AM

Dying to Work Overtime

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

President Ronald Reagan once joked that hard work never killed anyone, but why take the chance? According to a new study, he may have been correct in avoiding burning the proverbial midnight oil. A study published in the European Heart Journal reports that working overtime is an independent risk factor for incident cardiovascular disease. Researchers [...]... Read more »

Lallukka T, Martikainen P, Reunanen A, Roos E, Sarlio-Lähteenkorva S, & Lahelma E. (2006) Associations between working conditions and angina pectoris symptoms among employed women. Psychosomatic medicine, 68(2), 348-54. PMID: 16554403  

Lallukka T, Sarlio-Lähteenkorva S, Roos E, Laaksonen M, Rahkonen O, & Lahelma E. (2004) Working conditions and health behaviours among employed women and men: the Helsinki Health Study. Preventive medicine, 38(1), 48-56. PMID: 14672641  

Schulte PA, Wagner GR, Ostry A, Blanciforti LA, Cutlip RG, Krajnak KM, Luster M, Munson AE, O'Callaghan JP, Parks CG.... (2007) Work, obesity, and occupational safety and health. American journal of public health, 97(3), 428-36. PMID: 17267711  

Steptoe A, Cropley M, & Joekes K. (1999) Job strain, blood pressure and response to uncontrollable stress. Journal of hypertension, 17(2), 193-200. PMID: 10067788  

Virtanen M, Ferrie JE, Singh-Manoux A, Shipley MJ, Vahtera J, Marmot MG, & Kivimäki M. (2010) Overtime work and incident coronary heart disease: the Whitehall II prospective cohort study. European heart journal, 31(14), 1737-44. PMID: 20460389  

  • December 6, 2010
  • 07:00 AM

Is the Future Bisexual?

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Last week, I heard a girl on the radio, who was talking about how she would have no problem doing a threesome with another girl, if her boyfriend desired it. The girl’s carefree attitude, revealing to hundreds of thousands of strangers that she was open to a bisexual experience reminded me of a certain 2005 study [...]... Read more »

  • December 3, 2010
  • 11:57 AM

Vigorous Exercise Boosts GPA

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Many studies have positively linked physical fitness and academic achievement in elementary and middle-school aged children. But a report from the American College of Sports Medicine indicates that college students can also increase their grade point average (GPA) by engaging in vigorous exercise. The study examined the grades and exercise habits of 266 undergraduates. Overall, [...]... Read more »

Kwak L, Kremers SP, Bergman P, Ruiz JR, Rizzo NS, & Sjöström M. (2009) Associations between physical activity, fitness, and academic achievement. The Journal of pediatrics, 155(6), 914-9180. PMID: 19643438  

Welk GJ, Jackson AW, Morrow JR Jr, Haskell WH, Meredith MD, & Cooper KH. (2010) The association of health-related fitness with indicators of academic performance in Texas schools. Research quarterly for exercise and sport, 81(3 Suppl). PMID: 21049834  

  • November 30, 2010
  • 05:47 PM

Contagious Cooperation

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Humans, and other animals, tend to cooperate with each other in a variety of social situations. Without working together toward a common goal, species as a whole would suffer and evolution may have been short-lived. In general, humans tend to be most cooperative and apt to help others when the costs are small to the [...]... Read more »

Dreber A, Rand DG, Fudenberg D, & Nowak MA. (2008) Winners don't punish. Nature, 452(7185), 348-51. PMID: 18354481  

Fowler, J. (2005) Altruistic punishment and the origin of cooperation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 102(19), 7047-7049. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0500938102  

Fowler, J., & Christakis, N. (2010) Cooperative behavior cascades in human social networks. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(12), 5334-5338. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0913149107  

Rand DG, Dreber A, Ellingsen T, Fudenberg D, & Nowak MA. (2009) Positive interactions promote public cooperation. Science (New York, N.Y.), 325(5945), 1272-5. PMID: 19729661  

  • November 27, 2010
  • 10:45 AM

Brain Development and College Football

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Most of us have experienced the thrills and agonies of watching our chosen sports teams either perform well or poorly. During college football season in the United States, millions of fans devote their weekends to watching people run up and down fields while trying to avoid getting too injured. Those who follow college football notice [...]... Read more »

  • November 18, 2010
  • 07:00 AM

Are Rhesus Monkeys Self-Aware?

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Conventional wisdom from cognitive science posits that a variety of animals can recognize themselves in the mirror and, therefore, possess self-awareness. Traditionally, macaque monkeys have not been included among them, but a new study utilizing refined behavioral methods reveals that rhesus monkeys can indeed recognize themselves in the mirror. The results appear to reconcile a [...]... Read more »

Plotnik JM, de Waal FB, & Reiss D. (2006) Self-recognition in an Asian elephant. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 103(45), 17053-7. PMID: 17075063  

Reiss D, & Marino L. (2001) Mirror self-recognition in the bottlenose dolphin: a case of cognitive convergence. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 98(10), 5937-42. PMID: 11331768  

  • November 15, 2010
  • 07:00 AM

The Lonely Hearts Club

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Loneliness is a complex set of emotions that encompasses feelings of social isolation, unfilled intimate needs, and heightened feelings of vulnerability. Though transient for some people, chronic loneliness can take a physical and psychological toll on individuals, leading to increased morbidity and mortality. Specifically, new research indicates that loneliness raises blood pressure – a silent [...]... Read more »

Cacioppo JT, Ernst JM, Burleson MH, McClintock MK, Malarkey WB, Hawkley LC, Kowalewski RB, Paulsen A, Hobson JA, Hugdahl K.... (2000) Lonely traits and concomitant physiological processes: the MacArthur social neuroscience studies. International journal of psychophysiology : official journal of the International Organization of Psychophysiology, 35(2-3), 143-54. PMID: 10677643  

Cacioppo JT, Hawkley LC, Crawford LE, Ernst JM, Burleson MH, Kowalewski RB, Malarkey WB, Van Cauter E, & Berntson GG. (2002) Loneliness and health: potential mechanisms. Psychosomatic medicine, 64(3), 407-17. PMID: 12021415  

Hawkley LC, & Cacioppo JT. (2003) Loneliness and pathways to disease. Brain, behavior, and immunity. PMID: 12615193  

Hawkley LC, Preacher KJ, & Cacioppo JT. (2010) Loneliness impairs daytime functioning but not sleep duration. Health psychology : official journal of the Division of Health Psychology, American Psychological Association, 29(2), 124-9. PMID: 20230084  

Hawkley LC, Thisted RA, & Cacioppo JT. (2009) Loneliness predicts reduced physical activity: cross-sectional . Health psychology : official journal of the Division of Health Psychology, American Psychological Association, 28(3), 354-63. PMID: 19450042  

Masi CM, Chen HY, Hawkley LC, & Cacioppo JT. (2010) A Meta-Analysis of Interventions to Reduce Loneliness. Personality and social psychology review : an official journal of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Inc. PMID: 20716644  

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