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Psychology

A comprehensive Microsoft study is offering insights into how living in the digital age is affecting our ability to sustain attention and how our brains are adapting to the constant flow of new stimuli. Although the results confirmed the suspicions that the information overflow is affecting our ability to focus on one task for long periods of time, the news isn't all bad, as it seems we're also training our brains to multitask more effectively.

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Yoga practitioners know firsthand the physical and mental benefits the activity produces, as meditation is often embedded in yoga sessions. Now, yogis have got science to back their claims of well-being and focus, as new research shows more clearly how yoga-induced mindfulness has an impact on pain perception. Read More
It had to happen sooner or later; robots have replaced infants... at least, as subjects in psychological research being conducted by a team at the Indiana University (IU) Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences. The robots are being used to study how infants learn and have revealed that posture and body position are important factors in early learning. Read More

Choosing your own pizza toppings from a number of options might seem like a daunting task, but perhaps it isn't as hard as you think ... perhaps your subconscious already knows what you want. That's the thinking behind the new eye-tracking Subconscious Menu, which is being introduced at UK Pizza Huts. Read More

In a attempt to look at how our relationship with technology can potentially change our inherent identity, British artist Mark Farid is pledging to spend 28 days isolated inside virtual reality, seeing only footage of someone else's life. This social experiment called "Seeing I" is currently raising funds on Kickstarter and if successful will see the brave artist lock himself away in a small room, equipped with nothing but a bed, toilet and shower, all the while being completely visible to the public. Read More
People who have been charged with sexual offenses typically have to undergo psychotherapy in order to control their deviant impulses. According to researchers at the University of Montreal, virtual reality may provide the best method of determining if that therapy has indeed worked – before those offenders are released back into the public. Read More
While there are a wide range of scenarios that may cause a person to take their own life, the fact is that in a given situation, some people will do so whereas others won't. Scientists at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine now believe that this difference can largely be traced to a genetic mutation in the people who are more likely to commit suicide. What's more, this mutation can be detected via a blood test. Read More
It can be hard enough for parents to maintain a cool head when dealing with an angry child at the best of times, but things can get much more difficult when that child has ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). That's why scientists at Microsoft Research and the University of California, San Diego have created ParentGuardian. It combines a wrist-worn sensor and an app, to monitor parents' stress levels and deliver real-time coping strategies. Read More
A new online tool aims to create a real-time emotional map of how people all over the world feel, from analyzing how cheerful or depressed different countries might be, to how budget cuts or other news might hit people emotionally. Called "We Feel," the tool analyzes 32,000 tweets a minute to monitor people's collective mood swings and how their emotions fluctuate over time globally. Read More
People afflicted with bipolar disorder must live with the fact that at any moment, they could launch into a major depressive or manic mental state. These mood swings can be so severe that dangerous, erratic behavior including suicide attempts can result. Researchers at the University of Michigan, however, are developing something that could prove to be very helpful. It's an Android app that listens to a patient's phone conversations, and detects the signs of oncoming mood swings in their voice. Read More
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