Verbal therapy could block consolidation of fear memories in trauma victims

A verbal ‘updating’ technique aimed at blocking the consolidation of traumatic memories could protect against the long-term psychological and physiological effects of trauma, according to new research from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King’s College London and the University of Oxford.

Published today in PLOS ONE, this study is the first to examine whether updating – a verbal therapy currently only used for patients with chronic post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – could be applied more widely to victims of trauma before PTSD develops, during a period known as the ‘consolidation window’. This period, thought to last around six hours after a traumatic event, is when fear memories are established and strengthened.

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User creativity made YouTube the world's biggest music service

Alternative variations from popular artists’ videos may reach an audience of millions, shows the new study from Finland’s Aalto University.

Music is the most popular YouTube content by several measures, including video views and search activity. The world’s first academic study on YouTube music consumption by Aalto University in Finland shows that one reason for its popularity lies in users’ own video. People re-use original music by popular artists to create their own alternative video variations, which may reach an audience of millions and can be found alongside any popular music title.

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Autism and prodigy share a common genetic link

Researchers have uncovered the first evidence of a genetic link between prodigy and autism. The scientists found that child prodigies in their sample share some of the same genetic variations with people who have autism.

Backache — a matter of mechanics

Empa calculates the force distribution in the back with the aid of the program "Open Sim" developed by Stanford University. CREDIT Empa

Empa calculates the force distribution in the back with the aid of the program “Open Sim” developed by Stanford University.
CREDIT
Empa

Some say that back pain is the price we pay for walking upright. Others claim that the problem of back pain only really started when humankind sat down to reflect and contemplate: a lack of exercise weakens the muscles, which is compounded with stress in our private lives or the workplace. Humans run through life hunched over with worry and the back muscles cramp up more and more. The upshot of it all: backache.

Usually, the problem can be remedied by relaxing and strengthening the back muscles. In one in seven cases, however, this doesn’t work. Even giving these patients opiates no longer helps. In these instances, a mechanical problem lurks behind the back pain and only an operation can put an end to the suffering. In severe cases, the defective vertebrae or spinal disks are bridged with a metal construction (intervertebral fusion). The fixed segment ossifies and is unable to trigger any more pain. However, this kind of reparatory operation only offers the patients a few years of relief before the problem flares up again in the neighboring vertebrae. The question is why this occurs and how this could be prevented.

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Better social media techniques increase fan interest, engagement

Researchers found that the more individual teams released original content from their Twitter accounts, such as score updates or player profiles, the more followers they gained and engagement they initiated. They say their findings could provide guidance for many businesses struggling with how to use social media.

Phonons, arise!

Now, using only a 9-volt battery at room temperature, a team led by Sandia National Laboratories researcher Jon Ihlefeld has altered the thermal conductivity of the widely used material PZT (lead zirconate titanate) by as much as 11 percent at subsecond time scales

California residents face high levels of discrimination due to psychological stress, study finds

Most California residents facing psychological distress do not perceive the public as being supportive, with a large proportion reporting discrimination both in personal relationships and in public realms such as the workplace, according to a new RAND Corporation study.

Just 41 percent of those surveyed believe that people are caring and sympathetic to those with mental illnesses, and 81 percent believe that people with mental illness experience high levels of prejudice and discrimination.

Consistent with their perceptions of public stigma, more than two-thirds of those polled said they definitely or probably would hide a mental health problem from co-workers or classmates, and more than one-third said they would do so from family or friends as well.

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