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How much do you love me?

Do you have a penchant for a certain brand of perfume or aftershave? Would you camp out overnight to lay your hands on the latest piece of Apple kit? One group of researchers has set out to discover whether people feel the same kind of love for brands as they do for people, in a…

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Let them eat Prozac

The neurotransmitter theory, despite being a theory, has become hard-wired into our understanding of the way depression works. A shortfall in the neurotransmitter serotonin in the synapses between neurones represents a ‘chemical imbalance’ which leads to the symptoms of depression, right? Professor David Healy, author of a book published in 2004 entitled ‘Let them eat…

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These results are not to be sniffed at

If you think that emotions can be contagious, you’d be right. It’s well established that feelings of happiness, for example, transfer between individuals through mimicry of facial expressions. But a new piece of research suggests this is not the only way we influence each others’ emotional states. It would appear that feelings can also be…

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The latest weapon in the war on mental disorders

With the prevalence of mental disorders at an all-time high in the general population, any measure which promises to alleviate symptoms has to be worthy of attention. Recently, a woman I know who has spent time in a psychiatric hospital, mentioned, in passing, that she had been greatly helped by a therapist who had followed…

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Give thanks for a happy heart

All too often, it’s the simple, commonsense practices which turn out to deliver genuine therapeutic benefits, with little recognition. That’s why this latest piece of research, published by the American Psychological Association, is highly deserving of attention and should warm the cockles of all our hearts. Because what it demonstrates is the power of that…

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Time to get your house in order

We all know that housework, no matter how tiresome it may be, usually leaves us feeling a lot better than when we started. According to a new piece of research, older adults who keep their homes clean and tidy feel emotionally better than those living in a chaotic environment. Kathy Wright and her team from…

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Give your brain a proper workout

Everywhere you look nowadays, there are businesses touting the means to extend your brain power. One that is clearly courting favour, judging by their advertising campaign, is ‘Lumosity’, which describes itself as a ‘leader in the science of brain training’. It brings us a slew of apparently much-needed digital games in the areas of memory,…

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The trauma of war

It seems that, despite all hopes to the contrary, we are ever more embroiled in war. And while physical casualties are often thoroughly reported, what commonly goes unreported are the emotional and mental effects which also carry the potential to devastate lives. In recent years, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has received a lot of attention…

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