Archive for category odds
Joseph Burgo, one of our bloggers here at Psych Central, has recently inaugurated a new series of videos about psychodynamic psychotherapy, aimed at people who may be considering treatment and don’t know quite what to expect from this particular type of therapy.
His first video deals with the intake or initial consultation, focusing on the anxieties felt by both client and therapist as they embark upon a new relationship with a total stranger. His next video will focus on the types of issues that come up during the first few sessions; in future, he plans to cover other issues such as: the emergence of the transference, vacation breaks, the role of humor, therapist errors, etc.
These videos will appear on his YouTube channel and Dr. Burgo will announce each new one via his Therapy Case Notes blog. Even if you’re already familiar with psychodynamic psychotherapy, his thoughts about first sessions apply to all types of treatment and may be of interest:
- The Geezer’s Dirty Dozen on Interpersonal Psychotherapy (jajsamos.wordpress.com)
- Psychotherapy to Treat Erectile Dysfunction (everydayhealth.com)
- Finding a Good Psychotherapist (my.psychologytoday.com)
Learning Works Best When You Rest
By JANICE WOOD Associate News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on March 25, 2012
A new study shows that sleeping soon after learning new material is best for recall.
Notre Dame psychologist Jessica Payne and colleagues studied 207 students who habitually slept for at least six hours each night. Participants were randomly assigned to study declarative, semantically related or unrelated word pairs at 9 a.m. or 9 p.m., and returned for testing 30 minutes, 12 hours or 24 hours later.
Declarative memory refers to the ability to consciously remember facts and events. It can be broken down into memory for events — known as episodic memory — and semantic memory, which is memory for facts about the world.
People routinely use both types of memory every day, such as recalling where we parked or learning how a colleague prefers to be addressed, Payne said.
At the 12-hour retest, memory was superior following a night of sleep compared to a day of wakefulness, she said.
However, this performance difference was a result of a pronounced deterioration in memory for unrelated word pairs, she said, noting there was no difference for related word pairs. At the 24-hour retest, with all subjects having received both a full night of sleep and a full day of wakefulness, memories were superior when sleep occurred shortly after learning, rather than following a full day of wakefulness.
“Our study confirms that sleeping directly after learning something new is beneficial for memory,” she said. “What’s novel about this study is that we tried to shine light on sleep’s influence on both types of declarative memory by studying semantically unrelated and related word pairs.”
“Since we found that sleeping soon after learning benefited both types of memory, this means that it would be a good thing to rehearse any information you need to remember just prior to going to bed,” she continued. “In some sense, you may be ‘telling’ the sleeping brain what to consolidate.”
Titled “Memory for Semantically Related and Unrelated Declarative Information: The Benefit of Sleep, the Cost of Wake,” the study was published March 22 in PLOS One.
Source: University of Notre Dame
Having an Older Father May Help You Live Longer
By RICK NAUERT PHD Senior News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on June 12, 2012
If your father and grandfather waited until they were older before reproducing, you may experience life-extending benefits.
A new Northwestern University study suggests our bodies may learn to slow the pace of aging when evolutionary pressures demand. This means that our bodies may thus utilize more resources in repairing cells and tissues.
“If your father and grandfather were able to live and reproduce at a later age, this might predict that you yourself live in an environment that is somewhat similar — an environment with less accidental deaths or in which men are only able to find a partner at later ages,” said Dan T.A. Eisenberg, Ph.D., lead author of the study.
“In such an environment, investing more in a body capable of reaching these late ages could be an adaptive strategy from an evolutionary perspective.”
Christopher W. Kuzawa, Ph.D., co-author of the study, believes the new findings are fascinating.
“If our recent ancestors waited until later in adulthood before they reproduced, perhaps for cultural reasons, it would make sense for our bodies to prepare for something similar by investing the extra resources necessary to maintain healthy functioning at more advanced ages,” Kuzawa said.
Researchers discovered that Philippine children of older fathers not only inherit longer telomeres, which are DNA found at the ends of chromosomes, but that the association of paternal age with offspring telomere length is cumulative across multiple generations.
Shorter telomeres seem to be a cause of ill health that occurs with aging — longer telomeres seem to promote slower aging.
It appears that as men delay reproduction, they will pass on longer telomeres to offspring, which may facilitate extension of life span and allow reproducing at older ages.
Eisenberg said he hopes the study will further our understanding of the evolution of aging, why we get old and the ways that we adapt to the environment.
“When we think of adaptation, we tend to think of it happening over hundreds of generations,” Eisenberg said. “This study illustrates a means by which much more rapid adaptive genetic changes might occur over just a few generations.”
“The idea that information about the environment can be passed on biochemically from one generation to the next is certainly not something new,” said M. Geoffrey Hayes, Ph.D., a co-author of the study. “But what is quite unique in the case of our telomere study is that we’re seeing an association across more than one generation.”
Nevertheless, researchers say their study should not be taken as a recommendation that men reproduce at later ages as previous research has shown that older fathers are more likely to pass along harmful mutations to their offspring at conception.
However, Kuzawa said, “These new findings suggest that there might also be underappreciated benefits to having an older father or grandfather.”
Experts say that while the findings are tantalizing, the study will need to be replicated in other populations.
“We will want to see if the longer telomeres that offspring of older fathers and grandfathers inherit at birth have fewer health problems and ailments as they age,” Kuzawa said. “Based upon our findings, we predict that this will be the case, but this is a question to be addressed in future studies.”
Source: Northwestern University