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Tag: neurology

September is National Honey Month

As sunflowers put on a show for us this month, it’s also important to pay homage to another black and yellow marvel of nature: bees.

September is National Honey Month, a time in which we honor the byproduct of the five-eyed, six-legged, insects that have soared through our skies at 20mph for the last 30 million years.

Bee pollination adds approximately 14 billion dollars to improved crop yield and quality annually in the United States, according to NASA. And while we all know the “BEES ARE DYING,” which will inevitably wreak havoc on agricultural output, did you know that honey may have played a critical role in human evolution?

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Think With Your Gut

Our bodies are essentially an apartment complex for 100 trillion micro bacteria that have found a home within our intestines.

Before you start writing up an eviction notice, it’s worth noting just how much we – and every other organism with a digestive system – depend on gut microbiota.

Recent research shows gut microbiota influence our mood, behavior, and neurodevelopment. While it may seem these microscopic critters run our lives, the gut microbiome is largely influenced by environmental factors including diet, stress, geography, and age, among others.

Instead of accusing your gut microbiota of being bad tenants, ask yourself: “Have I been a good landlord? What are they trying to tell me?”

Learn to think with your gut, not against it.

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March is National Caffeine Awareness Month

Wake up and smell the coffee, bug buddies. March is National Caffeine Awareness month – but that doesn’t mean treating yourself to an extra cup ‘o Joe.

In fact, National Caffeine Awareness Month was initiated by the Caffeine Awareness Alliance to help promote a caffeine-free industry in 2003, according to National Today.

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Patching Up the Blues with Nicotine

Whether it’s a bandaid over a bullet wound or a patch over an underlying mental health condition, researchers have been studying the effectiveness of treating depression and attention-deficit disorder with nicotine patches.

Which leaves one to wonder which is the lesser of two evils – a dependence on nicotine, a highly addictive substance, or grappling with depression and ADHD?

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The Default Mode Network: The Center of You

Take your hands off the keyboard, relax, and take a deep breath. Try your best to do absolutely nothing for a moment. Where did your mind go?

Assuming you were able to achieve a resting state, your brain’s default mode network kicked on.

There’s still much to be researched about the DMN, however, the data currently available has lead researchers to believe the DMN may be at the center of our ego.

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What is Positive Psychology?

The field of psychology often hones in on understanding mental and behavioral disorders. Every time a new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual is released, psychologists and psychiatrists are tasked to familiarize themselves with an ever expanding list of disorders as well as updates to previously defined terms.

At the cusp of the 21st century, Martin Seligman, P.h.D. sought to change that by pursuing the field of positive psychology, says University of Penn.

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How Dogs Think, Feel, and Communicate

“BARK! BARK! BARK!” Neurons fire to one in another in the face of a feline, fire hydrant, mailman, or dog treat. “BAAAAAAARK,” neurons fire again as the owner walks out the door and leaves the canine behind for an eight-hour shift.

Dogs have been “man’s best friend” for thousands of years, reports a study published in Nature Communications – but, is man dog’s best friend? How do they regard human relationships? What do dogs think and feel? How do they communicate?

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The Role of Serotonin in Your Daily Life

Serotonin is a hormone associated with mood regulation and well-being, but its functions go far beyond that.

Countless research over the last few decades has linked serotonin to regulating stress, long-term memory recall, sleep, digestion, blood pressure, and body temperature.

The hormone has also been critical to furthering the understanding of various neurological, behavioral, and emotional conditions, such as depression and migraines.

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Sensory Information in Dreams: Sighted vs Blind

Vivid, colorful imagery; stomach-dropping falls; jumbled conversations. Dreams are brimming with sensory information, whether you’re running from “Slenderman,” shaking hands with a celebrity, or screaming because you forgot to wear pants to school.

Where does this sensory information come from? How does blindness affect your dreams?

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