mental health

Air pollution may be making us less intelligent

Air pollution may be making us less intelligent

Not only is air pollution bad for our lungs and heart, it turns out it could actually be making us less intelligent, too. A recent study found that in elderly people living in China, long-term exposure to air pollution may hinder cognitive performance (things like our ability to pay attention, to recall past knowledge and generate new information) in verbal and maths tests. As people age, the link between air pollution and their mental decline becomes stronger. The study also found men and less educated people were especially at risk, though the reason why is currently unknown.

Spending time alone in nature is good for your mental and emotional health

Spending time alone in nature is good for your mental and emotional health

Today Americans live in a world that thrives on being busy, productive and over scheduled. Further, they have developed the technological means to be constantly connected to others and to vast options for information and entertainment through social media. For many, smartphones demand their attention day and night with constant notifications.

Social media can be bad for youth mental health, but there are ways it can help

Social media can be bad for youth mental health, but there are ways it can help

Young people spend a lot of time on social media. They’re also more susceptible to peer pressure, low self-esteem and mental ill-health. A number of studies have found associations between increased social media use and depression, anxiety, sleep problems, eating concerns, and suicide risk.

How the brain processes emotions - Neuroscientists identify circuits that could play a role in mental illnesses, including depression.

How the brain processes emotions - Neuroscientists identify circuits that could play a role in mental illnesses, including depression.

Some mental illnesses may stem, in part, from the brain’s inability to correctly assign emotional associations to events. For example, people who are depressed often do not feel happy even when experiencing something that they normally enjoy.

Is There An Objective Measurement to Identify Individuals at Risk of Developing Depression?

Is There An Objective Measurement to Identify Individuals at Risk of Developing Depression?

A network of interacting brain regions known as the default mode network (DMN) was found to have stronger connections in adults and children with a high risk of depression compared to those with a low risk. These findings suggest that increased DMN connectivity is a potential precursor, or biomarker, indicating a risk of developing major depressive disorder (MDD).