Friday’s 5 cognitive curiosities journal club

Here are my top picks from the neuroscience-mindfulness spectrum for this week.

1. We judge our previous decisions based on new information

From The Journal of Neuroscience

Thinking about thinking (known as metacognition) is hugely important for adaptation, however, little is known about it. The results of this study demonstrate that the information used to make the initial decision differs from the information that is used in metacognitive judgments.

2. Obesity is linked to memory problems

From The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology

Obesity could play a part in the development of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s Disease. It appears that the relationship is a two-way street: being overweight or obese impacts memory function, then the memories of eating experiences change and thus affect future eating behavioural patterns.

3. There is little or no diagnostic specificity in the fMRI results for mental illness

From Human Brain Mapping

It appears that individuals with mental illness – regardless of the diagnosis – have abnormalities in their limbic system responses to various tasks. The limbic system is associated with emotion.

Put simply, the fMRI of a depressed person isn’t different to the fMRI of a person with a (seemingly) completely different disorder schizophrenia.

This could be a reflection on insufficient sample sizes. It could also be a reflection on the worry of going into an MRI scanner. A number of studies emerged recently showing that we’re possibly misinterpreting the findings of fMRI.

neuroscience mindfulness latest news
From Addressing Reverse Inference in Psychiatric Neuroimaging: Meta-Analyses of Task Related Brain Activation in Common Mental Disorders

4. Fat shaming is associated with poor health outcomes

From Obesity

Individuals suffering from obesity who self-stigmatise may be at an increased cardiometabolic risk. Physiological and psychological mechanisms linking weight bias internalisation and metabolic syndrome warrant further research.

One of the researchers commented:

“There is a common misconception that stigma might help motivate individuals with obesity to lose weight and improve their health,” Pearl said. “We are finding it has quite the opposite effect.

When people feel shamed because of their weight, they are more likely to avoid exercise and consume more calories to cope with this stress.”

5. Thinking loops lead to emotional loops

From Tara Brach

Tara Brach humorously talks about the relationship between biases, emotion, beliefs and thinking. Emotions can subside in 90 seconds unless we generate cycles of thinking that re-trigger and reinforce them.

Have a great weekend everyone.

neuroscience mindfulness news

8 Comments Add yours

  1. Thanks for sharing this! I learned something new with this and I thank you for that 😃

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Great stuff Martina, thanks for sharing! 🙂

    I’ll definitely keep an eye out for any other article round-ups you do and check them out!

    The short round-ups you do are super useful and informative too!

    Keep doing what you’re doing 🙂

    PS – On a related note, I’m on the hunt for feedback for my new show The HERO Podcast! It’s all about creating healthy habits, and making those new year’s resolutions become a reality. You can check it out (and maybe leave a short review if you like) here: http://apple.co/2kjNoGN

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great work Luke. I listened to your podcast on Conor McGregor and left a 5 star review. If you ever need someone for an interview, I will try to chisel out the time!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you very much, that is very kind! I will definitely keep that in mind!

        Like

  3. ajaykohli says:

    Brain is complex ,regarding MRI or other ways to diagnose neuro problems may prove beneficial but I guess its not much help in case of psychological behaviours, there is no test which tells about levels of serotonin, dopamine, I guess .

    Like

    1. It’s a work in progress. It’s one of those areas that was overhyped. Maybe there is something in it, we just gotta keep trying 🙂

      Like

      1. ajaykohli says:

        Looking forward towards few valid researches so that million of people gets right treatment not the way its going ,hit and trial method with lots of side effects .

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Great information
    I just shared to my Facebook timeline.

    Liked by 1 person

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