The effects of imposing helplessness

This 2016 New York rodent study found: “By using unbiased and whole-brain imaging techniques, we uncover a number of cortical and subcortical brain structures that have lower activity in the animals showing helplessness than in those showing resilience following the LH [learned helplessness] procedure. We also identified the LC [locus coeruleus] as the sole subcortical … Continue reading The effects of imposing helplessness

The epigenetic clock theory of aging

My 400th blog post curates a 2018 US/UK paper by two of the coauthors of Using an epigenetic clock to distinguish cellular aging from senescence. The authors reviewed the current state of epigenetic clock research, and proposed a new theory of aging: “The proposed epigenetic clock theory of ageing views biological ageing as an unintended … Continue reading The epigenetic clock theory of aging

A study of gene-environment interactions

This 2018 Hungary/UK study used Bayesian analysis to better understand gene-environment interactions that produce depression: “Most genetic studies do not consider the effect of stressors which may be one reason for the lack of replicable results in candidate gene studies, GWAS [genome-wide association studies] and between human studies and animal models..Animal models of depression usually … Continue reading A study of gene-environment interactions

What will it take for childhood trauma research to change paradigms?

This 2018 German human study found: “DNA methylation in a biologically relevant region of NR3C1-1F [the glucocorticoid receptor gene] moderates the specific direction of HPA-axis dysregulation (hypo- vs. hyperreactivity) in adults exposed to moderate-severe CT [childhood trauma]. In contrast, unexposed and mildly-moderately exposed individuals displayed moderately sized cortisol stress responses irrespective of NR3C1-1F DNA methylation. … Continue reading What will it take for childhood trauma research to change paradigms?

The pain societies instill into children

The human subjects of this 2017 Swiss study had previously been intentionally traumatized by Swiss society: “Swiss former indentured child laborers (Verdingkinder) were removed as children from their families by the authorities due to different reasons (poverty, being born out of wedlock) and were placed to live and work on farms. This was a practice … Continue reading The pain societies instill into children

Review of The Honest Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone–Especially Ourselves

Here’s an Amazon book review I wrote six years ago when I regularly read 2-3 books a week while on the train to and from work. The book served as an example of how behavioral researchers couldn’t reach their stated goals by using standard scientific methods. Review of The Honest Truth About Dishonesty: How We … Continue reading Review of The Honest Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone–Especially Ourselves

Hope sells

I used a browser yesterday that didn’t have ad blocker software installed. The below pictures came from one of the ads that displayed: A young girl in a dance position and outfit juxtaposed with an appeal: “No situation is HELPLESS because there is HOPE.” How interesting! I didn’t click through the ad yesterday to see … Continue reading Hope sells

Beyond Belief: The impact of merciless beatings on beliefs

Continuing with Dr. Arthur Janov’s May 2016 book Beyond Belief: “p. 17 When someone insults us, we immediately create reasons and rationales for it. We cover the pain. Now imagine a whole early childhood of insults and assaults and how that leaves a legacy that must be dealt with. The mind of ideas and philosophies … Continue reading Beyond Belief: The impact of merciless beatings on beliefs

Beyond Belief: Why do we accept being propagandized?

Continuing to read Dr. Arthur Janov’s May 2016 book Beyond Belief: “p.13 Beliefs are medicine for the hopeless. They attenuate despair, vitiate loneliness, and dissipate helplessness.” “p. 14 We need hope more than we need truth..Beliefs divert us from past traumas and current pains because inside the belief lies hope.” “p.15 Hope is..’the meaning of … Continue reading Beyond Belief: Why do we accept being propagandized?

Reflections on my four-year anniversary of spine surgery

At age 55, I found out that I’d suffered for maybe 45 to 50 years from a childhood injury, and I didn’t know anything about it. It still seems unbelievable to me that I was physically ill for decades before I received a diagnosis. As explained to me by two surgeons, the cause of my … Continue reading Reflections on my four-year anniversary of spine surgery