From the MPA online newsletter published 2-23-16: MPA’s Volunteer for the Month of February is Richard Sethre, Psy.D., L.P. One of the joys of being President and now Past-President of the Minnesota Psychological Association is being witness to the support and connections that are made as a result of an MPA membership. Becoming a member of the Governing Council opened my eyes to all of the hard work that goes on behind the scenes, and during my year as President of MPA, I gained an appreciation for all the volunteers that support and guide psychologists in this day and age
The Wall Street Journal published “To Scrounge in the Big City: Bigger Brains, More Stress” on 2-3-16. This article reports on research by U. of Minnesota scientist Emilie Snell-Rood, published in 2013, which studied rodent skulls at the Bell Museum and found that the size of brains increased as the rodent’s environment became more urbanized. Another study reported in this article found, using human subjects, that urban subjects had a stronger stress response, as indicated by brain scans assessed activity of their amygdala, than rural subjects. The author wondered, “Naturally, these findings raise scads of new questions. What parts of
The New York Times published “Dear Google, Is There a Shrink for That?” on 2-65-16. This article reports on the increasing use of online searches by people trying to locate a therapist, and the emergence of “boutique” therapies that offer very specialized services in response to very specialized browser search patterns. The article describes some examples, such as therapists who specialize in treating software engineers and therapists who help people with the stress of getting married. These therapist have developed their own “brand,” which is much more specific and narrow than a traditional school of therapy. The article ends by
The Canadian Broadcasting Company published “Weight training may fix age-related ‘potholes’ in brain’s highways” online on 12-22-15. This article reports on research that found that women aged 65-75 who did twice per week resistance training were found to have less age-related deterioration in important parts of their brain. This research is part of an emerging body of research about the cognitive benefits of regular exercise, and is important for people who may have activity limitations that prevent them from walking. This article comes to our attention courtesy of the prolific psychology posting service provided by Ken Pope, Ph.D. This article
The New York Times published “Scientists Move Closer to Understanding Schizophrenia’s Cause” on 1-27-16. This is a thorough article about fascinating research about a natural process called synaptic pruning, in which the brain, usually during adolescence and early adulthood, sheds weak or redundant synaptic connections. The research reported in this article found genetic evidence that supports this theory as a significant factor, but not the sole factor, in developing schizophrenia.