book cover: Remember by Lisa Genova
MH@H Book Reviews

Book Review: Remember

Remember by Lisa Genova is a non-fiction book that explores how we do, and don't, remember. Genova is a neuroscientist who's also the author of five fiction books, all of which I've read. They feature characters with neurological conditions like Alzheimer's (Still Alice) and Huntingdon's (Inside the O'Briens). The book begins by describing how memories… Continue reading Book Review: Remember

What is... insights into psychology series
Insights into Psychology

What Is… Polyvagal Theory

In this series, I dig a little deeper into the meaning of psychology-related terms.  This week's term is polyvagal theory. Polyvagal theory was developed by Dr. Stephen Porges in 1994 to describe how the nervous system relates to the environment. The vagus nerve The name polyvagal theory comes from the multiple circuits that involve the… Continue reading What Is… Polyvagal Theory

Book cover: In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts by Gabor Maté
MH@H Book Reviews

Book Review: In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts

In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts by Dr. Gabor Maté offers powerful insights into the vulnerable, human side of addiction. It draws on his encounters with patients while working as a staff physician at the Portland Hotel, an ultra-low barrier supported housing building in Vancouver's downtown eastside, Canada's poorest postal code. Ultra-low barrier housing like… Continue reading Book Review: In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts

What is... insights into psychology series
Insights into Psychology

What Is… the Psychology of Cuteness

In this series, I dig a little deeper into the meaning of psychology-related terms.  This week we're going to look at the psychology of cuteness. Whether your preference is human babies or babies of the animal variety, they're cute. Even if the associated adults are rather unattractive, the babies just tug at the heartstrings. And… Continue reading What Is… the Psychology of Cuteness

What is... insights into psychology series
Insights into Psychology

What Is… Neuroplasticity

In this series, I dig a little deeper into the meaning of psychology-related terms.  This week we're taking a bit of a detour to look at neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is the brain's ability to make changes to itself in response to conditions and experiences, including forming new neuronal connections. This ability is maintained in adulthood, although… Continue reading What Is… Neuroplasticity

How music affects the brain and mood
MH@H Mental Health

How Music Affects the Brain and Mood

I started this post about three months ago after Rookyn of Never Stop Growing did a post about the beneficial effect of music and other positive/motivational audio on mood. She wondered what the science/psychology behind it might be, and of course, my virtual ears perked up at that. Unfortunately, she's since vanished from the blogosphere,… Continue reading How Music Affects the Brain and Mood

graphic of brain circuits
Trauma and PTSD

The Neurobiology of Traumatic Fight/Flight/Freeze

This is an updated version of a post on the fight/flight/freeze response from a couple of years ago. A few years ago I was thinking about applying for a nursing job with a sexual assault support team, so I decided to learn more about the body's biological fight/flight/freeze response to trauma.  What I found out… Continue reading The Neurobiology of Traumatic Fight/Flight/Freeze

Why do I get so slowed down? The biology of psychomotor slowing in depression
MH@H Depression

The Biology of Psychomotor Retardation

While psychomotor retardation (slowing of movement and thoughts) has long been recognized as a symptom of depression, I think it's probably not on the average person's radar when they think about depression. The biology of psychomotor retardation is also poorly understood. What psychomotor retardation is Psychomotor retardation (PMR) is most often associated with the melancholic… Continue reading The Biology of Psychomotor Retardation

Book cover: The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk
MH@H Book Reviews, Trauma and PTSD

Book Review: The Body Keeps the Score

The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk is perhaps one of the best-known books about trauma, and in particular early life trauma. It's been on my to-be-read list for quite a while, and I've finally managed to get around to it. This is a hefty book. The digital version that I was… Continue reading Book Review: The Body Keeps the Score

perceived vs. objective reality: what's real and what's subjective? - graphic of superimposed lenses
Insights into Psychology

Perceived vs. Objective Reality

Our minds play all kinds of tricks on us. We've got all kinds of cognitive biases that influence what we do with our thoughts, and our brains do interesting things with the what it picks up through our senses. There's a philosophical argument as to whether or not there is a truly objective reality, but… Continue reading Perceived vs. Objective Reality