Talking Changes Minds: the Effect of CBT on Depression

Researchers recently examined the effects of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) on brain functioning in depressed patients and found that the psychotherapeutic approach made actual changes in the brain [1]. The study was published in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience.

Cognitive behavioural therapy

Voices in the Brain: Disruption of the Default Network Linked to Hallucinations

Hearing voices that are not there was once thought to be a core symptom of schizophrenia and signify severe mental illness. It has been increasingly acknowledged that people with no other symptoms of schizophrenia or psychosis do hear voices [1]. There are several theories about what causes these auditory hallucinations. For example, there is good evidence that hearing voices can be linked to trauma [2]. Attempting to understand the phenomenon is not only scientifically interesting but also relates to how society views people with these experiences and if and how they may be treated. A search for how these experiences are associated with brain function is ongoing. New research published in the journal Human Brain Mapping suggests that the predisposition to hearing voices may relate to abnormal functioning of the brain whilst at rest [3].

Voices

Cognitive Function and Obesity: Does Your BMI Link to Your IQ?

In addition to the well-known impact on risk for disorders such as diabetes and reduced life-expectancy, the effects of obesity may extend to psychological function. The so-called obesity epidemic may be causing decline in cognitive function through direct and indirect impacts on brain functioning. An expanding waistline thus appears to link to decreasing ability to learn and remember.

Obesity and memory

Eating Behavior May Be Influenced By Dining Companions

A new study published in the online journal PLoS ONE demonstrates that diners mimic the eating patterns of their dining companions, matching them bite-for-bite [1]. The researchers studied pairs of young women who did not know one another, and found that they influenced each other with regard to eating patterns. Particularly within the first ten minutes of dining together, the women tended to mimic each other, taking bites of food within five seconds of one another.

Women eating saladImage credit: Women eating salad via Shutterstock

A New Flavour of Journal is Coming to BioMed Central

Today more than ever, science is playing a pivotal role in food and cooking as the worlds of the laboratory and the kitchen come closter together. A perfect example of this in today’s culture is the Food Network show Good Eats with Alton Brown along with websites like the Science of Cooking, Molecular Recipies, Modernist Cuisine and the Molecular Gastronomy Network.

The result of this movement to bring science into the kitchen is Molecular Gastronomy, the application of biological and chemical knowledge to cooking. Molecular Gastronomy is a discipline practiced by both scientists and food professionals to study the physical and chemical processes that occur while cooking.

Biomed Central Flavour