Railway map Source: "London - Metropolitan Railway / Underground Map 1923 (Postcard)" by Roger W/Flickr, CC BY SA 2.0 Can the use of analogy provide us a deeper understanding of the mind? To draw this out, in this post, I discuss the use of metaphor as a form of pragmatic exploration. Metaphors entail correspondence between terms that each have their own associational fields and thus enriches the semantic field of the phenomenon in question (Black, 1962;1977). The topic or tenor (i.e. principal subject) is conceived in the context of a vehicle (or modifying term) against a ground that serves as the semantic basis of the metaphor (Hoffman, Cochran, and Nead, 1990; Richards, 1965). A successful metaphor reverberates through the network of entailments, thus serving as a stimulating guide to disambiguate new discoveries (Boyd, 1979; Lakoff and Johnson, 1980). For example, the topic of memory has often been portrayed in the vehicle of a container. The associational semantic … [Read more...] about Metaphors of Mind
The source code
Source: Gerd Altmann/Pixabay When it comes to improving psychological well-being, there are lots of options but surprisingly little evidence-based knowledge about how effectively each one—in and of itself or in combination with other interventions—optimally improves mental states of well-being. A new systematic review and meta-analysis by a team of Australian researchers "aimed to overcome limitations of previous reviews by examining the efficacy of distinct types of psychological interventions, irrespective of their theoretical underpinning, and the impact of various moderators." Their peer-reviewed findings ( Van Agteren et al., 2021 ) were published on April 19 in Nature Human Behaviour . What's the best way to build personal well-being? For this worldwide systematic review and meta-analysis, a collaborative team of researchers from the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute and Flinders University identified 419 randomized and controlled trials … [Read more...] about 8 Mix-and-Match Ingredients for a Tailored Be-Well Plan
Medically accurate illustration of the cerebellum (Latin for "little brain") in orange. Cerebellar means "related to the cerebellum." Source: SciePro/Shutterstock Earlier this year, researchers in Finland published a study ( Kekkonen et al., 2021 ) showing that heavy ("binge") drinking from adolescence to young adulthood was associated with an altered cerebellum . Now, another recently published study about alcohol and the brain puts the cerebellum front and center. The latest study ( Jin, Cao, Yang, et al., 2021) into how the brain metabolizes alcohol suggests that astrocytic ALDH2 enzymes in the cerebellum may play a previously unrecognized role in drunkenness (i.e., ethanol intoxication). These peer-reviewed findings were published on March 22 in the open-access journal Nature Metabolism . "We found ALDH2 was expressed in cells known as astrocytes in the cerebellum, a brain region that controls balance and motor coordination," co-author Qi Cao of the … [Read more...] about How Does Alcohol Make Someone Drunk?
Melancholy, Edvard Munch (circa 1895) Source: Public domain Do antidepressants really work? This has been a controversial question ever since the 2008 publication of a research study by Dr. Irving Kirsch and his colleagues that concluded that there was “little evidence to support the prescription of antidepressant medication to any but the most severely depressed patients.” 1 But now a new study, just published in The Lancet, indicates that yes, antidepressants do work for the treatment of depression after all. 2 With seemingly different conclusions, as is often the case in scientific inquiry, should we just let the findings cancel each other out and believe what we want to believe? Of course not. Instead, as we try to make sense of the data, let’s look at both studies with an eye towards where they might differ and where they might actually support the same conclusion. The 2008 study by Dr. Kirsch and colleagues was a meta-analysis of 35 randomized, … [Read more...] about Do Antidepressants Work? Yes, No, and Yes Again!
People, even those who report that they value morality, often act unethically and then put it out of their mind. Source: Photo by Bermix Studio on Unsplash A psychologist charged her usual fee of one hundred dollars for a session. After her patient paid cash and left, she rubbed the bill and noticed he had overpaid her with two crisp one hundred bills stuck together. The thought popped into her head that she could keep the extra hundred-dollar bill, and nobody would ever know. Psychologists are supposed to be the vanguards of ethical and moral conduct as they treat the public. And they are required to take annual continuing education credits to maintain their licenses. Yet, the most common ethical violations psychologists commit are breaking patient confidentiality, sexual misconduct, and insurance mismanagement. Many highly-reputable people claim to have lofty ethical standards and denounce others for dishonesty, while violating their own principles by cheating on their … [Read more...] about Is It Gaslighting or Unethical Amnesia?