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Friendly interactions with Chinese people reduced COVID-19 prejudice
A new study finds that friendly interactions with Chinese people reduced Covid-19 prejudice as the virus hit the UK back in February. At the time, opinion polls suggested that one in three Brits already saw the virus as a personal threat and the British press were reporting a rise in hate crimes towards Chinese people. Researchers studied how UK residents felt towards the Chinese community as the pandemic reached our shores, and how these feelings might relate to British support for anti-Chinese policies. (2020-09-27)

URI grad student finds PFAS in seabirds from Narragansett Bay, Massachusetts Bay, Cape Fear
A recent study by a University of Rhode Island graduate student researching PFAS exposure found high levels of the compounds in seabirds from offshore Massachusetts and coastal Rhode Island and North Carolina adding to the accumulating pile of evidence related to human and animal exposure to these chemical compounds. (2020-09-23)

The overlap between fear and anxiety brain circuits
Fear and anxiety reflect overlapping brain circuits, according to research recently published in JNeurosci. The findings highlight a need to reevaluate the existing models guiding anxiety research. (2020-09-21)

Confidence in the authorities' handling of COVID-19 provides good mental health
How did you react in March, when the country went into lock-down due to the coronavirus? Psychology experts at UiT The Arctic University of Norway have studied our reaction patterns and mental health in this one of a kind global crisis. (2020-09-18)

Pregnant women's psychological health during the COVID-19 outbreak
A recent study that examined the psychological health of pregnant women during the COVID-19 outbreak uncovered fear and depression in many participants. The findings are published in the Journal of Clinical Nursing. (2020-09-10)

Hoarding and herding during the COVID-19 pandemic
Understanding the psychology behind economic decision-making, and how and why a pandemic might trigger responses such as hoarding, is the focus of a new paper published in the Journal of Behavioral Economics for Policy. (2020-09-09)

One in two Americans fear a major health event could lead to bankruptcy
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to put lives and livelihoods at risk, 1 in 2 Americans say they fear a major health event could lead them to file for bankruptcy, marking a 5% increase since 2019. The new research comes from the West Health-Gallup US Healthcare Study, an ongoing series of surveys on the impact of high healthcare costs on American lives. (2020-09-01)

Can't be away from your phone? Study finds link to higher levels of obsession-compulsion
Feelings of panic when a person is away from their smartphone could be connected to general feelings of inadequacy and inferiority, a new study of young people in Portugal suggests. (2020-08-28)

Waiting for Godot Metaphor
Author suggests a gradated Pandemic Index as an initial effort. (2020-08-28)

Domesticated chickens have smaller brains
Researchers from Linköping University suggest a process by which the timid junglefowl from the rain forest could have become today's domesticated chicken. When the scientists selectively bred the junglefowl with least fear of humans for 10 generations, the offspring acquired smaller brains and found it easier to become accustomed to frightening but non-hazardous events. The results shed new light over how domestication may have changed animals so much in a relatively short time. (2020-08-26)

Fear of missing out impacts people of all ages
The social anxiety that other people are having fun without you, also known as FoMO, is more associated with loneliness, low self-esteem and low self-compassion than with age, according to a recent study led by Washington State University psychology professor Chris Barry. (2020-08-26)

Citizens' adherence to COVID-19 social distancing measures depends on government response
CU Denver researcher and Business School associate professor Jiban Khuntia, PhD, found while social distancing is an effective preventative measure in the fight against COVID-19, there are significant variations being observed in how and why individuals follow the restrictions in South Korea, North American and Kuwait. (2020-08-24)

COVID-19 taking a toll on everyday lives, UC Davis research suggests
Rare research on the effects of a pandemic undertaken during an ongoing disaster shows that COVID-19 has severely affected people's daily emotional lives and mental health. (2020-08-24)

An active lifestyle reduces fearfulness in dogs - differences between breeds are great
The more dogs are engaged in activities and the more diverse experiences and canine friends they have, the less fearful they are in new situations and environments. Genes also play an important part. (2020-08-20)

Pandemic leads to higher depression, anxiety and fear, studies show
Using an internet survey distributed in the last week of March that sampled 10,368 adults from across the country, researchers found increased levels of depression, anxiety, suicidal tendencies and psychological trauma among American adults. (2020-07-31)

Transcranial stimulation to prevent fear memories from returning
A research group at the University of Bologna developed a new non-invasive experimental protocol to alter the memory of learned fear experiences, thus paving the way for treatments to overcome traumatic events (2020-07-30)

Anti-Asian racism during COVID-19 has historical ties in United States
Anti-Asian hate crimes during health crises are unfortunately not new, according to a new academic paper examining the history of this phenomenon. The research team, including an Iowa State University criminal justice researcher, looked at how anti-Asian hate crimes during the COVID-19 pandemic have furthered the historical 'othering' of Asian Americans and reproduced inequalities. (2020-07-29)

Study: COVID-19 pandemic has negatively influenced subjective well-being
The COVID-19 pandemic has also affected many people's subjective well-being. This is the result of a long-term study involving 979 people from Germany conducted by psychologists from Leipzig University and Saint Louis University. It found that in the early stage of the pandemic average life satisfaction and the experience of positive feelings decreased significantly. The findings have now been published in ''American Psychologist'' (2020-07-28)

Humanizing hotel brands during COVID-19 could encourage tourists to return
Hotels should build an emotional attachment with tourists when communicating during crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic if they are to encourage them to return, according to new research. The study finds that crisis communication emphasising shared emotional responses to risks enables tourists to humanise the hotel, which can subsequently create an emotional attachment. This attachment can then increase tourists' intentions to visit once the crisis ends, which is crucial if the industry is to recover. (2020-07-23)

Study: Novel PFAS comprise 24% of those measured in blood of Wilmington, N.C. residents
Researchers detected novel per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) called ''fluoroethers'' in blood from residents of Wilmington, North Carolina. The fluoroethers represented 24% of the total PFAS detected in the blood of Wilmington residents and appear to leave the body faster than legacy PFAS. (2020-07-22)

Simple test helps to predict and prevent falls
Scientists have developed a simple clinical test that can assess the lower limb strength of patients to predict their risk of falls. The ''enhanced paper grip test'' validated by researchers from the Centre for Biomechanics and Rehabilitation Technologies (CBRT) at Staffordshire University involves pulling a small card from underneath the participant's foot while asking them to grip with their big toe (Hallux). (2020-07-20)

Cyber expert on 'insider threat' attacks
Dr Duncan Hodges, Senior Lecturer in Cyberspace Operations, Cranfield University, is actively researching insider threats such as the recent Twitter attack. He and researcher Katie Paxton-Fear are presenting this paper Understanding Insider Threat Attacks Using Natural Language Processing, at the HCI International Conference on Thursday 23 July 2020 1400 CEST.  (2020-07-20)

Study shows how traumatic experiences can leave their mark on a person's eyes
New research by Welsh academics shows that a patient's pupils can reveal if they have suffered a traumatic experience in the past. The study examined how an individual's eyes responded when shown threatening images. (2020-07-17)

Global sentiments towards COVID-19 shifts from fear to anger
The fear that people developed at the start of the COVID-19 outbreak has given way to anger over the course of the pandemic, a study of global sentiments led by NTU Singapore has found. Xenophobia, a common theme among anger-related tweets, evolved to reflect feelings arising from isolation and social seclusion. Accompanying this later shift is the emergence of tweets that show joy, which suggest a sense of gratitude and hope. (2020-07-15)

In one hour, surface coating inactivates virus that causes COVID-19
A chemical engineering professor at Virginia Tech has developed a surface coating that, when painted on common objects, inactivates SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. (2020-07-15)

Factors maximize impact of yoga, physical therapy on back pain in underserved population
New research shows that people with chronic low back pain (cLBP) have better results from yoga and physical therapy compared to reading evidence-based self-help materials. While this finding was consistent across many patient characteristics, a much larger effect was observed among those already taking pain medication to treat their condition and those who did not fear that exercise would make their back pain worse. (2020-07-14)

Why are memories attached to emotions so strong?
Multiple neurons in the brain must fire in synchrony to create persistent memories tied to intense emotions, new research from Columbia neuroscientists has found. (2020-07-13)

How fear transforms into anxiety
University of New Mexico researchers identify for the first time the brain-wide neural correlates of the transition from fear to anxiety. (2020-07-09)

Life and death, hope and despair in era of COVID-19
The response of a physician to the fear and despair associated with COVID-19 is described in this article. (2020-07-08)

Why it's no last orders for the Tequila bat
Scientists studying the 'near threatened' tequila bat, best known for its role in pollinating the Blue Agave plant from which the drink of the same name is made from, have analysed its DNA to help inform conservationists on managing their populations. The findings are published in Global Ecology and Conservation. (2020-07-06)

To let neurons talk, immune cells clear paths through brain's 'scaffolding'
To make new memories, our brain cells first must find one another. But scientists are still learning just how these connections form in response to new experiences and information. Now, a study by scientists in UC San Francisco's Weill Institute for Neurosciences has identified a surprising new way that the brain's immune cells help out. (2020-07-06)

New study confirms high prevalence of depression during the menopause transition
Depression has been shown to be prevalent during menopause, affecting as many as 70% of women transitioning into menopause. A new study not only confirms the high prevalence of depression but also the greatest risk factors for it in postmenopausal women, as well as any relationships with anxiety and fear of death. Study results are published online today in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS). (2020-07-01)

Closer threats inspire a more primitive kind of fear
Your brain handles a perceived threat differently depending on how close it is to you. If it's far away, you engage more problem-solving areas of the brain. But up close, your animal instincts jump into action and there isn't as much reasoning. And that is probably what makes it harder to extinguish the fear of a close-up threat and more likely that you'll have some long-term stress from the experience. (2020-06-29)

Nationwide EMS calls have dropped 26% since the start of the pandemic
Since early March and the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in the US, 911 calls for emergency medical services have dropped by 26.1 % compared to the past two years. (2020-06-25)

Modeling population differences influences the herd immunity threshold for COVID-19
A new modeling study illustrates how accounting for factors such as age and social activity influences the predicted herd immunity threshold for COVID-19, or the level of population immunity needed to stop the disease's transmission. (2020-06-23)

Study examines how the COVID-19 pandemic impacts quality of life in patients with cancer
Quality of life of cancer patients during coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. (2020-06-18)

New study reveals racial disparities in fear of police brutality
Nationwide survey shows minorities are five times more likely than white people to worry about police brutality. (2020-06-15)

Addressing the drug problem in health and social care will produce better outcomes
Researchers at the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) have evaluated the impact of decriminalization policy in different settings. The new study reviews reports, peer-review articles, and critical response papers on the topic. (2020-06-12)

Mexican immigrant obesity rates climb with deportation fears
Mexican immigrants, especially those who are undocumented and fear deportation, have limited access to healthy foods and are at increased risk for obesity because of stress, anxiety and depression, according to a Rutgers study. (2020-06-09)

Dreaming with purpose
Researchers from University of Tsukuba and the University of Tokyo have found that activity in adult-born neurons (ABNs) in the hippocampus, which is a brain region associated with memory, are responsible for memory consolidation during REM sleep. Identifying the role of specific neurons in memory function deepens our understanding of how memories are formed, retrieved, and consolidated. (2020-06-05)

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