What Sleeping Babies Hear

What Sleeping Babies Hear
A Functional MRI Study of Interparental Conflict and Infants’ Emotion Processing
Alice M. Graham, et al.
http://pss.sagepub.com/content/24/5/782

Experiences of adversity in the early years of life alter the developing brain.
However, evidence documenting this relationship often focuses on severe stressors and relies on peripheral measures of neurobiological functioning during infancy.

In the present study, we employed functional MRI during natural sleep to examine associations between a more moderate environmental stressor (nonphysical interparental conflict) and 6- to 12-month-old infants’ neural processing of emotional tone of voice.
The primary question was whether interparental conflict experienced by infants is associated with neural responses to emotional tone of voice, particularly very angry speech.

Results indicated that maternal report of higher interparental conflict was associated with infants’ greater neural responses to very angry relative to neutral speech across several brain regions implicated in emotion and stress reactivity and regulation (including rostral anterior cingulate cortex, caudate, thalamus, and hypothalamus).

These findings suggest that even moderate environmental stress may be associated with brain functioning during infancy.

Keywords: psychological stress, neuroimaging, emotional development, infant development

journalistic version:
Shhh, The Kids Can Hear You Arguing (Even When They’re Asleep)
April 29, 2013
http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2013/04/29/179237081/shhh-the-kids-can-hear-you-arguing-even-when-theyre-asleep

Broca’s area

… stories and the literature of marriages that has been broken over damage to the right hemisphere, specifically in the region of
Broca’s area.
Imagine this, one spouse declares to another, “you don’t love me anymore.” “Of course I love you. Why don’t you believe me that I love you?”
Well, the idea here [is] one spouse no longer believes the words by themselves.
Because the other–who perhaps has had a brain injury to the right inferior frontal gyrus–can no longer imbue speech with passion, with the emotion that is the life force of our human relations.

from:
Medical Neuroscience
January 2016
Duke University
https://class.coursera.org/medicalneuro-004

related:
https://franzcalvo.wordpress.com/2013/12/23/the-mehrabian-study

Persistent Mood States

A Social Model of Persistent Mood States
Long Doan
Social Psychology Quarterly September 2012   vol. 75  no. 3  198-218
http://spq.sagepub.com/content/75/3/198.abstract

Researchers have used moods to explain a variety of phenomena, yet the social causes of a mood are unknown. In this article, I present a social model of persistent mood states that argues that interactional characteristics such as the status differences between actors, the perceived responsibility of the other actor, and the reason for an emotional response influence the persistence of an emotional response to a situation. The mechanisms through which these factors cause an emotion to become a mood are the intensity of the emotional reaction and how much the actor reflects on the situation as a result of the interaction. I use data from the 1996 General Social Survey to test this model for anger; the results of the analyses provide support for many aspects of the model. The proposed model is a first step in explaining social factors that cause persistent mood states, and I discuss possible directions for future scholarship.

Keywords: moods, emotions, affect control theory, self and identity, self-attributions

Less and less willing to sit with our emotions

How Medicalizing Grief Turns Into Dollars
Forbes. February 21, 2012
http://www.forbes.com/sites/alicegwalton/2012/02/21/how-medicalizing-grief-turns-into-dollars

grief, once excluded from the definition of depression, is now included within it.
This means that people grieving over the death of a loved one could theoretically go to their psychiatrist and be prescribed pills to treat the “condition.”

The Lancet beautifully outlines why the medicalization of grief is misguided for so many reasons.
Antidepressants don’t do anything to the moods of non-depressed people, they point out, so there’s little likelihood that they would work to reduce grief.
Arthur Kleinman, a medical anthropologist, says that since the APA wants to allow for treatment of the normal grieving process, it had to first yank it from Normalcy and plunk it down in the realm of Abnormal, or worse, “make it over into a disease—ie, depression.”

the DSM continues to shorten the normal grieving processes.
The DSM-III considered grief for up to one year acceptable, the DSM-IV only two months.
No other culture, Kleinman says, considers two months a normal amount of time to grieve. They must be shaking their heads at us silly Americans and our strange attitude towards grief. Cultures across the globe vary hugely in what’s considered a normal timeframe to grieve, some devoting the remainder of the lifespan to mourning the loss of a loved one.

a fundamental difference between grief and clinical depression: grief, in many ways, makes sense, as there is direct cause for the feelings of sadness, loss, sleeplessness, and lack of concentration.

Would you want to take a medication if it would help lighten the pain of grief?
Or is it better to experience it, work through it, and wait for it to lift in its own time?
There is undoubtedly a place where grief becomes depression when it does not lighten for a long time.
But considering it a symptom of depression from day one seems like a damaging way to define it.

see also:
https://franzcalvo.wordpress.com/2014/06/15/our-emotional-state-biases-our-expectations-for-the-future

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CRAZYWISE: A Traditional Approach to Mental Illness
Phil Borges
TEDxSanJuanIsland
Jan 2, 2016

When a young person experiences a frightening break from reality, Western experts usually label it a “first-episode psychosis”, while many psychologists and cultures define it as a “spiritual awakening.

Our emotional state biases our expectations for the future

Mining Books To Map Emotions Through A Century
April 01, 2013
http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/04/01/175584297/mining-books-to-map-emotions-through-a-century

“Generally speaking, the usage of these commonly known emotion words has been in decline over the 20th century,” Bentley says. We used words that expressed our emotions less in the year 2000 than we did 100 years earlier — words about sadness and joy and anger and disgust and surprise.

In fact, there is only one exception that Bentley and his colleagues found: fear. “The fear-related words start to increase just before the 1980s,” he says.

this method — mining vast amounts of written language — is incredibly promising.

language analysis seems so promising to him — as a new window that might offer a different, maybe even more objective, view into our culture. Because, he says, it’s difficult for people today to guess the emotions of people of different times.

Our current emotional state completely biases our memories of the past and our expectations for the future,” Pennebaker says. “And, using these language samples, we are able to peg how people are feeling over time.
That’s what I love about it as a historical marker, so we can get a sense of how groups of people — or entire cultures — might have felt 10 years ago, or 100 years ago.”

see also:
https://franzcalvo.wordpress.com/2014/09/02/our-use-of-little-words-can-uh

We’ve become loose in applying the term “mental disorder” to …
https://franzcalvo.wordpress.com/2013/08/26/is-emotional-pain-necessary

https://franzcalvo.wordpress.com/2014/06/15/less-and-less-willing-to-sit-with-our-emotions

IF… (a SEL game)

IF…
Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is learning how to understand and manage our emotions.
http://www.ifyoucan.org

related:
Revolutionary Bedfellows: IF Teachers and Game Mechanics Unite to Innovate
Trip Hawkins  |  CEO, If You Can Company
November 06, 2013
http://schedule.gdcnext.com/session-id/825601
In this session Trip Hawkins, founder of gaming giant Electronic Arts, will reveal his latest venture; an educational service for preteen children, that offers regular, new monthly content in the form of interactive stories and curriculum delivered through blended gameplay and role-playing.
He will describe how they developed the program with a recipe that is similar to how EA Sports was co-developed, with subject matter experts like John Madden, blueprints like the NFL Rules, player statistics, and then blended into state-of-the-art platforms, game technologies and UI.
Trip will discuss this new model and his recipe for successful product development, design, content and UI.