New controversy about “microdosing” with LSD to enhance creativity

New controversy about “microdosing” with LSD to enhance creativity

From the blog PsyPost.com, “LSD ‘microdosing’ is trending in Silicon Valley – but can it actually make you more creative?” Posted on 2-15-17, and written by a professor of clinical neuropsychology at the University of Cambridge, this article provides a thorough review of recent research about the potential therapeutic benefits of small doses of psychedelic drugs, and goes on to also review the trend of some creative types using “microdoses” of LSD to try to enhance their creativity.

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Two articles about the mental health benefits of “doses” of nature

Two articles about the mental health benefits of “doses” of nature

Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative,” published by the Wall Street Journal, reviews “The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative” by Florence Williams. The author, a writer for one of mhconcierge’s favorite magazines, Outside, explores what current research has found about the benefits of spending time outdoors, regularly and frequently.  She concludes that even small, regular doses of time in natural settings, such as 15-45 minutes in a city park, are “enough to improve mood, vitality and feelings of restoration.”

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The Potential of Psychotherapy to Undo Changes Addiction Makes to the Brain

The Potential of Psychotherapy to Undo Changes Addiction Makes to the Brain

Contributed by Sharon Therien, freelance writer and blogger at 

Addiction creates many changes to the brain, affecting pleasure and reward, decision-making and other brain functions. Changes to the reward center is one of the major ways consistent drug use affects the brain. Drug use leads to sudden drastic increases of the brain chemical dopamine, and the brain reacts by making less dopamine regularly or adjusting how many dopamine receptors are available. When the brain makes these changes, the person now finds it extremely hard to feel pleasure without taking an addictive substance, so he or she continues using the drug or alcohol to increase dopamine levels and feel better.

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Book review: Berkeley psychologists studied creative geniuses in the ’50s, results are still be analyzed

Book review: Berkeley psychologists studied creative geniuses in the ’50s, results are still be analyzed

Design for Living” reports on a remarkable set of studies done by psychologists in the late ‘50s.  They studied outstanding leaders in four fields: literature, architecture, mathematics and physical science.  The article, published by the Wall Street Journal on 8-5-16, describes research done by a team at The Institute of Personality Assessment and Research that could never be done today: the team consulted experts in each of the four fields, such as professors and magazine editors, to identify national leaders in each field, asked them to participate and many  highly regarded experts agreed to join the study, flew the participants to Berkeley, had them participate in both intensive individual assessments and group discussions over several days, and studied the resulting data. They found that most of the subjects were highly independent thinkers, often had “psychiatric turbulence,” expressed as “a healthy form of restlessness,” and were rebellious in the field of study but not necessarily in social relationships.

Can sunbathing be an addiction?

Can sunbathing be an addiction?

Can You Get Addicted to Sunbathing? Despite the cancer risks, millions of people persistent soaking up the UV rays. Can it be because were addicted to tanning?” was published On 7-20-16 by the Wall Street Journal. This article reviews the current thinking about the distinction between actual addictive behavior and “just making poor choices.”

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What research about tickling rats tells us about human motivation

What research about tickling rats tells us about human motivation

The Wall Street Journal published “For Rats, a Good Tickling Can Change the World: A study of tickled rats shows how emotions can affect how we view the world” on 7-14-16.  This article reviews interesting research about how rats experience pleasure and how pleasure affects their motivation., and implications for human motivation. This research has found that there are naturally “optimistic” and “pessimistic” rats, like humans, and the pessimists respond to treatments, including both behavioral interventions, change in environment and antidepressant medication, and become more “optimistic.” The article discusses implications implications for human motivation, and uses the typical gambling casino environment as an example: making people feel happy, and more optimistic, entices them into taking more risks when gambling.

mhconcierge’s take: This article discusses creative research that measured the mindset of a population that cannot describe how they are feeling.  It is an entertaining read, with interesting implications for human motivation.