‘Love Hormone’ Boosts Memories of Mom — Good or Bad, Study Finds

MONDAY, Nov. 29 (HealthDay News) — A study involving men and their mothers suggests a new function for the “love hormone” oxytocin in human behavior.

Grown men who inhaled a synthetic form of oxytocin, a naturally occurring chemical, recalled intensified fond memories of their mothers if, indeed, Mom was all that caring.

But if men initially reported less close relationships with Mom, oxytocin seemed to encourage them to dwell on the negative.

Read more at Health at MSN…

Inside the Bullied Brain: The Alarming Neuroscience of Taunting

In the wake of several tragedies that have made bullying a high-profile issue, it’s becoming clear that harassment by one’s peers is something more than just a rite of passage. Bullied kids are more likely to be depressed, anxious, and suicidal. They struggle in school — when they decide to show up at all. They are more likely to carry weapons, get in fights, and use drugs.

Read more at The Boston Globe…

I, Psychopath

The psychopath feels little, if any, guilt. He can commit the most appalling acts, yet view them without remorse. The Psychopath has a warped capacity for love. His emotional relationships, when they exist, are meager, fleeting, and designed to satisfy his own desires. These last two traits, guiltlessness and lovelessness, conspicuously mark the psychopath as different from other men.

– Watch the video at blip.tv

The Neurobiology of Evil

Is a person’s propensity toward evil a matter of malfunctioning synapses and neurons?

Michael Stone, professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University and author of “The Anatomy of Evil,” says it is.  Ever-more-detailed brain scans are revealing the biological origins of psychological issues in “evil” people, from those who are mildly antisocial to serial murderers.

– Read more at BigThink.com

Posteromedial Cortex: Divide Between Narcissists And Psychopaths Narrow

Like many of history’s greatest minds, narcissists spend a great deal of time deep in thought – but for narcissists it is thought about themselves.

Neuroscientists recently found a correlation between high scores on the Machiavellian Egocentricity subscale – a measure of narcissism – and activity during rest in the posteromedial cortex, a brain region that previous studies have associated with thoughts about the self.  The study also found a correlation between poor decision-making and brain activity during rest in the medial prefrontal cortex. Impulsive action without regard for consequences is another aspect of psychopathic behavior.

– read more at the Science 2.0 website

A Neuroscientist Uncovers a Dark Secret

Excerpt from NPR:

The criminal brain has always held a fascination for James Fallon. For nearly 20 years, the neuroscientist at the University of California Irvine has studied the brains of psychopaths. He studies the biological basis for behavior, and one of his specialties is to try to figure out how a killer’s brain differs from yours and mine.

About four years ago, Fallon made a startling discovery. It happened during a conversation with his then 88-year-old mother, Jenny at a family barbecue.

“And I said, ‘Jim, why don’t you find out about your father’s relatives?'” Jenny Fallon recalls. “I think there were some cuckoos back there.”

Read more…