The Most Important Lesson From Facebook’s Emotional Experiment

There has been quite a bit of chatter regarding the recent study on how emotions can be transferred between Facebook users.

What happened?

The facebook feeds of 689,003 users were manipulated to show slightly more positive or negative posts. The results found that the emotions expressed by your friends on Facebook do influence our own emotions.

If your friends post more negative emotions on their feeds, you are more likely to express negative emotions; if your friends post more positive emotions, you are more likely to express positivity yourself.

Health is always described as a biopsychosocial phenomenon, but our focus tends to be on the biological and psychological. The sociological mechanisms just are not as interesting to popular culture and media – it does not mean that they […]

Can You Inherit Stress?

Were you ever told that you act just like your mom?

Recent research suggests that we may have a genetic predisposition to certain maternal behaviors – including how they respond to stress.

While it is true that you learn coping mechanisms from those you spend the most time with earlier in life, it appears as though you may also biologically inherit a predilection for certain behaviors at birth.

A recent study published in the Biological Psychiatry journal looked at adult female rats who were exposed to a chronic and unpredictable stress environment. Two weeks following the stress exposure, the female rats mated and reproduced. Tests of anxiety and fear behavior were then conducted on the offspring at birth and in adulthood.

The study found […]

This is Your Brain on Bacon

One popular myth that I like to dispel is that fat is unhealthy.

There is a misperception that fat makes us fat, and while the typical American diet is high in fat, and the typical American is overweight, that doesn’t mean that the fat is the cause.

As you might know, there are diets out there that work for weight loss that are low-fat and there are diets out there that are successful that are high-fat.

Typically these diets both eliminate processed food and added sugars while capitalizing on nutrient-dense foods such as vegetables and high-quality meat and fish. Thanks to decades of lobbying from the vegetable oil industry (corn and soy in particular) as well as the pharmaceutical industry (ex. statins to lower […]