Cynthia Marshall

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Cosmology, God And Why 'The Big Picture' Needs To Be Bigger

I’ll apologize in advance for a long review. And it’s a long review because Sean Carroll’s <i>The Big Picture</i> is an important book that needs to be read by a much wider audience than popular science aficionados. But let me start with a short historical prologue:<p>Back in the 12th century, a trickle of …

Roman Empire

17 Things Everyone Should Know About Epilepsy

Don’t you dare put that spoon in my mouth.<p>Thumbnail image: Gerd Altmann / Creative Commons / Via pixabay.com

Science may explain why some people have deeply sensitive personalities

At the age of six, Jack Craven started telling his mother he wanted to die. “God made a mistake when he made me,” he would say. “Why can’t I just die?” His mother, Lori Craven, says she didn’t even know that kids his age could think such things: “Can you imagine your child saying that?”<p>Jack, now …

Autism

The Glass House Built Around A Tree

A significant number of my childhood fantasies revolved around <b>tree houses</b> - but this design by Kazakh architect <b>Aibek Almassov</b> just flips the whole …

Architecture

4 Ways to Calm Yourself When You’re Anxious

How to locate the “off” switch to your jitters.<p>The human brain is good at creating anxiety. The good news is that it's possible to undo your anxiety …

Self-improvement

The Ancient Origins of Consciousness by Todd Feinberg and Jon Mallatt review – how the brain created experience

An evolutionary history shows how consciousness is key to human survival<p>What does it mean to say that I am conscious? For sure, consciousness is a protean term, with multiple meanings. Among its features are some or all of the following: trivially, that I am awake and not asleep or “unconscious”; …

Biology

I was crippled by anxiety - and then I made it work for me

“I don’t think I can do it,” I said to my husband<p>“Do what?” he replied, baffled.<p>“I don’t know, I just…” I paused, struggling and failing to control my breath. “CAN’T!” I burst into tears.<p>We were on honeymoon. We’d arrived in San Francisco, the night before, after two relaxing weeks in Hawaii. We …

Antidepressants aren't just for depression anymore, study finds

Antidepressants didn't get to be the third-most commonly prescribed medication in the United States for nothing. In fact, says a new study, the medications taken by more than 10% of American adults may be so ubiquitous because they are used to do so much.<p>Depression medication, a new study suggests, …

Half of the People Taking Antidepressants Aren't Depressed: Study

Millions of people take antidepressants as a way to treat depression, but a new study reveals that some physicians are prescribing antidepressants …

Depression

How Nature Benefits Your Mental Health

Recently, scientists have been working out whether grass and trees could be used to treat depression and anxiety.<p>Have you ever come home from a day in the countryside and felt... better? Mood altered, anxiety soothed, mind hushed? It seems obvious that getting out of the clanging grind of the city …

Mental Health

5 Essentials for Switching From Pursuit of Happiness to Just Being Happy

Opinions expressed by <i>Entrepreneur</i> contributors are their own.<p>Happiness is overrated.<p>Don’t get me wrong, the <i>“… pursuit of happiness …”</i> is very quotable, it sounds great and looks great on paper -- especially when that paper happens to be the <i>Declaration of Independence</i>, which is where the phrase can …

Happiness

This Is Your Brain on Nature

When we get closer to nature—be it untouched wilderness or a backyard tree—we do our overstressed brains a favor.<p><b>When you head out</b> to the desert, David Strayer is the kind of man you want behind the wheel. He never texts or talks on the phone while driving. He doesn’t even approve of eating in the …

Anxiety and Depression Are Symptoms, Not Diseases

It is very common when I first encounter a client struggling with mental health issues that they report their problem is that they feel anxious or …

College & University

Eating Kimchi Helps With Social Anxiety Disorder, Science Says

If you suffer from social anxiety disorder, you know how hard it can be just to <i>show up</i> to things: a work happy hour, your friend’s birthday party, or …

Wellness

Is fermented food a recipe for good gut health?

<b>Fermentation as a way of preserving food dates back thousands of years, but it is now being held up as a potentially important source of friendly, health-giving bacteria. So should we all be eating sauerkraut and kimchi?</b><p>Allowing bacteria to form in a sealed jar of vegetables over a few months might …

Wellness

This Analysis Will Help You Understand Consciousness

“Consciousness” refers to several related phenomena, which is why people have such a difficult time agreeing on what it is.<p>Consciousness is our</b> …

High-potency pot smokers show brain-fiber damage

People who use especially potent pot show signs of damage in a key part of their brain. The results, reported online November 27 in <i>Psychological</i> …

Cannabis

Eating This Way Can Improve Heart Health

Scientific evidence continues to mount that mindfulness is a fount of health and wellbeing. Recent research finds that mindfulness meditation—a …

Holistic Medicine

'World Happiest Man' Literally Bends The Scales Of Brain Activity While Meditating In A Laboratory

<b>“Ricard sees living a good life, and showing compassion, not as a religious edict revealed from on high, but as a practical route to happiness.”</b><p>A …

Medications May Cause Dementia, But It Could Be Untreated Sleep Apnea

<i>By Brandon R. Peters, M.D.</i><p>The news was enough to give you indigestion: Some of the over-the-counter and prescription medications most widely used to treat heartburn and acid reflux are linked to the development of dementia. The research suggesting a possible association is the latest in a string of …

Sleep

This Is What Happens To Your Brain When You Walk in Nature

Humans are designed to be outdoors. Our brains are wired to respond to the smells, sights, and sensations we receive there. When we spend daily time …

Ecology

We might be able to train our bodies into thinking we’ve had medicine — and it could have serious implications for the future of treatments

A cheerful student from Minneapolis, Minnesota, she had curly brown hair and a pale, moon-shaped face, and she loved playing trumpet in her high-school band.<p>But in 1983, she was diagnosed with lupus, a condition in which the immune system destroys the body's healthy tissues.<p>It ran rampant, …

Immune System

His stress is not like her stress

Muscles tighten, the heart pounds and nausea takes hold: In the face of sudden stress, men and women respond alike. But when threats, scares or …

Our brain sabotages all efforts at breaking bad habits, Johns Hopkins study finds

It hardly comes as a surprise that we’re our own worst enemies, but new research appears to conclusively prove that our brain is the biggest saboteur …

3 Surprising Ways to Feel More Loved

<b>Are you focused on romantic love this Valentine's Day? If so, you're missing an opportunity! Building</b> stronger connections with those around us can lead to a happier, healthier, more successful, and easier life. Our relationships help us live and work from our sweet spots by bringing us both …

Natural Happiness: The Truth About Exercise and Depression

We all <i>want</i> to be happy.<p>But is there anything you can actually do to feel happier more often? Or at the very least... can you limit the likelihood that you'll feel sad and depressed?<p>There isn't a single perfect answer, of course, but research is starting to reveal the incredible connection between …

Self-confidence

10 Big Myths About Your Purpose in Life

<b>1. There is one definition of success.</b><p>And it involves an established career, large house, acceptable body shape, marriage and annual holidays.<p>The truth is we all have our own unique path to walk in this life because what brings true meaning and satisfaction differs for all of us.<p>Let go of the idea …

Happiness

The Mantra That Will Help You Live a Happier and More Vibrant Life

The best advice I can give on how to be happy is to manage your emotional weight. This means that while you might not be feeling happy all the time (and what a relief to not have the pressure of walking around like little Ms. Sunshine 24/7!), you've at least owned whatever mood you truly are in and …

Happiness

Congress snuck a surveillance bill into the federal budget last night

After more than a year of stalemate, Congress has used an unconventional procedural measure to bring a controversial cybersurveillance bill to the floor. Late last night, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) announced a 2,000-page omnibus budget bill, a last-minute compromise necessary to prevent …

Surveillance

The Real Cause of Depression May Have Nothing at All to Do With Your Mind

Depression is epidemic in our society, and the mainstream solution is a trip to the psychiatrist and an indefinite prescription for pharmaceuticals. …