WashU Expert: Picking up the phone to improve mental health in seniors

A new study in JAMA Psychiatry shows that therapy provided via telephone for older adults in rural areas is effective in treating anxiety disorder. In an accompanying editorial, Eric J. Lenze, MD, of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, wrote that the health-care system lacks the capacity to help the growing elderly population and that relying too heavily on sedative medications isn’t the answer.​

‘Flicker: Your Brain on Movies’​​

Why do so many of us cry at the movies? Why do we flinch when Rocky Balboa takes a punch? What’s really happening in our brains as we immerse ourselves in the lives being acted out on screen? These are the questions that Washington University in St. Louis neuroscientist Jeffrey M. Zacks, PhD, explores in his new book, “Flicker: Your Brain on Movies.”

Listeners can distinguish voices of tall versus short people, study finds

A new study by researchers at Washington University in St. Louis, University of California, Los Angeles, and Indiana University found that listeners can accurately determine the relative heights of speakers just by listening to them talk. The key clue may be contained in a particular type of sound produced in the lower airways of the lungs, known as a subglottal resonance.

Faulty memory finds a new culprit

Memory problems related to day-to-day activities — one of the largest complaints of people with Alzheimer’s diease — may be due to older adults’ inability to segment their daily lives into discrete experiences, suggests new psychology research from Washington University in St. Louis. How we perceive events in our current lives influences how we remember them in the future, the study finds.

Avoid impulsive acts by imagining future benefits

Why is it so hard for some people to resist the least little temptation, while others seem to possess incredible patience, passing up immediate gratification for a greater long-term good? The answer, suggests a new study from Washington University in St. Louis, is that patient people focus on future rewards in a way that makes the waiting process seem much more pleasurable.

Brain imaging can predict how intelligent you are, study finds

New research from Washington University in St. Louis suggests that as much as 10 percent of individual differences in intelligence can be explained by the strength of neural pathways connecting the lateral prefrontal cortex to the rest of the brain. Findings establish “global brain connectivity” as a new method for understanding human intelligence.
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