The Pit In Your Stomach is Actually Your Second Brain

The world is so much bigger and more interesting than we can see with our naked eyes. If we could, we could watch cells grow, morph, and split again over and over again on the backs of our own wrists--or the billions of foreign cells living in and among our own, forming what scientists are beginning to call our "second brain." As researchers turn their microscopes to these hidden environments, they have discovered something remarkable: There's an entire ecosystem of bacteria and a vast neural network operating in our guts. This ecosystem is our second brain, and comprises some 100 million neurons, more than the spinal cord. This is not a thinking brain--it does not reason, write poetry, or solve multi-linear regressions--but mounting evidence suggests that your gut's health strongly influences your mood. It's not just that a stomach ache can sour your day. It's more than that. The enteric nervous system is a mesh-like network of neurons that lines the entire digestive track. It causes the sensation of nervous butterflies or a pit in your stomach that are innate parts of our psychological stress responses. Up to 90 percent of the cells involved in these responses carry information to the brain rather than receiving messages from it, making your gut as influential to your mood as your head is. Maybe even more. Even crazier is that our second brain is actually only half of us. Inside the digestive system, the enteric nervous system mainly communicates with bacteria....
Source: Science - The Huffington Post - Category: Science Source Type: news

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We examined this association by exploring the gap between cognitive understanding of social behavior and socially adaptive behavior, and its impact on social anxiety symptoms, obsessive-compulsive symptoms, and depressive symptoms, among 53 university students with autism (without intellectual disability). A higher cognition-social adaptation discrepancy was associated with more social anxiety, but this effect was moderated by autistic trait (AT) levels; a greater gap was associated with more avoidance symptoms of social anxiety only among students with high AT. Cognitive flexibility and prosocial behavior may mitigat...
Source: Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders - Category: Psychiatry Authors: Tags: J Autism Dev Disord Source Type: research
ConclusionsWe confirm previous reports showing that individuals with ASD are at high risk for specific anxiety disorders. In particular, high levels of impairments in social motivation and social communication (SRS-2) are indicative of comorbid disorders namely, social anxiety and ASD. Our findings clearly inform diagnostic assessment in ASD and stress the need to take comorbid anxiety disorders into consideration to improve treatment of ASD. To further clarify the impact of social anxiety on social competences and socio-adaptive handicap, longitudinal studies and cluster analysis will be needed in the future.
Source: Frontiers in Psychiatry - Category: Psychiatry Source Type: research
“Failure to launch” has been used recently to describe grown children who, for one reason or another, aren’t willing or able to leave their family home to pursue their own goals, lead independent lives and become self-sufficient. This phenomenon is on the rise, and it’s important to understand what can cause it and what you can do to help a child get through it.  Early Signs of Failure to Launch Most parents who have an adult child who has “failed to launch” identify some of these factors being present in their child: Unwillingness or inability to take on responsibilities Low self-...
Source: World of Psychology - Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: Tags: Parenting Success & Achievement Autonomy college Failure to Launch Personal Independence Source Type: blogs
Empathy, broadly defined as the ability to understand the other and to share others’ emotions, motivates prosocial behavior and underlies successful interpersonal relations. Dysfunctions in this ability may cause fundamental difficulties in social communication. Empathy has been measured in various ways, from self-report questionnaires to laboratory objective performance tests. Empathic accuracy (EA), i.e., the ability to accurately empathize, is measured using more complex and ecological paradigms, such as asking participants to infer filmed interactions, or having people narrate personal emotional stories then asse...
Source: Frontiers in Psychiatry - Category: Psychiatry Source Type: research
Authors: Yoon S, Kim YK Abstract Oxytocin, a neuropeptide synthesized by the hypothalamus, plays a central role in human social behavior, social cognition, anxiety, mood, stress modulation, and fear learning and extinction. The relationships between oxytocin and psychiatric disorders including depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, and autism spectrum disorder have been extensively studied. In this chapter, we focus on the current knowledge about oxytocin and anxiety disorder. We discuss the anxiolytic effects of oxytocin in preclinical and clinical findings, possible related neurobehavioral mechanisms (social cogniti...
Source: Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology - Category: Research Tags: Adv Exp Med Biol Source Type: research
ConclusionThis is an exemplary case of anFMR1 premutation carrier with significant psychiatric and cognitive issues that demonstrates Fragile X ‐associated Neuropsychiatric Disorders (FXAND) as separate from the other well‐known premutation disorders.
Source: Molecular Genetics & Genomic Medicine - Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Authors: Tags: CLINICAL REPORT Source Type: research
We all have a friend or family member who just can’t seem to get out from under their accumulation of stuff. Their garage, guest bedroom and basement are packed, and you can’t see the top of the kitchen table. But when does “cluttered” become “hoarded?” We have all seen the sensationalized TV depictions of filthy homes that need to be condemned. But is that what hoarding really looks like?  And why can’t those folks just throw it all out? Today’s guest explains myths surrounding hoarding, treatment strategies and why we all might be at risk. SUBSCRIBE &REVIEW Gues...
Source: World of Psychology - Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: Tags: Brain and Behavior Disorders General Interview LifeHelper Mental Health and Wellness Podcast Psychiatry Psychology The Psych Central Show Source Type: blogs
Do you enjoy watching YouTube videos on psychology and mental health topics?  But are you tired of wading through all the mindless fluff, meaningless new-age jargon, and overly pedantic lectures?  There is a better option out there – The Psych Show, created by Dr. Ali Mattu.   It might seem frivolous, but YouTube videos aren’t going anywhere. They have become one of the most common ways we access information, and this is especially true for young people. Join us as Dr. Mattu tells us how a PhD psychologist became one of the first YouTubers, how he decides what type of content to feature ea...
Source: World of Psychology - Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: Tags: Podcast Psychiatry Psychology Self-Help The Psych Central Show Source Type: blogs
CONCLUSION: The results of this study show that the K-SADS-PL-DSM-5-T is an effective instrument for diagnosing major childhood psychiatric disorders including selective mutism, disruptive mood dysregulation disorder and autism spectrum disorder which have recently been added to the schedule. PMID: 31170306 [PubMed - in process]
Source: Turkish Journal of Psychiatry - Category: Psychiatry Authors: Tags: Turk Psikiyatri Derg Source Type: research
CASE: Peter is a 26-year-old group home resident in Austria with a history of poor peer relationships, including being bullied, and previous diagnoses of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, Asperger syndrome, social anxiety, depression, and developmental coordination disorder. Consultation from our international neurodevelopmental team was requested for severe anxiety and avoidance of social interactions. He reported 4 or more spontaneous anxiety episodes per day. Anxiety triggers included returning to his group home from his vocational rehabilitation program each evening or returning to the group home after weeken...
Source: Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics - Category: Child Development Tags: Challenging Case Source Type: research
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