Check out these fascinating articles from Scientific America and SA Mind magazine. access our print edition being circulated or read online anytime.
In 1961 a child psychologist proposed a radical idea to the American Psychological Association: What if dogs could help therapists connect to troubled patients? Perhaps the animals would help soothe anxiety and help people open up. When Boris Levinson of Yeshiva University presented this idea, many of his colleagues thought it was laughable. Yet the idea that humans might derive therapeutic effects from animals would go on to capture the attention of many future researchers.
In recent years scientists have started investigating our attachment to creatures great and small. Although various types of pets and non-Western cultural dynamics remain largely unexplored, research has begun to examine how the animals that surround us affect our mood and mental states. New work has, for example, revealed how just thinking of a beloved pet may help us stay calm under pressure.(Sci Am. Mind)
The “teen brain” is often ridiculed as an oxymoron—an example of biology gone wrong. Neuroscientists have explained the risky, aggressive or just plain baffling behavior of teenagers as the product of a brain that is somehow compromised. Groundbreaking research in the past 10 years, however, shows that this view is wrong. The teen brain is not defective. It is not a half-baked adult brain, either. It has been forged by evolution to function differently from that of a child or an adult.(Gield)
“Scientific American MIND Explores the Psychology Behind Keeping Pets.” Scientific American Global RSS. N.p., 15 May 2015. Web. 19 May 2015. <http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/scientific-american-mind-explores-the-psychology-behind-keeping-pets/>.
Gield, Jay. “Risky Teen Behavior Is Driven by an Imbalance in Brain Development.” Scientific American Global RSS. N.p., 15 May 2015. Web. 19 May 2015. <http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/risky-teen-behavior-is-driven-by-an-imbalance-in-brain-development/>.