1000 petals by axinia

the only truth I know is my own experience

Who needs an extra dose of oxytocin? February 19, 2010

 

Another interesting discovery helps us to realize that the roots of many problems may totally differ from our ideas about them.

If you dislike most people you meet, it may simply lay in… the lack of oxytocin! Check out what a study says:

“A chemical best known for cementing the bond between a mother and her newborn child could also play a part in social behaviour. A new study shows that men and women who inhale a whiff of the hormone oxytocin rate strangers as more attractive.

When oxytocin courses through our blood, “we are more likely to see people we don’t know in a more positive light,” says Angeliki Theodoridou, a psychologist at the University of Bristol, UK, who led the new study.This effect adds to the hormone’s known role in human relationships. One study found that oxytocin levels spike after new mothers look at or touch their newborns and may help bonding.

Other work has hinted at the importance of oxytocin in social situations between adults too. People administered the hormone make overly generous offers in an economic game that measures trust, while men who got a dose of oxytocin proved better at remembering the faces of strangers a day later, compared to subjects who got a placebo.

In the latest trial, Theodoridou’s team tested 96 men and women in a double-blind placebo-controlled trial. After participants got either a spritz of oxytocin or a placebo, they rated pictures of 48 men and women for attractiveness and 30 for trustworthiness. (more…)

 

Meditation: a placebo or a real thing? Interesting scientific results in a 9-year evaluation March 17, 2009

  (image by me)

Scientific studies have consistently found that meditation does not give better results than taking a short nap, listening to pleasant music or thinking pleasant thoughts. However, according to recent research, the application of a new definition of meditation involving “mental silence” appears to have effects substantially greater than this, especially with regard to the impact of stress.
Although more than 3,000 scientific studies exist on meditation within the major scientific databases, only about 4% are reports on randomised controlled trials (RCTs) ¾ the only way to reliably exclude the placebo effect.

Researchers who have systematically evaluated these RCTs consistently find that meditation, as it is practised and defined in western society (eg. relaxation, attention focusing and mindfulness), is little more than a sophisticated way of generating a placebo effect. Descriptions of the meditative experience that originated in ancient India, however, reveal that a key feature of meditation is the experience of mental silence. Western definitions have not emphasised this feature.

Currently, the Royal Hospital for Women’s Meditation Research Program (MRP) is systematically evaluating the mental silence perspective of meditation. Over the past nine years, a multifaceted evaluation program has been conducted to evaluate the effect of mental silence on a variety of health and behavioural factors, especially stress. (more…)

 

 
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