Consuming violent media linked to 13x surge in violent dreams

first_imgPinterest LinkedIn The violent and sexual media you consume during the day may infiltrate your dreams at night, new research suggests.People who reported consuming violent media within 90 minutes of bedtime were 13 times more likely to have a violent dream that night, the study found. Those viewing sexual media were six times more likely to have a sex-related dream.The study of more than 1,000 Turkish residents also found that the more violent media content they reported consuming on a regular basis, the more often they said they had violent dreams in general. Share Share on Facebookcenter_img Share on Twitter Email The same link was found between sexual media content and sexual dreams, although the connection wasn’t as strong.“The media we consume can have an impact on us even when we’re sleeping,” said Brad Bushman, co-author of the study and professor of communication and psychology at The Ohio State University.“We knew our violent and sexual media consumption had an impact on our waking lives. Now we have evidence of how it may influence our dreams.”The study is published online in the journal Dreaming. Bushman conducted the study with Jan Van den Bulck, a professor of communication studies at the University of Michigan; and Yakup Çetin of Fatih University and Ömer Terzi of Yildiz Technical University, both in Turkey.The study involved 1,287 people aged 10 to 60 who completed a survey about their media consumption and their dreams. About half the sample were students at schools in Istanbul. The remainder were adults recruited from social networking sites that discussed media.All participants were asked whether they had viewed any violent or sexual media content within 90 minutes of going to bed the night before the study, and whether they had any violent or sexual dreams that night.Slightly less than half of participants (45 percent) reported consuming violent media before bed that night, whereas slightly less than one-quarter reported exposure to sexual media content.Whether they had consumed violent or sexual media content was not associated with whether they dreamed that night, findings showed.But the fact that violent and sexual media use was related to a huge increase in related dreams showed the power media may have on our sleeping lives, Bushman said.“The magnitude of the increase in violent and sexual dreams linked to media consumption was surprising,” he said.The study also aimed to examine how overall media use was linked to dream content.Participants were asked the number of hours they spent consuming media (including TV, internet, DVDs, movies, video games and music) on any devices on weekdays and on weekends.Next, they were asked to rate whether the media they consumed contained violence and whether it contained sex on a scale of 1 (never) to 5 (always).They were then asked whether they dreamed and whether their dreams included violent content and sexual content. Again, they rated how often on a scale of 1 to 5.Overall, 67 percent of participants said they dreamed at least sometimes.More than 80 percent of participants said they were exposed to violent media content at least sometimes, whereas about half said they were exposed to sexual media content at least sometimes.About 80 percent of those surveyed said they had violent dreams sometimes, whereas slightly less than half said they had sexual dreams sometimes.The researchers found that overall media use was a significant predictor of more frequent dreaming, as was the frequency of exposure to violent media.So who had the most frequent violent dreams overall? Results showed that exposure to violent media was the stronger predictor, although people who reported more overall media exposure and more sexual media exposure also reported somewhat more violent dreams.As for sexual dreams, those who reported the most also tended to have consumed more sexual media. But the link between sexual media and sexual dreams wasn’t as strong as that between violent media and violent dreams.“Whether we looked at overall media use or media intake for just one day, the result was the same: The media we consume is linked to what we dream about,” Van den Bulck said.The results can’t reveal the direction of causality between dreams and media use, Bushman noted.“It is at least possible that people who have more violent or more sexual dreams are more likely to seek out that content during the day. Another possibility is that causality may go both ways, or that some other factor is related to both media consumption and dream content.“But I do believe that the most plausible explanation is that the media we consume influences our dreams,” Bushman said.Çetin said the results may be at least somewhat different for people in other countries, noting previous research has shown that media use and dream associations differ for people of varied cultural background.The results suggest one obvious recommendation for those who are troubled by their violent or sexual dreams, according to Bushman.“It would be good to avoid media with violent and sexual content, especially right before bed.”last_img read more

Study finds magic mushrooms may ‘reset’ the brains of depressed patients

first_imgPinterest Share on Twitter Patients taking psilocybin to treat depression show reduced symptoms weeks after treatment following a ‘reset’ of their brain activity.The findings come from a study in which researchers from Imperial College London used psilocybin – the psychoactive compound that occurs naturally in magic mushrooms – to treat a small number of patients with depression in whom conventional treatment had failed.In a paper, published today in the journal Scientific Reports, the researchers describe patient-reported benefits lasting up to five weeks after treatment, and believe the psychedelic compound may effectively reset the activity of key brain circuits known to play a role in depression. Email Share on Facebookcenter_img Share Comparison of images of patients’ brains before and one day after they received the drug treatment revealed changes in brain activity that were associated with marked and lasting reductions in depressive symptoms.The authors note that while the initial results of the experimental therapy are exciting, they are limited by the small sample size as well as the absence of a control group – such as a placebo group – to directly contrast with the patients.Dr Robin Carhart-Harris, Head of Psychedelic Research at Imperial, who led the study, said: “We have shown for the first time clear changes in brain activity in depressed people treated with psilocybin after failing to respond to conventional treatments.“Several of our patients described feeling ‘reset’ after the treatment and often used computer analogies. For example, one said he felt like his brain had been ‘defragged’ like a computer hard drive, and another said he felt ‘rebooted’. Psilocybin may be giving these individuals the temporary ‘kick start’ they need to break out of their depressive states and these imaging results do tentatively support a ‘reset’ analogy. Similar brain effects to these have been seen with electroconvulsive therapy.”Over the last decade or so, a number of clinical trials have been conducted into the safety and effectiveness of psychedelics in patients with conditions such as depression and addictions, yielding promising results.In the recent Imperial trial, the first with psilocybin in depression, 20 patients with treatment-resistant form of the disorder were given two doses of psilocybin (10 mg and 25 mg), with the second dose a week after the first.Nineteen of these underwent initial brain imaging and then a second scan one day after the high dose treatment. Carhart-Harris and team used two main brain imaging methods to measure changes in blood flow and the crosstalk between brain regions, with patients reporting their depressive symptoms through completing clinical questionnaires.Immediately following treatment with psilocybin, patients reported a decrease in depressive symptoms – corresponding with anecdotal reports of an ‘after-glow’ effect characterised by improvements in mood and stress relief.Functional MRI imaging revealed reduced blood flow in areas of the brain, including the amygdala, a small, almond-shaped region of the brain known to be involved in processing emotional responses, stress and fear. They also found increased stability in another brain network, previously linked to psilocybin’s immediate effects as well as to depression itself.These findings provide a new window into what happens in the brains of people after they have ‘come down’ from a psychedelic, where an initial disintegration of brain networks during the drug ‘trip’, is followed by a re-integration afterwards.Dr Carhart-Harris explained: “Through collecting these imaging data we have been able to provide a window into the after effects of psilocybin treatment in the brains of patients with chronic depression. Based on what we know from various brain imaging studies with psychedelics, as well as taking heed of what people say about their experiences, it may be that psychedelics do indeed ‘reset’ the brain networks associated with depression, effectively enabling them to be lifted from the depressed state.The authors warn that while the initial findings are encouraging, the research is at an early stage and that patients with depression should not attempt to self-medicate, as the team provided a special therapeutic context for the drug experience and things may go awry if the extensive psychological component of the treatment is neglected. They add that future studies will include more robust designs and currently plan to test psilocybin against a leading antidepressant in a trial set to start early next year.Professor David Nutt, Edmond J. Safra Professor of Neuropsychopharmacology and director of the Neuropsychopharmacology Unit in the Division of Brain Sciences, and senior author of the paper, added: “Larger studies are needed to see if this positive effect can be reproduced in more patients. But these initial findings are exciting and provide another treatment avenue to explore.” LinkedInlast_img read more

Signal Hound BB60C Real-time Spectrum Analyzer Raises High Performance Bar

first_imgSignal Hound has released the Signal Hound BB60C, a successor to the popular Signal Hound BB60A. The Signal Hound BB60C is a real-time spectrum analyzer and RF recorder. It has significantly enhanced performance compared to the BB60A. The BB60C has a frequency range of 9 kHz to 6 GHz, an instantaneous bandwidth (IBW) of 27 MHz, and the ability to sweep the RF spectrum at 24 GHz per second. The Signal Hound BB60C is ideal for real-time spectrum monitoring, manufacturing process control, interference hunting, spread spectrum signal analysis, capturing intermittent events, and general purpose spectrum analysis. When compared to the BB60A this new model has improved SFDR (Spurious-Free Dynamic Range) by typically 20 dB; the noise floor has been flattened by reducing frequency band transitions more than 8 dB; operating temperatures have been extended down to -40°C and up to +65°C; and streaming I/Q (In-phase Quadrature) bandwidth is now selectable from 250 kHz to 27 MHz. It is small in size and light weight, weighing only 1.1 lbs. It has good spectral purity, wide temperature range operation, broadband I/Q streaming capability, open source code spectrum analysis software. By adding custom software and a low-cost Intel i5 NUC vPro-enabled computer, model DC53427HYE, the user can also remotely perform spectrum analysis, manage system recovery, turn on and off the BB60C, and update software, all over the Ethernet. The Signal Hound BB60C ships with a fully documented API written in C++. The open source spectrum analyzer software provides excellent examples of efficient techniques for creating new functions and interfacing the API when writing customized applications. These analyzers can be used for a wide range of applications. Industry is using the spectrum analyzers for process monitoring and embedding them in specialty products. Government is using them for spectrum monitoring. Electronic repair technicians, engineering students, ham radio enthusiasts, and electronics hobbyists are all finding them useful. Although they are small and affordable, they have the sensitivity, accuracy, and dynamic range expected from expensive and bulky test equipment. Availability The Signal Hound BB60C is in stock, ready for immediate shipment. The Signal Hound BB60C sells for $2,879 USD. Price will vary outside USA due to distributor cost of shipping, import taxes, and currency fluctuations. The Signal Hound BB60C will be on Display at the IMS 2014 in Tampa from the 3-5th of June at Booth #1550.last_img read more

De Bruyne completes move to Wolfsburg

first_imgGerman club Wolfsburg have completed the signing of Kevin de Bruyne from Chelsea.His transfer was rubber-stamped on Saturday morning after he signed a five-year contract. The 22-year-old Belgian, who spent last season on loan at Werder Bremen, made only three league appearances for the Blues after being signed in 2012.AdChoices广告All three came before he angered Jose Mourinho with his performance in a Capital One Cup tie at Swindon in September, since which De Bruyne’s future at Stamford Bridge has been in doubt.He cost around £6.5m when he was bought from Genk and Chelsea made a significant profit on that deal, with Wolfsburg believed to have paid around £16m.Boss Mourinho recently explained that the hefty transfer fee involved, coupled with De Bruyne’s desire to leave, meant Chelsea were prepared to let him go.He said: “We know Kevin is a fantastic young player with fantastic potential. I still say I would be happy to keep him.“But you also have to analyse the player’s pride and personality, and he probably wants to go so much it’s maybe a good option to let him go and it’s a very good deal for the club from a financial point of view.”Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more