Last Week’s Links

Recent articles on psychology, memoir, and writing

31 Psychological Defense Mechanisms Explained

a look at some common and less well known defense mechanisms that a person might deploy, along with some examples of how the mind might use them

Some of these are less well known than others. These are probably the most important ones for understanding fictional characters’ motivations:

acting out
passive aggression
reaction formation

Well, that turned out to be a longer list than I expected, but each definition is short.

Great apes communicate cooperatively, like humans

Talking requires turn-taking. Scientists with the Humboldt Research Group of the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, with colleagues at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and other university researchers, found the communications of bonobos and chimpanzees feature turn-taking sequences.

Researchers found the apes employ sounds and gestures in a way that mirrors the back-and-forth of a human conversation.

Can ADHD appear for the first time in adulthood?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), usually diagnosed in children, may show up for the first time in adulthood, two recent studies suggest.

And not only can ADHD appear for the first time after childhood, but the symptoms for adult-onset ADHD may be different from symptoms experienced by kids, the researchers found.

Are dreams predictions?

Sue Llewellyn, professor of humanities at the University of Manchester in the U.K., discusses the significance of dreams, which occur during the rapid-eye-movement (REM) stage of sleep.

In some ways, our brains function differently during REM sleep as opposed to when we are awake. One key difference can be found in the lateral prefrontal cortex, located behind the forehead on both sides of the head. These areas are responsible for logical reasoning, planning and maintaining focus on the most obvious solutions to problems. Among other things, the prefrontal cortex prevents ‘mind-wandering’. But, for solutions to difficult problems, based on remote associations, mind wandering or ‘thinking outside the box’ might be just what is required to make non-obvious connections.

She believes our need to understand such elusive patterns arises from “evolutionary imperatives,” or the need to survive, and explains how to better understand ourselves by making note of and analyzing our dreams. Moreover, dream significance is not the same for everyone; rather, it arises from each person’s individual experiences.

© 2016 by Mary Daniels Brown