Behav. Sci.2014, 4(1), 53-69; doi:10.3390/bs4010053 - published online 14 February 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Although studies examining the biological roots of human behavior have been conducted since the seminal work Kahneman and Tversky, crises and panics have not disappeared. The frequent occurrence of various types of crises has led some economists to the conviction that financial markets occasionally praise irrational judgments and that market crashes cannot be avoided a priori (Sornette 2009; Smith 2004). From a biological point of view, human behaviors are essentially the same during crises accompanied by stock market crashes and during bubble growth when share prices exceed historic highs. During those periods, most market participants see something new for themselves, and this inevitably induces a stress response in them with accompanying changes in their endocrine profiles and motivations. The result is quantitative and qualitative changes in behavior (Zhukov 2007). An underestimation of the role of novelty as a stressor is the primary shortcoming of current approaches for market research. When developing a mathematical market model, it is necessary to account for the biologically determined diphasisms of human behavior in everyday low-stress conditions and in response to stressors. This is the only type of approach that will enable forecasts of market dynamics and investor behaviors under normal conditions as well as during bubbles and panics.
Behav. Sci.2014, 4(1), 42-52; doi:10.3390/bs4010042 - published online 22 January 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Tobacco usage typically precedes illicit drug use in adolescent and young adult populations. Several animal studies suggest nicotine increases the risk for subsequent cocaine abuse, and may be a negative prognostic factor for treatment of cocaine addiction; i.e., a “gateway drug”. Neurotensin (NT) is a 13-amino acid neuropeptide that modulates dopamine, acetylcholine, glutamate, and GABA neurotransmission in brain reward pathways. NT69L, a NT(8-13) analog, blocks behavioral sensitization (an animal model for psychostimulant addiction) to nicotine, and nicotine self-administration in rats. The present study tested the effect of NT69L on the potentiating effects of nicotine on cocaine-induced locomotor sensitization. Male Wistar rats were injected daily for seven days with nicotine or saline (control) followed by four daily injections of cocaine. NT69L was administered 30 min prior to the last cocaine injection. Behavior was recorded with the use of activity chambers. Subchronic administration of nicotine enhanced cocaine-induced behavioral sensitization in Wistar rats, consistent with an hypothesized gateway effect. These behavioral effects of cocaine were attenuated by pretreatment with NT69L. The effect of the neurotensin agonist on cocaine sensitization in the nicotine treated group indicated a possible therapeutic effect for cocaine addiction, even in the presence of enhanced behavioral sensitization induced by nicotine.
Behav. Sci.2014, 4(1), 31-41; doi:10.3390/bs4010031 - published online 10 January 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The effectiveness and length of group-delivered cognitive treatment for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) was examined in a sample of women veterans. The sample included 271 primarily non-Hispanic white (61%) and Hispanic (25%) women veterans treated in 8-, 10-, or 12-group length sessions with manualized cognitive therapy for PTSD. Outcome was measured with the PTSD Symptom Checklist (PCL) in an intention-to-treat analysis (N = 271), in completer subjects (n = 172), and with group as the unit of analysis (n = 47 groups). Significant decreases in PTSD were found in the full sample (effect size [ES] range = 0.27 to 0.38), completers (ES range = 0.37 to 0.54), and group as the unit of analysis (ES range = 0.71 to 0.92), suggesting effectiveness of cognitive group treatment for PTSD. PCL scores significantly improved in the 8, 10, and 12 group lengths, with no differences between each. Clinical improvement showed a third decreasing 10 or more PCL points and 22% no longer meeting PTSD diagnostic criteria, with the best results in the 10-session group. The results suggest group-delivered cognitive therapy is an effective, efficient, time-limited treatment for PTSD.
Behav. Sci.2014, 4(1), 14-30; doi:10.3390/bs4010014 - published online 8 January 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: While conducting doctoral research in social science on late motherhood, two analytical engagements with the feminine came to my attention as evidence of a patriarchal bias toward the realm of womanhood. Jung’s mythopoetic tension between symbolism and enactments with the feminine and Freud’s supposition that a denial of the feminine was necessary for psychological and emotional development appeared to be perpetuating a social problem continuing in current times. Across affective behavior and narrative within stories of late procreative desire, dream journals and Word Association Tests of eight participants was the memory of a male sibling who had enjoyed primacy of place in the parental home over the daughter. The female body with a voice was missing in the one-sided perspectives of Analytical Psychology and Psychoanalysis on the subject of the feminine, until a whole view of psyche’s discontents in Feminist inspired Psychoanalytic theories from both schools on the female body were included. Freud and Jung’s views became evidence of patriarchy as background while extension of Feminist inspired psychoanalytical thinking, Queer theories and Creation Myth allowed new meanings of the embodied feminine to emerge through a recapitulation of a union of opposites as a union of epistemology and ethos. The essence of Jung’s mid-life theories, altered by modernity and eclipsed by female advancement, remains replicatable and paradigmatic outside of essentialist gender performance.
Behav. Sci.2014, 4(1), 1-13; doi:10.3390/bs4010001 - published online 24 December 2013 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Mirrors have been studied by cognitive psychology in order to understand self-recognition, self-identity, and self-consciousness. Moreover, the relevance of mirrors in spirituality, magic and arts may also suggest that mirrors can be symbols of unconscious contents. Carl G. Jung investigated mirrors in relation to the unconscious, particularly in Psychology and Alchemy. However, the relationship between the conscious behavior in front of a mirror and the unconscious meaning of mirrors has not been clarified. Recently, empirical research found that gazing at one’s own face in the mirror for a few minutes, at a low illumination level, produces the perception of bodily dysmorphic illusions of strange-faces. Healthy observers usually describe huge distortions of their own faces, monstrous beings, prototypical faces, faces of relatives and deceased, and faces of animals. In the psychiatric population, some schizophrenics show a dramatic increase of strange-face illusions. They can also describe the perception of multiple-others that fill the mirror surface surrounding their strange-face. Schizophrenics are usually convinced that strange-face illusions are truly real and identify themselves with strange-face illusions, diversely from healthy individuals who never identify with them. On the contrary, most patients with major depression do not perceive strange-face illusions, or they perceive very faint changes of their immobile faces in the mirror, like death statues. Strange-face illusions may be the psychodynamic projection of the subject’s unconscious archetypal contents into the mirror image. Therefore, strange-face illusions might provide both an ecological setting and an experimental technique for “imaging of the unconscious”. Future researches have been proposed.