Debunking the Social Media & Teen Anxiety Myth

Contrary to popular belief, a six-year study reveals that increased use of social media platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok does not lead to higher rates of anxiety and depression among young people. Following 800 children from age 10 to 16, the study found that symptoms of mental health issues remained stable irrespective of social media habits.

Case report: Anxiety and depression as initial symptoms in a patient with acute hypoxia and patent foramen ovale

Click here for the article published by Frontiers in Psychiatry. The prevalence of patent foramen ovale (PFO) is 15–35% among adults. The role of right-to-left shunting through the PFO, anxiety, depression, and hypoxemia in the systemic circulation remains poorly understood. Herein, we present the case of a 52-year-old woman with no heart or lung disease, …

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Incongruent gestures slow the processing of facial expressions in university students with social anxiety

In recent years, an increasing number of studies have examined the mechanisms underlying nonverbal emotional information processing in people with high social anxiety (HSA). However, most of these studies have focused on the processing of facial expressions, and there has been scarce research on gesture or even face-gesture combined processing in HSA individuals. The present study explored the processing characteristics and mechanism of the interaction between gestures and facial expressions in people with HSA and low social anxiety (LSA). The present study recruited university students as participants and used the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale scores to distinguish the HSA and LSA groups. We used a 2 (group: HSA and LSA) × 2 (emotion valence: positive, negative) × 2 (task: face, gesture) multifactor mixed design, and videos of a single face or gesture and combined face-gesture cues were used as stimuli. We found that (1) there is a distinction in the processing of faces and gestures, with individuals recognizing gestures faster than faces; (2) there is an attentional enhancement in the processing of gestures, particularly for negative gestures; and (3) when the emotional valence of faces and gestures align, it facilitates the recognition of both. However, incongruent gestures have a stronger impact on the processing of facial expressions compared to facial expressions themselves, suggesting that the processing of facial emotions is more influenced by environmental cues provided by gestures. These findings indicated that gestures played an important role in emotional processing, and facial emotional processing was more dependent on the environmental cues derived from gestures, which helps to clarify the reasons for biases in the interpretation of emotional information in people with HSA.

Anxiety and the Brain: The Forebrain’s Role in Social Decisions Unveiled

Researchers discovered that anxious individuals utilize a less optimal region of the forebrain when navigating socially challenging situations compared to their non-anxious counterparts. This was determined through brain scans that mapped regions active during simulated social scenarios.

Don’t Let Others Fear You

Click here for the article published by Psychology Today. Throughout evolution, humans have developed a natural inclination to be cautious and apprehensive in various situations. Our minds are equipped with multiple hair-trigger systems that continuously scan for potential threats. However, if we assert ourselves and meet our personal needs, we are less likely to react …

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