Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Grammatical mood


We report here trends in the usage of “mood” words, that is, words carrying emotional content, in 20th century English language books, using the data set provided by Google that includes word frequencies in roughly 4% of all books published up to the year 2008. We find evidence for distinct historical periods of positive and negative moods, underlain by a general decrease in the use of emotion-related words through time. Finally, we show that, in books, American English has become decidedly more “emotional” than British English in the last half-century, as a part of a more general increase of the stylistic divergence between the two variants of English language.

Concepts: Dialect, English language, Emotion, Received Pronunciation, Grammatical mood, American English, British English, Hiberno-English


Many children with specific language impairment (SLI) have persisting problems in the correct use of verb tense, but there has been disagreement as to the underlying reason. When we take into account studies using receptive as well as expressive language tasks, the data suggest that the difficulty for children with SLI is in knowing when to inflect verbs for tense, rather than how to do so. This is perhaps not surprising when we consider that tense does not have a transparent semantic interpretation, but depends on complex relationships between inflections and hierarchically organized clauses. An explanation in terms of syntactic limitations contrasts with a popular morpho-phonological account, the Words and Rules model. This model, which attributes problems to difficulties with applying a rule to generate regular inflected forms, has been widely applied to adult-acquired disorders. There are striking similarities in the pattern of errors in adults with anterior aphasia and children with SLI, suggesting that impairments in appreciation of when to mark tense may apply to acquired as well as developmental disorders.

Concepts: Language, Word, Verb, Inflection, Romance languages, Grammatical mood, Grammatical aspect, Grammatical conjugation


The present research examined when happy individuals' processing of a counterattitudinal message is guided by mood-congruent expectancies versus hedonic considerations. Recipients in positive, neutral, or negative mood read a strong or weak counterattitudinal message which either contained a threat to attitudinal freedom or did not contain such a threat. As expected, a freedom-threatening counterattitudinal message was more mood threatening than a counterattitudinal message not threatening freedom. Furthermore, as predicted by the mood-congruent expectancies approach, people in positive mood processed a nonthreatening counterattitudinal message more thoroughly than people in negative mood. Message processing in neutral mood lay in between. In contrast, as predicted by the hedonic-contingency view, a threatening counterattitudinal message was processed less thoroughly in positive mood than in neutral mood. In negative mood, processing of a threatening counterattitudinal message was as low as in positive mood. These findings suggest that message processing is determined by mood congruency unless hedonic considerations override expectancy-based processing inclinations.

Concepts: Present, Expected value, Grammatical mood


This study examined the impact of three clinical psychological variables (non-pathological levels of depression and anxiety, as well as experimentally manipulated mood) on fat and taste perception in healthy subjects. After a baseline orosensory evaluation, ‘sad’, ‘happy’ and ‘neutral’ video clips were presented to induce corresponding moods in eighty participants. Following mood manipulation, subjects rated five different oral stimuli, appearing sweet, umami, sour, bitter, fatty, which were delivered at five different concentrations each. Depression levels were assessed with Beck’s Depression Inventory (BDI) and anxiety levels were assessed via the Spielberger’s STAI-trait and state questionnaire. Overall, subjects were able to track the concentrations of the stimuli correctly, yet depression level affected taste ratings. First, depression scores were positively correlated with sucrose ratings. Second, subjects with depression scores above the sample median rated sucrose and quinine as more intense after mood induction (positive, negative and neutral). Third and most important, the group with enhanced depression scores did not rate low and high fat stimuli differently after positive or negative mood induction, whereas, during baseline or during the non-emotional neutral condition they rated the fat intensity as increasing with concentration. Consistent with others' prior observations we also found that sweet and bitter stimuli at baseline were rated as more intense by participants with higher anxiety scores and that after positive and negative mood induction, citric acid was rated as stronger tasting compared to baseline. The observation that subjects with mild subclinical depression rated low and high fat stimuli similarly when in positive or negative mood is novel and likely has potential implications for unhealthy eating patterns. This deficit may foster unconscious eating of fatty foods in sub-clinical mildly depressed populations.

Concepts: Psychology, Nutrition, Glucose, Taste, Seasonal affective disorder, Beck Depression Inventory, Grammatical mood, Sadness


Objective: People seek out their own idiosyncratic comfort foods when in negative moods, and they believe that these foods rapidly improve their mood. The purpose of these studies is to investigate whether comfort foods actually provide psychological benefits, and if so, whether they improve mood better than comparison foods or no food. Methods: Participants first completed an online questionnaire to indicate their comfort foods and a variety of comparison foods. During two lab sessions a week apart from each other (and at least a week after the online questionnaire, counterbalanced in order), participants watched films that induced negative affect. In one session, participants were then served their comfort food. In the other, participants were served an equally liked noncomfort food (Study 1), a neutral food (Study 2), or no food (Studies 3 and 4). Short-term mood changes were measured so that we could seek out psychological effects of these foods, rather than biochemical effects on mood from particular food components (e.g., sugars or vitamins). Results: Comfort foods led to significant improvements in mood, but no more than other foods or no food. Conclusions: Although people believe that comfort foods provide them with mood benefits, comfort foods do not provide comfort beyond that of other foods (or no food). These results are likely not due to a floor effect because participants' moods did not return to baseline levels. Individuals may be giving comfort food “credit” for mood effects that would have occurred even in the absence of the comfort food. (PsycINFO Database Record © 2014 APA, all rights reserved).

Concepts: Better, Sugar, Emotion, All rights reserved, Grammatical mood, Comfort food


This study experimentally examined the impact of exposure to fitspiration images and self-compassion quotes on social media on young women’s body satisfaction, body appreciation, self-compassion, and negative mood. Female undergraduate students (N=160) were randomly assigned to view either Instagram images of fitspiration, self-compassion quotes, a combination of both, or appearance-neutral images. Results showed no differences between viewing fitspiration images compared to viewing neutral images, except for poorer self-compassion among those who viewed fitspiration images. However, women who viewed self-compassion quotes showed greater body satisfaction, body appreciation, self-compassion, and reduced negative mood compared to women who viewed neutral images. Further, viewing a combination of fitspiration images and self-compassion quotes led to positive outcomes compared to viewing only fitspiration images. Trait levels of thin-ideal internalisation moderated some effects. The findings suggest that self-compassion might offer a novel avenue for attenuating the negative impact of social media on women’s body satisfaction.

Concepts: Photography, Bachelor's degree, Undergraduate education, Grammatical mood, View


Sleep deprivation (SD) critically affects a range of cognitive and affective functions, typically assessed during task performance. Whether such impairments stem from changes to the brain’s intrinsic functional connectivity remain largely unknown. To examine this hypothesis, we applied graph theoretical analysis on resting-state fMRI data derived from 18 healthy participants, acquired during both sleep-rested and sleep-deprived states. We hypothesized that parameters indicative of graph connectivity, such as modularity, will be impaired by sleep deprivation and that these changes will correlate with behavioral outcomes elicited by sleep loss. As expected, our findings point to a profound reduction in network modularity without sleep, evident in the limbic, default-mode, salience and executive modules. These changes were further associated with behavioral impairments elicited by SD: a decrease in salience module density was associated with worse task performance, an increase in limbic module density was predictive of stronger amygdala activation in a subsequent emotional-distraction task and a shift in frontal hub lateralization (from left to right) was associated with increased negative mood. Altogether, these results portray a loss of functional segregation within the brain and a shift towards a more random-like network without sleep, already detected in the spontaneous activity of the sleep-deprived brain. Hum Brain Mapp, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Concepts: Scientific method, Psychology, Sleep deprivation, Hippocampus, Electroencephalography, Graph, Grammatical mood, Planar graph


There is evidence that low, and possibly high, selenium status is associated with depressed mood. More evidence is needed to determine whether this pattern occurs in young adults with a wide range of serum concentrations of selenium.

Concepts: Fatigue, Bipolar disorder, Major depressive disorder, Seasonal affective disorder, 1990s music groups, Grammatical mood, Sadness


Lifestyle intervention programmes are efficacious in the management of obesity but often report poor attendance and adherence rates that hinder treatment effectiveness and health outcomes. The aim of this systematic review is to identify (i) barriers to behaviour change and (ii) predictors of adherence to lifestyle intervention programmes in adults with obesity. Studies were identified by systematically reviewing the literature within Medline, PsycINFO, CINAHL, SPORTDiscus and Web of Science from inception to August 2016. Barriers to behaviour change include poor motivation; environmental, societal and social pressures; lack of time; health and physical limitations; negative thoughts/moods; socioeconomic constraints; gaps in knowledge/awareness; and lack of enjoyment of exercise. The most prominent predictors of adherence include early weight loss success, lower baseline body mass index (BMI), better baseline mood, being male and older age. The findings within this review provide novel insight to clinicians working in obesity and have important implications for lifestyle intervention programme design. Barriers to behaviour change need to be addressed early in treatment, with lifestyle intervention individualized accordingly. Predictors of adherence should also be taken into careful consideration, with negative moods and unrealistic weight loss expectations discussed at the outset. If adherence is improved, treatment effectiveness, health outcomes and the ultimate burden of chronic diseases could also be improved.

Concepts: Medicine, Nutrition, Obesity, Physical exercise, Mass, Body mass index, Weight loss, Grammatical mood


Using daily diary data, this study examined cross-day associations between family conflict and school problems and tested mediating effects of daily negative mood and moderating effects of psychological symptoms. For 2 weeks, parents and adolescents (N = 106; Mage  = 15.4) reported daily conflict; adolescents reported daily negative mood and school problems. Results indicated bidirectional, multiday spillover between parent-adolescent conflict and school problems with daily negative mood statistically accounting for spillover both within and across days. Externalizing symptoms strengthened links between father-adolescent conflict and school problems, whereas depressive and anxious symptoms strengthened links between parent-adolescent conflict and daily negative mood. By demonstrating cross-domain transmission of daily problems, these findings highlight the salience of everyday events as possible intervention targets.

Concepts: Sociology, Dispute resolution, Grammatical mood