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Journal: Psychosomatic medicine


Poor diet can be detrimental to mental health. However, the overall evidence for the effects of dietary interventions on mood and mental well-being has yet to be assessed. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis examining effects of dietary interventions on symptoms of depression and anxiety.


To assess the net impact of purpose in life on all-cause mortality and cardiovascular events.

Concepts: Meaning of life


Brain-gut-microbiota interactions may play an important role in human health and behavior. However, while rodent models have demonstrated effects of the gut microbiota on emotional, nociceptive and social behaviors, there is little translational human evidence to date. In this study we identify brain and behavioral characteristics of healthy women clustered by gut microbiota profiles.

Concepts: Psychology, Medicine, Health, Human, Nutrition, Behavior, Motivation, Human behavior


Epidemiologic data increasingly supports sleep as a determinant of cardiovascular disease risk. Fewer studies have investigated the mechanisms underlying this relationship using objective sleep assessment approaches. Therefore, the aim of this study was to examine associations between daily blood pressure and both objectively assessed sleep duration and efficiency.


Objective To study cardiac, sleep-related, and emotional reactions to playing violent (VG) versus nonviolent video games (NVG) in adolescents with different gaming habits. Methods Thirty boys (aged 13-16 years, standard deviation = 0.9), half of them low-exposed (≤1 h/d) and half high-exposed (≥3 h/d) to violent games, played a VG/NVG for 2 hours during two different evenings in their homes. Heart rate (HR) and HR variability were registered from before start until next morning. A questionnaire about emotional reactions was administered after gaming sessions and a sleep diary on the following mornings. Results During sleep, there were significant interaction effects between group and gaming condition for HR (means [standard errors] for low-exposed: NVG 63.8 [2.2] and VG 67.7 [2.4]; for high-exposed: NVG 65.5 [1.9] and VG 62.7 [1.9]; F(1,28) = 9.22, p = .005). There was also a significant interaction for sleep quality (low-exposed: NVG 4.3 [0.2] and VG 3.7 [0.3]); high-exposed: NVG 4.4 [0.2] and VG 4.4 [0.2]; F(1,28) = 3.51, p = .036, one sided), and sadness after playing (low-exposed: NVG 1.0 [0.0] and VG 1.4 [0.2]; high-exposed: NVG 1.2 [0.1] and VG 1.1 [0.1]; (F(1,27) = 6.29, p = .009, one sided). Conclusions Different combinations of the extent of (low versus high) previous VG and experimental exposure to a VG or an NVG are associated with different reaction patterns-physiologically, emotionally, and sleep related. Desensitizing effects or selection bias stand out as possible explanations.

Concepts: Standard deviation, Emotion, UCI race classifications, Deviation, Video game, Tour de Georgia, Nonviolent video game, Standard error


ObjectiveResearch has revealed an association between personality traits and health outcomes, and in multiple sclerosis (MS), there are preliminary data showing a correlation between personality traits and brain volume. We examined the general hypothesis that personality influences the relationship between gray matter volume (GMV) and cognitive/neuropsychiatric MS features.MethodsParticipants were 98 patients with MS who underwent magnetic resonance imaging and were tested with the Symbol Digit Modalities Test and the Neuropsychiatric Inventory, the latter providing measures of depression and euphoria that can be characteristic of MS, that is, cheerful indifference and disinhibition. Personality traits were assessed with the NEO Five Factor Inventory. We examined the correlation between personality traits and both GMV and symptoms, and then modeled mediation and moderation influences on the relationships between GMV and cognitive/neuropsychiatric features.ResultsLinear regression modeling revealed that GMV (r = 0.54, p < .001) and NEO Five Factor Inventory low conscientiousness (r = 0.36, p = .001) were associated with cognitive function, but no mediator or moderator effects were observed. However, conscientiousness mediated the relationship between GMV and symptoms of euphoria (p = .002). The moderator analysis revealed a significant influence of high neuroticism on the GMV-euphoria relationship (p = .029).ConclusionsLow conscientiousness and high neuroticism are associated with neuropsychiatric complications in MS, and each influences the relationship between GMV and euphoria. The findings suggest that patients with low conscientiousness are at higher risk for MS-associated cognitive dysfunction and neuropsychiatric symptoms, a conclusion that has implications for the emerging role of personality in clinical neuroscience.

Concepts: Psychology, Brain, Personality psychology, Magnetic resonance imaging, Multiple sclerosis, Neuroticism, Big Five personality traits, Trait theory


There is a strong association between supportive ties and health. However, most research has focused on the health benefits that come from the support one receives while largely ignoring the support giver and how giving may contribute to good health. Moreover, few studies have examined the neural mechanisms associated with support giving or how giving support compares to receiving support.

Concepts: Neural development


Naturalistic studies suggest that expectation of adverse experiences such as pain exerts particularly strong effects on anxious youth. In healthy adults, expectation influences the experience of pain. The current study uses experimental methods to compare the effects of expectation on pain among adults, healthy youth, and youth with an anxiety disorder.


We introduce a new statistical software R package, rties, that simplifies the use of dynamic models for investigating interpersonal emotional processes. We demonstrate the package by using it to test whether emotional dynamics in romantic couples can predict, or are predicted by, shared unhealthy behaviors.


This study evaluates the associations between people’s trait-like patterns of stress in daily life (stressor frequency, perceived stressor severity, affective reactivity to stressors, and negative affect) and laboratory-assessed heart rate variability (HRV).

Concepts: Affect, Affect display