Being close to water is good for the mind, body and soul

After her mother's sudden death, Catherine Kelly felt the call of the sea. She was in her 20s and had been working as a geographer in London away from her native Ireland. She spent a year in Dublin with her family, then accepted an academic position on the west coast, near Westport in County Mayo. "I thought: 'I need to go and get my head cleared in this place, to be blown away by the wind and nature.'" Kelly bought a little house in a remote area and surfed, swam and walked a three-mile-long beach twice a day. "I guess the five or six years that I spent there on the wild Atlantic coast just healed me, really." She didn't understand why that might be until some years later, when she started to see scientific literature that proved what she...

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Neurofeedback training shown to rebalance brain circuits in those with depression

A new study has found that patients with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) who had recovered from symptoms were able to strengthen some of their brain connections, increasing their self-esteem. The research showed that connectivity between certain brain regions — previously found to be decreased when people with a history of depression feel guilt — could be strengthened in a single session of neurofeedback training. Researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), captured before and after the procedure, to measure the difference. Using fMRI, the researchers found that people with depression, even when recovered from symptoms, showed less connectivity between two specific brain areas while experiencing feelings of guilt — the right anterior superior temporal (ATL) and the anterior subgenual cingulate (SCC). ...

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