A sound theoretical basis supported by scientifically measured physiological parameters is needed to gain medical support for animal-assisted therapy. Six neurochemicals associated with a decrease in blood pressure were measured in humans (n=18) and dogs (n=18) before and after positive interaction. Results (P<.05) indicated that in both species the neurochemicals involved with attention-seeking or attentionis egens behavior have increased. This information can be used as a rationale for animal-assisted therapy.
A principal components analysis of 68 volunteers' subjective ratings of 20 excerpts of Romantic poetry and of Dictionary of Affect scores for the same excerpts produced four components representing Pleasantness, Activation, Romanticism, and Nature. Dictionary measures and subjective ratings of the same constructs loaded on the same factor. Results are interpreted as providing construct validity for the Dictionary of Affect.
OBJECTIVE: Compassion is critical for complementary and conventional care, but little is known about its direct physiologic effects. This study tested the feasibility of delivering two lengths of time (10 and 20 minutes) and two strategies (tactile and nontactile) for a practitioner to nonverbally communicate compassion to subjects who were blind to the interventions. METHODS: Healthy volunteers were informed that we were testing the effects of time and touch on the autonomic nervous system.
Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry
The neuropeptide oxytocin has been shown to stimulate a range of social behaviors. However, recent studies indicate that the effects of intranasal oxytocin are more nuanced than previously thought and that contextual factors and individual characteristics moderate the beneficiary oxytocin effects. In this randomized-controlled trial we examine the influence of intranasally administered oxytocin on neural activity during mind-reading with fMRI, taking into account harsh caregiving experiences as a potential moderator.
PURPOSE: Keeping an ICU patient diary has been reported to benefit the patient's recovery. Here, we investigated the families' experience with reading and writing in patient ICU diaries kept by both the family and the staff. METHODS: We conducted a qualitative study involving 32 semi-structured in-depth interviews of relatives of 26 patients (34% of all family members who visited patients) who met our ICU-diary criterion, i.e., ventilation for longer than 48 hours.
A primed lexical decision task (LDT) was used to determine whether emotion (e.g., love, fear) and emotion-laden (e.g., puppy, hospital) word processing differs, both explicitly and implicitly. Previous experiments have investigated how emotion word processing differs from both abstract and concrete word processing (Altarriba & Bauer, 2004; Altarriba, Bauer, & Benvenuto, 1999).