While an acute decrease in brain serotonin may have few effects on social behaviour, a longer-term increase in serotonin in individuals at risk for depression improves mood and alters social behaviour. This Thursday, February 4, 2016, Koen Hogenelst defends his dissertation, in which he explains the relevance of his research findings for the effectiveness of serotonergic medications for depression.
Thinking about how things could have turned out differently can be useful for people. When you think about how something could have gone better, you may learn from it. On the other hand, when you think about how it could have gone worse, you may feel better about yourself.
Why do smoothly flowing conversations feel so good, whereas brief silences are often so awkward? On February 20, Namkje Koudenburg will defend her thesis “Conversational Flow”, in which she explains how conversational aspects such as brief silences, or small delays in computer-mediated communication influence our relationships, independently of what is being said.
You may know an irritable person. But if he becomes friendlier towards you, then you will become friendlier towards him, right? In other words, positive changes in how people interact with others are ultimately good for them, too. This idea underlies a new theory on how antidepressants work.