study shows coloring improves memory, reduces stress for veterans

UNF study shows coloring improves memory, reduces stress for veterans

Simple activities, such as drawing and coloring, may yield both mental health and cognitive benefits for veterans, according to a new study conducted by Dr. Tracy Alloway, associate professor of psychology at the University of North Florida.The study, in collaboration with UNF psychology graduate student Jourdan Rodak and psychology undergraduate student Michaela Rizzo, explored the use of coloring and drawing in veterans with and without self-reported Post Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms.

My Study Reveals Coloring Improves Working Memory/Reduces Stress Among Veterans

Simple activities, such as drawing and coloring, may yield both mental health and cognitive benefits for veterans. In my research, I found that:

1) Veterans showed decreased self-reported anxiety and stress after coloring a mandala—a geometric pattern—for 20 minutes

2) Veterans also showed improved working memory after drawing for 20 minutes.

Coloring can reduce stress and anxiety and improve memory in veterans

Study reveals coloring improves working memory/reduces stress among veterans

Simple activities, such as drawing and coloring, may yield both mental health and cognitive benefits for veterans, according to a new study conducted by Dr. Tracy Alloway, associate professor of psychology at the University of North Florida. The study, in collaboration with UNF psychology graduate...

Empathy and Sports - what's the link?

Sam Kouvaris: Psychology behind ups, downs of sports

Is it possible for an entire city to have a hangover for a whole week? It sure seemed like it last Sunday when the Jaguars took on the Tennessee Titans at the stadium.The week before, the Jaguars, with huge vocal support from their fans, exorcised the demon Patriots, the only thing standing between them and the Super Bowl last season.

Are Women more Emotional Decision Makers?

Women tend to describe themselves as emotional decision makers. Dr. Alloway conducted an experiment to discover if women would become more prone to making emotional decisions under pressure. She asked women to make a difficult decision (along the lines of sacrificing one person’s life to save many others.) Many women reacted emotionally, saying they simply could not make that difficult decision. 

Dr. Alloway then put the women under stress by asking them to count backward from 100 by sixes (100, 94, 87, etc.) After about a minute, she then asked them to make another difficult decision. Most women were able to make a more utilitarian decision (one that rationally considered the greater good, rather than personal emotions) under pressure. READ THE FULL ARTICLE

ADHD Brain: Boys vs Girls

Scientific research has now indicated that the brains of girls and boys with ADHD can be very different.In a recent brain imaging study, the differences showed up in the primary motor cortex, a part of the brain responsible for controlling basic motor functions for boys. In girls with ADHD, the differences appeared in the prefrontal regions of the brain, which control motivation and ability to regulate emotions, the study authors said.

ADHD & Learning

Tips to manage ADHD: Let them wiggle (this is from my recent textbook that I edited)

WHY? For the student with ADHD – the movement has a purpose – it helps them focus and stay attentive to a task. In the student with ADHD, certain parts of the brain are less active  - like the prefrontal cortex – which is responsible for working memory and attention. The extra physical movement can increase activity and result in improved learning.

Female brain & Altruism: Top tips

Two tips to increase prosocial and altruistic behavior:


1) Practice self-control
Empathy (imagining yourself in someone else’s shoes) is a precursor to altruistic behavior. Brain imaging research has recently report that empathy is linked to self-control in the the brain (right temporoparietal junction; rTPJ). What does this mean? Researchers speculate that self-control is a “kind of temporal selflessness”. The Present You” makes a decision to help Future You.

2. Find a community
In my own research at UNF, we found that when people had a general sense of belonging in their community, they were more likely to show prosocial (showing concern for others, etc), even in their online social media behaviors (example: they were more likely to engage positively with social media posts rather than argumentatively).