A small proof-of-concept study shows smartphones could help detect drunkenness based on the way you walk.
- The legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for driving in the U.S is 0.08 percent. You can measure your BAC 15 minutes after your first drink and your levels will remain safe if you consume no more than one standard drink per hour.
- Portable breathalyzers can be used to measure BAC, but not many people own these devices.
- A small proof-of-concept study suggests that your smartphone could detect your drunkenness based on the way you walk.
The small study that could mean big things for alcohol testing<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzU3OTEzMi9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzOTY0MDk0OH0.wFIh9fQoCEd7fGgw59Mn5nyp9c5yjQbCoVXQrx3AnNk/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C1307%2C0%2C880&height=700" id="df0bb" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="7c1e9a4575df74b89d0078c69a3dbd3d" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="alcohol impairment by BAC level chart" />
Image by gritsalak karalak on Shutterstock<p> While devices such as portable breath analyzers are available, not many people own them due to how expensive they are and the social stigma surrounding them. <a href="https://www.jsad.com/doi/10.15288/jsad.2020.81.505" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer dofollow">This 2020 study</a> suggests smartphones could be an alternative. <a href="https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/fact-sheet/mobile/" target="_blank">According to PEW Research</a>, up to 81 percent of people own a smartphone.<span></span> </p><p> <strong>The study</strong> </p><p> For this small-scale study, there were 22 participants who visited the lab to consume a vodka-based drink that would raise their breath alcohol concentration to 0.02 percent. </p><p> Dr. Brian Suffoletto of the Stanford Medical School's Department of Emergency Medicine (and corresponding author of the study) explains to <a href="https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/smartphones-measuring-walk-could-detect-drunkenness#Straight-line-walking" target="_blank">Medical News Today</a>: "I lost a close friend to a drinking and driving crash in college," Dr. Suffoletto says. "And as an emergency physician, I have taken care of scores of adults with injuries related to acute alcohol intoxication. Because of this, I have dedicated the past 10 years to testing digital interventions to prevent deaths and injury related to excessive alcohol consumption." </p><p> <strong>How it works:</strong></p><p> Before having the drink, each participant had a smartphone strapped to their back and was asked to walk 10 steps in a straight line and then back again. Every hour for the next 7 hours, the participants repeated this walk. </p><p> The sensors on the smartphone measured each person's acceleration and their movements (both from side to side and up and down). </p><p> <strong>This is not the first study of it's kind.</strong></p><p> Previous research (such as <a href="https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/7764559" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer dofollow">this 2016 study</a>) has used machine learning to determine whether a person was intoxicated. That data, gathered from 34 'intoxicated' participants, generated time and frequency domain features such as sway area and cadence, which were classified using supervised machine learning. </p><p> This 2020 study showed promising results of the smartphone analysis: over 90 percent accuracy. </p><p> Researchers found through analyzing the data that 92.5 percent of the time they were able to determine if a participant had exceeded the legal BAC limit. </p><p> <strong>Of course, the study had some limitations.</strong></p><p> In real life, a person is very unlikely to keep their smartphone strapped to their back. Placing the phone in your pocket (or carrying it) could impact the accuracy. </p><p> This study also measured breath alcohol concentrations, which are on average <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24747668/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer dofollow">15 percent lower</a> than blood alcohol concentrations. </p><p> <strong>The implications of this small-scale study are exciting.</strong> </p><p> While this was a relatively small study, it is being used as a "proof of concept" marker for further research. Researchers on this project explain that future research would ideally be done in real-world settings with more volunteers. </p><p> Dr. Brian Suffoletto explains to <a href="https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/smartphones-measuring-walk-could-detect-drunkenness#Over-90%-accurate" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer dofollow">Medical News Today</a>: </p><p> "In 5 years, I would like to imagine a world in which, if people go out with friends and drink at risky levels, they get an alert at the first sign of impairment and are sent strategies to help them stop drinking and protect them from high-risk events, like driving, interpersonal violence, and unprotected sexual encounters." </p>
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Flow Research Collective COO Rian Doris explains how to harness the power of your nervous system to find your flow during a pandemic.
- Knowing the difference between healthy stress (eustress) and unhealthy stress (distress) can help you maximize your performance during difficult times.
- The Flow Research Collective helps to decode the flow states of your mind so you can live (and work) in the zone, even during a pandemic.
- COO of The Flow Research Collective, Rian Doris, explains how to find your maximum potential and harness the power of your nervous system to work for you instead of against you.
How to find your flow and maximize your performance during the COVID-19 pandemic<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzE4MDc3OC9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyNTc3Mzc4Mn0.jWjWzkpW5farRcGt70YCWHtcK-xkLAd_bYDwPmLvP6k/img.png?width=980" id="5bd13" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="b8762aae0f21100b36ee6a7467c0ab42" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="infographic courtesy of the Flow Research Collective finding your state of flow" />
Finding your "flow channel" can help you maintain healthy stress and decrease unhealthy stress.
Image by Flow Research Collective<p><strong></strong><strong>Increasing our capacity: What we perceive as stress goes down when we become more capable of coping with stressful situations.</strong></p><p>When it comes to increasing our capacity for handling negative stress, there are a few ways we can accomplish this - most of them are what are referred to as "bottom-up approaches." </p><p>A bottom-up approach is like piecing together a puzzle made of our various systems to give a more complex and complete picture . We need to ensure all of our systems are working at optimal levels without being too overwhelmed so they can function better together. </p><p><u>Things you can do to achieve this kind of systemic functionality include: </u></p><ul><li>Movement - exercising, running, jogging, or going for a walk.</li><li>Breathing exercises that help us practice mindfulness and achieve a calm state of mind.</li><li>Hot and cold therapy or other types of sensation therapy that can get us more in tune with our bodies. </li></ul><p><strong>Decreasing the impact: Manage how stress impacts our lives so the negative impact doesn't overwhelm our systems. </strong></p><p>While decreasing the impact of <a href="https://bigthink.com/mind-brain/seven-stress-personalities" target="_self">stress</a> is important, it's certainly not an easy thing to accomplish. After all, if we could simply decrease how negative stress impacts us then it would not be so much of a problem. </p><p>Especially in unprecedented times such as when we're dealing with a pandemic, it's not as easy to shield our system from the negative impacts of chronic stress. </p><p>Cognitive reframing is essentially changing the way you look at something, and as a result, changing your experience of it. This can turn a traumatic event (such as experiencing a pandemic or a major trauma in your life) into something that can be a challenge that is eventually overcome—or it can be as simple as depicting a really bad day as a "bump in the road" in your overall happy life. </p><p>Using <a href="https://www.verywellmind.com/cognitive-reframing-for-stress-management-3144872" target="_blank">certain reframing techniques</a> can actually change how your body responds to negative stress. Your body's stress response is triggered by perceived information around that stress—change the perception, change the response. </p><p><u>The pattern to follow with cognitive reframing is: </u></p><ol><li>Learn about thinking patterns (<a href="https://www.verywellmind.com/about-explanatory-styles-3145110" target="_blank">explanatory styles</a>). </li><li>Notice your own thoughts as they come. </li><li>Challenge negative thoughts and trace them to their origins. </li><li>Replace the root negative thought with a more positive thought. </li></ol><p>Cognitive reframing takes a lot of practice but you can do this as often as you'd like in your daily life and eventually it becomes easier to stop negative thoughts before they become chronic stressors. </p><p><strong>Keep in mind the challenge/skill balance when dealing with stress.</strong></p><p>According to Doris, a flow exists in the sweet spot between challenge and skill. This flow happens when we undertake challenges or goals in life that are optimally challenging for you to complete - not too easy that it requires no effort and not too difficult that it overwhelms your system.</p><p>Keeping this challenge/skill balance in mind for things in our daily lives can help us navigate our stressors, especially during a pandemic <a href="https://bigthink.com/surprising-science/coronavirus-impact-on-economy" target="_self">such as COVID-19</a>. Anything too easy doesn't pose as a challenge and doesn't excite us. However, if the challenge is too difficult, it overwhelms us and becomes a source of unhealthy chronic stress instead of healthy eustress. </p><p><em>"The challenge level for almost everyone has been increased in a systemic way by COVID-19, which means what we should do is decrease the challenge level in our own lives and the things we have control over in order to get us back to that challenge/skill sweet spot." </em></p>
Dr. Robert Emmons and other researchers dig into the positive mental and physical health benefits of expressing gratitude.
- According to Dr. Robert Emmons, gratitude is an affirmation of goodness and a recognition that these sources of goodness exist outside of ourselves.
- Various studies have proven there are physical benefits to expressing gratitude on a daily basis, some of which include positive interactions in the brain in the areas that control decision-making, metabolism, and hormone regulating.
- Other studies have confirmed gratitude is beneficial for our mental health, even during a time of crisis.
Gratitude is an affirmation of goodness, according to Dr. Robert Emmons.
Photo by stockfour on Shutterstock<p><a href="https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/profile/robert_emmons" target="_blank">Dr. Robert Emmons</a> is known as the "world's leading scientific expert on gratitude." He is a psychology profession from the University of California, Davis and also the founding editor-in-chief of the Journal of Positive Psychology. Emmons has dedicated his life to better understanding what role gratitude and thankfulness play, not just in our lives, but in our mental and physical health as well.</p><p>Many people are in need of motivation to practice gratitude for the good things in life, especially during a pandemic when stress-levels are at an all-time high. For the past decade, Emmons has been studying the effects of gratitude on our physical health and psychological well-being. </p><p>"It's an affirmation of goodness," <a href="https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/topic/gratitude/definition#why_practice" target="_blank">Emmons explains</a>. "We affirm that there are good things in the world, gifts, and the benefits that we've received. We recognize that the sources of this goodness are outside of ourselves and we acknowledge that other people - even higher powers, if you're of a spiritual mindset - give us many gifts, big and small, to help us achieve the goodness we have in our lives." </p><p>"I see it as a relationship-strengthening emotion," Emmons writes of the social dimension of gratitude, "because it requires us to see how we've been supported and affirmed by other people</p><p>According to sociologist <a href="https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/topic/gratitude/definition#why_practice" target="_blank">Georg Simmel</a>, gratitude serves as a way to personalize things that we all experience objectively. Simmel has often referred to gratitude as "the moral memory of mankind." </p>
How does gratitude impact our mental and physical wellbeing?<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzE0ODQ2Mi9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyNjkxMDk0M30.dSq9nhaUWs53dYuYaSDCovbhnxZODpbsDbizfgS3Tfc/img.jpg?width=980" id="646d7" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="5498146f1406ea65b258fca78a8db21a" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="neural correlates gratitude Glenn Fox how gratitude impacts the brain" />
Your brain on gratitude, according to fMRI images taken during a gratitude study lead by Glenn Fox.
Image by Glenn Fox<p>There have several studies investigating what gratitude and thankfulness look like within the human brain—what neural networks are being used and how does that positively impact us?</p><p><strong>Gratitude makes you feel good mentally and physically. </strong></p><p>The first fMRI images of a brain experiencing gratitude were taking <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2733324/" target="_blank">in 2008</a>. The scans showed that gratitude causes synchronized activation of multiple regions of the brain, including some of the brain's reward pathways and the hypothalamus, which plays a crucial role in releasing hormones throughout our bodies.</p><p>Later, <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3010965/" target="_blank">in 2009,</a> researchers realized that these higher levels of activity in the hypothalamus had a huge influence on metabolism and stress levels. This means that gratitude could have such wide-reaching positive effects that you begin to eat better and sleep more, which could ultimately lead to decreased depression and better physical health. </p><p><strong>Gratitude helps improve the decision-making process in your brain.</strong></p><p><a href="https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01491/full" target="_blank">A 2015 study</a> from the University of Southern California hypothesized that gratitude spikes activity in the regions of the brain associated with moral cognition, value judgment, and theory of mind (the anterior cingulate cortex and medial prefrontal cortex, respectively). The FMRI data results of the study, which included 26 participants ranging in ages 18-28, confirmed activity spikes in those regions.</p><p><strong>Gratitude can improve mental health (even when you're at an all-time low). </strong></p><p>That same year, <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10503307.2016.1169332?scroll=top&needAccess=true&journalCode=tpsr20" target="_blank">another study</a> was conducted, this time on individuals who had pre-existing mental health concerns. These 293 people were recruited for this study at a time when their mental health was at an all-time clinical low, as they hadn't yet begun counseling sessions. The majority of these participants struggled with depression and/or anxiety. </p><p>The subjects were divided at random into three groups: a control group (psychotherapy), a group that underwent psychotherapy and expressive writing, and a third group that underwent psychotherapy and gratitude writing. </p><p>Within 4-12 weeks after the conclusion of their writing interventions, the participants who underwent psychotherapy and gratitude writing reported significantly better mental health than those in the expressive and control writing intervention groups. </p><p>The findings of this study (and others like it) suggest that gratitude writing can be beneficial not just for the healthy, well-adjusted mind, but for individuals who are struggling with mental health concerns. </p><p><strong>Gratitude should be a long-term adaptation of your behavior to have the best impact on your physical and mental health.</strong></p><p>It's important to note that in the writing study, the mental health benefits of gratitude weren't felt immediately after writing gratitude letters, but gradually accrued over time as participants of the study made gratitude writing a habit in their lives. </p><p>Not only that, but fMRI images (<a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/288932385_The_effects_of_gratitude_expression_on_neural_activity" target="_blank">found here</a> on page 5) taken of the participants' brains while completing a "pay it forward" task shows that their brain activity was distinct from brain activity related to guilt and the desire to help a cause. People who were more grateful tended to give more money to a cause they believed in and showed a greater neural sensitivity in their prefrontal cortex, the area of the brain associated with learning and decision making.</p>
Your favorite color can be linked to various personality traits, motivation, and productivity levels in your life.
- Color psychology has been used in marketing and branding for years, but research in the last decade has taken color psychology and applied it to human personality traits.
- Colors aren't merely associated with various feelings but can actually shape our perceptions and personalities.
- Various studies across multiple years have given us insight into what each color represents in regards to our personality, work ethic, and motivation levels.
What is color psychology?<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjkzNDU4MC9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0Mzc2Mzk4NX0.KqHFgzhzl-dKmUvgDZsYGEDgDPVU40mA2mV1GLb1a68/img.png?width=1500&coordinates=0%2C0%2C0%2C0&height=1314" id="109d8" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="42ec0b499017c39ed1e3df32308370c2" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="The Logo Company color marketing infographic" />
Colors have been used strategically in branding for years.
Image by The Logo Company<p>Many people are unaware of the impact colors have on our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors in everyday life.</p><p>It's extremely likely that you have purchased something in a store or chosen one product over another due to what brands call color marketing: targeting brands, colors, and adverts based on colors that will influence you to buy. </p><p>You can see in the infographic above that companies that want to be associated with dependability (Dell, HP, IBM) use the color blue. Companies that want to be known for being exciting and fun (Fanta, Amazon, Nickelodeon) use a splash or orange. </p><p>Color psychology is being used around us every single day and not only in what brands we buy, but also in how we react to our environment. Extending color psychology into the realm of personalities is about proving that colors aren't just about what looks the best, but about what meaning we subconsciously attach to those colors, and how to use that to benefit our lives.</p>