Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often have poor penmanship. In turn, poor penmanship leads to decreased success in communication, failed academics, and a lack of self-esteem. Until now, clinicians and autism experts believed that developmental delays were to blame for inferior handwriting skills, but a new study in Neurology reports that weak motor skills [...]... Read more »
Beversdorf DQ, Anderson JM, Manning SE, Anderson SL, Nordgren RE, Felopulos GJ, & Bauman ML. (2001) Brief report: macrographia in high-functioning adults with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of autism and developmental disorders, 31(1), 97-101. PMID: 11439759
Dowell LR, Mahone EM, & Mostofsky SH. (2009) Associations of postural knowledge and basic motor skill with dyspraxia in autism: implication for abnormalities in distributed connectivity and motor learning. Neuropsychology, 23(5), 563-70. PMID: 19702410
Dziuk MA, Gidley Larson JC, Apostu A, Mahone EM, Denckla MB, & Mostofsky SH. (2007) Dyspraxia in autism: association with motor, social, and communicative deficits. Developmental medicine and child neurology, 49(10), 734-9. PMID: 17880641
Frings M, Gaertner K, Buderath P, Christiansen H, Gerwig M, Hein-Kropp C, Schoch B, Hebebrand J, & Timmann D. (2010) Megalographia in Children with Cerebellar Lesions and in Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Cerebellum (London, England). PMID: 20480275
Fuentes CT, Mostofsky SH, & Bastian AJ. (2009) Children with autism show specific handwriting impairments. Neurology, 73(19), 1532-7. PMID: 19901244
Mayes SD, & Calhoun SL. (2007) Learning, attention, writing, and processing speed in typical children and children with ADHD, autism, anxiety, depression, and oppositional-defiant disorder. Child neuropsychology : a journal on normal and abnormal development in childhood and adolescence, 13(6), 469-93. PMID: 17852125
Distinguishing your own species from other species is useful: for one thing, it prevents a lot of potentially embarrassing mating attempts.
“Um. You mean we don’t belong to, er... that is to say... you’re not my species? I am so sorry...”
But how fine a distinction can a species draw? Does it stop at, “You’re not my species,” or can it extend to, “You’re species B, not C or D”? And would species be able to distinguish other species outside of r........ Read more »
Schuchmann M, & Siemers B. (2010) Behavioral evidence for community‐wide species discrimination from echolocation calls in bats. The American Naturalist, 176(1), 72-82. DOI: 10.1086/652993
... Read more »
Braunisch, V., Patthey, P., & Arlettaz, R. (2010) Spatially explicit modelling of conflict zones between wildlife and outdoor snow-sports: prioritizing areas for winter refuges. Ecological Applications, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1890/09-2167.1
This amazing movie, from Niethammer P, Grabher C, Look AT, Mitchison TJ. 2009 A tissue-scale gradient of hydrogen peroxide mediates rapid wound detection in zebrafish. Nature 459 996-9 PMCID: PMC2803098, shows leukocytes (the white blobs) rushing to the site of a wound in response to a hydrogen peroxide signal (fluorescence in upper panel).
We’ve known for a while that leukocytes rapidly (within minutes) home to the sites of wounds. What hasn’t been clear is what signal attracts ........ Read more »
Niethammer, P., Grabher, C., Look, A., & Mitchison, T. (2009) A tissue-scale gradient of hydrogen peroxide mediates rapid wound detection in zebrafish. Nature, 459(7249), 996-999. DOI: 10.1038/nature08119
The expression of anger in negotiations can be an effective strategy, several studies have shown, because it is interpreted by others as a sign of toughness, thus encouraging them to make concessions. However, there's a hefty caveat to this conclusion because those studies were conducted entirely in a Western context. Now Hajo Adam and colleagues have attempted to correct this oversight by studying the effect of anger in negotiations conducted by American students hailing from a Western backgrou........ Read more »
Adam H, Shirako A, & Maddux WW. (2010) Cultural variance in the interpersonal effects of anger in negotiations. Psychological science : a journal of the American Psychological Society / APS, 21(6), 882-9. PMID: 20483822
When I lived in Abu Dhabi, I once visited a university in another Middle Eastern country. As part of the visit I did a guest lecture about my research, I met with colleagues to discuss our joint research interests and … Continue reading →... Read more »
Esmat Babaii. (2010) Opting Out or Playing the ‘Academic Game’? Professional Identity Construction by Off-Center Academics. Critical Approaches to Discourse Analysis across Disciplines, 4(1), 93-105. info:/
Today's post is some seriously OLD science. Old science and WEIRD science, coming to you courtesy of Mt. Sinai hospital in NYC, 1913.
And it's also the WEIRDEST conjunction of this:
That Sci has ever seen.
Gerster AG, Mandlebaum FS. "XI. On the Formation of Bone in the Human Penis." Annals of Surgery, 1913.
The pictures below are curiously safe for work. I suppose that picture up there wasn't. oops. Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...... Read more »
So the game is coming along nicely. There was a reasonably steep learning curve, and I had to cobble together some of my own solutions to my own coding problems, but I think the hardest (technical) part is now over. As posted here I discussed the importance of certain factors that make a game ‘addictive’ [...]... Read more »
Slepian, M., Weisbuch, M., Rutchick, A., Newman, L., & Ambady, N. (2010) Shedding light on insight: Priming bright ideas. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 46(4), 696-700. DOI: 10.1016/j.jesp.2010.03.009
Zabelina, D., & Robinson, M. (2010) Child’s play: Facilitating the originality of creative output by a priming manipulation. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 4(1), 57-65. DOI: 10.1037/a0015644
Today’s post is some seriously OLD science. Old science and WEIRD science, coming to you courtesy of Mt. Sinai hospital in NYC, 1913. And it’s also the WEIRDEST conjunction of this: And this: That Sci has ever seen. Gerster AG, Mandlebaum FS. “XI. On the Formation of Bone in the Human Penis.” Annals of Surgery, [...]... Read more »
A coding-independent function of gene and pseudogene mRNAs regulates tumour biology Laura Poliseno, Leonardo Salmena, Jiangwen Zhang, Brett Carver, William J. Haveman & Pier Paolo Pandolfi Nature 465: 1033–1038, 24 June 2010. doi:10.1038/nature09144 No formal write-up for this week, rather just some points to consider, raised during our journal club discussion: The authors’ probing of [...]... Read more »
Poliseno L, Salmena L, Zhang J, Carver B, Haveman WJ, & Pandolfi PP. (2010) A coding-independent function of gene and pseudogene mRNAs regulates tumour biology. Nature, 465(7301), 1033-8. PMID: 20577206
A different destination for cannabinoids.
THC and its organic cousin, anandamide, do what they do by locking into both the CB1 receptor, discovered in 1988, and the CB2 receptor (as it is commonly written in shorthand), discovered 5 years later. THC and anandamide are CB receptor agonists, meaning they activate the receptors in question. (An antagonist blocks the receptor’s action.)
CB1 is a very common receptor in the central nervous system, and, when stimulated by an agonist, is responsible........ Read more »
Atwood, B., & Mackie, K. (2010) CB2: a cannabinoid receptor with an identity crisis. British Journal of Pharmacology, 160(3), 467-479. DOI: 10.1111/j.1476-5381.2010.00729.x
Immunosenescence is the steady degeneration of the immune system that occurs with age. For the adaptive immune system at least, researchers have a good picture as to why and how this happens - which means that they also have starting points to develop ways to reverse immunosenescence. Here is an open access review paper on the topic: The elderly frequently suffer from severe infections. Vaccination could protect them against several infectious diseases, but it can be effective only if cells that........ Read more »
Ongrádi, J., & Kövesdi, V. (2010) Factors that may impact on immunosenescence: an appraisal. Immunity , 7(1), 7. DOI: 10.1186/1742-4933-7-7
I’ve previously described the consequences of acute and chronic sun exposure, and the rationale for topical sunscreen products. But wouldn’t it be easier to just take a pill that can boost our skin’s resistance to to the harmful effects of the sun? Is it possible to get all the benefits of sunscreen without the bother [...]... Read more »
Villa, A., Viera, M., Amini, S., Huo, R., Perez, O., Ruiz, P., Amador, A., Elgart, G., & Berman, B. (2010) Decrease of ultraviolet A light–induced “common deletion” in healthy volunteers after oral Polypodium leucotomos extract supplement in a randomized clinical trial. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 62(3), 511-513. DOI: 10.1016/j.jaad.2009.05.045
Middelkamp-Hup MA, Pathak MA, Parrado C, Goukassian D, Rius-Díaz F, Mihm MC, Fitzpatrick TB, & González S. (2004) Oral Polypodium leucotomos extract decreases ultraviolet-induced damage of human skin. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 51(6), 910-8. PMID: 15583582
Middelkamp-Hup MA, Pathak MA, Parrado C, Garcia-Caballero T, Rius-Díaz F, Fitzpatrick TB, & González S. (2004) Orally administered Polypodium leucotomos extract decreases psoralen-UVA-induced phototoxicity, pigmentation, and damage of human skin. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 50(1), 41-9. PMID: 14699363
González S, Pathak MA, Cuevas J, Villarrubia VG, & Fitzpatrick TB. (1997) Topical or oral administration with an extract of Polypodium leucotomos prevents acute sunburn and psoralen-induced phototoxic reactions as well as depletion of Langerhans cells in human skin. Photodermatology, Photoimmunology , 13(1-2), 50-60. PMID: 9361129
Recently I wrote about a study on organic vs synthetic pesticides on sustainability, which suggested that organic pesticides are not always more efficacious against pests nor as selective (not killing natural enemies of pests) than synthetic pesticides. Earlier this month a study was published … Continue reading →... Read more »
Crowder DW, Northfield TD, Strand MR, & Snyder WE. (2010) Organic agriculture promotes evenness and natural pest control. Nature, 466(7302), 109-12. PMID: 20596021
Wikipedia has a page on the neural basis of synesthesia, but not yet described there is a new study in press by Vilayanur S. Ramachandran’s group that provides interesting insights.Synesthesia is a neurological condition in which affected individuals experience one sense (e.g. hearing) as another sense (e.g. visual colours). Ramachandran’s latest study investigated grapheme-colour synesthetes who experience specific colours when they view specific graphemes (i.e., letters and numbers). The r........ Read more »
Brang D, Hubbard EM, Coulson S, Huang M, & Ramachandran VS. (2010) Magnetoencephalography reveals early activation of V4 in grapheme-color synesthesia. NeuroImage. PMID: 20547226
A recent article in PLos uncovered a directional bias, in that we react slower and misjudge events moving to the left vs right. This may be due to our absolute tendency to read left-to-right. ... Read more »
Kranjec A, Lehet M, Bromberger B, Chatterjee A. (2010) A Sinister Bias for Calling Fouls in Soccer. PLoS One, 5(7). info:/10.1371/journal.pone.0011667
How is letter processing different from word processing? Since letters compose words, many reading models have letter processing earlier in the reading stream, but there is still room for more imaging...
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... Read more »
Turkeltaub PE, Flowers DL, Lyon LG, & Eden GF. (2008) Development of ventral stream representations for single letters. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 13-29. PMID: 19076386
Do drivers compensate for distraction? Sometimes, but not when it actually might help...... Read more »
Horrey WJ, & Simons DJ. (2007) Examining cognitive interference and adaptive safety behaviours in tactical vehicle control. Ergonomics, 50(8), 1340-50. PMID: 17558673
Improved structural and functional brain imaging technologies provide assistance in understanding brain gender differences. A Japanese study of the effects of age and gender has been recently published in Human Brain Mapping. The study focussed on brain gray and white matter volumes in a variety of brain regions. Gray matter volumes declined with age in both genders. In the younger subjects, few differences were found between men and women in regional brain volumes. However, as the older age........ Read more »
Takahashi, R., Ishii, K., Kakigi, T., & Yokoyama, K. (2010) Gender and age differences in normal adult human brain: Voxel-based morphometric study. Human Brain Mapping. DOI: 10.1002/hbm.21088
The abundance of large mammals in Africa’s protected areas has dropped by more than half since 1970, scientists say.
The findings, reported in Biological Conservation, emerged from an analysis of 69 species in 78 protected areas. The team scoured studies, databases, and reports for data on mammal populations and calculated that abundance had decreased by […] Read More »... Read more »
Craigie, I.D. et al. (2010) Large mammal population declines in Africa’s protected areas. Biological Conservation. DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2010.06.007
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