Post List

  • February 2, 2011
  • 10:15 PM

4 Things to Keep in Mind When You're Reading About fMRI

by Audrey Lustig in ionpsych

Does the media distort results from brain imaging research? Here are four tips to help you decide for yourself.... Read more »

Diane M. Beck. (2010) The appeal of the brain in the popular press. Perspectives on Psychological Science. info:/10.1177/1745691610388779

Walther DB, Caddigan E, Fei-Fei L, & Beck DM. (2009) Natural scene categories revealed in distributed patterns of activity in the human brain. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 29(34), 10573-81. PMID: 19710310  

  • February 2, 2011
  • 08:40 PM

Does Happiness Help Us or Hurt Us?

by Jenika in ionpsych

How does happiness both improve our performance and turn us into bumbling fools?... Read more »

  • February 2, 2011
  • 07:28 PM

Egypt Week – Genetic Conflict and Social Dominance

by Jon Wilkins in Lost in Transcription

So, our next scientific Egypt Week post concerns a paper just published in last week's issue of Nature, where the authors describe novel behavioral effects of the imprinted gene Grb10 in the mouse.

If you're not familiar, genomic imprinting is the phenomenon where the expression pattern of a gene depends on its parental origin. So, most of your genes come in two copies, one of which came from your mom, and one of which came from your dad. For most genes, the function of the allele, or gene copy........ Read more »

Garfield AS, Cowley M, Smith FM, Moorwood K, Stewart-Cox JE, Gilroy K, Baker S, Xia J, Dalley JW, Hurst LD.... (2011) Distinct physiological and behavioural functions for parental alleles of imprinted Grb10. Nature, 469(7331), 534-8. PMID: 21270893  

  • February 2, 2011
  • 07:20 PM

Colour-blind sharks

by CJA Bradshaw in ConservationBytes

A few weeks ago I was interviewed on Channel 10 (Adelaide) about some new research coming out of the University of Western Australia regarding shark colour vision. I’ve received permission from Channel 1o to reproduce the news snippet here. The first bloke interviewed is Associate Professor Nathan Hart, the study‘s lead author. I’m the bald [...]... Read more »

  • February 2, 2011
  • 06:14 PM

Don't Smash the Mummies

by Brit Trogen in Science in Seconds

If you find yourself rioting in Egypt in the near future, allow me to make a suggestion: please don't smash the mummies.

First, you run the risk of unleashing an evil curse that will haunt you for centuries. But more importantly, you're robbing the scientific community of an incredibly important resource. ... Read more »

Hawass, Z., Gad, Y., Ismail, S., Khairat, R., Fathalla, D., Hasan, N., Ahmed, A., Elleithy, H., Ball, M., Gaballah, F.... (2010) Ancestry and Pathology in King Tutankhamun's Family. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 303(7), 638-647. DOI: 10.1001/jama.2010.121  

  • February 2, 2011
  • 06:08 PM

Lies, Damn Lies, and Memory

by Alex in ionpsych

Last week marked the 25th anniversary of the Challenger space shuttle explosion, a tragedy that took 7 lives and is a landmark moment for many people. Yahoo! asked readers to send in their memories of that day, and many were … Continue reading →... Read more »

Brown, R., & Kulik, J. (1977) Flashbulb memories. Cognition, 5(1), 73-99. DOI: 10.1016/0010-0277(77)90018-X  

McCloskey, M., Wible, C., & Cohen, N. (1988) Is there a special flashbulb-memory mechanism?. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 117(2), 171-181. DOI: 10.1037//0096-3445.117.2.171  

  • February 2, 2011
  • 05:56 PM

Monkey see, monkey facepalm

by Ed Yong in Not Exactly Rocket Science

A group of English mandrill monkeys has started doing facepalms. The monkeys live in a zoo in Colchester, England, and eight of them frequently raise one or both of their hands to cover their eyes. They might be the only ones in the world who perform this distinctive gesture. Liz Butcher, a former keeper at [...]... Read more »

  • February 2, 2011
  • 05:44 PM

Daily Aspirin May Reduce Cancer Risk

by Walter Jessen in Highlight HEALTH

A recent report published in The Lancet claims that at least 75mg of aspirin every day can also reduce the risk of developing many different types of cancers.... Read more »

  • February 2, 2011
  • 04:58 PM

Can electrical jolts to the brain produce Eureka moments?

by Ed Yong in Not Exactly Rocket Science

Finding those Eureka moments that allow us to solve difficult problems can be an electrifying experience, but rarely like this. Richard Chi and Allan Snyder managed to trigger moments of insight in volunteers, by using focused electric pulses to block the activity in a small part of their brains. After the pulses, people were better [...]... Read more »

  • February 2, 2011
  • 04:51 PM

Got to Give It Up

by Daniel MacArthur in Genetic Future (Wired)

Genetic Future will be back to more regular posting next week, when I get back from holiday. In the meantime I asked the one and only Misha Angrist – Assistant Professor, blogger, tweeter, fellow genomic exhibitionist, and author of the excellent new book Here is a Human Being – if he’d be willing to contribute [...]... Read more »

  • February 2, 2011
  • 04:48 PM

Why is Broca's area active during speech perception?

by Greg Hickok in Talking Brains

A now-common finding in the functional imaging literature on speech perception is that Broca's area is active during the perception of speech. The activation magnitude is sometimes not as strong or consistent as one finds in auditory cortex, but it is there and so requires some explanation. There are a few possibilities. (I'm talking about Broca's area as if it were one functional region, which it isn't, but we'll gloss over that for now.)1. Broca's area drives the analysis of speech sounds (........ Read more »

  • February 2, 2011
  • 04:23 PM


by AK in AK's Rambling Thoughts

Yesterday's occurrence of thundersnow in Chicago had me looking for explanations. Wiki gave a lightweight summary, with just enough technical jargon to make it hard for a typical reader. Subsequent searching lead me to a bunch of good peer-reviewed data on the electrification of thunderstorms, but little of use understanding thundersnow.[3] [4] [5] [6]I finally found a very recent survey by David M. Schultz and R. James Vavrek,[1] which while somewhat technical, gave me the insight I was looki........ Read more »

Schultz, D., & Vavrek, R. (2009) An overview of thundersnow. Weather, 64(10), 274-277. DOI: 10.1002/wea.376  

  • February 2, 2011
  • 02:56 PM

Is the M3 Receptor a Target for Obesity Drug Development?

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Acetylcholine (ACH) is a key neurotransmitter involved in modulating a variety of central and peripheral nervous systems.  ACH acts on two types of receptors-nicotinic receptors and muscarinic receptors.  There are at least 5 submits of the muscarinic receptor (M1 through M5).  Each receptor appears to have specific functions.Knockout mice (mice with absence of a specific gene) can provide some insight into the function of individual neurotransmitter receptors.  But translati........ Read more »

Pomper JK, Wilhelm H, Tayebati SK, Asmus F, Schüle R, Sievert KD, Haensch CA, Melms A, & Haarmeier T. (2011) A novel clinical syndrome revealing a deficiency of the muscarinic M3 receptor. Neurology, 76(5), 451-5. PMID: 21282591  

  • February 2, 2011
  • 02:03 PM

Extra Armor Gave Glyptodon an Edge

by Laelaps in Laelaps

Killing a glyptodont was no easy task. Prehistoric, bad-ass cousins of modern armadillos, these large mammals were protected by bony shielding on almost every part of their body. Some, such as Hoplophorus, even had modified tail clubs tipped with mace-like arrangements of spikes. Saber-toothed cats like Smilodon were surely formidable predators, but even they would [...]... Read more »

Zurita, A., Soibelzon, L., Soibelzon, E., Gasparini, G., Cenizo, M., & Arzani, H. (2010) Accessory protection structures in Glyptodon Owen (Xenarthra, Cingulata, Glyptodontidae). Annales de Paléontologie, 96(1), 1-11. DOI: 10.1016/j.annpal.2010.01.001  

Gillette, D., and Ray, Clayton. (1981) Glyptodonts of North America. Smithsonian Contributions to Paleobiology, 1-255. info:/

  • February 2, 2011
  • 01:59 PM

Address the Most Dangerous Feature of Your Product: Dishonesty

by Persuasion Strategies in Persuasive Litigator

By: Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm - One stereotype of the litigious American society suggests that jurors are willing to hold manufacturers and sellers responsible for even the most obvious product dangers: a ladder that allows its user to fall, or a cup of coffee that turns out to be hot. While anecdotes abound -- some true, and some false -- our experience is that product danger alone rarely drives a verdict. Instead, jurors need to see something else in order to generate sufficient anger to delivery any........ Read more »

Mazanov, Jason . (2007) Changes in adolescent smoking behaviour and knowledge of health consequences of smoking. Australian Journal of Psychology, 59(3), 176-180. info:/

  • February 2, 2011
  • 01:05 PM

The ultimate x-ray machines are ready to go

by Joerg Heber in All That Matters

When you go to the doctor for an x-ray, the nurse or doctor briefly disappear behind a screen, presses a button for a brief moment, and you’re all set. It seems an x-ray takes about a second but the actual exposure times is much faster. Milliseconds more likely. Such speeds seem like almost an eternity [...]... Read more »

Seibert, M., Ekeberg, T., Maia, F., Svenda, M., Andreasson, J., Jönsson, O., Odić, D., Iwan, B., Rocker, A., Westphal, D.... (2011) Single mimivirus particles intercepted and imaged with an X-ray laser. Nature, 470(7332), 78-81. DOI: 10.1038/nature09748  

Chapman, H., Fromme, P., Barty, A., White, T., Kirian, R., Aquila, A., Hunter, M., Schulz, J., DePonte, D., Weierstall, U.... (2011) Femtosecond X-ray protein nanocrystallography. Nature, 470(7332), 73-77. DOI: 10.1038/nature09750  

  • February 2, 2011
  • 11:00 AM

Rethinking Circadian Clock Machinery

by Allison in Dormivigilia

Researchers at Cambridge have discovered a non-transcriptional clock in the human red blood cell, raising questions about the precise definition of a circadian clock... Read more »

O'Neill JS, & Reddy AB. (2011) Circadian clocks in human red blood cells. Nature, 469(7331), 498-503. PMID: 21270888  

  • February 2, 2011
  • 10:40 AM

Oxytocin, ethnocentrism and evolution (pt. 2)

by Daniel in Ego sum Daniel

I didn't want to risk making my previous post too long, and I wanted to keep it focused on "hormonal determinism", so I set aside a whole branch of my commentary on the link between the hormone oxytocin and ethnocentrism for another post. The findings I comment on were presented by De Dreu and co-workers in the latest edition of PNAS (see reference below).

So, today I want to talk briefly about bad evolutionary arguments.Continue after the jump »

... Read more »

De Dreu CK, Greer LL, Van Kleef GA, Shalvi S, & Handgraaf MJ. (2011) Oxytocin promotes human ethnocentrism. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 108(4), 1262-6. PMID: 21220339  

  • February 2, 2011
  • 09:40 AM

Grow That Big Brain You’ve Always Dreamed Of, With Just 3x Per Week

by Sharon Neufeldt in I Can Has Science?

Whether you’re young or post-young, there’s no time like the present to get into an exercise routine. Besides helping with weight loss and improving cardiovascular fitness, more and more evidence suggests that aerobic exercise can delay – and even reverse … Continue reading →... Read more »

Erickson, K., Voss, M., Prakash, R., Basak, C., Szabo, A., Chaddock, L., Kim, J., Heo, S., Alves, H., White, S.... (2011) Exercise training increases size of hippocampus and improves memory. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1015950108  

  • February 2, 2011
  • 09:33 AM

Can we predict when cancer will spread?

by Sally Church in Pharma Strategy Blog

Can we predict cancer metastasis and spread using a biomarker? In Loh's research, CPE-ΔN tended to be present and have high levels in tumours that have metastasised. Continue reading →
... Read more »

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