Post List

  • May 13, 2009
  • 03:54 PM

Pathological video gaming in kids: How common is it?

by Dave Munger in Cognitive Daily

A few weeks ago, a new study made headlines in major newspapers across the country: Study Finds Some Youths 'Addicted' to Video Games, proclaimed the Washington Post. The Post article cited a figure of 8.5 percent of gamers age 8-18 nationwide showing signs of a behavioral addiction. Since the study found that 88 percent of children play video games, the scale of this problem is potentially vast -- as many as 3 million kids, addicted to video games.

The claim of "addiction" is quite serious. Ju........ Read more »

  • May 13, 2009
  • 03:43 PM

Varieties of Uncertainty

by Jason Evans in Coggr

I’ve come across two interesting articles lately dealing with “uncertainty” and the role it may play in our decision-making processes.

The first article (Vanni-Mercier et al., 2009) looks at the role of the hippocampus in computing (or representing) uncertainty.  Different areas of the brain are known to process uncertainty, but this study gives evidence that the [...]... Read more »

  • May 13, 2009
  • 02:42 PM

My Double X debut: dolphin smackdown!

by Miriam Goldstein in The Oyster's Garter

My very first blog post at the new Slate spinoff Double X is up. As Double X’s resident marine biologist, I figured that I needed to get the dolphin issue out of the way post haste.

It never fails. Every single cocktail party, as soon as someone finds out that I’m a graduate student studying marine [...]... Read more »

LYAMIN, O., MANGER, P., RIDGWAY, S., MUKHAMETOV, L., & SIEGEL, J. (2008) Cetacean sleep: An unusual form of mammalian sleep. Neuroscience , 32(8), 1451-1484. DOI: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2008.05.023  

  • May 13, 2009
  • 12:00 PM

Undiagnosed Diabetes

by David Bradley in SciScoop Science Forum

Image via Wikipedia

Apparently, there are more than 6 million American adults completely unaware that they have diabetes mellitus. And, according to a report in the research journal Population Health Management their undiagnosed health problems cost an estimated $18 billion each year.

Yiduo Zhang from the Lewin Group, Falls Church, Virginia, and colleagues at Ingenix Pharmainformatics, Cary, [...]... Read more »

Zhang, Y., Dall, T., Mann, S., Chen, Y., Martin, J., Moore, V., Baldwin, A., Reidel, V., & Quick, W. (2009) The Economic Costs of Undiagnosed Diabetes. Population Health Management, 12(2), 95-101. DOI: 10.1089/pop.2009.12202  

  • May 13, 2009
  • 11:20 AM

Every plant for itself: A tale of backstabbing fungi

by Katie Kline in EcoTone

An ericoid mycorrhizal fungus similar to the ones found in rhododendrons.

Mycorrhizae are fungi that form mutually beneficial associations with plant roots. The mutualism works like this: The mycorrhiza grows in and around the plant’s root tissue, and its hyphae, or thread-like vegetative parts, serve plants by branching out in the soil and absorbing nutrients [...]... Read more »

  • May 13, 2009
  • 11:00 AM

Ten simple ways to become more physically active

by Travis Saunders, MSc in Obesity Panacea

... Read more »

  • May 13, 2009
  • 10:39 AM

Barriers to Emergency Contraception

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Emergency contraception (EC) has been available in the United States for almost a decade. It is a safe and effective contraceptive choice when other methods have failed or have not been used and a pregnancy is not desired. Still, many barriers exist to the prompt and reliable provision of EC to appropriate patients. While the [...]... Read more »

Landau, S., Besinque, K., Chung, F., Dries-Daffner, I., Maderas, N., McGhee, B., & Foster, D. (2009) Pharmacist interest in and attitudes toward direct pharmacy access to hormonal contraception in the United States. Journal of the American Pharmacists Association, 49(1), 43-50. DOI: 10.1331/JAPhA.2009.07154  

  • May 13, 2009
  • 09:59 AM

Another acupuncture study misinterpreted

by Orac in Respectful Insolence

I have to hand it to acupuncture mavens. They are persistent. Despite numerous studies failing to find any evidence that acupuncture is anything more than an elaborate placebo whose effects, such as they are, derive from nonspecifice mechanisms having nothing to do with meridians, qi, or "unblocking" qi. Moreover, consistent with the contention that acupuncture is no more than an elaborate placebo, various forms of "sham" acupuncture (needles that appear to insert but don't or acupuncture in the........ Read more »

Daniel C. Cherkin, Karen J. Sherman, Andrew L. Avins, Janet H. Erro, Laura Ichikawa, William E. Barlow, Kristin Delaney, Rene Hawkes, Luisa Hamilton,, Alice Pressman.... (2009) A Randomized Trial Comparing Acupuncture, Simulated Acupuncture, and Usual Care for Chronic Low Back Pain. Arch Intern Med, 169(9), 858-866. DOI:  

  • May 13, 2009
  • 09:37 AM

Dancing parrots and musical minds

by Daniel in Ego sum Daniel

Look at these videos below. They show sulphur-crested cockatoo Snowball apparently dancing along to a song, synchronizing his movements to the beat and adapting when the tempo changes, something that does not form part of these birds’ natural behaviors. This is no small feat or mere circus trick. Beat perception and synchronization, as it's called, involves not only perceiving the pattern of the rhythm but also coordinating the movements in anticipation of every beat. These are really sophisti........ Read more »

  • May 13, 2009
  • 09:29 AM

HFA vs. Severe Autism: Is adaptive functioning related to cognitive skills?

by Nestor Lopez-Duran PhD in Child-Psych


When conducting assessments with individuals with autism or other developmental disorders clinicians are often interested in examining the person’s  “adaptive functioning” or how the person actually functions in every day life, usually in specific domains such as communication, sociability, motor functioning, and daily living skills. Clinicians and researchers are also interested in [...]... Read more »

  • May 13, 2009
  • 09:09 AM

Oops - Alcohol Labeling Backfires

by Christie Wilcox in Observations of a Nerd

The alcohol industry decided to make it clear exactly how much alcohol was in their products. The theory was that visible, easy-to-read labels would promote responsible drinking by allowing consumers to make informed decisions about the drinks they're about make. But according to a a new study published in the Drug and Alcohol Review Journal, the plan has backfired.

In Australia, like other...

[...]... Read more »

  • May 13, 2009
  • 08:00 AM

Spam or Ham?

by David Bradley in Sciencetext

A new approach to spam filtering could use your web browsing habits to help your email program filter out spam and find the ham.

A computer desktop system that follows your web surfing habits and then uses this behavior to filter out spam from your email is being developed by researchers in Japan.

Taiki Takashita, Tsuyoshi Itokawa, [...]Post from: David Bradley's Sciencetext Tips and Tricks

Spam or Ham?... Read more »

Taiki Takashita, Tsuyoshi Itokawa, Teruaki Kitasuka, & Masayoshi Aritsugi. (2008) Extracting user preference from Web browsing behaviour for spam filtering. Int. J. Advanced Intelligence Paradigms, 1(2), 126-138.

  • May 13, 2009
  • 06:00 AM

What Causes Patellofemoral Pain?

by Mike Reinold in

Patellofemoral disorders are often considered the most common knee pathology encountered by orthopedic and sports medicine clinicians.  Some sources say that in the general population, 1 out of 4 will likely experience patellofemoral symptoms at some time in their life.  Although patellofemoral disorders represent a common pathology, there is no consensus on the optimal management of this condition. This may be explained, in part, due to the various sources of pain that may be contribu........ Read more »

  • May 13, 2009
  • 03:06 AM

Neuroscience of Exercise

by Dr Shock in Dr Shock MD PhD

The benefits of exercise

In children, college students and young adults, exercise or physical activity improves learning and intelligence scores

Moreover, exercise in childhood increases the resilience of the brain in later life resulting in a cognitive reserve

The decline of memory, cortex and hippocampus atrophy in aging humans can be attenuated by exercise

Physical activity improves memory and [...]... Read more »

van Praag, H. (2009) Exercise and the brain: something to chew on. Trends in Neurosciences, 32(5), 283-290. DOI: 10.1016/j.tins.2008.12.007  

  • May 13, 2009
  • 01:20 AM

Market forces and ad persuasiveness

by Steve Genco in Lucid Thoughts

A simplistic approach to advertising effectiveness tries to draw a straight line from an ad’s internal characteristics – its creativity, catchiness, product depiction, value proposition, memorable characters, etc. – to a product’s success in the marketplace.
Some neuromarketers try to exploit this simple view by claiming that their testing can identify “winning” ads that will directly [...]... Read more »

  • May 12, 2009
  • 10:52 PM

Egads! What's 'appened to that galaxy?

by Jon Voisey in Angry Astronomer

It's going backwards!Well, part of it at least. A paper from last month's ApJ takes a look at two galaxies (NGC 2551 and NGC 5631) that are a bit... odd. Namely, part of the disk of the galaxy rotates one way, part of it rotates the other.Both of these galaxies are classified as spiral galaxies, but only just. SIMBAD (an astronomical database) lists NGC 5631 as an S0/Sa galaxy which means it barely shows any spiral structure. Meanwhile, NGC 2551 is just a generic S, so very little spiral structu........ Read more »

Sil'chenko, O., Moiseev, A., & Afanasiev, V. (2009) TWO MORE DISK GALAXIES WITH GLOBAL GAS COUNTERROTATION. The Astrophysical Journal, 694(2), 1550-1558. DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/694/2/1550  

  • May 12, 2009
  • 09:20 PM

Niche partitioning in orb-weaver spiders of Louisiana.

by Bryan Perkins in Science. Why not?

The competitive exclusion principle can be paraphrased in four words: Complete competitors cannot coexist (Hardin, 1960). Although some find this to be an over-simplified maxim that may cause some ecologists to overlook more important underlying evidence, it does raise some interesting questions in the curious mind (Cole, 1960). The principle states that if two distinct populations use the same resources, live sympatrically, and if one population is even slightly better at translating energy to ........ Read more »

  • May 12, 2009
  • 07:30 PM

ASTRONOMY: Towards Detecting Photosynthesis on Other Worlds

by Michael Long in Phased

William Sparks (Space Telescope

Science Institute, Maryland) and coworkers have probed the

feasibility of detecting photosynthesis through

astronomical observations, aiding the long-term search for

extraterrestrial life.

This news feature was written on May 12, 2009.... Read more »

Sparks, W. B., Hough, J., Germer, T. A., Chen, F., DasSarma, S., DasSarma, P., Robb, F. T., Manset, N., Kolokolova, L., Reid, N.... (2009) Detection of circular polarization in light scattered from photosynthetic microbes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106(19), 7816-7821. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0810215106  

  • May 12, 2009
  • 05:59 PM

Do professional movie critics evaluate films the same way as the rest of us?

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

If you want to know whether you're going to enjoy a movie, the opinion of professional film critics might not be the best place to find out. Jonathan Plucker and colleagues compared the ratings given to films by professional critics, "amateur critics", and undergrad students, and discovered a continuum of overlapping opinion with the experts being the harshest judges, followed by the amateur critics, while the students were the most generous.A further finding to emerge was that undergrads who'd ........ Read more »

Plucker, J., Kaufman, J., Temple, J., & Qian, M. (2009) Do experts and novices evaluate movies the same way?. Psychology and Marketing, 26(5), 470-478. DOI: 10.1002/mar.20283  

  • May 12, 2009
  • 04:43 PM

Microvesicles and MicroRNA: An Important Discovery

by AK in AK's Rambling Thoughts

My last post touched on microRNA, but this post's subject is a recent discovery involving something I've never mentioned: microvesicles. The paper is Transfer of MicroRNAs by Embryonic Stem Cell Microvesicles by Alex Yuan, Erica L. Farber, Ana Lia Rapoport, Desiree Tejada, Roman Deniskin, Novrouz B. Akhmedov, Debora B. Farber. Among the important points this paper offers is that RNA, both messenger RNA (mRNA) and microRNA, can be carried between cells by carriers called microvesicles.I can do........ Read more »

Yuan, A., Farber, E., Rapoport, A., Tejada, D., Deniskin, R., Akhmedov, N., & Farber, D. (2009) Transfer of MicroRNAs by Embryonic Stem Cell Microvesicles. PLoS ONE, 4(3). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0004722  

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