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 »
Gentile, D. (2009) Pathological Video-Game Use Among Youth Ages 8 to 18: A National Study. Psychological Science, 20(5), 594-602. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2009.02340.x
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 »
Hsu, M., Bhatt, M., Adolphs, R., Tranel, D., & Camerer, C. F. (2005) Neural Systems Responding to Degrees of Uncertainty in Human Decision-Making. Science, 310(5754), 1680-1683. DOI: 10.1126/science.1115327
Vanni-Mercier, G., Mauguiere, F., Isnard, J., & Dreher, J. (2009) The Hippocampus Codes the Uncertainty of Cue-Outcome Associations: An Intracranial Electrophysiological Study in Humans. Journal of Neuroscience, 29(16), 5287-5294. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5298-08.2009
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 »
Connor, R., Richards, A., Smolker, R., & Mann, J. (1996) Patterns of Female Attractiveness in Indian Ocean Bottlenose Dolphins. Behaviour, 133(1), 37-69. DOI: 10.1163/156853996X00026
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
Patterson, Reid, & Wilson. (1998) Evidence for Infanticide in Bottlenose Dolphins: An Explanation for Violent Interactions with Harbour Porpoises?. Proc Biol Sci., 265(1402).
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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 »
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 »
Wurzburger, N., & Hendrick, R. (2009) Plant litter chemistry and mycorrhizal roots promote a nitrogen feedback in a temperate forest. Journal of Ecology, 97(3), 528-536. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2745.2009.01487.x
... Read more »
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 »
Chuang, C. (2004) Emergency contraception: prescribing practices of general internists compared with other primary care physicians. Contraception, 69(1), 43-45. DOI: 10.1016/j.contraception.2003.09.003
Goyal, M., Zhao, H., & Mollen, C. (2009) Exploring Emergency Contraception Knowledge, Prescription Practices, and Barriers to Prescription for Adolescents in the Emergency Department. PEDIATRICS, 123(3), 765-770. DOI: 10.1542/peds.2008-0193
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
LANDAU, S., TAPIAS, M., & MCGHEE, B. (2006) Birth control within reach: a national survey on women's attitudes toward and interest in pharmacy access to hormonal contraception☆. Contraception, 74(6), 463-470. DOI: 10.1016/j.contraception.2006.07.006
NELSON, A., & JAIME, C. (2009) Accuracy of information given by Los Angeles County pharmacies about emergency contraceptives to sham patient in need☆☆☆. Contraception, 79(3), 206-210. DOI: 10.1016/j.contraception.2008.10.003
Raine, T. (2005) Direct Access to Emergency Contraception Through Pharmacies and Effect on Unintended Pregnancy and STIs: A Randomized Controlled Trial. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 293(1), 54-62. DOI: 10.1001/jama.293.1.54
Sarkar, N. (2008) Barriers to emergency contraception (EC): does promoting EC increase risk for contacting sexually transmitted infections, HIV/AIDS?. International Journal of Clinical Practice, 62(11), 1769-1775. DOI: 10.1111/j.1742-1241.2008.01827.x
Xu, X., Vahratian, A., Patel, D., McRee, A., & Ransom, S. (2007) Emergency Contraception Provision: A Survey of Michigan Physicians from Five Medical Specialties. Journal of Women's Health, 16(4), 489-498. DOI: 10.1089/jwh.2006.0196
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: http://archinte.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/short/169/9/858
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 »
Patel, A., Iversen, J., Bregman, M., & Schulz, I. (2009) Experimental Evidence for Synchronization to a Musical Beat in a Nonhuman Animal. Current Biology. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2009.03.038
Schachner, A., Brady, T., Pepperberg, I., & Hauser, M. (2009) Spontaneous Motor Entrainment to Music in Multiple Vocal Mimicking Species. Current Biology. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2009.03.061
Patel, A. (2006) Musical Rhythm, Linguistic Rhythm, and Human Evolution. Music Perception, 24(1), 99-104.
by Nestor Lopez-Duran PhD in Child-Psych
FOCUS ON AUTISM WEDNESDAY:
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 »
Perry, A., Flanagan, H., Dunn Geier, J., & Freeman, N. (2009) Brief Report: The Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales in Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders at Different Cognitive Levels. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. DOI: 10.1007/s10803-009-0704-9
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 »
SANDRA C. JONES, & PARRI GREGORY. (2009) The impact of more visible standard drink labelling on youth alcohol consumption: Helping young people drink (ir)responsibly? . Drug and Alcohol Review, 28(3), 230-234. DOI: 10.1111/j.1465-3362.2008.00020.x
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.
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 »
Dye SF, Vaupel GL, Dye CC. (1998) Conscious neurosensory mapping of the internal structures of the human knee without intraarticular anesthesia. Am J Sports Med. DOI: 9850777
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 »
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 »
Stanton, J., & Herbst, K. (2006) The Effects of Current Market Forces on the Impact of a TV Commercial in Creating Persuasion. Journal of Promotion Management, 12(2), 119-135. DOI: 10.1300/J057v12n02_09
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
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 »
BARGHUSEN, L., CLAUSSEN, D., ANDERSON, M., & BAILER, A. (1997) The effects of temperature on the web-building behaviour of the common house spider, Achaearanea tepidariorum. Functional Ecology, 11(1), 4-10. DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-2435.1997.00040.x
Craig CL. (1989) Alternative foraging modes of orb weaving spiders. . Biotropica, 21(3), 257-264.
Enders, F. (1974) Vertical Stratification in Orb-Web Spiders (Araneidae, Araneae) and a Consideration of Other Methods of Coexistence. Ecology, 55(2), 317. DOI: 10.2307/1935219
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
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
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
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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