I want to make an initial point about the paper by Corentin Gonthier and colleagues  and their research findings titled: 'Sensory Processing in Low-Functioning Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Distinct Sensory Profiles and Their Relationships with Behavioral Dysfunction', I'm not a great fan of the use of the term 'functioning' when it comes to autism. Yes, I know what message it's trying to convey in terms of 'severity' of autism and/or accompanying learning (intellectual) disabili........ Read more »
Gonthier C, Longuépée L, & Bouvard M. (2016) Sensory Processing in Low-Functioning Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Distinct Sensory Profiles and Their Relationships with Behavioral Dysfunction. Journal of autism and developmental disorders. PMID: 27364513
Full adoption of open access has not been achieved mainly because researchers are not yet totally convinced that this type of publication will do for their careers the same as the subscription journals. A detailed review article published in eLife shows that open research brings many benefits to researchers and it is associated with increased citations, media attention, potential collaboration and funding and jobs opportunities. … Read More →... Read more »
McKiernan, E., Bourne, P., Brown, C., Buck, S., Kenall, A., Lin, J., McDougall, D., Nosek, B., Ram, K., Soderberg, C.... (2016) How open science helps researchers succeed. eLife. DOI: 10.7554/eLife.16800
Vincent Lariviere, Veronique Kiermer, Catriona J MacCallum, Marcia McNutt, Mark Patterson, Bernd Pulverer, Sowmya Swaminathan, Stuart Taylor, Stephen Curry. (2016) A simple proposal for the publication of journal citation distributions. bioRxiv. DOI: http://dx.org/10.1101/062109
The world around is complex and changing constantly. To put it in order, we devise categories into which we sort new concepts. To do this we apply different strategies. A team of researchers wanted to find out which areas of the brain regulate these strategies. The results of their study using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) show that there are indeed particular brain areas, which become active when a certain strategy of categorisation is applied.
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Lech, R., Güntürkün, O., & Suchan, B. (2016) An interplay of fusiform gyrus and hippocampus enables prototype- and exemplar-based category learning. Behavioural Brain Research, 239-246. DOI: 10.1016/j.bbr.2016.05.049
The behavioural reasons why guide dogs sometimes end their working lives early, and what it means for pet dogs.A study by Geoffrey Caron-Lormier (University of Nottingham) et al looks at twenty years of data from Guide Dogs (UK). During this time, 7,770 working guide dogs, who had worked with blind or partially sighted people, were withdrawn from service. By far the most common reason was retirement, which applied to 6,465 dogs (83%). The authors looked at the reasons why other dogs were withdra........ Read more »
Caron-Lormier, G., Harvey, N., England, G., & Asher, L. (2016) Using the incidence and impact of behavioural conditions in guide dogs to investigate patterns in undesirable behaviour in dogs. Scientific Reports, 23860. DOI: 10.1038/srep23860
A nucleosome is constituted by positively charged histone proteins and negatively charged DNA. Methylation as well as other covalent modifications on DNA and histones ( together also called epigenetic modifications or marks) play important roles in the regulation of chromatin structure and function. TET (Ten-Eleven Translocation) proteins were identified as 5mC oxidases which not only generate new 5mC oxidative derivates (5hmC, 5caC and 5fC) but also initiate active or passive DNA demethylation1........ Read more »
Kong L, Tan L, Lv R, Shi Z, Xiong L, Wu F, Rabidou K, Smith M, He C, Zhang L.... (2016) A primary role of TET proteins in establishment and maintenance of De Novo bivalency at CpG islands. Nucleic acids research. PMID: 27288448
Tahiliani M, Koh KP, Shen Y, Pastor WA, Bandukwala H, Brudno Y, Agarwal S, Iyer LM, Liu DR, Aravind L.... (2009) Conversion of 5-methylcytosine to 5-hydroxymethylcytosine in mammalian DNA by MLL partner TET1. Science (New York, N.Y.), 324(5929), 930-5. PMID: 19372391
He YF, Li BZ, Li Z, Liu P, Wang Y, Tang Q, Ding J, Jia Y, Chen Z, Li L.... (2011) Tet-mediated formation of 5-carboxylcytosine and its excision by TDG in mammalian DNA. Science (New York, N.Y.), 333(6047), 1303-7. PMID: 21817016
Ito S, Shen L, Dai Q, Wu SC, Collins LB, Swenberg JA, He C, & Zhang Y. (2011) Tet proteins can convert 5-methylcytosine to 5-formylcytosine and 5-carboxylcytosine. Science (New York, N.Y.), 333(6047), 1300-3. PMID: 21778364
Zhang, H., Zhang, X., Clark, E., Mulcahey, M., Huang, S., & Shi, Y. (2010) TET1 is a DNA-binding protein that modulates DNA methylation and gene transcription via hydroxylation of 5-methylcytosine. Cell Research, 20(12), 1390-1393. DOI: 10.1038/cr.2010.156
Ehrlich M. (2002) DNA methylation in cancer: too much, but also too little. Oncogene, 21(35), 5400-13. PMID: 12154403
Cedar H, & Bergman Y. (2009) Linking DNA methylation and histone modification: patterns and paradigms. Nature reviews. Genetics, 10(5), 295-304. PMID: 19308066
Easwaran H, Johnstone SE, Van Neste L, Ohm J, Mosbruger T, Wang Q, Aryee MJ, Joyce P, Ahuja N, Weisenberger D.... (2012) A DNA hypermethylation module for the stem/progenitor cell signature of cancer. Genome research, 22(5), 837-49. PMID: 22391556
Lian CG, Xu Y, Ceol C, Wu F, Larson A, Dresser K, Xu W, Tan L, Hu Y, Zhan Q.... (2012) Loss of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine is an epigenetic hallmark of melanoma. Cell, 150(6), 1135-46. PMID: 22980977
Tan L, & Shi YG. (2012) Tet family proteins and 5-hydroxymethylcytosine in development and disease. Development (Cambridge, England), 139(11), 1895-902. PMID: 22569552
The naked mole rat is quite naked, but a lack of hair does help it move around in its environment. Other mammals that are supposedly hairless aren’t really, even dolphins have a few hairs. Of course, some humans and other mammals can have autoimmune disease mutations that make them completely hairless. For the naked mole rat it was a strange adaptation with strange results – it has become the only cold-blooded (ectothermic) mammal!... Read more »
Kutsukake, N., Inada, M., Sakamoto, S., & Okanoya, K. (2012) A Distinct Role of the Queen in Coordinated Workload and Soil Distribution in Eusocial Naked Mole-Rats. PLoS ONE, 7(9). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0044584
It happens to all of us – we're meant to be focused on the page in the book, but our mind is turned inwards thinking about other stuff (Must remember to charge my phone, What time did I say I'd meet Sarah?) Thankfully a new study in Memory and Cognition identifies a straightforward way to reduce how much your mind wanders off topic when you're studying. You just need to ensure the materials you're learning are in your sweet spot – not too easy and not too difficult.For one experiment, Judy X........ Read more »
Xu, J., & Metcalfe, J. (2016) Studying in the region of proximal learning reduces mind wandering. Memory , 44(5), 681-695. DOI: 10.3758/s13421-016-0589-8
Patients should attain all objective criteria goals prior to returning to sport. A professional athlete who fails to meet functional criteria for return-to-sport or who has a low hamstring:quadriceps ratio is at greater risk for an anterior cruciate ligament graft rupture.... Read more »
Kyritsis, P., Bahr, R., Landreau, P., Miladi, R., & Witvrouw, E. (2016) Likelihood of ACL graft rupture: not meeting six clinical discharge criteria before return to sport is associated with a four times greater risk of rupture. British Journal of Sports Medicine. DOI: 10.1136/bjsports-2015-095908
I have to say that I initially felt slightly uncomfortable reading the study results published by Jillian Austin and colleagues  providing "preliminary validation for the use of autism disclosure cards in buffering negative judgment." Uncomfortable because, despite the fact that it is human nature for people to stop, stare and perhaps question something when it seems 'out of the ordinary', the idea that when children with autism specifically 'misbehave' in a public place their parents need to........ Read more »
Austin JE, Zinke VL, & Davies WH. (2016) Influencing Perception About Children with Autism and their Parents Using Disclosure Cards. Journal of autism and developmental disorders. PMID: 27241346
Biologists have found that a protein that plays a key role in the lives of stem cells can bolster the growth of damaged muscle tissue, a step that could potentially contribute to treatments for muscle degeneration caused by old age and diseases such as muscular dystrophy. The results show that a particular type of protein called integrin is present on the stem cell surface and used by stem cells to interact with, or "sense" their surroundings.
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Rozo, M., Li, L., & Fan, C. (2016) Targeting β1-integrin signaling enhances regeneration in aged and dystrophic muscle in mice. Nature Medicine. DOI: 10.1038/nm.4116
Running Economy and Foot Strike Pattern... Read more »
Nichols, R., Germano, C., Burke, M., Nolan, K., Youngs-Grand, K., & Girard, J. (2016) The effects of foot strike on running economy in distance runners: a narrative review. Physical Therapy Reviews, 1-6. DOI: 10.1080/10833196.2016.1193970
A paper makes the remarkable claim that autism could be detected through the use of ultrasound to peer beneath the skull. This paper is from 2014, but it just came to my attention.
The authors of the piece, James Jeffrey Bradstreet, Stefania Pacini and Marco Ruggiero, studied 23 children with autism and 15 control children, who were unaffected siblings of the autistic group. Using ultrasound, the authors looked under the skull overlaying the brain's temporal cortex. The ultrasound reveale... Read more »
Bradstreet JJ, Pacini S, & Ruggiero M. (2014) A New Methodology of Viewing Extra-Axial Fluid and Cortical Abnormalities in Children with Autism via Transcranial Ultrasonography. Frontiers in human neuroscience, 934. PMID: 24459462
Scientific work is unfairly perceived by many people as a solitary, even lonely enterprise, concerned with abstracted goals rather than helping others. While some scientific work calls for a quiet room (at the least, noise-cancelling headphones), the reality is that the enterprise as a whole involves plenty of communal aspects, from collaboration and discussions to teaching and mentoring. In new research published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, researchers from the University of Miami hav........ Read more »
Clark, E., Fuesting, M., & Diekman, A. (2016) Enhancing interest in science: exemplars as cues to communal affordances of science. Journal of Applied Social Psychology. DOI: 10.1111/jasp.12392
Heavy metal band Black Label Society on stage Brazil, via Flickr/FockaListening to songs about death and dressing yourself in t-shirts featuring skulls and demons might seem like a strange way to combat existential angst. Nonetheless, a new study in Psychology of Popular Media Culture shows that listening to heavy metal helps fans of the genre deal with their own mortality. This is likely because to fans, heavy metal represents so much more than a genre, it embodies a way of life and a sense of ........ Read more »
Kneer, J., & Rieger, D. (2016) The memory remains: How heavy metal fans buffer against the fear of death. Psychology of Popular Media Culture, 5(3), 258-272. DOI: 10.1037/ppm0000072
I'm cautious about the findings reported by Daniel Blockmans & Philippe Persoons  talking about how long-term use of the stimulant medication methylphenidate (MPH) might be something to consider for at least some people diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Cautious because the sole use of a questionnaire looking "for possible improvement of concentration difficulties and fatigue" following the use of MPH on this research occasion is not exactly a top tier scientific method...Non........ Read more »
Blockmans D, & Persoons P. (2016) Long-term methylphenidate intake in chronic fatigue syndrome. Acta clinica Belgica, 1-8. PMID: 27351244
In the latest research, the authors found that a blocked schedule (presenting examples from one category at a time) outperformed an interleaved schedule (interspersing examples from all the categories) for category learning when the examples to be classified were more highly discriminable. This result was consistent across the two experiments in the study (p = 0.055 and p = 0.04). Importantly, however, although interleaving was a better strategy for learning categories of lower discriminability,........ Read more »
Noh, S., Yan, V., Bjork, R., & Maddox, W. (2016) Optimal sequencing during category learning: Testing a dual-learning systems perspective. Cognition, 23-29. DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2016.06.007
Parthenogenesis is the development of eggs without fertilization. For the first time, it has been shown to occur in the sterlet sturgeon. ... Read more »
Siddique MA, Butts IA, Cosson J, & Linhart O. (2016) First report on facultative parthenogenetic activation of eggs in sterlet sturgeon, Acipenser ruthenus. Animal Reproduction Science, 110-5. PMID: 26952761
Human intelligence is being defined and measured for the first time ever. Researchers have been recently undertaken to quantify the brain's dynamic functions, and identify how different parts of the brain interact with each other at different times - namely, to discover how intellect works.
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Zhang, J., Cheng, W., Liu, Z., Zhang, K., Lei, X., Yao, Y., Becker, B., Liu, Y., Kendrick, K., Lu, G.... (2016) Neural, electrophysiological and anatomical basis of brain-network variability and its characteristic changes in mental disorders. Brain. DOI: 10.1093/brain/aww143
Whenever I'm working on a new post, I like to take a bit of time to check in on the stats for this blog. I'm particularly interested in what people are typing into their search engines to find their way here. For whatever reason, a post I wrote about what poisons smell like is very popular among users of the Internet. I'm taking this as a sign that people like to read about smells, so I thought I'd look into a couple of odour-related search queries via which people have found this blog.'type of ........ Read more »
A clinician needs to recognize that sex, competitive level, and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder or learning disorder may influence SCAT3 scores. A medical professional could use normative conversion tables if they lack baseline scores and may not need to worry about practice effects with the SCAT3, except when retesting an athlete within 7 days.... Read more »
Chin EY, Nelson LD, Barr WB, McCrory P, & McCrea MA. (2016) Reliability and Validity of the Sport Concussion Assessment Tool-3 (SCAT3) in High School and Collegiate Athletes. The American Journal of Sports Medicine. PMID: 27281276
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