A synthesis of the latest research on social influences on development suggests adolescence is an important time for mammals – including dogs.Photo: dezi / ShutterstockMost people are familiar with the idea of a sensitive period for puppies that ends around 12 or 14 weeks. Is it possible that adolescence is also an important period for brain development and future behaviour?Social experience plays an important role in shaping animal behaviour throughout development according to Sachser et al (........ Read more »
Riemer, S., Müller, C., Virányi, Z., Huber, L., & Range, F. (2014) The Predictive Value of Early Behavioural Assessments in Pet Dogs – A Longitudinal Study from Neonates to Adults. PLoS ONE, 9(7). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0101237
Sachser, N., Kaiser, S., & Hennessy, M. (2013) Behavioural profiles are shaped by social experience: when, how and why. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 368(1618), 20120344-20120344. DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2012.0344
Zimbardo speaking in '09Conducted in 1971, the Stanford Prison Experiment (SPE) has acquired a mythical status and provided the inspiration for at least two feature-length films. You'll recall that several university students allocated to the role of jailor turned brutal and the study had to be aborted prematurely. Philip Zimbardo, the experiment's lead investigator, says the lesson from the research is that in certain situations, good people readily turn bad. "If you put good apples into a bad ........ Read more »
Griggs, R. (2014) Coverage of the Stanford Prison Experiment in Introductory Psychology Textbooks. Teaching of Psychology, 41(3), 195-203. DOI: 10.1177/0098628314537968
Yeah, I know you know. There’s a lot of genomics and proteomics data coming out every day–some of it in the traditional publication route, but some of it isn’t–and it’s only getting harder and harder to wrangle the useful information to access the signal from the noise. I can remember when merely looking through the […]... Read more »
Acland A., T. Barrett, J. Beck, D. A. Benson, C. Bollin, E. Bolton, S. H. Bryant, K. Canese, D. M. Church, & K. Clark. (2014) Database resources of the National Center for Biotechnology Information. Nucleic Acids Research, 42(D1). DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/nar/gkt1146
Loud noises are common in nature. New research is giving clues as to how and why animals make such noise. A new study investigates the reasons that howler monkeys howl. Protection and marking territory are main reasons, including for protection of infants or feeding areas.
A slightly older study notes that blue whale song has become lower in pitch since the whaling ban. The authors suggest that the reason for this may be that males don’t have to sing as loud (higher frequencies are loud........ Read more »
Van Belle S, Estrada A, & Garber PA. (2014) The function of loud calls in black howler monkeys (Alouatta pigra): Food, mate, or infant defense?. American journal of primatology. PMID: 24865565
Sueur J, Mackie D, & Windmill JF. (2011) So small, so loud: extremely high sound pressure level from a pygmy aquatic insect (Corixidae, Micronectinae). PloS one, 6(6). PMID: 21698252
McDonald, M., Hildebrand, J., & Mesnick, S. (2009) Worldwide decline in tonal frequencies of blue whale songs. Endangered Species Research, 13-21. DOI: 10.3354/esr00217
Anker A, Ahyong ST, Noël PY, & Palmer AR. (2006) Morphological phylogeny of alpheid shrimps: parallel preadaptation and the origin of a key morphological innovation, the snapping claw. Evolution; international journal of organic evolution, 60(12), 2507-28. PMID: 17263113
New Congo red test predicts development of preeclampsia with pregnant women. A large collaboration of scientists recently reported a new method of determining which women would develop preeclampsia. Urine samples were collected from more than 600 patients and mixed with a dye called Congo red. Congo red stains large clumps of proteins, but doesn’t mark smaller separate proteins.... Read more »
Buhimschi IA, Nayeri UA, Zhao G, Shook LL, Pensalfini A, Funai EF, Bernstein IM, Glabe CG, & Buhimschi CS. (2014) Protein misfolding, congophilia, oligomerization, and defective amyloid processing in preeclampsia. Science translational medicine, 6(245). PMID: 25031267
As the attention received by the ‘global warming hiatus’ demonstrates, global mean surface temperature (T) variability on decadal timescales is of great interest to both the general public and to scientists. Here, I will discuss a recently published paper (Brown … Continue reading →... Read more »
Brown, P., Li, W., Li, L., & Ming, Y. (2014) Top-of-atmosphere radiative contribution to unforced decadal global temperature variability in climate models. Geophysical Research Letters. DOI: 10.1002/2014GL060625
I admit to some head scratching when I first read the paper by Aoife O’Donovan and colleagues  reporting that among war veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns, "trauma exposure and PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder] may increase risk of autoimmune disorders".It wasn't that I didn't believe the results, but rather that the idea that a physical event with a psychological consequence could impact on a somatic condition with an autoimmune element to it seemed to open u........ Read more »
O’Donovan, A., Cohen, B., Seal, K., Bertenthal, D., Margaretten, M., Nishimi, K., & Neylan, T. (2014) Elevated Risk For Autoimmune Disorders In Iraq And Afghanistan Veterans With Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Biological Psychiatry. DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2014.06.015
Neuropsychological impairments were found in some retired NFL players; however, the majority of retired NFL players had no clinical signs of chronic brain damage. Some retired players had lesions found on brain imaging tests and these were associated with the number of previous concussions.... Read more »
Casson, I., Viano, D., Haacke, E., Kou, Z., & LeStrange, D. (2014) Is There Chronic Brain Damage in Retired NFL Players? Neuroradiology, Neuropsychology, and Neurology Examinations of 45 Retired Players. Sports Health: A Multidisciplinary Approach. DOI: 10.1177/1941738114540270
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