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  • October 30, 2014
  • 03:45 PM
  • 19 views

Zombies: Science Fiction vs. Fact

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Well in the spirit of Halloween I thought I would make a nice little zombie post. Zombies, those brain loving little guys, [and girls] are everywhere. From shows like The Walking […]... Read more »

Lafferty KD. (2006) Can the common brain parasite, Toxoplasma gondii, influence human culture?. Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society, 273(1602), 2749-55. PMID: 17015323  

Vyas A, Kim SK, Giacomini N, Boothroyd JC, & Sapolsky RM. (2007) Behavioral changes induced by Toxoplasma infection of rodents are highly specific to aversion of cat odors. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 104(15), 6442-7. PMID: 17404235  

Thomas, F., Schmidt-Rhaesa, A., Martin, G., Manu, C., Durand, P., & Renaud, F. (2002) Do hairworms (Nematomorpha) manipulate the water seeking behaviour of their terrestrial hosts?. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 15(3), 356-361. DOI: 10.1046/j.1420-9101.2002.00410.x  

W. Wesołowska T. Wesołowski. (2014) Do Leucochloridium sporocysts manipulate the behaviour of their snail hosts?. Journal of Zoology , 292(3), 151-155. info:/10.1111/jzo.12094

  • October 30, 2014
  • 07:59 AM
  • 28 views

Fright Week: The Stranger in the Mirror

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

In the mirror we see our physical selves as we truly are, even though the image might not live up to what we want, or what we once were. But we recognize the image as “self”. In rare instances, however, this reality breaks down.In Black Swan, Natalie Portman plays Nina Sayers, a ballerina who auditions for the lead in Swan Lake. The role requires her to dance the part of the innocent White Swan (for which she is well-suited), as well as her evil twin the Black Swan — which is initially out........ Read more »

Barnier AJ, Cox RE, Connors M, Langdon R, & Coltheart M. (2011) A stranger in the looking glass: developing and challenging a hypnotic mirrored-self misidentification delusion. The International journal of clinical and experimental hypnosis, 59(1), 1-26. PMID: 21104482  

Chandra SR, & Issac TG. (2014) Mirror image agnosia. Indian journal of psychological medicine, 36(4), 400-3. PMID: 25336773  

Mendez MF, Martin RJ, Smyth KA, & Whitehouse PJ. (1992) Disturbances of person identification in Alzheimer's disease. A retrospective study. The Journal of nervous and mental disease, 180(2), 94-6. PMID: 1737981  

  • October 30, 2014
  • 04:44 AM
  • 24 views

Pain and adolescent Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"We found a higher prevalence of severe pain among adolescents with CFS [Chronic Fatigue Syndrome] and lowered pain thresholds compared with HCs [healthy controls]".That was the headline generated by the study from Anette Winger and colleagues [1] (open-access) looking to describe several parameters tied into experience of pain in the context of CFS. Further: "The total sum of bodily symptoms represented a heavy burden with great functional consequences".Your hokey pokey drag........ Read more »

  • October 29, 2014
  • 09:13 AM
  • 58 views

7 things you probably didn’t know about blind people

by Usman Paracha in SayPeople

1.Blind people can't see in dreams:

Blind people are unable to see even in their dreams but they get a rich combination of different senses in their dreams. They get more feelings of taste, smell, touch, and hear in their dreams as compared to normal people.
2. They have fewer feelings of negative emotions:

Blind from birth people have fewer feelings of negative emotions such as anxiety and depression as compared to normal people.
Blind people see more nightmares (Image courtesy of ........ Read more »

  • October 29, 2014
  • 08:30 AM
  • 51 views

How Does a Dog's Brain Respond to the Smell of a Familiar Human?

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

And what does it tell us about the importance of people to their dogs?Photo: hitmanphoto / ShutterstockNew fMRI research by Gregory Berns et al (in press) shows that dog’s brains respond differently to the smell of a familiar human compared to an unfamiliar human and other canines – suggesting that certain people are special to their dogs.The research focussed on a part of the brain called the caudate, which has been much investigated in humans, monkeys and rats. The scientists explain that ........ Read more »

  • October 29, 2014
  • 04:36 AM
  • 47 views

The stability of an Asperger syndrome diagnosis

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Asperger Syndrome, when considered as an ASD/PDD [autism spectrum disorder/pervasive developmental disorder] diagnosis, was fairly stable into adulthood, but there was a significant increase over time in cases no longer meeting criteria for an ASD diagnosis according to the DSM-IV, or AS according to the Gillberg criteria".The night is darkest just before the dawn.That was one of the primary conclusions made in the paper by Adam Helles and colleagues [1] who prospectively followed a group ........ Read more »

Adam Helles, Carina I. Gillberg, Christopher Gillberg, & Eva Billstedt. (2014) sperger syndrome in males over two decades: stability and predictors of diagnosis. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. info:/doi: 10.1111/jcpp.12334

  • October 28, 2014
  • 11:49 PM
  • 47 views

When Should Online Dating Partners Meet Offline?

by Wiley Asia Blog in Wiley Asia Blog - Social Science

Will the amount of online communications affect face-to-face (FtF) relational outcomes among online daters? Researchers analysed experience of using various online date sites of 433 online daters recruited by a market research firm.... Read more »

  • October 28, 2014
  • 01:40 PM
  • 62 views

The Final Girl: The Psychology of the Slasher Film

by Melissa Chernick in Science Storiented

Halloween has put me in the mood to talk about slasher movies. Once I got to looking around, I found more papers on the topic than I thought I would. I gotta warn you, this is a long read, so grab some popcorn and settle in for some slasher movie fun.If you are a fan of horror films then you know Randy Meek’s “Rules that one must abide by to successfully survive a horror movie”: (1) You can never have sex…big no-no, sex equals death, (2) you can never drink or do drugs…it’s the sin-f........ Read more »

Wee, Valerie. (2005) The Scream Trilogy, "Hyperpostmodernism," and the Late-Nineties Teen Slasher Film. Journal of Film and Video, 57(3), 44-61. info:/

  • October 28, 2014
  • 06:22 AM
  • 53 views

What I don’t hear can’t hurt me: insecure managers avoid input from employees

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Organisations do better when there are clear communication channels that allow staff to point out ways the company can improve. Similarly, teams who freely share ideas and concerns are more tight-knit and motivated. And their managers get enhanced awareness, and to share in the praise for any improvements that pay off. So encouraging employee voice should be a no-brainer, especially for any manager feeling unsure of their ability to deliver solo. Yet according to new research, these insecure man........ Read more »

  • October 28, 2014
  • 03:42 AM
  • 64 views

Zinc and depression

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Low dietary zinc intake is associated with a greater incidence of depression in both men and women, as shown in two prospective cohorts".At the risk of overdoing the whole 'you are what you eat' sentiment, today I'm addressing a portion of the peer-reviewed research literature linking issues with zinc availability to depression. That opening quote by the way, comes from the paper by Khanrin Phungamla Vashum and colleagues [1] who looked at self-reported dietary intake of zinc based on data........ Read more »

  • October 27, 2014
  • 10:54 PM
  • 47 views

Nature is helpful for your mind even in artificial settings

by Usman Paracha in SayPeople

Main Point:

In a study, researchers have found that sounds of nature played in the background even from a recording can help in recovery from a negative experience. In another study, it has been found that watching 3-D videos of trees can help in recovery from stress.
Published in:

Ecopsychology

Environment and Behavior
Study Further:

Everybody knows that moving in nature, listening to different natural sounds, and looking at beautiful sceneries can help in improving overall qualit........ Read more »

Benfield Jacob A.,, Taff B. Derrick,, Newman Peter,, & Smyth Joshua. (2014) Natural Sound Facilitates Mood Recovery . Ecopsychology. info:/

  • October 27, 2014
  • 03:40 PM
  • 69 views

Real Zombie-Making Parasites Among Us

by Miss Behavior in The Scorpion and the Frog

The mummified cat and the rat in the crypt of Christ Church in Dublin. Photo by Adrian Grycuk at Wikimedia Commons.The Happening, M. Night Shyamalan’s worst panned movie of all time, is a science fiction thriller about people going into a mysterious trance and committing suicide as a result of other mind-hacking species. One of the leading criticisms raised against this movie is the ridiculousness of the premise. One species can’t cause another to willingly commit suicide! …Or can they? T........ Read more »

  • October 27, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 65 views

So, potential juror, how much online porn do you watch?

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

We can hear the snickers and gasps now–and likely the immediate objection from (probably) the opposing counsel or (unquestionably) the judge. But not always. So why might this be something you want to know? According to new research in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, a distinguishing characteristic of narcissists is that they watch […]

Related posts:
An update on online research of potential jurors
Excuse me potential juror: Is your brain red or blue?
Excuse me, potential ........ Read more »

Kasper TE, Short MB, & Milam AC. (2014) Narcissism and Internet Pornography Use. Journal of Sex , 1-6. PMID: 24918657  

  • October 27, 2014
  • 05:40 AM
  • 53 views

Doing the "happy walk" made people's memories more positive

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Walking in a more happy style could help counter the negative mental processes associated with depression. That's according to psychologists in Germany and Canada who used biofeedback to influence the walking style of 47 university students on a treadmill.The students, who were kept in the dark about the true aims of the study, had their gait monitored with motion capture technology. For half of them, the more happily they walked (characterised by larger arm and body swings, and a more upright p........ Read more »

  • October 27, 2014
  • 04:37 AM
  • 62 views

Diagnosing autism late: after psychosis

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The case report from Marly Simoncini and colleagues [1] (open-access) is the topic of today's post. Describing the case of Mr. A, a young man who attempted suicide during a psychotic episode, the paper tracks the developmental history and diagnostic evaluation of this person culminating in a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) "that had been completely overlooked".The best thing we can do is go on with our daily routineThe paper is open-access and I would encourage readers to take s........ Read more »

Simoncini, M., Miniati, M., Vanelli, F., Callari, A., Vannucchi, G., Mauri, M., & Dell’Osso, L. (2014) Lifetime Autism Spectrum Features in a Patient with a Psychotic Mixed Episode Who Attempted Suicide. Case Reports in Psychiatry, 1-4. DOI: 10.1155/2014/459524  

  • October 26, 2014
  • 10:18 PM
  • 81 views

Using neuroimaging to expose the unconscious influences of priming

by neurosci in Neuroscientifically Challenged

In 1996, a group of researchers at NYU conducted an interesting experiment. First, they had NYU students work on unscrambling letters to form words. Unbeknownst to the students, they had been split up into three groups, and each group unscrambled letters that formed slightly different words. One group unscrambled words with a "rude" connotation like aggressively, bold, and interrupt. Another group unscrambled "polite" words like considerate, patiently, and respect. And the third group unscramble........ Read more »

Schacter, D., Wig, G., & Stevens, W. (2007) Reductions in cortical activity during priming. Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 17(2), 171-176. DOI: 10.1016/j.conb.2007.02.001  

  • October 25, 2014
  • 03:47 AM
  • 96 views

Autism and intolerance of uncertainty

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Good morning, gentlemen, the temperature is 110 degrees'Change' is often mentioned as something potentially problematic for many on the autism spectrum, and how unexpected change can sometimes have profound effects in terms of those so-called 'challenging behaviours' or when it comes to the presentation of important comorbidity such as anxiety. Like many others from the outside looking in, I was always taught that change as a more general concept was the important issue in autism, but recently t........ Read more »

  • October 24, 2014
  • 01:14 PM
  • 88 views

Fish Want to Play Too

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

Yes, fish. These aquarium lap-swimmers and pursuers of flaked food aren’t known for their joie de vivre. Yet in one hobbyist’s tanks, scientists say they’ve captured a rare instance of fish playing around. James Murphy is a herpetologist at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park. Although he professionally studies reptiles and amphibians, he keeps fish as […]The post Fish Want to Play Too appeared first on Inkfish.... Read more »

  • October 24, 2014
  • 11:23 AM
  • 97 views

Publication bias afflicts the whole of psychology

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

In the last few years the social sciences, including psychology, have been taking a good look at themselves. While incidences of fraud hit the headlines, pervasive issues are just as important to address, such as publication bias, the phenomenon where non-significant results never see the light of day thanks to editors rejecting them or savvy researchers recasting their experiments around unexpected results and not reporting the disappointments. Statistical research has shown the extent of this ........ Read more »

  • October 24, 2014
  • 02:51 AM
  • 70 views

Autism, siblings and DSM-5 Social Communication Disorder

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

A quick post to bring to your attention the paper by Meghan Miller and colleagues [1] who concluded that: "Pragmatic language problems are present in some siblings of children with ASD [autism spectrum disorder] as early as 36 months of age". Further: "As the new DSM-5 diagnosis of Social (Pragmatic) Communication Disorder (SCD) is thought to occur more frequently in family members of individuals with ASD, it is possible that some of these siblings will meet criteria for SCD as th........ Read more »

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