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  • March 10, 2014
  • 09:00 AM
  • 138 views

At the Speed of the Unconscious Mind

by Katharine Blackwell in Contemplating Cognition

This is the week when I get to introduce a new batch of students to the idea that our unconscious minds can make better decisions than our conscious ones (if you’re not an expert, anyway). Which may be even more important to know, given some new evidence about just how quickly our unconscious minds can process incoming information.... Read more »

Lin Z, & Murray SO. (2014) Unconscious processing of an abstract concept. Psychological science, 25(1), 296-298. PMID: 24285433  

  • March 10, 2014
  • 08:32 AM
  • 108 views

How the green-eyed monster colours our perceptions

by Alex Fradera in BPS Occupational Digest

The flush of envy - pain at another's good fortune - is a common experience in many a workplace. This emotion can disrupt wellbeing, heighten turnover, and contribute to poorer group performance. John Veiga and colleagues felt that existing models for evaluating workplace emotions give an incomplete account of envy, which is intimately linked to cognition and social standing. In a new article, they propose a new take on the green-eyed monster.Veiga's model begins with a felt appraisal triggered ........ Read more »

Veiga, J., Baldridge, D., & Markóczy, L. (2014) Toward greater understanding of the pernicious effects of workplace envy. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 1-18. DOI: 10.1080/09585192.2013.877057  

  • March 10, 2014
  • 08:29 AM
  • 135 views

Does Daylight Saving Time Affect Voter Turnout?

by Eric Horowitz in peer-reviewed by my neurons

Another daylight saving time (DST) has come and gone without triggering the collapse of society, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t had an impact. Research suggests that DST can influence energy use (pdf), the prevalence of workplace accidents (pdf), and the tendency to shirk work responsibilities by looking at random stuff on the internet (a […]... Read more »

  • March 10, 2014
  • 05:39 AM
  • 99 views

Acute psychosis and urinary tract infection

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Today I'm highlighting the paper by Krystle Graham and colleagues [1] which talked about a possible association between the presence of urinary tract infections (UTIs) in various types of psychosis. With my interest in all things biology-behaviour, remembering such posts as impulsivity and uric acid (see here), once again we have an example of how the two areas just might fit together.The bullfighter (deceased) @Manet @Wikipedia So, take several groups of adult........ Read more »

Graham KL, Carson CM, Ezeoke A, Buckley PF, & Miller BJ. (2014) Urinary tract infections in acute psychosis. The Journal of clinical psychiatry. PMID: 24499998  

  • March 10, 2014
  • 04:43 AM
  • 117 views

Does clown therapy really help anxious kids?

by Christian Jarrett in BPS Research Digest

Hospitals can be strange, foreboding places for young children. One idea to help reduce their anxiety is to invite clowns onto the ward to foster an atmosphere of light-heartedness and safety. This may seem like a harmless intervention - certainly preferable to anti-anxiety medication - but does it really work?Alberto Dionigi and his team studied 77 children (aged 2 to 12, including 41 boys) at an Italian hospital. The children were awaiting otolaryngological surgery. They were accompanied by th........ Read more »

  • March 9, 2014
  • 11:52 PM
  • 163 views

Lack of sleep impairs emotion recognition

by William Lu in The Quantum Lobe Chronicles

This is a re-post of an entry I had written exactly 4 years ago. I liked it so much I decided to share it again. The ability to read emotions is an important part of the human experience; the only way to successfully navigate through complex social environments. It comes in handy especially if you don the title of psychotherapist or professional poker player. Without it, you are rendered socially inept. You enter the world of the autistic individual.Thanks to Charles Darwin we now know that it........ Read more »

van der Helm E; Gujar N; Walker MP. (2010) Sleep Deprivation Impairs the Accurate Recognition of Human Emotions. SLEEP, 33(3), 335-342. info:/

Ekman P, & Friesen WV. (1971) Constants across cultures in the face and emotion. Journal of personality and social psychology, 17(2), 124-9. PMID: 5542557  

  • March 9, 2014
  • 12:49 PM
  • 42 views

Matters of Appearance: Eating Disorder Patients’ Interpretations of Therapists’ Bodies

by Andrea in Science of Eating Disorders


Therapeutic alliance is often highlighted in studies looking at treatment effectiveness, both in and beyond the realm of eating disorder therapy. Evidently, there are a number of factors that can impact how well we get along with our therapists, ranging from disagreements with the course of treatment or type of therapy to a simple, unnamable dislike for the person. But what about their appearance? What kind of impact could a therapist’s body size have on the therapy relationship?
Rance, ........ Read more »

  • March 9, 2014
  • 09:32 AM
  • 186 views

In the Blink of an Eye

by Rebecca Schwarzlose in Garden of the Mind

It takes around 150 milliseconds (or about one sixth of a second) to blink your eyes. In other words, not long. That’s why you say something happened “in the blink of an eye” when an event passed so quickly that you were barely aware of it. Yet a new study shows that humans can process pictures at speeds that make an eye blink seem like a screening of Titanic. Even more, these results challenge a popular theory about how the brain creates your conscious experience of what you s........ Read more »

Potter MC, Wyble B, Hagmann CE, & McCourt ES. (2013) Detecting meaning in RSVP at 13 ms per picture. Attention, perception . PMID: 24374558  

  • March 9, 2014
  • 09:32 AM
  • 175 views

In the Blink of an Eye

by Rebecca Schwarzlose in Garden of the Mind

It takes around 150 milliseconds (or about one sixth of a second) to blink your eyes. In other words, not long. That’s why you say something happened “in the blink of an eye” when an event passed so quickly that you were barely aware of it. Yet a new study shows that humans can process pictures at speeds that make an eye blink seem like a screening of Titanic. Even more, these results challenge a popular theory about how the brain creates your conscious experience of what you s........ Read more »

Potter MC, Wyble B, Hagmann CE, & McCourt ES. (2013) Detecting meaning in RSVP at 13 ms per picture. Attention, perception . PMID: 24374558  

  • March 8, 2014
  • 10:27 PM
  • 186 views

The Pitfalls of fMRI-Based Lie Detection

by Emil Karlsson in Debunking Denialism

A while ago, an interesting paper on the promise and pitfalls of fMRI-based lie detection was published by Farah, Hutchinson, Phelps and Wagner (2014) in Nature Reviews Neuroscience. It is part of an ongoing article series by the journal examining the interplay between neuroscience and law. This installment discussed the reliability of observed associations between certain brain areas and deception, current limitations of fMRI-based lie detectors, how U. S. courts have treated appeal to fMRI dat........ Read more »

Farah MJ, Hutchinson JB, Phelps EA, & Wagner AD. (2014) Functional MRI-based lie detection: scientific and societal challenges. Nature reviews. Neuroscience, 15(2), 123-31. PMID: 24588019  

  • March 8, 2014
  • 12:50 PM
  • 99 views

Assessing the Role of Academic Buoyancy on Academic Performance

by John Wayland in Psych Radar

Academic buoyancy was not a term I had come across before until I read this recent piece of research.Academic bouyancy refers to a students' ability to successfully overcome setbacks and difficulties that are typical in the general course of everyday academic life. It may symbolise an important factor on the psycho-educational landscape, helping students who experience challenges at school and with schoolwork (Martin, 2012).Martin (2012) assessed 87 students with ADHD, 3374 non-ADHD peers and........ Read more »

  • March 7, 2014
  • 10:38 AM
  • 128 views

In Diversifying Neighborhoods, How Do Attitudes Shift?

by amikulak in Daily Observations

Almost half a century after the Fair Housing Act was passed in 1968, many American cities – including New York; Washington, DC; Chicago; and Houston – are still vastly segregated […]... Read more »

  • March 7, 2014
  • 04:40 AM
  • 133 views

Autoimmune diseases and schizophrenia

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The paper by Michael Benrós and colleagues [1] talking about an "increased risk of subsequent autoimmune diseases in individuals with schizophrenia" caught my eye recently. Based on a trawl of the records of several thousands of people with "schizophrenia-like psychosis" or "individuals with autoimmune disease" derived from Danish nationwide registers (see here for some background), the authors were able to conclude that "Autoimmune diseases developed subsequently in 3.6% of people wi........ Read more »

  • March 6, 2014
  • 01:10 PM
  • 144 views

Sorry Talking Heads, You Know Nothing About What Matters in the NFL Playoffs

by Eric Horowitz in peer-reviewed by my neurons

For years, sports commentators who spew evidence-free clichés about the keys to athletic victory have monopolized our airwaves. But recently a technique some of them view as akin to witchcraft, but that’s more commonly known as “statistical analysis,” has begun to bring an end to their reign of terror. The latest volley in this ongoing […]... Read more »

  • March 6, 2014
  • 09:07 AM
  • 149 views

What’s My Sex Again? Self-image And Gender Affected By Media

by Eva de Lozanne in United Academics

Study shows that sex-priming substantially influences gender-based self-perception... Read more »

  • March 6, 2014
  • 03:47 AM
  • 129 views

Three-year-olds show greater suspicion of circular arguments than adults

by Christian Jarrett in BPS Research Digest

Children aren't as gullible as you might think. Early in life they display a discernment that psychologists call "epistemic vigilance". They are more likely to trust information from experts compared with novices, from kind people rather than meanies, and from those they are familiar with, as opposed to strangers. Now a study shows that even by age three, children are sceptical about circular arguments; in some cases even more than adults.Hugo Mercier and his team presented 84 children aged 3 to........ Read more »

  • March 5, 2014
  • 11:25 PM
  • 120 views

Eating Disorder Awareness Week: Useful, Useless, or Worse?

by Tetyana in Science of Eating Disorders


National Eating Disorder Awareness Week came and went (in the US, anyway). Posters were shared, liked, and tweeted. Pretty (but often misguided) infographics made the rounds on the internet. Local ED groups visited schools and college campuses to educate students about eating disorders. To, you know, increase awareness. 
The thing is, awareness is not always a good thing. For one, as Carrie over at ED Bites mentioned, there’s a whole lot of misinformation masquerading as fact. An........ Read more »

  • March 5, 2014
  • 11:20 PM
  • 132 views

Attachment: measuring our (varying) relationships with dogs.

by Cobb & Hecht in Do You Believe In Dog?

Hi Julie,Right off the bat I need to say YES YES YES! Your last post about aggression and what we can learn from and about it WITHOUT the need to experience it was spot on. Are you THIS attached to your dog? (source)You’re also right that my head is filled with glorious meta-analysis results right now, as well as perceptions and other measures (#allthemeasures!) as I start preparing my abstracts for submission to be part of the Canine Science Forum. One of the small but quirky things........ Read more »

Dwyer Fleur, Bennett Pauleen C., & Coleman Grahame J. (2006) Development of the Monash Dog Owner Relationship Scale (MDORS). Anthrozoos: A Multidisciplinary Journal of The Interactions of People , 19(3), 243-256. DOI: 10.2752/089279306785415592  

Handlin Linda, Nilsson Anne, Ejdebäck Mikael, Hydbring-Sandberg Eva, & Uvnäs-Moberg Kerstin. (2012) Associations between the Psychological Characteristics of the Human–Dog Relationship and Oxytocin and Cortisol Levels. Anthrozoos: A Multidisciplinary Journal of The Interactions of People , 25(2), 215-228. DOI: 10.2752/175303712X13316289505468  

  • March 5, 2014
  • 04:41 PM
  • 88 views

Got a Dollar? You May Be Happier if You Spend it on Someone Else

by amikulak in Daily Observations

A boost to income can increase happiness to a certain degree, but research suggests how you spend your money may be equally important as the amount you have. According to […]... Read more »

Dunn, E., Aknin, L., & Norton, M. (2014) Prosocial spending and happiness: Using money to benefit others pays off. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 23(1), 41-47. DOI: 10.1177/0963721413512503  

  • March 5, 2014
  • 08:30 AM
  • 110 views

Will Work for Hot Dog?

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

Do you ever wonder how dogs are rewarded for taking part in scientific research? In some studies dogs are allowed to act naturally, but in others they need to learn something such as how to operate an apparatus they haven’t seen before, or to observe people interacting. Either way, you can’t guarantee canine cooperation. This week we thought we’d take a look at how dogs are motivated during the course of the research itself.Photo: kitty / ShutterstockNeedless to say, food is a common denom........ Read more »

Burman, O., McGowan, R., Mendl, M., Norling, Y., Paul, E., Rehn, T., & Keeling, L. (2011) Using judgement bias to measure positive affective state in dogs. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 132(3-4), 160-168. DOI: 10.1016/j.applanim.2011.04.001  

Range F, Huber L, & Heyes C. (2011) Automatic imitation in dogs. Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society, 278(1703), 211-7. PMID: 20667875  

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