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  • June 24, 2015
  • 02:05 PM
  • 140 views

Oh, to have Dr. Facebook on call!

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

If it were up to Internet-savvy Americans, more of them would be emailing or sending Facebook messages to their doctors to chat about their health. That’s the result of a national survey led by Joy Lee of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in the US.... Read more »

  • June 24, 2015
  • 08:30 AM
  • 104 views

Going for a Song? The Price of Pet Birds

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

The price of birds for sale in pet stores in Taiwan sheds light on legal (and illegal) trade, with consequences for native wildlife. Taiwan is an interesting place to study birds. Songbirds are kept for singing competitions, and there is a tradition of taking caged birds out for a walk (‘bird walking’). As in other Asian countries, birds and other animals are set free in order to make merit (prayer release), potentially adding significantly to the numbers of alien birds living wild. The........ Read more »

  • June 24, 2015
  • 05:09 AM
  • 51 views

New research challenges the idea that willpower is a "limited resource"

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

A popular psychological theory says that your willpower isa "limited resource" like the fuel in your car, but is it wrong?When we use willpower to concentrate or to resist temptation, does it leave us depleted so that we have less self-control left over to tackle new challenges? This is a question fundamental to our understanding of human nature and yet a newly published investigation reveals that psychologists are in open disagreement as to the answer.The idea that willpower is a limited resour........ Read more »

  • June 24, 2015
  • 04:51 AM
  • 153 views

Infant sleep duration a risk factor for autism spectrum behaviours in girls?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

To quote from the study results published by Janet Saenz and colleagues [1] (open-access available here): "less sleep duration in infant girls across a period of 5 days was predictive of higher ASD [autism spectrum disorder] scores on the BITSEA [Brief Infant-Toddler Social and Emotional Assessment] in toddlerhood."Based on a sample of 47 children - 29 males and 18 females - researchers initially studied sleep patterns for participants at 3-4 months of age using actigrap........ Read more »

  • June 23, 2015
  • 02:50 PM
  • 178 views

Consciousness has less control than believed, according to new theory

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Consciousness — the internal dialogue that seems to govern one’s thoughts and actions — is far less powerful than people believe, serving as a passive conduit rather than an active force that exerts control, according to a new theory proposed by an SF State researcher.... Read more »

Morsella, E., Godwin, C., Jantz, T., Krieger, S., & Gazzaley, A. (2015) Homing in on Consciousness in the Nervous System: An Action-Based Synthesis. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 1-106. DOI: 10.1017/S0140525X15000643  

  • June 23, 2015
  • 01:40 PM
  • 155 views

Justice system chips away at women’s rights

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Arrests of women increased dramatically in the past two decades, while domestic abuse laws meant to protect female victims have put many behind bars for defending themselves, a new paper argues. These trends suggest evidence, at least in the justice system, of a “war on women” — a term coined during the 2012 election that refers to attempts to limit women’s rights.... Read more »

  • June 23, 2015
  • 07:16 AM
  • 48 views

The curious psychology of verbal mimicry

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

A surprising result: In the study, open-minded participantswere especially likely to adopt their partner's speech-rate When deep in conversation, I sometimes catch myself mimicking my companion; mirroring their body language, echoing their speech. Research suggests there are likely even more of these moments to which I’m oblivious. Luckily, mimicry is a useful habit: for instance, we prefer conversation partners whose speech rates mimic our own to those whose speech is jarringly different........ Read more »

Kurzius, E. (2015) The Extraverted Chameleon. Journal of Individual Differences, 36(2), 80-86. DOI: 10.1027/1614-0001/a000159  

  • June 23, 2015
  • 05:01 AM
  • 168 views

Toxoplasma seropositivity and pediatric cognitive functions

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

A brief post for you today as I keep a promise made in a previous entry to cover the paper by Angelico Mendy and colleagues [1] who concluded that: "Toxoplasma seropositivity may be associated with reading and memory impairments in school-aged children."Based on the analysis of over 1700 children/young adults aged 12-16 years old "who participated to the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey" researchers examined the possibility of a relationship between various psychometri........ Read more »

  • June 22, 2015
  • 04:06 PM
  • 172 views

Manning up: men may overcompensate when their masculinity is threatened

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

From the old Charles Atlas ads showing a scrawny male having sand kicked in his face to sitcom clichés of henpecked husbands, men have long faced pressure to live up to ideals of masculinity. Societal norms dictating that men should be masculine are powerful. And new research finds that men who believe they fall short of those ideals might be prompted to reassert their masculinity in small but significant ways.... Read more »

  • June 22, 2015
  • 07:27 AM
  • 54 views

Expert philosophers are just as irrational as the rest of us

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

By guest blogger Dan JonesIf you want to improve your tennis swing, learn how to repair your car, or master the piano, you’re likely to seek the help of an expert tutor. Similarly, many people who want to sharpen up their critical thinking skills turn to one of the many books written by philosophers to help lay people identify and avoid the biases and failures of logic that cause us to be, in the words of psychologist Dan Ariely, "predictably irrational".But what if philosophers are just as su........ Read more »

  • June 22, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 155 views

First world relationship termination problems: Facebook  “creeping” your ex

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

You’ve likely run across the statistics on Facebook being the cause of many divorces or relationship failures as unhappy individuals reunite with past loves lost. There is also of course, often heartbreak as online loves turn out to be not quite who you thought. Now Facebook is also implicated in prolonging the unhappiness after a […]

Related posts:
Facebook Graph Searches: What Can You Discover?
Facebook as a conduit for misinformation and racism
Is there a relationship between age a........ Read more »

  • June 22, 2015
  • 02:54 AM
  • 168 views

Office workers of the world stand up!

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

A quote to begin: "for those occupations which are predominantly desk based, workers should aim to initially progress towards accumulating 2 h/day of standing and light activity (light walking) during working hours, eventually progressing to a total accumulation of 4 h/day (prorated to part-time hours)."That was the recommendation made in the consensus statement published by John Buckley and colleagues [1] aiming to: "provide guidance for employers and staff working in office environments to........ Read more »

John P Buckley, Alan Hedge, Thomas Yates, Robert J Copeland, Michael Loosemore, Mark Hamer, Gavin Bradley, & David W Dunstan. (2015) The sedentary office: a growing case for change towards better health and productivity. Expert statement commissioned by Public Health England and the Active Working Community Interest Company. British Journal of Sports Medicine. info:/10.1136/bjsports-2015-094618

  • June 20, 2015
  • 02:47 PM
  • 152 views

Liar, Liar: Children with good memories are better liars

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Children who benefit from a good memory are much better at covering up lies, researchers from the University of Sheffield have discovered. Experts found a link between verbal memory and covering up lies following a study which investigated the role of working memory in verbal deception amongst children.... Read more »

  • June 19, 2015
  • 04:00 PM
  • 163 views

Study links heartbeat to female libido

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Sexual dysfunction in women can be linked to low resting heart rate variability, a finding that could help clinicians treat the condition, according to a study by psychologists from The University of Texas at Austin.... Read more »

Stanton, A., Lorenz, T., Pulverman, C., & Meston, C. (2015) Heart Rate Variability: A Risk Factor for Female Sexual Dysfunction. Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback. DOI: 10.1007/s10484-015-9286-9  

  • June 19, 2015
  • 04:27 AM
  • 232 views

Autoimmune disease or anti-nuclear antibodies and non-coeliac wheat sensitivity

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Higher proportions of patients with NCWS [wheat sensitivity among people without celiac disease] or celiac disease develop autoimmune disorders, are ANA [anti-nuclear antibodies] positive, and showed DQ2/DQ8 haplotypes compared to patients with IBS [irritable bowel syndrome]."Those were the conclusions reached in the paper by Antonio Carroccio and colleagues [1] who sought to evaluate: "the prevalence of autoimmune diseases among patients with NCWS, and investigate........ Read more »

  • June 18, 2015
  • 01:22 PM
  • 178 views

Musicians don’t just hear in tune, they also see in tune

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Musicians don’t just hear in tune, they also see in tune. That is the conclusion of the latest scientific experiment designed to puzzle out how the brain creates an apparently seamless view of the external world based on the information it receives from the eyes.... Read more »

  • June 18, 2015
  • 01:02 PM
  • 198 views

How ‘science popularizers’ influence public opinion on religion

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Two prominent scientists with drastically different views on the relationship of science and religion – Richard Dawkins and Francis Collins – have an equally different influence on these views among people who are unfamiliar with their work, according to new research from Rice University and West Virginia University.... Read more »

  • June 18, 2015
  • 12:59 PM
  • 192 views

Not-so-guilty pleasure: Viewing cat videos boosts energy and positive emotions

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

If you get a warm, fuzzy feeling after watching cute cat videos online, the effect may be more profound than you think. The Internet phenomenon of watching cat videos, from Lil Bub to Grumpy Cat, does more than simply entertain; it boosts viewers’ energy and positive emotions and decreases negative feelings, according to a new study by an Indiana University Media School researcher.... Read more »

  • June 18, 2015
  • 04:43 AM
  • 201 views

Atypical enterovirus encephalitis and 'autism-like' (again)

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"The autism spectrum disorder or autism-like clinical symptoms are extremely rare, but they may be a clear manifestations of enterovirus encephalitis."That was the finding reported in a poster by Akcakaya and colleagues [1] submitted as part of the 11th European Paediatric Neurology Society Congress 2015. In it, they detail a case report of an adolescent young woman "who developed behavioural changes and autistic features such as impairment of communication, mutism and lack of eye contact" ........ Read more »

  • June 17, 2015
  • 01:54 PM
  • 166 views

Emergency Planning Is For Pets Too

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

Failure to include pets in emergency planning puts human lives at risk.“There is no other factor contributing as much to human evacuation failure in disasters that is under the control of emergency management when a threat is imminent as pet ownership.” So say Sebastian Heath(FEMA) and Robert Linnabary(University of Tennessee) in a review of the ways in which pets should be included in emergency planning. Emergency management has five stages: planning, preparedness, mitigation, ........ Read more »

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