Yes, I know that on the 'hot potato' scale, to talk about mercury and autism still moves the needle up to somewhere approaching furnace level for some people despite discussions on this heavy metal still figuring in several quarters. This is however a blog based on peer-reviewed science (for the most part) and so with mucho, mucho caveats included I want to draw your attention to the review paper by Janet Kern and colleagues  (open-access available here) and the observation that: "The pr........ Read more »
Kern JK, Geier DA, Sykes LK, Haley BE, & Geier MR. (2016) The relationship between mercury and autism: A comprehensive review and discussion. Journal of trace elements in medicine and biology : organ of the Society for Minerals and Trace Elements (GMS), 8-24. PMID: 27473827
In this digital age, with phones at our fingertips, you would think that access to constant communication would make us feel closer to one another. But a new study shows that may not be the case. In fact, cell phone use might actually lead to feeling less socially connected, depending on your gender or cell phone habits.
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Lepp, A., Li, J., & Barkley, J. (2016) College students' cell phone use and attachment to parents and peers. Computers in Human Behavior, 401-408. DOI: 10.1016/j.chb.2016.07.021
It’s not a good thing when dog trainers describe themselves as ‘balanced’. Here’s why.When you think about balancing dogs, your first thoughts might be of a dog walking along a beam, all nicely balanced and not falling off. Or maybe of a dog posing for a photo with a pile of cookies balanced on their muzzle, to show off how good their balancing skills are.But, unfortunately, this is not what people mean when they refer to ‘balanced’ dog training.Balance is one of those weasel words i........ Read more »
Arhant, C., Bubna-Littitz, H., Bartels, A., Futschik, A., & Troxler, J. (2010) Behaviour of smaller and larger dogs: Effects of training methods, inconsistency of owner behaviour and level of engagement in activities with the dog. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 123(3-4), 131-142. DOI: 10.1016/j.applanim.2010.01.003
Herron, M., Shofer, F., & Reisner, I. (2009) Survey of the use and outcome of confrontational and non-confrontational training methods in client-owned dogs showing undesired behaviors. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 117(1-2), 47-54. DOI: 10.1016/j.applanim.2008.12.011
New research tells us you may not want to have slow motion videos played at trial if you are the defense attorney. However, if you are the prosecutor—push hard for that video! It’s really a simple lesson: when jurors see slowed down footage of an event, they are more likely to think the person on […]
Do you want to make your juror “think fast”?
“Aggression genes”, Asperger’s and Absolution (for criminal acts)
Trustworthiness, real adulthood, cat videos and h........ Read more »
"In a population of children diagnosed with ASD [autism spectrum disorder], the rate of ADHD [attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder] + ASD was 42% and the rate of ADHD + ASD + ID [intellectual disability] was 17%, resulting in a 59% total comorbidity rate of ADHD and ASD."That was one of the important findings reported by Tara Stevens and colleagues  who using data from the Survey of Pathways to Diagnosis and Services (Pathways), a US initiative that has previ........ Read more »
Stevens, T., Peng, L., & Barnard-Brak, L. (2016) The comorbidity of ADHD in children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 11-18. DOI: 10.1016/j.rasd.2016.07.003
A new study suggests that given the choice, many dogs prefer praise from their owners over food. The study is one of the first to combine brain-imaging data with behavioral experiments to explore canine reward preferences.
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Cook, P., Prichard, A., Spivak, M., & Berns, G. (2016) Awake Canine fMRI Predicts Dogs’ Preference for Praise Versus Food. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. DOI: 10.1093/scan/nsw102
There they go again. Taiwan and their 'big data' publishing, yet again, some rather interesting population-based research trends derived from data from the National Health Insurance Research Database (NHIRD).This time around it is the paper by Han-Cheng Wang and colleagues  and the hypothesis to evaluate the "association between group A streptococcal (GAS) infections and the risks of developing tic disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disord........ Read more »
Wang, H., Lau, C., Lin, C., Chang, A., & Kao, C. (2016) Group A Streptococcal Infections Are Associated With Increased Risk of Pediatric Neuropsychiatric Disorders. The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. DOI: 10.4088/JCP.14m09728
With the sale of sex shifting online, today's pimps are avoiding police detection by using underground websites, social media, mobile apps and even by hiding their ads on mainstream sites such as Craigslist and Backpage. In a first-of-its-kind study, criminologists interviewed 71 pimps in Atlanta and Chicago to determine how their marketing decisions are influenced by police enforcement of online prostitution.
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Finn, M., & Stalans, L. (2016) How Targeted Enforcement Shapes Marketing Decisions of Pimps: Evidence of Displacement and Innovation. Victims , 1-22. DOI: 10.1080/15564886.2016.1187694
"Although some associations between ADHD [attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder] and offending may be accounted for by co-morbidity with substance use disorders, early onset of offending and repeated violent offending appear to be directly related to ADHD."That was the conclusion reached by Jan Román-Ithier and colleagues  reporting on their study designed to "examine correlates of childhood ADHD symptoms among prisoners." Based on a sample adult prison population (N=1179) where........ Read more »
Román-Ithier, J., González, R., Vélez-Pastrana, M., González-Tejera, G., & Albizu-García, C. (2016) Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder symptoms, type of offending and recidivism in a prison population: The role of substance dependence. Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health. DOI: 10.1002/cbm.2009
Aerobic exercise can significantly help people coping with the long-term mental health condition schizophrenia, according to a new study. Through combining data from 10 independent clinical trials with a total of 385 patients with schizophrenia, Joseph Firth found that around 12 weeks of aerobic exercise training can significant improve patients' brain functioning.
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Firth, J., Stubbs, B., Rosenbaum, S., Vancampfort, D., Malchow, B., Schuch, F., Elliott, R., Nuechterlein, K., & Yung, A. (2016) Aerobic Exercise Improves Cognitive Functioning in People With Schizophrenia: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Schizophrenia Bulletin. DOI: 10.1093/schbul/sbw115
Although mostly trying to avoid any politics-talk on this blog I am going to make some reference to it in this post set in the context of the Persian Gulf War otherwise known at the First Iraq War.The recent publication of the Chilcot report describing the case for the UK's involvement in the 2003 Iraq War (the second Iraq War) has further lit up an already illuminating year in British politics, by perhaps adding fuel to the notion that 'finishing the job' might have been an ........ Read more »
Johnson GJ, Slater BC, Leis LA, Rector TS, & Bach RR. (2016) Blood Biomarkers of Chronic Inflammation in Gulf War Illness. PloS one, 11(6). PMID: 27352030
Researchers have discovered that our brain actively takes sugar from the blood. Prior to this, researchers around the world had assumed that this was a purely passive process. An international team reports that transportation of sugar into the brain is regulated by so-called glial cells that react to hormones such as insulin or leptin; previously it was thought that this was only possible for neurons.
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García-Cáceres, C., Quarta, C., Varela, L., Gao, Y., Gruber, T., Legutko, B., Jastroch, M., Johansson, P., Ninkovic, J., Yi, C.... (2016) Astrocytic Insulin Signaling Couples Brain Glucose Uptake with Nutrient Availability. Cell, 166(4), 867-880. DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2016.07.028
New York Magazine has published a great article about how grad student Steven Ludeke tried to correct mistakes in the research of Pete Hatemi and Brad Verhulst. Overall, Ludeke summarises his experience as ‘not recommendable’. Back in my undergraduate years I spotted an error in an article by David DeMatteo and did little to correct it. […]... Read more »
DeMatteo, D., Heilbrun, K., & Marczyk, G. (2006) An empirical investigation of psychopathy in a noninstitutionalized and noncriminal sample. Behavioral Sciences , 24(2), 133-146. DOI: 10.1002/bsl.667
Gao, Y., & Raine, A. (2010) Successful and unsuccessful psychopaths: A neurobiological model. Behavioral Sciences . DOI: 10.1002/bsl.924
Kunert, R. (2016) Internal conceptual replications do not increase independent replication success. Psychonomic Bulletin . DOI: 10.3758/s13423-016-1030-9
Rucević S. (2010) Psychopathic personality traits and delinquent and risky sexual behaviors in Croatian sample of non-referred boys and girls. Law and human behavior, 34(5), 379-91. PMID: 19728057
A bit of a lazy post for you today with lots of quotes based on the findings reported by Ragnar Nesvåg and colleagues  asking some important questions about 'off-label' use of antipsychotics.Drawing on population-based data from Norway concerning "which substances, and for which mental disorder diagnoses, antipsychotic drugs were prescribed to 0–18-year-old boys and girls" the conclusions drawn make for some interesting reading.So: "In total, 0.18% of Norwegian children and adolescent........ Read more »
Nesvåg, R., Hartz, I., Bramness, J., Hjellvik, V., Handal, M., & Skurtveit, S. (2016) Mental disorder diagnoses among children and adolescents who use antipsychotic drugs. European Neuropsychopharmacology. DOI: 10.1016/j.euroneuro.2016.07.001
There's a reason it's called a gut feeling. The brain and the gut are connected by intricate neural networks that signal hunger and satiety, love and fear, even safety and danger. These networks employ myriad chemical signals that include dopamine, a powerful neurotransmitter most famous for its role in reward and addiction.
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Xiou Cao, & Alejandro Aballay. (2016) Neural inhibition of dopaminergic signaling enhances immunity in a cell non-autonomous manner. Current Biology. info:/http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2016.06.036
"In this nationwide sample of live births we observed no association between induction of labor and offspring ASD [autism spectrum disorder] within sibling comparison. Our findings suggest that concern for ASD should not factor into the clinical decision about whether to induce labor."So said the findings reported by Anna Sara Oberg and colleagues  supposedly providing some reassurance to mums-to-be and other groups around the likelihood of offspring autism when birth or l........ Read more »
Oberg, A., D’Onofrio, B., Rickert, M., Hernandez-Diaz, S., Ecker, J., Almqvist, C., Larsson, H., Lichtenstein, P., & Bateman, B. (2016) Association of Labor Induction With Offspring Risk of Autism Spectrum Disorders. JAMA Pediatrics. DOI: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2016.0965
If you read my blog often, it's no surprise I suffer from PTSD, depression, and anxiety issues. Maybe it's from my military service, but maybe it's my father's, or his father's, maybe it's an insidious family legacy that was just never noticed. This is because having both parents and grandparents with major depressive disorder (MDD) was associated with higher risk of MDD for grandchildren, which could help identify those who may benefit from early intervention.
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Myrna M. Weissman, PhD, Obianuju O. Berry, MD, MPH, Virginia Warner, DrPH, Marc J. Gameroff, PhD, Jamie Skipper, MS, Ardesheer Talati, PhD, Daniel J. Pilowsky, MD, MPH, & Priya Wickramaratne, PhD. (2016) A 30-Year Study of 3 Generations at High Risk and Low Risk for Depression. JAMA Psychiatry . info:/10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2016.1586
Scientists tracked down the evidence for a common statement about bite strength in dogs – and found it lacking.Have you ever read comments about the strength of a dog’s jaw when it bites? These statements are often made in relation to certain types of dog, like pit bulls. Maybe some people take it as fact. But what if it’s not true?A recent paper by Dr. Gary Patronek (Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University) et al traced citations in the literature and went back to the ori........ Read more »
Patronek, G., Bradley, J., & Cleary, D. (2016) Who is minding the bibliography? Daisy chaining, dropped leads, and other bad behavior using examples from the dog bite literature. Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, 17-19. DOI: 10.1016/j.jveb.2016.06.004
Although research stories stating a link (an association if you will) between condition A and factor X make for interesting reading, not all science is so blessed with such news-worthy findings. That's not to say that 'negative findings' are any less important than the 'hey, we found this...' studies, just that they don't perhaps tend to grab the headlines as much as those finding something.In saying all that I'm standing up for negative findings today and some rather interesting science reporte........ Read more »
Duringer J, Fombonne E, & Craig M. (2016) No Association between Mycotoxin Exposure and Autism: A Pilot Case-Control Study in School-Aged Children. Toxins, 8(7). PMID: 27447670
It's not a fad diet, it is an actual diet -- as in the way a person eats normally -- and it may do more than just help your waistline. The Mediterranean diet can improve your mind, as well your heart.
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Hardman, R., Kennedy, G., Macpherson, H., Scholey, A., & Pipingas, A. (2016) Adherence to a Mediterranean-Style Diet and Effects on Cognition in Adults: A Qualitative Evaluation and Systematic Review of Longitudinal and Prospective Trials. Frontiers in Nutrition. DOI: 10.3389/fnut.2016.00022
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