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  • March 8, 2015
  • 02:33 PM

A Study Strategy for all Occasions: Test your Memory

by Winston Sieck in Thinker Academy

You have a test coming up. You need to know the material. First, you need to know how to study for it. One way to study is to read back over your notes, textbook, and any other material. Is that really how to study? An alternative approach would be to test your memory. That could […]
Check out A Study Strategy for all Occasions: Test your Memory, an original post on Thinker Academy.
... Read more »

Carpenter, S. (2012) Testing Enhances the Transfer of Learning. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 21(5), 279-283. DOI: 10.1177/0963721412452728  

  • March 8, 2015
  • 10:05 AM

Why Is It So Hard To Reach Our Behavior Goals?

by Marie Benz in Interview with: Margaret C. Campbell, Phd | Professor | Marketing Chair, Doctoral Curriculum Program Committee 437 Leeds School of Business University of Colorado at Boulder Boulder, CO 80309-0419   Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are … Continue reading →... Read more » Interview with:, & Margaret C. Campbell, Phd | Professor | Marketing. (2015) Why Is It So Hard To Reach Our Behavior Goals?. info:/

  • March 7, 2015
  • 03:48 AM

Systemic Integral Disorder: linking autism and schizophrenia?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Martial arts gradings call for my brood today (and well they should) so I'm gonna be fairly brief and introduce the paper by Haoran George Wang and colleagues [1] for your reading pleasure today alongside the concept of 'Systemic Integral Disorder' (SID) as a potential bridge between the diagnoses of autism and schizophrenia.I'm always a bit wary of grand over-arching theories or universal conceptual 'break-throughs' when it comes to autism simply because the inevitable hype which follows s........ Read more »

  • March 6, 2015
  • 05:38 PM

Sense of Purpose in Life Reduces Cardiovascular Risk

by Marie Benz in Interview with: Randy Cohen, MD, MS, FACC Division of Cardiology Mt. Sinai St. Luke’s Hospital New York, NY MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? Dr. Cohen: Psychosocial conditions such as depression, anxiety, chronic stress and social isolation … Continue reading →... Read more » Interview with:, & Randy Cohen, MD, MS, FACC. (2015) Sense of Purpose in Life Reduces Cardiovascular Risk. info:/

  • March 6, 2015
  • 05:01 PM

People with anorexia and body dysmorphic disorder have similar brain abnormalities

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Imagine looking in the mirror and not seeing yourself. Imagine losing weight and seeing a lower number on the scale, but when looking in the mirror you are still just as fat. Suffering from anorexia or other body dysmorphic disorders live like that daily. They literally don’t see what you and I might see when we look at them. It’s not their fault and a new study suggests that people suffering from anorexia or body dysmorphic disorder have similar abnormalities in their brains that affect the........ Read more »

  • March 6, 2015
  • 10:06 AM

The Women Who Stare at Babies

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

A drooling baby face is not equally exciting to everyone around it. A new study says that young women who like the idea of motherhood get more enjoyment than their peers from staring at infants' faces. But they don't love all of those chubby mugs equally. Even more than the baby-neutral, wannabe moms are biased toward the cutest ones.

Amanda Hahn is a researcher at the University of Glasgow's "Face Research Lab," directed by psychologists Lisa DeBruine and Benedict Jones. (On their websit... Read more »

  • March 6, 2015
  • 08:55 AM

By age three, girls already show a preference for thin people

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

These days it's hard to avoid the message that thin is best. From advertising billboards to the Oscar red carpet, we are inundated with images of successful ultra-thin women.Past research has already shown that this ideal is filtering through to our children, even preschoolers. But before now, there has been little study of just how early pro-thin bias (and prejudice against fat people) appears, and how it develops with age.Jennifer Harriger tested 102 girls from the South Western US, aged betwe........ Read more »

  • March 6, 2015
  • 05:20 AM

Hypovitaminosis D is frequent in Down's syndrome

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Hypovitaminosis D is very frequent in DS [Down's syndrome] subjects, in particular in presence of obesity and autoimmune diseases."That was the conclusion reached in the study by Stefano Stagi and colleagues [1] (open-access here) based on an analysis of their small participant group diagnosed with Down's syndrome looking at vitamin D status among other things. The comment about obesity potentially exacerbating vitamin D deficiency ties in well with another paper independent........ Read more »

Stagi S, Lapi E, Romano S, Bargiacchi S, Brambilla A, Giglio S, Seminara S, & de Martino M. (2015) Determinants of vitamin d levels in children and adolescents with down syndrome. International journal of endocrinology, 896758. PMID: 25685147  

  • March 5, 2015
  • 10:11 AM

Does Thinking About God Increase Our Willingness to Make Risky Decisions?

by Jalees Rehman in Fragments of Truth

Daniella Kupor and her colleagues at Stanford University have recently published the paper "Anticipating Divine Protection? Reminders of God Can Increase Nonmoral Risk Taking" which takes a new look at the link between invoking the name of God and risky behaviors. The researchers hypothesized that reminders of God may have opposite effects on varying types of risk-taking behavior. For example, risk-taking behavior that is deemed ‘immoral' such as taking sexual risks or chea........ Read more »

  • March 5, 2015
  • 07:52 AM

The psychology of female serial killers

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

There is a mistaken cultural assumption, say Marissa Harrison and her colleagues, that women are, by their nature, incapable of being serial killers – defined here as murderers of three or more victims, spaced out with at least a week between killings.This misconception, the psychologists warn, is a "deadly mistake". They point out that one in six serial killers are female. Their crimes tend to go undetected for longer than their male counterparts, likely in part because "our culture is in den........ Read more »

Harrison, M., Murphy, E., Ho, L., Bowers, T., & Flaherty, C. (2015) Female serial killers in the United States: means, motives, and makings. The Journal of Forensic Psychiatry , 1-24. DOI: 10.1080/14789949.2015.1007516  

  • March 5, 2015
  • 06:39 AM

Autism, heritability and 'proof of principle' genomic biomarkers

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

JAMA Psychiatry published a number of interesting articles recently, some of which have grabbed media headlines. "Autism is largely down to genes, twin study suggests" went the BBC headline covering the paper by Emma Colvert and colleagues [1] who, based on an analysis of twin pairs as part of TEDS (Twins Early Development Study), concluded that: "The liability to ASD [autism spectrum disorder] and a more broadly defined high-level autism trait phenotype in this large population-based ........ Read more »

Colvert, E., Tick, B., McEwen, F., Stewart, C., Curran, S., Woodhouse, E., Gillan, N., Hallett, V., Lietz, S., Garnett, T.... (2015) Heritability of Autism Spectrum Disorder in a UK Population-Based Twin Sample. JAMA Psychiatry. DOI: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2014.3028  

  • March 5, 2015
  • 04:49 AM

Persistent hyperlactacidemia in cases of autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The paper from José Guevara-Campos and colleagues [1] (open-access can be downloaded here) is fodder for today's short post, and a topic that has not been seen on this blog for quite a while: hyperlactacidemia (elevated plasma lactate levels) and autism.Previous mentions of lactate and autism on this blog (see here and see here) were potentially pretty important; specifically, how elevated plasma lactate levels might (a) not be an unfamiliar finding for quite a few people on the autis........ Read more »

Guevara-Campos J, González-Guevara L, & Cauli O. (2015) Autism and Intellectual Disability Associated with Mitochondrial Disease and Hyperlactacidemia. International journal of molecular sciences, 16(2), 3870-3884. PMID: 25679448  

  • March 4, 2015
  • 09:54 AM

What use are flashbulb memories?

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

MJ Memorial at London's 02 Arena It could be the time you heard about the 9/11 terror attacks, or the moment you discovered that Michael Jackson had died. "Flashbulb memory" is the term psychologists use for when we remember the details of what we were doing and where we were when we heard dramatic news. What's the function of these memories, and is there any difference when the news is public or private, negative or positive?Burcu Demiray and Alexandra Freund surveyed 565 US participants o........ Read more »

  • March 4, 2015
  • 08:30 AM

Taking Care of your Pet Rabbit

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

Rabbits are the third most popular pet, but how should you look after them?A study by Nicola Rooney (University of Bristol) et al asked 1254 rabbit owners about how they housed, fed, played with and otherwise cared for their rabbit. The good news is that “many pet rabbits were found to be in good health, had compatible companions and were provided with enriched living areas.” But there were also many areas where things could be improved. The most common type of rabbit was a Lop, followe........ Read more »

Rooney NJ, Blackwell EJ, Mullan SM, Saunders R, Baker PE, Hill JM, Sealey CE, Turner MJ, & Held SD. (2014) The current state of welfare, housing and husbandry of the English pet rabbit population. BMC research notes, 942. PMID: 25532711  

  • March 4, 2015
  • 04:41 AM

Asthma and autism: a spanner in the works?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

As happens so many times in autism research, spanners are thrown in works. Take the paper from Ousseny Zerbo and colleagues [1] who concluded that: "children with autism have elevated prevalence of specific immune-related comorbidities". Nothing surprising about that finding based on the volumes of other research which seemed to have reached similar conclusions (see here).Then the spanner: "asthma was diagnosed significantly less often" in autism cases compared with asymptomatic controls. Asthma........ Read more »

Zerbo O, Leong A, Barcellos L, Bernal P, Fireman B, & Croen LA. (2015) Immune Mediated Conditions in Autism Spectrum Disorders. Brain, behavior, and immunity. PMID: 25681541  

  • March 3, 2015
  • 10:36 PM

Know your brain: Pineal gland

by neurosci in Neuroscientifically Challenged

Where is the pineal gland?

Pineal gland (in red). Image courtesy of life science databases.

The pineal gland is considered part of the epithalamus, which is one the main structures that makes up the diencephalon. The pineal gland was so named because it has a pine-cone like appearance. Unlike many structures in the brain, the pineal gland is unpaired; in other words, many brain structures like the hippocampus or amygdala are symmetrical........ Read more »

Dora Sapède,, & Elise Cau. (2013) The Pineal Gland from Development to Function. Current Topics in Developmental Biology. DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-12-416021-7.00005-5  

  • March 3, 2015
  • 12:02 PM

Visual illusions foster open-mindedness

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

From sworn witness accounts of alien visitations, to deep-rooted trust in quack medical treatments, the human trait that psychologists call "naive realism" has a lot to answer for. This is people's instinctive feeling that they perceive the world how it is, encapsulated by the saying "seeing is believing." The truth, of course, is that our every perception is our brain's best guess, built not merely with the raw material of what's out in the world, but just as much with the bricks of expectation........ Read more »

  • March 3, 2015
  • 10:44 AM

When lexical competition becomes lexical cooperation

by Dan Mirman in Minding the Brain

Lexical neighborhood effects are one of the most robust findings in spoken word recognition: words with many similar-sounding words ("neighbors") are recognized more slowly and less accurately than words with few neighbors. About 10 years ago, when I was just starting my post-doc training with Jim Magnuson, we wondered about semantic neighborhood effects. We found that things were less straightforward in semantics: near semantic neighbors slowed down visual word recognition, but distant semantic........ Read more »

  • March 3, 2015
  • 05:19 AM

Schizophrenia and the risk of fractures

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The systematic review and meta-analysis published by Brendon Stubbs and colleagues [1] provides some food for thought for healthcare providers and others looking at the wider implications following a diagnosis of schizophrenia. "People with schizophrenia are at significantly increased risk of fractures" was the conclusion reached based on the collected analysis of tens of thousands of people diagnosed with schizophrenia compared with nearly 4 million controls.My immediate thought (and tweet) whe........ Read more »

Stubbs B, Gaughran F, Mitchell AJ, De Hert M, Farmer R, Soundy A, Rosenbaum S, & Vancampfort D. (2015) Schizophrenia and the risk of fractures: a systematic review and comparative meta-analysis. General hospital psychiatry. PMID: 25666994  

  • March 2, 2015
  • 11:55 PM

Short history of iterated prisoner’s dilemma tournaments

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

Nineteen Eighty — if I had to pick the year that computational modeling invaded evolutionary game theory then that would be it. In March, 1980 — exactly thirty-five years ago — was when Robert Axelrod, a professor of political science at University of Michigan, published the results of his first tournament for iterated prisoner’s dilemma […]... Read more »

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