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  • September 4, 2014
  • 04:51 AM
  • 127 views

Epigenetic processes and autism: focusing on immune function?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Although the title of this post talks about the science of epigenetics in autism, I'm actually going to be talking about two papers today, one of which also covers exposure to prenatal immune activation and what effect that might have on epigenetic processes in the mouse brain. This may also be relevant to at least some autism..."Beneath this mask there is an idea, Mr. Creedy. And ideas are bulletproof"First off we have the paper from Nardone and colleagues [1] (open-access) which, following som........ Read more »

Nardone, S., Sharan Sams, D., Reuveni, E., Getselter, D., Oron, O., Karpuj, M., & Elliott, E. (2014) DNA methylation analysis of the autistic brain reveals multiple dysregulated biological pathways. Translational Psychiatry, 4(9). DOI: 10.1038/tp.2014.70  

  • September 4, 2014
  • 04:48 AM
  • 125 views

Want people to care about the environment? Don't overplay the power of science

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

When people are presented with a picture of rapid scientific progress, they are less likely to engage in environmentally friendly behaviours. This is the conclusion reached across a series of experiments in which students were presented with a short newspaper article on science's achievements and future prospects.The news article came in two flavours. Participants in the "progress" condition read a uniformly positive perspective, lauding medical advances and new technologies to combat climate ch........ Read more »

  • September 3, 2014
  • 02:55 PM
  • 72 views

Compulsive Poetry In Epilepsy

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

The case of a woman who began compulsively writing poems after being treated for epilepsy offers a rare glimpse into the ‘inner’ dimension of a neurological disorder. Here’s the paper in Neurocase from British neurologists Woollacott and colleagues. The story in a nutshell: the patient, age 76, had been suffering from memory lapses and episodic […]The post Compulsive Poetry In Epilepsy appeared first on Neuroskeptic.... Read more »

Woollacott IO, Fletcher PD, Massey LA, Pasupathy A, Rossor MN, Caine D, Rohrer JD, & Warren JD. (2014) Compulsive versifying after treatment of transient epileptic amnesia. Neurocase, 1-6. PMID: 25157425  

  • September 3, 2014
  • 01:22 PM
  • 139 views

Adopting Shelter Dogs: Should Fido Lie Down or Play?

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

 If you go down to the shelter today, will you bring home a dog? A new study by Alexandra Protopopova and Clive Wynne (2014) finds that interactions between dogs and potential adopters predict the likelihood of adoption.Photo: Alexey Shinkevich / ShutterstockEvery year in the USA, 3-4 million healthy, potentially-adoptable, homeless animals are euthanized (AHA and PetSmart 2012). Many would be saved if there was a better understanding of how to increase adoptions from animal shelters. Previ........ Read more »

  • September 3, 2014
  • 08:01 AM
  • 185 views

The Kanisza Triangle: You Can’t Believe Your Eyes

by Rebecca A. Zarate in United Academics

How does the brain decide what the larger, gestalt picture is? From this demonstration, Kok and De Lange concluded it is “an interactive process between higher-order visual areas and V1, wherein activity in V1 is modulated in a highly specific way according to the perceptual hypothesis provided by higher-order areas.” In essence, higher areas of the brain (top-down processes) are making gestalt type guesses, expectations, and assumptions that affect what your senses perceive... Read more »

  • September 3, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 125 views

“S/he is just not one of us…”

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Just over a year ago, The Jury Expert published an article on bias and ambiguity in times of economic stress. The article was titled Does This Recession Make Me Look Black? –and it focused on how White Americans see racially ambiguous appearing others as in-group members until times are tough and then we see them […]

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Kteily, N, Cotterill, S, Sidanius, J, Sheehy-Skeffington, J, & Bergh, R. (2014) “Not one of us”: Predictors and consequences of denying in-group characteristics to ambiguous targets. . Personality . info:/

  • September 3, 2014
  • 04:36 AM
  • 124 views

An observation-based classifier for rapid detection of autism risk

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Keep clear of the moors"Among the many researchers and research groups admired on this blog for their contribution to the world of autism research, the name Dennis Wall is fast becoming a real favourite. Aside from mention of the words 'systems biology' in his profile at Stanford University, I'm particularly interested in the way the Wall research group are looking at trying to apply machine-learning approaches to things like autism assessment.I've covered a few of their past research reports w........ Read more »

M Duda, J A Kosmicki, & D P Wall. (2014) Testing the accuracy of an observation-based classifier for rapid detection of autism risk. Translational Psychiatry. info:/10.1038/tp.2014.65

  • September 2, 2014
  • 10:41 AM
  • 150 views

Pigeon Gamblers Treat Risk Just Like Humans Do

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

If you watch poker coverage on television, you probably won’t hear the commentators compare players to pigeons. Maybe they should. The birds don’t play a great game of hold ‘em, but the way they think about risk might be strikingly similar to the way we do. Researchers discovered this by putting humans and birds through […]The post Pigeon Gamblers Treat Risk Just Like Humans Do appeared first on Inkfish.... Read more »

Ludvig EA, Madan CR, Pisklak JM, & Spetch ML. (2014) Reward context determines risky choice in pigeons and humans. Biology letters, 10(8). PMID: 25165453  

  • September 2, 2014
  • 06:46 AM
  • 167 views

How Liked And Disliked Music Influence Our Brain

by Agnese Mariotti in United Academics

What different effects does the music we like elicit in our brain compared to the one we don’t like? Scientists from Wake Forest University in North Carolina looked at our brain’s responses to music.... Read more »

  • September 2, 2014
  • 04:33 AM
  • 157 views

The epigenetics of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"These data are consistent with evidence of multisystem dysregulation in CFS [Chronic Fatigue Syndrome] and implicate the involvement of DNA modifications in CFS pathology". So said the paper by Wilfred de Vega and colleagues [1] (open-access here) which, I think, represents a bit of a first for CFS with their examination of the possible role of epigenetic modifications in relation to the condition(s) [2].Ladies first @ Wikipedia I have to say that I was really quite excited ........ Read more »

  • September 2, 2014
  • 04:23 AM
  • 108 views

On being labelled "schizophrenic", in the words of the diagnosed

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

The label "schizophrenic" is loaded with connotations. For many, its utterance provokes thoughts of madness, of violence and oddity. No wonder that clinical psychologist Lorna Howe and her colleagues found the people they interviewed - all diagnosed with the illness - had strived to avoid the label.In all, the researchers conducted in-depth interviews lasting up to 90 minutes with seven participants diagnosed with schizophrenia. There were three men, four women (average age 44), and they'd ........ Read more »

  • September 1, 2014
  • 11:46 PM
  • 128 views

Unpacking Recovery Part 4: Are We All on the Same Page?

by Andrea in Science of Eating Disorders


Another issue in defining and understanding recovery is that patients and clinicians may have different opinions about what recovery looks like and how to get there. Certainly, there is a body of literature from the critical feminist tradition in particular that explores how at times, patients can “follow the rules” of treatment systems to achieve a semblance of “recovery,” from a weight restoration and nutrition stabilization perspective, but feels nothing like a full and happy li........ Read more »

  • September 1, 2014
  • 09:24 PM
  • 162 views

The neuroscience of self-control

by neurosci in Neuroscientifically Challenged

In the 1960s, a psychologist at Stanford named Walter Mischel began a series of experiments exploring the dynamics of self-control in children. In one such experiment, Mischel gave preschoolers the choice between two outcomes, one of which was clearly preferable. For example, they were able to choose between 2 marshmallows and 1 marshmallow (the experiments became known as the Stanford marshmallow experiments for this reason).But there was a catch. The experimenter would tell the children that h........ Read more »

Inzlicht, M., Legault, L., & Teper, R. (2014) Exploring the Mechanisms of Self-Control Improvement. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 23(4), 302-307. DOI: 10.1177/0963721414534256  

  • September 1, 2014
  • 12:00 PM
  • 95 views

Generalised Anxiety Disorder: Something On Your Mind?

by Robb Hollis in Antisense Science

We can all get a little het-up about things, whether it’s something big like moving cities or something smaller like getting ready for a first date!But imagine how difficult life would be if we were to become excessively worried about even minor things?... Read more »

Katzman, M., & Tsirgielis, D. (2011) Treatment Approaches to Generalized Anxiety Disorder. International Journal of Clinical Reviews. DOI: 10.5275/ijcr.2011.08.09  

Gosselin P, & Laberge B. (2003) [Etiological factors of generalized anxiety disorder]. L'Encephale, 29(4 Pt 1), 351-61. PMID: 14615705  

  • September 1, 2014
  • 11:57 AM
  • 128 views

Students with more autistic traits make fewer altruistic choices

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Most people with autism have difficulties socialising and connecting with others. It's generally agreed that part of this has to do with an impairment in taking other people's perspective. More specifically, an emerging consensus suggests that autism is associated with having normal feelings for other people, but an impaired understanding of them. Little explored before now is how this affects the behaviour of people with autism towards others who need help.Leila Jameel and her colleagues survey........ Read more »

Jameel L, Vyas K, Bellesi G, Roberts V, & Channon S. (2014) Going 'Above and Beyond': Are Those High in Autistic Traits Less Pro-social?. Journal of autism and developmental disorders, 44(8), 1846-58. PMID: 24522968  

  • September 1, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 108 views

Simple Jury Persuasion: “The defendant is just an animal!” 

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Here’s a pretty simple way for Prosecutors to motivate jurors to lock up a Defendant and throw away the key. It’s all about language. There are words you can use to evoke a more negative (animalistic) sense of the Defendant and there are words that, while still describing egregious behavior, are more neutrally descriptive. The […]

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Vasquez, EA, Loughnan, S, Gootjes-Dreesbach, E, & Weger, U. (2014) The animal in you: Animalistic descriptions of a violent crime increase punishment of perpetrator. . Aggressive Behavior, 337-344. info:/

  • September 1, 2014
  • 03:32 AM
  • 136 views

Lithium for mood disorder symptoms in autism?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Modern classroom? @ Wikipedia The paper published by Matthew Siegel and colleagues [1] talking about some preliminary observations on the use of lithium where symptoms of mood disorder might be present in cases of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) caught my eye recently. Concluding that: "lithium may be a medication of interest for those who exhibit two or more mood disorder symptoms, particularly mania or euphoria/elevated mood" the sentiments of more research-to-do in this area presents........ Read more »

Siegel M, Beresford CA, Bunker M, Verdi M, Vishnevetsky D, Karlsson C, Teer O, Stedman A, & Smith KA. (2014) Preliminary Investigation of Lithium for Mood Disorder Symptoms in Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Journal of child and adolescent psychopharmacology. PMID: 25093602  

  • August 31, 2014
  • 11:31 PM
  • 180 views

August lives up to its definition: respected and impressive

by Cobb & Hecht in Do You Believe In Dog?

The things we noticed in and around canine science over the past two weeks, Storified in one neat location for your convenience:[View the story "Do You Believe in Dog? [16-31 August 2014]" on Storify] Further reading:Feuerbacher E.N. (2014). Shut up and pet me! Domestic dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) prefer petting to vocal praise in concurrent and single-alternative choice procedures, Behavioural Processes, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.beproc.2014.08.019 Gygax L. (2014). The A to Z of sta........ Read more »

  • August 31, 2014
  • 06:36 PM
  • 174 views

Whitman Was Not a Neuroscientist

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

Do I contradict myself?Very well then I contradict myself,(I am large, I contain multitudes.)-Walt Whitman, "Song of Myself" (from Leaves of Grass)Science is the search for objective truth based on physical laws of the universe. Scientific theories try to explain the consistent and predictable behavior of natural systems. They are generally reductionist, meaning that complex systems are reduced to simpler and more fundamental elements. The principles of physics, for instance, are expressed in th........ Read more »

  • August 30, 2014
  • 08:12 AM
  • 166 views

The Myth Of “Roid Rage”?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

Are men who inject testosterone and other anabolic steroids at risk of entering a violent “roid rage“? Many people think so. Whenever a professional athlete commits a violent crime, it’s not long before someone suggests that steroids may have been involved. The most recent example of this is the case of Jonathan “War Machine” Koppenhaver. […]The post The Myth Of “Roid Rage”? appeared first on Neuroskeptic.... Read more »

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