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  • November 6, 2014
  • 07:13 AM
  • 117 views

Countries with more gender equality score more Olympic medals - among women and men

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

There are huge benefits to be gained when women and men are given equal opportunities. For example, companies with at least one woman on their board are more successful. In countries with less stereotyped views about women's abilities, girls tend to perform better at science. Now a team led by Jennifer Berdahl has extended this line of research to the realm of sport. In countries with greater gender equality, they find, both women and men tend to perform better at the Olympics.The researchers lo........ Read more »

  • November 6, 2014
  • 04:30 AM
  • 100 views

Neurotensin, autism and tail-chasing Bull Terrriers?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I'm not kidding.The paper by Tsilioni and colleagues [1] (open-access) did indeed look at serum levels of neurotensin and corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) in a cohort of children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) alongside levels in tail-chasing Bull Terrier dogs as compared to unaffected [non tail-chasing] Bull Terriers (BTs) and Labrador Retriever dogs. You may well smirk or even laugh at such research but, as per the recent [preliminary] broccoli chemical - autis........ Read more »

  • November 6, 2014
  • 04:25 AM
  • 146 views

Memory training boosts IQ

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

Is the IQ set in stone once we hit adulthood? ‘Yes it is’ used to be the received wisdom. A new meta-analysis challenges this view and gives hope to all of us who feel that mother nature should have endowed us with more IQ points. But is the training worth it? Intelligence increases in adults […]... Read more »

  • November 5, 2014
  • 12:34 PM
  • 137 views

What is the most instantly recognisable song?

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

Everyone knows a hook when they hear one, but scientists don’t know why. By playing the Hooked on Music game you are exploring the science of songs and helping us to unlock what makes music catchy.

Last weekend the preliminary outcome of the online game was announced in Manchester, UK at the MOSI, answering the question: What is the most instantly recognisable song? Interestingly, numerous media started to report on this. A small media hype?... Read more »

J.A. Burgoyne, D. Bountouridis, J. van Balen, & H. Honing. (2013) Hooked: A Game for Discovering What Makes Music Catchy. Proceedings of the 14th International Society for Music Information Retrieval Conference , 245-250. info:/

  • November 5, 2014
  • 12:04 PM
  • 92 views

Where do people look? Where there’s information

by neuroecology in Neuroecology

1. BusinessInsider has a great collection of pictures tracking where people actually look when they see an image. (Big takeaway: men love to look at other people’s groins.) 2. Watch the video above: people generally look at the face of the … Continue reading →... Read more »

Najemnik, J., & Geisler, W. (2005) Optimal eye movement strategies in visual search. Nature, 434(7031), 387-391. DOI: 10.1038/nature03390  

Gallup AC, Hale JJ, Sumpter DJ, Garnier S, Kacelnik A, Krebs JR, & Couzin ID. (2012) Visual attention and the acquisition of information in human crowds. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 109(19), 7245-50. PMID: 22529369  

Watson KK, & Platt ML. (2012) Social signals in primate orbitofrontal cortex. Current biology : CB, 22(23), 2268-73. PMID: 23122847  

  • November 5, 2014
  • 08:30 AM
  • 126 views

How Many Dogs is Enough for Canine Science?

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

And does it matter which dogs they are?Photo: Julia Remezova / ShuterstockThe number of dogs that take part in each research study is variable. Often, the sample size is small, because of the difficulty of recruiting dogs and their owners. And while scientists know how many are needed for statistical analysis, there are other things to take into account too.For example, breed may or may not be relevant. If only ten dogs take part in a study and they are all Australian Shepherds, the result........ Read more »

Berns, G., Brooks, A., & Spivak, M. (2012) Functional MRI in Awake Unrestrained Dogs. SSRN Electronic Journal. DOI: 10.2139/ssrn.2047085  

Lofgren, S., Wiener, P., Blott, S., Sanchez-Molano, E., Woolliams, J., Clements, D., & Haskell, M. (2014) Management and personality in Labrador Retriever dogs. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 44-53. DOI: 10.1016/j.applanim.2014.04.006  

Savvides, N. (2013) Living with dogs: Alternative animal practices in Bangkok, Thailand. Animal Studies Journal, 2(2), 28-50. info:/

Westgarth, C., Christley, R., Pinchbeck, G., Gaskell, R., Dawson, S., & Bradshaw, J. (2010) Dog behaviour on walks and the effect of use of the leash. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 125(1-2), 38-46. DOI: 10.1016/j.applanim.2010.03.007  

  • November 5, 2014
  • 08:00 AM
  • 131 views

Doing More With Less

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

Animal-like protists are similar to animal cells, but they do many things in their single cell that we have a hard time competing with. New research shows that they may be useful in medicine, as well as lethal in some cases. N. fowleri is a brain eating amoeba, but calcium tests of foraminifera may be helpful in bone grafts and repairing skull fractures.... Read more »

Sifuentes LY, Choate BL, Gerba CP, & Bright KR. (2014) The occurrence of Naegleria fowleri in recreational waters in Arizona. Journal of environmental science and health. Part A, Toxic/hazardous substances , 49(11), 1322-30. PMID: 24967566  

  • November 5, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 96 views

Simple Jury Persuasion: The “not in my town!” effect

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

A couple of years ago we were working for the Plaintiff on pretrial research for a case against a large national healthcare corporation. The Plaintiff had been injured quite dramatically due to what she alleged was the Defendant’s lack of care (i.e., negligence) in selling her what company executives knew to be a pharmaceutical product […]

Related posts:
Simple Jury Persuasion: The ‘Scott Peterson Effect’—Displayed remorse and conviction
Simple Jury Persuasion: The innuendo effec........ Read more »

  • November 5, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 118 views

You've heard of "Owls" and "Larks", now sleep scientists propose two more chronotypes

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

For many years psychologists have divided people into two types based on their sleeping habits. There are Larks who rise early, feel sprightly in the morning, and retire to bed early; and Owls, who do the opposite, preferring to get up late and who come alive in the evening.Have you ever thought that you don't fit either pattern; that you're neither a morning nor evening person? Even in good health, maybe you feel sluggish most of the time, or conversely, perhaps you feel high energy in the morn........ Read more »

  • November 5, 2014
  • 04:39 AM
  • 114 views

(Partly) explaining the increase in the prevalence of autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Changes in reporting practices can account for most (60%) of the increase in the observed prevalence of ASDs [autism spectrum disorders] in children born from 1980 through 1991 in Denmark."Prince of Denmark @ Wikipedia That was the headline conclusion reported by Stefan Nygaard Hansen and colleagues [1] based on an analysis of births in Denmark between 1st January 1980 and 31st December 1991 (N=677,915) followed up until 31st December 2011 (or "until ASD diagnosis, deat........ Read more »

  • November 4, 2014
  • 02:28 PM
  • 103 views

How many smells can a smelly person smell? 1 trillion or 10?

by neuroecology in Neuroecology

Earlier this year, a paper in Science attempted to answer the question: how many smells can we actually smell? At least one trillion, they claimed. Recently, Markus Meister posted a paper on arxiv which made the bold claim that we can … Continue reading →... Read more »

Bushdid, C., Magnasco, M., Vosshall, L., & Keller, A. (2014) Humans Can Discriminate More than 1 Trillion Olfactory Stimuli. Science, 343(6177), 1370-1372. DOI: 10.1126/science.1249168  

Meister M. (2014) Can Humans Really Discriminate 1 Trillion Odors?. arXiv. info:/

  • November 4, 2014
  • 06:35 AM
  • 122 views

Does dreaming of exam failure affect your real-life chances of success?

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Why do we dream? It's still a scientific mystery. The "Threat Simulation Theory" proposes that we dream as a way to simulate real-life threats and prepare ourselves for dealing with them. "This simulation in an almost-real experiential world would train the brain to perceive dangers and rapidly face them within the safe condition of sleeping," write the authors of a new paper that's put the theory to the test.Isabelle Arnulf and her colleagues reasoned that if dreams help simulate future threats........ Read more »

Arnulf, I., Grosliere, L., Le Corvec, T., Golmard, J., Lascols, O., & Duguet, A. (2014) Will students pass a competitive exam that they failed in their dreams?. Consciousness and Cognition, 36-47. DOI: 10.1016/j.concog.2014.06.010  

  • November 4, 2014
  • 05:01 AM
  • 121 views

Producers and consumers of autism research: never the twain shall meet?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I was interested to read the paper by Elizabeth Pellicano and colleagues [1] (open-access) investigating "the views of community involvement in autism research both from the perspectives of autism researchers and of community members, including autistic adults, family members and practitioners". Quite a few results are reported including the idea that researchers "were skeptical about the possibilities of dramatically increasing community engagement, while community members themselves spoke abou........ Read more »

  • November 3, 2014
  • 09:48 PM
  • 122 views

Babies can identify the angry person

by Usman Paracha in SayPeople

Main Point:

Babies, even 15-months-old, can identify the anger of adults. Interestingly, they have the ability to change their behavior in response to anger.

Published in:

Cognitive Development

Study Further:

Psychologists have found that babies not only learn from their own social experiences but also from looking at social interactions of other people. This shows that babies have a good level of emotional intelligence that could be more than we think. They start learning about s........ Read more »

  • November 3, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 111 views

Do you smell red or blue? 

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

This post might well fall into the category of “the route to tenure-track publication credits is not always the high road”. We discard lots of dicey research reports (such as this one) because they add nothing to our goal of improving litigation advocacy. But this one was so weird we found it amusing. Enjoy. But […]

Related posts:
“Unpleasant body odor” and people’s desire to help you
Excuse me potential juror: Is your brain red or blue?
Things You Should (Maybe) Know…
........ Read more »

McDermott, R., Tingley, D., & Hatemi, P. (2014) Assortative Mating on Ideology Could Operate Through Olfactory Cues. American Journal of Political Science, 58(4), 997-1005. DOI: 10.1111/ajps.12133  

  • November 3, 2014
  • 05:04 AM
  • 96 views

What can bereavement cards tell us about cultural differences in the expression of sympathy?

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Sympathy towards the suffering is culture-dependent. People from "simpatico" cultures such as Brazil or Costa Rica are more likely to help people in need, as are people from economically poorer nations compared to wealthier counterparts. Now new research explores differences in how sympathy is expressed within two Western countries. Americans encourage sufferers to look for the light at the end of the tunnel, the study finds, while Germans are more comfortable gazing at its dark walls.Birgit Koo........ Read more »

  • November 3, 2014
  • 04:13 AM
  • 152 views

Probiotics to counter heavy metal toxicity?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"In summary, this work has demonstrated the potential value of long-term probiotic-based interventions to counter mercury and arsenic exposure in vulnerable populations, particularly in pregnant women".Sounds like an '80s man to me...That was one of the primary conclusions reported by Jordan Bisanz and colleagues [1] (open-access) examining "at-risk populations of pregnant women and in children in Mwanza, Tanzania". The idea being that alongside the use of metal chelating medicines such as ........ Read more »

Jordan E. Bisanz, Megan K. Enos, Joseph R. Mwanga, John Changalucha, Jeremy P. Burton, Gregory B. Gloor, & Gregor Reid. (2014) Randomized Open-Label Pilot Study of the Influence of Probiotics and the Gut Microbiome on Toxic Metal Levels in Tanzanian Pregnant Women and School Children. mBio. info:/10.1128/mBio.01580-14

  • November 3, 2014
  • 02:53 AM
  • 165 views

Cannabis Use and Psychosis: The Still Difficult Question of Causality

by Scott McGreal in Eye on Psych

Adolescent cannabis use has been linked to risk of psychosis in a number of studies. However, the question of whether cannabis use actually causes some people to become psychotic is a difficult one to answer and the evidence remains inconclusive. Furthermore, long-term studies on cannabis use have generally not considered that personality characteristics that have been linked to mental illness might also prompt a person’s decision to use drugs such as cannabis.... Read more »

McLaren JA, Silins E, Hutchinson D, Mattick RP, & Hall W. (2010) Assessing evidence for a causal link between cannabis and psychosis: a review of cohort studies. The International journal on drug policy, 21(1), 10-9. PMID: 19783132  

  • November 2, 2014
  • 08:27 PM
  • 142 views

Decision Making - Monkey See, Monkey Do (But Not Like a Human)

by Mark Rubin in The University of Newcastle's School of Psychology Newsline

A great deal is known about how we make simple decisions, right down to the way neurons in our brains connect to translate the things we sense into the responses we make. Some of the most important neural studies of decision-making have used monkeys as an analogue for humans. The broader scope of methodology which can be used with primates has provided information far beyond that obtainable from human experimentation. However, conclusions based on animal experiments may not always translate to h........ Read more »

Cassey, P., Heathcote, A., & Brown, S. (2014) Brain and Behavior in Decision-Making. PLoS Computational Biology, 10(7), 1-7. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1003700  

  • November 2, 2014
  • 02:11 PM
  • 161 views

Boosting Crop Yields via Genetics

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Genetic engineering techniques offers many different promises, some of which will obviously come sooner than others. One of those promises was a possible end to famine, while most famine in the world today is in developing countries, that could spread as population increases. To that end scientists have announced a new way to dramatically increase crop yields by improving upon Mother Nature's offerings. The team has discovered a set of gene variations that can boost fruit production in the tomat........ Read more »

Z. Lippman et al. (2014) Optimization of crop productivity in tomato using induced mutations in the florigen pathway. Nature Genetics. info:/10.1038/ng.3131

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