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  • September 8, 2014
  • 04:22 AM
  • 132 views

Homocysteine, MTHFR and schizophrenia studied AND meta-analysed

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Our study suggests that increased plasma total homocysteine levels may be associated with an increased risk of schizophrenia". Further: "The meta-analysis of the Japanese genetic association studies demonstrated a significant association between the MTHFR C677T polymorphism and schizophrenia".MTHFR (again!) @ Paul WhiteleySo said the results of the study and meta-analysis carried out by Akira Nishi and colleagues [1] (open-access) looking at the 'big H' alongside everyone's genetic Scrabbl........ Read more »

  • September 6, 2014
  • 12:10 PM
  • 149 views

Women and sexual assault: Unfortunate news…

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

I was debating about this new study. On one hand it’s important to share all sorts of different findings. On the other hand, my faith in humanity was more than just a little shaken, but there is no point on sweeping it under the rug. So disturbing news for women on college campuses, a new study indicates that female college students who are victims of sexual assault are at a much higher risk of becoming victims again. Please hold your disgust till the end…... Read more »

  • September 6, 2014
  • 06:26 AM
  • 189 views

“Cyranoids”: Stanley Milgram’s Creepiest Experiment

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

Imagine that someone else was controlling your actions. You would still look like you, and sound like you, but you wouldn’t be the one deciding what you did and what you said. Now consider: would anyone notice the difference? In this nightmarish scenario, you would be a “cyranoid” – in the terminology introduced by psychologist […]The post “Cyranoids”: Stanley Milgram’s Creepiest Experiment appeared first on Neuroskeptic.... Read more »

  • September 5, 2014
  • 08:03 AM
  • 85 views

People's belief in free will is lower when they need to urinate or desire sex

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Embodied or grounded cognition is the name for the idea that physical states affect our thoughts and emotions. It's a controversial field, but typical findings include people's judgments of social closeness being shaped by room temperature, and their attentional style by the clothes they wear. A new paper takes things further, asking whether bodily states affect people's philosophical beliefs, specifically their belief in the notion of free will, defined and measured here in the lay sense o........ Read more »

  • September 5, 2014
  • 05:04 AM
  • 154 views

Extremes of a self-limiting diet in autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I'll draw your attention to three papers in today's post which represent the extremes of where self-imposed dietary restrictions can potentially lead in relation to the autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Issues with diet - outside of use of diet as an intervention measure - are something which have been talked about quite a bit in the autism research literature (see here)."You look like a gangster"The first paper by Baird & Ravindranath [1] describes a case report of an 11-year old with ........ Read more »

Baird JS, & Ravindranath TM. (2014) Vitamin B Deficiencies in a Critically Ill Autistic Child With a Restricted Diet. Nutrition in clinical practice : official publication of the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition. PMID: 25112945  

Gulko E, Collins LK, Murphy RC, Thornhill BA, & Taragin BH. (2014) MRI findings in pediatric patients with scurvy. Skeletal radiology. PMID: 25109378  

  • September 5, 2014
  • 12:34 AM
  • 111 views

Brief Mindfulness Meditation Primer for Lawyers

by Dan DeFoe in Psycholawlogy

Can lawyers learn about its distinct components, and practice a process which involves interrelated components of attention regulation, body awareness, emotion regulation, and change in perspective on the self, and reach higher levels of self-compassion and well-being?  Stated another way, the question asks  “Can lawyers learn and practice mindfulness meditation?”  The short answer is [...]
The post Brief Mindfulness Meditation Primer for Lawyers appeared first on Psycholawlogy.
... Read more »

  • September 4, 2014
  • 01:34 PM
  • 159 views

Total Recall: How the Brain Processes Color and Motion

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Despite the barrage of visual information the brain receives almost constantly, it retains a remarkable ability to focus on important and relevant items. This fall, for example, NFL quarterbacks will be rewarded handsomely for how well they can focus their attention on color and motion – being able to quickly judge the jersey colors of teammates and opponents and where they’re headed is a valuable skill. How the brain accomplishes this feat, however, has been poorly understood.... Read more »

Guilhem Ibosemail, & David J. Freedman. (2014) Dynamic Integration of Task-Relevant Visual Features in Posterior Parietal Cortex. Neuron. info:/http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2014.08.020

  • September 4, 2014
  • 09:42 AM
  • 92 views

Drop the strut: Both men and women find humility more attractive

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

By guest blogger Temma Ehrenfeld.There’s been much debate about the “cheerleader effect,” the idea that men are wired to attract desirable mates by showing off in silly ways. The effect may not even exist, but if it does, they might try humility instead. New research suggests that both men and women prefer humble to less humble partners.The studies are part of a push to define humility, a concept associated less with science than Christianity, as in Matthew 11:29 where Jesus says “I am........ Read more »

  • 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
  • 74 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
  • 143 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
  • 187 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
  • 128 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 […]

Related posts:
Excuse me while I slip into something more Caucasian
Is there a relationship between age and ethnic prejudice?
Nice guys really do finish last! (Or at ........ Read more »

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
  • 126 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
  • 155 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
  • 171 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
  • 159 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
  • 110 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
  • 131 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 »

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