The great racial divide, despite all the evidence showing that racism, hate and frankly plain stupidity is alive and well, there are people who cannot accept it. This probably will not change anything for those people, but for the first time a new study shows that while suicide rates in children younger than 12 have remained steady for the past 20 years, there are significantly higher suicide rates among black children.... Read more »
Bridge, J., Asti, L., Horowitz, L., Greenhouse, J., Fontanella, C., Sheftall, A., Kelleher, K., & Campo, J. (2015) Suicide Trends Among Elementary School–Aged Children in the United States From 1993 to 2012. JAMA Pediatrics. DOI: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2015.0465
This question came up in journal club a little while ago. The hypothesis that neurons in the brain are attempting to maximize their information about the world is a powerful one. Although usually attributed to Horace Barlow, the idea arose almost … Continue reading →... Read more »
MacKay, D., & McCulloch, W. (1952) The limiting information capacity of a neuronal link. The Bulletin of Mathematical Biophysics, 14(2), 127-135. DOI: 10.1007/BF02477711
von Neumann. (1956) Probabilistic logics and the synthesis of reliable organisms from unreliable components. Automata Studies. info:/
Psychologists are taking an increasing interest in the way we all speak to ourselves in our heads. Unpleasant, uncontrollable inner voices can be a feature of mental illness, but private self-talk is a mundane part of most healthy people's consciousness.When we talk to ourselves in our heads in this way, it's common for there to be a kind of dialogue. Consider how "You" might say to yourself that you want to stop working, but then a voice in your head takes a different stance and urges you to co........ Read more »
Puchalska-Wasyl, M. (2014) Self-Talk: Conversation With Oneself? On the Types of Internal Interlocutors. The Journal of Psychology, 149(5), 443-460. DOI: 10.1080/00223980.2014.896772
"Anxiety is an unpleasant state of inner turmoil" according to one definition. In other descriptions, words such as 'worry' and 'dread' are used (see here) describing how beyond the typical feelings of apprehension about a new situation for example, anxiety can turn into something altogether more serious and life-disrupting for some.There are various types of anxiety disorder (see here) to consider, but for the purposes of this post I'm going to focus on social anxiety disorder in the context of........ Read more »
Pellecchia, M., Connell, J., Kerns, C., Xie, M., Marcus, S., & Mandell, D. (2015) Child characteristics associated with outcome for children with autism in a school-based behavioral intervention. Autism. DOI: 10.1177/1362361315577518
The Netherlands had the strongest stereotypes associating science with men more than women, according to a new Northwestern University study that included data from nearly 350,000 people in 66 nations. These stereotypes are prevalent across the world — even in nations such as Argentina and Bulgaria where women are roughly half of science majors in colleges and universities and employed researchers, according to the study, the largest ever of its kind.... Read more »
David I. Miller, Alice H. Eagly, & Marcia C. Linn. (2015) Women's Representation in Science Predicts National Gender-Science Stereotypes: Evidence From 66 Nations. Journal of Educational Psychology. info:/http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/edu0000005
The entrance to the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland. The sign "Arbeit macht Frei" means "Work liberates".Free will is a controversial topic in psychology, thanks in part to studies suggesting that the brain activity associated with making decisions comes before the conscious feeling of making a choice. Other research claims that when people are exposed to arguments against free will, this makes them more prone to cheat. While intriguing, such insights are arguably somewhat removed from ev........ Read more »
Davidov, J., & Eisikovits, Z. (2015) Free will in total institutions: The case of choice inside Nazi death camps. Consciousness and Cognition, 87-97. DOI: 10.1016/j.concog.2015.03.018
There was an op-ed in the New York Times the other week that detailed some of the economic inequality in the US. It used academic data to discuss how poorly Americans estimate the level of social mobility. It’s certainly worth reading, but … Continue reading →... Read more »
by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room
We’ve written a lot about tattoos here and this writeup is going to be a little different from most of our posts. Rather than spending time on the research findings, we want to cite some of the more unusual and surprising findings the author reviews as a prelude to her results. So, to be brief, […]
Do you see that juror’s tattoo?
The new bumper sticker? Tattoos in the courtroom
“Glasses can’t hide neck tattoos”
... Read more »
Foltz, KA. (2015) The Millennial’s perception of tattoos: Self expression or business faux pas? . College Student Journal. info:/
"Higher maternal circulating levels of 25(OH)D3 in pregnancy are associated with lower risk of developing ADHD [attention deficit hyperactivity disorder]-like symptoms in childhood."Eva Morales and colleagues  came to that conclusion in their study - prospective study - looking at how estimated pregnancy vitamin D levels might have impacted on teacher-assessed ADHD-like symptoms in offspring when aged between 4 and 5 years old. Based on participants involved in the INMA project look........ Read more »
Morales E, Julvez J, Torrent M, Ballester F, Rodríguez-Bernal CL, Andiarena A, Vegas O, Castilla AM, Rodriguez-Dehli C, Tardón A.... (2015) Vitamin D in Pregnancy and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder-like Symptoms in Childhood. Epidemiology (Cambridge, Mass.). PMID: 25867115
Many of the world’s largest herbivores — including several species of elephants, rhinoceroses, hippopotamuses and gorillas — are in danger of becoming extinct. And if current trends continue, the loss of these animals would have drastic implications not only for the species themselves, but also for other animals and the environments and ecosystems in which they live, according to a new report by an international team of scientists.... Read more »
That gut feeling many workers, laborers and other underlings have about their CEOs is spot on, according to three recent studies which all suggest that CEO greed is bad for business.But how do you define greed? Are compassionate CEOs better for business? How do you know if the leader is doing more harm than good? And can anybody rein in the I-Me-Mine type leader anyway?... Read more »
Haynes, K., Hitt, M., & Campbell, J. (2015) The Dark Side of Leadership: Towards a Mid-Range Theory of Hubris and Greed in Entrepreneurial Contexts. Journal of Management Studies, 52(4), 479-505. DOI: 10.1111/joms.12127
Haynes, K., Josefy, M., & Hitt, M. (2015) Tipping Point: Managers' Self-Interest, Greed, and Altruism. Journal of Leadership . DOI: 10.1177/1548051815585171
Takacs Haynes, K., Campbell, J., & Hitt, M. (2014) When More Is Not Enough: Executive Greed and Its Influence on Shareholder Wealth. Journal of Management. DOI: 10.1177/0149206314535444
A brief post for you today to bring to your attention the paper by Eirini Flouri and colleagues  who suggested that although socio-economic disadvantage (SED) was probably not a risk factor for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) when comorbid, "it was associated with elevated emotional problems among children with ASD + ADHD."Based on data derived from "209 children with ASD who took part in the UK's Millennium Cohort Study", an initia........ Read more »
Flouri E, Midouhas E, Charman T, & Sarmadi Z. (2015) Poverty and the Growth of Emotional and Conduct Problems in Children with Autism With and Without Comorbid ADHD. Journal of autism and developmental disorders. PMID: 25911306
Sure, there are faces only a mother could love. And then there are faces no mother loves, because they belong to animals that fend for themselves from birth. The babies we find cutest—no matter what species they are—may have evolved to look that way because they need a parent's attention. That means even a crocodile can tug on our heartstrings.
Konrad Lorenz, an Austrian zoologist, proposed in the mid-20th century that human infants are cute for a reason. He said evolution has created ad........ Read more »
Kruger, D. (2015) Non-Mammalian Infants Requiring Parental Care Elicit Greater Human Caregiving Reactions Than Superprecocial Infants Do. Ethology. DOI: 10.1111/eth.12391
If you want a dynamic workforce, seek not the young, but the young at heart. That’s the message of a new study that surveyed over 15,000 employees from 107 companies to determine how subjective age influences workplace performance.Past research has made the case that employee age is important to workplace performance, with younger workers more likely to make breakthrough contributions – but the evidence is patchy, suggesting there is more to the story. The proposed cause for the youth advant........ Read more »
Kunze, F., Raes, A., & Bruch, H. (2015) It Matters How Old You Feel: Antecedents and Performance Consequences of Average Relative Subjective Age in Organizations. Journal of Applied Psychology. DOI: 10.1037/a0038909
In December of last year, we wrote about investigative case files in Shreveport, Louisiana. One of the findings in the analysis of those investigative files was this: Overall, say the researchers, cases with White female victims resulted in the highest number of case file pages (i.e., the most investigative work) and the most severe sentences. […]
Are you a murdered white female? Here is some small comfort!
Does your capital client “look deathworthy”?
Just because I t........ Read more »
Girgenti, A. (2015) The Intersection of Victim Race and Gender: The "Black Male Victim Effect" and the Death Penalty. Race and Justice. DOI: 10.1177/2153368715570060
Back in June 2012, I posted an entry on this blog titled: 'Autism's environmental exposome: fish and pharmaceuticals' covering some work by Michael Thomas & Rebecca Klaper  (open-access). In it, authors suggested that unmetabolized psychoactive pharmaceuticals (UPPs) - residues from certain medicines - present in drinking (or in the case of this work, swimming) water may "induce autism-like gene expression patterns in fish."The UPPs in question were "FLX [fluoxetine], VNX [........ Read more »
Gaurav Kaushik, Michael A Thomas, & Ken A Aho. (2015) Psychoactive pharmaceuticals as environmental contaminants may disrupt highly inter-connected nodes in an Autism-associated protein-protein interaction network. BMC Bioinformatics. info:other/
Just like biological organisms, music evolves - and where there is evolution, there is science. Researchers analyzing pop music charts have identified the greatest musical revolution in recent times. What do you think it was? Elvis, British Invasion, Disco, Synth-pop, Heavy Metal, Hip-hop, Grunge, or Punk?... Read more »
Salimpoor, V., Benovoy, M., Larcher, K., Dagher, A., & Zatorre, R. (2011) Anatomically distinct dopamine release during anticipation and experience of peak emotion to music. Nature Neuroscience, 14(2), 257-262. DOI: 10.1038/nn.2726
Pablo Picasso (1905) @ WikipediaIMFAR (International Meeting For Autism Research) 2015 kicks off in earnest today (see here) so in order to keep tabs on the various discussions over the web (#IMFAR2015) alongside the usual workload I'm offering a relatively short blog entry.The paper served up today is by Maria Ines Pinto-Sánchez and colleagues  who reported that: "The prevalence of both anxiety and depression is influenced by gender, presence of organic diseases, and FGIDs [f........ Read more »
Pinto-Sanchez, M., Ford, A., Avila, C., Verdu, E., Collins, S., Morgan, D., Moayyedi, P., & Bercik, P. (2015) Anxiety and Depression Increase in a Stepwise Manner in Parallel With Multiple FGIDs and Symptom Severity and Frequency. The American Journal of Gastroenterology. DOI: 10.1038/ajg.2015.128
People can get awfully attached to their preferred brands. Some tattoo logos on their skin, others camp out overnight to buy the latest products. Late in life, people often still favour and trust brands from their youth. But is brand obsession and attachment really the same as the love we feel for people?The question is pertinent for researchers in the field of consumer psychology where there's a tendency to apply theories and measures from the study of interpersonal love to the study of brand a........ Read more »
Langner, T., Schmidt, J., & Fischer, A. (2015) Is It Really Love? A Comparative Investigation of the Emotional Nature of Brand and Interpersonal Love. Psychology , 32(6), 624-634. DOI: 10.1002/mar.20805
Orbitofrontal cortex (in green)
Where is the orbitofrontal cortex?The orbitofrontal cortex is the area of the prefrontal cortex that sits just above the orbits (also known as the eye sockets). It is thus found at the very front of the brain, and has extensive connections with sensory areas as well as limbic system structures involved in emotion and memory.What is the orbitofrontal cortex and what does it do?The orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) is a poorly underst........ Read more »
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