Don't look now, but this spineless sea creature may be able to count better than your toddler.
Cuttlefish need to be savvy if they want to eat. They're always on the lookout for shrimp, fish or crabs. When a cuttlefish spots a potential victim, it shoots out two specialized, sucker-bearing tentacles and nabs it. Since these hunters have to make constant judgments about which prey are worth targeting, it would make sense for them to have advanced cognitive skills—say, the ability to cou........ Read more »
Yang TI, & Chiao CC. (2016) Number sense and state-dependent valuation in cuttlefish. Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society, 283(1837). PMID: 27559063
"Overall, OO [optimal outcome] individuals are not showing BAP [broader autism phenotype] characteristics, but may be subject to other mild ADHD [attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder]-like characteristics."So said the findings reported by Joyce Suh and colleagues  who continue a research voyage based on the examination of a group of children who were very much once on the autism spectrum but no longer meet the diagnostic criteria for the label: those with so-........ Read more »
Suh J, Orinstein A, Barton M, Chen CM, Eigsti IM, Ramirez-Esparza N, & Fein D. (2016) Ratings of Broader Autism Phenotype and Personality Traits in Optimal Outcomes from Autism Spectrum Disorder. Journal of autism and developmental disorders. PMID: 27538964
Ever think it's silly that people don't recognize Clark Kent is actually Superman? Well as it turns out, glasses are actually a fairly good way to disguise yourself. In fact, researchers have shown that small alterations to a person's appearance, such as wearing glasses, can significantly hinder positive facial identification.
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Kramer, R., & Ritchie, K. (2016) Disguising Superman: How Glasses Affect Unfamiliar Face Matching. Applied Cognitive Psychology. DOI: 10.1002/acp.3261
An fMRI study shows different dogs have different preferences for food and social interaction.A recent fMRI study investigates individual differences in dogs’ preferences for food and social interaction with their owner. The results have been widely – and erroneously – reported as showing that dogs prefer praise to food. In fact, the results paint a far more interesting picture of how brain activity predicts canine choice.I think most people feel subjectively that their dog loves them. The........ Read more »
Cook PF, Prichard A, Spivak M, & Berns GS. (2016) Awake Canine fMRI Predicts Dogs' Preference for Praise Versus Food. Social cognitive and affective neuroscience. PMID: 27521302
"The choice of the victim was in line with emerging evidence indicating that children with disabilities in general and with autism in particular are frequent victims of filicide-suicide."The case report presented by Declercq and colleagues  reflects yet another uncomfortable topic discussed on this blog and how the 'deliberate act of murdering ones own child' is something unfortunately not unfamiliar when it comes to the label of autism. Declercq et al provide quite a raw account of........ Read more »
Declercq F, Meganck R, & Audenaert K. (2016) A Case Study of Paternal Filicide-Suicide: Personality Disorder, Motives, and Victim Choice. The Journal of psychology, 1-13. PMID: 27537187
'Scientists study link between unhealthy pregnancy diet and ADHD' went one media headline covering the paper by Jolien Rijlaarsdam and colleagues .The name of the research game was again to draw on data derived from ALSPAC (Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children) (yes, again) to look-see "the degree to which prenatal high-fat and -sugar diet might relate to ADHD [attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder] symptoms via IGF2 DNA methylation for early-onset persistent (EOP........ Read more »
Rijlaarsdam J, Cecil CA, Walton E, Mesirow MS, Relton CL, Gaunt TR, McArdle W, & Barker ED. (2016) Prenatal unhealthy diet, insulin-like growth factor 2 gene (IGF2) methylation, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder symptoms in youth with early-onset conduct problems. Journal of child psychology and psychiatry, and allied disciplines. PMID: 27535767
In the previous post in this miniseries I’ve used the example of Brexit referendum to explore how allowing lies to be systematically upheld in public discourse is poisonous for democracy itself. The bleak conclusion was that people voted Brexit on…Read more ›... Read more »
Aktipis, C.A., & Kurzban, R.O. (2004) Is Homo Economicus extinct? Vernon Smith, Daniel Kahneman and the evolutionary perspective. Advances in Austrian Economics, 135-153. info:/
Neblo, M. (2003) Choices, Values, and Frames, edited by Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky, New York: Cambridge University Press. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 22(3), 491-493. DOI: 10.1002/pam.10145
Former elite athletes with osteoarthritis are more likely to have symptoms of common mental disorders (distress, sleep problems, adverse alcohol use) compared to those without osteoarthritis.... Read more »
Schuring N, Aoki H, Gray J, Kerkhoffs GM, Lambert M, & Gouttebarge V. (2016) Osteoarthritis is associated with symptoms of common mental disorders among former elite athletes. Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy. PMID: 27488101
I was rather interested to read the findings reported by Richelle Mychasiuk & Jong Rho  suggesting that the expression of certain genes might be affected by adoption of a ketogenic diet in one of the more familiar mouse models of autism (the BTBRT+Tf/J 'dangermouse').The ketogenic diet (KD), consisting of "a high-fat low-carbohydrate anti-seizure and neuroprotective diet" has been of some interest to autism research over the years (see here). Its potential usefulness has also been explore........ Read more »
Mychasiuk R, & Rho JM. (2016) Genetic modifications associated with ketogenic diet treatment in the BTBRT Tf/J mouse model of autism spectrum disorder. Autism research : official journal of the International Society for Autism Research. PMID: 27529337
Activity of the medial prefrontal cortex after psycho-spiritual healing (Baldwin et al., 2016).Everything we do and feel and experience changes the brain. Psychotherapy, juggling, taxi driving, poverty, reading, drugs, art, music, anger, love. If it didn't we'd be dead. Why should prayer be any different? The trick is to accurately determine the structural or physiological changes that are unique to a specific activity. And when assessing the effectiveness of clinical interventions, how the chan........ Read more »
Baldwin, P., Velasquez, K., Koenig, H., Salas, R., & Boelens, P. (2016) Neural correlates of healing prayers, depression and traumatic memories: A preliminary study. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 123-129. DOI: 10.1016/j.ctim.2016.07.002
Interfering with your vision makes it harder to describe what you know about the appearance of even common objects, according to researchers. This connection between visual knowledge and visual perception challenges widely held theories that visual information about the world -- that alligators are green and have long tails, for example -- is stored abstractly, as a list of facts, divorced from the visual experience of seeing an alligator.... Read more »
Edmiston, P., & Lupyan, G. (2015) Visual interference disrupts visual and only visual knowledge. Journal of Vision, 15(12), 10. DOI: 10.1167/15.12.10
Today I'm directing your reading attention to a really, really interesting paper by Lynn Waterhouse and colleagues  (open-access) whose review findings suggest that: "the ASD [autism spectrum disorder] diagnosis lacks biological and construct validity."The paper is a bit of a long read but most definitely worth it as the quite complicated subject of exactly what goal the label of autism actually serves is discussed. The results of various questions posed by the authors suggest: "No ........ Read more »
Here’s another collection of tidbits that did not stimulate full posts but that we found interesting enough to share with you so that you can investigate them more for yourself if you so desire. While this post contains more serious information than we usually share in these sorts of posts, it is useful information to […]
Myth-busting: ”Today’s adults have a shorter attention span than a goldfish”
So is that juvenile offender a “wayward youth” or a “superpr........ Read more »
Gibson, R., Chennu, S., Fernández-Espejo, D., Naci, L., Owen, A., & Cruse, D. (2016) Somatosensory attention identifies both overt and covert awareness in disorders of consciousness. Annals of Neurology. DOI: 10.1002/ana.24726
Mathematics is an important part of modern society. Science and engineering are hard to imagine without mathematics, and even simple things such as calculating the cost of groceries involve mathematics. So, it's not strange to stop and wonder what mathematics is. That turns out to be a very difficult question.... Read more »
Stefan Buijsman. (2016) Philosophy of Mathematics for the Masses: Extending the scope of the philosophy of mathematics. Stockholm: Department of Philosophy, Stockholm University . info:other/978-91-7649-351-9
"Higher AQ [Autism Spectrum Quotient] scores were associated with higher scores of loneliness, social anxiety, depression, and anxiety, as well as with lower scores of quality of life (QoL)."Those were some of the key findings reported by Phil Reed and colleagues  who used the very popular 'are you autistic?' AQ screening tool to look at the presence of autistic traits "along with depression, anxiety, loneliness, quality of life, and social anxiety" in a University student cohort (N........ Read more »
Reed, P., Giles, A., Gavin, M., Carter, N., & Osborne, L. (2016) Loneliness and Social Anxiety Mediate the Relationship between Autism Quotient and Quality of Life in University Students. Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities. DOI: 10.1007/s10882-016-9504-2
Physical activity can help reduce cardiovascular disease and premature mortality in people with psychological problems. However, there is limited data on exercise in people with serious mental disorders, especially from low- and middle-income countries. This study explored whether complying with the World Health Organization recommendations of 150 minutes of moderate-vigorous exercise per week is related to psychotic symptoms or the diagnosis of a psychosis.
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Brendon Stubbs, Ai Koyanagi, Felipe Schuch, Joseph Firth, Simon Rosenbaum, Fiona Gaughran, James Mugisha, & Davy Vancampfort. (2016) Physical Activity Levels and Psychosis: A Mediation Analysis of Factors Influencing Physical Activity Target Achievement Among 204 186 People Across 46 Low- and Middle-Income Countries. Schizophrenia bulletin . info:/10.1093/schbul/sbw111
"An increased risk of death by suicide was found among individuals hospitalized with infection in prospective and dose-response relationships. These findings indicate that infections may have a relevant role in the pathophysiological mechanisms of suicidal behavior."Some intriguing data has been recently reported by Helene Lund-Sørensen and colleagues  (open-access) examining the possibility that certain types of infection (or perhaps the biological response to infection) might inc........ Read more »
Lund-Sørensen H, Benros ME, Madsen T, Sørensen HJ, Eaton WW, Postolache TT, Nordentoft M, & Erlangsen A. (2016) A Nationwide Cohort Study of the Association Between Hospitalization With Infection and Risk of Death by Suicide. JAMA psychiatry. PMID: 27532502
Why do some people want to live a very long time, while others would prefer to die relatively young? In a latest study, a team of researchers investigated how long young and middle-aged adults in the United States say they want to live in relation to a number of personal characteristics. The results showed that more than one out of six people would prefer to die younger than age 80, before reaching average life expectancy.
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BOWEN, C., & SKIRBEKK, V. (2016) Old age expectations are related to how long people want to live. Ageing and Society, 1-26. DOI: 10.1017/S0144686X16000726
by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room
We wrote about this scale in our last post when researchers (trying to convince the reader there is such a thing as a good psychopath for you to hire) used it in a study of German adults. The PPI-R is apparently a measure of psychopathy that is able to “detect relatively mild levels of psychopathy […]
The Trust in Science and Scientists Inventory Scale
Measuring beliefs in the paranormal: The Australian Sheep Goat Scale
The Dirty Dozen Scale
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Lilienfeld, S. O., & Widows, M. R. (2005) Psychological Assessment Inventory–Revised (PPI-R). Lutz, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources. info:/
ALSPAC - the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children - continues to give in research terms as today I approach the findings reported by Evie Stergiakouli and colleagues . They observed that: "Children exposed to acetaminophen [paracetamol] prenatally are at increased risk of multiple behavioral difficulties, and the associations do not appear to be explained by unmeasured behavioral or social factors linked to acetaminophen use insofar as they are not observed........ Read more »
Stergiakouli, E., Thapar, A., & Davey Smith, G. (2016) Association of Acetaminophen Use During Pregnancy With Behavioral Problems in Childhood. JAMA Pediatrics. DOI: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2016.1775
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