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  • February 11, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 127 views

There is a “naive faith in the trustworthiness of brain imaging data”

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

We’ve seen the claims that people don’t find brain scans as alluring as they used to, but here is a study that says, “not so fast!”. It’s an oddly intriguing study involving not only invoking pretty pictures of brain function but also political affiliation and how that factors in to what one chooses to believe. […]

Related posts:
Excuse me potential juror: Is your brain red or blue?
“This county is about 65% Republican, 25% Democrat and 10% Independent.”
fMRIs and Persuasi........ Read more »

  • February 11, 2015
  • 06:01 AM
  • 59 views

How women become "super-mothers" after giving birth through IVF

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Millions of women around the world have given birth to children with the help of IVF and related medical procedures. Many of them will have lived through difficult times, first as they struggled to conceive without help, and then as they rode the journey of hope and uncertainty brought by medical intervention.Psychologists have begun to explore how these experiences influence women's feelings about becoming a mother, and the way they relate to their children. In the latest contribution to the fi........ Read more »

Mohammadi, N., Shamshiri, M., Mohammadpour, A., Vehviläinen-Julkunen, K., Abbasi, M., & Sadeghi, T. (2014) ‘Super-mothers’: the meaning of mothering after assisted reproductive technology. Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology, 33(1), 42-53. DOI: 10.1080/02646838.2014.970152  

  • February 11, 2015
  • 05:22 AM
  • 152 views

Like buses. Vitamin D and autism again.

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I don't know if everyone will have heard the term 'like buses' to infer that you seem to spend ages waiting for something (like a bus) and then two or more turn up at once. So it is with research, and the continuing interest that autism research seems to have with the sunshine vitamin/hormone that is vitamin D.Following on from my recent discussions on the paper by Fernell and colleagues [1] (see here) talking about early low vitamin D potentially being 'connected' to cases of autism or autism s........ Read more »

  • February 10, 2015
  • 11:55 PM
  • 192 views

False memories and journalism

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

We like to think of ourselves as a collection of our memories, and of each memory as a snapshot of an event in our lives. Sure, we all know that our minds aren’t as sturdy as our computer’s hard-drive, so these snapshots decay over time, especially the boring ones — that’s why most of us […]... Read more »

Loftus, E.F. (2003) Make-believe memories. The American Psychologist, 58(11), 867-73. PMID: 14609374  

  • February 10, 2015
  • 10:00 PM
  • 166 views

Intuition and Domain Knowledge

by Joshua Fisher in Text Savvy

Can you guess what the graphs below show? I'll give you a couple of hints: (1) each graph measures performance on a different task, (2) one pair of bars in each graph—left or right—represents participants who used their intuition on the task, while the other pair of bars represents folks who used an analytical approach, and (3) one shading represents participants with low domain knowledge while the other represents participants with high domain knowledge (related to the actual t........ Read more »

  • February 10, 2015
  • 04:09 PM
  • 148 views

New name: Systemic Exertion Intolerance Disease?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The name is: Systematic Exertion Intolerance Disease (SEID).A very quick post to direct you to the public release of the findings from the US Institute of Medicine (IoM) looking at the name and current criteria used to diagnose Chronic Fatigue Syndrome / Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) (see here). The proposed diagnostic criteria for CFS/ME, sorry SEID can be viewed here.Some of the background to these findings can be seen here and some of the media about the new IoM recommendations can ........ Read more »

  • February 10, 2015
  • 11:17 AM
  • 124 views

By helping other people, you'll find it easier to accept the help you need

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Receiving help can sting. Admitting that others can do what you can’t and feeling indebted to them can lead to a sense of dependence and incompetence, and even resentment towards the very person who helped you. Luckily, Katherina Alvarez and Esther van Leeuwen have published some helpful research on one way to take the sting away.Their study asked student participants to complete a series of tricky maths puzzles. If a puzzle was stumping them, assistance was available in the form of help cards........ Read more »

  • February 10, 2015
  • 09:02 AM
  • 161 views

Moral Time: Does Our Internal Clock Influence Moral Judgments?

by Jalees Rehman in Fragments of Truth

Does morality depend on the time of the day? The study "The Morning Morality Effect: The Influence of Time of Day on Unethical Behavior" published in October of 2013 by Maryam Kouchaki and Isaac Smith suggested that people are more honest in the mornings, and that their ability to resist the temptation of lying and cheating wears off as the day progresses. In a series of experiments, Kouchaki and Smith found that moral awareness and self-control in their study subjects decreased in the........ Read more »

  • February 10, 2015
  • 04:53 AM
  • 121 views

Increased risk of chronic kidney disease in schizophrenia

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"After adjusting for demographic characteristics, select comorbid medical disorders and NSAIDs [non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs] usage, the current results reveal that patients with schizophrenia have an increased risk of nearly 40% (HR=1.36; 95% CI 1.13 to 1.63; p<0.001) of developing CKD [chronic kidney disease] within a 3-year follow-up period after their schizophrenia diagnosis."That was the rather surprising finding reported by Nian-Sheng Tzeng and colleagues........ Read more »

  • February 9, 2015
  • 04:34 PM
  • 156 views

Help on the horizon for treatment resistant depression

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Depression is like a kick while you’re already down. Sometimes there is no real reason for it, sometimes it is triggered by some serious life issues, but clinical depression always has very real neurological roots. Unfortunately, while we know that certain areas of the brain are smaller in a depressed person, we don’t know why or what effect it has on a person. Worse, SSRI’s the “gold standard” for depression can have no — or worse ill — effects on the person taking the drugs.... Read more »

Benjamin D. Sachs, Jason R. Ni, & Marc G. Caron. (2015) Brain 5-HT deficiency increases stress vulnerability and impairs antidepressant responses following psychosocial stress. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. info:/10.1073/pnas.1416866112

  • February 9, 2015
  • 03:26 PM
  • 139 views

Study Demonstrates External Control of Two Thoughts In The Stream of Consciousness

by Marie Benz in MedicalResearch.com

MedicalResearch.com Medical Research Interviews and News
MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ezequiel Morsella, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Neuroscience Department of Psychology San Francisco State University Assistant Adjunct Professor Department of Neurology University of California, San Francisco Boardmember, Scientific Advisory Board Institute of Cognitive Neurology (INECO), Buenos Aires Medical … Continue reading →
The post Study Demonstrates External Control of Two Thoughts I........ Read more »

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:, Ezequiel Morsella, Ph.D., & Associate Professor of Neuroscience Department of Psychology. (2015) Study Demonstrates External Control of Two Thoughts In The Stream of Consciousness. MedicalResearch.com. info:/

  • February 9, 2015
  • 02:28 PM
  • 195 views

Is tanning addictive?

by neurosci in Neuroscientifically Challenged

In Walden, his masterpiece about noncomformity and simple living, Henry David Thoreau wrote, "Every generation laughs at the old fashions, but follows religiously the new." And while Thoreau was specifically talking about society's capriciousness in embracing new styles of clothing, his quote applies just as well to our preference for one shade of skin color over another. For, while many now consider a medium-dark tan to be both healthier-looking and more attractive than pale skin, only 100 year........ Read more »

Petit, A., Karila, L., Chalmin, F., & Lejoyeux, M. (2014) Phenomenology and psychopathology of excessive indoor tanning. International Journal of Dermatology, 53(6), 664-672. DOI: 10.1111/ijd.12336  

  • February 9, 2015
  • 09:08 AM
  • 141 views

Resisting Valentine's Day

by Jalees Rehman in Fragments of Truth

To celebrate Valentine's Day (as a geeky scientist), I decided to search the "Web of Science" database for published articles with the phrase "Valentine's Day" in the title.The article with the most citations was "Market-resistance and Valentine's Day events" published in the Journal of Business Research in 2009, by the authors Angeline Close and George Zinkhan. The title sounded rather interesting so I decided to read it. The authors reported the res........ Read more »

Close, A., & Zinkhan, G. (2009) Market-resistance and Valentine's Day events. Journal of Business Research, 62(2), 200-207. DOI: 10.1016/j.jbusres.2008.01.027  

  • February 9, 2015
  • 08:00 AM
  • 52 views

Feeding Mental Health Through Nutritional Interventions

by amikulak in Daily Observations

Major depression affects many millions of people worldwide and is one of the leading causes of disability, according to data from the World Health Organization. Diagnosing and treating depression is, […]... Read more »

  • February 9, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 98 views

Male juror prospect? Loads of selfies on social media? Hmmm. 

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Last month we were asked to provide internet research on a very large jury panel, and to complete it overnight. What that means is we want to find out as much as we can about the attitudes, values and behavior of those in our venire panel. We do that background research on the internet and […]

Related posts:
Social media has not killed “the spiral of silence”
Narcissism and Social Media Use
A scientific explanation for why we are drawn to narcissists & psychopaths


... Read more »

  • February 9, 2015
  • 05:06 AM
  • 106 views

Want to learn a new skill more effectively? Stop thinking about yourself!

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

The human mind can be its own worst enemy. When we want to do well in sports, we often intensify attentional focus on bodily movements that are best off left on automatic pilot. The result, even for elite athletes, can be a dire instance of choking. The muscles stiffen or shake. Fluid, expert movement is lost, and the learning of new skills is impaired.A common assumption is that an internal focus is harmful to performance because it directs unhelpful conscious attention to bodily control. But w........ Read more »

McKay, B., Wulf, G., Lewthwaite, R., & Nordin, A. (2015) The self: Your own worst enemy? A test of the self-invoking trigger hypothesis. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 1-10. DOI: 10.1080/17470218.2014.997765  

  • February 9, 2015
  • 04:47 AM
  • 158 views

What have we learned about autism?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Today's post is a bit of mash-up based on the review paper by Jason Chen and colleagues [1] and a news entry from Autism Speaks titled: '10 Years of Progress: What We've Learned About Autism' (see here). Cumulatively, these two commentaries try to paint a picture of where we are, knowledge-wise, when it comes to the label of autism or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and highlight the many gaps that remain in what we 'think' we know about autism.The Chen paper approaches the 'emerging picture of a........ Read more »

Chen JA, Peñagarikano O, Belgard TG, Swarup V, & Geschwind DH. (2015) The Emerging Picture of Autism Spectrum Disorder: Genetics and Pathology. Annual review of pathology, 111-144. PMID: 25621659  

  • February 7, 2015
  • 03:37 PM
  • 150 views

Anorexia, it’s in your genes

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

No one likes to talk about eating disorders — specifically anorexia nervosa — despite the increased prevalence in both men and women. Like depression people tend to think that you can “just get over it” or some other nonsense. However new research is shedding light on the truth behind anorexia, much like with depression, there is a biological component involved. Simply put, it gets written into your genes.... Read more »

Howard Steiger Et al. (2015) DNA methylation in individuals with Anorexia Nervosa and in matched normal-eater controls: A genome-wide study. International Journal of Eating Disorders. info:/10.1002/eat.19378

  • February 7, 2015
  • 04:00 AM
  • 140 views

Over a third of US children will have a behavioural / emotional disorder by 16 years of age

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I had to do a second-take when it came to the clinical report from Carol Weitzman and colleagues [1] (open-access here) talking about promoting 'optimal development'  and "the need to increase behavioral screening" when it comes to the children and youth of the United States.The title of this post kinda said it all derived from the sentence: "Between 37% and 39% of children will have a behavioral or emotional disorder diagnosed by 16 years of age, regardless of geographic location in t........ Read more »

Carol Weitzman, Lynn Wegner, & et al. (2015) Promoting Optimal Development: Screening for Behavioral and Emotional Problems. Pediatrics. info:/10.1542/peds.2014-3716

  • February 7, 2015
  • 02:00 AM
  • 181 views

Rogers’ paradox: Why cheap social learning doesn’t raise mean fitness

by Marcel Montrey in Evolutionary Games Group

It’s Friday night, you’re lonely, you’re desperate and you’ve decided to do the obvious—browse Amazon for a good book to read—when, suddenly, you’re told that you’ve won one for free. Companionship at last! But, as you look at the terms and conditions, you realize that you’re only given a few options to choose from. You […]... Read more »

Rogers, A. (1988) Does biology constrain culture?. American Anthropologist, 819-831. DOI: 10.1525/aa.1988.90.4.02a00030  

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