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  • June 5, 2014
  • 09:00 AM
  • 55 views

“Out, Damned Spot!”: Obsessive-Like Behavior Linked to Specific Type of Guilt

by amikulak in Daily Observations

If you’ve ever watched the T.V. show Monk, you know that obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is characterized by a fixation on certain thoughts and a need to engage in repetitive behaviors, […]... Read more »

  • June 5, 2014
  • 09:00 AM
  • 147 views

Why you should never take notes on a laptop

by Katharine Blackwell in Contemplating Cognition

I may teach in the 21st century, but I like my classroom technology-free: no smartphones, and not even any laptops or iPads for students to take notes on. Naturally, some 21st century students object to these luddite tendencies. And if I could just get them to listen to the great new research on laptops, perhaps I could persuade them that leaving the laptops in the dorm will be better in the long run.... Read more »

  • June 5, 2014
  • 03:11 AM
  • 158 views

Corticosteroid therapy in regressive autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I note that the recent paper by Frank Duffy and colleagues [1] (open-access here) seems to be receiving quite a bit of interest, and their suggestion that corticosteroid therapy might be something to look at more scientifically when it comes to some cases of regressive autism. The fact that the Duffy paper also got it's own commentary [2] made me think that this is something I should be discussing on this blog.So, a few details about the Duffy paper bearing in mind it is open-access:Well, f........ Read more »

  • June 5, 2014
  • 12:30 AM
  • 83 views

Mindfulness For Kids – Is It A Good Idea?

by Pranita Sohony in Workout Trends

“Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, How I wonder what you are? Up above the diamond….the world…sky….” [Long Pause] [Sobbing] [Curtains close] And your child comes running to you only to hug you and cry incessantly, leaving you disappointed. Are you sorry and lost? Would this have made you happy…? Alternate scenario: “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, How […]
The post Mindfulness For Kids – Is It A Good Idea? appeared first on .
... Read more »

  • June 4, 2014
  • 12:19 PM
  • 111 views

Narcissists can be taught to empathise

by Christian Jarrett in BPS Research Digest

Narcissists are apparently growing in number. These are people who put their own interests first, constantly showing off, and taking credit where it's not deserved. You might know someone like this - perhaps your boss, or even your romantic partner. If so, a new study offers hope. Apparently narcissists can be taught to be more empathic.Erica Hepper and her colleagues first confirmed that narcissistic traits go hand in hand with low empathy. They surveyed nearly 300 people online, most........ Read more »

Hepper, E., Hart, C., & Sedikides, C. (2014) Moving Narcissus: Can Narcissists Be Empathic?. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. DOI: 10.1177/0146167214535812  

  • June 4, 2014
  • 11:39 AM
  • 137 views

What is the HPA axis?

by neurosci in Neuroscientifically Challenged

Where is it?











HPA axis activation, proceeding from the hypothalamus to the pituitary gland to the adrenal glands.






The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, or HPA axis as it is commonly called, describes the interaction between the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and adrenal glands. The hypothalamus and pituitary gland are located just above the brainstem, while the adrenal glands are found on top of the kidneys.What is it and what does it........ Read more »

Chrousos, G. (2009) Stress and disorders of the stress system. Nature Reviews Endocrinology, 5(7), 374-381. DOI: 10.1038/nrendo.2009.106  

  • June 4, 2014
  • 11:36 AM
  • 130 views

DEPRESSION- AN ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM?

by Lucy Gee in Antisense Science

Depression has always been a bit of a taboo in society. It’s a condition that to some implies mental weakness or a failure to ‘cope’ with the trials of life, to others it represents a daily struggle. So, is this social branding fair? Are these people victims of their own failure or victims of a debilitating illness? With depression affecting 1 in 10 people at some point in their lives this is something of a phenomena. Instances of depression have recently been correlated to the........ Read more »

  • June 4, 2014
  • 11:16 AM
  • 175 views

Is widespread sexism making hurricanes more deadly than himmicanes? | @BobOHara & @GrrlScientist

by GrrlScientist in GrrlScientist

We take a closer look at a recent paper that claims that hurricanes given female-sounding names cause more damage than "himmicanes" (hurricanes given male-sounding names) due to public underestimation of risk associated with name gender.... Read more »

Jung Kiju, Shavitt Sharon, Viswanathan Madhu, & Hilbe Joseph M. (2014) Female hurricanes are deadlier than male hurricanes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1402786111  

  • June 4, 2014
  • 09:45 AM
  • 163 views

Spirituality May Help Buffer New Mothers Against Postpartum Depression

by amikulak in Daily Observations

While the birth of a new baby is usually an exciting time for parents, for half a million American mothers each year, childbirth is followed by the onset of postpartum […]... Read more »

Cheadle, A., Dunkel Schetter, C., Gaines Lanzi, R., Reed Vance, M., Sahadeo, L., Shalowitz, M., , ., Vance, M., Minkovitz, C., O'Campo, P.... (2014) Spiritual and Religious Resources in African American Women: Protection From Depressive Symptoms After Childbirth. Clinical Psychological Science. DOI: 10.1177/2167702614531581  

  • June 4, 2014
  • 08:45 AM
  • 175 views

How Does Your Facebook News Feed Affect You?

by Jalees Rehman in The Next Regeneration

Researchers at Facebook, Inc., the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and Cornell University teamed up to study whether manipulating the News Feeds of Facebook users would affect the emotional content of the users' status updates or postings. They recently published their findings in the PNAS paper "Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks" and suggest that they have found evidence of an "emotional contagion", i.e. t........ Read more »

  • June 4, 2014
  • 08:30 AM
  • 138 views

Is Cruelty to Animals in Childhood a Predictor of Later Criminal Behaviour?

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

Does cruelty to animals as a child predict interpersonal violence in adulthood?Photo: Rita Kochmarjova / ShutterstockNew research by Kelly Knight, Colter Ellis and Sara Simmons (Sam Houston State University) investigates how many children are cruel to animals and whether it persists through generations. The study is especially valuable because it uses a sample that is representative of the US population and tracks families over the years.There are two main theories about childhood cruelty to ani........ Read more »

  • June 4, 2014
  • 08:04 AM
  • 100 views

The world shifts to the right when you're sleepy

by Christian Jarrett in BPS Research Digest

When you're drowsy, new research shows that what's happening on your left often sounds to you as though it's happening on your right. Perhaps that's why it can be so tricky to land a punch on the alarm clock in the morning!Corinne Bareham and her team asked 26 healthy volunteers (17 women; all right-handers) to relax in a comfortable reclining chair, to close their eyes, and listen to a series of tones. The tones occurred either on the left or right side of space, some further from the centre th........ Read more »

  • June 4, 2014
  • 06:39 AM
  • 133 views

Using speech fillers such as "I mean" and "you know" is a sign of conscientiousness

by Christian Jarrett in BPS Research Digest

Few people are capable of speaking spontaneously without, er, you know, pausing and using filler words every now and again. However, we all differ in the extent to which we do this, and now a study by US researchers has examined how use of filler words varies according to age, gender and personality.Charlyn Laserna and her colleagues used recordings of everyday speech collected from hundreds of participants in earlier studies performed between 2003 and 2013. They specifically looked at utterance........ Read more »

  • June 4, 2014
  • 04:27 AM
  • 127 views

Vitamin D and depression / depressive symptoms

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I promise you that I'm not getting too obsessed with the sunshine vitamin/hormone that is vitamin D despite chatter about it appearing with growing frequency on this blog. It's just that nearly every day now one or more of my research alerts seems to turn up some new study suggesting that we really should be looking at vitamin D with greater assiduity with regards to a whole range of issues. By saying that I would also reiterate the timeless classic: correlation does not equal causation jus........ Read more »

Anglin RE, Samaan Z, Walter SD, & McDonald SD. (2013) Vitamin D deficiency and depression in adults: systematic review and meta-analysis. The British journal of psychiatry : the journal of mental science, 100-7. PMID: 23377209  

  • June 3, 2014
  • 07:37 AM
  • 150 views

Sharing Our Sorrow Via Facebook

by Jalees Rehman in Fragments of Truth

Geteiltes Leid ist halbes Leid ("Shared sorrow is half the sorrow") is a popular German proverb which refers to the importance of sharing bad news and troubling experiences with others. The therapeutic process of sharing takes on many different forms: we may take comfort in the fact that others have experienced similar forms of sorrow, we are often reassured by the empathy and encouragement we receive from friends, and even the mere process of narrating the details of what is troubling........ Read more »

  • June 3, 2014
  • 07:03 AM
  • 112 views

Elevated amniotic fluid steroid hormones and autism risk

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"These results provide the first direct evidence of elevated fetal steroidogenic activity in autism". Such were the sentiments of the paper by Simon Baron-Cohen and colleagues [1] (open-access) looking at amniotic fluid samples for the presence of various sex steroid levels: Progesterone, 17α-Hydroxy-progesterone, Androstenedione, Testosterone and Cortisol. Most compounds are found in the Δ4 pathway. Suffice to say that the media kinda liked the press release for this study (see here) and the ........ Read more »

Baron-Cohen, S., Auyeung, B., Nørgaard-Pedersen, B., Hougaard, D., Abdallah, M., Melgaard, L., Cohen, A., Chakrabarti, B., Ruta, L., & Lombardo, M. (2014) Elevated fetal steroidogenic activity in autism. Molecular Psychiatry. DOI: 10.1038/mp.2014.48  

  • June 2, 2014
  • 11:48 PM
  • 114 views

Blasphemous art and attitudes towards censorship: Examining an apparent double standard

by Scott McGreal in Eye on Psych

Blasphemous artworks highlight the tension between support for free speech and the desire not to offend. A recent study on attitudes towards censorship highlights a double standard among non-religious people when it comes to offending Muslims versus Christians, that may be indicative of a wider social problem in current Western society. ... Read more »

  • June 2, 2014
  • 09:00 AM
  • 65 views

Meditation alters your brain's default settings

by Katharine Blackwell in Contemplating Cognition

One of the more recent discoveries of neuroscience is that when you stare into space, gather wool, daydream, or otherwise let your mind wander, the “default-mode network” of your brain starts to rev up into high gear. This network has quite naturally captured the fancy of meditation researchers: meditation is a practice of being mindfully present, with little if any mind wandering. So if meditators succeed in suppressing mind wandering, what does that mean they have done to the defau........ Read more »

Brewer JA, Worhunsky PD, Gray JR, Tang YY, Weber J, & Kober H. (2011) Meditation experience is associated with differences in default mode network activity and connectivity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 108(50), 20254-9. PMID: 22114193  

  • June 2, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 85 views

You wanted to be a leader! Act like one! (or else)

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

We’ve written about women and leadership before. While some new research shows female leaders handle stress more effectively than male leaders, we’re not going to write about that one today. Instead, here is a report on a study showing some other good news: women are no longer punished for behaving assertively in a leadership role! […]

Related posts:
This is what a good leader does not look like
Everyday racism at work: Hope for African American Women?
“It was ‘a man’s work’........ Read more »

  • June 2, 2014
  • 04:55 AM
  • 123 views

What should autism research focus upon?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The title of this post comes from the paper by Elizabeth Pellicano and colleagues [1] who sought views from various stakeholders on "whether the pattern of current UK autism research funding maps on to the concerns of the autism community". This peer-reviewed article I think also ties into the 'Future Made Together' document (download here) produced by the authors.S..T...RRRIIIKKKEEE... @ Wikipedia Because this is supposed to be a blog about autism research, I thought it important to p........ Read more »

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