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  • June 10, 2015
  • 04:40 AM
  • 173 views

Physical exercise for ADHD meta-analysed

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

In today's short blog post I'd like to bring to your attention the findings reported by Cerrillo-Urbina and colleagues [1] who, upon gathering the available peer-reviewed evidence, suggested that: "short-term aerobic exercise, based on several aerobic intervention formats, seems to be effective for mitigating symptoms such as attention, hyperactivity, impulsivity, anxiety, executive function and social disorders in children with ADHD [attention deficit hyperactivity disorder]."Reviewing and........ Read more »

  • June 9, 2015
  • 04:55 AM
  • 147 views

Familial autoimmune disease and offspring autism risk

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"An overall increased risk of autism in children with family history of ADs [autoimmune diseases] was identified."That was the bottom line of the "systematic review and meta-analysis" carried out by Shunquan Wu and colleagues [1] summarising the "current evidence on the relationship between family history of autoimmune diseases (ADs) and risk of autism in children." Autoimmune disorders by the way, are the various conditions that come about when the body fails to recognise self as........ Read more »

  • June 8, 2015
  • 09:51 PM
  • 184 views

The health effects of homophobia

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Homophobia, since people are (finally) stigmatizing racism, it’s just another excuse to be able to treat people who are slightly different like they are garbage. To that end, I have bad news for gay and bisexual men living in European countries with strong attitudes and policies against homosexuality are far less likely to use HIV-prevention services, test for HIV, and discuss their sexuality with health providers, according to research led by Yale School of Public Health (YSPH).... Read more »

  • June 8, 2015
  • 12:08 PM
  • 127 views

Stroke prevention with the Mediterranean diet

by William Lu in The Quantum Lobe Chronicles

Fad diets abound, but none appear to be as positively impactful to health as the Mediterranean diet. Even the likes of Jennifer Garner, Elizbath Hurley, and Catherine Zeta-Jones adhere it, and they are all very attractive. Although it won't help increase attractiveness, it may contribute to preventing strokes. The diet consists of eating primarily plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts. The health benefits of eating such foods were confirmed in an epidemiol........ Read more »

  • June 8, 2015
  • 04:53 AM
  • 141 views

Transdermal nicotine for aggression comorbid to autism?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The paper from Gerrit Van Schalkwyk and colleagues [1] caught my eye recently and a potentially interesting case report on the use of "transdermal nicotine as an adjunctive medication to treat aggression in a hospitalized adolescent with ASD [autism spectrum disorder]."Transdermal, by the way, refers to passage through the various and complicated layers of the skin, and reflects an important way of getting medicines into the body other than via the more traditional oral route. I'm more than........ Read more »

  • June 8, 2015
  • 04:48 AM
  • 99 views

Baboons like to hang out with other baboons who are similar

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

By guest blogger Mary BatesThe saying "birds of a feather flock together" might apply to non-human primates, as well. A new study shows chacma baboons within a troop spend more of their time with baboons that they resemble, choosing to associate with those of a similar age, status, and even personality. This is known as homophily, or "love of the same."The researchers, led by the University of Cambridge and the Zoological Society of London, discuss these findings in light of the evolution of cul........ Read more »

  • June 7, 2015
  • 09:05 AM
  • 175 views

Therapeutic horseback riding for autism?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"This is the first large-scale randomized, controlled trial demonstrating efficacy of THR [therapeutic horseback riding] for the ASD [autism spectrum disorder] population, and findings are consistent with previous equine-assisted intervention studies."So said the results of the study by Robin Gabriels and colleagues [1] who, under randomised controlled trial conditions, set about "evaluating the effectiveness of therapeutic horseback riding (THR) on self-regulation, soci........ Read more »

  • June 5, 2015
  • 04:09 PM
  • 214 views

Why good people do bad things

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Honest behavior is much like sticking to a diet. When facing an ethical dilemma, being aware of the temptation before it happens and thinking about the long-term consequences of misbehaving could help more people do the right thing, according to a new study. This is the first study to test how the two separate factors of identifying an ethical conflict and preemptively exercising self-control interact in shaping ethical decision-making.... Read more »

  • June 5, 2015
  • 02:34 PM
  • 174 views

Dietary supplementation and autism (and the horror of a GFCF diet)

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

As perhaps expected, the results reported by Patricia Stewart and colleagues [1] suggesting that: "Few children with ASD [autism spectrum disorder] need most of the micronutrients they are commonly given as supplements, which often leads to excess intake" has generated some interesting media headlines given their mention of the words "gluten/casein-free diet (GFCF)".A case in point is an article titled: 'Autism Diets' Do Not Provide Children With Adequate Supplementation, Can Lead To O........ Read more »

Patricia A. Stewart, Susan L. Hyman, Brianne L. Schmidt, Eric A. Macklin, Ann Reynolds, Cynthia R. Johnson, S. Jill James, & Patricia Manning-Courtney. (2015) Dietary Supplementation in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Common, Insufficient, and Excessive. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. info:/

  • June 5, 2015
  • 12:10 PM
  • 233 views

Researchers say: Don't worry what other people think, going out on your own can be fun

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

In our part of the world, more people are living on their own than ever before. People also say they have fewer close friends. Yet it's still rare, especially at the weekend, to see someone eating alone in a busy restaurant, or rolling up solo to the cinema to watch the latest blockbuster.According to a pair of US researchers, Rebecca Ratner and Rebecca Hamilton, this reluctance to partake in leisure activities on our own means many of us are missing out unnecessarily – not just on the fun exp........ Read more »

RK Ratner, & Rebecca Hamilton. (2015) Inhibited from bowling alone. Journal of Consumer Research . info:/

  • June 5, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 269 views

The Cognitive Reflection Test (CRT) Scale

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

We just posted on reflective versus non-reflective thinkers and this is the scale with which researchers identified who was reflective (initial intuition tempered by analysis) and who was not reflective (unquestioning reliance on intuition). And this is the three-item scale they used to group participants. Yes. That is not a typo. Three questions. You will […]

Related posts:
The Dirty Dozen Scale 
The Disgust Scale: How have we missed this all this time?
“Electronic records don........ Read more »

Frederick, S. (2005) Cognitive Reflection and Decision Making. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 19(4), 25-42. DOI: 10.1257/089533005775196732  

  • June 5, 2015
  • 04:56 AM
  • 186 views

Enterovirus encephalitis increases risk of ADHD

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Patients with EV [enterovirus] encephalitis have an increased risk of developing ADHD [attention deficit hyperactivity disorder]."So said the findings from Chou and colleagues [1] (open-access here) based on data derived from everyone's favourite 'big data' database - the National Health Insurance Research Database of Taiwan (see here for one of many examples of the database being put to good research use)."The study population consisted of 2646 children diagnosed with ADHD and 2........ Read more »

  • June 4, 2015
  • 02:15 PM
  • 182 views

Eating the placenta: trendy but no proven health benefits and unknown risks

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Celebrities such as Kourtney Kardashian blogged and raved about the benefits of their personal placenta ‘vitamins’ and spiked women’s interest in the practice of consuming their placentas after childbirth.


But a new Northwestern Medicine review of 10 current published research studies on placentophagy did not turn up any human or animal data to support the common claims that eating the placenta — either raw, cooked or encapsulated — offers protection against po........ Read more »

  • June 4, 2015
  • 11:31 AM
  • 203 views

The scaremongers were wrong: Metalheads from the 80s are thriving

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

If you sell your soul to heavy metal do you pay for it later in life? During the 1980s, waves of adolescents found solace in this most notorious of extreme music subcultures, alarming their parents as well as authority figures including the US surgeon general and the campaigner and Second Lady Tipper Gore. But a new survey suggests that in 2015, the teenage metalheads from the 80s are doing alright.This matters because early research seemed to back the prevailing panic: metalheads were fatalisti........ Read more »

  • June 4, 2015
  • 05:15 AM
  • 195 views

Clinical course of schizophrenia and Toxoplasma gondii infection

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Regular readers of this blog probably know that I'm quite interested in the idea that the parasitic organism known as Toxoplasma gondii might have some rather interesting 'connections' to the presentation of [some] schizophrenia (see here). That the cat that might be sat in front of you as you read this post might have the ability to 'share' such a marvellous organism such as T. gondii as per the 'feline zoonosis theory of schizophrenia' (see here) is another aspect that has been also been ........ Read more »

  • June 3, 2015
  • 10:03 PM
  • 169 views

Deep brain stimulation in Parkinson's disease: Uncovering the mechanism

by neurosci in Neuroscientifically Challenged

Parkinson's disease (PD) belongs to a group of diseases that are referred to as neurodegenerative because they involve the degeneration and death of neurons. In PD a group of structures called the basal ganglia, which play a role in facilitating movement, are predominantly affected. The substantia nigra, one of the basal ganglia nuclei as well as one of the most dopamine-rich areas in the brain, is severely impacted; by the end stages of the disease patients have often lost 50-70% of the dopamin........ Read more »

de Hemptinne, C., Swann, N., Ostrem, J., Ryapolova-Webb, E., San Luciano, M., Galifianakis, N., & Starr, P. (2015) Therapeutic deep brain stimulation reduces cortical phase-amplitude coupling in Parkinson's disease. Nature Neuroscience, 18(5), 779-786. DOI: 10.1038/nn.3997  

  • June 3, 2015
  • 03:49 PM
  • 191 views

What musical taste tells us about social class

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Love the opera? Hungry for hip hop? It turns out that your musical likes and dislikes may say more about you than you think, according to UBC research. Even in 2015, social class continues to inform our cultural attitudes and the way we listen to music, according to the study. “Breadth of taste is not linked […]... Read more »

  • June 3, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 181 views

Black kids are troublemakers but White kids behave badly sometimes

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

We know that Black and White students are treated differently (this author cites correlational studies across thousands of schools in the US showing this disparity) but this study shows us that you don’t have to physically see race to dispense differential treatment. Just believing race is probably present is enough. The concept in question is […]

Related posts:
Even kids don’t make passes at kids wearing glasses
Black victims of violent crimes aren’t treated any better by the syst........ Read more »

Okonofua JA, & Eberhardt JL. (2015) Two strikes: race and the disciplining of young students. Psychological Science, 26(5), 617-24. PMID: 25854276  

  • June 3, 2015
  • 05:03 AM
  • 142 views

Is CBT for depression losing its efficacy?

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) has many advantages for treating depression. Among them, the fact that it's easy to standardise, it's intuitive and it can deliver results relatively quickly (think weeks, not years as some other therapies demand). For many people with depression, it's also far more acceptable than the prospect of taking mind-altering drugs. But now the bad news: CBT's efficacy seems to be declining.That's the suggestion of a new meta-analysis (pdf) that's looked at outcome da........ Read more »

  • June 3, 2015
  • 04:31 AM
  • 168 views

Do music and language share brain resources?

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

When you listen to some music and when you read a book, does your brain use the same resources? This question goes to the heart of how the brain is organised – does it make a difference between cognitive domains like music and language? In a new commentary I highlight a successfull approach which helps […]... Read more »

Kunert, R., & Slevc, L.R. (2015) A commentary on “Neural overlap in processing music and speech” (Peretz et al., 2015) . Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. info:/doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2015.00330

Peretz I, Vuvan D, Lagrois MÉ, & Armony JL. (2015) Neural overlap in processing music and speech. Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 370(1664), 20140090. PMID: 25646513  

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