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  • June 1, 2016
  • 10:00 AM
  • 264 views

What is the Best Enrichment for Your Ferret?

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

New research finds out how hard ferrets will work to access different types of enrichment.Providing environmental enrichment is an important part of good animal welfare. For example, cats whose owners play with them regularly have fewer behaviour problems. We know a lot about enrichment for cats. What about ferrets? Earlier research has shown that more play behaviours are reported when there are more enrichment items. But although ferrets are a popular pet, we know little about their personal pr........ Read more »

  • June 1, 2016
  • 07:02 AM
  • 275 views

The Earned Dogmatism Effect: “Oh, I know [all about] this already…” 

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

We’ve written a lot about other kinds of self-appointed experts on your jury (and how to dethrone them) but today’s work is a reflection of another aspect of perceived expert status. When you think you already know a lot about something, you can become closed-minded. You finish the testimony before the witness does. A closed […]

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Propaganda, Dogmatism & Bias: Who are your jurors?
The “hoodie effect”: A domestic variant of the turban effect
Shooting the........ Read more »

  • June 1, 2016
  • 04:50 AM
  • 169 views

The lingering burden of seeing a past trauma as central to your identity

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Horrific experiences often cast a pall upon our lives, but for some people it’s worse than others. A new study in Applied Cognitive Psychology explores a key reason for this difference known as “event centrality” – when we consider an experience to be core to our identity, the trauma that follows is typically more serious and longer lasting.Ines Blix and her colleagues surveyed 259 ministerial employees caught up in a particularly grim piece of Oslo history: the July 2011 far-right terro........ Read more »

  • June 1, 2016
  • 02:42 AM
  • 208 views

Language disorder and '2 children in every class'

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I read with great interest the paper by Courtenay Frazier Norbury and colleagues [1] concluding that: "At school entry, approximately two children in every class of 30 pupils will experience language disorder severe enough to hinder academic progress."With the aim of characterising "the impact of varying NVIQ [nonverbal IQ] criteria on prevalence, clinical presentation and functional impact of language disorder in the first UK population study of language impairment at school entr........ Read more »

  • May 31, 2016
  • 04:18 AM
  • 222 views

Cows milk protein intolerance and chronic fatigue syndrome

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Cow's milk protein intolerance is a common problem in young people with chronic fatigue syndrome, and is a treatable contributor to their symptoms."So said the paper by Peter Rowe and colleagues [1] who looked prospectively for signs of cow's milk protein intolerance (CMPI) in "55 adolescents and young adults with chronic fatigue syndrome" over the course of 2 years. Defining CMPI using 4 factors: "(1) no evidence of immediate or anaphylactic reactions to milk, (2) at least 2 of the following 3........ Read more »

  • May 30, 2016
  • 04:22 PM
  • 284 views

Google searches for 'chickenpox' reveal big impact of vaccinations

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Countries that implement government-mandated vaccinations for chickenpox see a sharp drop in the number of Google searches for the common childhood disease afterward, demonstrating that immunization significantly reduces seasonal outbreaks. That's one of the findings from a new study that analyzed thousands of Google searches for "chickenpox."

... Read more »

Bakker, K. M.,, Martinez-Bakker, M., Helm, B., & Stevenson, T. J. (2016) Digital epidemiology reveals global childhood disease seasonality and the effects of immunization . Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. info:/

  • May 30, 2016
  • 03:54 PM
  • 295 views

The Harm of Verbal Promiscuity

by Miss Behavior in The Scorpion and the Frog

Eastern chimpanzees don't want to be judged. Image by Ikiwaner at Wikimedia.com.Whether they have one true love for life, multiple partners, or are free-loving, animals have many different mating systems. We have different scientific terms for these different mating systems, and most of these terms have very specific meanings. An animal is socially monogamous when it has one exclusive mating relationship, but maybe has sex with others outside of that relationship. It is sexually monogamous when ........ Read more »

Elgar, M., Jones, T., & McNamara, K. (2013) Promiscuous words. Frontiers in Zoology, 10(1), 66. DOI: 10.1186/1742-9994-10-66  

  • May 30, 2016
  • 07:02 AM
  • 228 views

I’m sorry: Six elements to make your apology optimal 

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

The phrase “I’m sorry” always reminds me of then 15-year-old Brenda Lee and her hit single. (That is, in psychology circles, called a tangential aside.) We haven’t written about apology here for a while now and a new study has just published that lists six elements to make your apology optimal. This post is to […]

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Apology redux: Doing it right (and doing it wrong)
A carefully crafted apology doesn’t mean we think you are sincere
“There will be no apology from ........ Read more »

Lewicki, R., Polin, B., & Lount, R. (2016) An Exploration of the Structure of Effective Apologies. Negotiation and Conflict Management Research, 9(2), 177-196. DOI: 10.1111/ncmr.12073  

  • May 30, 2016
  • 06:30 AM
  • 239 views

Foreign language syndrome: the Italian who became "French"

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover



A curious case report from Italian neuropsychologists Nicoletta Beschin and colleagues: Compulsive foreign language syndrome: a clinical observation not a mystery

The authors describe a 50 year old Italian man, JC, who turned into a 'caricature' of a Frenchman after a brain injury caused by a vascular anomaly. JC insisted in speaking French at all times, even though his knowledge of the language was rather poor (he had learned it at school, but not practiced it for decades.) What's more, ... Read more »

  • May 30, 2016
  • 05:36 AM
  • 277 views

Compulsive Foreign Language Syndrome: Man Becomes Obsessed With Speaking Fake French

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

You may have seen headlines such as: Florida Man Woke Up In A Motel Room Speaking Only Swedish. Or: Englishman wakes up speaking Welsh after stroke (“Rare brain disorder left English-speaking Alun Morgan only able to communicate in Welsh”). The first case was likely due to a fugue state, a type of dissociative disorder involving loss of personal identity and aimless wandering (Stengel, 1941). The second seems like an unusual example of bilingual aphasia involving loss of the ability to spea........ Read more »

  • May 30, 2016
  • 03:04 AM
  • 227 views

Organic pollutants and behavioural severity in autism?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"This study supports the hypothesis that environmental exposure to organic pollutants may play a significant role in the behavioral presentation of autism."Accepting that correlation is not the same as causation, the results published by Andrew Boggess and colleagues [1] (open-access here) make for some blogging fodder today and the idea that serum levels of various compounds headed under the description of organic pollutants (persistent or otherwise) might show some important connecti........ Read more »

  • May 29, 2016
  • 03:30 PM
  • 294 views

Why everyone wants to help the sick -- but not the unemployed

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

New research explains why healthcare costs are running out of control, while costs to unemployment protection are kept in line. The answer is found deep in our psychology, where powerful intuitions lead us to view illness as the result of bad luck and worthy of help.

... Read more »

  • May 28, 2016
  • 03:45 PM
  • 314 views

Schizophrenia: The brain has the ability to rescue itself

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

A team of scientists have shown that the brains of patients with schizophrenia have the capacity to reorganize and fight the illness. This is the first time that imaging data has been used to show that our brains may have the ability to reverse the effects of schizophrenia.

... Read more »

  • May 28, 2016
  • 09:34 AM
  • 364 views

A Recurring Sickness: Pathological Déjà Vu

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover



Have you read this sentence before? Perhaps it feels strangely familiar? The experience of déjà vu is a common one, but in rare cases, it can become a disorder. In a fascinating new Cortex paper, French psychologists Julie Bertrand and colleagues discuss the phenomenon of pathological déjà vu.



Bertrand et al. present an English translation of what is probably the first description of the condition, published in 1896 in French by the psychiatrist Francois-Léon Arnaud (1858-1927).

Ar... Read more »

Bertrand JM, Martinon LM, Souchay C, & Moulin CJ. (2016) History repeating itself: Arnaud's case of pathological déjà vu. Cortex; a journal devoted to the study of the nervous system and behavior. PMID: 27188828  

  • May 28, 2016
  • 04:29 AM
  • 266 views

Urban neighbourhood, food and risk of psychosis?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

It's another research mash-up today as I bring to your attention two papers talking about potential correlates associated with psychosis and/or psychotic symptoms.First up are the findings reported by Joanne Newbury and colleagues [1] (open-access here) who observed that urban residency and certain factors associated with urban residency might link into a higher risk of childhood psychotic symptoms. A second paper by Tomasz Pawełczyk and colleagues [2] provides some further food for thought and........ Read more »

  • May 27, 2016
  • 03:40 PM
  • 336 views

How the brain makes -- and breaks -- a habit

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Not all habits are bad. Some are even necessary. It's a good thing, for example, that we can find our way home on "autopilot" or wash our hands without having to ponder every step. But inability to switch from acting habitually to acting in a deliberate way can underlie addiction and obsessive compulsive disorders.

... Read more »

Christina M. Gremel,, Jessica H. Chancey,, Brady K. Atwood,, Guoxiang Luo,, Rachael Neve,, Charu Ramakrishnan,, Karl Deisseroth,, David M. Lovinger, & Rui M. Costa. (2016) Endocannabinoid Modulation of Orbitostriatal Circuits Gates Habit Formation. Neuron. info:/10.1016/j.neuron.2016.04.043

  • May 27, 2016
  • 12:10 PM
  • 323 views

Enhance the Salience of Relevant Variables

by Joshua Fisher in Text Savvy

Performing the discrete mode of presentation test strongly enhances the salience of the relevant variable, perimeter, and somewhat decreases that of area. This enhancement supports appropriate solution strategies that lead to improved performance. This effect is robust and transfers to continuous mode of presentation for at least 10 days. In line with this conclusion, a student who performed the continuous test after the discrete one commented that, “It [continuous] was harder this time bu........ Read more »

  • May 27, 2016
  • 05:21 AM
  • 153 views

Psychologists have devised a test for measuring one-year-olds' creativity

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

The study found that creative parents tended to have creative toddlersA team of psychologists in England say they've developed a reliable way to measure divergent thinking in one-year-old infants. Divergent thinking is a form of creativity that involves uncovering new ideas or ways of doing things. The finding published in Child Development opens up the possibility of exploring the early factors that lead one infant to be more creative than another, and potentially intervening to help foster cre........ Read more »

Hoicka, E., Mowat, R., Kirkwood, J., Kerr, T., Carberry, M., & Bijvoet-van den Berg, S. (2016) One-Year-Olds Think Creatively, Just Like Their Parents. Child Development. DOI: 10.1111/cdev.12531  

  • May 27, 2016
  • 03:07 AM
  • 305 views

Wandering and autism continued... yet again

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I know that I'm probably starting to sound like a broken record on the topic of wandering (elopement) and autism on this blog (see here and see here and see here) but I am yet again going to briefly talk about peer-reviewed research in this area simply because it's just too damned important not to.This time around the results from Catherine Rice and colleagues [1] are the source of my musings and the conclusion that: "wandering among children with ASD [autism spectrum disorder], regard........ Read more »

  • May 26, 2016
  • 07:02 AM
  • 151 views

Inattention, nose shapes, sexism and climate change 

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

We often do these combination posts when we do not want to devote an entire post to a single article but think the information is worth sharing (or simply too odd not to share). So read on and be a scintillating (or perhaps simply odd) conversationalist. Smartphone alerts increase both inattention and hyperactivity This is […]

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What do (13,000) Americans really think about  climate change?
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Eyewitnes........ Read more »

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