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  • May 8, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 134 views

The distraction effect: “No, no, not your left side, the patient’s left  side…”

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

I grew up in a family where multiple siblings got confused about which way was right and which way was left. When I began to drive, I would make a capital R in the air with my right index finger to be sure I was turning the right way. Unbeknownst to me, my siblings had […]

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Shooting the messe........ Read more »

McKinley, J, Dempster, M, & Gormley, GJ. (2015) ‘Sorry, I meant the patient’s left side’: Impact of distraction on left-right discrimination. . Medical Education, 427-435. info:/

  • May 8, 2015
  • 05:09 AM
  • 173 views

MoBa does prenatal antidepressant use and offspring anxiety

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

MoBa, otherwise known as the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study, has found it's way onto this blog a few times over the years. If it's not to do with results concerning prenatal paracetamol (acetaminophen) exposure and possible offspring neurodevelopmental outcomes (see here), it's about confirming that bowel issues are indeed over-represented in cases of autism (see here) and lots more besides.We can now add the results from Ragnhild Eek Brandlistuen and colleagues [1] (open-access) t........ Read more »

Brandlistuen, R., Ystrom, E., Eberhard-Gran, M., Nulman, I., Koren, G., & Nordeng, H. (2015) Behavioural effects of fetal antidepressant exposure in a Norwegian cohort of discordant siblings. International Journal of Epidemiology. DOI: 10.1093/ije/dyv030  

  • May 7, 2015
  • 04:44 AM
  • 204 views

Parent training vs parent education for disruptive behaviour in autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I have to say that historically I've never been a great fan of the words 'parent training' when applied to the autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). For me, the idea that parents of children with autism need 'training' to parent their child with autism always seemed a little condescending with overtones harking back to the bad old days of 'blame the mother' [1].My attitude to the idea of parent training has however softened in recent years on the back of some peer-reviewed evidence suggesting t........ Read more »

  • May 6, 2015
  • 10:06 PM
  • 205 views

Limitations of the consensus: How widely-accepted hypotheses can sometimes hinder understanding

by neurosci in Neuroscientifically Challenged

To those who believe strongly in the scientific method, it really is the only approach to understanding the relationship between two events or variables that allows us to make assertions about such relationships with any confidence. Due to the inherent flaws in human reasoning, our non-scientific conclusions are frequently riddled with bias, misunderstanding, and misattribution. Thus, it seems there is little that can be trusted if it hasn't been scientifically verified.The scientific method, ho........ Read more »

  • May 6, 2015
  • 03:26 PM
  • 193 views

Researchers find new clues in treating chronic pain

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

A chemical in the brain typically associated with cognition, movement and reward-motivation behavior — among others — may also play a role in promoting chronic pain, according to new research. The chemical, dopamine, sets the stage for many important brain functions, but the mechanisms that cause it to contribute to chronic pain are less well understood.... Read more »

Kim, J., Tillu, D., Quinn, T., Mejia, G., Shy, A., Asiedu, M., Murad, E., Schumann, A., Totsch, S., Sorge, R.... (2015) Spinal Dopaminergic Projections Control the Transition to Pathological Pain Plasticity via a D1/D5-Mediated Mechanism. Journal of Neuroscience, 35(16), 6307-6317. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3481-14.2015  

  • May 6, 2015
  • 08:30 AM
  • 158 views

Loss of a Dog: The Importance of Social Support

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

New research finds that losing a pet dog is a stressful life event.Sooner or later, all pet owners have to face the realization that the lives of our animals are far too short. Grieving for a lost pet is further complicated by some people who fail to understand what a pet means. Comments like, “It was just a dog” can be very hurtful. A new study by Lilian Tzivian (Ben Gurion University of the Negev) et al investigates the psychological effects of pet loss. The study compared 103 dog owners w........ Read more »

  • May 6, 2015
  • 04:40 AM
  • 153 views

Features of dyspraxia in childhood epilepsy

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Developmental coordination disorder (DCD) or dyspraxia is a condition affecting 'planning of movements and coordination'. No-one really knows exactly how and why DCD comes about but various risk factors are associated with the condition (see here) including the possibility of acquired problems through head injury or a stroke for example.I was recently interested to read the paper published by Colin Reilly and colleagues [1] and their findings that: "Parent-reported symptoms of DCD are very ........ Read more »

Reilly C, Atkinson P, Das KB, Chin RF, Aylett SE, Burch V, Gillberg C, Scott RC, & Neville BG. (2015) Features of developmental coordination disorder in active childhood epilepsy: a population-based study. Developmental medicine and child neurology. PMID: 25882788  

  • May 5, 2015
  • 02:36 PM
  • 183 views

Mind reading: Researchers observe moment a mind is changed

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Researchers studying how the brain makes decisions have, for the first time, recorded the moment-by-moment fluctuations in brain signals that occur when a monkey making free choices has a change of mind. The findings result from experiments led by electrical engineering Professor Krishna Shenoy, whose Stanford lab focuses on movement control and neural prostheses – such as artificial arms – controlled by the user’s brain.... Read more »

  • May 5, 2015
  • 10:14 AM
  • 99 views

Mindful eating makes smaller portions more satisfying

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Have you ever been to an exclusive restaurant that serves tiny portions and found that, in spite of the paltry servings, you felt satisfied afterwards and the food seemed unusually tasty? If so, you might have engaged in what psychologists call "savouring" behaviours. Charles Areni and Iain Black have studied savouring under laboratory conditions, and they've found that when we're given smaller portions than normal, we eat differently – more slowly, more mindfully, and we feel more satiated as........ Read more »

  • May 5, 2015
  • 06:14 AM
  • 172 views

Tylenol Doesn't Really Blunt Your Emotions

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

A new study has found that the pain reliever TYLENOL® (acetaminophen) not only dampens negative emotions, it blunts positive emotions too. Or does it?Durso and colleagues (2015) reckoned that if acetaminophen can lessen the sting of psychological pain (Dewall et al., 2010; Randles et al., 2013) – which is doubtful in my view – then it might also lessen reactivity to positive stimuli. Evidence in favor of their hypothesis would support differential susceptibility, the notion that the same ........ Read more »

  • May 5, 2015
  • 04:25 AM
  • 196 views

Childhood cat ownership and risk of later life schizophrenia?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

'I' before the 'E' except after 'C'."Is childhood cat ownership a risk factor for schizophrenia later in life?"That was the rather peculiar question posed and partially answered in the paper by Fuller Torrey and colleagues [1]. They concluded that "cat ownership in childhood is significantly more common in families in which the child later becomes seriously mentally ill."For those new to this topic, it might sound rather strange that cat ownership in childhood might elevate the risk of mental il........ Read more »

  • May 4, 2015
  • 10:08 AM
  • 57 views

Man with Restored Sight Provides New Insight into How Vision Develops

by amikulak in Daily Observations

California man Mike May made international headlines in 2000 when his sight was restored by a pioneering stem cell procedure after 40 years of blindness. A study published three years […]... Read more »

Huber, E., Webster, J., Brewer, A., MacLeod, D., Wandell, B., Boynton, G., Wade, A., & Fine, I. (2015) A Lack of Experience-Dependent Plasticity After More Than a Decade of Recovered Sight. Psychological Science, 26(4), 393-401. DOI: 10.1177/0956797614563957  

  • May 4, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 125 views

Will a superhero pose increase your testosterone and cortisol?  

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

We’ve written about power poses before and the work being done by Amy Cuddy and her colleagues on how they increase both self-confidence and hormones like testosterone and cortisol. The research has become so widely known it was even featured on the Grey’s Anatomy television show recently with two surgeons striking a superhero pose prior […]

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  • May 4, 2015
  • 04:59 AM
  • 182 views

Responding to parental concerns about possible offspring autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"In conclusion, despite early parental concerns, children with ASD [autism spectrum disorder] receive less proactive provider responses to these concerns than children with ID/DD [intellectual disability/developmental delay]. Less proactive/more passive provider responses are associated with delays in diagnosing ASD."So said the paper from Katharine Zuckerman and colleagues [1] (open-access) who using "nationally representative data from the 2011 Survey of Pathways to Diagnosis an........ Read more »

Katharine Elizabeth Zuckerman, Olivia Jasmine Lindly, & Brianna Kathleen Sinche. (2015) Parental Concerns, Provider Response, and Timeliness of Autism Spectrum Disorder Diagnosis. The Journal of Pediatrics. info:/10.1016/j.jpeds.2015.03.007

  • May 3, 2015
  • 03:54 PM
  • 248 views

Procrastinate much? Science offers a way to stop

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Procrastination is the thief of time that derails New Year’s resolutions and delays saving for college or retirement, but researchers have found a way to collar it.

The trick? Think of the future as now. ... Read more »

  • May 2, 2015
  • 10:00 PM
  • 96 views

Intuition and Domain Knowledge

by Joshua Fisher in School of Doubt

While knowledge and process are both important, knowledge is more important. Even though each of the tasks in this experiment was more “intuitive” (non-decomposable) than analytical in nature, and even when the approach taken to the task was “intuitive,” knowledge trumped process. Process had no significant effect by itself. Knowing stuff is good.... Read more »

  • May 2, 2015
  • 03:48 PM
  • 212 views

Walking an extra two minutes each hour may offset hazards of sitting too long

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Eat less, workout more, these are the messages we are being sent almost on a daily basis. But how do we quantify “more” and who really should listen to that advice? Well a new study suggests that engaging in low intensity activities such as standing may not be enough to offset the health hazards of sitting for long periods of time. On the bright side, adding two minutes of walking each hour to your routine just might do the trick.... Read more »

  • May 2, 2015
  • 11:37 AM
  • 64 views

Children use time words like "seconds" and "hours" long before they know what they mean

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

For adults, let alone children, time is a tricky concept to comprehend. In our culture, we carve it up into somewhat arbitrary chunks and attribute words to those durations: 60 seconds in a minute, and 60 of those in an hour and so on. We also have a sense of what these durations feel like. Children start using these time-related words at around the age of two or three years, even though they won't master clocks until eight or nine. This raises the question – what do young children really unde........ Read more »

  • May 2, 2015
  • 05:55 AM
  • 141 views

Humans Navigate Naturally With Built-In GPS

by RAZ Rebecca A. Zarate in United Academics

Humans have a built-in neural map, and it’s shaped like a honeycomb.
... Read more »

Langston RF, Ainge JA, Couey JJ, Canto CB, Bjerknes TL, Witter MP, Moser EI, & Moser MB. (2010) Development of the spatial representation system in the rat. Science (New York, N.Y.), 328(5985), 1576-80. PMID: 20558721  

Solstad T, Boccara CN, Kropff E, Moser MB, & Moser EI. (2008) Representation of geometric borders in the entorhinal cortex. Science (New York, N.Y.), 322(5909), 1865-8. PMID: 19095945  

Tolman, E. (1948) Cognitive maps in rats and men. Psychological Review, 55(4), 189-208. DOI: 10.1037/h0061626  

  • May 2, 2015
  • 04:03 AM
  • 177 views

Healthcare experiences and autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

In today's brief post I want to highlight the important findings reported by Christina Nicolaidis and colleagues [1] who suggested that quite a bit more could be done to improve the success of "healthcare interactions" when it comes to the autism spectrum.Based on the experiences of 39 adults with autism and "16 people who had experience supporting autistic adults in healthcare settings" researchers came up with a few "patient- and provider-level factors" that might impact on said heal........ Read more »

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