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  • June 9, 2014
  • 09:21 PM

Images to Reduce Pain

by John DiPrete in EmbodiCog

Images found to reduce pain in chronic sufferers. 10 selected pictures fit the criteria of pain reduction. Each image opens in a new window. Test them to see if their effects are real.... Read more »

  • June 9, 2014
  • 08:31 PM

History of neuroscience: Paul Broca

by neurosci in Neuroscientifically Challenged

Pierre Paul Broca

In April of 1861, a 51-year old man was transferred to Paul Broca's surgical ward in a hospital in France. The man, whose name was Leborgne, had epilepsy but was near death due to an uncontrolled infection and the resultant gangrene. There was something curious about Leborgne, however: he had extreme difficulty speaking voluntarily. In fact, one of the only sounds he was able to make--unless antagonized, which could prompt him to curse--wa........ Read more »

Finger, S. (2004) Paul Broca (1824?1880). Journal of Neurology, 251(6). DOI: 10.1007/s00415-004-0456-6  

  • June 9, 2014
  • 05:15 PM

Tracking Conscious Perception in Real-Time With fMRI?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

What if it were possible to measure your conscious experience, in real time, using a brain scanner? Neuroscientists Christoph Reichert and colleagues report that they have done just this, using fMRI – although in a limited fashion. Their research has just been published in Frontiers in Neuroscience: Online tracking of the contents of conscious perception […]The post Tracking Conscious Perception in Real-Time With fMRI? appeared first on Neuroskeptic.... Read more »

Reichert C, Fendrich R, Bernarding J, Tempelmann C, Hinrichs H, & Rieger JW. (2014) Online tracking of the contents of conscious perception using real-time fMRI. Frontiers in neuroscience, 116. PMID: 24904260  

  • June 9, 2014
  • 03:37 PM

Meditate to increase your gray matter

by Katharine Blackwell in Contemplating Cognition

Most of my previous explorations of how meditation changes the brain have been based on what’s called functional MRI, which look at the activity in the brain in a given scenario: how meditators’ brain activity when they’re resting is different from non-meditators, or how deciding to be altruistic is correlated with more activity in regions like the inferior parietal junction. These changes are usually assumed to go hand-in-hand with actual physical changes to the structure of t........ Read more »

Hölzel, B., Carmody, J., Vangel, M., Congleton, C., Yerramsetti, S., Gard, T., & Lazar, S. (2011) Mindfulness practice leads to increases in regional brain gray matter density. Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, 191(1), 36-43. DOI: 10.1016/j.pscychresns.2010.08.006  

  • June 9, 2014
  • 10:58 AM

When the going gets tough, supervisors pick on their weaker staff

by Christian Jarrett in BPS Research Digest

A crisis changes everything. Friends are gone, and survivors must adapt to a new, dangerous environment. In the aftermath, predators circle to exploit the weak and vulnerable. According to new research, this not only describes the red tooth and claw of nature, it also applies to the workplace. Pedro Neves at the New University of Lisbon provides evidence that following an organisational downsize, employees are more likely to receive abuse from their supervisors.Neves was guided by displaced aggr........ Read more »

  • June 9, 2014
  • 04:42 AM

Autoantibodies and autism again

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Autoantibodies - that is, antibodies directed at the body itself - are no stranger to autism research. I've talked about various types of autoantibody being detected in elevated levels in certain groups and cases of autism (see here for example). The paper by Gehan Mostafa and colleagues [1] adds to the roll call with their findings: "The seropositivity of anti ds-DNA and/or ANA [antinuclear antibodies] in autistic children was 42%".Charge ! @ Wikipedia Before progressin........ Read more »

Mostafa, G., El-Sherif, D., & Al-Ayadhi, L. (2014) Systemic auto-antibodies in children with autism. Journal of Neuroimmunology. DOI: 10.1016/j.jneuroim.2014.04.011  

  • June 8, 2014
  • 06:11 PM

Discussions in chronic pain management

by Bronwyn Thompson in Healthskills: Skills for Healthy Living

Amongst the arguments around interdisciplinary programmes are discussions about how long or intense a programme should be (the “dose”), the content and what is or isn’t necessary within them, and personnel or who should or shouldn’t be involved. I thought I’d take a little look at some of these arguments.... Read more »

  • June 8, 2014
  • 03:22 AM

Homocysteine, gut permeability and MMP-9?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

A speculative post this one, on the paper by Hao Ding and colleagues [1] (open-access here) looking at how, in a rodent model of colitis, homocysteine (the big 'H') might play some part in aggravating "inflammatory damage" potentially through promotion of some of the matrix metalloproteinases, MMP-2 and MMP-9. The words: "Hcy [homocysteine] can increase intestinal permeability" added to the interest.If you're used to reading about autism research on this blog, you might be wondering why on ........ Read more »

  • June 8, 2014
  • 01:22 AM

What the pug is going on?

by Cobb & Hecht in Do You Believe In Dog?

Hi Julie,thanks for that awesome list of canine-related citizen science projects that anyone can sink their teeth into. I have a question for you: What do you see when a pug comes into your field of vision?I'm asking you because (at the risk of inciting wrath of many) - honestly? I'm really bamboozled by some pedigree breeds and their popularity with so many people. How I feelI'm not hating on pugs or pedigree dogs, and I don't mean any offence to people who hold their love o........ Read more »

  • June 7, 2014
  • 10:22 PM

How a Californian sea lion made my day

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

How a Californian sea lion made my day...... Read more »

  • June 6, 2014
  • 10:45 PM

Optogenetics, memories, and mind control

by neurosci in Neuroscientifically Challenged

A few years ago (2010), the journal Nature Methods chose optogenetics as its "method of the year." The fact that optogenetics, in 2010, was already considered a viable approach to studying the brain is impressive in and of itself, considering that all of the seminal work with optogenetics has been done since the year 2000. Because the method is still a relatively recent development, however, it is probably true that the most intriguing work with optogenetics has yet to be........ Read more »

Nabavi, S., Fox, R., Proulx, C., Lin, J., Tsien, R., & Malinow, R. (2014) Engineering a memory with LTD and LTP. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature13294  

  • June 6, 2014
  • 09:43 AM

It's shocking - How the press are hyping the benefits of electrical brain stimulation

by Christian Jarrett in BPS Research Digest

A commercially available tDCS deviceThere is a "rising tide" of hype regarding the potential benefits of weak electrical stimulation of the human brain. That's according to a trio of Canadian neuroscientists writing in the journal Neuron.Veljko Dubljević and his colleagues performed literature searches on mentions of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) in the academic and mainstream print media. tDCS involves the application of weak electrical current to the scalp, with the aim of al........ Read more »

  • June 6, 2014
  • 07:02 AM

“Look inside yourself at the very best you there is….”

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

If you’ve read us for any length of time at all, you know we love this strategy to increase empathy and reduce bias in civil cases. Today we are looking at new research relevant to criminal work that shows how empathy (and the resulting perspective-taking) drives decisions about responsibility and guilt, sentencing, and leniency. This […]

Related posts:
Playing the race card: When it works and why it doesn’t
Your online avatar and your real-world behavior
Which jurors most “feel........ Read more »

Skorinko, J., Laurent, S., Bountress, K., Nyein, K., & Kuckuck, D. (2014) Effects of perspective taking on courtroom decisions. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 44(4), 303-318. DOI: 10.1111/jasp.12222  

  • June 6, 2014
  • 05:42 AM

Can a gluten-free diet positively affect cognitive performance?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

No, I am not suggesting that a gluten-free diet is the new nootropic (cognitive enhancer) of choice with the title of this post despite previous media headlines on the subject."Got gluten?"☺  @ Wikipedia I am however very, very interested in the results reported by Irene Lichtwark and colleagues [1] (open-access here) which suggested that in "newly diagnosed coeliac disease, cognitive performance improves with adherence to the gluten-free diet in parallel to mucosal healing........ Read more »

  • June 5, 2014
  • 11:23 AM

Committed nurses cope with stress by dehumanising themselves and their patients - Italian study

by Christian Jarrett in BPS Research Digest

Nursing must be one of the most stressful professions. Not only are the hours long and the work challenging, many nurses are exposed routinely to patient suffering and death. A new study conducted in Italy finds that nurses appear to cope by seeing themselves and their patients as less than fully human.Elena Trifiletti and her colleagues surveyed 108 nurses (54 men; age range 31 to 50). The nurses answered questions about their experience of stress. They also rated how much patients and nurses e........ Read more »

Trifiletti, E., Di Bernardo, G., Falvo, R., & Capozza, D. (2014) Patients are not fully human: a nurse's coping response to stress. Journal of Applied Social Psychology. DOI: 10.1111/jasp.12267  

  • June 5, 2014
  • 09:00 AM

“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

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

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

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

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  

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