Last fall we wrote about how having a dark-skinned avatar in an immersive virtual reality experience can reduce your implicit bias against dark-skinned people. Now Illinois researchers show us that the avatar assigned in online gaming also influences behavior. How? If you are assigned to be a hero, you do good. If you are assigned […]
“Spend some time in my skin”
Real-life Sopranos: It’s isn’t the HBO show!
Should you try online jury research?
... Read more »
Yoon G, & Vargas PT. (2014) Know Thy Avatar: The Unintended Effect of Virtual-Self Representation on Behavior. Psychological Science. PMID: 24501111
I want to briefly draw your attention to the paper by Fernando Navarro and colleagues* which concluded: "Our study although underpowered to show small differences does not support an association between dietary gluten/milk, IP [intestinal permeability], and behavioral changes in subjects with ASD". At the moment, I'm only blogging based on the study abstract so I'm gonna keep things quite brief and will post again when I have the full-text. BTW we had heard that this study was coming a........ Read more »
Fernando Navarro, Deborah A Pearson, Nicole Fatheree, Rosleen Mansour, S Shahrukh Hashmi, & J Marc Rhoads. (2014) Are ‘leaky gut’ and behavior associated with gluten and dairy containing diet in children with autism spectrum disorders?. Nutritional Neuroscience. DOI: 10.1179/1476830514Y.0000000110
4 days ago a study was released entitled "Single nucleotide polymorphism in the neuroplastin locus associates with cortical thickness and intellectual ability in adolescents." The study was conducted by Desrivières and a team of 36 other researches along with the IMAGEN Consortium, published in the Journal of Molecular Psychiatry. This post discusses the findings and implications of the study.... Read more »
Desrivières et al. (2014) Single nucleotide polymorphism in the neuroplastin locus associates with cortical thickness and intellectual ability in adolescents. Molecular Psychiatry. DOI: 10.1038/mp.2013.197
Mega Man (1987) was one of the most entertaining games that I remember ever playing on Nintendo. You were Dr. Light's boy android (think Astro Boy or Pinocchio) and your mission was to defeat the multitude of robot bosses threatening to destroy the world. However, the only way to defeat them was to 1) consider how to counteract their special abilities with your own abilities and 2) memorize their attack patterns, often taking hours of learning (and frustration) before you got it right. Once succ........ Read more »
Alvarez-Salvado E, Pallarés V, Moreno A, & Canals S. (2014) Functional MRI of long-term potentiation: imaging network plasticity. Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 369(1633), 20130152. PMID: 24298154
Daumas S, Ceccom J, Halley H, Francés B, & Lassalle JM. (2009) Activation of metabotropic glutamate receptor type 2/3 supports the involvement of the hippocampal mossy fiber pathway on contextual fear memory consolidation. Learning , 16(8), 504-7. PMID: 19638469
The Williams Syndrome Association states that:Williams syndrome is a genetic condition that is present at birth and can affect anyone. It is characterized by medical problems, including cardiovascular disease, developmental delays, and learning disabilities. These occur side by side with striking verbal abilities, highly social personalities and an affinity for music.Axelsson, Hill, Sadeh, and Dimitriou (2013) state that sleep difficulties also arise in older children and adults ........ Read more »
Axelsson Emma L., Hill Catherine M., Sadeh Avi, & Dimitriou Dagmara. (2013) Sleep problems and language development in toddlers with Williams syndrome. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 34(11), 3988-3996. DOI: 10.1016/j.ridd.2013.08.018
I was heartened to see the publication of the paper by Giacomo Caio and colleagues* (open-access version available here) discussing how the use of a gluten-free diet has a pretty obvious effect on the presence of IgG anti-gliadin antibodies in cases of non-coeliac gluten sensitivity (NCGS). To quote from the Caio paper: "Anti-gliadin antibodies [AGA] of the IgG class disappear in patients with non-celiac gluten sensitivity reflecting a strict compliance to the gluten-free diet and a go........ Read more »
Caio G, Volta U, Tovoli F, & De Giorgio R. (2014) Effect of gluten free diet on immune response to gliadin in patients with non-celiac gluten sensitivity. BMC gastroenterology, 14(1), 26. PMID: 24524388
by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room
About a year ago we wrote about people making up “racist roads not taken” in the past to excuse biased or racist behavior in the moment. Racist behavior or decisions in the moment were excused because “back then I had the chance to behave in a racist way but did not, so it’s okay for […]
“I’ve got proof I’m open-minded!”: Inventing racist roads not taken
Is there a relationship between age and ethnic prejudice?
Politics and prejudice? Nope. It’s about ideo........ Read more »
Cox WT, & Devine PG. (2014) Stereotyping to infer group membership creates plausible deniability for prejudice-based aggression. Psychological Science, 25(2), 340-8. PMID: 24335602
There’s been a lot of hand-wringing about the exorbitant cost of the Sochi Olympics. And with good reason! Purchasing everything necessary to build a lavish two-week global athletic competition is rarely a wise investment strategy. One allure of hosting the Olympics is the prospect of home-field advantage. Research suggests that countries actually do benefit from hosting […]... Read more »
If you’ve heard of the hormone oxytocin, you’ve probably heard it called the “love drug”, due to its known role in human bonding and empathy. One of the many potential uses put forward for such a miracle molecule is a treatment for autism, which is characterized by difficulty in social interactions and empathizing…but some argue that this idea is jumping the gun, because oxytocin should not be seen as a wonder-drug and its role may be far more complex than we know........ Read more »
Israel S, Hart E, & Winter E. (2014) Oxytocin decreases accuracy in the perception of social deception. Psychological Science, 25(1), 293-295. PMID: 24225448
The recent study "The Impact of Sustained Engagement on Cognitive Function in Older Adults: The Synapse Project" published in the journal Psychological Science by the psychology researcher Denise Park and her colleagues at the University of Texas at Dallas is an example of an extremely well-designed study which attempts to tease out the benefits of participating in a structured activity versus receiving formal education and acquiring new skills. The researchers assigned subjects with a mean age ........ Read more »
Park DC, Lodi-Smith J, Drew L, Haber S, Hebrank A, Bischof GN, & Aamodt W. (2014) The impact of sustained engagement on cognitive function in older adults: the synapse project. Psychological science, 25(1), 103-12. PMID: 24214244
Channel 4’s Supersize vs Superskinny is back on the telly. The long-running health show, which challenges two ‘extreme eaters’ to swap diets for a week, used to be my TV-watching guilty pleasure. Previous series’ were known for the infamous ‘feeding tube’ – a huge Perspex cylinder into which a week’s worth of food is emptied. … Continue reading →... Read more »
by amikulak in Daily Observations
Overpriced roses and generic greeting cards are flying off the shelves, only to be thrown in the trash in a day or two. Windows, storefronts, even drab office cubicles are […]... Read more »
Joel, S., MacDonald, G., & Plaks, J.E. (2013) Romantic Relationships Conceptualized as a Judgment and Decision-Making Domain. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 22(6), 461-465. DOI: 10.1177/0963721413498892
A pair of researchers in Switzerland say there is an attitude common among the very old that is best described as "senior coolness". Based on detailed analysis of in-depth interviews in German with 15 people aged 77 to 101 (average age 86; 12 women), and also reflected in interviews with a further 60 older people, Harm-Peer Zimmermann and Heinrich Grebe describe a commonly held attitude of "comprehensive composure, indeed nonchalance and indifference, towards old age".They argue that this runs c........ Read more »
Harm-Peer Zimmermann, & Heinrich Grebe. (2014) “Senior coolness”: Living well as an attitude in later life. Journal of Aging Studies. DOI: 10.1016/j.jaging.2013.11.002
The BBC quite recently ran with the headline: "Vitamins ‘effective in treating ADHD symptoms’" discussing an interesting paper by Julia Rucklidge and colleagues* reporting results from a controlled trial of a vitamin-mineral mix on 80 adults diagnosed with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The trial entry can be seen here and NHS Choices have also given the trial the research once-over.Food n' medicine? @ Wikipedia The paper, by someone who is not an u........ Read more »
Julia J. Rucklidge, Chris M. Frampton, Brigette Gorman, & Anna Boggis. (2014) Vitamin-mineral treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in adults: double-blind randomised placebo-controlled trial. British Journal of Psychiatry. info:other/10.1192/bjp.bp.113.132126
Hi Julie and Mia, I wanted to update you on some unique but exciting research that I conducted while working toward my Ph.D. at the University of Florida’s Canine Cognition and Behavior Lab. This particular research focuses on the welfare of wolves and wolf-dog “hybrids” in private sanctuaries.The common use of the term “hybrid” is perhaps the first indication of how poorly we understand these animals. The term “hybrid” is technically inaccurate – as wolves and domestic dogs are ........ Read more »
Mehrkam Lindsay R., Verdi Nicolle T., & Wynne Clive D. L. (2014) Human Interaction as Environmental Enrichment for Pair-Housed Wolves and Wolf–Dog Crosses. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, 17(1), 43-58. DOI: 10.1080/10888705.2014.856246
This is part of a series exploring the brains behind exceptional memory: to what extent is it natural and learnt? How fast can a complete...... Read more »
Nyberg L, Sandblom J, Jones S, Neely AS, Petersson KM, Ingvar M, & Bäckman L. (2003) Neural correlates of training-related memory improvement in adulthood and aging. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 100(23), 13728-33. PMID: 14597711
Temporal order can be assessed in a rather straightforward experimental manner. Research subjects can be provided sequential auditory clicks, one to each ear. If the clicks are one second apart, nearly all participants can correctly identify whether or not the click in the right ear came before the one in the left ear. It turns out that this holds true even if the clicks are only 100 milliseconds (0.1 seconds) apart. The threshold for being able to correctly assign a temporal order to such brief........ Read more »
von Steinbüchel N. (1998) Temporal ranges of central nervous processing: clinical evidence. Experimental brain research, 123(1-2), 220-33. PMID: 9835412
Many people are concerned that aversive-based dog training methods can have side-effects. A new study by Stéphanie Deldalle and Florence Gaunet (in press in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior) observes dogs and their humans at training classes using either positive or negative reinforcement. The results support the idea that positive reinforcement is beneficial for the canine-human bond and better for animal welfare.Photo: godrick / ShutterstockThe scientists looked at on-leash walking an........ Read more »
Casey, R., Loftus, B., Bolster, C., Richards, G., & Blackwell, E. (2013) Human directed aggression in domestic dogs (Canis familiaris): Occurrence in different contexts and risk factors. Applied Animal Behaviour Science. DOI: 10.1016/j.applanim.2013.12.003
Deldalle, S., & Gaunet, F. (2014) Effects of two training methods on stress-related behaviors of the dog (Canis familiaris) and on the dog-owner relationship. Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research. DOI: 10.1016/j.jveb.2013.11.004
Gaunet, F. (2009) How do guide dogs and pet dogs (Canis familiaris) ask their owners for their toy and for playing?. Animal Cognition, 13(2), 311-323. DOI: 10.1007/s10071-009-0279-z
Rooney, N., & Cowan, S. (2011) Training methods and owner–dog interactions: Links with dog behaviour and learning ability. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 132(3-4), 169-177. DOI: 10.1016/j.applanim.2011.03.007
There are some research models whose names seem silly, or at least named for a Taylor Swift song. Oddly enough, there is a large body of research on those who are “habitually sensitive toward victimization” and it turns out they tend to be uncooperative and immoral in “socially uncertain situations”. Apparently, the suspicion and mistrust […]
Empathy: Paving the road to preferential treatment with good intentions
Shooting the messenger: The intergroup sensitivity ef........ Read more »
Gollwitzer, M., Rothmund, T., & Süssenbach, P. (2013) The sensitivity to mean intentions (SeMI) model: Basic assumptions, recent findings, and potential avenues for future research. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 415-426. DOI: 10.1111/spc3.12041
So: "The findings of this review suggest that the etiology of ASD [autism spectrum disorder] may involve, at least in a subset of children, complex interactions between genetic factors and certain environmental toxicants that may act synergistically or in parallel during critical periods of neurodevelopment, in a manner that increases the likelihood of developing ASD".That's the conclusion reached by a huge review paper by Dan Rossignol and colleagues* (open-access). I'm going to say no mor........ Read more »
D A Rossignol, S J Genuis, & R E Frye. (2014) Environmental toxicants and autism spectrum disorders: a systematic review. Translational Psychiatry. DOI: 10.1038/tp.2014.4
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