When Sandy Hook happened, it was so shocking that to this day, some don’t actually believe it happened. Shortly after, something frustrating happened, the shooter was labeled with aspergers. This helped drive the mental health and violence connection to the point that Time came out with an article dispelling that myth. Even now according to new longitudinal study of delinquent youth, most psychiatric disorders – including depression — do not predict future violent behavior. The only except........ Read more »
Elkington, K., Teplin, L., Abram, K., Jakubowski, J., Dulcan, M., & Welty, L. (2015) Psychiatric Disorders and Violence: A Study of Delinquent Youth After Detention. Journal of the American Academy of Child , 54(4), 302-31200000. DOI: 10.1016/j.jaac.2015.01.002
Gazing between pets and owners releases oxytocin, neurologically strengthening their bond. ... Read more »
Nagasawa, M., Mitsui, S., En, S., Ohtani, N., Ohta, M., Sakuma, Y., Onaka, T., Mogi, K., & Kikusui, T. (2015) Oxytocin-gaze positive loop and the coevolution of human-dog bonds. Science, 348(6232), 333-336. DOI: 10.1126/science.1261022
After the fall of Nazi Germany, the victorious Allies sought to bring the leaders of the Third Reich to justice in the form of the well-known Nuremberg Trials. Less famous are the attempts by psychologists to understand the Nazi mind in the form of psychological evaluations of the Nuremberg defendants.
A new paper by Joel E. Dimsdale of the University of California San Diego looks at one of the stranger episodes in the aftermath of WW2 - the use of the Rorschach "Inkblot" Test on Nazi de... Read more »
Dimsdale, J. (2015) Use of Rorschach tests at the Nuremberg war crimes trial: A forgotten chapter in history of medicine. Journal of Psychosomatic Research. DOI: 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2015.04.001
"In keeping with international studies this sample of children with ASD [autism spectrum disorder] was a highly medicated group."So said the results of the study reported by Kerry-Ann Louw and colleagues  back in 2013 who noted that approximately one quarter of their cohort were currently in receipt of "psychotropic medications". I don't want to linger too much on this topic given that such findings tally with other peer-reviewed reports including those with much larger partici........ Read more »
Louw KA, Bentley J, Sorsdahl K, & Adnams CM. (2013) Prevalence and patterns of medication use in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders in the Western Cape, South Africa. Journal of child and adolescent mental health, 25(1), 69-79. PMID: 25860309
No one expects a human infant to slide into the world with a good grasp of grammar. Marmosets, another kind of chatty primate, are also poor conversationalists when they're young. But their parents seem to teach them how it's done. Young marmosets learn the cardinal rule of having a conversation: don't interrupt. And if they mess up, their parents give them the silent treatment.
Common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) live in large family groups in the forests of Brazil. "Because marmosets ... Read more »
Chow, C., Mitchell, J., & Miller, C. (2015) Vocal turn-taking in a non-human primate is learned during ontogeny. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 282(1807), 20150069-20150069. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2015.0069
by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room
People take selfies at funerals and text during sex. Others text while in the shower or while using the toilet (which apparently is not just for newspapers and books any longer). And wherever there are social faux pas’ you can bet academic researchers are not far behind. In fact, today we have research on just […]
Be careful what you text!
Let’s see if you can text him from jail…
When the defendant texts the juror…
... Read more »
Harrison, M., Bealing, C., & Salley, J. (2015) 2 TXT or not 2 TXT: College students’ reports of when text messaging is social breach. The Social Science Journal. DOI: 10.1016/j.soscij.2015.02.005
"Consistent with previous reviews, the majority of included studies indicated between 50 and 75 % of individuals will maintain diagnoses."That was one of the conclusions reached by Isaac Smith and colleagues  following their systematic review of studies comparing DSM-IV and DSM-5 criteria for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and what the changes mean for eligibility for the label.Authors further reported that: "the greatest decreases [were] among high-functioning populations with IQs over ........ Read more »
Smith IC, Reichow B, & Volkmar FR. (2015) The Effects of DSM-5 Criteria on Number of Individuals Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Systematic Review. Journal of autism and developmental disorders. PMID: 25796195
A funny thing happened on the way to the publisher. In a world first, China has successfully created genetically modified human embryos. It was certainly an amazing piece of science, but the paper was rejected by both Nature and Science. Not because the study was flawed, or because the data was falsified, the paper was rejected for ethical reasons.... Read more »
Liang, P., Xu, Y., Zhang, X., Ding, C., Huang, R., Zhang, Z., Lv, J., Xie, X., Chen, Y., Li, Y.... (2015) CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene editing in human tripronuclear zygotes. Protein . DOI: 10.1007/s13238-015-0153-5
It’s widely recognised that atheists are one of the most marginalised groups in the USA. As you might imagine, this can cause all sorts of problems for non-believers. But might it also help explain why the public face of atheism in the USA is so stridently vocal? Many American atheists are passionate about their identity as [Read More...]... Read more »
Doane, M., & Elliott, M. (2014) Perceptions of Discrimination Among Atheists: Consequences for Atheist Identification, Psychological and Physical Well-Being. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality. DOI: 10.1037/rel0000015
Why do we do the things we do? Knowing the science behind bad habits may help you to break them. ... Read more »
White KG, & Magalhães P. (2015) The sunk cost effect in pigeons and people: a case of within-trials contrast?. Behavioural processes, 22-8. PMID: 25305066
One of the longest-debated and most studied issues in psychology is whether and how our personalities are affected by our birth order and the sex of our siblings. A problem with much previous research is that it's depended on people self-reporting their own personality, or on siblings or parents providing the personality ratings. These ratings are prone to subjectivity and skewed by people's expectations about how, say, a younger sibling ought to behave.A new study focused on one particular find........ Read more »
Okudaira, H., Kinari, Y., Mizutani, N., Ohtake, F., & Kawaguchi, A. (2015) Older sisters and younger brothers: The impact of siblings on preference for competition. Personality and Individual Differences, 81-89. DOI: 10.1016/j.paid.2015.02.037
The paper from Jared Schwartzer and colleagues  (open-access) including a couple of familiar names on the authorship list (Charity Onore and Paul Ashwood) caught my attention recently. Based on mouse studies and the artificial induction of maternal allergy/asthma in pregnant mice, researchers reported that: "Activation of the maternal immune system with an allergy/asthma insult significantly perturbed developmental growth and species-typical behaviors in offspring." Further that the........ Read more »
Schwartzer, J., Careaga, M., Chang, C., Onore, C., & Ashwood, P. (2015) Allergic fetal priming leads to developmental, behavioral and neurobiological changes in mice. Translational Psychiatry, 5(4). DOI: 10.1038/tp.2015.40
Their actions are criminal and they cause untold misery, but repeat burglars are skilled at what they do and in that sense they are experts. By studying this expertise we can learn to better secure our properties against the threat of theft, and detectives can learn to spot the signature trail of an experienced robber.Most previous research in this area has relied on interviews with burglars about their strategies: a limited approach. A new study is more compelling. Claire Nee and her team recru........ Read more »
Nee, C., White, M., Woolford, K., Pascu, T., Barker, L., & Wainwright, L. (2014) New methods for examining expertise in burglars in natural and simulated environments: preliminary findings. Psychology, Crime , 21(5), 507-513. DOI: 10.1080/1068316X.2014.989849
A new study finds that a dog might be just what the doctor ordered.Can animal-assisted therapy can help adolescents who are in hospital because of an acute psychiatric crisis? A new randomized controlled trial investigates. The study, conducted by M.C. Stefanini et al (University of Florence) randomly allocated patients to either an animal-assisted therapy intervention or no intervention. Both groups continued to receive psychiatric treatment as usual, and those treating them did not know w........ Read more »
Kamioka, H., Okada, S., Tsutani, K., Park, H., Okuizumi, H., Handa, S., Oshio, T., Park, S., Kitayuguchi, J., Abe, T.... (2014) Effectiveness of animal-assisted therapy: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 22(2), 371-390. DOI: 10.1016/j.ctim.2013.12.016
Stefanini, M., Martino, A., Allori, P., Galeotti, F., & Tani, F. (2015) The use of Animal-Assisted Therapy in adolescents with acute mental disorders: A randomized controlled study. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, 21(1), 42-46. DOI: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2015.01.001
Recently we blogged about an emerging demographic subgroup: the lumbersexual. After reading the flurry of mainstream media articles about this group, here is how we described them: “As far as we can tell, the lumbersexual is an urban male (typically White and heterosexual) who dresses like a lumberjack even though he is far from a […]
Wait! Could that be a lumbersexual in your venire panel?
The Millennials (aka ‘Gen Y’): On tattoos, TMI, tolerance and technology
T........ Read more »
Grueter, C., Isler, K., & Dixson, B. (2015) Are badges of status adaptive in large complex primate groups?. Evolution and Human Behavior. DOI: 10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2015.03.003
"In this large sample of privately insured children with older siblings, receipt of the MMR [measles-mumps-rubella] vaccine was not associated with increased risk of ASD [autism spectrum disorder], regardless of whether older siblings had ASD. These findings indicate no harmful association between MMR vaccine receipt and ASD even among children already at higher risk for ASD."That was the conclusion reached in the study by Anjali Jain and colleagues  (open-access) based on........ Read more »
Jain, A., Marshall, J., Buikema, A., Bancroft, T., Kelly, J., & Newschaffer, C. (2015) Autism Occurrence by MMR Vaccine Status Among US Children With Older Siblings With and Without Autism. JAMA, 313(15), 1534. DOI: 10.1001/jama.2015.3077
In a provocative review paper just published, French neuroscientists Jean-Michel Hupé and Michel Dojat question the assumption that synesthesia is a neurological disorder.
In synesthesia, certain sensory stimuli involuntarily trigger other sensations. For example, in one common form of synesthesia, known as 'grapheme-color', certain letters are perceived as allied with, certain colors. In other cases, musical notes are associated with colors, or smells.
The cause of synesthesia is obsc... Read more »
Hupé JM, & Dojat M. (2015) A critical review of the neuroimaging literature on synesthesia. Frontiers in human neuroscience, 103. PMID: 25873873
"... the optimist sees the rose and not its thorns; the pessimist stares at the thorns, oblivious to the rose,” Kahlil Gibran.Optimists enjoy better health, more success, more happiness, and longer lives, than pessimists. No surprise, then, that psychologists are taking an increasing interest in our outlook on life. An unresolved issue is whether optimism and pessimism are two ends of the same spectrum, or if they're separate. If the traits are separate, then in principle, some people cou........ Read more »
Bates, T. (2015) The glass is half full half empty: A population-representative twin study testing if optimism and pessimism are distinct systems . The Journal of Positive Psychology, 1-10. DOI: 10.1080/17439760.2015.1015155
It's not often that I dedicate a blog post to a specific individual and their views and opinions on a particular topic. Today however, I'm doing just that to provide you with a link to the paper from Jessica Biesiekierski on the topic of non-coeliac gluten sensitivity (NCGS)  (open-access).The reason? Well, aside from being one of the primary protagonists in the research topic of gluten-related ills outside of the autoimmune condition known as coeliac (celiac) disease (itself the to........ Read more »
Biesiekierski, J., & Iven, J. (2015) Non-coeliac gluten sensitivity: piecing the puzzle together. United European Gastroenterology Journal, 3(2), 160-165. DOI: 10.1177/2050640615578388
One of the interesting things (to me anyway) that came out of our recent factor analysis project (Mirman et al., 2015, in press; see Part 1 and Part 2) is a way of reconsidering aphasia types in terms of psycholinguistic factors rather than the traditional clinical aphasia subtypes. The traditional aphasia subtyping approach is to use a diagnostic test like the Western Aphasia Battery or the Boston Diagnostic Aphasia Examination to assign an individual with aphasia to one of several subtype cate........ Read more »
Mirman, D., Chen, Q., Zhang, Y., Wang, Z., Faseyitan, O.K., Coslett, H.B., & Schwartz, M.F. (2015) Neural Organization of Spoken Language Revealed by Lesion-Symptom Mapping. Nature Communications, 6(6762), 1-9. info:/
Mirman, D., Zhang, Y., Wang, Z., Coslett, H.B., & Schwartz, M.F. (2015) The ins and outs of meaning: Behavioral and neuroanatomical dissociation of semantically-driven word retrieval and multimodal semantic recognition in aphasia. Neuropsychologia. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2015.02.014
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