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  • March 25, 2015
  • 07:13 AM
  • 58 views

Flawed Shades Of Gray

by RAZ Rebecca A. Zarate in United Academics

The Munker-White Illusion: flawed expectations of brightness and shadow.... Read more »

Li, Tavantzis, and Yazdanbakhsh. (2009) Lightness of Munker-White illusion and Simultaneous-Contrast illusion: Establishing an ordinal lightness relation among minimum and split-frame presentations. Review of Psychology, 16(1), 3-8. info:/

Purves D, Shimpi A, & Lotto RB. (1999) An empirical explanation of the cornsweet effect. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 19(19), 8542-51. PMID: 10493754  

  • March 25, 2015
  • 05:33 AM
  • 58 views

Autism and depression: interlinked?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"A possible implication is that interventions aimed at either autism symptoms or symptoms of depression may improve the other."That was the intriguing statement made by Per Normann Andersen and colleagues [1] who "investigated the course of and association among changes in autism symptoms, depression symptoms and executive functions (EF) in children with high-functioning autism (HFA)." Aside from frowning a little at the mention of the concept of 'high-functioning' I assume to denote those ........ Read more »

  • March 24, 2015
  • 02:42 PM
  • 49 views

FDA struggles to define what “natural” means for food labels

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

After decades of debate there remains no generally accepted definition of a “natural” food product. Despite a gamut of products with the label prominently displayed, it has caused a headache in lawsuits for the government who have yet to define “natural”. According to new research, while regulatory agencies have refused to settle the issue, they may be under new pressure from those consumer lawsuits.... Read more »

  • March 24, 2015
  • 01:44 PM
  • 52 views

Milk, not just for your bones, for your brain

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Milk, depending on who you ask it’s either great or the devil. In the US drinking milk is common; not so much in other parts of the world. This has lead to questions about why we even drink milk and how real its reported health claims actually are. Well new research has found a correlation between milk consumption and the levels of a naturally-occurring antioxidant called glutathione in the brain in older, healthy adults.... Read more »

Choi, I., Lee, P., Denney, D., Spaeth, K., Nast, O., Ptomey, L., Roth, A., Lierman, J., & Sullivan, D. (2014) Dairy intake is associated with brain glutathione concentration in older adults. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 101(2), 287-293. DOI: 10.3945/ajcn.114.096701  

  • March 24, 2015
  • 05:37 AM
  • 52 views

More extremes of a limiting diet and autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

In a previous post a while back, I discussed some examples in the peer-reviewed literature of where a self-limiting diet in the extreme can lead to with autism in mind. Today, I'm adding a further example of what food faddism might mean, to further forward the point that "a low threshold for vitamin level testing should be undertaken in autistic spectrum disorder cases, highlighting the importance of enquiring about dietary habits."That last quote comes from the paper in question by Emma Du........ Read more »

  • March 23, 2015
  • 03:02 PM
  • 61 views

The neurological basis for anorexia nervosa

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Most of us know about dieting, and if not first hand, have seen in the news or from friends how hard sticking to a diet long-term can be. This is because adults (regardless of their weight_ resolve to lose weight. Yet, more often than not, that chocolate lava cake is too enticing and that resolve vanishes. This behavior is normal because hunger increases the intensity of food rewards. Yet, individuals with anorexia nervosa (AN), despite their state of starvation, are able to ignore such food-rel........ Read more »

Wierenga, C., Bischoff-Grethe, A., Melrose, A., Irvine, Z., Torres, L., Bailer, U., Simmons, A., Fudge, J., McClure, S., Ely, A.... (2015) Hunger Does Not Motivate Reward in Women Remitted from Anorexia Nervosa. Biological Psychiatry, 77(7), 642-652. DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2014.09.024  

  • March 23, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 17 views

“We need smart jurors so we should keep the lighter skinned Black guy”

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Most of us have heard of the preference for lighter skin within the African-American community. Some of us have also heard of “colorism” in general—a bias shared by many in our culture. Recently, author Lance Hannon (a sociologist from Villanova University) used data from the 2012 American National Election Study and found that Whites in […]

Related posts:

Lighter Skin, More Like Me

If your client is Atheist or Muslim, do you want your Christian jurors to be Black or ........ Read more »

Hannon, L. (2015) White Colorism. Social Currents, 2(1), 13-21. DOI: 10.1177/2329496514558628  

  • March 23, 2015
  • 05:48 AM
  • 59 views

Early life probiotics reducing the risk of subsequent neuropsychiatric disorder?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

With my continued interest in all-things gut microbiome on this blog (see here for example) it is little wonder that I was taken to blog about the study findings from Anna Pärtty and colleagues [1] reporting that: "Probiotic supplementation early in life may reduce the risk of neuropsychiatric disorder development later in childhood." Probiotic by the way, refers to various 'live' organisms (bacteria, yeasts) thought to confer some positive effect on health and/or wellbeing.Not only does such a........ Read more »

  • March 21, 2015
  • 04:22 AM
  • 74 views

Toxoplasma gondii and schizophrenia (again and again)

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The findings reported by Ainsah Omar and colleagues [1] (open-access available here) adding further weight to the notion of a "strong association between the active Tg [Toxoplasma gondii] infection and schizophrenia" are set out for your reading consumption today.Continuing a research topic that has already enjoyed quite a bit of air time on this blog (see here and see here) whereby the parasite T. gondii known to cause the condition toxoplasmosis might also be implicate........ Read more »

Omar A, Bakar OC, Adam NF, Osman H, Osman A, Suleiman AH, Manaf MR, & Selamat MI. (2015) Seropositivity and Serointensity of Toxoplasma gondii Antibodies and DNA among Patients with Schizophrenia. The Korean journal of parasitology, 53(1), 29-34. PMID: 25748706  

  • March 20, 2015
  • 06:19 PM
  • 82 views

Can Monkeys Get Depressed?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

According to a new study from Chinese neuroscientists Fan Xu and colleagues, some monkeys can experience depression in a similar way to humans.


The researchers studied cynomolgus monkeys, also known as crab-eating macaques (Macaca fascicularis), a species native to Southeast Asia. Cynomolgus monkeys are highly social animals. Xu et al. previously showed that isolating a monkey from its companions caused it to develop depression-like behaviors. In their new paper, the authors say that they'v... Read more »

Xu F, Wu Q, Xie L, Gong W, Zhang J, Zheng P, Zhou Q, Ji Y, Wang T, Li X.... (2015) Macaques exhibit a naturally-occurring depression similar to humans. Scientific reports, 9220. PMID: 25783476  

  • March 20, 2015
  • 10:48 AM
  • 83 views

Understanding the Origin of Psychopathic Tendencies Through Chimpanzees

by amikulak in Daily Observations

Psychopathy, a personality disorder characterized by antisocial behavior, lack of empathy, and disinhibition, is typically investigated among clinical and forensic samples, and sometimes among the general population. But a team […]... Read more »

Latzman, R., Drislane, L., Hecht, L., Brislin, S., Patrick, C., Lilienfeld, S., Freeman, H., Schapiro, S., & Hopkins, W. (2015) A Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) Model of Triarchic Psychopathy Constructs: Development and Initial Validation. Clinical Psychological Science. DOI: 10.1177/2167702615568989  

  • March 20, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 26 views

“Classical music will protect you from Alzheimer’s” and  other lies on the internet

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

This week I read several sensationalized reports of research findings from some scientists in Finland. “Classical music can help slow down the onset of dementia” and “Listening To Classical Music Could Improve Genes Responsible For Certain Brain Functions”. The articles reported that listening to a 20 minute Mozart violin concerto could stave off dementia and […]

Related posts:
No one knows you’re a dog on the internet (actually, they do!)
Another look at who lies…
Will ........ Read more »

Brown, M. J., Henriquez, E., & Groscup, J. (2008) The effects of eyeglasses and race on juror decisions involving a violent crime. American Journal of Forensic Psychology, 26(2), 25-43. info:/

  • March 20, 2015
  • 03:50 AM
  • 78 views

Autism genes and cognitive ability

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Autism IS linked to higher intelligence: People with genes related to the condition 'scored better in mental ability tests' was one of the media headlines reporting on the study by Toni-Kim Clarke and colleagues [1].Clarke et al reported results based on a pretty good sample size (in the thousands) whereby autism-associated genes and cognitive ability were examined in several cohorts including those taking part in The Generation Scotland : Scottish Family Health Study (G........ Read more »

  • March 19, 2015
  • 01:22 PM
  • 80 views

Secular community groups are just as effective as religious ones in stimulating concern for others

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

Researchers around the world have found that subliminal reminders of religion can have some fairly profound effects (for example, encouraging honesty, obedience, revenge and staying power – and, as we saw in the previous post – even risk taking). But is this specifically about religion? Perhaps being reminded about god makes people virtuous – but [Read More...]... Read more »

  • March 19, 2015
  • 12:50 PM
  • 58 views

The impact of military deployment on children

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Being a military family is hard, it’s hard for the person serving (obviously) and if divorce rates are any indication, it is also hard on the spouse. While the added stress of deployment on a family cannot adequately be explained, even as someone who has seen it first hand, those stresses affect even the littlest members of the family. A new study reports that following military parents’ return from combat deployment, their children show increased visits for mental healthcare, physical injur........ Read more »

Hisle-Gorman, E., Harrington, D., Nylund, C., Tercyak, K., Anthony, B., & Gorman, G. (2015) Impact of Parents’ Wartime Military Deployment and Injury on Young Children’s Safety and Mental Health. Journal of the American Academy of Child , 54(4), 294-301. DOI: 10.1016/j.jaac.2014.12.017  

  • March 19, 2015
  • 06:05 AM
  • 61 views

Objective measures of sleep in autism meta-analysed

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Children with ASD [autism spectrum disorder] have small but measurable objective differences in their sleep parameters that are consistent with subjective reporting."That was the main conclusion reached in the meta-analysis from Marilisa Elrod and Bradley Hood [1] who looked at the collected peer-reviewed data "that used objective measures such as actigraphy or polysomnography (PSG) to describe the sleep parameters of TST [total sleep time], SL [sleep latency], and SE&n........ Read more »

  • March 18, 2015
  • 02:19 PM
  • 86 views

Not “just in your head,” brain networks differ among those with severe schizophrenia

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

The brain is plastic, it’s how we grow, it’s how we adapt, it is quite literally how we survive. This can unfortunately be to our detriment and new research shows that people with a severe form of schizophrenia have major differences in their brain networks compared to others with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and healthy individuals. So while it may be true, that it is all be in your head, it isn’t how people usually mean it.... Read more »

Anne L. Wheeler, PhD, Michèle Wessa, PhD, Philip R. Szeszko, PhD, George Foussias, MD, MSc, M. Mallar Chakravarty, PhD, Jason P. Lerch, PhD, Pamela DeRosse, PhD, Gary Remington, MD, PhD, Benoit H. Mulsant, MD, Julia Linke, PhD.... (2015) Further Neuroimaging Evidence for the Deficit Subtype of Schizophrenia: A Cortical Connectomics Analysis. JAMA Psychiatry. info:/10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2014.3020

  • March 18, 2015
  • 08:30 AM
  • 80 views

The Right to Walk Away

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

What can pet owners learn from the way scientists give animals choices in research?When people take part in research, scientists must ensure they give informed consent. When the participants are pets, owners give consent on their behalf: they understand the risks of the research and they have the right to end their participation at any time (e.g. if they feel their dog is stressed). We can’t ask animals about their feelings, but scientists have several ways they give the pets a choice.In Sarah........ Read more »

  • March 18, 2015
  • 06:05 AM
  • 99 views

"Look at me!": When we feel powerful, we find ourselves inspirational

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Matthew McConaughey may have surprised some during the 2014 Oscars ceremony when he listed his heroes: each one was a past, present or future version of himself. But it turns out that being your own inspiration isn’t unusual, especially for people who feel socially powerful and influential.A new study, led by Gerben van Kleef from the University of Amsterdam, asked 140 undergraduates to spend a few minutes writing about a personally inspiring event that took place in the prior five years. Part........ Read more »

Van Kleef, G., Oveis, C., Homan, A., van der Lowe, I., & Keltner, D. (2015) Power Gets You High: The Powerful Are More Inspired by Themselves Than by Others. Social Psychological and Personality Science. DOI: 10.1177/1948550614566857  

  • March 18, 2015
  • 05:52 AM
  • 102 views

The label of autism rarely exists in a diagnostic vacuum

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Most young ASD [autism spectrum disorder] children met the criteria for additional psychopathology." That was the primary conclusion reported by Fernando Salazar and colleagues [1].At the risk of sounding like a broken record going on and on about how the diagnosis/label of autism very rarely exists in a diagnostic vacuum when it comes to comorbidity, I did think it important that the findings of Salazar et al were [briefly] brought to your attention. I've talked a few times on t........ Read more »

Salazar, F., Baird, G., Chandler, S., Tseng, E., O’sullivan, T., Howlin, P., Pickles, A., & Simonoff, E. (2015) Co-occurring Psychiatric Disorders in Preschool and Elementary School-Aged Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. DOI: 10.1007/s10803-015-2361-5  

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