A new study suggests that given the choice, many dogs prefer praise from their owners over food. The study is one of the first to combine brain-imaging data with behavioral experiments to explore canine reward preferences.
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Cook, P., Prichard, A., Spivak, M., & Berns, G. (2016) Awake Canine fMRI Predicts Dogs’ Preference for Praise Versus Food. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. DOI: 10.1093/scan/nsw102
There they go again. Taiwan and their 'big data' publishing, yet again, some rather interesting population-based research trends derived from data from the National Health Insurance Research Database (NHIRD).This time around it is the paper by Han-Cheng Wang and colleagues  and the hypothesis to evaluate the "association between group A streptococcal (GAS) infections and the risks of developing tic disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disord........ Read more »
Wang, H., Lau, C., Lin, C., Chang, A., & Kao, C. (2016) Group A Streptococcal Infections Are Associated With Increased Risk of Pediatric Neuropsychiatric Disorders. The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. DOI: 10.4088/JCP.14m09728
With the sale of sex shifting online, today's pimps are avoiding police detection by using underground websites, social media, mobile apps and even by hiding their ads on mainstream sites such as Craigslist and Backpage. In a first-of-its-kind study, criminologists interviewed 71 pimps in Atlanta and Chicago to determine how their marketing decisions are influenced by police enforcement of online prostitution.
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Finn, M., & Stalans, L. (2016) How Targeted Enforcement Shapes Marketing Decisions of Pimps: Evidence of Displacement and Innovation. Victims , 1-22. DOI: 10.1080/15564886.2016.1187694
"Although some associations between ADHD [attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder] and offending may be accounted for by co-morbidity with substance use disorders, early onset of offending and repeated violent offending appear to be directly related to ADHD."That was the conclusion reached by Jan Román-Ithier and colleagues  reporting on their study designed to "examine correlates of childhood ADHD symptoms among prisoners." Based on a sample adult prison population (N=1179) where........ Read more »
Román-Ithier, J., González, R., Vélez-Pastrana, M., González-Tejera, G., & Albizu-García, C. (2016) Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder symptoms, type of offending and recidivism in a prison population: The role of substance dependence. Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health. DOI: 10.1002/cbm.2009
Aerobic exercise can significantly help people coping with the long-term mental health condition schizophrenia, according to a new study. Through combining data from 10 independent clinical trials with a total of 385 patients with schizophrenia, Joseph Firth found that around 12 weeks of aerobic exercise training can significant improve patients' brain functioning.
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Firth, J., Stubbs, B., Rosenbaum, S., Vancampfort, D., Malchow, B., Schuch, F., Elliott, R., Nuechterlein, K., & Yung, A. (2016) Aerobic Exercise Improves Cognitive Functioning in People With Schizophrenia: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Schizophrenia Bulletin. DOI: 10.1093/schbul/sbw115
Although mostly trying to avoid any politics-talk on this blog I am going to make some reference to it in this post set in the context of the Persian Gulf War otherwise known at the First Iraq War.The recent publication of the Chilcot report describing the case for the UK's involvement in the 2003 Iraq War (the second Iraq War) has further lit up an already illuminating year in British politics, by perhaps adding fuel to the notion that 'finishing the job' might have been an ........ Read more »
Johnson GJ, Slater BC, Leis LA, Rector TS, & Bach RR. (2016) Blood Biomarkers of Chronic Inflammation in Gulf War Illness. PloS one, 11(6). PMID: 27352030
Researchers have discovered that our brain actively takes sugar from the blood. Prior to this, researchers around the world had assumed that this was a purely passive process. An international team reports that transportation of sugar into the brain is regulated by so-called glial cells that react to hormones such as insulin or leptin; previously it was thought that this was only possible for neurons.
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García-Cáceres, C., Quarta, C., Varela, L., Gao, Y., Gruber, T., Legutko, B., Jastroch, M., Johansson, P., Ninkovic, J., Yi, C.... (2016) Astrocytic Insulin Signaling Couples Brain Glucose Uptake with Nutrient Availability. Cell, 166(4), 867-880. DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2016.07.028
New York Magazine has published a great article about how grad student Steven Ludeke tried to correct mistakes in the research of Pete Hatemi and Brad Verhulst. Overall, Ludeke summarises his experience as ‘not recommendable’. Back in my undergraduate years I spotted an error in an article by David DeMatteo and did little to correct it. […]... Read more »
DeMatteo, D., Heilbrun, K., & Marczyk, G. (2006) An empirical investigation of psychopathy in a noninstitutionalized and noncriminal sample. Behavioral Sciences , 24(2), 133-146. DOI: 10.1002/bsl.667
Gao, Y., & Raine, A. (2010) Successful and unsuccessful psychopaths: A neurobiological model. Behavioral Sciences . DOI: 10.1002/bsl.924
Kunert, R. (2016) Internal conceptual replications do not increase independent replication success. Psychonomic Bulletin . DOI: 10.3758/s13423-016-1030-9
Rucević S. (2010) Psychopathic personality traits and delinquent and risky sexual behaviors in Croatian sample of non-referred boys and girls. Law and human behavior, 34(5), 379-91. PMID: 19728057
A bit of a lazy post for you today with lots of quotes based on the findings reported by Ragnar Nesvåg and colleagues  asking some important questions about 'off-label' use of antipsychotics.Drawing on population-based data from Norway concerning "which substances, and for which mental disorder diagnoses, antipsychotic drugs were prescribed to 0–18-year-old boys and girls" the conclusions drawn make for some interesting reading.So: "In total, 0.18% of Norwegian children and adolescent........ Read more »
Nesvåg, R., Hartz, I., Bramness, J., Hjellvik, V., Handal, M., & Skurtveit, S. (2016) Mental disorder diagnoses among children and adolescents who use antipsychotic drugs. European Neuropsychopharmacology. DOI: 10.1016/j.euroneuro.2016.07.001
There's a reason it's called a gut feeling. The brain and the gut are connected by intricate neural networks that signal hunger and satiety, love and fear, even safety and danger. These networks employ myriad chemical signals that include dopamine, a powerful neurotransmitter most famous for its role in reward and addiction.
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Xiou Cao, & Alejandro Aballay. (2016) Neural inhibition of dopaminergic signaling enhances immunity in a cell non-autonomous manner. Current Biology. info:/http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2016.06.036
"In this nationwide sample of live births we observed no association between induction of labor and offspring ASD [autism spectrum disorder] within sibling comparison. Our findings suggest that concern for ASD should not factor into the clinical decision about whether to induce labor."So said the findings reported by Anna Sara Oberg and colleagues  supposedly providing some reassurance to mums-to-be and other groups around the likelihood of offspring autism when birth or l........ Read more »
Oberg, A., D’Onofrio, B., Rickert, M., Hernandez-Diaz, S., Ecker, J., Almqvist, C., Larsson, H., Lichtenstein, P., & Bateman, B. (2016) Association of Labor Induction With Offspring Risk of Autism Spectrum Disorders. JAMA Pediatrics. DOI: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2016.0965
If you read my blog often, it's no surprise I suffer from PTSD, depression, and anxiety issues. Maybe it's from my military service, but maybe it's my father's, or his father's, maybe it's an insidious family legacy that was just never noticed. This is because having both parents and grandparents with major depressive disorder (MDD) was associated with higher risk of MDD for grandchildren, which could help identify those who may benefit from early intervention.
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Myrna M. Weissman, PhD, Obianuju O. Berry, MD, MPH, Virginia Warner, DrPH, Marc J. Gameroff, PhD, Jamie Skipper, MS, Ardesheer Talati, PhD, Daniel J. Pilowsky, MD, MPH, & Priya Wickramaratne, PhD. (2016) A 30-Year Study of 3 Generations at High Risk and Low Risk for Depression. JAMA Psychiatry . info:/10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2016.1586
Scientists tracked down the evidence for a common statement about bite strength in dogs – and found it lacking.Have you ever read comments about the strength of a dog’s jaw when it bites? These statements are often made in relation to certain types of dog, like pit bulls. Maybe some people take it as fact. But what if it’s not true?A recent paper by Dr. Gary Patronek (Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University) et al traced citations in the literature and went back to the ori........ Read more »
Patronek, G., Bradley, J., & Cleary, D. (2016) Who is minding the bibliography? Daisy chaining, dropped leads, and other bad behavior using examples from the dog bite literature. Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, 17-19. DOI: 10.1016/j.jveb.2016.06.004
Although research stories stating a link (an association if you will) between condition A and factor X make for interesting reading, not all science is so blessed with such news-worthy findings. That's not to say that 'negative findings' are any less important than the 'hey, we found this...' studies, just that they don't perhaps tend to grab the headlines as much as those finding something.In saying all that I'm standing up for negative findings today and some rather interesting science reporte........ Read more »
Duringer J, Fombonne E, & Craig M. (2016) No Association between Mycotoxin Exposure and Autism: A Pilot Case-Control Study in School-Aged Children. Toxins, 8(7). PMID: 27447670
It's not a fad diet, it is an actual diet -- as in the way a person eats normally -- and it may do more than just help your waistline. The Mediterranean diet can improve your mind, as well your heart.
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Hardman, R., Kennedy, G., Macpherson, H., Scholey, A., & Pipingas, A. (2016) Adherence to a Mediterranean-Style Diet and Effects on Cognition in Adults: A Qualitative Evaluation and Systematic Review of Longitudinal and Prospective Trials. Frontiers in Nutrition. DOI: 10.3389/fnut.2016.00022
"Comorbid anxiety symptoms are ubiquitous among psychiatric patients with mood or schizophrenia spectrum disorders, and in almost half of them, reportedly severe."So said the findings reported by Karpov and colleagues  who sought to put some further research flesh on to the bones of the idea that clinically relevant anxiety symptoms might not be unstrange bedfellows with a variety of other psychiatric labels.Based on the analysis of various patient groups included in the "Helsinki University ........ Read more »
Karpov, B., Joffe, G., Aaltonen, K., Suvisaari, J., Baryshnikov, I., Näätänen, P., Koivisto, M., Melartin, T., Oksanen, J., Suominen, K.... (2016) Anxiety symptoms in a major mood and schizophrenia spectrum disorders. European Psychiatry, 1-7. DOI: 10.1016/j.eurpsy.2016.04.007
Not a very good showing, eh?Here's our latest study on mediumship: "Prediction of Mortality Based on Facial Characteristics". Available here: https://t.co/jVMHmF07Dj— Dean Radin (@DeanRadin) May 21, 2016In the study,“Participants were asked to press a button if they thought the person in a photo was living or deceased. Overall mean accuracy on this task was 53.8%, where 50% was expected by chance (p < 0.004, two-tail). Statistically significant accuracy was independently obtained in 5 of ........ Read more »
Delorme, A., Pierce, A., Michel, L., & Radin, D. (2016) Prediction of Mortality Based on Facial Characteristics. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. DOI: 10.3389/fnhum.2016.00173
I tread carefully in discussing the findings reported by Karola Dillenburger and colleagues  (open-access) on the question of "knowledge and training with regards to autism" received by "health, social care, and education staff who work within the statutory autism services sector in the UK." The observation that "an acute lack of autism-specific training that has detrimental impacts" was apparent is a worrying sign indeed.Although not intimately involved in the autism services sector, I ........ Read more »
The idea that use of the diagnostic label called attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is on the increase, and pretty significantly so, is quite common-place these days (see here). Appreciating that not everyone is convinced that the increase is necessarily genuine (see here) I would like to discuss some interesting data coming out of the 'big data' country that is Taiwan in the form of the findings reported by Wang and colleagues .As regular readers might already know, Taiwan is th........ Read more »
Wang, L., Lee, S., Yuan, S., Yang, C., Yang, K., Huang, T., Chou, W., Chou, M., Lee, M., Lee, T.... (2016) Prevalence rates of youths diagnosed with and medicated for ADHD in a nationwide survey in Taiwan from 2000 to 2011. Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences, 1-11. DOI: 10.1017/S2045796016000500
"Individuals hospitalized with acute mania have a markedly increased rate of bacterial infections, as evidenced by the recent prescription of antimicrobial agents. The prevention and effective treatment of bacterial infections may be important interventions for the management of individuals with mania."That was the research bottom-line reported by Robert Yolken and colleagues  (yes, that Robert Yolken) who continued a theme of how immune function/response might be something pretty important w........ Read more »
Yolken R, Adamos M, Katsafanas E, Khushalani S, Origoni A, Savage C, Schweinfurth L, Stallings C, Sweeney K, & Dickerson F. (2016) Individuals hospitalized with acute mania have increased exposure to antimicrobial medications. Bipolar disorders. PMID: 27425597
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