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  • February 11, 2014
  • 04:03 PM

Environmental toxicants and autism reviewed

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

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 »

  • February 11, 2014
  • 03:12 PM

Enduring Sharedom

by Jalees Rehman in Fragments of Truth

The recent study "Silent Listeners: The Evolution of Privacy and Disclosure on Facebook" conducted by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University monitored the public disclosure (information visible to all) and private disclosure (information visible to Facebook friends) of personal data by more than 5,000 Facebook users during the time period 2005-2011. ... Read more »

Fred Stutzman, Ralph Grossy, & Alessandro Acquistiz. (2012) Silent Listeners: The Evolution of Privacy and Disclosure on Facebook. Journal of Privacy and Confidentiality. info:/

  • February 11, 2014
  • 03:53 AM

Open a door for a man and you diminish his self-esteem and self-belief

by Christian Jarrett in BPS Research Digest

How does a man feel if another man opens a door for him? The researchers Megan McCarty and Janice Kelly conducted a field study to find out.Male research assistants waited near two university building entrances and looked out for men and women approaching. On some trials the research assistant went through a door adjacent to the arriving person (so that the person had to open the door for themselves). On other trials, the research assistant leaped into action, held open the door for the approach........ Read more »

  • February 11, 2014
  • 02:49 AM

Is Parapsychology a "Taboo" Subject in Science?

by Scott McGreal in Eye on Psych

An opinion piece recently published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, endorsed by 90 signatories calls for a more “open-minded” consideration of the subject. What particularly struck me about this piece was the claim that investigation into the subject is not just controversial, but actually “taboo”. Examination of the history of parapsychology indicates that the scientific mainstream has shown considerable open-mindedness towards the subject, and that claims that it ha........ Read more »

  • February 10, 2014
  • 09:00 AM

Which meditation for what benefits?

by Katharine Blackwell in Contemplating Cognition

The word “meditation” covers a lot of ground, and I don’t just mean its usefulness as an explanation for why you were staring off into space when your boss walked into your office. My own practice focuses on the traditional (to my mind) focus on the breath, but I know from the mindfulness-based stress reduction course I took in graduate school that there are many other options: walking meditation, body scan, open awareness, loving kindness, and more. And now I find myself wonde........ Read more »

Hutcherson CA, Seppala EM, & Gross JJ. (2008) Loving-kindness meditation increases social connectedness. Emotion, 8(5), 720-724. PMID: 18837623  

  • February 10, 2014
  • 07:02 AM

Name that gadget, widget, or otherwise smart device!

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

The movie Her plays with the idea of Joaquin Phoenix falling in love with a computer operating system (voiced by Scarlett Johansson). And today’s research article isn’t far off that track but….it’s much more applicable to litigation advocacy. These researchers took on the issue of trust in autonomous driving vehicles (computer-controlled, rather than driver-operated– which […]

Related posts:
Simple Jury Persuasion: Do haters have to hate? It would seem so.
When you wear ........ Read more »

  • February 10, 2014
  • 04:41 AM

Optimal outcome (and autism) by any other name

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

In my annual review of all things autism research covered on this blog, the accolade of paper of the year for 2013 went to [drum roll maestro]... that optimal outcome paper by Deborah Fein and colleagues* (see here and here for more information). Detailing the experiences of well-defined group of children previously diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who no longer met the diagnostic criteria, the notions that (a) there may be differences in the developmental trajectories of childre........ Read more »

  • February 10, 2014
  • 04:38 AM

Jailed criminals think they are kinder, more trustworthy and honest than the average member of the public

by Christian Jarrett in BPS Research Digest

Many studies have shown that people tend to exaggerate their own positive characteristics and abilities. A popular example is the finding that most drivers think they are a better-than-average driver. This suggests there are many sub-standard drivers cruising our roads in the belief they are unusually gifted at the wheel. Similar findings apply for literally hundreds of traits, all of which supports the idea of a widespread, self-serving "better-than-average effect".However, sceptics have pointe........ Read more »

Sedikides C, Meek R, Alicke MD, & Taylor S. (2013) Behind bars but above the bar: Prisoners consider themselves more prosocial than non-prisoners. The British journal of social psychology / the British Psychological Society. PMID: 24359153  

  • February 9, 2014
  • 11:25 PM

Forever alone disorder

by William Lu in The Quantum Lobe Chronicles

Valentines Day is soon upon us. However, quite a few individuals, also known as otakus, could care less. During college I met a some people who you might consider otakus or dorks. They never left their dorm rooms because they were just THAT into their video games. They would play for hours/days, completely disinterested in socializing with real people, partying, attending classes, and sometimes even eating. Although I did not know it at the time, there was a name for this kind of strange "loner"........ Read more »

Ovejero S, Caro-Cañizares I, de León-Martínez V, & Baca-Garcia E. (2013) Prolonged social withdrawal disorder: A hikikomori case in Spain. The International journal of social psychiatry. PMID: 24101742  

  • February 9, 2014
  • 08:21 PM

I Wanna Hold Your Hand (after 23 sessions of Emotionally Focused Therapy)

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

Can neuroscience illuminate the nature of human relationships? Or does it primarily serve as a prop to sell self-help books? The neurorelationship cottage industry touts the importance of brain research for understanding romance and commitment. But any knowledge of the brain is completely unnecessary for issuing take-home messages like tips on maintaining a successful marriage.In an analogous fashion, we can ask whether successful psychotherapy depends on having detailed knowledge of the mechan........ Read more »

Coan JA, Schaefer HS, & Davidson RJ. (2006) Lending a hand: social regulation of the neural response to threat. Psychological science, 17(12), 1032-9. PMID: 17201784  

Johnson SM, Moser MB, Beckes L, Smith A, Dalgleish T, Halchuk R, Hasselmo K, Greenman PS, Merali Z, & Coan JA. (2013) Soothing the threatened brain: leveraging contact comfort with emotionally focused therapy. PloS one, 8(11). PMID: 24278126  

  • February 9, 2014
  • 01:15 AM

Glass Delusion / Scholar’s melancholy

by Usman Paracha in SayPeople

Glass delusion is considered as a psychiatric problem that was reported in Europe in the late Middle Ages (15th to 17th centuries) though the cases of glass delusion might be present before that time.

In this problem, people may think that they are made of glass and can be smashed into pieces due to any external disturbance such as by the touch of someone. Sufferer of glass delusion may also think that he is "a urinal, an oil lamp or other glass receptacle, or else he might himself be tr........ Read more »

  • February 8, 2014
  • 08:39 PM

Spock's Not One of Us! Exploring the In-Group Overexclusion Effect

by Mark Rubin in Mark Rubin's Social Psychology Research Blog

We all belong to many different social groups. Most of the time, it's fairly easy to work out who belongs to which group. But sometimes it's not that clear. In this post, I consider the mysterious effect that social psychologists have dubbed the in-group overexclusion effect.... Read more »

  • February 8, 2014
  • 04:14 PM

More bumetanide and autism discussion

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

For those with their ear to the autism research ground, the paper by Roman Tyzio and colleagues [1] must have sounded like a freight train coming given the volume of headlines that have been generated from this research (see here for example). Circling around the neurotransmitter, GABA (as in GABA dabba doo!), their findings based on two mouse models of autism, or rather autism and Fragile X syndrome - including the very interesting prenatal valproate (VPA) exposure model - suggested "hippo........ Read more »

Tyzio R, Nardou R, Ferrari DC, Tsintsadze T, Shahrokhi A, Eftekhari S, Khalilov I, Tsintsadze V, Brouchoud C, Chazal G.... (2014) Oxytocin-mediated GABA inhibition during delivery attenuates autism pathogenesis in rodent offspring. Science (New York, N.Y.), 343(6171), 675-9. PMID: 24503856  

  • February 8, 2014
  • 01:09 PM

Depression: Ketamine Eyes Hath Seen The Glory?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

Ketamine: club drug, ‘horse-tranquillizer’, and… miracle antidepressant? I’ve blogged about the research behind the claim that ketamine has rapid-acting antidepressant effects several times. Since 2009, my view has been that it is impossible to tell whether ketamine has specific antidepressant properties, because ketamine has never been compared against an ‘active placebo‘ control. In trials, patients […]The post Depression: Ketamine Eyes Hath Seen The G........ Read more »

Murrough JW, Iosifescu DV, Chang LC, Al Jurdi RK, Green CE, Perez AM, Iqbal S, Pillemer S, Foulkes A, Shah A.... (2013) Antidepressant efficacy of ketamine in treatment-resistant major depression: a two-site randomized controlled trial. The American journal of psychiatry, 170(10), 1134-42. PMID: 23982301  

Dakwar E, Anerella C, Hart CL, Levin FR, Mathew SJ, & Nunes EV. (2014) Therapeutic infusions of ketamine: Do the psychoactive effects matter?. Drug and alcohol dependence. PMID: 24480515  

  • February 8, 2014
  • 09:03 AM

How being happy changes your personality

by Christian Jarrett in BPS Research Digest

Outgoing, conscientious, friendly people who are open to new experiences tend to be happier than those who are more shy, unadventurous, neurotic and unfriendly. It's easy to imagine why this might be so. Barely studied before now, however, is the possibility that being happy could also alter your future personality.Christopher Soto has conducted the first thorough study of this question. He analysed personality and well-being results for 16,367 Australians surveyed repeatedly between 2005 and 20........ Read more »

  • February 8, 2014
  • 07:40 AM

Retiring Procrustean Linguistics

by James Winters in A Replicated Typo 2.0

One example of where Procrustean Linguistics has seemingly led us astray is in the pervasive notion that ambiguity is dysfunctional for communication. Ambiguity exists at many layers of language. You have lexical ambiguity, syntactic ambiguity, scope ambiguity and many other types (see here). Broadly conceived, then, ambiguity corresponds to any state in which a linguistic code contains forms that are conventionally associated with more than one meaning (Hoefler, 2009). Why is ambiguity consider........ Read more »

Piantadosi ST, Tily H, & Gibson E. (2012) The communicative function of ambiguity in language. Cognition, 122(3), 280-91. PMID: 22192697  

  • February 7, 2014
  • 02:29 PM

Functional Networks in the Brain - Assessing the Difference between Dyslexics and Non-Impaired Readers

by John Wayland in Psych Radar

Dyslexia Action states that:Dyslexia is a specific learning difficulty that affects memory and processing speed which impacts on literacy development, mathematics, memory, organisation and sequencing skills to varying degrees. Dyslexia can occur at any level of intellectual development. It is neurological in origin and is seen to run in families. It affects up to 10% of the UK population at some level and can affect anyone of any age and background. Finn (2013) and her colleagues rece........ Read more »

  • February 7, 2014
  • 12:44 PM

Ten Findings About Facebook for its 10th Birthday

by Psych Your Mind in Psych Your Mind

Normal 0 false false false EN-US JA X-NONE ... Read more »

Kross E, Verduyn P, Demiralp E, Park J, Lee DS, Lin N, Shablack H, Jonides J, & Ybarra O. (2013) Facebook use predicts declines in subjective well-being in young adults. PloS one, 8(8). PMID: 23967061  

Burke, M., Marlo, C., & Lento, T. (2010) Social network activity and social well-being. Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 1909-1912. DOI: 10.1145/1753326.1753613  

Fernandez, K.C., Levinson, C. A., & Rodebaugh, T. L. (2012) Profiling: Predicting Social Anxiety From Facebook Profiles. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 3(6), 706-713. DOI: 10.1177/1948550611434967  

Buffardi, L. E., & Campbell, W. K. (2008) Narcissism and Social Networking Web Sites. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 34(10), 1303-1314. DOI: 10.1177/0146167208320061  

Clerkin EM, Smith AR, & Hames JL. (2013) The interpersonal effects of Facebook reassurance seeking. Journal of affective disorders, 151(2), 525-30. PMID: 23850160  

Forest, A.L., & Wood, J.V. (2012) When Social Networking Is Not Working Individuals With Low Self-Esteem Recognize but Do Not Reap the Benefits of Self-Disclosure on Facebook. Psychological Science, 23(3), 295-302. info:/

Bond, R.M., Fariss, C.J., Jones, J.J., Kramer, A.D., Marlow, C., Settle, E., & Fowler, J.H. (2012) A 61-million-person experiment in social influence and political mobilization. Nature, 489(7415), 295-298. DOI: 10.1038/nature11421  

  • February 7, 2014
  • 10:24 AM

How People Tawk Affects How Well You Listen

by Rebecca Schwarzlose in Garden of the Mind

People from different places speak differently – that we all know. Some dialects and accents are considered glamorous or authoritative, while others carry a definite social stigma. Speakers with a New York City dialect have even been known to enroll in speech therapy to lessen their ‘accent’ and avoid prejudice. Recent research indicates that they have good reason to be worried. It now appears that the prestige of people’s dialects can fundamentally affect how you process........ Read more »

  • February 7, 2014
  • 10:05 AM

A Dog Can’t Teach a Dog New Tricks (But It Can Teach a Wolf)

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

In a dirt-floored room in Austria, a puppy sniffed and pawed at a wooden box with a treat inside. It circled the box over and over, unable to find a way in. Finally it sat at the feet of a nearby human and looked up at her appealingly, swishing its tail. The woman stared at […]The post A Dog Can’t Teach a Dog New Tricks (But It Can Teach a Wolf) appeared first on Inkfish.... Read more »

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