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  • July 1, 2015
  • 12:05 AM
  • 167 views

The Power of the Mind May not be as Well Utilized as it could be

by Kyle Harris in Sports Medicine Research (SMR): In the Lab & In the Field

Of 1283 survey respondents, only 27% of athletes reported using mental skills such as goal setting, positive self-talk, imagery, and relaxation. Of the 249 respondents who used mental skills 72% reported they felt it helped expedite their recovery process.... Read more »

Arvinen-Barrow M, Clement D, Hamson-Utley JJ, Zakrajsek RA, Lee SM, Kamphoff C, Lintunen T, Hemmings B, & Martin SB. (2015) Athletes' use of mental skills during sport injury rehabilitation. Journal of Sport Rehabilitation, 24(2), 189-97. PMID: 25996227  

  • June 30, 2015
  • 02:56 PM
  • 217 views

Women’s faces get redder at ovulation, but human eyes can’t pick up on it

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Previous studies have shown that men find female faces more attractive when the women are ovulating, but the visual clues that allow this are unclear. Now, new research investigating whether it might be to do with subtle changes in skin colour has shown that women’s faces do increase in redness during ovulation, but the levels of change are just under the detectable range of the human eye.... Read more »

Hannah Rowland, & Robert Burriss. (2015) Women’s faces get redder at ovulation, but human eyes can’t pick up on it. PLOS ONE. info:/

  • June 30, 2015
  • 10:43 AM
  • 131 views

What the textbooks don't tell you about psychology's most famous case study

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Image: Photograph by Jack Wilgus ofa daguerreotype of Phineas Gagein the collection of Jack and Beverly Wilgus.It's a remarkable, mythical tale with lashings of gore – no wonder it's a favourite of psychology students the world over. I'm talking about Phineas Gage, the nineteenth century railway worker who somehow survived the passing of a three-foot long tamping iron through the front of his brain and out the top of his head. What happened to him next?If you turn to many of the leading introd........ Read more »

  • June 30, 2015
  • 05:06 AM
  • 146 views

Low glycemic index diet reduces symptoms of mouse autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

A quote to begin: "Overall, the manuscript supports the idea that ASD [autism spectrum disorder] results from gene–environment interactions and that in the presence of a genetic predisposition to ASD, diet can make a large difference in the expression of the condition."The manuscript in question was by Antonio Currais and colleagues [1] reporting some rather interesting results based on the 'dangermouse' that is the BTBR mouse model of autism. Researchers from the Salk Inst........ Read more »

  • June 29, 2015
  • 01:51 PM
  • 243 views

The fear you experience playing video games is real, and you enjoy it

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

With the advent of video games, a frequently asked question has been whether we get as engrossed in them emotionally as we do when we see a scary movie. The answer is yes and many game players enjoy the fear caused by the zombies, disfigured humans and darkness they often encounter, the researchers found.... Read more »

  • June 29, 2015
  • 04:57 AM
  • 184 views

Fermented foods and social anxiety?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Stumbling across a headline that reads: 'Study Finds Decreased Social Anxiety Among Young Adults Who Eat Fermented Foods' was bound to pique my blogging interest. When I eventually tracked down the source paper behind the headline I became more and more intrigued as today I bring to your attention the study findings reported by Matthew Hilimire and colleagues [1].Implementing "a cross-sectional approach to determine whether consumption of fermented foods likely to contain probiotics interac........ Read more »

Hilimire MR, DeVylder JE, & Forestell CA. (2015) Fermented foods, neuroticism, and social anxiety: An interaction model. Psychiatry research, 228(2), 203-8. PMID: 25998000  

  • June 29, 2015
  • 04:35 AM
  • 80 views

We're more likely to cheat when we think it's our last chance to do so

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Imagine spending your school half-term week with a forgetful relative who always leaves money scattered around the house. Would you pinch any? If so, when, and why? A new paper suggests that we are most likely to “cheat at the end”, and uses a neat method to find out why.A number of theories predict we are likelier to cheat later than earlier. Perhaps we award ourselves moral credits for being good earlier, and later spend them like Catholic indulgences for guilt-free sin. Or maybe the strug........ Read more »

Effron, D., Bryan, C., & Murnighan, J. (2015) Cheating at the End to Avoid Regret. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. DOI: 10.1037/pspa0000026  

  • June 28, 2015
  • 12:58 PM
  • 157 views

Rare neurons enable mental flexibility

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Behavioral flexibility — the ability to change strategy when the rules change — is controlled by specific neurons in the brain, Researchers have confirmed. Cholinergic interneurons are rare — they make up just one to two percent of the neurons in the striatum, a key part of the brain involved with higher-level decision-making. Scientists have suspected they play a role in changing strategies, and researchers at OIST recently confirmed this with experiments.... Read more »

Aoki, S., Liu, A., Zucca, A., Zucca, S., & Wickens, J. (2015) Role of Striatal Cholinergic Interneurons in Set-Shifting in the Rat. Journal of Neuroscience, 35(25), 9424-9431. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0490-15.2015  

  • June 28, 2015
  • 03:33 AM
  • 176 views

What personality features do heroes and psychopaths have in common?

by Scott McGreal in Eye on Psych

The search for a positive face of psychopathy prompted a study examining whether psychopaths and heroes share certain personality traits. Both psychopathy and heroism were correlated with a history of antisocial behavior, but the reasons for this remain unclear. Heroes might have more mature personalities than psychopaths, in spite of what features they may have in common. ... Read more »

  • June 27, 2015
  • 02:17 PM
  • 205 views

Natural wilderness areas need buffer zones to protect from human development

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Despite heavy development, the U.S. still has millions of acres of pristine wild lands. Coveted for their beauty, these wilderness areas draw innumerable outdoor enthusiasts eager for a taste of primitive nature. But University of Georgia researchers say these federally protected nature areas have a problem: Their boundaries have become prime real estate.... Read more »

Lauren K. Ward, & Gary T. Green. (2015) Wilderness Zoning: Applying an Adapted Biosphere Reserve Model to Wilderness Areas. Illuminare. info:/http://scholarworks.iu.edu/journals/index.php/illuminare/article/view/13341

  • June 27, 2015
  • 08:18 AM
  • 186 views

Probiotics, schizophrenia and inflammation

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I have to say that I was initially pretty interested to read the paper by Jakub Tomasik and colleagues [1] (open-access available here) discussing results examining the "possible immunomodulatory effects of probiotic supplementation in chronic schizophrenia patients."Interested because not only was this a partnership paper including Robert Yolken and Faith Dickerson on the authorship list (names who have appeared a few times on this blog) but also because of the subject matter extending som........ Read more »

  • June 26, 2015
  • 07:06 AM
  • 77 views

Is dyslexia associated with exceptional visual-spatial abilities?

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Image: Jose.Stuefer / FlickrChildren and adults with dyslexia have reading skills that are weak relative to their overall intelligence. That's why it is often referred to as "specific learning disability". But what if such a profile also tended to be associated with exceptional strengths in other areas, such as visual skills? That's certainly what some experts have proposed, for example based on the observation that people with dyslexia are over-represented in fields that involve visual-spatial ........ Read more »

Duranovic, M., Dedeic, M., & Gavrić, M. (2014) Dyslexia and Visual-Spatial Talents. Current Psychology, 34(2), 207-222. DOI: 10.1007/s12144-014-9252-3  

  • June 26, 2015
  • 07:03 AM
  • 100 views

Here's a technique that helps self-critical people build confidence from a taste of success

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

The directed abstraction technique acts a springboard,allowing the timid to gain confidence from initial successLast week Kathleen finally put aside her fears about public speaking to give a presentation… and it went pretty well! But when you caught her at lunch today and asked if she wanted future opportunities to present, you found she was as pessimistic about her ability as ever.This story reflects an unfortunate truth: people with low self-belief are liable to hold onto negative assumption........ Read more »

  • June 26, 2015
  • 04:31 AM
  • 171 views

Early sex differences are not autism-specific

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The title of this post mirrors the title of the paper published by Daniel Messinger and colleagues [1] (open-access available here) that reported on "younger sibling sex differences and proband sex differences on the odds of ASD [autism spectrum disorder] in a large sample of prospectively followed high-risk siblings."Researchers found that alongside "a three-to-one male:female odds ratio in ASD recurrence... the emergence of ASD symptoms in high-risk siblings—both with and without eventual AS........ Read more »

Messinger DS, Young GS, Webb SJ, Ozonoff S, Bryson SE, Carter A, Carver L, Charman T, Chawarska K, Curtin S.... (2015) Early sex differences are not autism-specific: A Baby Siblings Research Consortium (BSRC) study. Molecular autism, 32. PMID: 26045943  

  • June 25, 2015
  • 12:53 PM
  • 205 views

Commenters exposed to prejudiced comments more likely to display prejudice themselves

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Comment sections on websites continue to be an environment for trolls to spew racist opinions. The impact of these hateful words shouldn’t have an impact on how one views the news or others, but that may not be the case. A recent study found exposure to prejudiced online comments can increase people’s own prejudice, and increase the likelihood that they leave prejudiced comments themselves.... Read more »

  • June 25, 2015
  • 12:43 PM
  • 234 views

The Long Shadow of Nazi Indoctrination: Persistence of Anti-Semitism in Germany

by Jalees Rehman in The Next Regeneration

Voigtländer and Voth examined the results of the large General Social Survey for Germany (ALLBUS) in which several thousand Germans were asked about their values and beliefs. The survey took place in 1996 and 2006, and the researchers combined the results of both surveys with a total of 5,300 participants from 264 German towns and cities. The researchers were specifically interested in anti-Semitic attitudes and focused on three survey questions specifically related to anti-Semitism. Survey........ Read more »

Voigtländer N, & Voth HJ. (2015) Nazi indoctrination and anti-Semitic beliefs in Germany. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 26080394  

  • June 25, 2015
  • 04:47 AM
  • 152 views

Stalking and 'unexpected subthreshold autism spectrum'

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I deliberated for quite a while as to whether or not I should write this post on the back of the findings reported by Liliana Dell’Osso and colleagues [1] detailing the experiences of a "25-year-old man with a diagnosis of delusional disorder, erotomanic type" who was hospitalised when presenting with psychotic symptoms "in the framework of a repeated stalking behavior towards his ex girlfriend." Said man was assessed for "adult autism spectrum symptoms" via the Ritvo Autism and Aspe........ Read more »

  • June 24, 2015
  • 02:05 PM
  • 179 views

Oh, to have Dr. Facebook on call!

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

If it were up to Internet-savvy Americans, more of them would be emailing or sending Facebook messages to their doctors to chat about their health. That’s the result of a national survey led by Joy Lee of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in the US.... Read more »

  • June 24, 2015
  • 08:30 AM
  • 153 views

Going for a Song? The Price of Pet Birds

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

The price of birds for sale in pet stores in Taiwan sheds light on legal (and illegal) trade, with consequences for native wildlife. Taiwan is an interesting place to study birds. Songbirds are kept for singing competitions, and there is a tradition of taking caged birds out for a walk (‘bird walking’). As in other Asian countries, birds and other animals are set free in order to make merit (prayer release), potentially adding significantly to the numbers of alien birds living wild. The........ Read more »

  • June 24, 2015
  • 05:09 AM
  • 75 views

New research challenges the idea that willpower is a "limited resource"

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

A popular psychological theory says that your willpower isa "limited resource" like the fuel in your car, but is it wrong?When we use willpower to concentrate or to resist temptation, does it leave us depleted so that we have less self-control left over to tackle new challenges? This is a question fundamental to our understanding of human nature and yet a newly published investigation reveals that psychologists are in open disagreement as to the answer.The idea that willpower is a limited resour........ Read more »

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