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  • February 19, 2015
  • 03:39 AM
  • 179 views

Metal sensitisation and chronic fatigue syndrome?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I have to admit that I pondered longer than usual over whether I should talk about the paper by Vera Stejskal [1] (open-access here) and the idea that: "Patients with CFS [chronic fatigue syndrome] and fibromyalgia are frequently sensitized to metals found in the environment or used in dentistry and surgery."It was't that I doubted that metals - certain types present in the wrong place or wrong concentration - can affect physical and psychological health and wellbeing as per the exampl........ Read more »

  • February 18, 2015
  • 08:30 AM
  • 219 views

What Do Young Children Learn From Pets?

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

Is a better understanding of biology something children can learn from dogs and cats?Young children are very interested in animals. One study even found children aged 11 – 40 months would prefer to look at an animal behind a glass screen (even if the animal is fast asleep) rather than play with a toy (LoBue et al 2013). Now researchers are asking whether this interest in animals means that children with a cat or dog know more about biology than those without.The study, by Megan Geerdts (Univer........ Read more »

  • February 18, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 172 views

 Psychopaths cannot understand punishment—what does that mean for the courtroom?

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

At least that is the headline we’ve been reading about this research. We’ve written before about the psychopath. They are typically characterized as scary and “other” than us—not like us at all. They have been described as without conscience, and yet some of them are involved in corporations rather than prison. There actually are researchers […]

Related posts:
Judges are biased in favor of psychopaths whose “brains made them do it”
Defending the Psychopath: “His brain mad........ Read more »

  • February 18, 2015
  • 05:02 AM
  • 173 views

Fasting Fruit Flies: Improved Focus and Brain Power

by Pieter Carrière in United Academics

Fasting: solely a religious activity or is it also beneficial for focus and brain power? Research links fasting and hunger to formation of long-term memory.... Read more »

Hirano Y, Masuda T, Naganos S, Matsuno M, Ueno K, Miyashita T, Horiuchi J, & Saitoe M. (2013) Fasting launches CRTC to facilitate long-term memory formation in Drosophila. Science (New York, N.Y.), 339(6118), 443-6. PMID: 23349290  

Dubnau J. (2012) Neuroscience. Ode to the mushroom bodies. Science (New York, N.Y.), 335(6069), 664-5. PMID: 22323806  

Quinn, W., Harris, W., & Benzer, S. (1974) Conditioned Behavior in Drosophila melanogaster. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 71(3), 708-712. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.71.3.708  

  • February 18, 2015
  • 03:59 AM
  • 177 views

Autism and the inter-pregnancy interval (again)

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The paper from Maureen Durkin and colleagues [1] adds to something of a growing research evidence base suggesting that the temporal spacing between pregnancies / births - the inter-pregnancy interval (IPI) - may have something of an effect on the risk of receipt of a diagnosis of autism or autism spectrum disorder (ASD).We've been here before. In fact, a couple of times I've talked about the IPI in relation to autism risk (see here and see here) not including other, similar research findings in ........ Read more »

  • February 17, 2015
  • 02:26 PM
  • 196 views

Shopping while hungry leads to more non-food purchases

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Ever go shopping when you’re hungry and notice you walked out with a lot more than you were expecting to buy? While most people know that when you are hungry, you typically will buy more food (as illustrated by The Oatmeal above), new research shows that there is a clear link between hunger and buying non-food items. A team of international researchers has released a paper that describes five laboratory and field studies they conducted which showed how people respond to non-food objects when ........ Read more »

Alison Jing Xu, Norbert Schwarz, & Robert S. Wyer, Jr. (2015) Hunger promotes acquisition of nonfood objects. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. info:/10.1073/pnas.1417712112

  • February 17, 2015
  • 05:15 AM
  • 115 views

Jokey team meetings are more productive, as long as people laugh along

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Science suggests a funnier workplace should be a more effective one, encouraging positive mood and a playful, open approach. But much of the evidence to date rests on theoretical argument or lab experiments. Now a new study of genuine team meetings shows that laughter begets laughter and that bouts of humour really can clear the ground for new approaches and better performance.Using videos taken as part of an improvement process run across two German companies, the study was able to determine th........ Read more »

  • February 17, 2015
  • 03:57 AM
  • 153 views

Congenital rubella, autism and remote stroke

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Case reports. I know they rank pretty low in the order of what counts as objective scientific evidence [1] despite their often interesting findings. That being said, when it comes to a diagnosis like autism, with all its associated heterogeneity and elevated risk of various comorbidity probably better encapsulated in a more 'plural autisms' understanding, case reports can offer something of an important view into the many and varied ways in which someone might arrive on the autism spectrum and t........ Read more »

  • February 16, 2015
  • 01:40 PM
  • 220 views

Surfing and Respite from PTSD

by Rodney Steadman in Gravity's Pull

Research by Caddick et al. (2014) shows that surfing can help combat veterans cope with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).... Read more »

  • February 16, 2015
  • 11:08 AM
  • 100 views

Saving information to computer frees your mind to learn new material

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Forgetting information that we save tocomputer could have its advantagesA few years ago, researchers demonstrated that people had poorer memory for information that they were told had been saved to a computer. Technophobes jumped on the finding. "Imagine that in the future people become so used to external access for any form of reference that they have not internalized any facts at all," wrote Susan Greenfield.Of course there are many flaws to this logic, not least that the old fashioned act of........ Read more »

  • February 16, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 194 views

When your parents help researchers make you believe  a lie 

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Thanks to us, you know researchers trick people into eating dog food, put them in MRI machines that just happen to have snakes in them, and do other nefarious things. But did you know they sometimes enlist your parents in their deception? It is sad, but apparently true. Although these UK and Canadian researchers did […]

Related posts:
Wait! What did I say last time?
Images and ads create false memories
False Confessions: “No one really does that unless they’re just stupid”


... Read more »

  • February 15, 2015
  • 01:09 PM
  • 208 views

Inequality in faculty placement

by neuroecology in Neuroecology

How does your PhD institution affect your chances at a faculty position? Across disciplines, we find steep prestige hierarchies, in which only 9 to 14% of faculty are placed at institutions more prestigious than their doctorate…Under a meritocracy, the observed … Continue reading →... Read more »

Clauset A, Arbesman S, & Larremore DB. (2015) Systematic inequality and hierarchy in faculty hiring networks. Science Advances. info:/

  • February 14, 2015
  • 06:36 PM
  • 234 views

A very Sciencey Valentine’s day

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Happy valentines day! Okay maybe it’s turned into more of a reason to spend money on chocolate and flowers than it is about showing affection — which is probably why some people hate it — but it can still be a somewhat special day. Unfortunately I’ve been struggling on what I could do for my wife on valentines day. So I thought I would work it out here and maybe even help a few of you who are stuck as well.... Read more »

  • February 14, 2015
  • 04:53 AM
  • 229 views

Nutritional medicine as mainstream in psychiatry

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Have you remembered? Flowers from the nearest petrol / gas station or something a little more amorous for February 14th?So as not to take up too much of your time today, I want to briefly draw your attention to the paper (personal view) from Jerome Sarris and colleagues [1] carrying the same title as that of this blog post: 'Nutritional medicine as mainstream in psychiatry' published in The Lancet Psychiatry.Aside from applauding the notion that nutrition is potentially of some importance to "bo........ Read more »

Jerome Sarris, Alan C Logan, Tasnime N Akbaraly, G Paul Amminger, Vicent Balanzá-Martínez, Marlene P Freeman, Joseph Hibbeln, Yutaka Matsuoka, David Mischoulon, Tetsuya Mizoue.... (2015) Nutritional medicine as mainstream in psychiatry. Lancet Psychiatry. info:/http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2215-0366(14)00051-0

  • February 13, 2015
  • 07:34 AM
  • 144 views

Science Can Help You With Your On-line Dating

by Marie Benz in MedicalResearch.com

MedicalResearch.com Medical Research Interviews and News
MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor Khalid Khan Women’s Health Research Unit Multi-disciplinary Evidence Synthesis Hub The Blizard Institute Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Prof. Khan: My co-author talked me into helping him … Continue reading →
The post Science Can Help You With Your On-line Dating appeared first on MedicalResearch.com Medical Research Inter........ Read more »

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:, & Professor Khalid Khan. (2015) Science Can Help You With Your On-line Dating. MedicalResearch.com. info:/

  • February 13, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 152 views

Would you get sucked in to conspiracy theories?

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Well, perhaps you could rule out Bigfoot conspiracy theories, but what about the rest of them? We’ve written about some of the more unusual conspiracy theories here as well as those that simply show up routinely as we complete pretrial research. Regular readers here know that we use those cognitive leaps characteristic of the conspiracy […]

Related posts:
Conspiracy theories that haven’t come up in pretrial research (yet)
Think conspiracy theorists live on the fringes? Think again!
........ Read more »

van Prooijen, J., Krouwel, A., & Pollet, T. (2015) Political Extremism Predicts Belief in Conspiracy Theories. Social Psychological and Personality Science. DOI: 10.1177/1948550614567356  

  • February 13, 2015
  • 04:46 AM
  • 175 views

Autism, CNVs and sensitivity to maternal infection?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

An intriguing quote to begin today's post: "Our findings support a gene-environment interaction model of autism impairment, in that individuals with ASD-associated CNVs are more susceptible to the effects of maternal infection and febrile episodes in pregnancy on behavioral outcomes and suggest that these effects are specific to ASD [autism spectrum disorder] rather than to global neurodevelopment."The findings come from the paper by Varvara Mazina and colleagues [1] who sought to "exp........ Read more »

Mazina V, Gerdts J, Trinh S, Ankenman K, Ward T, Dennis MY, Girirajan S, Eichler EE, & Bernier R. (2015) Epigenetics of Autism-related Impairment: Copy Number Variation and Maternal Infection. Journal of developmental and behavioral pediatrics : JDBP. PMID: 25629966  

  • February 12, 2015
  • 01:38 PM
  • 188 views

Will You Be My Valentine?: Making All the Right Moves

by Melissa Chernick in Science Storiented

My Valentine’s Day themed posts have been both popular and fun to write. In last year’s Getting a Date for Valentine’s Day series, you learned that you should wear something red, gaze without being creepy, tell a good joke before walking up to your potential date who is preferably standing next to some flowers, and then open with a unique request to segue into asking them out. But that isn't the end of the story. Oh no, there are many more things that you can do to attract that special so........ Read more »

Brown, W., Cronk, L., Grochow, K., Jacobson, A., Liu, C., Popović, Z., & Trivers, R. (2005) Dance reveals symmetry especially in young men. Nature, 438(7071), 1148-1150. DOI: 10.1038/nature04344  

Neave, N., McCarty, K., Freynik, J., Caplan, N., Honekopp, J., & Fink, B. (2010) Male dance moves that catch a woman's eye. Biology Letters, 7(2), 221-224. DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2010.0619  

Bale, C., Morrison, R., & Caryl, P. (2006) Chat-up lines as male sexual displays. Personality and Individual Differences, 40(4), 655-664. DOI: 10.1016/j.paid.2005.07.016  

Cooper, M., O’Donnell, D., Caryl, P., Morrison, R., & Bale, C. (2007) Chat-up lines as male displays: Effects of content, sex, and personality. Personality and Individual Differences, 43(5), 1075-1085. DOI: 10.1016/j.paid.2007.03.001  

  • February 12, 2015
  • 11:00 AM
  • 206 views

Happy Valentine's Day! What Is Love, Anyway?

by Bill Sullivan in The 'Scope

Just in time for Valentine's Day. What is love and why does it exist? Read how scientists have made great strides elucidating the evolutionary and biochemical basis for love.... Read more »

Love TM. (2014) Oxytocin, motivation and the role of dopamine. Pharmacology, biochemistry, and behavior, 49-60. PMID: 23850525  

Domingue, B., Fletcher, J., Conley, D., & Boardman, J. (2014) Genetic and educational assortative mating among US adults. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(22), 7996-8000. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1321426111  

  • February 12, 2015
  • 06:28 AM
  • 90 views

How to improve collaboration in virtual teams? Members' avatar style could be key

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

When a team rarely gets to be in a room together, it misses out on many of the in-person subtle cues that help members make sense of their relationships. The signals that are available become more important: subtext in email messages, tone of voice on a conference call, or seemingly minor visual features. That’s why researchers have become interested in the humble avatar – the image that’s used to represent each person in a virtual interaction.Sarah van der Land and her colleagues asked 80........ Read more »

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