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  • February 6, 2015
  • 09:02 AM

Typical Dreams: A Comparison of Dreams Across Cultures

by Jalees Rehman in Fragments of Truth

Have you ever wondered how the content of your dreams differs from that of your friends? How about the dreams of people raised in different countries and cultures? It is not always easy to compare dreams of distinct individuals because the content of dreams depends on our personal experiences. This is why dream researchers have developed standardized dream questionnaires in which common thematic elements are grouped together. These questionnaires can be translated into various languages and used........ Read more »

  • February 6, 2015
  • 08:46 AM

Do we let patients suffer needlessly?

by Eva Alisic in Trauma Recovery

PTSD treatment guidelines invariably point to trauma-focused therapies as preferred interventions. But is this trauma focus justified? ... Read more »

  • February 6, 2015
  • 08:34 AM

Why do we have music? Can one trace the origins of musicality?

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

Why do we have music? And what enables us to perceive, appreciate and make music? The search for a possible answer to these and other questions forms the backdrop to a soon-to-be released theme issue of Philosophical Transactions, which deals with the subject of musicality. An initiative of Henkjan Honing, professor of Music Cognition at the University of Amsterdam (UvA), this theme issue will see Honing and fellow researchers present their most important empirical results and offer a joint rese........ Read more »

Honing, H., ten Cate, C., Peretz, I., & Trehub, S. (2015) Without it no music: cognition, biology and evolution of musicality. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 370(1664), 20140088-20140088. DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2014.0088  

Gingras, B., Honing, H., Peretz, I., Trainor, L., & Fisher, S. (2015) Defining the biological bases of individual differences in musicality. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 370(1664), 20140092-20140092. DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2014.0092  

Fitch, W. (2015) Four principles of bio-musicology. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 370(1664), 20140091-20140091. DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2014.0091  

Hoeschele, M., Merchant, H., Kikuchi, Y., Hattori, Y., & ten Cate, C. (2015) Searching for the origins of musicality across species. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 370(1664), 20140094-20140094. DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2014.0094  

  • February 6, 2015
  • 07:02 AM

Would you rather go to jail or prison? 

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

You cannot really answer “neither” to this question, it’s an either/or sort of query. If you know little about either, you may blurt out “jail”, and that would be a little unwise according to today’s research. Apparently, those that do know a little about jail versus prison would much rather go to prison than spend […]

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Go to jail. Go directly to jail. And if you are a woman, stay there a lot longer.
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Beauty is only skin deep but the la........ Read more »

May, D., Applegate, B., Ruddell, R., & Wood, P. (2013) Going to Jail Sucks (And It Really Doesn’t Matter Who You Ask). American Journal of Criminal Justice, 39(2), 250-266. DOI: 10.1007/s12103-013-9215-5  

  • February 6, 2015
  • 05:00 AM

Depression and risk of coronary heart disease

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"The results of our meta-analysis suggest that depression is independently associated with a significantly increased risk of CHD [coronary heart disease] and MI [myocardial infarction], which may have implications for CHD etiological research and psychological medicine."No owners means - no heartbreak!So said the conclusion of the paper by Yong Gan and colleagues [1] (open-access) and their synthesis of the peer-reviewed literature on the topic of heart health and depression. Gran........ Read more »

  • February 6, 2015
  • 04:58 AM

Our brains respond to corporations as if they are people

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Do corporations, like people, have moral rights and responsibilities?The US Supreme Court has recently made a number of rulings that suggest it sees corporations as having similar rights and responsibilities to individual human beings, such as that they have the right to free speech, and can be exempt from laws that contradict their owner’s religious beliefs. Can a new neuroimaging study help us determine whether the Court’s approach is justified?Forty participants viewed written vignettes w........ Read more »

  • February 5, 2015
  • 12:04 PM

Art affects you more powerfully when you view it in a museum

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

These days there's no need to take the trouble of visiting art museums. You can usually view all the exhibits on your computer, in the comfort of your own home. And yet, attendance at art museums has been rising over recent years. A new study helps explain why: people enjoy art more at the museum, they find it more stimulating and understandable, and they remember it better.David Brieber and his colleagues invited 137 psychology students to view 25 artworks from Vienna's Museum Startgalerie Beau........ Read more »

  • February 5, 2015
  • 09:40 AM

The Song Remains The Same

by Bill Sullivan in The 'Scope

The new hit by Sam Smith sounds a lot like a Tom Petty smash from 1989. Should we be surprised? There's only so many ways to combine a limited number of chords. Today we look at how many possible songs can be written, what makes songs popular, and which genre of music has been the most successful.... Read more »

  • February 5, 2015
  • 04:38 AM

Tics, OCD and non-coeliac gluten sensitivity: a case report

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

A curious case report is documented in the paper by Luis Rodrigo and colleagues [1] (open-access) discussing the diagnosis of non-coeliac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) in a young lady "with a long history of 10 years of tics and obsessive compulsive disorder [OCD]." Further, quite a remarkable turn-around in her clinical symptoms was observed following institution of a gluten-free diet (GFD); as the authors note: "One week after the beginning of this diet, the tics diminished notably and t........ Read more »

  • February 4, 2015
  • 07:55 PM

Study shows children and birds learn alike

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Your child is your pride and joy — and why not, every parent should be a proud one, even if your child might be bird brained. Or maybe birds are baby brained? In any case, a new study has found that pigeons can categorize and name both natural and manmade objects–and not just a few objects. These birds categorized 128 photographs into 16 categories, and they did so simultaneously.... Read more »

  • February 4, 2015
  • 05:39 PM

The Psychology of Procrastination: How We Create Categories of the Future

by Jalees Rehman in Fragments of Truth

Paying bills, filling out forms, completing class assignments or submitting grant proposals – we all have the tendency to procrastinate. We may engage in trivial activities such as watching TV shows, playing video games or chatting for an hour and risk missing important deadlines by putting off tasks that are essential for our financial and professional security. Not all humans are equally prone to procrastination, and a recent study suggests that this may in part be due to the fact that t........ Read more »

  • February 4, 2015
  • 11:28 AM

The trouble with tDCS? Electrical brain stimulation may not work after all

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

By guest blogger NeuroskepticA widely-used brain stimulation technique may be less effective than previously believed.Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) is an increasingly popular neuroscience tool. tDCS involves attaching electrodes to the scalp, through which a weak electrical current flows. The idea is that this current modulates the activity of the brain tissue underneath the electrode - safely and painlessly.Outside of the neuroscience lab, tDCS is also used by hobbyists looking........ Read more »

  • February 4, 2015
  • 08:30 AM

Unanticipated Animals: What Happens When Pets Appear in Research Interviews?

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

A new study finds pets are often written out of research reports.We all know the saying “never work with children or animals”. Normally it applies to actors. But what happens when a researcher goes to interview someone and a pet is there too? A new paper by Sara Ryanand Sue Ziebland(University of Oxford) says that health scientists are not paying enough attention to the importance of pets in people’s lives.Their analysis shows that pets are often ignored or are seen as an interruption in i........ Read more »

  • February 4, 2015
  • 07:02 AM

Can we just settle racial injustice out of  court?

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

We write a lot about racial bias here at The Jury Room and a new article from Sam Sommers and Satia Marotta is a terrific summary of how unconscious racial biases can taint the legal system. The article itself has been picked up by a number of media outlets, including ScienceDaily, Pacific Standard and blogs […]

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  • February 4, 2015
  • 04:40 AM

A rat model of early immune stimulation

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

It took me a few a reads of the paper by Anna Kubesova and colleagues [1] (open-access) to understand just how potentially important their findings might be to various conditions including schizophrenia and autism.Reporting results of a study where "early immune stimulation induced by postnatal systemic administration of LPS [lipopolysaccharide]" was performed in rats, researchers examined various potential effects on "the levels of monoamines (dopamine, serotonin) and their metabolite........ Read more »

  • February 4, 2015
  • 02:51 AM

Beyond Thinness: Men, Muscularity and Eating Disorders

by Tetyana in Science of Eating Disorders

Eating disorder research tends to focus on girls and women. Which makes sense: eating disorders disproportionately affect women. However, it isn’t just the research on eating disorders that focuses on women: it’s the entire history of eating disorders as a diagnosis. The first descriptions of anorexia nervosa by William Gull and bulimia nervosa by Gerald Russell were both based primarily on observations of female patients (although Russell did include two men). Therefore, it’s ........ Read more »

  • February 3, 2015
  • 10:15 AM

Hungry Bees Lose Self-Control

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

We've all been there: it's easy enough to follow our plans to exercise and eat healthily, until suddenly it's 4:30 in the afternoon and we're ready to plunge our faces into the first dandelion we see. Honeybees, like humans, can exert self-control when making decisions about food. But when they get hungry enough, that control buzzes right out the window.

For a bee, of course, self-control isn't about Pilates and salads. Worker honeybees mostly consume nectar. When they get back to the ........ Read more »

Mayack C, & Naug D. (2015) Starving honeybees lose self-control. Biology letters, 11(1). PMID: 25631230  

  • February 3, 2015
  • 05:20 AM

Do gender differences disappear when men and women share the same profession?

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

There are gender differences in certain preferences and abilities, on average. Take competition: when running around is described as a race, girls typically run more slowly than usual, while boys start running faster. And whereas women are better at detecting emotions, men tend to score higher at spatial reasoning. Are these average gender differences – in competitiveness, empathy, and systemising - visible even within specific jobs, or do attraction and selection processes smooth out the diff........ Read more »

  • February 2, 2015
  • 04:48 PM

How social norms come into being

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Fifteen years ago, the name “Aiden” was hardly on the radar of Americans with new babies. It ranked a lowly 324th on the Social Security Administration’s list of popular baby names. But less than a decade later, the name became a favorite, soaring into the top 20 for five years and counting. Now, a new study provides a scientific explanation for how social conventions — everything from acceptable baby names to standards of professional conduct — can emerge suddenly, seemingly out of no........ Read more »

Damon Centola, & Andrea Baronchelli. (2015) The spontaneous emergence of conventions: An experimental study of cultural evolution . Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. info:/10.1073/pnas.1418838112

  • February 2, 2015
  • 04:18 PM

Hennessy, Everclear, And Alcohol-Related Violence

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

What do Hennessy, Jack Daniels, and Everclear have in common? According to a rather fascinating new study, these three brands are especially popular with those teenage drinkers who get into booze-related fights.

In the new paper, researchers Sarah P. Roberts and colleagues of Boston say that some brands of alcohol are correlated with self-reported involvement in "alcohol related fights and injuries", in a national sample of American underage drinkers (i.e. drinkers under the age of 21).
... Read more »

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