Post List

Psychology posts

(Modify Search »)

  • September 16, 2015
  • 04:39 AM

Parkinsonism in adults with autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"We find a high frequency of parkinsonism among ASD [autism spectrum disorder] individuals older than 39 years."So said the paper by Sergio Starkstein and colleagues [1] (open-access) and Q & A with authors who, during a "a hypothesis-generating, pilot study" with extras looked for parkinsonism motor signs in a small group of adults diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.Parkinsonism is an umbrella term that refers to any condition that leads to a combination of symptoms n........ Read more »

Starkstein, S., Gellar, S., Parlier, M., Payne, L., & Piven, J. (2015) High rates of parkinsonism in adults with autism. Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders, 7(1). DOI: 10.1186/s11689-015-9125-6  

  • September 15, 2015
  • 02:52 PM

Know your brain: Blood-brain barrier

by neurosci in Neuroscientifically Challenged

Where is the blood-brain barrier?The blood-brain barrier surrounds most of the blood vessels in the brain. It is a structure that is formed primarily due to the establishment of tight junctions between endothelial cells (i.e. cells that line the walls of blood vessels). There are also several other cells and proteins contributing to the blood-brain barrier complex; for example, processes called astrocytic end-feet extend from astrocytes to surround blood vessels and provide support to the endoth........ Read more »

  • September 15, 2015
  • 02:47 PM

Students in credit crisis

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

New research from the USA suggests that college students are well aware that they should be personally responsible for their finances, including their card obligations, but this awareness rarely correlates with limiting the debts they accrue during their time in higher education.... Read more »

  • September 15, 2015
  • 09:35 AM

Questioning Improves Your Learning if You Ask the Right Questions

by Winston Sieck in Thinker Academy

It’s 2AM and you’re cramming for a test tomorrow. The Doritos are all gone and yours is the only light still on. You stare at a richly detailed diagram of the reproductive system and think, “Looks pretty straightforward. I’ll remember this tomorrow.” At show time, that detailed diagram is nothing but a fuzzy blur in…
Check out Questioning Improves Your Learning if You Ask the Right Questions, an original post on Thinker Academy.
... Read more »

  • September 15, 2015
  • 06:03 AM

Busting The Myth: Do Cats Cause Schizophrenia?

by Chiara Civardi in United Academics

Don’t be so quick to throw out your feline companions


I have to admit that as an animal lover, I was biased when I approached this research. A post titled “Cats = Schizophrenia” appeared on my Facebook page and my first though was “Bollocks! What is the science behind this?!” My search began.... Read more »

Calcaterra V, Veggiotti P, Palestrini C, De Giorgis V, Raschetti R, Tumminelli M, Mencherini S, Papotti F, Klersy C, Albertini R.... (2015) Post-operative benefits of animal-assisted therapy in pediatric surgery: a randomised study. PloS one, 10(6). PMID: 26039494  

  • September 15, 2015
  • 04:19 AM

ADHD and obesity meta-analysed

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I was intrigued by the findings reported by Samuele Cortese and colleagues [1] who, following systematic review and meta-analysis of the current peer-reviewed literature on the topic, found evidence for a "significant association between ADHD [attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder] and obesity/overweight." I believe the protocol for this review and meta-analysis has previously graced the peer-reviewed domain as per a previous paper from Cortese et al [2] (open-access).Based on data ........ Read more »

Cortese, S., Moreira-Maia, C., St. Fleur, D., Morcillo-Peñalver, C., Rohde, L., & Faraone, S. (2015) Association Between ADHD and Obesity: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. American Journal of Psychiatry. DOI: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2015.15020266  

  • September 15, 2015
  • 04:00 AM

Background positive music increases people's willingness to do others harm

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

We're all familiar with the use of music as a tool of persuasion in advertising. There's also research that's looked the social influence of lyrics – for example, there's evidence that songs with antisocial lyrics can increase hostile and aggressive feelings, whereas positive lyrics such as in Michael Jackson's Heal the World can reduce aggression. Positive music can also increase people's willingness to do good deeds. Yet studies also show that positive music can have paradoxically negat........ Read more »

  • September 14, 2015
  • 07:02 AM

Better signs equals less friction: Why you need a good graphics  person

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Here’s a study about road safety that doesn’t know it’s a nice indication of why litigators need good graphics. We have blogged before about the value of graphics so it’s good to see more research that is so sensible to highlight the value of the visual in the courtroom. Today’s researchers wanted to see which […]

Related posts:
A picture is worth a thousand words…
Surely we are not talking about the same person!
You can improve your litigation advocacy (for free!)

... Read more »

  • September 14, 2015
  • 04:55 AM

US Childhood ADHD / ADD figures on the up

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Has a doctor or health professional ever told you that (child) had attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or attention deficit disorder (ADD)?"That was the question posed, answered and reported on in a recent edition of the CDC Morbidty and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) [1] (page 925).Comparing positive responses to said question as part of the US National Health Interview Survey going back nearly 20 years (see attached graph), it appears that there is an upward trend in cases of pedi........ Read more »

  • September 13, 2015
  • 03:15 PM

Concept Mapping vs. Retrieval Practice

by Joshua Fisher in Text Savvy

Although some relevant differences were not significant in this study, the effects reported in the previous studies, along with the time differentials in the conditions leads one to believe that, all other things being equal, retrieval practice is likely superior to concept mapping for learning (from texts).... Read more »

  • September 13, 2015
  • 02:51 PM

Diet beverage drinkers compensate by eating unhealthy food

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Want fries with that diet soda? You aren’t alone, and you may not be “saving” as many calories as you think by consuming diet drinks. A new study that examined the dietary habits of more than 22,000 U.S. adults found that diet-beverage consumers may compensate for the absence of calories in their drinks by noshing on extra food that is loaded with sugar, sodium, fat and cholesterol.... Read more »

  • September 13, 2015
  • 11:52 AM

When Science is a Family Matter

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

A paper just published in American Psychologist has the unusual distinction of seemingly being written by four members of the same family.

Opportunistic biases: Their origins, effects, and an integrated solution was authored by Jamie DeCoster, Erin A. Sparks, Jordan C. Sparks, Glenn G. Sparks and Cheri W. Sparks. Four Sparks!

In science it's not unusual to have couples who work together and collaborate in writing papers. Sometimes this is evident from the author list, if they're marr... Read more »

DeCoster J, Sparks EA, Sparks JC, Sparks GG, & Sparks CW. (2015) Opportunistic biases: Their origins, effects, and an integrated solution. The American psychologist, 70(6), 499-514. PMID: 26348333  

  • September 13, 2015
  • 10:19 AM

Evolutionary Theory of Consciousness: first reply to comments.

by Sergio Graziosi in Writing my own user manual - Sergio Graziosi's Blog

Two of my readers have kindly provided some very interesting comments and questions on my Evolutionary Theory of Consciousness paper (ETC). Because their comments and questions are very relevant and thought-provoking, I am publishing my reply as a separate post.…Read more ›... Read more »

Edelman DB, Baars BJ, & Seth AK. (2005) Identifying hallmarks of consciousness in non-mammalian species. Consciousness and cognition, 14(1), 169-87. PMID: 15766896  

Verzijden, M., Abbott, J. K.,, von Philipsborn, A., & Loeschcke, V. (2015) Male Drosophila melanogaster learn to prefer an arbitrary trait associated with female mating status. Current Zoology. (2015) Male Drosophila melanogaster learn to prefer an arbitrary trait associated with female mating status. Current Zoology, 61(6). info:/

  • September 12, 2015
  • 03:37 PM

Female mice sing for sex

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

They don’t use gondolas or croon like Sinatra. But scientists have known for a long time that male mice belt out something like love songs to females when the time seems right to them. What they didn’t know – until a University of Delaware researcher developed a sophisticated array of microphones and a sound analysis chamber – was that female mice were singing back.... Read more »

  • September 12, 2015
  • 04:56 AM

Smoking during pregnancy and autism risk: no association (again)

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Question: Does tobacco smoking during pregnancy elevate the risk of offspring autism?Answer: According to the meta-analysis published by Shiming Tang and colleagues [1] (open-access), probably not.I have to say that I was interested in the paper from Tang et al. Interested not only because of their findings suggestive that smoking during pregnancy did not seem to elevate the risk of offspring autism, but also that their report seemed to pretty much replicate a previous meta-analysis by Brittany ........ Read more »

Tang, S., Wang, Y., Gong, X., & Wang, G. (2015) A Meta-Analysis of Maternal Smoking during Pregnancy and Autism Spectrum Disorder Risk in Offspring. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 12(9), 10418-10431. DOI: 10.3390/ijerph120910418  

  • September 11, 2015
  • 06:06 PM

Smart cells teach neurons damaged by Parkinson’s to heal themselves

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

As a potential treatment for Parkinson’s disease, scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have created smarter immune cells that produce and deliver a healing protein to the brain while also teaching neurons to begin making the protein for themselves.... Read more »

  • September 11, 2015
  • 12:34 PM

Perfect Pitch: Is this for real?

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

Absolute Pitch (AP) or Perfect Pitch, as some prefer to call it, is common throughout the animal world, and dogs are no exception (Levitin & Rogers, 2005).*... Read more »

Levitin, D., & Rogers, S. (2005) Absolute pitch: perception, coding, and controversies. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 9(1), 26-33. DOI: 10.1016/j.tics.2004.11.007  

  • September 11, 2015
  • 05:11 AM

Self-doubting bosses prefer to delegate to self-doubting staff

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

It’s possible to earn great success in your professional career, rise to great heights, but all the while experience the "imposter phenomenon": the sense that your position is undeserved, your unmasking possible at any time. For people like this, who doubt their own abilities, it would seem wise to rely on others who are confident they can get things done. But new research published in Personality and Individual Differences suggests the opposite: the more prone managers are to that imposter fe........ Read more »

  • September 11, 2015
  • 02:38 AM

School and autism: anxiety, aggression and making things easier

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Today's post is a bit of a mash-up insofar as including two papers into (brief) discussions. The first paper is from Pamela Gaye Ambler and colleagues [1] who bring in a number of important issues associated with quite a bit of autism: anxiety and aggression during adolescence and how this can manifest during school time. The second paper from Will Mandy and colleagues [2] (open-access available here) provides some interesting discussion on a "manualised intervention" called STEP-ASD design........ Read more »

  • September 10, 2015
  • 05:41 PM

Does belief that God is in control reduce support for government welfare?

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

There’s an enduring puzzle about religion and government, and it’s about what effect religions have on government welfare policies. That’s down to an intriguing observation: that more religious countries tend to have a weaker welfare state. Quite why this is so is a matter of dispute. After all, given religion’s association with altruism, you might [Read More...]... Read more »

join us!

Do you write about peer-reviewed research in your blog? Use to make it easy for your readers — and others from around the world — to find your serious posts about academic research.

If you don't have a blog, you can still use our site to learn about fascinating developments in cutting-edge research from around the world.

Register Now

Research Blogging is powered by SMG Technology.

To learn more, visit