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  • June 29, 2016
  • 10:06 AM

Another explanation for poor eye witness IDs:  Memory Blindness

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

This isn’t really about bad memory—it’s about something much scarier—the power of others to modify your memory without your awareness. New research out of California tells us that it is possible to change the statements of the person giving testimony in such a way that they may not even notice! To make matters worse, it […]

Related posts:
Eyewitness identification and change blindness
The impact of the apparently unreliable co-witness
Wait! What did I say last time?

... Read more »

  • June 29, 2016
  • 02:49 AM

Antipsychotic prescribing trends in autism meta-analysed

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Almost 1 in 10 antipsychotic-treated youth were diagnosed with ASD [autism spectrum disorder] and/or ID [intellectual disability], and 1 in 6 youth with ASD received antipsychotics."The findings reported by Su Young Park and colleagues [1] have not surprisingly garnered some media attention (see here). Meta-analysing the available peer-reviewed data on "the frequency of youth diagnosed with ASDs and/or ID among antipsychotic-treated youth, as well as antipsychotic use in you........ Read more »

Park SY, Cervesi C, Galling B, Molteni S, Walyzada F, Ameis SH, Gerhard T, Olfson M, & Correll CU. (2016) Antipsychotic Use Trends in Youth With Autism Spectrum Disorder and/or Intellectual Disability: A Meta-Analysis. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 55(6), 456-4680000. PMID: 27238064  

  • June 28, 2016
  • 02:07 AM

An excess of ADHD among children born to glyphosate appliers?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The job of pesticide applicator is one that has been discussed on this blog before (see here). Minus any scaremongering, the conclusion of that post was that under certain circumstances (e.g. a high pesticide exposure event - HPEE), the effects of that particular occupation might be pretty far-reaching for the 'cognitive' as well as physical health of the individual concerned.Today I'm talking about other potential effects "needing confirmation by further studies" related to perhaps one of ........ Read more »

  • June 27, 2016
  • 03:03 AM

Eating difficulties in adolescents with CFS/ME

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I tread quite carefully when discussing the paper by Sarah Harris and colleagues [1] (open-access available here) on the potential causes and effects of 'eating difficulties' when it comes to adolescent chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME).Careful because (i) I don't want to confuse eating difficulties with eating disorder (they are not one and the same) and (ii) the suggestion that some of the young adults included for study "recognised how their eating difficulties were ........ Read more »

  • June 25, 2016
  • 03:42 AM

HBOT and autism systematically reviewed

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Current evidence indicates that HBOT [Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy] is not an effective treatment for children and youth with autism."That was the conclusion reached by Cynthia Goldfarb and colleagues [1] following their "systematic review of the literature evaluating the clinical impact of HBOT on behavior and development in ASD [autism spectrum disorder]." Drawing on guidance from the American Academy of Neurology and their "Classification of Recommendations", authors lo........ Read more »

Goldfarb, C., Genore, L., Hunt, C., Flanagan, J., Handley-Derry, M., Jethwa, A., Jones-Stokreef, N., Kirkpatrick, S., Richards, A., Rojnica, L.... (2016) Hyperbaric oxygen therapy for the treatment of children and youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders: An evidence-based systematic review. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 1-7. DOI: 10.1016/j.rasd.2016.05.004  

  • June 24, 2016
  • 02:31 AM

Is autism underdiagnosed in prisoners? Probably not...

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The UK media today is awash with the result of 'that referendum'.Life however goes on here at Questioning Answers and today the recent opinion piece by Sarah Ashworth [1] talking about autism being 'underdiagnosed' in the prison population provides the starting material for today's post.Being careful not to generalise nor also 'excusing' the often important reasons why people end up in prison, I'm particularly interested in this area of discussion given what is increasingly being recognised with........ Read more »

Ashworth S. (2016) Autism is underdiagnosed in prisoners. BMJ (Clinical research ed.). PMID: 27255544  

  • June 23, 2016
  • 02:53 AM

ADHD symptoms improved with allergic rhinitis treatment

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The findings reported by Ming-Tao Yang and colleagues [1] make for some brief blogging fodder today and the idea that: "Higher ADHD [attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder] scores in children with AR [allergic rhinitis] compared with healthy controls decreased significantly with AR treatment." Said AR treatment consisted of "nonpharmacologic intervention, oral antihistamines, and topical steroids."I know furrowed brows and eye-rolling might be the response of some people to........ Read more »

  • June 22, 2016
  • 10:00 AM

How Many Cats Are Stressed at the Vet?

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

New research shows just how stressed cats are at the vet, but there’s a lot we can do to help.A recent study found 30% of dogs are very stressed in the waiting room at the vet, and it turns out things are even worse for cats.It comes as no surprise to learn many cats are stressed by visits to the veterinarian. A new study by Chiara Mariti (University of Pisa) et al explores the scale of the problem, and has important suggestions for both cat guardians and vets on how to make things better.The ........ Read more »

Mariti, C., Bowen, J., Campa, S., Grebe, G., Sighieri, C., & Gazzano, A. (2016) Guardians' Perceptions of Cats' Welfare and Behavior Regarding Visiting Veterinary Clinics. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, 1-10. DOI: 10.1080/10888705.2016.1173548  

  • June 22, 2016
  • 05:02 AM

A preliminary psychology of how we're moved by watching dance

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

If you're after chills down the spine, you might find that watching professional ballet dancers does the trick just as much as listening to music. Yet whereas the emotional effects of music are well researched – indeed, there are conferences and journals aplenty devoted to the psychology of music – scientists still know very little about the ways we are moved by watching dance.Now one of the first ever investigations into the emotional effects of dance has been published online at Acta ........ Read more »

Christensen, J., Pollick, F., Lambrechts, A., & Gomila, A. (2016) Affective responses to dance. Acta Psychologica, 91-105. DOI: 10.1016/j.actpsy.2016.03.008  

  • June 22, 2016
  • 03:07 AM

Still 'nothing good comes from exposure to lead'

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Consider this short-ish entry a sort of extension of other discussions on this blog on the topic of lead (Pb) (see here). As per the blog title, the systematic review published by Maryam Daneshparvar and colleagues [1] (open-access available here) adds to the quite voluminous peer-reviewed literature indicating that lead exposure, particularly during infancy and childhood, seems to be associated with nothing but adverse outcomes in terms of development and behaviour.Surveying the research litera........ Read more »

Daneshparvar M, Mostafavi SA, Zare Jeddi M, Yunesian M, Mesdaghinia A, Mahvi AH, & Akhondzadeh S. (2016) The Role of Lead Exposure on Attention-Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder ‎in Children: A Systematic Review. Iranian journal of psychiatry, 11(1), 1-14. PMID: 27252763  

  • June 21, 2016
  • 05:42 AM

Anonymity Doesn't Always Promote Online Aggression

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

It's widely said that anonymity on the internet helps to promote aggressive, low quality or trolling comments. On this view, the anonymous commenter, knowing they cannot be held accountable, is free to do things that they would be ashamed to do under their real name.

But now German researchers Katja Rost and colleagues challenge this view, in a new study published in PLOS ONE. Rost et al. say that real names can actually be associated with more aggression than anonymous posts, based o... Read more »

  • June 21, 2016
  • 04:45 AM

Puncturing the myth of the tireless leader – if you're sleep deprived you're unlikely to inspire anyone

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Sleep deprivation makes it harder for us to inspire others, or to be inspiredThere’s an archetype of the tireless leader who scorns slumber in favour of getting things done – Margaret Thatcher, Winston Churchill, Benjamin Franklin, to name a few. But if you think you’re going to inspire anybody by routinely working through the night, you might want to think again. Research published recently in the Journal of Applied Psychology shows that sleep deprivation has the specific effect of making........ Read more »

  • June 21, 2016
  • 03:05 AM

'Self-treatment' with helminths and autism?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

At the end of 2013 there was some media interest in the presentation of interim data at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology from a couple of studies being run by Prof. Eric Hollander.It's life Jim but not as we know it... @ CDCThe abstracts for the studies 'Trichuris Suis Ova (TSO) as an Immune-inflammatory Treatment for Repetitive Behaviors in ASD' and 'Hyperthermia and the Improvement of ASD Symptoms' can be found here (look under abstracts........ Read more »

  • June 20, 2016
  • 04:10 PM

Fear factor: A new genetic candidate for treating PTSD

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Researchers have identified a new genetic candidate for testing therapies that might affect fear learning in people with PTSD or other conditions. Individuals with trauma- and stress-related disorders can manifest symptoms of these conditions in a variety of ways. Genetic risk factors for these and other psychiatric disorders have been established but do not explain the diversity of symptoms seen in the clinic - why are some individuals affected more severely than others and why do some respond ........ Read more »

Knoll, A., Halladay, L., Holmes, A., & Levitt, P. (2016) Quantitative Trait Loci and a Novel Genetic Candidate for Fear Learning. Journal of Neuroscience, 36(23), 6258-6268. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0177-16.2016  

  • June 20, 2016
  • 10:44 AM

The Mesh of Civilizations in Cyberspace

by Jalees Rehman in The Next Regeneration

A team of researchers from Stanford University, Cornell University and Yahoo recently decided to evaluate the "connectedness" of the hypothesized Huntington civilizations in cyberspace and published their results in the article "The Mesh of Civilizations in the Global Network of Digital Communication".

The researchers examined Twitter users and the exchange of emails between Yahoo-Mail users in 90 countries with a minimum population of five million. In total, they analyzed........ Read more »

  • June 20, 2016
  • 08:31 AM

Using a cocktail of magic and fMRI, psychologists implanted thoughts in people's minds

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

By guest blogger Vaughan BellCan you think a thought which isn’t yours? A remarkable new study, led by psychologist Jay Olson from McGill University in Canada, suggests you can. The research, published in Consciousness and Cognition, used a form of stage magic known as “mentalism” to induce the experience of thoughts being inserted into the minds of volunteers. It is an ingenious study, not only for how it created the experience, but also for how it used the psychology lab as both a stage ........ Read more »

  • June 20, 2016
  • 07:02 AM

Flushing toilets to sway legislators: Is it a true  delusion or just an “over-valued belief”?

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

I first heard the term “over-valued belief” back in the mid-1990’s when I worked in forensic rehabilitation with a man adjudicated not guilty by reason of insanity. He had been very ill (psychotic) and very violent when unmedicated (and had killed more than once due to delusional beliefs) but had been in treatment and well-medicated […]

Related posts:
“Belief Perseverance”: Correcting false information without inadvertently reinforcing it
The better than average effect ........ Read more »

Rahman T, Resnick PJ, & Harry B. (2016) Anders Breivik: Extreme Beliefs Mistaken for Psychosis. The Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, 44(1), 28-35. PMID: 26944741  

  • June 20, 2016
  • 04:30 AM

Athletes Are Open to Genetic Testing and Are Willing to Share Results

by Jane McDevitt in Sports Medicine Research (SMR): In the Lab & In the Field

Despite a number of concerns many athletes responded with substantial interest and little resistance to the idea of genetic testing for the purpose of risk assessment for prolonged concussion recovery and late onset Alzheimer’s disease.... Read more »

  • June 20, 2016
  • 02:49 AM

Lactobacillus reuteri rescuing [mouse] social behaviours: relevance to autism?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Continuing a recent 'probiotic theme' on this blog I've decided to talk a little about the study results reported by Shelly Buffington and colleagues [1] on how a "single species of gut bacteria can reverse autism-related social behavior in mice." I say 'talk about' but my conversations on this topic should be viewed in light of what others have also said about this study (see here for example) including the lead author (see here).To summarise the findings: authors started from the idea that mat........ Read more »

  • June 19, 2016
  • 12:57 PM

Ecological representations: a reply to Golonka and Wilson

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

This is going to be a very unusual post, it’s an ad-hoc effort, responding directly to Sabrina Golonka and Andrew D Wilson‘s call for feedback: they have recently published a pre-print on bioRxiv, entitled “Ecological Representations“. In the accompanying blog…Read more ›... Read more »

Golonka, S, & Wilson, AD. (2016) Ecological Representations. bioRxiv. DOI: 10.1101/058925  

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