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  • February 8, 2014
  • 08:39 PM
  • 157 views

Spock's Not One of Us! Exploring the In-Group Overexclusion Effect

by Mark Rubin in Mark Rubin's Social Psychology Research Blog

We all belong to many different social groups. Most of the time, it's fairly easy to work out who belongs to which group. But sometimes it's not that clear. In this post, I consider the mysterious effect that social psychologists have dubbed the in-group overexclusion effect.... Read more »

  • February 8, 2014
  • 04:14 PM
  • 137 views

More bumetanide and autism discussion

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

For those with their ear to the autism research ground, the paper by Roman Tyzio and colleagues [1] must have sounded like a freight train coming given the volume of headlines that have been generated from this research (see here for example). Circling around the neurotransmitter, GABA (as in GABA dabba doo!), their findings based on two mouse models of autism, or rather autism and Fragile X syndrome - including the very interesting prenatal valproate (VPA) exposure model - suggested "hippo........ Read more »

Tyzio R, Nardou R, Ferrari DC, Tsintsadze T, Shahrokhi A, Eftekhari S, Khalilov I, Tsintsadze V, Brouchoud C, Chazal G.... (2014) Oxytocin-mediated GABA inhibition during delivery attenuates autism pathogenesis in rodent offspring. Science (New York, N.Y.), 343(6171), 675-9. PMID: 24503856  

  • February 8, 2014
  • 01:09 PM
  • 181 views

Depression: Ketamine Eyes Hath Seen The Glory?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

Ketamine: club drug, ‘horse-tranquillizer’, and… miracle antidepressant? I’ve blogged about the research behind the claim that ketamine has rapid-acting antidepressant effects several times. Since 2009, my view has been that it is impossible to tell whether ketamine has specific antidepressant properties, because ketamine has never been compared against an ‘active placebo‘ control. In trials, patients […]The post Depression: Ketamine Eyes Hath Seen The G........ Read more »

Murrough JW, Iosifescu DV, Chang LC, Al Jurdi RK, Green CE, Perez AM, Iqbal S, Pillemer S, Foulkes A, Shah A.... (2013) Antidepressant efficacy of ketamine in treatment-resistant major depression: a two-site randomized controlled trial. The American journal of psychiatry, 170(10), 1134-42. PMID: 23982301  

Dakwar E, Anerella C, Hart CL, Levin FR, Mathew SJ, & Nunes EV. (2014) Therapeutic infusions of ketamine: Do the psychoactive effects matter?. Drug and alcohol dependence. PMID: 24480515  

  • February 8, 2014
  • 09:03 AM
  • 130 views

How being happy changes your personality

by Christian Jarrett in BPS Research Digest

Outgoing, conscientious, friendly people who are open to new experiences tend to be happier than those who are more shy, unadventurous, neurotic and unfriendly. It's easy to imagine why this might be so. Barely studied before now, however, is the possibility that being happy could also alter your future personality.Christopher Soto has conducted the first thorough study of this question. He analysed personality and well-being results for 16,367 Australians surveyed repeatedly between 2005 and 20........ Read more »

  • February 8, 2014
  • 07:40 AM
  • 168 views

Retiring Procrustean Linguistics

by James Winters in A Replicated Typo 2.0

One example of where Procrustean Linguistics has seemingly led us astray is in the pervasive notion that ambiguity is dysfunctional for communication. Ambiguity exists at many layers of language. You have lexical ambiguity, syntactic ambiguity, scope ambiguity and many other types (see here). Broadly conceived, then, ambiguity corresponds to any state in which a linguistic code contains forms that are conventionally associated with more than one meaning (Hoefler, 2009). Why is ambiguity consider........ Read more »

Piantadosi ST, Tily H, & Gibson E. (2012) The communicative function of ambiguity in language. Cognition, 122(3), 280-91. PMID: 22192697  

  • February 7, 2014
  • 02:29 PM
  • 115 views

Functional Networks in the Brain - Assessing the Difference between Dyslexics and Non-Impaired Readers

by John Wayland in Psych Radar

Dyslexia Action states that:Dyslexia is a specific learning difficulty that affects memory and processing speed which impacts on literacy development, mathematics, memory, organisation and sequencing skills to varying degrees. Dyslexia can occur at any level of intellectual development. It is neurological in origin and is seen to run in families. It affects up to 10% of the UK population at some level and can affect anyone of any age and background. Finn (2013) and her colleagues rece........ Read more »

  • February 7, 2014
  • 12:44 PM
  • 127 views

Ten Findings About Facebook for its 10th Birthday

by Psych Your Mind in Psych Your Mind

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Kross E, Verduyn P, Demiralp E, Park J, Lee DS, Lin N, Shablack H, Jonides J, & Ybarra O. (2013) Facebook use predicts declines in subjective well-being in young adults. PloS one, 8(8). PMID: 23967061  

Burke, M., Marlo, C., & Lento, T. (2010) Social network activity and social well-being. Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 1909-1912. DOI: 10.1145/1753326.1753613  

Fernandez, K.C., Levinson, C. A., & Rodebaugh, T. L. (2012) Profiling: Predicting Social Anxiety From Facebook Profiles. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 3(6), 706-713. DOI: 10.1177/1948550611434967  

Buffardi, L. E., & Campbell, W. K. (2008) Narcissism and Social Networking Web Sites. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 34(10), 1303-1314. DOI: 10.1177/0146167208320061  

Clerkin EM, Smith AR, & Hames JL. (2013) The interpersonal effects of Facebook reassurance seeking. Journal of affective disorders, 151(2), 525-30. PMID: 23850160  

Forest, A.L., & Wood, J.V. (2012) When Social Networking Is Not Working Individuals With Low Self-Esteem Recognize but Do Not Reap the Benefits of Self-Disclosure on Facebook. Psychological Science, 23(3), 295-302. info:/

Bond, R.M., Fariss, C.J., Jones, J.J., Kramer, A.D., Marlow, C., Settle, E., & Fowler, J.H. (2012) A 61-million-person experiment in social influence and political mobilization. Nature, 489(7415), 295-298. DOI: 10.1038/nature11421  

  • February 7, 2014
  • 10:24 AM
  • 131 views

How People Tawk Affects How Well You Listen

by Rebecca Schwarzlose in Garden of the Mind

People from different places speak differently – that we all know. Some dialects and accents are considered glamorous or authoritative, while others carry a definite social stigma. Speakers with a New York City dialect have even been known to enroll in speech therapy to lessen their ‘accent’ and avoid prejudice. Recent research indicates that they have good reason to be worried. It now appears that the prestige of people’s dialects can fundamentally affect how you process........ Read more »

  • February 7, 2014
  • 10:05 AM
  • 185 views

A Dog Can’t Teach a Dog New Tricks (But It Can Teach a Wolf)

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

In a dirt-floored room in Austria, a puppy sniffed and pawed at a wooden box with a treat inside. It circled the box over and over, unable to find a way in. Finally it sat at the feet of a nearby human and looked up at her appealingly, swishing its tail. The woman stared at […]The post A Dog Can’t Teach a Dog New Tricks (But It Can Teach a Wolf) appeared first on Inkfish.... Read more »

  • February 7, 2014
  • 04:49 AM
  • 124 views

Anti-brain antibodies and behavioural profiles of autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Anti-brain antibodies have been quite a recurrent theme in autism research circles over the past few years. I've covered research in this area a few times on this blog; primarily from the perspective of an intriguing bank of work looking at how the presence of circulating maternal auto-antibodies to foetal brain protein might heighten the risk of offspring autism (see here). If I also mention the words 'MAR autism' you can get a flavour as to how far this research has come, as well as the potent........ Read more »

  • February 5, 2014
  • 09:30 AM
  • 13 views

Is Age-Related Mental Decline Not As Bad As We Think?

by Richard Landers in NeoAcademic

It’s well-supported in psychology that fluid intelligence (i.e. a person’s ability to solve unique, unfamiliar problems or remember large amounts of unfamiliar information, or otherwise flex their mental muscles) decreases with age.  There are several theories as to why – perhaps our brains become less efficient over time as our neurons age, or perhaps we […]Related articles from NeoAcademic:Can You Trust Self-Help Mental Health Information from the Internet?Inappropriat........ Read more »

Ramscar, M., Hendrix, P., Shaoul, C., Milin, P., & Baayen, H. (2014) The myth of cognitive decline: Non-linear dynamics of lifelong learning. Topics in Cognitive Science, 5-42. info:/10.1111/tops.12078

  • February 5, 2014
  • 08:51 AM
  • 152 views

Journal Club: Half-siders: A tale of two birdies

by GrrlScientist in Maniraptora

SUMMARY: Chimæras have been in the news a lot recently. Also known as "halfsiders" or tetragametic chimæras, these unusual birds are actually two genetically distinct individuals -- twins -- fused into one being. This piece investigates how this biological accident occurs.... Read more »

Zhao D., McBride D., Nandi S., McQueen H. A., McGrew M. J., Hocking P. M., Lewis P. D., Sang H. M., & Clinton M. (2010) Somatic sex identity is cell autonomous in the chicken. Nature, 464(7286), 237-242. DOI: 10.1038/nature08852  

Agate R. J., Grisham W., Wade J., Mann S., Wingfield J., Schanen C., Palotie A., & Arnold A. P. (2003) Neural, not gonadal, origin of brain sex differences in a gynandromorphic finch. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 100(8), 4873-4878. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0636925100  

Macklin Madge Thurlow. (1923) A description of material from a gynandromorph fowl. Journal of Experimental Zoology, 38(3), 355-375. DOI: 10.1002/jez.1400380302  

  • February 5, 2014
  • 08:30 AM
  • 182 views

Is Caring for Animals Good for Young People's Social Development?

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

A new study finds that young people who have pets are more connected to their communities than those who don't.Photo: Jasmin Awad / ShutterstockThe study, by Megan Mueller (Tufts University), is published in the journal Applied Developmental Science. It is based on a survey of 567 young people in the US aged between 18 and 26, and was part of a wider longitudinal study called the 4-H study. The questionnaire asked whether or not participants owned an animal, how often they were responsible ........ Read more »

  • February 5, 2014
  • 05:15 AM
  • 134 views

At Night People Are More Likely To Lie and Cheat

by Eva de Lozanne in United Academics

people who are normally expected to behave morally, become less likely to do so as the day progresses. The happenings and activities of a normal day exhaust the capacity for self-control, thus making it harder to resist immoral behavior.... Read more »

  • February 5, 2014
  • 05:02 AM
  • 124 views

Autism and obstacles to medical diagnosis and treatment

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The title of this post reflects the title of the paper by Marcia Datlow Smith and colleagues* which was given to me by Natasa (many thanks) a few days back. The paper is from 2012 so I don't think we can consider this a post about new research. Nevertheless the subject matter of the paper is potentially very important: "describing individuals with autism whose catastrophic illnesses were misdiagnosed due, at least partially, to their autism".@ WikipediaIt is indeed a pity that the Smith paper is........ Read more »

Marcia Datlow Smith, Patrick J. Graveline, & Jared Brian Smith. (2012) Autism and Obstacles to Medical Diagnosis and Treatment. Focus Autism Other Dev Disabl . DOI: 10.1177/1088357612450049  

  • February 4, 2014
  • 11:45 PM
  • 152 views

Phenotypic plasticity, learning, and evolution

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

Learning and evolution are eerily similar, yet different. This tension fuels my interest in understanding how they interact. In the context of social learning, we can think of learning and evolution as different dynamics. For individual learning, however, it is harder to find a difference. On the one hand, this has led learning experts like […]... Read more »

  • February 4, 2014
  • 11:10 PM
  • 174 views

Meditation Mitigates Effects of Cognitive Biases

by Jeremiah Stanghini in Jeremiah Stanghini

There have been thousands of scholarly articles written about the myriad benefits of meditation, but the one I came across recently was one of the first that confirmed one of my previously held beliefs: meditation helps you make better decisions. … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • February 4, 2014
  • 09:48 PM
  • 141 views

Setting a Target Weight: An Arbitrary Exercise?

by Tetyana in Science of Eating Disorders


Achieving a healthy weight is a major goal of anorexia nervosa treatment. Indeed, a healthy weight is often seen as a prerequisite for psychological recovery. The fact that weight restoration is a crucial component of recovery is uncontroversial, the problem arises when it comes to determining what constitutes a healthy weight. How are ideal, optimal, or goal weights set? And who gets to decide?
Despite its recognized importance, there’s surprisingly little consensus on how target w........ Read more »

  • February 4, 2014
  • 06:50 AM
  • 197 views

Stereotypical dogs: repetitive and pointless?

by Cobb & Hecht in Do You Believe In Dog?

"I'm a labrador" does not = "I'm hungry" (source)Hey Julie,it's great to get an updated view of what's on the canine science cards for you in 2014 - looks like we're both going to be keeping busy - and wouldn't have it any other way!I can't believe we're already into February, to be honest. There are so many great new publications coming out, it's quite exciting to be able to share them with you here! You know I'm always thinking about the welfare of kennelled dogs (because PhD!) and I noticed a........ Read more »

  • February 4, 2014
  • 04:33 AM
  • 142 views

Just because you're tone deaf doesn't mean you aren't musical

by Christian Jarrett in BPS Research Digest

Psychologists estimate that around 4 per cent of the population have a specific impairment affecting their processing of pitch. Tone deafness, or "amusia" to use its technical name, runs in families and it often goes hand in hand with an inability to sing and to recognise and enjoy melodies. No wonder that people with amusia are usually thought of as not being musical.However, in a new paper Jessica Phillips-Silver and her colleagues argue that the musical deficits associated with amusia may hav........ Read more »

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