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  • June 23, 2014
  • 04:30 AM

Kata training and autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The actor and musician Steven Seagal is probably not natural fodder for this blog about autism research but he does nevertheless make an appearance today. More readily known for his action films - my favourite was always 'Under Siege' - one of the appeals of Mr Seagal was his knowledge and use of martial arts in his various roles, as a function of his quite impressive real-life black belt in Aikido.Obi Wan... no Obi knot @ Wikipedia It is with martial arts in mind that today I'm talkin........ Read more »

  • June 22, 2014
  • 10:23 AM

The Love Song of Philo T. Farnsworth

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Philo Farnsworth, if the name sounds vaguely familiar than you might just be a Futurama watcher. If you don't watch and know who I'm talking about or even better are a fan then, "YAY!" and for those of you who don't know, don't sweat it you're not alone. One of the forgotten greats, Farnsworth should be a household name, namely because one of his biggest inventions is in practically every home.... Read more »

The associated press. (2006) Elma Gardner Farnsworth, 98, Who Helped Husband Develop TV, Dies. The New York Times. info:/

Edwin Cartlidge. (2007) The Secrete way of Amateur Fusion. Physics World. info:/

  • June 21, 2014
  • 10:50 PM

Meta-analysing cytokine involvement in autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

A fairly brief post today to draw your attention to the "systematic review and meta-analysis" paper by Masi and colleagues [1] on all-things cytokine in relation to autism. They concluded that there was "strengthening evidence of an abnormal cytokine profile in ASD [autism spectrum disorder] where inflammatory signals dominate". I should point out that other authors have reached similar conclusions in previous reviews [2] and here also [3]."The herring does not fry here" @ Wikiped........ Read more »

  • June 21, 2014
  • 10:00 PM

History of neuroscience: Otto Loewi

by neurosci in Neuroscientifically Challenged

Otto Loewi

Today, the knowledge that neurons communicate with one another using chemicals known as neurotransmitters is a foundational part of our understanding of brain function. We use our awareness of neurochemical transmission to design drugs, investigate the causes of disease, and improve our comprehension of behavior (e.g. through experimental methods like microdialysis). In the first half of the twentieth century, however, the means by which neurons........ Read more »

  • June 21, 2014
  • 01:00 PM

Global Warming doesn’t actually benefit Plants

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Things are heating up. It’s no secret that the mercury is rising and we are to blame. Sure, there is a lot of uncertainty, for example how long we have […]... Read more »

  • June 20, 2014
  • 01:00 PM

Haters gonna… hate?

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Haters gonna hate, unless you’ve been hiding under a rock since the internet has been born you’ve probably heard this phrase. Well now there is a new study that shows […]... Read more »

  • June 20, 2014
  • 04:59 AM

Vitamin D and autism: same old story?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I have to say that I wasn't all that surprised when I read the conclusions to the study by Eva Kočovská and colleagues [1] (open-access here) talking about significantly lower levels of 25-Hydroxyvitamin D3 (25(OH)D3) levels detected in their small cohort of young adults diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) compared with various control populations.A deficiency or insufficiency of vitamin D - the sunshine vitamin/hormone - in relation to quite a few cases of autism is somethin........ Read more »

Kočovská E, Andorsdóttir G, Weihe P, Halling J, Fernell E, Stóra T, Biskupstø R, Gillberg IC, Shea R, Billstedt E.... (2014) Vitamin D in the General Population of Young Adults with Autism in the Faroe Islands. Journal of autism and developmental disorders. PMID: 24927807  

  • June 19, 2014
  • 03:31 PM

Addiction, anhedonia, and reward processing in smokers

by neurosci in Neuroscientifically Challenged

In those who are addicted to drugs (or any other substance or behavior), the desire to re-experience the intoxicating effects they initially felt when they used the drug can be overwhelming. It can lead to compulsive drug-seeking, obsessive thinking, and irrational behavior. In addition to these new thought patterns and behaviors, however, addiction is also is associated with a diminished ability to experience pleasure from non-drug rewards. This reduced pleasure is termed........ Read more »

  • June 19, 2014
  • 01:00 PM

Warning: Serious Side Effects may be Overstated

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Black box warnings, I’m all too familiar with them. A quick look in the medicine cabinet and you would see why. In fact I’m surprised the door shuts some days. […]... Read more »

  • June 19, 2014
  • 09:16 AM

Everyday Aggression: We Hurt Those Closest to Us

by amikulak in Daily Observations

When we think of aggression, we might think of road rage or a bar fight, situations in which people are violent toward strangers.  But research suggests that aggression is actually […]... Read more »

South Richardson, D. (2014) Everyday Aggression Takes Many Forms. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 23(3), 220-224. DOI: 10.1177/0963721414530143  

  • June 19, 2014
  • 08:30 AM

Can Mindfulness Help You Shed Pounds?

by Pranita Sohony in Workout Trends

It is 8.30 in the morning. I have 12 Unread Mails, 5 files on my desk, 3 meetings to attend, 1 cheese wrap in my hand, and ‘Zero’ attention to what I am eating! How familiar is this story? Isn’t that your story at office every morning? Do you even remember what you had for […]
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Framson, C., Kristal, A., Schenk, J., Littman, A., Zeliadt, S., & Benitez, D. (2009) Development and Validation of the Mindful Eating Questionnaire. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 109(8), 1439-1444. DOI: 10.1016/j.jada.2009.05.006  

  • June 19, 2014
  • 04:26 AM

More suramin and autism [mouse] findings

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The headline: 'Century-old drug reverses signs of autism in mice' brought the paper by Jane Naviaux and colleagues [1] (open-access) to my attention and some slightly familiar work (see here) on the use of suramin in a mouse model of autism, or rather a mouse model of maternal immune activation. Indeed, I seem to remember that the previous study by this group [2] courted similar publicity, with some familiar headlines...Not lecturing... @ Wikipedia The latest offering from Naviaux et a........ Read more »

  • June 19, 2014
  • 04:06 AM

Are voluntary and involuntary memories encoded by different brain systems?

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Some memories we aim to remember, others just show up. One proposal is that uninvited memories, such as those that intrude in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), are encoded and stored in a distinct memory system. But a new neuroimaging study led by Shana Hall suggests that similar brain areas are involved whether our memories come spontaneously or by intent.During a functional imaging brain scan, 26 participants made perceptual judgments about a sequence of 100 sounds piped into headphones. ........ Read more »

Hall, S., Rubin, D., Miles, A., Davis, S., Wing, E., Cabeza, R., & Berntsen, D. (2014) The Neural Basis of Involuntary Episodic Memories. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 1-15. DOI: 10.1162/jocn_a_00633  

  • June 19, 2014
  • 12:30 AM

Join The Thrill, Lift The FIFA World Cup Together !

by Shyamali Sharma in Workout Trends

A spoiled weekend… My friend asked me to come over to her place last weekend and texted me, “ I am all alone and bored to death, please come over!” It was already half past eight in the evening but I decided to go. On my way to her place, my idea of chilling was […]
The post Join The Thrill, Lift The FIFA World Cup Together ! appeared first on .
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  • June 18, 2014
  • 03:54 PM

Would you walk past a money tree?

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

We're oblivious to a lot of what passes in front of our eyes. The classic example is people's failure to notice a woman walk through a scene in a gorilla suit. In that study, observers were busy counting basketball passes between players so the gorilla was irrelevant to what they were doing.In a new paper, Ira Hyman and his colleagues say they've extended this phenomenon of "inattentional blindness" by showing that people are frequently blind even to objects that are relevant to what they're doi........ Read more »

  • June 18, 2014
  • 08:30 AM

The Effects of Canine Personality and Joint Activities on the Dog-Owner Relationship

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

A new study in Denmark by Iben Meyer and Bjørn Forkman (University of Copenhagen) investigates the influence of owner characteristics and canine personality on the relationship between dogs and their owners.Photo: Martin Valigursky / ShutterstockThe study of 421 dog owners aged 18 to 75 used data from dog personality tests taken between six months and two-and-a-half years earlier, and a questionnaire of owners that included the Monash Dog Owner Relationship Scale. The dogs were all pedigrees si........ Read more »

Meyer, I., & Forkman, B. (2014) Dog and owner characteristics affecting the dog–owner relationship. Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research. DOI: 10.1016/j.jveb.2014.03.002  

  • June 18, 2014
  • 04:37 AM

The developmental regression rate and autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I have already made mention of the paper by Robin Goin-Kochel and colleagues [1] in a previous post on the topic of developmental regression and autism (see here). On that occasion it was to substantiate that approximately 40% of children diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum were reported to have shown some kind of developmental regression as part and parcel of their presentation. Given however the assertion in the Goin-Kochel paper about using "the largest, most comprehensively phenotyped ........ Read more »

  • June 17, 2014
  • 08:22 AM

As soon as they can read, children trust text instructions over spoken information

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

As adults, we've learned that simple text-based instructions are usually trustworthy. Imagine - if a stranger tells us to turn next left for London, but we come upon a street sign that states the opposite, most of us would probably assume the stranger had made a mistake, and we'd follow the sign.In a new paper, researchers led by Kathleen Corriveau have investigated young children's trust in instructions delivered orally, versus those originating in written text. Their finding is that as soon as........ Read more »

  • June 17, 2014
  • 07:24 AM

Anxiety Grew Up With Me And I Never Knew

by Namrata Diengdoh in Workout Trends

This morning I was all smiles when I reached office. I could not wait to meet my colleague. When I finally made it to my workstation, I just plopped my bag on to my chair, turned towards my colleague, hugged her and said “Thank you so much for giving me this article, it helped me […]
The post Anxiety Grew Up With Me And I Never Knew appeared first on .
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Gliatto MF. (2000) Generalized anxiety disorder. American family physician, 62(7), 1591. PMID: 11037076  

Weller, M., & Wright, S. (1996) Anxiety and schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Research, 18(2-3), 123-124. DOI: 10.1016/0920-9964(96)85418-1  

Smith, W., Powell, E., & Ross, S. (1955) MANIFEST ANXIETY AND FOOD AVERSIONS. The Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 50(1), 101-104. DOI: 10.1037/h0049253  

Craig, A. (2006) Fear of speaking: chronic anxiety and stammering. Advances in Psychiatric Treatment, 12(1), 63-68. DOI: 10.1192/apt.12.1.63  

  • June 17, 2014
  • 06:38 AM

Cynicism & Dementia – Thinking Healthy Helps

by Harsha Radhakrishnan in United Academics

Statements of the Cynical Distrust Scale include (i) I think most people would like to get ahead; (ii) no one cares much what happens to you, etc. The higher one scores, the more cynical distrust they have, and a greater chance of incident dementia. These are the results of a recent study in Finland.... Read more »

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