Britton and Gülgöz (1991) conducted a study to test whether removing "inference calls" from text would improve retention of the material. Inference calls are locations in text that demand inference from the reader. One simple example from the text used in the study is below:... Read more »
Britton, B., & Gülg öz, S. (1991) Using Kintsch's computational model to improve instructional text: Effects of repairing inference calls on recall and cognitive structures. Journal of Educational Psychology, 83(3), 329-345. DOI: 10.1037//0022- 06188.8.131.529
As of January 2014, over 50% of adults in the United States own a smartphone; unsurprisingly, there has been a growth in the number of mobile applications (apps) aimed at providing health care services for various mental (and physical) health problems, including eating disorders. The purpose of mobile health technologies is to utilize the functionality of smartphones to deliver a wide range of health services, including providing psychoeducation, treatment services and/or recovery support.
... Read more »
Juarascio AS, Manasse SM, Goldstein SP, Forman EM, & Butryn ML. (2014) Review of Smartphone Applications for the Treatment of Eating Disorders. European eating disorders review : the journal of the Eating Disorders Association. PMID: 25303148
I started this blogging year (2014) with a post talking about the need for further research consideration for a possible role of inborn errors of metabolism in relation to the presentation of at least some autism (see here). It is therefore timely that I (almost) end this year's blogging odyssey with reference to the paper by Amy Brown and colleagues  and their suggestion that although: "VLCAD deficiency does not have a significant impact on cognitive or motor skills" there may still be merit........ Read more »
Brown A, Crowe L, Andresen BS, Anderson V, & Boneh A. (2014) Neurodevelopmental profiles of children with very long chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency diagnosed by newborn screening. Molecular genetics and metabolism. PMID: 25456746
A new study has found that well respected peer reviewed journals have rejected manuscripts that could discuss outstanding or breakthrough work. The researchers found that some manuscripts rejected by three leading medical journals went on to receive a large number of citations after publication in other journals. The study, which if course was peer reviewed itself, offered insight into the process that the typical researcher might not see.... Read more »
Siler K, Lee K, & Bero L. (2014) Measuring the effectiveness of scientific gatekeeping. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 25535380
A few weeks back, the paper from Cheryl Walker and colleagues  reporting that: "Children with ASD [autism spectrum disorder] were twice as likely to have been exposed in utero to preeclampsia as controls with TD [typical development]" provided some column inches in certain media quarters.How dare you insult Hero's Duty, you little guttersnipe!Although not the first time that pre-eclampsia - a hypertensive state characterised by proteinuria occurring during pregnancy and potentially ........ Read more »
Walker CK, Krakowiak P, Baker A, Hansen RL, Ozonoff S, & Hertz-Picciotto I. (2014) Preeclampsia, Placental Insufficiency, and Autism Spectrum Disorder or Developmental Delay. JAMA pediatrics. PMID: 25485869
If you're sick of the sight of tinsel and/or turkey (delete as appropriate), I promise no more mention of them in this post. Just a brief introduction to the the paper by Alexa Guy and colleagues  (open-access) who concluded that: "LMPT [late and moderately preterm] infants are at significantly increased risk for positive autistic screen."Megamind, incredibly handsome criminal genius and master of all villainy!Based on the [final] analysis of data from some 600 LMPT infant and 760 t........ Read more »
Guy, A., Seaton, S., Boyle, E., Draper, E., Field, D., Manktelow, B., Marlow, N., Smith, L., & Johnson, S. (2014) Infants Born Late/Moderately Preterm Are at Increased Risk for a Positive Autism Screen at 2 Years of Age. The Journal of Pediatrics. DOI: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2014.10.053
Recent research out of the University of Nevada shows that choice in exercise order increases motivation.... Read more »
Wulf, G, Freitas, H, & Tandy, R. (2014) Choosing to exercise more: Small choices increase exercise engagement. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 15(3), 268-271. DOI: 10.1016/j.psychsport.2014.01.007
For centuries, the theory behind drug addiction was labored in the fogs of awkward myths and misconceptions. Drug abusers were then depicted as individuals with lack of morality and willpower, not as patients with a chronic brain disease.... Read more »
Di Chiara G, & Imperato A. (1988) Drugs abused by humans preferentially increase synaptic dopamine concentrations in the mesolimbic system of freely moving rats. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 85(14), 5274-8. PMID: 2899326
Hyman SE, & Malenka RC. (2001) Addiction and the brain: the neurobiology of compulsion and its persistence. Nature reviews. Neuroscience, 2(10), 695-703. PMID: 11584307
Acknowledging that a certain 'jolly' person with a beard wearing a red suit will be visiting a few homes across the globe quite soon (the only time of the year that most people would let a stranger enter their home via a chimney) I want to briefly direct your attention to the paper by Parisi and colleagues  talking about how in "the presence of unexplained EEG abnormalities and/or other neurological disorders/SDB [sleep disordered breathing] an atypical or silent CD [coeliac di........ Read more »
Parisi P, Pietropaoli N, Ferretti A, Nenna R, Mastrogiorgio G, Del Pozzo M, Principessa L, Bonamico M, & Villa MP. (2014) Role of the gluten-free diet on neurological-EEG findings and sleep disordered breathing in children with celiac disease. Seizure. PMID: 25457448
In a new study, researchers have identified a key molecular mechanism behind the health benefits of dietary restriction — or reduced food intake without malnutrition. Also known as calorie restriction or simply a diet, dietary restriction is best known for its ability to slow aging in laboratory animals. The findings here show that restricting two amino acids, methionine and cysteine, results in increased hydrogen sulfide (H2S) production and protection against ischemia reperfusion injury, or ........ Read more »
Hine, C., Harputlugil, E., Zhang, Y., Ruckenstuhl, C., Lee, B., Brace, L., Longchamp, A., Treviño-Villarreal, J., Mejia, P., Ozaki, C.... (2014) Endogenous Hydrogen Sulfide Production Is Essential for Dietary Restriction Benefits. Cell. DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2014.11.048
Where is the ventral tegmental area?
Ventral tegmental area along with other structures in the brain connected by dopamine pathways.
The ventral tegmental area, or VTA, is in the midbrain, situated adjacent to the substantia nigra. Although it contains several different types of neurons, it is primarily characterized by its dopaminergic neurons, which project from the VTA throughout the brain. The VTA is considered an integral part of a........ Read more »
Kalivas, P. (1993) Neurotransmitter regulation of dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area. Brain Research Reviews, 18(1), 75-113. DOI: 10.1016/0165-0173(93)90008-N
"This pattern of results is consistent with the conceptualisation of a spectrum of disorders, ranging from BDP [bipolar disorder] at one end, to SAD [schizoaffective disorder] in the middle, and SCZ [schizophrenia] at the other end." So concluded the paper by Serafino Mancuso and colleagues  examining clinical data derived from the Australian Survey of High Impact Psychosis (SHIP).The thing about perfection is that it's unknowable.I'm not going to dwell too ........ Read more »
Mancuso SG, Morgan VA, Mitchell PB, Berk M, Young A, & Castle DJ. (2014) A comparison of schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, and bipolar disorder: Results from the Second Australian national psychosis survey. Journal of affective disorders, 30-37. PMID: 25451392
Who finds Bill Gates' creativity sexy?By guest blogger Sam McNerneyEver since the Sirens seduced Odyssey’s crew, Sophocles entertained ancient Athens, and our Paleolithic ancestors decorated cave walls in Lascaux, individuals have been drawn to acts of creativity. Today, the allure of creativity is all the more apparent. After Tim Berners-Lee created the World Wide Web in 1991, we’ve witnessed a proliferation of creative expression on YouTube channels, blogs, and even Twitter. Given the........ Read more »
Kaufman, S., Kozbelt, A., Silvia, P., Kaufman, J., Ramesh, S., & Feist, G. (2014) Who Finds Bill Gates Sexy? Creative Mate Preferences as a Function of Cognitive Ability, Personality, and Creative Achievement. The Journal of Creative Behavior. DOI: 10.1002/jocb.78
There’s one prestigious honor, the Darwin Award, which is given to people that helped improving the human gene pool. However, nobody is really keen on receiving this noble recognition: Darwin Award winners eliminate themselves (or anyway lose their reproductive abilities) in such stupid ways that ensure there’s an idiot less on Earth.... Read more »
Lendrem BA, Lendrem DW, Gray A, & Isaacs JD. (2014) The Darwin Awards: sex differences in idiotic behaviour. BMJ (Clinical research ed.). PMID: 25500113
I'm a bit of a fan of tryptophan biochemistry on this blog. This quite remarkable aromatic amino acid and it's off-shoot metabolites, which appear to have no end of biological uses, have taken quite a bit of my blogging time down the years. Most recently was the suggestion that a metabolite slotting in between serotonin (5-HT) and melatonin might require quite a bit more investigation when it comes to at least some cases of autism (see here).See ya later, President Fartfeathers.The findings repo........ Read more »
Schwieler L, Larsson MK, Skogh E, Kegel ME, Orhan F, Abdelmoaty S, Finn A, Bhat M, Samuelsson M, Lundberg K.... (2014) Increased levels of IL-6 in the cerebrospinal fluid of patients with chronic schizophrenia - significance for activation of the kynurenine pathway. Journal of psychiatry , 39(6), 140126. PMID: 25455350
Many people are unaware of their mathematics-related abilities, and these abilities have to be considered in their evaluations and life outcomes.
Journal of Personal and Social Psychology
Mathematics is one of the most disliked subjects of students. It is probably due to its logical dealing with the quantity, shape, and arrangements, but interesting part of the life is that many people have no clue about their mathematics-related abilities,........ Read more »
Peters, E., & Bjalkebring, P. (2014) Multiple Numeric Competencies: When a Number Is Not Just a Number. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. DOI: 10.1037/pspp0000019
Source: Alyssa L. Miller, Flickr.For nearly 9 years, this blog has been harping on the blight of overblown press releases, with posts like:Irresponsible Press Release Gives False Hope to People With Tourette's, OCD, and SchizophreniaPress Release: Press Releases Are PrestidigitationNew research provides fresh evidence that bogus press releases may depend largely on our biological make-upSave Us From Misleading Press Releasesetc.So it was heartening to see a team of UK researchers formally evalua........ Read more »
Nota, J., & Coles, M. (2014) Duration and Timing of Sleep are Associated with Repetitive Negative Thinking. Cognitive Therapy and Research. DOI: 10.1007/s10608-014-9651-7
Sumner, P., Vivian-Griffiths, S., Boivin, J., Williams, A., Venetis, C., Davies, A., Ogden, J., Whelan, L., Hughes, B., Dalton, B.... (2014) The association between exaggeration in health related science news and academic press releases: retrospective observational study. BMJ, 349(dec09 7). DOI: 10.1136/bmj.g7015
Yes, I know. Another post on the 'day of rest' but I promise you that this will not become a habit. The reason: the paper by Feiyong Jia and colleagues  published in the premier journal Pediatrics. The authors describe a case report of a young child with autism who is observed to have shown improvement in some of the core symptoms of autism following supplementation with the [sunshine] vitamin/hormone of the hour: vitamin D. Further reporting on the paper can be seen here.Altho........ Read more »
Feiyong Jia, Bing Wang, Ling Shan, Zhida Xu, Wouter G. Staal, & Lin Du. (2014) Core Symptoms of Autism Improved After Vitamin D Supplementation. Pediatrics. info:/doi: 10.1542/peds.2014-2121
Think you know what causes depression? Well unfortunately scientists don’t have the exact answer, surprised? That’s not the only problem, there is an ever growing concern that we live in an over medicated society and a newly released study doesn’t paint a better picture. About 15 percent of women in the United States suffer from anxiety disorders and depression during their pregnancies, and many are prescribed antidepressants. However little is known about how early exposure to these medic........ Read more »
Altieri SC, Yang H, O'Brien HJ, Redwine HM, Senturk D, Hensler JG, & Andrews AM. (2014) Perinatal vs. Genetic Programming of Serotonin States Associated with Anxiety. Neuropsychopharmacology. PMID: 25523893
What happens when scientists publish papers that aren't meant to be taken seriously? Is ironic, satirical and joke science all in good fun, or can it be dangerous?
This is the question asked by Drexel University researchers Maryam Ronagh and Lawrence Souder in a new paper is called The Ethics of Ironic Science in Its Search for Spoof.
The British BMJ journal is known for an annual Christmas special issue filled with unusual articles. For example, two years ago they explored the questio... Read more »
Ronagh M, & Souder L. (2014) The Ethics of Ironic Science in Its Search for Spoof. Science and engineering ethics. PMID: 25510233
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