by Piter Kehoma Boll One of the most difficult concepts to explain in biology is certainly life itself. But I am not here today to talk about the definition of life, but rather of another puzzling concept: behavior. Behavior is the … Continue reading →... Read more »
Bergner, R. (2016) What is behavior? And why is it not reducible to biological states of affairs?. Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology, 36(1), 41-55. DOI: 10.1037/teo0000026
Levitis, D., Lidicker, W., & Freund, G. (2009) Behavioural biologists do not agree on what constitutes behaviour. Animal Behaviour, 78(1), 103-110. DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2009.03.018
Why do more men die when they attempt suicide than women? The answer could lie in four traits, finds scientists. There are over 6,000 British lives lost to suicide each year, and nearly 75 per cent of those are male. However, research has found women are more likely to suffer from depression, and to attempt to take their own life.
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Deshpande, G., Baxi, M., Witte, T., & Robinson, J. (2016) A Neural Basis for the Acquired Capability for Suicide. Frontiers in Psychiatry. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyt.2016.00125
Today's post is a bit of a mash-up including two paper: the first from Emanuela Balestrieri and colleagues  (open-access available here) talking about "increased HERV-H [Human Endogenous Retroviruses - H] transcriptional activity in all autistic patients" included in their cohort (author's words not mine) and the second from D'Agati and colleagues  (open-access available here) describing "the reduction of HERV-H expression and the significant improvement of ADHD&n........ Read more »
Balestrieri E, Cipriani C, Matteucci C, Capodicasa N, Pilika A, Korca I, Sorrentino R, Argaw-Denboba A, Bucci I, Miele MT.... (2016) Transcriptional activity of human endogenous retrovirus in Albanian children with autism spectrum disorders. The new microbiologica, 39(3), 228-31. PMID: 27602423
D'Agati E, Pitzianti M, Balestrieri E, Matteucci C, Sinibaldi Vallebona P, & Pasini A. (2016) First evidence of HERV-H transcriptional activity reduction after methylphenidate treatment in a young boy with ADHD. The new microbiologica, 39(3), 237-9. PMID: 27602426
Researchers studying how the brain uses perception of the environment to guide action offer a new understanding of the neural circuits responsible for transforming sensation into movement.
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Goard, M., Pho, G., Woodson, J., & Sur, M. (2016) Distinct roles of visual, parietal, and frontal motor cortices in memory-guided sensorimotor decisions. eLife. DOI: 10.7554/eLife.13764
'Does Correction of Strabismus Improve Quality of Life in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder?' went the title of the paper by Pinar Ozer and colleagues . Yes, it may very well do was the answer (but with certain caveats and the requirement for a lot more research in this area).Strabismus, a condition where the eyes don't line up in the same direction, can sometime have some quite noticeable effects on a person's vision and indeed, has been linked to various other non-vision related sympto........ Read more »
Ozer PA, Kabatas EU, Bicer BK, Bodur S, & Kurtul BE. (2016) Does Correction of Strabismus Improve Quality of Life in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Results of a Parent Survey by Ophthalmologists. Seminars in ophthalmology, 1-6. PMID: 27599387
A couple of years back on this blog I talked about some rather intriguing research suggesting that epilepsy and autoimmune disease might not be unstrange diagnostic bedfellows (see here) and that a "potential role of autoimmunity must be given due consideration in epilepsy." Today, I'm continuing that research theme as the findings from Zhang Lin and colleagues  caught my eye concluding that: "There is an association between epilepsy and SAD [systemic autoimmune diseases], which ........ Read more »
Lin Z, Si Q, & Xiaoyi Z. (2016) Association between epilepsy and systemic autoimmune diseases: A meta-analysis. Seizure, 160-166. PMID: 27592469
The findings reported by Harriet Hiscock and colleagues  are brought to the blogging table today, specifically that suggestion that paediatricians, at least in Australia, might be encountering an increased number of "developmental/behavioural conditions" as part of their workload.Looking at the clinical experiences of some 180 paediatricians who took part in the study in late 2013 and comparing them with data from 2008, researchers probed a number of practices relating to "(i) conditions seen........ Read more »
Hiscock H, Danchin MH, Efron D, Gulenc A, Hearps S, Freed GL, Perera P, & Wake M. (2016) Trends in paediatric practice in Australia: 2008 and 2013 national audits from the Australian Paediatric Research Network. Journal of paediatrics and child health. PMID: 27594610
We’ve written about American attitudes toward interracial marriage a fair amount here and (at least once) questioned poll results suggesting dramatic improvement in attitudes toward interracial marriage among Americans (an 87% approval rating?!). While interracial relationships may be more acceptable to many more Americans, there is also the recent report of an attack on an […]
So we cannot talk about race but we overwhelmingly approve interracial marriage?
S........ Read more »
Skinner, A., & Hudac, C. (2017) “Yuck, you disgust me!” Affective bias against interracial couples. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 68-77. DOI: 10.1016/j.jesp.2016.05.008
"While most studies found that respite care was associated with lower stress, several found that respite care was associated with higher stress."That sentence is perhaps the most important finding recorded in the 'integrative review' published by Kim Whitmore  looking at "the relationship between respite care and stress among caregivers of children with ASD [autism spectrum disorder]."Covering a "final sample of 11 primary research reports" the author provides yet another example of how ........ Read more »
Whitmore KE. (2016) Respite Care and Stress Among Caregivers of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder: An Integrative Review. Journal of pediatric nursing. PMID: 27592275
Vitamin D - the sunshine vitamin/hormone - is seemingly everywhere these days in research terms. At the time of writing this post we have news that vitamin D might cut the risk of severe asthma attacks if taken alongside prescribed asthma medication. The week before that it was the suggestion that vitamin D might be part of the explanation as to why childhood learning difficulties were more commonly found in children conceived during the winter months. Vitamin D is seemingly shouldering quite a ........ Read more »
Chen, J., Xin, K., Wei, J., Zhang, K., & Xiao, H. (2016) Lower maternal serum 25(OH) D in first trimester associated with higher autism risk in Chinese offspring. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 98-101. DOI: 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2016.08.013
A new study compares a harness to a neck collar and finds both are good for canine welfare.Milo. Photo: Sabrina MignaccaHarnesses are often said to be better for your dog than walking on a collar, but no one had investigated it. Now, a team of scientists at Hartpury College (Grainger, Wills & Montrose 2016) has published a study of the effects of walking a dog on a harness and on a neck collar.The same dogs were walked on a neck collar and on a harness on separate occasions, and their behavi........ Read more »
Grainger, J., Wills, A., & Montrose, V. (2016) The behavioral effects of walking on a collar and harness in domestic dogs (Canis familiaris). Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, 60-64. DOI: 10.1016/j.jveb.2016.06.002
by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room
It’s time again for a combination post of things that didn’t make the cut for a full post but that we thought interesting (or odd) enough to want to share with you. We hope you enjoy this latest collection of factoids that will make you memorable when (and if) you re-share them. Hot, hot, hot: […]
Tattoos as a restorative act (for college-aged women anyway)
Can you assess juror morality by counting tattoos?
“Glasses can’t hide neck tattoos”
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Noelke, C., McGovern, M., Corsi, D., Jimenez, M., Stern, A., Wing, I., & Berkman, L. (2016) Increasing ambient temperature reduces emotional well-being. Environmental Research, 124-129. DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2016.06.045
"Constipation and dyspepsia are disturbing gastrointestinal symptoms that are often ignored in research on physical comorbidities of schizophrenia."Go on."The prevalence of constipation was 31.3%, and of dyspepsia 23.6%."So said the findings reported by Tomi Virtanen and colleagues  who assessed "dyspepsia and constipation in a sample of outpatients with schizophrenia spectrum psychoses." Alongside the general practitioner assessment of such functional bowel complaints, researchers also ........ Read more »
Virtanen T, Eskelinen S, Sailas E, & Suvisaari J. (2016) Dyspepsia and constipation in patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders. Nordic journal of psychiatry, 1-7. PMID: 27564411
"This large nationwide registry linkage study confirms that the clinical picture in CFS/ME [chronic fatigue syndrome / myalgic encephalomyelitis] is complex."That sentence, taken from the paper by Inger Bakken and colleagues  (open-access available here), is perhaps the under-statement of the year as authors sought to "describe comorbidities diagnosed in primary care in children diagnosed with CFS/ME in specialist health care" and "describe the timing of the diagnoses from prim........ Read more »
Bakken IJ, Tveito K, Aaberg KM, Ghaderi S, Gunnes N, Trogstad L, Magnus P, Stoltenberg C, & Håberg SE. (2016) Comorbidities treated in primary care in children with chronic fatigue syndrome / myalgic encephalomyelitis: A nationwide registry linkage study from Norway. BMC family practice, 17(1), 128. PMID: 27590471
Post moved: http://guzintamath.com/blog/2016/09/contiguity-effective-deductive-inference/
Even if the benefits of retrieval practice were limited to improvements in recall (as prior research has demonstrated), such improvements do not stand in the way of improvements to higher-order reasoning, such as inference-making. (And shaping the path for students, such as improving informational contiguity can have a positive effect too.)... Read more »
"Anxiety disorders significantly increased mortality risk. Comorbidity of anxiety disorders and depression played an important part in the increased mortality."So said the findings reported by Sandra Meier and colleagues  looking to assess any relationship between the presence of an anxiety disorder and mortality risk. Based on data from one of those oh-so-useful Scandinavian population registries (Denmark this time), researchers reported that: "The risk of death by natural and unnatural........ Read more »
Meier SM, Mattheisen M, Mors O, Mortensen PB, Laursen TM, & Penninx BW. (2016) Increased mortality among people with anxiety disorders: total population study. The British journal of psychiatry : the journal of mental science. PMID: 27388572
As you relax and let your mind drift aimlessly, you might remember a pleasant vacation, an angry confrontation in traffic or maybe the loss of a loved one. And now a team of researchers say they can see those various emotional states flickering across the human brain.
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Kragel, P., & LaBar, K. (2015) Multivariate neural biomarkers of emotional states are categorically distinct. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 10(11), 1437-1448. DOI: 10.1093/scan/nsv032
"Further RCTs [randomised-controlled trials] should be conducted on study populations with diagnosed or clinically significant depression of adequate duration using EPA [eicosapentaenoic acid] -predominant omega-3 HUFA [highly unsaturated fatty acids] formulations."So went the conclusions of the review article published by Brian Hallahan and colleagues  who searched the peer-reviewed science literature for clinical trials "evaluating efficacy of omega-3 high........ Read more »
Hallahan B, Ryan T, Hibbeln JR, Murray IT, Glynn S, Ramsden CE, SanGiovanni JP, & Davis JM. (2016) Efficacy of omega-3 highly unsaturated fatty acids in the treatment of depression. The British journal of psychiatry : the journal of mental science. PMID: 27103682
A recent study highlights pet rabbit management practices. Although some owners take extra steps to protect their rabbit, many do not.Guest post by James Oxley (Independent Researcher, UK; Twitter) and Clare Ellis (Moulton College, UK; Twitter; Web).Rabbits sometimes get labelled as an easy pet to keep, and some owners may not consider that common pet care practices used for dogs and cats may also be beneficial for rabbits. In fact, a recent study by Oxley et al. has highlighted h........ Read more »
Oxley, J., Previti, A., Alibrandi, A., Briefer, E., & Passantino, A. (2015) A Preliminary internet survey of pet rabbit owners’ characteristics. World Rabbit Science, 23(4), 289. DOI: 10.4995/wrs.2015.3771
The paper by Enzo Grossi and colleagues  (open-access) is definitely worthy of a post today and the suggestion that the "appropriate use of probiotics" might be something to consider for at least some diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum.Accepting that I'm slightly curious as to what would be considered 'inappropriate use of probiotics', the Grossi paper describes the clinical journey of a boy aged 12 diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) accompanied by learning (intellectual)........ Read more »
Grossi, E., Melli, S., Dunca, D., & Terruzzi, V. (2016) Unexpected improvement in core autism spectrum disorder symptoms after long-term treatment with probiotics. SAGE Open Medical Case Reports. DOI: 10.1177/2050313X16666231
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