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  • April 23, 2014
  • 08:30 AM
  • 200 views

What Is A Typical Animal Hoarder?

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

Sometimes we hear their cases on the news – dozens of sick and frightened dogs or cats removed from the home of an animal hoarder. But is there a typical profile, and how big is the problem?A study by Calvo et al (2014) investigates 24 cases of animal hoarding in Spain between 2002 and 2011. Photo: schankz / ShutterstockAnimal hoarding is not simply having large numbers of pets; it also involves a lack of care for those pets, such that they are sick, not receiving veterinary care and livi........ Read more »

Calvo, P., Duarte, C., Bowen, J., Bulbena, A., & Fatjó, J. (2014) Characteristics of 24 cases of animal hoarding in Spain. Animal Welfare, 23(2), 199-208. DOI: 10.7120/09627286.23.2.199  

  • April 23, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 222 views

How can I convince them this wasn’t racist? Just keep talking…

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

We just can’t keep up with all the research on racism. So today, instead of a single article, we’re going to cite 3 of them! They are all disturbing examples that racism is alive, well, and measurable.  Was s/he a good professor? We’ve all sat through disorganized and incoherent lectures at some point in our […]

Related posts:
“I’ve got proof I’m open-minded!”: Inventing racist roads not taken
“I guess what he said wasn’t that bad”
Racist roads not taken and prejudice........ Read more »

Reid, L., & Birchard, K. (2010) The People Doth Protest Too Much: Explaining Away Subtle Racism. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 29(4), 478-490. DOI: 10.1177/0261927X10377993  

Terbeck S, Kahane G, McTavish S, Savulescu J, Cowen PJ, & Hewstone M. (2012) Propranolol reduces implicit negative racial bias. Psychopharmacology, 222(3), 419-24. PMID: 22371301  

  • April 23, 2014
  • 04:25 AM
  • 198 views

Phenylalanine and schizophrenia: new directions for intervention?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

As regular readers might already have noticed, amino acids are a bit of a obsession of mine on this blog. Out of all of them - and there are quite a few - I'm particularly interested in the aromatic amino acids and the their various connections to health and wellbeing. I've talked at length about some of the proposed connections made between amino acids such as tryptophan, tyrosine and phenylalanine to all manner of conditions but specifically with the autism spectrum in mind (see here).The conv........ Read more »

Olaoluwa Okusaga, Olesja Muravitskaja, Dietmar Fuchs, Ayesha Ashraf, Sarah Hinman, Ina Giegling, Annette M. Hartmann, Bettina Konte, Marion Friedl, Jason Schiffman.... (2014) Elevated Levels of Plasma Phenylalanine in Schizophrenia: A Guanosine Triphosphate Cyclohydrolase-1 Metabolic Pathway Abnormality?. PLoS ONE. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0085945  

  • April 22, 2014
  • 10:40 PM
  • 210 views

Autism, SSRIs, and Epidemiology 101

by neurosci in Neuroscientifically Challenged

I can understand the eagerness with which science writers jump on stories that deal with new findings about autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). After all, the mystery surrounding the rapid increase in ASD rates over the past 20 years (see right) has made any ASD-related study that may offer some clues inherently interesting. Because people are anxiously awaiting some explanation of this medical enigma, it seems like science writers almost have an obligation to discuss new findings concerning the c........ Read more »

  • April 21, 2014
  • 09:00 AM
  • 166 views

Rethinking anger on the road to peace

by Katharine Blackwell in Contemplating Cognition

Cognitive reappraisal, a technique for reinterpreting negative emotions in a more balanced or detached way, may have come across as a weak link in the mental modification toolkit last week: it did not succeed in making people more compassionate, and in fact seemed to make it easier for people to push away any guilt about taking a more selfish path. But while cognitive appraisal might not make people more altruistic, that reevaluation of emotion can make people less angry, and therefore more forg........ Read more »

  • April 21, 2014
  • 07:18 AM
  • 275 views

What makes music groovy?

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

Last week PLOS ONE published an interesting study on rhythm, groove and syncopation that uses an often criticized methodology: questionnaire and web-based research...... Read more »

Witek, M., Clarke, E., Wallentin, M., Kringelbach, M., & Vuust, P. (2014) Syncopation, Body-Movement and Pleasure in Groove Music. PLoS ONE, 9(4). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0094446  

Honing, H., & Reips, U.-D. (2008) Web-based versus lab-based studies: a response to Kendall (2008). Empirical Musicology Review, 3(2), 73-77. info:/

  • April 21, 2014
  • 05:15 AM
  • 179 views

Lathosterolosis, cholesterol and autism?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Although intrigued by the findings reported by Pier Luigi Calvo and colleagues [1] describing a "unique case" potentially linking liver functions and cognitive functions with a hat-tip to the presentation of autistic behaviours, I'll readily admit that I am way out of my comfort and competence zones when discussing this paper so please be ready with that pinch of salt.How do you like your eggs in the morning? @ Wikipedia As per what the paper and accompanying press release (see he........ Read more »

Calvo, P., Brunati, A., Spada, M., Romagnoli, R., Corso, G., Parenti, G., Rossi, M., Baldi, M., Carbonaro, G., David, E.... (2014) Liver Transplantation in Defects of Cholesterol Biosynthesis: The Case of Lathosterolosis. American Journal of Transplantation. DOI: 10.1111/ajt.12645  

  • April 20, 2014
  • 11:45 PM
  • 252 views

Cross-validation in finance, psychology, and political science

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

A large chunk of machine learning (although not all of it) is concerned with predictive modeling, usually in the form of designing an algorithm that takes in some data set and returns an algorithm (or sometimes, a description of an algorithm) for making predictions based on future data. In terminology more friendly to the philosophy […]... Read more »

  • April 20, 2014
  • 03:34 PM
  • 313 views

420: How Marijuana Messes With the Brain

by Alexis Delanoir in How to Paint Your Panda

Cannabis use has previously been associated with cognitive impairment, and Smith et al. (2013) showed that heavy marijuana use was associated with poor working memory and brain abnormalities. Now, Gilman et al. (2014) propose that even casual use of marijuana is associated with such negative effects. Is this an issue of correlation/causation, of funding bias, or are the world's weed smokers really in neurological danger? In this post, in celebration of 4/20, I provide context for the recent........ Read more »

Meier, M., Caspi, A., Ambler, A., Harrington, H., Houts, R., Keefe, R., McDonald, K., Ward, A., Poulton, R., & Moffitt, T. (2012) Persistent cannabis users show neuropsychological decline from childhood to midlife. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 109(40). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1206820109  

  • April 20, 2014
  • 06:03 AM
  • 344 views

The Mystery of “Quantum Resonance Spectroscopy”

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

Can quantum physics help to diagnose schizophrenia and depression? A paper just published in the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease claims that a technique called ‘quantum resonance spectroscopy’ (QRS) can accurately diagnose various mental health problems. But is it quantum wizardry or magic quackery? According to the authors of the new paper, Zhang et […]The post The Mystery of “Quantum Resonance Spectroscopy” appeared first on Neuroskeptic.... Read more »

Zhang Y, Liu F, Shi J, Yue X, Zhang H, Du X, Sun L, & Yuan J. (2014) Exploratory quantum resonance spectrometer as a discriminator for psychiatric affective disorders. The Journal of nervous and mental disease, 202(4), 287-91. PMID: 24647211  

  • April 19, 2014
  • 05:32 AM
  • 390 views

The nose knows: How to pick your friends

by Teodora Stoica in CuriousCortex

The importance of human odor in a social context. ... Read more »

  • April 19, 2014
  • 12:46 AM
  • 238 views

Energy Expenditure (Calories Burned) in Anorexia Nervosa Patients

by Tetyana in Science of Eating Disorders


How many calories do patients with anorexia nervosa need to eat to gain a kilo (2.2 lbs)? It seems like a simple question and one that we should have figured out a long time ago, given the importance (err, necessity) of refeeding and weight restoration in recovery from anorexia nervosa.
Unfortunately, research in this area has often led to contradictory results (see Salisbury et al., 1995 and de Zwaan et al., 2002 for reviews). Fortunately, a paper by Stephan Zipfel and colleagues (2013,........ Read more »

Zipfel S, Mack I, Baur LA, Hebebrand J, Touyz S, Herzog W, Abraham S, Davies PS, & Russell J. (2013) Impact of exercise on energy metabolism in anorexia nervosa. Journal of Eating Disorders, 1(1), 37. PMID: 24499685  

  • April 18, 2014
  • 01:56 PM
  • 268 views

Moving Beyond “Just-So Stories”: Young Children Can Be Taught Basic Natural Selection

by amikulak in Daily Observations

Spend more than a few hours with a child under the age of 10 and “why?” is a question you’re likely to hear a. Children are naturally curious explorers, and […]... Read more »

  • April 18, 2014
  • 01:07 PM
  • 203 views

Overcomming Social Phobia with CBT and Pharmacotherapy

by Vivek Misra in The UberBrain

photo credit: ParadigmMalibu.comSocial phobia, a type of anxiety disorder, is characterized by persistent fear of one or more social or performance situations in which the person is exposed to unfamiliar people or to possible scrutiny by others (1). The individual fears that he or she will act in a way (or show anxiety symptoms) that will be embarrassing and humiliating.  Exposure to the feared situation almost invariably provokes anxiety, which may take the form of a situationally bou........ Read more »

Domschke K, Stevens S, Beck B, Baffa A, Hohoff C, Deckert J, & Gerlach AL. (2009) Blushing propensity in social anxiety disorder: influence of serotonin transporter gene variation. Journal of neural transmission (Vienna, Austria : 1996), 116(6), 663-6. PMID: 18629430  

Nahshoni E, Gur S, Marom S, Levin JB, Weizman A, & Hermesh H. (2004) QT dispersion in patients with social phobia. Journal of affective disorders, 78(1), 21-6. PMID: 14672793  

  • April 18, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 243 views

Hey, trial lawyers! The FDA is watching you!

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

And they want you to stop abusing their Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS). We’ve worked a number of cases recently where FDA warnings were used as evidence at trial and were very interested to see this article in the American Journal of Gastroenterology. And the answer to the skeptic’s question is “no”. No, we don’t […]

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Predic........ Read more »

Racine A, Cuerq A, Bijon A, Ricordeau P, Weill A, Allemand H, Chosidow O, Boutron-Ruault MC, & Carbonnel F. (2014) Isotretinoin and risk of inflammatory bowel disease: a French nationwide study. The American Journal of Gastroenterology, 109(4), 563-9. PMID: 24535094  

  • April 17, 2014
  • 11:02 PM
  • 369 views

Dear CNRS: That mouse study did not "confirm" the neurobiological origin of ADHD in humans

by neurosci in Neuroscientifically Challenged

Late last week the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS - the acronym is based on the French translation) put out a press release describing a study conducted through a collaboration between several of its researchers and scientists from The University of Strasbourg. CNRS is a large (30,000+ employees), government-run research institution in France. It is the largest research organization in Europe, and is responsible for about 1/2 of the French scientific papers published annual........ Read more »

  • April 17, 2014
  • 12:34 PM
  • 138 views

What makes music groovy?

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

Today PLOS ONE publishes a study that uses an often criticized research method: questionnaire and web-based research (cf. Honing & Ladinig, 2008). This study, however, is a good example of how an unspectacular method (i.e. compared to, e.g., controlled experiments, brain imaging techniques or computational modelling) can still be quite informative....... Read more »

Witek, M., Clarke, E., Wallentin, M., Kringelbach, M., & Vuust, P. (2014) Syncopation, Body-Movement and Pleasure in Groove Music. PLoS ONE, 9(4). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0094446  

Honing, H., & Reips, U.-D. (2008) Web-based versus lab-based studies: a response to Kendall (2008). Empirical Musicology Review, 3(2), 73-77. info:/

  • April 17, 2014
  • 09:14 AM
  • 220 views

What Do You Want to Hear First: Good News or Bad News?

by Jeremiah Stanghini in Jeremiah Stanghini

As it turns out, our answer to this question is different depending on whether we’re the one delivering the news or we’re the one receiving the news. If we’re delivering the news, we’re more likely to want to lead with … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • April 17, 2014
  • 09:00 AM
  • 821 views

A poor excuse for removing a peer-reviewed publication

by Katharine Blackwell in Contemplating Cognition

I became disenchanted with the idea of e-books when Amazon reached into scores of Kindles and removed copies of (of all possible books) 1984 and Animal Farm. The notion that a major company had the power to deny access to any content they deemed problematic simply presented too many visions of reactive, totalitarian control.

I never considered that those very concerns might apply to the publishers of scientific research, who – in this age of online-only publications – have the pow........ Read more »

  • April 17, 2014
  • 07:49 AM
  • 258 views

Cannabis use and structural changes in the brain

by Robb Hollis in Antisense Science

“One or two spliffs a week could mess up your brain” – Metro, 16 April 2014

Spark your interest? This headline caught the eyes of the Antisense team, so we chased down the original article in the Journal of Neuroscience and took a closer look!

Cannabis is the most commonly used illegal drug in the US, and the ‘casual use’ culture surrounding marijuana is a subject of great debate and controversy, with arguments for drug legalisation making their way into our ........ Read more »

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