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  • July 7, 2015
  • 06:02 AM

5 Ways To Connect Science And Spirituality

by Pieter Carriere in United Academics

To assess the value of spirituality, this article aims to give a clear, imaginable and humble impression of spirituality research. It describes research of spiritual practices, which are practiced by people of multiple religious affiliations and even by irreligious people.... Read more »

Gothe N, Pontifex MB, Hillman C, & McAuley E. (2013) The acute effects of yoga on executive function. Journal of physical activity , 10(4), 488-95. PMID: 22820158  

Vickhoff, B., Malmgren, H., Åström, R., Nyberg, G., Ekström, S., Engwall, M., Snygg, J., Nilsson, M., & Jörnsten, R. (2013) Music structure determines heart rate variability of singers. Frontiers in Psychology. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00334  

Friese M, Schweizer L, Arnoux A, Sutter F, & Wänke M. (2014) Personal prayer counteracts self-control depletion. Consciousness and cognition, 90-5. PMID: 25277947  

  • July 7, 2015
  • 05:25 AM

Sick leave and income levels for parents of children with autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Parents of children with ASD [autism spectrum disorder] living in Stockholm, Sweden in 2006 were more likely to be on sick leave, not in the labor force, or earning low income when compared to parents who did not have a child with ASD and these results remained after adjusting for familial socioeconomic factors and parental psychiatric care."That was the rather grim conclusion reached by Miranda McEvilly and colleagues [1] (open-access) following their analysis of families taking........ Read more »

  • July 6, 2015
  • 02:22 PM

Restraint and confinement still an everyday practice in mental health settings

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Providers of mental-health services still rely on intervention techniques such as physical restraint and confinement to control some psychiatric hospital patients, a practice which can cause harm to both patients and care facilities, according to a new study from the University of Waterloo. The study found that almost one in four psychiatric patients in Ontario hospitals are restrained using control interventions, such as chairs that prevent rising, wrist restraints, seclusion rooms or acute con........ Read more »

Mah, T., Hirdes, J., Heckman, G., & Stolee, P. (2015) Use of control interventions in adult in-patient mental health services. Healthcare Management Forum, 28(4), 139-145. DOI: 10.1177/0840470415581230  

  • July 6, 2015
  • 10:00 AM

Brain Activity of Passengers on Terrifying Flight Sheds Light on Trauma Memory

by amikulak in Daily Observations

Neuroimaging data collected from a group of passengers who thought they were going to die when their plane ran out of fuel over the Atlantic Ocean in the summer of […]... Read more »

  • July 6, 2015
  • 08:29 AM

Scientists Predict A Talking Elephant, Szilamandee

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

A talking white elephant called Slizamandee could save the world with his wisdom and "teach us with the deepest voice of history", according to an academic paper published today.

The article appeared in the journal Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology. The authors are led by Otto E. Rössler, a biochemist. It's called Is it Ethical to heal a young white Elephant from his physiological Autism? Many thanks to Michelle Dawson for bringing it to my attention.

Rössler et al. start ou... Read more »

Rossler, O., Theis, C., Heiter, J., Fleischer, W., & Student, A. (2015) Is it Ethical to heal a young white Elephant from his physiological Autism?. Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology. DOI: 10.1016/j.pbiomolbio.2015.06.020  

  • July 6, 2015
  • 08:08 AM

Saving For Retirement — As Simple As Counting in Days

by Jeremiah Stanghini in Jeremiah Stanghini

A few years ago, I wrote a post about the problems with saying “I’ll be ready in 5 minutes.” It turns out, there’s now research that — in a way — supports the point I was trying to make. In this … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • July 6, 2015
  • 06:08 AM

Why Radicalize? Five Motives For Becoming A Jihadist

by Sarah Boers-Goi in United Academics

Radicalization is an analyzable process, rather than the outcome of an ‘evil’ personality.... Read more »

  • July 6, 2015
  • 04:54 AM

Is coeliac disease an aetiological factor in paediatric nonsyndromic intellectual disability?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

In answer to the question posed in the title of this post on whether coeliac disease (CD) might show some connection to intellectual (learning) disability, 'probably not' is the finding reported by Taner Sezer and colleagues [1].Researchers initially looked at "serum levels of tissue transglutaminase antibody and total IgA" in over 230 children diagnosed with nonsyndromic intellectual disability compared with about the same number of asymptomatic controls. Nonsyndromic intellectual dis........ Read more »

  • July 6, 2015
  • 04:45 AM

How Do Horror Video Games Work, and Why Do People Play Them?

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Horror video games target evolved defence mechanismsby confronting the player with fright-inducing stimulisuch as darkness and hostile entities. By guest blogger Mathias ClasenThe video game industry outpaced the movie industry several years ago, and video games remain a rapidly growing market. In 2014, US consumers spent more than $22 billion on game content, hardware, and accessories. While researchers in media psychology have been busy investigating and discussing the effects of violent ........ Read more »

  • July 4, 2015
  • 05:19 AM

A viral 'cause' of obesity?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I must thank Leah Hardy (@LeahFHardy) for bringing to my attention the paper by Qinglong Shang and colleagues [1] (open-access available here) reporting that: "Ad36 [Human adenovirus 36] infection is associated with an increased risk of obesity development."Based on a meta-analysis of the available research literature examining whether Ad-36 - "a nonenveloped icosahedral virus comprised of double-stranded DNA and is one of 56 serotypes in 7 subgroups of human adenoviruses" - might........ Read more »

  • July 3, 2015
  • 04:37 PM

REM sleep critical for young brain development; medication interferes

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Rapid eye movement or REM sleep actively converts waking experiences into lasting memories and abilities in young brains reports a new study. The finding broadens the understanding of children’s sleep needs and calls into question the increasing use of REM-disrupting medications such as stimulants and antidepressants.

... Read more »

Michelle C. Dumoulin Bridi, Sara J. Aton, Julie Seibt, Leslie Renouard, Tammi Coleman1, & Marcos G. Frank. (2015) Rapid eye movement sleep promotes cortical plasticity in the developing brain. Science Advances. info:/10.1126/sciadv.1500105

  • July 3, 2015
  • 11:47 AM

Smile at a party and people are more likely to remember seeing your face there

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

When you smile at a party, your facial expression is emotionally consistent with the happy context and as a consequence other guests will in future be more likely to remember that they've seen your face before, and where you were when they saw you. That's according to a team of Italian researchers led by Stefania Righi who have explored how memory for a face is affected by the emotion shown on that face and the congruence between that emotional expression and its surrounding context.The research........ Read more »

  • July 3, 2015
  • 09:55 AM

Evidence for "Unconscious Learning" Questioned

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

Can we learn without being aware of what we're learning? Many psychologists say that 'unconscious', or implicit, learning exists.

But in a new paper, London-based psychologists Vadillo, Konstantinidis, and Shanks call the evidence for this into question.

Vadillo et al. focus on one particular example of implicit learning, the contextual cueing paradigm. This involves a series of stimulus patterns, each consisting of a number of "L" shapes and one "T" shape in various orientations. For ... Read more »

  • July 3, 2015
  • 07:02 AM

Trustworthiness, real adulthood, cat videos and how open you are to experiences 

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Here’s another installment of things we think you might want to know but to which we don’t wish to devote an entire blog post. Keep reading to have tidbits worthy of sound bytes over drinks. The onset of ‘real’ adulthood Five years ago we were distressed to discover that middle age begins at 35 and […]

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  • July 3, 2015
  • 06:02 AM

5 Tips For Better Sleep

by Elisabeth Buhl Thubron in United Academics

Adding some ‘worry time’ to your day could work better than pills.... Read more »

  • July 3, 2015
  • 04:56 AM

Vitamin D metabolic gene variants and risk for autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I was really rather happy to see the "preliminary evidence" reported by Rebecca Schmidt and colleagues [1] when it came to examining whether selected vitamin D metabolic gene variants might show linkage to autism spectrum disorder (ASD) based on data derived from the CHARGE initiative.For quite a while now I've discussed the various peer-reviewed science on the topic of vitamin D deficiency / insufficiency with autism in mind on this blog (see here and see here for example). Specifically, h........ Read more »

Schmidt RJ, Hansen RL, Hartiala J, Allayee H, Sconberg JL, Schmidt LC, Volk HE, & Tassone F. (2015) Selected vitamin D metabolic gene variants and risk for autism spectrum disorder in the CHARGE Study. Early human development, 91(8), 483-489. PMID: 26073892  

  • July 2, 2015
  • 08:00 AM

Want Better Group Performance? Try a Standing Meeting

by Jeremiah Stanghini in Jeremiah Stanghini

In keeping with the theme of “standing” being better for us from earlier this week, I thought I’d tackle another journal article discussing the merits of standing. This time, the research included participants well-beyond the 2nd and 3rd grade, but still used students … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • July 2, 2015
  • 05:36 AM

How social anxiety manifests on Facebook

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

For many shy people, online social networking sites have an obvious appeal – a way to socialise without the unpredictable immediacy of a face-to-face encounter. However, a new study finds that people who are socially anxious betray their awkwardness on Facebook, much as they do in the offline world. The researchers Aaron Weidman and Cheri Levinson said their findings could hint at ways for socially anxious people to conceal their nervousness and attract more online friends.Seventy-seven studen........ Read more »

  • July 2, 2015
  • 02:34 AM

Acute bipolar depression and immune alterations

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Individuals with acute bipolar depression show immune alterations. Some of the alterations are similar to those found in acute mania."That was the bottom line reported by Faith Dickerson and colleagues [1] following their analysis of blood samples provided by "82 individuals with acute bipolar depression, 147 with acute mania, and 280 controls." Looking for the presence of various antibodies to "human herpesviruses, gliadin, Toxoplasma gondii, and endogenous retroviruses as well as for C-reacti........ Read more »

Dickerson F, Katsafanas E, Schweinfurth LA, Savage CL, Stallings C, Origoni A, Khushalani S, Lillehoj E, & Yolken R. (2015) Immune alterations in acute bipolar depression. Acta psychiatrica Scandinavica. PMID: 26061032  

  • July 1, 2015
  • 02:19 PM

New epigenetic mechanism revealed in brain cells

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

For decades, researchers in the genetics field have theorized that the protein spools around which DNA is wound, histones, remain constant in the brain, never changing after development in the womb. Now, researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have discovered that histones are steadily replaced in brain cells throughout life – a process which helps to switch genes on and off.... Read more »

Maze, I., Wenderski, W., Noh, K., Bagot, R., Tzavaras, N., Purushothaman, I., Elsässer, S., Guo, Y., Ionete, C., Hurd, Y.... (2015) Critical Role of Histone Turnover in Neuronal Transcription and Plasticity. Neuron, 87(1), 77-94. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2015.06.014  

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