Humans have a built-in neural map, and it’s shaped like a honeycomb.
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Bjerknes TL, Moser EI, & Moser MB. (2014) Representation of geometric borders in the developing rat. Neuron, 82(1), 71-8. PMID: 24613417
Langston RF, Ainge JA, Couey JJ, Canto CB, Bjerknes TL, Witter MP, Moser EI, & Moser MB. (2010) Development of the spatial representation system in the rat. Science (New York, N.Y.), 328(5985), 1576-80. PMID: 20558721
O'Keefe J, & Dostrovsky J. (1971) The hippocampus as a spatial map. Preliminary evidence from unit activity in the freely-moving rat. Brain research, 34(1), 171-5. PMID: 5124915
Solstad T, Boccara CN, Kropff E, Moser MB, & Moser EI. (2008) Representation of geometric borders in the entorhinal cortex. Science (New York, N.Y.), 322(5909), 1865-8. PMID: 19095945
In today's brief post I want to highlight the important findings reported by Christina Nicolaidis and colleagues  who suggested that quite a bit more could be done to improve the success of "healthcare interactions" when it comes to the autism spectrum.Based on the experiences of 39 adults with autism and "16 people who had experience supporting autistic adults in healthcare settings" researchers came up with a few "patient- and provider-level factors" that might impact on said heal........ Read more »
Nicolaidis, C., Raymaker, D., Ashkenazy, E., McDonald, K., Dern, S., Baggs, A., Kapp, S., Weiner, M., & Boisclair, W. (2015) "Respect the way I need to communicate with you": Healthcare experiences of adults on the autism spectrum. Autism. DOI: 10.1177/1362361315576221
It’s widely recognised that atheists are one of the most marginalised groups in the USA. As you might imagine, this can cause all sorts of problems for non-believers. But might it also help explain why the public face of atheism in the USA is so stridently vocal? Many American atheists are passionate about their identity as [Read More...]... Read more »
Doane, M., & Elliott, M. (2014) Perceptions of Discrimination Among Atheists: Consequences for Atheist Identification, Psychological and Physical Well-Being. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality. DOI: 10.1037/rel0000015
I do not recall ever having heard of this sleep disorder before but apparently it is much more common than previously thought. At least by me, since to me it sounded like a”Jackass” stunt. This is an actual sleep disorder in which you are suddenly awakened by a loud sound akin to an explosion but […]
Columbo, Catfish, and Courthouse News: Be careful out there!
Trial Skills: A new issue of The Jury Expert is up!
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Sharpless BA. (2015) Exploding head syndrome is common in college students. Journal of Sleep Research. PMID: 25773787
MedicalResearch.com Medical Research Interviews and News
MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jaime L. Tartar PhD Behavioral Neuroscience Major Chair Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences Nova Southeastern University Fort Lauderdale, Florida Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Tartar: We … Continue reading →
The post Poor Sleep Quality Increases Mood Disturbances appeared first on MedicalResearch.com Medical Research Interviews........ Read more »
MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jaime L. Tartar PhD. (2015) Poor Sleep Quality Increases Mood Disturbances. MedicalResearch.com. info:/
"In conclusion, victimisation among people with SMI [severe mental illness] is more prevalent and associated with greater psychosocial morbidity than victimisation among the general population."That was the finding reported by Hind Khalifeh and colleagues  (open-access here) following their analysis of "the prevalence and impact of crime among people with SMI compared with the general population." SMI, by the way, covered various labels including: "people with psychotic disorde........ Read more »
Khalifeh H, Johnson S, Howard LM, Borschmann R, Osborn D, Dean K, Hart C, Hogg J, & Moran P. (2015) Violent and non-violent crime against adults with severe mental illness. The British journal of psychiatry : the journal of mental science. PMID: 25698767
In anticipation of the return of THE AVENGERS, we take a look at the science that could possibly help someone to turn into a HULK.... Read more »
Falkenberg KJ, & Johnstone RW. (2014) Histone deacetylases and their inhibitors in cancer, neurological diseases and immune disorders. Nature reviews. Drug discovery. PMID: 25131830
Haggarty P, Hoad G, Harris SE, Starr JM, Fox HC, Deary IJ, & Whalley LJ. (2010) Human intelligence and polymorphisms in the DNA methyltransferase genes involved in epigenetic marking. PloS one, 5(6). PMID: 20593030
Telling people they are biased in their treatment of others – that they are racist or ageist, for example – can make them defensive and result in backlash. For this reason, change-makers nowadays often spread a different message: that stereotyping others isn’t a personal sin, but near-universal and something we must all aim to resist. However a new paper from researchers Michelle Duguid and Melissa Thomas-Hunt argues that this "Everyone Stereotypes" message, far from reducing bias, may act........ Read more »
Duguid, M., & Thomas-Hunt, M. (2015) Condoning stereotyping? How awareness of stereotyping prevalence impacts expression of stereotypes. Journal of Applied Psychology, 100(2), 343-359. DOI: 10.1037/a0037908
The title of this post is an excerpt from the paper by Sebastian Lundström and colleagues  (open-access) who set out to "compare the annual prevalence of the autism symptom phenotype and of registered diagnoses for autism spectrum disorder during a 10 year period in children" living in Sweden. Based on two datasets - the Child and Adolescent Twin Study in Sweden and the Swedish national patient register (NPR) - researchers analysed the records of well over a million ........ Read more »
Lundstrom, S., Reichenberg, A., Anckarsater, H., Lichtenstein, P., & Gillberg, C. (2015) Autism phenotype versus registered diagnosis in Swedish children: prevalence trends over 10 years in general population samples. BMJ, 350(apr28 2). DOI: 10.1136/bmj.h1961
You don’t need a crazy diet to lose weight. In fact, your typical fad diet won’t help you keep weight off long term and could be harming your health. If you want to know the secrets of healthier eating, think of the kitchen fruit bowl. A fruit bowl makes fruit more convenient, attractive, and normal to eat than if the same fruit were in the bottom of the refrigerator.... Read more »
Wansink B. (2013) Convenient, attractive, and normative: the CAN approach to making children slim by design. Childhood obesity (Print), 9(4), 277-8. PMID: 23865529
A study of three breeds finds differences in the sensitive period, and shows socialization should begin before you even take your puppy home.Puppies have a sensitive period between 3 and 12-14 weeks old in which they must be socialized. This means positive introductions to new people, dogs, places, etc. If not, they will be fearful as adult dogs. A fascinating new study by Mary Morrow (Ohio State University) et al investigates whether this period is the same for three breeds of dog: Cavalier Kin........ Read more »
Morrow, M., Ottobre, J., Ottobre, A., Neville, P., St-Pierre, N., Dreschel, N., & Pate, J. (2015) Breed-dependent differences in the onset of fear-related avoidance behavior in puppies. Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research. DOI: 10.1016/j.jveb.2015.03.002
"It is our attitude at the beginning of a difficult task which, more than anything else, will affect its successful outcome." The sentiment articulated here by psychology pioneer William James is currently in vogue, if its preponderance in self-help books, motivational posters, and memes is anything to go by. But are we pinning too much on positive thinking?A research team led by Elizabeth Tenney asked participants to guess how much a given task is affected by optimism, then compared this to how........ Read more »
Tenney, E., Logg, J., & Moore, D. (2015) (Too) optimistic about optimism: The belief that optimism improves performance. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 108(3), 377-399. DOI: 10.1037/pspa0000018
"The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) is a framework for describing and organising information on functioning and disability. It provides a standard language and a conceptual basis for the definition and measurement of health and disability."That is the US CDC - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - definition of the ICF (from WHO) and how, among other things, the ICF offers a "scientific basis for understanding and studying health an........ Read more »
de Schipper E, Lundequist A, Coghill D, de Vries PJ, Granlund M, Holtmann M, Jonsson U, Karande S, Robison JE, Shulman C.... (2015) Ability and Disability in Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Systematic Literature Review Employing the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health-Children and Youth Version. Autism research : official journal of the International Society for Autism Research. PMID: 25820780
Repeated alcohol exposure during adolescence results in long-lasting changes in the region of the brain that controls learning and memory, according to a research team at Duke Medicine that used a rodent model as a surrogate for humans. The study provides new insights at the cellular level for how alcohol exposure during adolescence, before the brain is fully developed, can result in cellular and synaptic abnormalities that have enduring, detrimental effects on behavior.... Read more »
Risher, M., Fleming, R., Risher, W., Miller, K., Klein, R., Wills, T., Acheson, S., Moore, S., Wilson, W., Eroglu, C.... (2015) Adolescent Intermittent Alcohol Exposure: Persistence of Structural and Functional Hippocampal Abnormalities into Adulthood. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. DOI: 10.1111/acer.12725
There is surprisingly little data on how and when scientists reject hypotheses, but John Fugelsang and Kevin Dunbar at Dartmouth conducted a rather unique study "Theory and data interactions of the scientific mind: Evidence from the molecular and the cognitive laboratory" in 2004 in which they researched researchers. They sat in at scientific laboratory meetings of three renowned molecular biology laboratories at carefully recorded how scientists presented their laboratory data and how........ Read more »
Fugelsang, J., Stein, C., Green, A., & Dunbar, K. (2004) Theory and Data Interactions of the Scientific Mind: Evidence From the Molecular and the Cognitive Laboratory. Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology/Revue canadienne de psychologie expérimentale, 58(2), 86-95. DOI: 10.1037/h0085799
Loneliness is bad for you. Some experts have even likened it to a kind of disease. What's unclear is how being being lonely leads to these adverse effects on our health. A new study looks at one possibility – that loneliness makes people feel hungrier than normal, thus increasing their food intake and putting them at risk of obesity with all its associated health problems.Lisa Jaremka and her colleagues asked 42 women (average age 53) to fast for 12 hours before visiting the psych lab. On arri........ Read more »
Jaremka, L., Fagundes, C., Peng, J., Belury, M., Andridge, R., Malarkey, W., & Kiecolt-Glaser, J. (2015) Loneliness predicts postprandial ghrelin and hunger in women. Hormones and Behavior, 57-63. DOI: 10.1016/j.yhbeh.2015.01.011
The paper from Garth Swanson and colleagues  reporting findings suggesting that "suppression of melatonin in AD [alcohol use disorder] may promote gut leakiness and endotoxemia" make for the discussion point today.Continuing a theme from previous times on this blog that "melatonin may serve important gastrointestinal barrier functions"  and specifically those related to the concept of intestinal permeability and the so-called 'leaky gut' (see here), these are potentially imp........ Read more »
Swanson GR, Gorenz A, Shaikh M, Desai V, Forsyth CB, Fogg L, Burgess HJ, & Keshavarzian A. (2015) Decreased Melatonin Secretion is Associated with Increased Intestinal Permeability and Marker of Endotoxemia in Alcoholics. American journal of physiology. Gastrointestinal and liver physiology. PMID: 25907689
Google searches could unveil patterns in Black mortality rates across the US, according to a new study. Researchers found that those areas with greater levels of racism, as indexed by the proportion of Google searches containing the “n-word,” had higher mortality rates among Blacks. The study is the first to examine an Internet query-based measure of racism in relation to mortality risk.... Read more »
Chae, D., Clouston, S., Hatzenbuehler, M., Kramer, M., Cooper, H., Wilson, S., Stephens-Davidowitz, S., Gold, R., & Link, B. (2015) Association between an Internet-Based Measure of Area Racism and Black Mortality. PLOS ONE, 10(4). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0122963
Surveys show that most of us wish our personalities were different. Change is certainly possible: people's personalities evolve as they get older (for example, most of us become more friendly but less open-minded), and there's research showing more immediate influences on personality, such as our current mood (we're less extravert when we're sad). And yet, before now, no one has studied whether people can simply choose to change their personality at will.Nathan Hudson and Chris Fraley asked 135 ........ Read more »
Hudson, N., & Fraley, R. (2015) Volitional Personality Trait Change: Can People Choose to Change Their Personality Traits?. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. DOI: 10.1037/pspp0000021
I recently came across the paper by Martina Barnevik Olsson and colleagues  (open-access) and their rather interesting take on the issue of optimal outcome and autism (see here for some background on this concept).Based on the idea that a diagnosis of autism or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) might not be as immutable as perhaps once thought (as in 'no longer meeting the diagnostic criteria for the condition'), Barnevik Olsson et al reported that loss of the autism/ASD label does not........ Read more »
Barnevik Olsson, M., Westerlund, J., Lundström, S., Giacobini, M., Fernell, E., & Gillberg, C. (2015) “Recovery” from the diagnosis of autism – and then?. Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, 999. DOI: 10.2147/NDT.S78707
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