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  • January 21, 2016
  • 02:51 AM

Pendulum swings... prenatal antidepressant exposure not linked to autism or ADHD

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Multiple studies have examined the risk of prenatal antidepressant exposure and risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), with inconsistent results."And..."These results suggest that prior reports of association between prenatal antidepressant exposure and neurodevelopmental disease are likely to represent a false-positive finding, which may arise in part through confounding by indication."'These results' refers to the findings reported by Castr........ Read more »

  • January 20, 2016
  • 09:31 PM

Students At Elite Universities Also View Asians As The Model Minority

by Marie Benz in Interview with: Jerry Park, Ph.D. Associate professor of sociology Affiliate Fellow, Institute for Studies on Religion Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Park: Research … Continue reading →
The post Students At Elite Universities Also View Asians As The Model Minority appeared first on
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Jerry Park, Ph.D. (2016) Students At Elite Universities Also View Asians As The Model Minority. info:/

  • January 20, 2016
  • 02:29 PM

Overwhelmed and depressed? Well, there may be a connection

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Ever feel overwhelmed when you are depressed, well the good news is it isn't just you, the bad news is it's probably your brain. Regions of the brain that normally work together to process emotion become decoupled in people who experience multiple episodes of depression, neuroscientists report. The findings may help identify which patients will benefit from long term antidepressant treatment to prevent the recurrence of depressive episodes.

... Read more »

Jacobs, R., Barba, A., Gowins, J., Klumpp, H., Jenkins, L., Mickey, B., Ajilore, O., Peciña, M., Sikora, M., Ryan, K.... (2016) Decoupling of the amygdala to other salience network regions in adolescent-onset recurrent major depressive disorder. Psychological Medicine, 1-13. DOI: 10.1017/S0033291715002615  

  • January 20, 2016
  • 11:00 AM

WATCH: Persistence Pays Off For Squirrels

by Jenny Ludmer in Rooster's Report

Surely you can expect that the ubiquitous furry creature — a regular at your public park — is a master problem-solver. After all, squirrels must continuously stockpile acorns and occasionally raid bird feeders, all while playing in traffic and dodging hairy little beasts on leashes. But what personality characteristic most drives these exceptional abilities: persistence or flexibility? ... Read more »

  • January 20, 2016
  • 08:30 AM

Finding out if shelter dogs are friendly: testing the B.A.R.K. protocol

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

Research shows the challenges of assessing behaviour in shelter dogs.We know our pets well. My dog Bodger is bouncy and friendly; he sits to be patted, then jumps up with a surreptitious kiss; he likes zucchini and hates thunder. We form these observations through time spent with our dogs. But at animal shelters it’s not so easy. How do you assess the temperament of a dog you’ve only just met?Research by Kate Mornement(Monash University; Pets Behaving Badly) et al investigates this problem. ........ Read more »

  • January 20, 2016
  • 08:10 AM

The police believe a lot of psychology myths related to their work

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Despite recent improvements to their training, a new study in the journal of Police and Criminal Psychology suggests the police are as susceptible as the general public to holding false beliefs about psychology that apply to their work. The research, conducted in the UK, also showed that police officers have more confidence than the public in their false beliefs.Chloe Chaplin, a programme facilitator at the London Probation Trust, and Julia Shaw, senior lecturer at South Bank university, recruit........ Read more »

  • January 20, 2016
  • 05:01 AM

People who have experienced more adversity show more compassion

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

In parallel with the difficulties caused by trauma, such as depression and ill health, some people experience positive psychological changes, such as a renewed appreciation for life and increased resilience – a phenomenon psychologists term "post traumatic growth". According to a new study in the journal Emotion, we can add another positive outcome related to adversity – compassion. The more adversity in life a person has experienced, the more compassion they tend to feel and show toward oth........ Read more »

  • January 20, 2016
  • 03:11 AM

Middle ear infections and autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I'm gonna be fairly brief today in drawing your attention to the paper published by Daniel Adams and colleagues [1] reporting that: "Children with ASD [autism spectrum disorders] are more likely to have middle ear infections and otitis-related complications."The results, which we've known were coming (see here), detail findings based on a retrospective case-cohort study where the health insurance records of children of US military families were initially screened for the presence of au........ Read more »

Adams, D., Susi, A., Erdie-Lalena, C., Gorman, G., Hisle-Gorman, E., Rajnik, M., Elrod, M., & Nylund, C. (2016) Otitis Media and Related Complications Among Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. DOI: 10.1007/s10803-015-2689-x  

  • January 19, 2016
  • 02:14 PM

Can you trust your gut when public speaking?

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

There is good news for frequent public speakers. New research shows that individuals have the ability to quickly and accurately identify a crowd's general emotion as focused or distracted, suggesting that we can trust our first impression of a crowd's mood.

... Read more »

  • January 19, 2016
  • 04:29 AM

Get your (autism genetics) kicks on root 66?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

With the ever-increasing volumes of research being published in the peer-reviewed domain these days, one sometimes has to be a little creative to ensure that your research paper stands out and is not lost in the scientific noise. Quite a good way of getting noticed is to make sure that your paper catches the attention of your reader base. Y'know, give it a snappy title; something that social media might pick up on...So it was that my attention was taken when coming across the paper by Diaz-........ Read more »

  • January 18, 2016
  • 11:29 AM

Catch Him If You Can

by Miss Behavior in The Scorpion and the Frog

By Caitlin LockardWhen playing Frisbee with your dog, do you ever wonder how they have the ability to catch it so effortlessly? The art of being able to figure out where something like a Frisbee is headed requires some crazy math skills. Ostracods are one kind of animal that puts their wicked math skills to the test while finding a mate.The image above of a female ostracod was provided by Trevor Rivers.You’ve never heard of an ostracod you say? Ostracods are small crustaceans, which basicall........ Read more »

  • January 18, 2016
  • 05:21 AM

Here's a really simple trick that could help you enjoy more lucid dreams

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Lucid dreams are when you know you're dreaming and you can consciously control events as they unfold: it's like being the director and star of your own Hollywood movie. It's estimated that about 20 per cent of people get to enjoy them fairly regularly (at least once a month). For the rest of us, a new study in the journal Dreaming suggests a really simple way to increase your odds of having lucid dreams – just start making more frequent use of the snooze function on your alarm clock.Bethan Smi........ Read more »

  • January 18, 2016
  • 04:29 AM

Supporting siblings of children with autism too

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

A weekend not wasted...The idea that a diagnosis/label of autism may have repercussions for quite a few more people than just the person diagnosed is not a new one.Without trying to generalise nor stigmatise, the process of working up to and receiving a diagnosis on the autism spectrum can often have profound consequences for family life. Parents typically shoulder quite a lot of the additional duties that follow from a diagnosis (and indeed before diagnosis) but other family members also have t........ Read more »

  • January 17, 2016
  • 08:58 PM

Spreading climate misinformation like butter

by dominicwhite in Two Degrees or Under

A new study in PNAS concludes that echo chambers and confirmation bias spread misinformation. The authors “readable summary”: The wide availability of user-provided content in online social media facilitates the aggregation of people around common interests, worldviews, and narratives. However,...... Read more »

Del Vicario, M., Bessi, A., Zollo, F., Petroni, F., Scala, A., Caldarelli, G., Stanley, H., & Quattrociocchi, W. (2016) The spreading of misinformation online. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 201517441. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1517441113  

  • January 16, 2016
  • 11:30 PM

Perplexity Is Not Required for Learning

by Joshua Fisher in Text Savvy

Taken at face value, the relative lack of effect of such conflicts across a broad range of studies falsifies the cognitive conflict hypothesis: The difficulty of conceptual change must reside elsewhere than in conflict, or rather the lack thereof, between misconceptions and normatively correct subject matter.... Read more »

Ramsburg, J., & Ohlsson, S. (2016) Category change in the absence of cognitive conflict. Journal of Educational Psychology, 108(1), 98-113. DOI: 10.1037/edu0000050  

  • January 16, 2016
  • 03:12 PM

‘Space Warps’ and other citizen science projects reap major dividends for astrophysics

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Thanks to the Internet, amateur volunteers known as "citizen scientists" can readily donate their time and effort to science--in fields ranging from medicine to zoology to astrophysics. The astrophysics project Space Warps offers a compelling example of why citizen science has become such a popular tool and how valuable it can be.

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Marshall, P., Verma, A., More, A., Davis, C., More, S., Kapadia, A., Parrish, M., Snyder, C., Wilcox, J., Baeten, E.... (2015) SPACE WARPS - I. Crowdsourcing the discovery of gravitational lenses. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 455(2), 1171-1190. DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stv2009  

More, A., Verma, A., Marshall, P., More, S., Baeten, E., Wilcox, J., Macmillan, C., Cornen, C., Kapadia, A., Parrish, M.... (2015) SPACE WARPS- II. New gravitational lens candidates from the CFHTLS discovered through citizen science. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 455(2), 1191-1210. DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stv1965  

  • January 16, 2016
  • 11:27 AM

A student can learn better while standing

by Usman Paracha in SayPeople

Main Point:

Attention, thinking, and learning ability of students increase with standing position.

Published in:

International Journal of Environmental and Public Health

Study Further:

Researchers worked with about 300 children in second through fourth grade. They found that giving students standing desks can help them in paying more attention in class as compared to seated students. Researchers determined the engagement level by on-task behaviors such as participating in active d........ Read more »

Dornhecker, M., Blake, J., Benden, M., Zhao, H., & Wendel, M. (2015) The effect of stand-biased desks on academic engagement: an exploratory study. International Journal of Health Promotion and Education, 53(5), 271-280. DOI: 10.1080/14635240.2015.1029641  

  • January 16, 2016
  • 08:29 AM

Sources of Error: Epiphenomenalism (part 2)

by Sergio Graziosi in Writing my own user manual - Sergio Graziosi's Blog

Epiphenomena haunt me: the actual idea that we can explain any phenomena with the aid of the concept is thoroughly alien to me. In turn, this means that I don’t understand why people do rely on the concept, and consequently…Read more ›... Read more »

Robinson, W. (2012) Phenomenal Realist Physicalism Implies Coherency of Epiphenomenalist Meaning. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 19(3-4), 145-163. info:/

  • January 16, 2016
  • 05:28 AM

Vitamin D and cognitive function (again)

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Today I'd like to draw your attention to the paper by Natasja van Schoor and colleagues [1] and some further potential support for the idea that vitamin D levels might have some important connections to cognitive functioning.I've tackled this subject before on this blog (see here) and specifically the idea that functional vitamin D levels below a certain point might 'correlate' with poorer cognitive functioning. This time around van Schoor et al report findings based on data ........ Read more »

  • January 15, 2016
  • 02:56 PM

Autism-linked protein lays groundwork for healthy brain

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

A gene linked to mental disorders helps lays the foundation for a crucial brain structure during prenatal development, according to Salk Institute research. The findings reveal new mechanistic insights into the gene, known as MDGA1, which may bring a better understanding of neurodevelopmental disorders in people.

... Read more »

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