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  • February 13, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 193 views

Would you get sucked in to conspiracy theories?

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Well, perhaps you could rule out Bigfoot conspiracy theories, but what about the rest of them? We’ve written about some of the more unusual conspiracy theories here as well as those that simply show up routinely as we complete pretrial research. Regular readers here know that we use those cognitive leaps characteristic of the conspiracy […]

Related posts:
Conspiracy theories that haven’t come up in pretrial research (yet)
Think conspiracy theorists live on the fringes? Think again!
........ Read more »

van Prooijen, J., Krouwel, A., & Pollet, T. (2015) Political Extremism Predicts Belief in Conspiracy Theories. Social Psychological and Personality Science. DOI: 10.1177/1948550614567356  

  • February 13, 2015
  • 04:46 AM
  • 215 views

Autism, CNVs and sensitivity to maternal infection?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

An intriguing quote to begin today's post: "Our findings support a gene-environment interaction model of autism impairment, in that individuals with ASD-associated CNVs are more susceptible to the effects of maternal infection and febrile episodes in pregnancy on behavioral outcomes and suggest that these effects are specific to ASD [autism spectrum disorder] rather than to global neurodevelopment."The findings come from the paper by Varvara Mazina and colleagues [1] who sought to "exp........ Read more »

Mazina V, Gerdts J, Trinh S, Ankenman K, Ward T, Dennis MY, Girirajan S, Eichler EE, & Bernier R. (2015) Epigenetics of Autism-related Impairment: Copy Number Variation and Maternal Infection. Journal of developmental and behavioral pediatrics : JDBP. PMID: 25629966  

  • February 12, 2015
  • 01:38 PM
  • 238 views

Will You Be My Valentine?: Making All the Right Moves

by Melissa Chernick in Science Storiented

My Valentine’s Day themed posts have been both popular and fun to write. In last year’s Getting a Date for Valentine’s Day series, you learned that you should wear something red, gaze without being creepy, tell a good joke before walking up to your potential date who is preferably standing next to some flowers, and then open with a unique request to segue into asking them out. But that isn't the end of the story. Oh no, there are many more things that you can do to attract that special so........ Read more »

Brown, W., Cronk, L., Grochow, K., Jacobson, A., Liu, C., Popović, Z., & Trivers, R. (2005) Dance reveals symmetry especially in young men. Nature, 438(7071), 1148-1150. DOI: 10.1038/nature04344  

Neave, N., McCarty, K., Freynik, J., Caplan, N., Honekopp, J., & Fink, B. (2010) Male dance moves that catch a woman's eye. Biology Letters, 7(2), 221-224. DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2010.0619  

Bale, C., Morrison, R., & Caryl, P. (2006) Chat-up lines as male sexual displays. Personality and Individual Differences, 40(4), 655-664. DOI: 10.1016/j.paid.2005.07.016  

Cooper, M., O’Donnell, D., Caryl, P., Morrison, R., & Bale, C. (2007) Chat-up lines as male displays: Effects of content, sex, and personality. Personality and Individual Differences, 43(5), 1075-1085. DOI: 10.1016/j.paid.2007.03.001  

  • February 12, 2015
  • 11:00 AM
  • 255 views

Happy Valentine's Day! What Is Love, Anyway?

by Bill Sullivan in The 'Scope

Just in time for Valentine's Day. What is love and why does it exist? Read how scientists have made great strides elucidating the evolutionary and biochemical basis for love.... Read more »

Love TM. (2014) Oxytocin, motivation and the role of dopamine. Pharmacology, biochemistry, and behavior, 49-60. PMID: 23850525  

Domingue, B., Fletcher, J., Conley, D., & Boardman, J. (2014) Genetic and educational assortative mating among US adults. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(22), 7996-8000. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1321426111  

  • February 12, 2015
  • 06:28 AM
  • 118 views

How to improve collaboration in virtual teams? Members' avatar style could be key

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

When a team rarely gets to be in a room together, it misses out on many of the in-person subtle cues that help members make sense of their relationships. The signals that are available become more important: subtext in email messages, tone of voice on a conference call, or seemingly minor visual features. That’s why researchers have become interested in the humble avatar – the image that’s used to represent each person in a virtual interaction.Sarah van der Land and her colleagues asked 80........ Read more »

  • February 12, 2015
  • 04:58 AM
  • 169 views

15q11.2 microdeletion, developmental delay and congenital heart disease

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Our results support the hypothesis that 15q11.2 (BP1-BP2) microdeletion is associated with developmental delay, abnormal behaviour, generalized epilepsy and congenital heart disease."So it was written in the paper from Vanlerberghe and colleagues [1] following their analysis of 52 "unrelated patients" diagnosed with 15q11.2 microdeletion, a 'novel' microdeletion syndrome according to other research [2].Your REAL problem's the monkey.Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is mentioned in the Vanler........ Read more »

  • February 11, 2015
  • 08:30 AM
  • 251 views

Why Do People Take Part in Dog Sports?

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

Is it for themselves, for the dog - or a bit of both?People can participate in dog sports (like agility) at any level, from local classes to national and international events. A study by Joey Farrell (Lakehead University) et al investigates what motivates people to take part in dog sports, and why some compete much more often than others. They recruited people at events where at least two different sports were taking place, from a list of agility, rally, field, obedience and conformation (s........ Read more »

Farrell, J., Hope, A., Hulstein, R., & Spaulding, S. (2015) Dog-Sport Competitors: What Motivates People to Participate with Their Dogs in Sporting Events?. Anthrozoos: A Multidisciplinary Journal of The Interactions of People , 28(1), 61-71. DOI: 10.2752/089279315X1412935072201  

  • February 11, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 212 views

There is a “naive faith in the trustworthiness of brain imaging data”

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

We’ve seen the claims that people don’t find brain scans as alluring as they used to, but here is a study that says, “not so fast!”. It’s an oddly intriguing study involving not only invoking pretty pictures of brain function but also political affiliation and how that factors in to what one chooses to believe. […]

Related posts:
Excuse me potential juror: Is your brain red or blue?
“This county is about 65% Republican, 25% Democrat and 10% Independent.”
fMRIs and Persuasi........ Read more »

  • February 11, 2015
  • 06:01 AM
  • 99 views

How women become "super-mothers" after giving birth through IVF

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Millions of women around the world have given birth to children with the help of IVF and related medical procedures. Many of them will have lived through difficult times, first as they struggled to conceive without help, and then as they rode the journey of hope and uncertainty brought by medical intervention.Psychologists have begun to explore how these experiences influence women's feelings about becoming a mother, and the way they relate to their children. In the latest contribution to the fi........ Read more »

Mohammadi, N., Shamshiri, M., Mohammadpour, A., Vehviläinen-Julkunen, K., Abbasi, M., & Sadeghi, T. (2014) ‘Super-mothers’: the meaning of mothering after assisted reproductive technology. Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology, 33(1), 42-53. DOI: 10.1080/02646838.2014.970152  

  • February 11, 2015
  • 05:22 AM
  • 196 views

Like buses. Vitamin D and autism again.

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I don't know if everyone will have heard the term 'like buses' to infer that you seem to spend ages waiting for something (like a bus) and then two or more turn up at once. So it is with research, and the continuing interest that autism research seems to have with the sunshine vitamin/hormone that is vitamin D.Following on from my recent discussions on the paper by Fernell and colleagues [1] (see here) talking about early low vitamin D potentially being 'connected' to cases of autism or autism s........ Read more »

  • February 10, 2015
  • 11:55 PM
  • 290 views

False memories and journalism

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

We like to think of ourselves as a collection of our memories, and of each memory as a snapshot of an event in our lives. Sure, we all know that our minds aren’t as sturdy as our computer’s hard-drive, so these snapshots decay over time, especially the boring ones — that’s why most of us […]... Read more »

Loftus, E.F. (2003) Make-believe memories. The American Psychologist, 58(11), 867-73. PMID: 14609374  

  • February 10, 2015
  • 10:00 PM
  • 238 views

Intuition and Domain Knowledge

by Joshua Fisher in Text Savvy

Can you guess what the graphs below show? I'll give you a couple of hints: (1) each graph measures performance on a different task, (2) one pair of bars in each graph—left or right—represents participants who used their intuition on the task, while the other pair of bars represents folks who used an analytical approach, and (3) one shading represents participants with low domain knowledge while the other represents participants with high domain knowledge (related to the actual t........ Read more »

  • February 10, 2015
  • 04:09 PM
  • 200 views

New name: Systemic Exertion Intolerance Disease?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The name is: Systematic Exertion Intolerance Disease (SEID).A very quick post to direct you to the public release of the findings from the US Institute of Medicine (IoM) looking at the name and current criteria used to diagnose Chronic Fatigue Syndrome / Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) (see here). The proposed diagnostic criteria for CFS/ME, sorry SEID can be viewed here.Some of the background to these findings can be seen here and some of the media about the new IoM recommendations can ........ Read more »

  • February 10, 2015
  • 11:17 AM
  • 155 views

By helping other people, you'll find it easier to accept the help you need

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Receiving help can sting. Admitting that others can do what you can’t and feeling indebted to them can lead to a sense of dependence and incompetence, and even resentment towards the very person who helped you. Luckily, Katherina Alvarez and Esther van Leeuwen have published some helpful research on one way to take the sting away.Their study asked student participants to complete a series of tricky maths puzzles. If a puzzle was stumping them, assistance was available in the form of help cards........ Read more »

  • February 10, 2015
  • 09:02 AM
  • 257 views

Moral Time: Does Our Internal Clock Influence Moral Judgments?

by Jalees Rehman in Fragments of Truth

Does morality depend on the time of the day? The study "The Morning Morality Effect: The Influence of Time of Day on Unethical Behavior" published in October of 2013 by Maryam Kouchaki and Isaac Smith suggested that people are more honest in the mornings, and that their ability to resist the temptation of lying and cheating wears off as the day progresses. In a series of experiments, Kouchaki and Smith found that moral awareness and self-control in their study subjects decreased in the........ Read more »

  • February 10, 2015
  • 04:53 AM
  • 156 views

Increased risk of chronic kidney disease in schizophrenia

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"After adjusting for demographic characteristics, select comorbid medical disorders and NSAIDs [non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs] usage, the current results reveal that patients with schizophrenia have an increased risk of nearly 40% (HR=1.36; 95% CI 1.13 to 1.63; p<0.001) of developing CKD [chronic kidney disease] within a 3-year follow-up period after their schizophrenia diagnosis."That was the rather surprising finding reported by Nian-Sheng Tzeng and colleagues........ Read more »

  • February 9, 2015
  • 04:34 PM
  • 200 views

Help on the horizon for treatment resistant depression

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Depression is like a kick while you’re already down. Sometimes there is no real reason for it, sometimes it is triggered by some serious life issues, but clinical depression always has very real neurological roots. Unfortunately, while we know that certain areas of the brain are smaller in a depressed person, we don’t know why or what effect it has on a person. Worse, SSRI’s the “gold standard” for depression can have no — or worse ill — effects on the person taking the drugs.... Read more »

Benjamin D. Sachs, Jason R. Ni, & Marc G. Caron. (2015) Brain 5-HT deficiency increases stress vulnerability and impairs antidepressant responses following psychosocial stress. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. info:/10.1073/pnas.1416866112

  • February 9, 2015
  • 03:26 PM
  • 197 views

Study Demonstrates External Control of Two Thoughts In The Stream of Consciousness

by Marie Benz in MedicalResearch.com

MedicalResearch.com Medical Research Interviews and News
MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ezequiel Morsella, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Neuroscience Department of Psychology San Francisco State University Assistant Adjunct Professor Department of Neurology University of California, San Francisco Boardmember, Scientific Advisory Board Institute of Cognitive Neurology (INECO), Buenos Aires Medical … Continue reading →
The post Study Demonstrates External Control of Two Thoughts I........ Read more »

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:, Ezequiel Morsella, Ph.D., & Associate Professor of Neuroscience Department of Psychology. (2015) Study Demonstrates External Control of Two Thoughts In The Stream of Consciousness. MedicalResearch.com. info:/

  • February 9, 2015
  • 02:28 PM
  • 262 views

Is tanning addictive?

by neurosci in Neuroscientifically Challenged

In Walden, his masterpiece about noncomformity and simple living, Henry David Thoreau wrote, "Every generation laughs at the old fashions, but follows religiously the new." And while Thoreau was specifically talking about society's capriciousness in embracing new styles of clothing, his quote applies just as well to our preference for one shade of skin color over another. For, while many now consider a medium-dark tan to be both healthier-looking and more attractive than pale skin, only 100 year........ Read more »

Petit, A., Karila, L., Chalmin, F., & Lejoyeux, M. (2014) Phenomenology and psychopathology of excessive indoor tanning. International Journal of Dermatology, 53(6), 664-672. DOI: 10.1111/ijd.12336  

  • February 9, 2015
  • 09:08 AM
  • 197 views

Resisting Valentine's Day

by Jalees Rehman in Fragments of Truth

To celebrate Valentine's Day (as a geeky scientist), I decided to search the "Web of Science" database for published articles with the phrase "Valentine's Day" in the title.The article with the most citations was "Market-resistance and Valentine's Day events" published in the Journal of Business Research in 2009, by the authors Angeline Close and George Zinkhan. The title sounded rather interesting so I decided to read it. The authors reported the res........ Read more »

Close, A., & Zinkhan, G. (2009) Market-resistance and Valentine's Day events. Journal of Business Research, 62(2), 200-207. DOI: 10.1016/j.jbusres.2008.01.027  

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