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  • June 16, 2014
  • 09:48 PM

There Was No Couch: On Mental Illness and Creativity

by Jalees Rehman in Fragments of Truth

A study of the prevalence of mental illness published in the Archives of General Psychiatry in 2005 estimated that roughly half of all Americans will have been diagnosed with a mental illness by time they reach the age of 75. This estimate was based on the DSM-IV criteria for mental illness, but the newer DSM-V manual will be released in 2013 and is likely to further expand the diagnosis of mental illness. The DSM-IV criteria had made allowance for bereavement to avoid diagnosing people who were........ Read more »

Kyaga, S., Landén, M., Boman, M., Hultman, C., Långström, N., & Lichtenstein, P. (2013) Mental illness, suicide and creativity: 40-Year prospective total population study. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 47(1), 83-90. DOI: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2012.09.010  

  • June 16, 2014
  • 01:38 PM

Does Reading ‘Moral’ Stories to Children Promote Honesty?

by Jalees Rehman in The Next Regeneration

All over the world, young children are exposed to classic fairy tales, myths and other stories. Most kids love hearing the stories, but in addition to being a fun activity, story-telling is also thought of as an educational tool which can promote moral reasoning and honesty. Conventional wisdom suggests that hearing fairy tales in which dishonest protagonists are punished might help convince the listeners to become truth-tellers. There is surprisingly little scientific data to back up this conve........ Read more »

Lee K, Talwar V, McCarthy A, Ross I, Evans A, & Arruda C. (2014) Can Classic Moral Stories Promote Honesty in Children?. Psychological science. PMID: 24928424  

  • June 16, 2014
  • 12:30 PM

How to maintain a well-flowing team, even with the odd icy relationship

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

What prevents icy relations between two team members chilling the climate for everyone? New research suggests that it’s not enough simply to have plenty of chances to communicate. Instead, teams that cope with a touch of frost carry out work where everyone sinks or swims together, and have “high quality social exchange”: simply put, they care about each other’s needs and achievements.Jeroen Jong of the Open University of the Netherlands and his Tilburg University collaborators surveyed m........ Read more »

  • June 16, 2014
  • 09:43 AM

People Sensitive to Criticism May Be Biased Toward Focusing on the Negative

by amikulak in Daily Observations

Being on the receiving end of criticism from loved ones is unpleasant for anybody, but for some people, it may go so far as to affect their mental health. Research […]... Read more »

Masland, S., Hooley, J., Tully, L., Dearing, K., & Gotlib, I. (2014) Cognitive-Processing Biases in Individuals High on Perceived Criticism. Clinical Psychological Science. DOI: 10.1177/2167702614529935  

  • June 16, 2014
  • 09:00 AM

How the kindergarten classroom hurts the mind?

by Katharine Blackwell in Contemplating Cognition

We like — or these days, even preschool — as the best academic start for our children. Fresh young minds enter a stimulating classroom to enrich their understanding, sculpt their brains, and prepare them for the world. Except, that “enriching” classroom may not be as ideal for learning as we like to imagine. It may instead reflect the way modern society distracts and damages the brain... Read more »

  • June 16, 2014
  • 04:30 AM

Blocking FRAAs and thyroid function in autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

FRAAs - folate receptor alpha autoantibodies - may correlate with reduced thyroid function in cases of autism is the primary finding from the paper by Richard Frye and colleagues [1] (open-access). And immediately my attention is piqued at the possibility of a link...FRAAs have been mentioned before on this blog (see here) based on a really interesting paper by the autism research tag team that is Frye and Rossignol [2] who continue to give when it comes to peer-reviewed research on autism......... Read more »

Richard E. Frye, Jeffrey M Sequeira, Edward Quadros, & Daniel A. Rossignol. (2014) Folate receptor alpha autoantibodies modulate thyroid function in autism spectrum disorder. N A J Med Sci. , 7(2), 53-56. info:/10.7156/najms.2014.0702053

  • June 14, 2014
  • 12:00 PM

Lies the Labels Told Me: Beware Food Buzzwords

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Organic, All natural, and packed full of antioxidants; sounds healthy, doesn’t it? Unsurprisingly however, if something is trying to tout how healthy it is, it probably isn’t. Of course all […]... Read more »

Temple Northup. (2014) Truth, Lies, and Packaging: How Food Marketing Creates a False Sense of Health. Food Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 3(1), 9-18. info:/

  • June 14, 2014
  • 05:22 AM

Do Women’s Brains Make Them Better Parents?

by Rebekah Morrow in United Academics

There’s an age old stereotype that women are made to be mothers, so being a parent comes more naturally to them. A recent paper by Abraham et al. examined brain activity in first-time mothers and fathers, and the results may surprise you.... Read more »

Abraham E, Hendler T, Shapira-Lichter I, Kanat-Maymon Y, Zagoory-Sharon O, & Feldman R. (2014) Father's brain is sensitive to childcare experiences. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 24912146  

Ruscio MG, Sweeny TD, Hazelton JL, Suppatkul P, Boothe E, & Carter CS. (2008) Pup exposure elicits hippocampal cell proliferation in the prairie vole. Behavioural brain research, 187(1), 9-16. PMID: 17913255  

  • June 14, 2014
  • 05:14 AM

Optimal outcome and autism: a role for intervention?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Optimal outcome and autism.Not here you don't @ Wikipedia I'm sure most people with an eye on autism research and practice will have come across this issue. The idea is that in amongst the various developmental trajectories which are being realised in these days of autisms over autism, there may be some children previously diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who move outside of the diagnostic boundaries of the condition.There is still lots of debate about the hows and whys........ Read more »

Orinstein AJ, Helt M, Troyb E, Tyson KE, Barton ML, Eigsti IM, Naigles L, & Fein DA. (2014) Intervention for optimal outcome in children and adolescents with a history of autism. Journal of developmental and behavioral pediatrics : JDBP, 35(4), 247-56. PMID: 24799263  

  • June 13, 2014
  • 02:05 PM

Procrastination & Sleep

by Viputheshwar Sitaraman in Draw Science

The newest form of procrastination and a rising health issue: bedtime procrastination.... Read more »

  • June 13, 2014
  • 11:54 AM

Fembot Flies Reveal What Males Find Attractive

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

A word of advice to female fruit flies looking for a mate: it’s not hard to catch the eye of a male Drosophila. He’ll chase after almost anything that moves. Really—including a metal cube dabbed with pheromones. That may be embarrassing for the male, but it also shows scientists how a tiny-brained animal weighs information when […]The post Fembot Flies Reveal What Males Find Attractive appeared first on Inkfish.... Read more »

  • June 12, 2014
  • 12:00 PM

Everyday sadism and squishing bugs revisited

by Katharine Blackwell in Contemplating Cognition

The karmic retribution for my recent exploration of whether willingness to kill bugs reflects “everyday sadism” is, apparently, a near-midnight discovery of the largest cockroach i have ever seen, running laps around my living room ceiling, and quite willing to remind me that, oh yeah, cockroaches can fly. As I texted my sister (note to self: potential blog entry on our instinct for human contact when afraid, and whether electronic devices facilitate that), I was torn between a deep ........ Read more »

Buckels EE, Jones DN, & Paulhus DL. (2013) Behavioral confirmation of everyday sadism. Psychological science, 24(11), 2201-9. PMID: 24022650  

  • June 12, 2014
  • 10:25 AM

A small proportion of the population are responsible for the vast majority of lies

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Obviously some people lie more often than others. What's surprising is new research showing that the spread of lying propensity through the population is uneven. There is a large majority of "everyday liars", and a small minority of "prolific liars".A few years ago Kim Serota and his colleagues put a figure on this. They surveyed a thousand US citizens and found that five per cent of the sample were responsible for 50 per cent of all lies told. Now Serota's group have analysed data from nearly 3........ Read more »

  • June 12, 2014
  • 07:50 AM

Got milk [opioid peptides]?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Bovine and human casein-derived opioid peptides increased genome-wide DNA methylation in the transcription start site region with a potency order similar to their inhibition of cysteine uptake".Those were the findings from the paper by Malav Trivedi and colleagues [1] (open-access) including Richard Deth on the authorship team. I was really interested to read this paper having met Malav and Dick a few months back and listened very attentively to some potentially important investigations on-goin........ Read more »

Trivedi, M., Shah, J., Al-Mughairy, S., Hodgson, N., Simms, B., Trooskens, G., Van Criekinge, W., & Deth, R. (2014) Food-derived opioid peptides inhibit cysteine uptake with redox and epigenetic consequences. The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry. DOI: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2014.05.004  

  • June 11, 2014
  • 11:47 AM

Do Dogs Get that Eureka! Feeling?

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

Does successful problem solving make dogs happy?Photo: Mackland / ShutterstockNew research by Ragen McGowan et al (University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden) investigates whether dogs enjoy the experience of solving a problem in order to obtain a reward, or if it is just the reward itself that makes them happy.Rather unusually, the idea came from a study that found cattle who completed a task to earn a reward seemed to be happier than those who just received the reward. The design of McG........ Read more »

  • June 11, 2014
  • 10:22 AM

Why did we evolve the ability to think about our own thoughts?

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Thinking about "the stuff of thought" sounds self-absorbed and irrelevant for our survival, but an opinion piece in the journal Trends in Cognitive Science says otherwise. Far from navel-gazing, this kind of thinking is what helps groups of people coordinate actions and pull off feats that would be impossible alone.The article points out that the sharing of information between cognitive processes is not uniquely human. Consider the way information is drawn from a field of visual neurons and calc........ Read more »

Nicholas Shea, Annika Boldt, Dan Bang, Nick Yeung, Cecilia Heyes, & Chris D. Frith. (2014) Supra-personal cognitive control and metacognition. Trends in Cognitive Science. DOI: Supra-personal cognitive control and metacognition  

  • June 11, 2014
  • 07:02 AM

Facebook as a conduit for misinformation and racism

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

We first saw this article on Eye on Psych blog and thought it interesting for our use as well. The Eye on Psych blog had previously focused on the assumption that not being on Facebook makes you somehow unsavory (because, after all, everyone should be on Facebook!). The study we are going to describe today […]

Related posts:
Facebook Graph Searches: What Can You Discover?
The hypercorrection effect: Correcting misinformation and false beliefs
How upset do we need to be about racism?

........ Read more »

  • June 10, 2014
  • 03:40 PM

How burnt-out students could be skewing psychology research

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

It's well known that psychology research relies too heavily on student volunteers. So many findings are assumed to apply to people in general, when they could be a quirk unique to undergrads. Now Michael Nicholls and his colleagues have drawn attention to another problem with relying on student participants - those who volunteer late in their university term or semester lack motivation and tend to perform worse than those who volunteer early.A little background about student research participant........ Read more »

  • June 10, 2014
  • 06:34 AM

The bean counters of autism (part 2)

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Consider this post an update to my previous discussions on the economics of the autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) published a few years back (see here). The interest in 'what autism costs' from a monetary point of view has been rekindled following quite a bit of media discussion on the study by Ariane Buescher and colleagues [1] including a piece posted on the BBC website and a write-up in the Guardian newspaper with quite a sensational headline: Study says cost of autism more than cancer, s........ Read more »

Ariane V. S. Buescher, Zuleyha Cidav, Martin Knapp, & David S. Mandell. (2014) Costs of Autism Spectrum Disorders in the United Kingdom and the United States. JAMA Pediatrics. info:/10.1001/jamapediatrics.2014.210

  • June 9, 2014
  • 11:46 PM

Bouba and Kiki, among other stuff

by John DiPrete in EmbodiCog

Mental recitation of a mantra offers the same emotional resonance as the spoken pronunciation, regardless of the language. Sounds and shapes in mantras and visual images engage in brain interactions that seem to echo the cross-stitching effects of synesthesia. A listing of the most popular mantras used in Transcendental Meditation are included to illustrate this idea.... Read more »

V.S. Ramachandran. (2001) Synaesthesia -- A window into perception, thought and language. Journal of Consciousness Studies. info:/

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