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  • September 15, 2014
  • 09:49 AM
  • 224 views

Great Apes Share Our Ability to Predict Goal-Oriented Actions

by amikulak in Daily Observations

Within a year after birth, human infants develop the ability to direct their attention to the anticipated goal of another person’s movement, before it has occurred.  So, for example, our […]... Read more »

  • September 15, 2014
  • 08:13 AM
  • 219 views

Pupils benefit from praise, but should teachers give it to them publicly or privately?

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

There's a best practice guide for teachers, produced by the Association of School Psychologists in the US, that states praise is best given to pupils in private. This advice is not based on experimental research - there hasn't been any - but on surveys of student preferences, and on the rationale that pupils could be embarrassed by receiving praise in public.Now, in the first study of its kind, John Blaze and his colleagues have systematically compared the effect of public and private praise (al........ Read more »

Blaze JT, Olmi DJ, Mercer SH, Dufrene BA, & Tingstom DH. (2014) Loud versus quiet praise: A direct behavioral comparison in secondary classrooms. Journal of school psychology, 52(4), 349-60. PMID: 25107408  

  • September 15, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 169 views

“Smart people ask for (my) advice!”

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

We are often wary of asking for advice for fear of looking dumb or appearing incompetent. Oddly enough, our fears may be unfounded based on some new research out of Harvard Business School. According to the researchers, asking for advice does not make you appear either dumb or incompetent. Instead, asking for advice makes you […]

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Brooks, AW, Gino, F, & Schweitzer, ME. (2014) Smart people ask for (my) advice: Seeking advice boosts perceptions of competence. . Harvard Business School Working Papers. info:/

  • September 15, 2014
  • 04:57 AM
  • 241 views

How to increase children’s patience in 5 seconds

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

A single act increases adults’ compliance with researchers. The same act makes students more likely to volunteer to solve math problems in front of others. Moreover, it makes four-year-olds more patient. What sounds like a miracle cure to everyday problems is actually the oldest trick in the book: human touch. How do researchers know this? […]... Read more »

  • September 15, 2014
  • 04:47 AM
  • 172 views

Zinc and copper and autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The paper by Li and colleagues [1] looking at serum copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn) levels in a group of participants diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is the source material for today's post. Highlighting how "mean serum Zn levels and Zn/Cu ratio were significantly lower in children with ASD compared with normal cases... whereas serum Cu levels were significantly higher" the continued focus on the metallome in autism carries on at a pace. I should at this point out that I'm not in........ Read more »

  • September 15, 2014
  • 01:00 AM
  • 163 views

Emotional Intelligence Memo to Management: EI as a Buffer of [Lawyer] Stress in the Developmental Job Experience

by Dan DeFoe in Psycholawlogy

Emotional intelligence, according to recent leading edge research, can buffer negative emotional experiences associated with on-the-job learning assignments used by 0rganizations to enhance their stock of human capital.  For an organization to get ahead of the competition, its members perform at higher levels.  This means that the workers who take their skillset to the [...]
The post Emotional Intelligence Memo to Management: EI as a Buffer of [Lawyer] Stress in the Developmental Job Experien........ Read more »

  • September 14, 2014
  • 06:57 PM
  • 232 views

JUST PUBLISHED: The Dance of Communication: Retaining Family Membership Despite Non-Speech Dementia

by Mark Rubin in The University of Newcastle's School of Psychology Newsline

As the majority of people in developed countries will be touched in some way by dementia in the 21st century, current ways of interacting in dementia care may no longer be acceptable. In particular, when people with dementia appear uncommunicative, their retained awareness and ability to interact is often dismissed or overlooked. Facing social isolation and further decline, many languish with unmet needs for human interaction. However, the intimacies of family interaction in dementia care settin........ Read more »

  • September 14, 2014
  • 10:03 AM
  • 200 views

Sound Aggression

by Rodney Steadman in Gravity's Pull

Maybe it was all the Who noise that made the Grinch so aggressive. Recent research out of Bulgaria suggests a link between noise pollution and displaced aggression.... Read more »

  • September 12, 2014
  • 11:47 AM
  • 190 views

Insulin, growth hormone and risk of schizophrenia?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Overall, the present findings suggest that metabolic and hormonal disturbances such as effects on insulin and growth hormone may represent a vulnerability factor to develop mental disorders". That was the conclusion reported by van Beveren and colleagues [1] (open-access) looking at "disruption of insulin and growth factor signaling pathways as an increased risk factor for schizophrenia"."Years ago you served my father in the Clone Wars"Drawing on data derived from participants taking part in&n........ Read more »

  • September 12, 2014
  • 11:18 AM
  • 194 views

Psychologists have compared the mental abilities of Scrabble and crossword champions

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Completed Scrabble (left) and crossword grids (image from Toma et al 2014).Every year, hundreds of word lovers arrive from across the US to compete in the American Crossword Puzzle tournament. They solve clues (e.g. "caught some Z's") and place the answers (e.g. "sleep") in a grid. Meanwhile, a separate group of wordsmiths gather regularly to compete at Scrabble, the game that involves forming words out of letter tiles and finding a suitable place for them on the board.Both sets of players have ........ Read more »

  • September 11, 2014
  • 12:45 PM
  • 220 views

The Origami Brain and a new marker for Schizophrenia

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Anyone who has seen pictures or models of the human brain (like the one above) is aware that the outside layer, or cortex, of the brain is folded in an intricate pattern of “hills”, called gyri, and “valleys”, called sulci which give the brain it’s distinctive look. It turns out that the patterns of cortical folding are largely consistent across healthy humans, broadly speaking. However, disturbances in cortical folding patterns suggest deeper disturbances in brain structure and functi........ Read more »

Nanda P, Tandon N, Mathew IT, Giakoumatos CI, Abhishekh HA, Clementz BA, Pearlson GD, Sweeney J, Tamminga CA, & Keshavan MS. (2014) Local gyrification index in probands with psychotic disorders and their first-degree relatives. Biological psychiatry, 76(6), 447-55. PMID: 24369266  

  • September 11, 2014
  • 10:42 AM
  • 184 views

The illusion that gives you sensations in a rubber tongue

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Our sense of where our bodies begin and end usually feels consistent and reliable. However psychologists have been having fun for decades, exposing just how malleable the body concept can be.You may have heard of the "rubber hand illusion" (video). By visibly stroking a rubber hand in time with stroking a participant's hidden real hand, you can induce for them the feeling of sensation in the rubber hand.The rubber hand illusion is thought to occur because the brain tends to bind together informa........ Read more »

Michel, C., Velasco, C., Salgado-Montejo, A., & Spence, C. (2014) The Butcher’s Tongue Illusion. Perception, 43(8), 818-824. DOI: 10.1068/p7733  

  • September 11, 2014
  • 09:55 AM
  • 205 views

Treating autism in the first year of life

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I had been waiting y'know. Waiting a while for the paper by Sally Rogers and colleagues [1] to finally appear quite a few days after the media headlines about 'reducing', 'reversing' and even 'eliminating' the signs and symptoms of autism in early infancy had appeared. Personally, I prefer the New Scientist headline: 'Early autism intervention speeds infant development' given the text of the paper. I should perhaps also add the words 'for some' to that sentence as you will hopefully see...I........ Read more »

S. J. Rogers, L. Vismara, A. L. Wagner, C. McCormick, G. Young, & S. Ozonoff. (2014) Autism Treatment in the First Year of Life: A Pilot Study of Infant Start, a Parent-Implemented Intervention for Symptomatic Infants. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. info:/10.1007/s10803-014-2202-y

  • September 11, 2014
  • 04:42 AM
  • 206 views

Omega-3 fatty acids rescues Fragile X phenotypes in Fmr1-Ko mice

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"These results demonstrate that n-3 PUFAs dietary supplementation, although not a panacea, has a considerable therapeutic value for FXS [Fragile X syndrome] and potentially for ASD [autism spectrum disorder], suggesting a major mediating role of neuroinflammatory mechanisms".A view @ Wikipedia That was the conclusion reached by Susanna Pietropaolo and colleagues [1] who "evaluated the impact of n-3 PUFA dietary supplementation in a mouse model of fragile X syndrome ........ Read more »

Pietropaolo S, Goubran MG, Joffre C, Aubert A, Lemaire-Mayo V, Crusio WE, & Layé S. (2014) Dietary supplementation of omega-3 fatty acids rescues fragile X phenotypes in Fmr1-Ko mice. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 119-129. PMID: 25080404  

  • September 10, 2014
  • 11:49 AM
  • 224 views

Are Deaf Dogs and Blind Dogs just like other Dogs?

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

Do dogs that are deaf and/or blind have specific behavioural traits? New research sets out to investigate – and finds they are very similar to dogs with normal hearing and vision.Photo: Amy Rene / ShutterstockNo one knows exactly how many dogs have hearing or vision problems. Congenital deafness and/or blindness occur in several breeds. In some cases this is related to coat colours – for example the double merle gene in Australian Shepherds is linked to deafness and blindness– and at........ Read more »

Farmer-Dougan, V., Quick, A., Harper, K., Schmidt, K., & Campbell, D. (2014) Behavior of Hearing or Vision Impaired and Normal Hearing and Vision Dogs (Canis lupus familiaris): Not the same but not that different . Journal of Veterinary Behavior. info:/

  • September 10, 2014
  • 09:40 AM
  • 340 views

Midi-chlorians gave Jedi knights their power. Is there something like this on Earth?

by Bill Sullivan in The 'Scope

A strange and provocative paper by Alexander Panchin and colleagues proposes an unorthodox new idea called the “biomeme hypothesis”, which posits that the impulse behind some religious rituals could be driven by mind-altering parasites.... Read more »

  • September 10, 2014
  • 05:09 AM
  • 122 views

During jokes, the teller and responder engage in an involuntary "dance"

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Knock Knock!Who's There?ImaIma who?Ima psychologist. I'm here cos you won't open up.When dance partners perform, their bodily movements become synchronised. This is deliberate on their part, of course, and we can see the timed interplay of their actions. What psychologists have begun to realise is that this kind of bodily synchrony also occurs between people in many everyday situations, except in these cases the physical "dance" is unintentional and it's more subtle, such as when two people sitt........ Read more »

Schmidt RC, Nie L, Franco A, & Richardson MJ. (2014) Bodily synchronization underlying joke telling. Frontiers in human neuroscience, 633. PMID: 25177287  

  • September 10, 2014
  • 05:01 AM
  • 170 views

Donepezil and D-cycloserine rescue behaviours in VPA exposed animals

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

In a post not-so-long-ago I talked about an interesting piece of research by Ahn and colleagues [1] suggesting that a ketogenic diet might yet hold some promise to "modify complex social behaviors and mitochondrial respiration" affected in the "prenatal valproic acid (VPA) rodent model of ASD [autism spectrum disorder]". The idea being that exposure to valproic acid (valproate) during the nine months that made us might carry some heightened risk for adverse effects on offspring development (see ........ Read more »

  • September 9, 2014
  • 09:49 PM
  • 217 views

Prejudice in the brain

by neurosci in Neuroscientifically Challenged

Despite the great strides that have been made toward a more egalitarian society in the United States over the past 50 years, events like what occurred in Ferguson last month are a bleak reminder of the racial tensions that still exist here. Of course, the United States is not alone in this respect; throughout the world we can see abundant examples of strain between different races, as well as between any groups with dissimilar characteristics. In fact, it seems that the quickness with which we f........ Read more »

  • September 9, 2014
  • 12:26 PM
  • 188 views

When you set sad lyrics against happy music, the music wins

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

The Beatles' Hello, Goodbye featuressad lyrics and a happy tuneIt's a quirk of human nature that many of us enjoy sad music. Research last year uncovered some reasons why, including feeling a sense of connection, and the aesthetic appeal. For a new study, Kazuma Mori and Makoto Iwanaga drilled down into the specific situation where sad lyrics are combined with happy music, as in the Beatles' Hello, Goodbye. They wanted to see how people would respond to the music or lyrics in isolation, and how ........ Read more »

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