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  • December 9, 2014
  • 06:36 AM
  • 63 views

Anti-Toxoplasma gondii IgM Antibodies in Acute Psychosis

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

A very brief post today to bring to your attention once again the paper by Joel Monroe and colleagues [1] which concluded that there was: "An increased seroprevalence of T. gondii [Toxoplasma gondii] IgM in patients with acute psychosis". I had touched upon this study in a previous post not-so-long-ago covering T. gondii infection and schizophrenia (see here) which also covered some of the various background research history on this topic.Looks like his optometrist has a sense of humor........ Read more »

  • December 8, 2014
  • 06:50 PM
  • 71 views

Don't miss out! Dogs Science from November

by Cobb & Hecht in Do You Believe In Dog?

Catch up! Participate! Plan your conferences for 2015! Check out all the latest in canine science from November here, thanks to the magic of Storify (if you don't see a beautiful array of handy snippets below, please click this link to view)[View the story "Do You Believe in Dog? [01-30 November 2014]" on Storify]Further reading: Cobb M., Paul McGreevy, Alan Lill & Pauleen Bennett (2014). The advent of canine performance science: Offering a sustainable future for working dogs, Behaviour........ Read more »

  • December 8, 2014
  • 04:45 AM
  • 77 views

Significantly shorter leukocyte telomere length in childhood autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"These results provided the first evidence that shorter leukocytes telomere length is significantly associated with childhood autism." So said the results reported by Zongchang Li and colleagues [1] (open-access) based on quite a well-powered study (for an initial research foray anyway) looking at "110 autism patients (male 98 and female 12) and 129 healthy controls (male 98 and female 31)".On the behalf of scientists everywhere, I am ashamed to count you amongst us.Quite a good introductio........ Read more »

  • December 8, 2014
  • 12:05 AM
  • 62 views

Athletes Rely on Athletic Trainers for Social Support Following Injury

by Jane McDevitt in Sports Medicine Research (SMR): In the Lab & In the Field

More than 80% of injured college athletes reported social support from their athletic trainers during their recovery, and athletes reporting higher levels of satisfaction with the social support from their athletic trainers were less likely to report depression or anxiety at return to play.... Read more »

  • December 7, 2014
  • 01:16 PM
  • 98 views

Study suggests lefties actually earn less

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Much has been thrown at left-handed people—they are quick to anger, quickly scared and, with the exception of heads of state, are more or less life’s losers. There was even a time where left handedness was “beaten out” of children in school. Conversely, there have been much bestowed upon left-handed people—they are creative and score highly on certain tests. Obviously, scientists need to rely on more than popular notions to make connections, if any, between left-handed people and succe........ Read more »

  • December 6, 2014
  • 03:31 AM
  • 102 views

Risk of cancer associated with autism: small but present

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Whilst understanding the power that headlines can have, alongside the way that statistics can sometimes mislead and/or be misrepresented, I don't want to shy away from the findings presented by Huey-Ling Chiang and colleagues [1] reporting that: "patients with autistic disorder have an increased risk of cancer."Curiosity often leads to trouble.Based yet again on data derived from the fantastic resource that is the Taiwan National Health Insurance database (see here for some other research e........ Read more »

Chiang, H., Liu, C., Hu, Y., Chen, S., Hu, L., Shen, C., Yeh, C., Chen, T., & Gau, S. (2014) Risk of Cancer in Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults with Autistic Disorder. The Journal of Pediatrics. DOI: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2014.10.029  

  • December 5, 2014
  • 04:41 PM
  • 24 views

Can psychologist and psychiatrist expert witnesses be trusted to know how memory works?

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Psychologists and psychiatrists are frequently called on to provide expert testimony in court. When the memories recalled by an alleged victim, suspect and/or eye-witness become an explicit issue, is it safe to assume that the psychologist or psychiatrist in the expert role will have up-to-date scientific knowledge about the reliability of memory? Worryingly, a new Norwegian study suggests not.Annika Melinder and Svein Magnussen surveyed 858 psychologists and 78 psychiatrists about their underst........ Read more »

  • December 5, 2014
  • 12:31 PM
  • 46 views

Prosopometamorphopsia: The Woman Who Saw Dragons

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

A 52 year old woman suffered from a strange problem: she saw dragons wherever she looked.




Here's the medical case report in The Lancet: Prosopometamorphopsia and facial hallucinations from a team of researchers including the famous Oliver Sacks.
In July, 2011, a 52-year-old woman presented to our psychiatric outpatient clinic with a life-long history of seeing people’s faces change into dragon-like faces and hallucinating similar faces many times a day.
What does a dragon look like? A... Read more »

Blom JD, Sommer IE, Koops S, & Sacks OW. (2014) Prosopometamorphopsia and facial hallucinations. Lancet, 384(9958), 1998. PMID: 25435453  

  • December 4, 2014
  • 04:30 PM
  • 106 views

Finding the real cost of climate change

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

How much does global warming really cost the world? Determining the Social Cost of Carbon helps put a actual dollar value on the climate damages per ton of CO2 released, and is used by -- among others -- policymakers to help determine the costs and benefits of climate policies. Remember, even on a global scale, the bottom line will always be profit. But now a group of economists and lawyers urge several improvements to the government's Social Cost of Carbon figure that would impose a regular, tr........ Read more »

Pizer, W., Adler, M., Aldy, J., Anthoff, D., Cropper, M., Gillingham, K., Greenstone, M., Murray, B., Newell, R., Richels, R.... (2014) Using and improving the social cost of carbon. Science, 346(6214), 1189-1190. DOI: 10.1126/science.1259774  

  • December 4, 2014
  • 12:34 PM
  • 100 views

Hoe komt het dat een liedje in je hoofd blijft hangen? [Dutch]

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

De hele dag dat ene hitje in je hoofd: een oorwurm! Muziekproducenten kunnen het zich niet beter wensen. Wat maakt dat liedje nou zo makkelijk te onthouden? En hoe kan het dat je dat ene nummer zo snel herkent? Muziekwetenschapper prof. dr. Henkjan Honing (UvA) legt uit wat de ingrediënten zijn voor het maken van een ware muziekhit en waardoor luisteraars zo ‘Hooked on Music’ zijn…... Read more »

Gjerdingen, R., & Perrott, D. (2008) Scanning the Dial: The Rapid Recognition of Music Genres. Journal of New Music Research, 37(2), 93-100. DOI: 10.1080/09298210802479268  

J.A. Burgoyne, D. Bountouridis, J. van Balen, & H. Honing. (2013) Hooked: A Game for Discovering What Makes Music Catchy. Proceedings of the 14th International Society for Music Information Retrieval Conference , 245-250. info:/

Salimpoor, V., van den Bosch, I., Kovacevic, N., McIntosh, A., Dagher, A., & Zatorre, R. (2013) Interactions Between the Nucleus Accumbens and Auditory Cortices Predict Music Reward Value. Science, 340(6129), 216-219. DOI: 10.1126/science.1231059  

  • December 4, 2014
  • 04:40 AM
  • 33 views

Suffer from extreme social anxiety? Your friends probably like you more than you realise

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

A psychologist helping a person with social anxiety disorder will often try to convince them that they come over far more positively in social situations than they realise. A new study provides some evidence to back this up. Thomas Rodebaugh and his colleagues asked people with social anxiety disorder to rate a friendship in terms of intimacy, liking, support and satisfaction, then they asked that friend to also rate the relationship on the same terms. The reassuring finding is that friends' rat........ Read more »

Rodebaugh TL, Lim MH, Fernandez KC, Langer JK, Weisman JS, Tonge N, Levinson CA, & Shumaker EA. (2014) Self and friend's differing views of social anxiety disorder's effects on friendships. Journal of abnormal psychology, 123(4), 715-24. PMID: 25314261  

  • December 3, 2014
  • 09:16 PM
  • 106 views

Can you learn to taste music?

by Shelly Fan in Neurorexia

Image credits: parade.com Probably not. But you can learn to perceive black letters in colour. Or so says an eyebrow-raising study published in Scientific Reports by a...... Read more »

Bor D, Rothen N, Schwartzman DJ, Clayton S, & Seth AK. (2014) Adults can be trained to acquire synesthetic experiences. Scientific reports, 7089. PMID: 25404369  

  • December 3, 2014
  • 08:30 AM
  • 116 views

Learning More About Animal Abuse

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

New research investigates the effects of abuse on domestic dogs.Photo: GeorgeMPhotography / ShutterstockThe paper, by Franklin D. McMillan (Best Friends Animal Society) et al, looks at the behaviour profiles of 69 dogs with a very strong suspicion of abuse, and compares them to 5,239 pet dogs. The abused dogs scored significantly higher on various problem behaviours including aggression and fear to unfamiliar people and dogs, attachment problems, attention-seeking, and repetitive behaviour........ Read more »

McMillan, F., Duffy, D., Zawistowski, S., & Serpell, J. (2014) Behavioral and Psychological Characteristics of Canine Victims of Abuse. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, 18(1), 92-111. DOI: 10.1080/10888705.2014.962230  

  • December 3, 2014
  • 08:00 AM
  • 100 views

How Slime Molds Our World

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

Fungus-like protists have amazing tales to tell. One phylum has been shown to ranch bacteria and hire cowhands to guard them. One phylum has slime mold that can find its way through a maze and is used to model mathematics for video games. Finally, one phylum is responsible for the glut of Irish priests and policeman in late 1800’s America.... Read more »

Goss, E., Tabima, J., Cooke, D., Restrepo, S., Fry, W., Forbes, G., Fieland, V., Cardenas, M., & Grunwald, N. (2014) The Irish potato famine pathogen Phytophthora infestans originated in central Mexico rather than the Andes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(24), 8791-8796. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1401884111  

Tero, A., Takagi, S., Saigusa, T., Ito, K., Bebber, D., Fricker, M., Yumiki, K., Kobayashi, R., & Nakagaki, T. (2010) Rules for Biologically Inspired Adaptive Network Design. Science, 327(5964), 439-442. DOI: 10.1126/science.1177894  

Toshiyuki Nakagaki, Hiroyasu Yamada . (2000) Intelligence: Maze-solving by an amoeboid organism. Nature, 407(470). info:/

Brock, D., Douglas, T., Queller, D., & Strassmann, J. (2011) Primitive agriculture in a social amoeba. Nature, 469(7330), 393-396. DOI: 10.1038/nature09668  

  • December 3, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 91 views

Subtly offending feedback [when in court presentation offends]

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

We are again honored by our inclusion in the ABA Blawg 100 list for 2014. If you value this blog, please take a moment to vote for us here in the Litigation Category. Voting closes on December 19, 2014. Doug and Rita The research we are covering today focuses on feedback that is subtly offensive […]

Related posts:
Expert witnesses on what causes bias in other expert witnesses
Chicago attorney explains to Court: “Personally, I like large breasts.”
Maybe you really should use Pow........ Read more »

Krings, R., Jacobshagen, N., Elfering, A., & Semmer, N. (2014) Subtly offending feedback. Journal of Applied Social Psychology. DOI: 10.1111/jasp.12287  

  • December 3, 2014
  • 04:36 AM
  • 109 views

Autism ADHD equals greater risk of psychiatric comorbidity?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Because the name Mu-Hong Chen (and colleagues) has appeared so, so many times on this blog with reference to the various studies originating from investigations of the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database, I genuinely did have to make sure that I hadn't covered one of their recent papers [1] on here previously. Actually I can't 100% confirm that I haven't already covered a further addition to their research repertoire which concluded that: "Patients with ADHD [attent........ Read more »

  • December 3, 2014
  • 04:33 AM
  • 22 views

After this training regime, people saw letters of the alphabet as being alive with colour

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

A training regime at the University of Sussex has successfully conditioned fourteen people with no prior experience of synesthesia - crossing of the senses - to experience coloured phenomena when seeing letters.The regime took place over nine weeks, a half hour session every workday together with extra homework. Again and again, the trainees were encouraged to treat the letter "r" as red, or "e" as green, with a similar a process repeated on 13 letters in all. This was tested every session using........ Read more »

Bor, D., Rothen, N., Schwartzman, D., Clayton, S., & Seth, A. (2014) Adults Can Be Trained to Acquire Synesthetic Experiences. Scientific Reports, 7089. DOI: 10.1038/srep07089  

  • December 2, 2014
  • 12:34 PM
  • 73 views

Heb je uitzonderlijk muzikaal gehoor? (1/5) [Dutch]

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

Ben jij een beetje muzikaal? Kun jij een liedje op de perfecte toonhoogte meezingen? Hoor jij meteen of er een valse snaar op een gitaar zit? Sommigen mensen zijn volledig toondoof. Maar mensen met absoluut gehoor kunnen (zonder te kijken!) aan een pianotoets al horen welke noot het is. Een heel zeldzame gave! Maar is deze luistereigenschap wel zo bijzonder? Hoogleraar Muziekcognitie prof. dr. Henkjan Honing (UvA) legt je uit wat nog veel opmerkelijker is aan gehoor.... Read more »

Peretz, I., & Zatorre, R. (2005) Brain Organization for Music Processing. Annual Review of Psychology, 56(1), 89-114. DOI: 10.1146/annurev.psych.56.091103.070225  

Stewart L, von Kriegstein K, Warren JD, & Griffiths TD. (2006) Music and the brain: disorders of musical listening. Brain : a journal of neurology, 129(Pt 10), 2533-53. PMID: 16845129  

Takeuchi, A., & Hulse, S. (1993) Absolute pitch. Psychological Bulletin, 113(2), 345-361. DOI: 10.1037//0033-2909.113.2.345  

Schellenberg, E., & Trehub, S. (2003) Good Pitch Memory Is Widespread. Psychological Science, 14(3), 262-266. DOI: 10.1111/1467-9280.03432  

Trehub SE. (2003) The developmental origins of musicality. Nature neuroscience, 6(7), 669-73. PMID: 12830157  

  • December 2, 2014
  • 12:34 PM
  • 60 views

Word je slimmer van luisteren naar Mozart? [Dutch]

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

Het Mozarteffect. Studenten halen gegarandeerd hun tentamens, koeien zullen meer melk produceren en zelfs tomaten gaan beter smaken wanneer ze ‘luisteren’ naar klassieke muziek. Is dat zo? Waar heeft dit mee te maken? Muziekwetenschapper prof. dr. Henkjan Honing (UvA) legt je uit wat het effect is van klassieke muziek.... Read more »

Rauscher, F., Shaw, G., & Ky, C. (1993) Music and spatial task performance. Nature, 365(6447), 611-611. DOI: 10.1038/365611a0  

Thompson, W., Schellenberg, E., & Husain, G. (2001) Arousal, Mood, and The Mozart Effect. Psychological Science, 12(3), 248-251. DOI: 10.1111/1467-9280.00345  

Glenn Schellenberg, E. (2004) Music Lessons Enhance IQ. Psychological Science, 15(8), 511-514. DOI: 10.1111/j.0956-7976.2004.00711.x  

  • December 2, 2014
  • 11:35 AM
  • 139 views

No one will remember you because society doesn’t care

by neuroecology in Neuroecology

A few years ago I was in Washington DC and, being a bit of a tourist, I randomly picked up a fact card about one of our exciting presidents. Obviously the excitement mounted: who did I get? My best buddy … Continue reading →... Read more »

Roediger, H., & DeSoto, K. (2014) Forgetting the presidents. Science, 346(6213), 1106-1109. DOI: 10.1126/science.1259627  

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