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  • August 10, 2016
  • 04:24 AM
  • 186 views

No association between [current] mycotoxin exposure and autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Although research stories stating a link (an association if you will) between condition A and factor X make for interesting reading, not all science is so blessed with such news-worthy findings. That's not to say that 'negative findings' are any less important than the 'hey, we found this...' studies, just that they don't perhaps tend to grab the headlines as much as those finding something.In saying all that I'm standing up for negative findings today and some rather interesting science reporte........ Read more »

  • August 9, 2016
  • 02:41 PM
  • 232 views

Want a better memory? Try eating a Mediterranean diet

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

It's not a fad diet, it is an actual diet -- as in the way a person eats normally -- and it may do more than just help your waistline. The Mediterranean diet can improve your mind, as well your heart.

... Read more »

  • August 9, 2016
  • 02:56 AM
  • 193 views

Anxiety spreads across various psychiatric labels

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Comorbid anxiety symptoms are ubiquitous among psychiatric patients with mood or schizophrenia spectrum disorders, and in almost half of them, reportedly severe."So said the findings reported by Karpov and colleagues [1] who sought to put some further research flesh on to the bones of the idea that clinically relevant anxiety symptoms might not be unstrange bedfellows with a variety of other psychiatric labels.Based on the analysis of various patient groups included in the "Helsinki University ........ Read more »

Karpov, B., Joffe, G., Aaltonen, K., Suvisaari, J., Baryshnikov, I., Näätänen, P., Koivisto, M., Melartin, T., Oksanen, J., Suominen, K.... (2016) Anxiety symptoms in a major mood and schizophrenia spectrum disorders. European Psychiatry, 1-7. DOI: 10.1016/j.eurpsy.2016.04.007  

  • August 8, 2016
  • 06:40 AM
  • 212 views

Scientific Study Shows Mediums Are Wrong 46.2% of the Time

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

Not a very good showing, eh?Here's our latest study on mediumship: "Prediction of Mortality Based on Facial Characteristics". Available here: https://t.co/jVMHmF07Dj— Dean Radin (@DeanRadin) May 21, 2016In the study,“Participants were asked to press a button if they thought the person in a photo was living or deceased. Overall mean accuracy on this task was 53.8%, where 50% was expected by chance (p < 0.004, two-tail). Statistically significant accuracy was independently obtained in 5 of ........ Read more »

Delorme, A., Pierce, A., Michel, L., & Radin, D. (2016) Prediction of Mortality Based on Facial Characteristics. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. DOI: 10.3389/fnhum.2016.00173  

  • August 8, 2016
  • 03:46 AM
  • 170 views

On staff training in the UK autism services sector

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I tread carefully in discussing the findings reported by Karola Dillenburger and colleagues [1] (open-access) on the question of "knowledge and training with regards to autism" received by "health, social care, and education staff who work within the statutory autism services sector in the UK." The observation that "an acute lack of autism-specific training that has detrimental impacts" was apparent is a worrying sign indeed.Although not intimately involved in the autism services sector, I ........ Read more »

Dillenburger K, McKerr L, Jordan JA, & Keenan M. (2016) Staff Training in Autism: The One-Eyed Wo/Man…. International journal of environmental research and public health, 13(7). PMID: 27438846  

  • August 7, 2016
  • 11:53 AM
  • 175 views

The (surprising) rate of ADHD in Taiwan

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The idea that use of the diagnostic label called attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is on the increase, and pretty significantly so, is quite common-place these days (see here). Appreciating that not everyone is convinced that the increase is necessarily genuine (see here) I would like to discuss some interesting data coming out of the 'big data' country that is Taiwan in the form of the findings reported by Wang and colleagues [1].As regular readers might already know, Taiwan is th........ Read more »

  • August 5, 2016
  • 02:59 AM
  • 216 views

Hospitalisation for mania following antibiotic exposure?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Individuals hospitalized with acute mania have a markedly increased rate of bacterial infections, as evidenced by the recent prescription of antimicrobial agents. The prevention and effective treatment of bacterial infections may be important interventions for the management of individuals with mania."That was the research bottom-line reported by Robert Yolken and colleagues [1] (yes, that Robert Yolken) who continued a theme of how immune function/response might be something pretty important w........ Read more »

Yolken R, Adamos M, Katsafanas E, Khushalani S, Origoni A, Savage C, Schweinfurth L, Stallings C, Sweeney K, & Dickerson F. (2016) Individuals hospitalized with acute mania have increased exposure to antimicrobial medications. Bipolar disorders. PMID: 27425597  

  • August 4, 2016
  • 07:02 AM
  • 221 views

Attribute amnesia, uninterrupted eye contact, fMRI bugs, and women  driven out of STEM careers

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Here are a few articles that did not act as a catalyst to stimulate an entire post but that tweaked our fancy enough that we wanted to share them with you. Think of them as “rescue items” if you have social anxiety and want to seem scintillating….or something like that. So have you seen this […]

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Ten minutes of uninterrupted eye contact causes hallucinations and other important things 
Women as Expert Witnesses: The good, the sad, and the ugly
Science knowledge, ob........ Read more »

  • August 4, 2016
  • 03:11 AM
  • 214 views

Take your vitamin D says the UK Government

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Vitamin D supplements 'advised for everyone'" was just one media headline following the publication of a report (see here) - "a government commissioned report" - by the advisory board of the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) here in Blighty recently.After oodles and oodles of peer-reviewed research (quite a bit of it covered in that SACN report) potentially linking issues with vitamin D availability to everything from depression (see here) to schizophrenia (see here) a........ Read more »

Muscogiuri G, Altieri B, Annweiler C, Balercia G, Pal HB, Boucher BJ, Cannell JJ, Foresta C, Grübler MR, Kotsa K.... (2016) Vitamin D and chronic diseases: the current state of the art. Archives of toxicology. PMID: 27425218  

  • August 3, 2016
  • 06:02 PM
  • 237 views

How to excel at academic conferences in 5 steps

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

Academic conferences have been the biggest joy of my PhD and so I want to share with others how to excel at this academic tradition.  The author (second from right, with can) at his first music cognition conference (SMPC 2013 in Toronto) which – despite appearances – he attended by himself. 1) Socialising A conference […]... Read more »

  • August 3, 2016
  • 02:45 PM
  • 241 views

Why Do People Choose Certain Dogs?

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

Many factors go into people’s choice of dogs. Animal welfare isn’t always top of the list, but could this change?English Bulldogs only live six years, according to a recent paper that highlights the lack of genetic diversity in this breed (Pederson et al 2016). Karin Brulliard of the Washington Post spoke to one of the authors of the study, Niels Pederson. “There are genetic diseases that [breeders] could test for, but they choose not to. Which means they’re more interested in the coat c........ Read more »

Asher, L., Diesel, G., Summers, J., McGreevy, P., & Collins, L. (2009) Inherited defects in pedigree dogs. Part 1: Disorders related to breed standards. The Veterinary Journal, 182(3), 402-411. DOI: 10.1016/j.tvjl.2009.08.033  

Diverio, S., Boccini, B., Menchetti, L., & Bennett, P. (2016) The Italian perception of the ideal companion dog. Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, 27-35. DOI: 10.1016/j.jveb.2016.02.004  

King, T., Marston, L., & Bennett, P. (2009) Describing the ideal Australian companion dog. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 120(1-2), 84-93. DOI: 10.1016/j.applanim.2009.04.011  

Lampe, R., & Witte, T. (2014) Speed of Dog Adoption: Impact of Online Photo Traits. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, 18(4), 343-354. DOI: 10.1080/10888705.2014.982796  

Mornement, K., Coleman, G., Toukhsati, S., & Bennett, P. (2012) What Do Current and Potential Australian Dog Owners Believe about Shelter Practices and Shelter Dogs?. Anthrozoos: A Multidisciplinary Journal of The Interactions of People , 25(4), 457-473. DOI: 10.2752/175303712X13479798785850  

Pedersen, N., Pooch, A., & Liu, H. (2016) A genetic assessment of the English bulldog. Canine Genetics and Epidemiology, 3(1). DOI: 10.1186/s40575-016-0036-y  

Waller, B., Peirce, K., Caeiro, C., Scheider, L., Burrows, A., McCune, S., & Kaminski, J. (2013) Paedomorphic Facial Expressions Give Dogs a Selective Advantage. PLoS ONE, 8(12). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0082686  

  • August 3, 2016
  • 01:23 PM
  • 174 views

Your eyes are your own

by neuroecology in Neuroecology

This blows my mind. There is a technique that allows us to map the distribution of cones in a person’s eyes. You would think that there is some consistency from individual to individual, or that it would be distributed in … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • August 3, 2016
  • 03:57 AM
  • 205 views

Omega-3 fatty acids, gut bacteria and mouse behaviour

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I read with great interest the paper by Ruairi Robertson and colleagues [1] (open-access available here) recently, talking about how "neurobehavioural changes induced by altering n-3 PUFA [omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids] status are closely associated with comprehensive alterations in gut microbiota composition, HPA-axis activity and inflammation" in mice.Coming out of the 'bacterial research powerhouse' that is University College Cork, such research potentially unites some im........ Read more »

  • August 2, 2016
  • 02:03 PM
  • 226 views

Cardiac complications from energy drinks?

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

The high levels of caffeine in energy drinks may lead to cardiac complications. A new case report adds to previous reports of adverse cardiovascular events related to consuming energy drinks, including abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias).

... Read more »

Sattari M, Sattari A, & Kazory A. (2016) Energy Drink Consumption and Cardiac Complications: A Case for Caution. Journal of addiction medicine, 10(4), 280-2. PMID: 27471919  

  • August 2, 2016
  • 11:24 AM
  • 200 views

Measuring Contemptuousness: The  Dispositional Contempt Scale 

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

You know contempt when you see it (usually) and you know contempt when you feel it (almost always). But what does contempt look like according to researchers? They call it “an emotional reaction when a person or a group violates one’s standards and one looks down on them with the tendency to distance and/or derogate […]

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Measuring beliefs in the paranormal: The Australian Sheep Goat Scale
The Disgust Scale: How have........ Read more »

Schriber, R., Chung, J., Sorensen, K., & Robins, R. (2016) Dispositional Contempt: A First Look at the Contemptuous Person. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. DOI: 10.1037/pspp0000101  

  • August 2, 2016
  • 11:23 AM
  • 187 views

“Typical-looking faces” are seen as more trustworthy 

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Typical looking faces are not the most attractive in the view of others but they are the most trustworthy. This reminds us of the post we wrote a while back about how to appear intelligent, trustworthy and attractive when you need corrective lenses (i.e., wear rimless glasses). In this case, (published in the journal Psychological […]

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When you wear glasses you are less attractive but more smart and trustworthy
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........ Read more »

  • August 1, 2016
  • 10:43 PM
  • 206 views

Autism, urinary porphyrins and mercury

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I appreciate that the title of this post is probably going to result in an immediate 'click away' for some folk but for those who've endured it I'd like to talk briefly about the findings reported by Eman Khaled and colleagues [1]. Namely the observation that: "ASD [autism spectrum disorder] children in the present study had increased blood Hg [mercury] and Pb [lead] levels compared with healthy control children indicating that disordered porphyrin metabolism might ........ Read more »

  • August 1, 2016
  • 03:53 PM
  • 210 views

Some Surprising Authors of Psychology Papers

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

In a fascinating new paper, Scott O. Lilienfeld and Steven Jay Lynn discuss 78 Surprising Authors of Psychological Publications. The paper is a list of celebrities and other notable figures who, at one time or another, have published an academic paper in psychology.


Did you know that Lisa Kudrow, aka Phoebe from Friends, was co-author on a 1994 paper about 'Handedness and Headache' published in the journal Cephalalgia? Well, thanks to Lilienfeld and Lynn, now you do. Other actors who have a... Read more »

Lilienfeld SO, & Lynn SJ. (2016) You'll Never Guess Who Wrote That: 78 Surprising Authors of Psychological Publications. Perspectives on psychological science : a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, 11(4), 419-41. PMID: 27474131  

  • August 1, 2016
  • 04:10 AM
  • 196 views

Physical activity in children and youth: themes and consensus

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

'Physical activity boosts kids' brain power and academic prowess' went the press release accompanying the consensus statement published by Jens Bangsbo and colleagues [1] (open-access).The consensus statement brought together researchers from around the world "and from a variety of academic disciplines" to emphasise how undertaking all-manner of different kinds of exercise "are still a good investment in academic achievement" when it comes to children aged between 6-18 years of age.The stat........ Read more »

Bangsbo J, Krustrup P, Duda J, Hillman C, Andersen LB, Weiss M, Williams CA, Lintunen T, Green K, Hansen PR.... (2016) The Copenhagen Consensus Conference 2016: children, youth, and physical activity in schools and during leisure time. British journal of sports medicine. PMID: 27354718  

  • July 31, 2016
  • 06:39 AM
  • 232 views

The End of Ego-Depletion Theory?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

It's not been a good month for the theory of ego-depletion - the idea that self-control is a limited resource that can be depleted by overuse. Two weeks ago, researchers reported evidence of bias in the published literature examinig the question of whether glucose can reverse ego-depletion.

Now, the very existence of the ego-depletion phenomenon has been questioned by an international collaboration of psychologists who conducted a preregistered replication attempt (RRR). The results have just... Read more »

Hagger, M., & Chatzisarantis, N. (2016) A Multilab Preregistered Replication of the Ego-Depletion Effect. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 11(4), 546-573. DOI: 10.1177/1745691616652873  

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