There’s a stereotype that older people are more friendly and trusting, possibly leaving them vulnerable to con-artists. A new study using an economic trading game provides clear evidence that older people really are more trusting, at least in the sense that they are more likely to give the benefit of the doubt to people with a dodgy track record.Phoebe Bailey’s research paradigm invited 72 Australian participants to complete a series of 30 trading game trials alone via a computer, in the kno........ Read more »
Bailey, P., Szczap, P., McLennan, S., Slessor, G., Ruffman, T., & Rendell, P. (2015) Age-related similarities and differences in first impressions of trustworthiness. Cognition and Emotion, 1-10. DOI: 10.1080/02699931.2015.1039493
It's been a while since I've discussed the issue of homocysteine - that's homocysteine not homocystine - with autism in mind, so consider this short blog entry a bit of an update to previous discussions (see here and see here).In case you need to know it, homocysteine is an important component of the trans-sulfuration pathway intersecting with both the methione cycle and the folate cycle. Collectively, these biological processes have important functions for various aspects of biology includ........ Read more »
Puig-Alcaraz C, Fuentes-Albero M, Calderón J, Garrote D, & Cauli O. (2015) Increased homocysteine levels correlate with the communication deficit in children with autism spectrum disorder. Psychiatry research. PMID: 26070768
Han, Y., Xi, Q., Dai, W., Yang, S., Gao, L., Su, Y., & Zhang, X. (2015) Abnormal transsulfuration metabolism and reduced antioxidant capacity in Chinese children with autism spectrum disorders. International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijdevneu.2015.06.006
Although it might seem like a bit of a distraction, I read with interest the paper by Lorcan Kenny and colleagues  (open-access) discussing the ways and means that we talk about autism here in Blighty. Some related media on the paper can be found here and here.I mentioned the word 'distraction' because I'm sure that some people (many people?) might be wondering why we are discussing the various ways and means that autism is described when there is so much more for research to do in tryin........ Read more »
Kenny L, Hattersley C, Molins B, Buckley C, Povey C, & Pellicano E. (2015) Which terms should be used to describe autism? Perspectives from the UK autism community. Autism : the international journal of research and practice. PMID: 26134030
Sexist behaviour is a way some men use to signal they are "one of the lads", mistakenly assuming that the lads are more sexist than they really are. Encouraging men to take a visible stand against sexism might help break this cycle, and a new study road-tests an intervention that uses this approach to change sexist attitudes in male undergrad students. The data show the intervention met some goals – specifically a decrease in overall sexist attitudes – but fell short of others, illustrating ........ Read more »
Kilmartin, C., Semelsberger, R., Dye, S., Boggs, E., & Kolar, D. (2014) A Behavior Intervention to Reduce Sexism in College Men. Gender Issues, 32(2), 97-110. DOI: 10.1007/s12147-014-9130-1
by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room
We’ve worked on several qui tam cases where mock jurors have been suspicious of the motivations for the whistleblower given the huge amounts of money they stand to make. So what if the whistleblower is the [current or former] lawyer? There’s a really interesting article in SSRN on the ethical issues surrounding lawyers blowing whistles. […]
Predicting case outcomes? Lawyers are pretty dismal at it!
False Confessions: “No one really does that unless they’re just stu........ Read more »
Clark, K., & Moore, N. (2015) Buying Voice: Financial Rewards for Whistleblowing Lawyers. SSRN Electronic Journal. DOI: 10.2139/ssrn.2562610
All rights to Rozenkrantz et al (2015)'Sniffing could provide autism test' went the BBC headline as the work of Liron Rozenkrantz and colleagues  (open-access available here) provided some media fodder and with it ideas "implying a mechanistic link between the underpinnings of olfaction and ASD [autism spectrum disorder] and directly linking an impaired IAM [internal action model] with impaired social abilities."Looking at the sniff response in 36 children - 18 with a........ Read more »
Rozenkrantz, L., Zachor, D., Heller, I., Plotkin, A., Weissbrod, A., Snitz, K., Secundo, L., & Sobel, N. (2015) A Mechanistic Link between Olfaction and Autism Spectrum Disorder. Current Biology. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2015.05.048
Researchers have sniffed out an unspoken rule among women when it comes to fragrances: Women don’t buy perfume for other women, and they certainly don’t share them. Like boyfriends, current fragrance choices are hands off, forbidden–neither touch, nor smell. You can look, but that’s all, says BYU industrial design professor and study coauthor Bryan Howell.... Read more »
Schifferstein, H., & Howell, B. (2015) Using color–odor correspondences for fragrance packaging design. Food Quality and Preference, 17-25. DOI: 10.1016/j.foodqual.2015.06.012
Early diagnosis of cancer can save lives, yet so many people wait before reporting important symptoms. This is an issue where psychology can make a major contribution by helping to explain why some patients delay reporting their symptoms to a clinician. A pilot study published recently in Psychology and Health uses an unusual approach for this purpose, specifically in the context of skin cancer, by asking patients to draw their melanomas.Suzanne Scott at Kings College, London and her collea........ Read more »
Scott, S., Birt, L., Cavers, D., Shah, N., Campbell, C., & Walter, F. (2015) Patient drawings of their melanoma: A novel approach to understanding symptom perception and appraisal prior to health care. Psychology , 30(9), 1035-1048. DOI: 10.1080/08870446.2015.1016943
Dare I mention the term 'cuddle hormone' when it comes to oxytocin?Well, according to a recent news piece in Nature (see here), the 'cuddle hormone' days of oxytocin might well be numbered as science is starting to come to grips with just how complicated a role this hormone might have when it comes to biology and behaviour. Of course we've seen hints of this for quite a while now as autism research in particular comes to grips with the idea that oxytocin may not be the magic 'sociability' b........ Read more »
Sasaki, T., Hashimoto, K., Oda, Y., Ishima, T., Kurata, T., Takahashi, J., Kamata, Y., Kimura, H., Niitsu, T., Komatsu, H.... (2015) Decreased levels of serum oxytocin in pediatric Patients with attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder. Psychiatry Research. DOI: 10.1016/j.psychres.2015.05.029
There has been a lot of focus in the US media on the difficulties with access to the Veterans Affairs services. But many younger Veterans aren’t even getting close to those services.... Read more »
Averill, L., Fleming, C., Holens, P., & Larsen, S. (2015) Research on PTSD prevalence in OEF/OIF Veterans: expanding investigation of demographic variables. European Journal of Psychotraumatology. DOI: 10.3402/ejpt.v6.27322
Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) have found that key parts of the human brain network that give us the power to control and redirect our attention–a core cognitive ability–may be unique to humans. The research suggests that the network may have evolved in response to increasingly complex social cues.... Read more »
Patel, G., Yang, D., Jamerson, E., Snyder, L., Corbetta, M., & Ferrera, V. (2015) Functional evolution of new and expanded attention networks in humans. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 201420395. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1420395112
As much as you think your tastes are unique, psychologists say they can guess your favorite color. It's likely to be blue. And it's especially unlikely to be yellow—unless you're colorblind. Men with red-green colorblindness have preferences that are essentially opposite from everyone else's. The finding could help scientists understand why humans like what they like, and how colorblind people see the world differently.
Some researchers have claimed that the human love of blue is universa........ Read more »
What if the adoption of shelter dogs could be sped up with better photographs? A new study by Rachel Lampe and Thomas Witte (Royal Veterinary College, Herts) studies the effect of photographs of black Labrador Retriever crosses on the length of time before they found a new home. ... Read more »
Lampe, R., & Witte, T. (2014) Speed of Dog Adoption: Impact of Online Photo Traits. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, 1-12. DOI: 10.1080/10888705.2014.982796
By guest blogger David RobsonAristotle once compared the human mind to a wax tablet. When we are young, the wax is warm and soft; it is easy to make an impression and record our thoughts and feelings. With age, the wax hardens – the older impressions fade, and it is harder to carve out new images in their place.This view of memory, at least among the general public, has changed little in the 2300 years since. Many of us still believe that the brain’s “plasticity” – its ability to adapt........ Read more »
Touron, D. (2015) Memory Avoidance by Older Adults: When "Old Dogs" Won't Perform Their "New Tricks". Current Directions in Psychological Science, 24(3), 170-176. DOI: 10.1177/0963721414563730
I’ve tried to write about this article on a few occasions and had to stop because I simply felt terrible with the implications of the research. In short, as the headline of this post suggests, when women read words that are objectifying, they’re … Continue reading →... Read more »
Calogero, R., Pina, A., & Sutton, R. (2013) Cutting Words: Priming Self-Objectification Increases Women's Intention to Pursue Cosmetic Surgery. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 38(2), 197-207. DOI: 10.1177/0361684313506881
Cochrane, in the title of this post, refers to the Cochrane Collaboration and the sterling work done throughout health care synthesising peer-reviewed evidence pertinent to the goal of evidence-based medicine.The collaboration has recently turned its eye towards the topic of chelation with autism in mind, a topic that has been discussed previously on this blog (see here). Their conclusions based on the findings reported by Stephen James and colleagues  (open-access here), looking at the ........ Read more »
For some inexplicable reason, you watched the torture gore horror film Hostel over the weekend. On Monday, you're having trouble concentrating at work. Images of severed limbs and bludgeoned heads keep intruding on your attempts to code or write a paper. So you decide to read about the making of Hostel.You end up seeing pictures of the most horrifying scenes from the movie. It's all way too way much to simply shake off so then you decide to play Tetris. But a funny thing happens. The unwelcome i........ Read more »
Holmes, E., James, E., Kilford, E., & Deeprose, C. (2010) Key Steps in Developing a Cognitive Vaccine against Traumatic Flashbacks: Visuospatial Tetris versus Verbal Pub Quiz. PLoS ONE, 5(11). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0013706
James, E., Bonsall, M., Hoppitt, L., Tunbridge, E., Geddes, J., Milton, A., & Holmes, E. (2015) Computer Game Play Reduces Intrusive Memories of Experimental Trauma via Reconsolidation-Update Mechanisms. Psychological Science. DOI: 10.1177/0956797615583071
Former elite athletes have a longer life expectancy than demographically-matched control patients. Those athletes participating in soccer, basketball, ice hockey, jumping, short distance running, hurdling, cross-country skiing, middle and long distance runners suffer from heart disease less than control patients.... Read more »
Kettunen, J., Kujala, U., Kaprio, J., Backmand, H., Peltonen, M., Eriksson, J., & Sarna, S. (2014) All-cause and disease-specific mortality among male, former elite athletes: an average 50-year follow-up. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 49(13), 893-897. DOI: 10.1136/bjsports-2013-093347
Challenging the idea that addiction is hardwired in the brain, a new study suggests that even a short time spent in a stimulating learning environment can rewire the brain’s reward system and buffer it against drug dependence. Scientists tracked cocaine cravings in more than 70 adult male mice and found that those rodents whose daily drill included exploration, learning and finding hidden tasty morsels were less likely than their enrichment-deprived counterparts to seek solace in a chamber whe........ Read more »
Boivin, J., Piscopo, D., & Wilbrecht, L. (2015) Brief cognitive training interventions in young adulthood promote long-term resilience to drug-seeking behavior. Neuropharmacology, 404-413. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2015.05.036
Image: National Autistic Society. The language we use reflects our attitudes but perhaps more important, it can shape those attitudes. A new study considers this power in the context of autism. Lorcan Kenny and his colleagues have conducted a UK survey of hundreds of autistic people; parents, relatives and carers of autistic adults and children; and professionals in the field, about their preferences for the language used to discuss autism. The research was conducted online with the help of........ Read more »
Kenny, L., Hattersley, C., Molins, B., Buckley, C., Povey, C., & Pellicano, E. (2015) Which terms should be used to describe autism? Perspectives from the UK autism community. Autism. DOI: 10.1177/1362361315588200
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