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  • October 16, 2014
  • 04:18 PM
  • 155 views

Inherited Memories: Too Good To Be True?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

In December last year, researchers Brian Dias and Kerry Ressler made a splash with a paper seeming to show that memories can be inherited. This article, published in Nature Neuroscience, reported that if adult mice are taught to be afraid of a particular smell, then their children will also fear it. Which is pretty wild. […]The post Inherited Memories: Too Good To Be True? appeared first on Neuroskeptic.... Read more »

  • October 16, 2014
  • 04:59 AM
  • 99 views

MicroRNAs and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"No one User wrote me! I'm worth millions of their man-years!"Not so long ago I posted an entry talking about microRNAs and autism (see here). As well as including some rather interesting, if preliminary findings, that particular piece of work also served to introduce yet another layer of complexity to our genome and its expression: microRNAs.I was therefore always going to be more than a little intrigued by the results published by Ekua Brenu and colleagues [1] and their observations on ci........ Read more »

  • October 16, 2014
  • 02:03 AM
  • 95 views

JUST PUBLISHED: Resilience and Responses to Persistent Pain

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

The concept of resilience is of considerable interest in clinical practice.  The resilient person shows relatively speedy recovery from a disturbance and an ability to resume their former work practices, habits and normal life.  In addition, they are able to maintain that recovery over the long-term.The maintenance of recovery is of particular interest in patients suffering from chronic pain, since the presence of persistent pain leads to a raft of behavioural and cognitive changes all........ Read more »

Newton-John TR, Mason C, & Hunter M. (2014) The role of resilience in adjustment and coping with chronic pain. Rehabilitation psychology, 59(3), 360-5. PMID: 25019306  

  • October 15, 2014
  • 02:22 PM
  • 131 views

You can tell [my mood] by the way I walk

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Ever see a guy walking down the street and know he’s depressed? Or how about someone happy, with a little bounce in their step? The way we walk says a lot and by some estimates roughly 90% of what we are telling people isn’t coming out our mouth, it’s all body language. Our walk says a lot about the kind of mood we are in, but in the question of what came first our mood or our walk, researchers have now shown that it works both ways.... Read more »

  • October 15, 2014
  • 01:52 PM
  • 92 views

My Dog Comes First: The Importance of Pets to Homeless Youth

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

Dogs and cats have both advantages and disadvantages for street-involved youth.Photo: everst / ShutterstockResearch by Michelle Lem et al (University of Guelph) asks homeless young people (aged 18-24) what their pet means to them. Previous studies have focussed on the benefits to homeless people of owning a dog or cat. The aim of this study was to get a balanced picture of both the advantages and disadvantages. Ten homeless young people took part in in-depth interviews about their pet. 8 of........ Read more »

Lem, M., Coe, J.B., Haley, D.B., Stone, E., & O'Grady, W. (2013) Effects of companion animal ownership among Canadian street-involved youth: A qualitative analysis. Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare, XL(4), 285-304. info:/

  • October 15, 2014
  • 10:00 AM
  • 89 views

Trauma research needs to be more global and accessible

by Eva Alisic in Trauma Recovery

Imagine a 7-year old boy living in India. One day, his father gets drunk and kills his mother. The boy is a witness to the homicide, and develops a high fever as a response. Imagine you’re the mental health professional who is called to support the boy. Some of the things you would want to know are how children in India respond to severe trauma, what words they use, and what helps them to recover.

Unfortunately, that information is virtually nonexistent. T... Read more »

Fodor, K., Unterhitzenberger, J., Chou, C., Kartal, D., Leistner, S., Milosavljevic, M., Nocon, A., Soler, L., White, J., Yoo, S.... (2014) Is traumatic stress research global? A bibliometric analysis. European Journal of Psychotraumatology. DOI: 10.3402/ejpt.v5.23269  

  • October 15, 2014
  • 04:38 AM
  • 99 views

How You Feel About People is Related to How You Feel About Cities

by Mark Rubin in Mark Rubin's Social Psychology Research Blog

There are numerous structural factors that influence people’s attitudes towards cities. However, these factors may be constituents of broader sociocultural “questions” that people ask about their cities.  For example, residents’ concern about the transport and entertainment venues of a city might form part of a broader social psychological concern about the potential for the city to accommodate their need to meet friends and socialize with others. Alternatively, people might focus on a ........ Read more »

  • October 15, 2014
  • 04:36 AM
  • 113 views

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Mid-Cingulate Cortex

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

What happens in the brain during a highly immersive reading experience? According to the fiction feeling hypothesis (Jacobs, 2014), narratives with highly emotional content cause a deeper sense of immersion by engaging the affective empathy network to a greater extent than neutral narratives. Emotional empathy – in this case, the ability to identify with a fictional character via grounded metarepresentations of ‘global emotional moments’ (Hsu et al., 2014) – relies on  a number of b........ Read more »

  • October 14, 2014
  • 09:30 PM
  • 108 views

What is the habenula?

by neurosci in Neuroscientifically Challenged

Despite the fact that it is present in almost all vertebrate species, very little was known about the habenula until fairly recently. In the past several years, however, the habenula has received a significant amount of attention for its potential role in both cognition (e.g. reward processing) and disorders like depression. Still, the habenula remains a little-known structure whose functions are yet to be fully elucidated.Where is the habenula?The habenula is part of the diencephalon and, toget........ Read more »

  • October 14, 2014
  • 09:34 AM
  • 116 views

What do we share with other primates in terms of cognition?

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

Below a beautiful summary of the recent literature on the neurobiology of action imitation/understanding, language, and rhythmic processing/auditory timing (Mendoza & Merchant, in press). The neural circuitry that is thought to be involved in all three higher cognitive functions is shown here for three closely related primates: the macaque monkey, chimpanzee and human brain.... Read more »

Merchant, H., & Honing, H. (2013) Are non-human primates capable of rhythmic entrainment? Evidence for the gradual audiomotor evolution hypothesis. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 7(274). info:/

  • October 14, 2014
  • 07:10 AM
  • 90 views

Prenatal genetic testing and autism: a delicate subject

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I realise that the paper by Lei-Shih Chen and colleagues [1] covers a most sensitive topic when it comes to the autism spectrum, exploring: "the attitudes toward PGT [prenatal genetic testing] and termination decisions of 42 parents of children with ASD [autism spectrum disorder]". Indeed, this is not the first time that this research group has looked at this area of autism research [2] and it seems like they will be talking about it further too (see here).I chose to discuss the most recent........ Read more »

  • October 14, 2014
  • 06:28 AM
  • 98 views

Is this the dark side of emotional intelligence? High EI linked with more delinquency among young women

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

If, as research suggests, the psychological trait of sensation seeking is the catalyst for youthful delinquency, might high emotional intelligence (EI; having empathy for other people's emotions and good control over one's own) act as a calming restraint? That was the question Alison Bacon her colleagues posed in their study of 96 undergrads (average age 20; 48 women).Their "surprising and unprecedented" discovery was that for women, not only did high EI not moderate the link between sensation s........ Read more »

  • October 13, 2014
  • 05:30 PM
  • 96 views

Yes folks... broccoli chemical impacts on autism presentation

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Please do not adjust your set. Broccoli, or least a chemical found in broccoli called sulforaphane has, under placebo-controlled, double-blind experimental conditions, been reported to impact on the presentation of autism according to the paper by Kanwaljit Singh and colleagues [1] (open-access).Eat your greens @ Fir0002/FlagstaffotosI had to do a bit of a double-take myself when I first read about these results (see here). Indeed, even the authors themselves seemed to be a l........ Read more »

Kanwaljit Singh, Susan L. Connors, Eric A. Macklin, Kirby D. Smith, Jed W. Fahey, Paul Talalay, & Andrew W. Zimmerman. (2014) Sulforaphane treatment of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). PNAS. info:/10.1073/pnas.1416940111

  • October 13, 2014
  • 05:17 PM
  • 99 views

Emodiversity: A Mix of Emotions Is Healthiest?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

“Emodiversity” – a life containing a balance of different emotions – is good for you. So say psychologists Jordi Quoidbach and colleagues in a rather cool new paper (pdf). In two large surveys (with a total of over 37,000 responders), conducted in France and Belgium, Quoidbach et al. show that emodiversity is an independent predictor […]The post Emodiversity: A Mix of Emotions Is Healthiest? appeared first on Neuroskeptic.... Read more »

Quoidbach J, Gruber J, Mikolajczak M, Kogan A, Kotsou I, & Norton MI. (2014) Emodiversity and the Emotional Ecosystem. Journal of experimental psychology. General. PMID: 25285428  

  • October 13, 2014
  • 07:59 AM
  • 133 views

The Psychology of Procrastination: How We Create Categories of the Future

by Jalees Rehman in The Next Regeneration

A fully rational approach to task completion would involve creating a priority list of tasks based on a composite score of task importance and the remaining time until the deadline. The most important task with the most proximate deadline would have to be tackled first, and the lowest priority task with the furthest deadline last. This sounds great in theory, but it is quite difficult to implement. A substantial amount of research has been conducted to understand how our moods, distractability a........ Read more »

  • October 13, 2014
  • 07:58 AM
  • 98 views

Evolutionary psychologists expose the "shoddy" treatment of their discipline by textbooks

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

The Gendered Society contained 12 errors about evolutionary psychology, morethan any other book in this evaluation. Evolutionary theory is universally accepted among the mainstream science community. And yet, when the evolutionary perspective is applied to human behaviour, the approach continues to meet with resistance, and in some cases outright disdain.A team led by Benjamin Winegard thinks part of the reason is because of the misrepresentation of evolutionary psychology in textbooks, esp........ Read more »

Winegard BM, Winegard BM, & Deaner RO. (2014) Misrepresentations of evolutionary psychology in sex and gender textbooks. Evolutionary psychology : an international journal of evolutionary approaches to psychology and behavior, 12(3), 474-508. PMID: 25299988  

  • October 13, 2014
  • 04:46 AM
  • 92 views

Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for anxiety in autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I'll readily admit that despite having a tinge of psychology running through my research career, I'm not overly enthused about the impact of the discipline on the autism spectrum down the years. I'm not necessarily just talking about the Freudian effect which set autism research back decades and shamefully added needless worry and stigma to those on the spectrum and their loved ones, but also the grand over-arching psychological theories which seemed, for example, to completely miss the 'heterog........ Read more »

  • October 12, 2014
  • 03:48 PM
  • 97 views

…but I thought a new knee would fix my pain!

by Bronwyn Thompson in Healthskills: Skills for Healthy Living

Working in an orthopaedic surgery department is quite enlightening. Along with discussions about ceramic vs metal implants and cartilage regeneration (I work with a team of researchers looking at how to create replacement cartilage), the topic of what counts as a surgical success in knee surgery also comes up from time to time. Knee joint replacement isn’t as successful as hip joint replacement for a number of reasons including the complex nature of the joint, the way the joint capsule is ........ Read more »

  • October 11, 2014
  • 12:06 PM
  • 109 views

Efficacy of foetal stem cell transplantation in autism...

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The recent news that researchers might be one step closer to 'curing' type 1 diabetes following the publication of the paper by Pagliuca and colleagues [1] brought back into focus how stem cell therapy might hold some promise for all manner of conditions. The idea that researchers could generate "hundreds of millions of glucose-responsive β cells from hPSC [human pluripotent stem cells] in vitro" still faces a few challenges, including overcoming the immune assault central to the autoimmun........ Read more »

Bradstreet JJ, Sych N, Antonucci N, Klunnik M, Ivankova O, Matyashchuk I, Demchuk M, & Siniscalco D. (2014) Efficacy of fetal stem cell transplantation in autism spectrum disorders: an open-labeled pilot study. Cell transplantation. PMID: 25302490  

  • October 11, 2014
  • 04:48 AM
  • 109 views

Yet more air pollution and autism risk research

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Air pollution and autism risk. It's a topic which has cropped up a few times on this blog (see here and see here and see here) with the majority of the research (but not all) suggesting that there may be something to see when it comes to such a correlation.Enter then the paper by Amy Kalkbrenner and colleagues [1] to proceedings, and their conclusion: "Our study adds to previous work in California showing a relation between traffic-related air pollution and autism, and adds similar findings in a........ Read more »

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