Post List

Psychology posts

(Modify Search »)

  • January 14, 2016
  • 02:53 PM

Pay attention! Attention neuron type identified

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Researchers have identified for the first time a cell type in the brain of mice that is integral to attention. Moreover, by manipulating the activity of this cell type, the scientists were able to enhance attention in mice. The results add to the understanding of how the brain's frontal lobes work and control behaviour.
... Read more »

Hoseok Kim, Sofie hedlund-Richter, Xinming Wang, Karl Deisseroth, Marie Carlén. (2016) Prefrontal Parvalbumin Neurons in Control of Attention. Cell . DOI:  

  • January 14, 2016
  • 08:21 AM

What does being scared do to our vision?

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

By guest blogger Melissa HogenboomConsider the following scenario. A policeman is on patrol, maybe he's quite new to working in the field. He sees a suspicious young man and decides to follow him.He turns the corner and sees that the man has drawn a gun from his pocket. In a snap second – almost too fast to think twice – he takes out his own gun and shoots the man dead.Only the man didn't have a gun at all, it was a mobile phone.Sadly, it's a familiar story. An incident exactly like it ........ Read more »

Lojowska, M., Gladwin, T., Hermans, E., & Roelofs, K. (2015) Freezing promotes perception of coarse visual features. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 144(6), 1080-1088. DOI: 10.1037/xge0000117  

  • January 14, 2016
  • 07:02 AM

Mom in prison? You are at risk for going too… 

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

While idealistically we might want to think people whose mom is (or was) in prison would view their Mom’s plight as a cautionary tale, and be less likely to go to prison themselves, a new study shows that “children of incarcerated mothers are twice as likely to be arrested, convicted and incarcerated as adults”. The […]

Related posts:
Would you rather go to jail or prison? 
Go to jail. Go directly to jail. And if you are a woman, stay there a lot longer.
Even kids don’t make pa........ Read more »

  • January 14, 2016
  • 02:41 AM

Toy preference and parent-infant communication?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I was intrigued to read the findings reported by Anna Sosa [1] who reported that "play with books and traditional toys was superior to play with electronic toys in promoting high-quality communication."This was a study looking at communication between parents and their infants aged 10-16 months old as a function of toy type, where electronic toys - "3 battery-operated toys with buttons and switches that can be manipulated to produce lights, words, phrases, and songs" - were pitted against '........ Read more »

Sosa AV. (2015) Association of the Type of Toy Used During Play With the Quantity and Quality of Parent-Infant Communication. JAMA Pediatrics. info:/10.1001/jamapediatrics.2015.3753

  • January 13, 2016
  • 08:30 AM

How Audiobooks Can Help Shelter Dogs

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

New research shows listening to audiobooks can help dogs waiting for adoption.Imagine how it must feel to be a dog at a shelter, taken from your normal environment for reasons you don’t understand, with unfamiliar smells and noises, including other dogs barking. Could the sounds of music or a person reading help? A new study by Clarissa Brayley and Tamara Montrose (Hartpury Animal Behaviour College) tests audiobooks and music to see if they calm the dogs, and finds beneficial results from audi........ Read more »

  • January 13, 2016
  • 04:37 AM

Gut dysbiosis in anorexia nervosa

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Collectively, these results clearly indicate the existence of dysbiosis in the gut of AN [anorexia nervosa] patients."That opening sentence comes from the paper by Chihiro Morita and colleagues [1] (open-access available here) who "compared the fecal microbiota of female patients with AN (n = 25), including restrictive (ANR, n = 14) and binge-eating (ANBP, n = 11) subtypes, with those of age-matched healthy female controls (n = 21)." Stool and blood samples were analysed for vari........ Read more »

Morita C, Tsuji H, Hata T, Gondo M, Takakura S, Kawai K, Yoshihara K, Ogata K, Nomoto K, Miyazaki K.... (2015) Gut Dysbiosis in Patients with Anorexia Nervosa. PloS one, 10(12). PMID: 26682545  

  • January 13, 2016
  • 04:14 AM

What's it like to be an autistic person at work?

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Better detection rates for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) mean the chances of having a colleague with the diagnosis, or being diagnosed yourself, have never been so high. But what’s it like to be "working while ASD"? A new paper published in the Journal of Applied Psychology suggests the age when a person is diagnosed is key. Those diagnosed later in life are less likely to fully identify with the label of autism and with the ASD community more broadly, shaping their attitudes and feelings abo........ Read more »

  • January 12, 2016
  • 11:39 PM

We Don't Trust People Who Withhold Personal Information

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

You're creating a profile for an online dating site when you come to a question you're not sure you want to answer—say, "Do you smoke?" You might be more comfortable leaving it blank than sharing the truth with all your potential dates. But a series of experiments says that we tend to judge people harshly when they withhold personal information. Even someone who shares an unpleasant truth is more appealing, trustworthy, and hirable than someone who'd rather not say.

Harvard Business ........ Read more »

John, L., Barasz, K., & Norton, M. (2016) Hiding personal information reveals the worst. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 201516868. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1516868113  

  • January 12, 2016
  • 03:08 PM

Improving your toddler’s memory skills has long-term benefits

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

If your toddler is a Forgetful Jones, you might want to help boost his or her brainpower sooner rather than later. New research shows that preschoolers who score lower on a memory task are likely to score higher on a dropout risk scale at the age of 12.
... Read more »

  • January 12, 2016
  • 05:15 AM

Children born via IVF might be developmentally advantaged compared with their peers

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Recent years have seen a huge increase in the number of children born via IVF and other fertility treatments (in 2011 in the UK, 17,041 babies were born via IVF). While this has undoubtedly brought immeasurable happiness to many families, medical experts have raised concerns that the steps involved in IVF – such as the direct implantation of embryos into the mother's uterus, and in some cases the injection of an individual sperm cell into the egg – may bypass some biological filtering proces........ Read more »

  • January 12, 2016
  • 04:46 AM

Change the voice towards happy tone and listen it to feel happy

by Usman Paracha in SayPeople

Main Point:

Listening to your own voice in different emotional tones and features can change your mood accordingly.

Published in:


Study Further:

In a study, researchers worked with some people. They asked the people to read a short story written by Japanese writer Haruki Murakami. Researchers then changed the pitch of the voice along with some other features such as sadness, happiness, and fearfulness (in voice). They then allowed the people to listen to their modified voices........ Read more »

Aucouturier, J., Johansson, P., Hall, L., Segnini, R., Mercadié, L., & Watanabe, K. (2016) Covert digital manipulation of vocal emotion alter speakers’ emotional states in a congruent direction. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 201506552. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1506552113  

  • January 12, 2016
  • 02:50 AM

Pregnancy paracetamol use and the 'hyperactive behavioral phenotype' of autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Prenatal use of acetaminophen was associated with an increased risk of ASD [autism spectrum disorder] accompanied by hyperkinetic symptoms..., but not with other ASD cases."I was rather interested to read that conclusion presented in the study by Zeyan Liew and colleagues [1] talking about how acetaminophen (or paracetamol as it is known here in Blighty) use during pregnancy might have some rather important connections to offspring outcomes specifically with autism and hyperkinetic symptoms ........ Read more »

  • January 11, 2016
  • 05:11 PM

Kids in atheist families are more altruistic! The study is sound, but what does it mean?

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

You may have seen the buzz around a recent study which found that kids in atheist families are more altruistic than kids in religious families. Like any study that reinforces preconceptions of a vocal group, it was social media gold dust. I want to take a critical look at it and some of the objections [Read More...]... Read more »

  • January 11, 2016
  • 03:23 PM

Stereotype means girls should expect poorer physics grades

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Imagine that you are a female student and give the exact same answer to a physics exam question as one of your male classmates, but you receive a significantly poorer grade. This is precisely what happens on a regular basis, as concluded in a study by Sarah Hofer, a researcher in the group led by ETH professor Elsbeth Stern.... Read more »

  • January 11, 2016
  • 10:33 AM

How to evaluate an argument like a trained scientist

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

From the pontifications of the politician on the nightly news, to the latest tabloid health scare, we're constantly bombarded by other people's arguments – their attempts to make a particular claim based on some kind of evidence. How best to evaluate all these assertions and counter-assertions? Some insights come from a new study in the journal Thinking and Reasoning that's compared the argument evaluation strategies of scientists (advanced doctoral students and post-docs in psychology) with t........ Read more »

  • January 11, 2016
  • 06:35 AM

Depression reduces the chances of reaching good cardiovascular health

by Usman Paracha in SayPeople

Main Point:

High level of depression is an important barrier to achieve best cardiovascular health.

Published in:

Scientific Reports

Study Further:

Cardiovascular problems are among the important causes of mortality throughout the world, that’s why researchers are working on the cardiovascular disorders and causes behind them. Some of the important causes or factors behind cardiovascular disorders are blood pressure, smoking (especially in men), and lipids. Some other risk f........ Read more »

Gaye, B., Prugger, C., Perier, M., Thomas, F., Plichart, M., Guibout, C., Lemogne, C., Pannier, B., Boutouyrie, P., Jouven, X.... (2016) High level of depressive symptoms as a barrier to reach an ideal cardiovascular health. The Paris Prospective Study III. Scientific Reports, 18951. DOI: 10.1038/srep18951  

  • January 11, 2016
  • 02:48 AM

Fish oils for schizophrenia?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Hot on the heels of the peer-reviewed research-based suggestion that fish oil supplementation (high in omega-3 PUFAs) might have some rather important effects pertinent to the transition to full-threshold psychotic disorder for 'young people with an at-risk mental state' (see here), are the results from Tomasz Pawełczyk and colleagues [1].This time around it was a randomised, placebo-controlled trial "of either 2.2 g/day of n-3 PUFA, or olive oil placebo, with regard to symptom severity in firs........ Read more »

  • January 10, 2016
  • 02:37 PM

Put the cellphone away! Fragmented baby care can affect brain development

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Mothers, put down your smartphones when caring for your babies! That's the message from University of California, Irvine researchers, who have found that fragmented and chaotic maternal care can disrupt proper brain development, which can lead to emotional disorders later in life.... Read more »

  • January 10, 2016
  • 02:09 PM

Sources of Error: Epiphenomenalism (part 1)

by Sergio Graziosi in Writing my own user manual - Sergio Graziosi's Blog

Epiphenomenalism is one idea I’ve struggled with for a long time: to my eyes, it doesn’t make any sense. But more importantly, when applied to philosophy of mind, it seems to me that epiphenomenalism does a great deal of damage.…Read more ›... Read more »

Swinburne, Richard. (2011) Could anyone justifiably believe epiphenomenalism?. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 18(3-4), 196-216. info:/

  • January 9, 2016
  • 02:36 PM

Feeling sick? It’s evolution’s way of telling you to stay home

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

When you have a fever, your nose is stuffed and your headache is spreading to your toes, your body is telling you to stay home in bed. Feeling sick is an evolutionary adaptation according to a hypothesis put forward by Prof. Guy Shakhar of the Weizmann Institute’s Immunology Department and Dr. Keren Shakhar of the Psychology Department of the College of Management Academic Studies.... Read more »

join us!

Do you write about peer-reviewed research in your blog? Use to make it easy for your readers — and others from around the world — to find your serious posts about academic research.

If you don't have a blog, you can still use our site to learn about fascinating developments in cutting-edge research from around the world.

Register Now

Research Blogging is powered by SMG Technology.

To learn more, visit