Culture defines who we are but few can explain where it comes from or why we adopt one tradition over another. In the classic musical The Fiddler on the Roof the main character, Tevye, muses on this basic fact of human existence:
Here in Anatevka we have traditions for everything... how to eat, how to sleep, even, how to wear clothes. For instance, we always keep our heads covered and always wear a little prayer shawl... This shows our constant devotion to God. You may ask, how did this tradit........ Read more »
Lind, J., & Lindenfors, P. (2010) The Number of Cultural Traits Is Correlated with Female Group Size but Not with Male Group Size in Chimpanzee Communities. PLoS ONE, 5(3). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0009241
The first critique of Gibson's perceptual psychology came from noted cognitive scientists Fodor & Pylyshyn (1981). The critique was simply that Gibsonian information is an empty concept; however, this critique is ably addressed by Turvey, Shaw, Reed & Mace in the 'ecological laws' paper.... Read more »
Fodor, J., . (1981) How direct is visual perception?: Some reflections on Gibson's “ecological approach”. Cognition, 9(2), 139-196. DOI: 10.1016/0010-0277(81)90009-3
Turvey, M. T., Shaw, R. E., Reed, E. S., . (1981) Ecological laws of perceiving and acting: In reply to Fodor and Pylyshyn (1981). Cognition, 9(3), 237-304. DOI: 10.1016/0010-0277(81)90002-0
Weiss (2008) discusses some of the similarities and differences in how women and men experience sexual victimisation. That includes the fact that men are less likely to report having been abused to police, their emphasis on fighting back against male perpetrators, and in certain situations, blaming alcohol for their temporary loss of masculine control. ... Read more »
Weiss, K. (2008) Male Sexual Victimization: Examining Men's Experiences of Rape and Sexual Assault. Men and Masculinities, 12(3), 275-298. DOI: 10.1177/1097184X08322632
Prospective Memory (PM or ProM- I’ll be using the term PM) is defined as a number of functions that enable a person to carry out an intended act after a delay (Burgess et al., 2001). A significant number (50–80%) of all everyday memory problems are, at least in part, PM problems (Kliegel & Martin, 2003). [...]... Read more »
Altgassen, M., Schmitz-Hübsch, M., & Kliegel, M. (2009) Event-based prospective memory performance in autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders, 2(1), 2-8. DOI: 10.1007/s11689-009-9030-y
"Voodoo correlations in social neuroscience" was the original title of a paper that first caused a stir in late December 2008, when a manuscript accepted by Perspectives on Psychological Science was made available on the authors' websites. Vul, Harris, Winkielman, and Pashler produced a "bombshell of a paper" that questioned the implausibly high correlations observed in some fMRI studies in the field of Social Neuroscience. Ed Vul et al. surveyed the authors of 54 papers to determine the an........ Read more »
Lieberman, M., Berkman, E., & Wager, T. (2009) Correlations in Social Neuroscience Aren't Voodoo: Commentary on Vul et al. (2009). Perspectives on Psychological Science, 4(3), 299-307. DOI: 10.1111/j.1745-6924.2009.01128.x
There's a rather timely article in the current American Journal of Psychiatry: Assuring That Double-Blind Is Blind.Generally, when the list of the authors' conflicts of interest (550 words) is nearly as long as the text of the paper (740 words), it's not a good sign, but this one isn't bad. Perlis et al remind us that if you do a double-blind placebo controlled trial:The blind may be compromised in a variety of ways, however, beginning with differences in medication taste or smell. Of partic........ Read more »
Moncrieff J, Wessely S, & Hardy R. (2004) Active placebos versus antidepressants for depression. Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online). PMID: 14974002
The main results from the analysis include that: (a) females have more disorientation problems than males; (b) flexible paths are more beneficial to experts while structured content is more useful to novices; and (c) Field Dependent and Field Independent users prefer to employ different search strategies.... Read more »
Chen, S., & Macredie, R. (2010) Web-based interaction: A review of three important human factors. International Journal of Information Management. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijinfomgt.2010.02.009
If Mondays are for single studies of cognition in various animals that we know of as pets, then Wednesdays are for longer syntheses of research in one area of knowledge, or in one animal.
Figure 1: Number representation. From whence did it come?
Today is about number. We’re going to focus on one aspect of number cognition, [...]... Read more »
Barth H, Kanwisher N, & Spelke E. (2003) The construction of large number representations in adults. Cognition, 86(3), 201-21. PMID: 12485738
Lipton JS, & Spelke ES. (2003) Origins of number sense. Large-number discrimination in human infants. Psychological science : a journal of the American Psychological Society / APS, 14(5), 396-401. PMID: 12930467
Mechner F. (1958) Probability Relations within Response Sequences under Ratio Reinforcement. Journal of the experimental analysis of behavior, 1(2), 109-21. PMID: 16811206
Hauser, M., Tsao, F., Garcia, P., & Spelke, E. (2003) Evolutionary foundations of number: spontaneous representation of numerical magnitudes by cotton-top tamarins. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 270(1523), 1441-1446. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2003.2414
We're slower to direct our attention to the same location twice in succession, a well-established phenomenon that cognitive psychologists call 'inhibition of return' (IoR). It's thought the mechanism may act to make our search of the visual scene more efficient by deterring us from looking at the same spot twice. Now Paul Skarratt and his colleagues have documented a new 'social' form of inhibition of return, in which people are slower to attend to a location that social cues, such as gaze direc........ Read more »
This report is a systematic review of the evidence on Exercise for overweight or obesity. It's in the form of a Cochrane Report. The Cochrane Collaboration is an international, independent, not-for-profit organisation of over 27,000 contributors from more than 100 countries, dedicated to making up-to-date, accurate information about the effects of health care readily available worldwide. It is a thorough review of the evidence in the area of obesity and exercise and it........ Read more »
Figure 1: Zooky stole his bone.
I know that I wrote about dogs yesterday. I don’t usually like to focus too much on any one particular animal two days in a row. But. This paper was too cool to put off.
Different dog growls mean different things, right? Probably. But can you tell the difference?
Here’s a dog [...]... Read more »
Farago, T., Pongracz, P., Range, F., Viranyi, Z., & Miklosi, A. (2010) ‘The bone is mine’: affective and referential aspects of dog growls. Animal Behaviour, 917-925. info:/10.1016/j.anbehav.2010.01.005
I can’t remember a time when people working in health were told ‘Go and spend as much as you like to help people get well’ – in fact, in over 20 years I can only recall being told ‘there is less money in the kitty, we need to look for efficiencies, tighten your belts’!
So it’s [...]... Read more »
Lamb, S., Hansen, Z., Lall, R., Castelnuovo, E., Withers, E., Nichols, V., Potter, R., & Underwood, M. (2010) Group cognitive behavioural treatment for low-back pain in primary care: a randomised controlled trial and cost-effectiveness analysis. The Lancet, 375(9718), 916-923. DOI: 10.1016/s0140-6736(09)62164-4
Allcock N, Elkan R, & Williams J. (2007) Patients referred to a pain management clinic: beliefs, expectations and priorities. Journal of advanced nursing, 60(3), 248-56. PMID: 17908123
Admittedly I am still becoming familiar with Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) in preparation for stage 2 of my research. To do this I have attended training, read literature and had a go at using SEM software such as AMOS 7. One paper which was heartily recommended by the training facilitator was MacCallum & Austin (2000). Even ten [...]... Read more »
MacCallum RC, & Austin JT. (2000) Applications of structural equation modeling in psychological research. Annual review of psychology, 201-26. PMID: 10751970
Accessibility Level: Intermediate/Advanced
Today we’re again looking at the theme of increasing specialization in the brain over development. Rather than specialization in terms of spatial extent, as touched on in Brown 2004, Cerebral Cortex, this paper’s finding suggests specialization in processing of sensory modalities.
Church and colleagues tested children (age 7-10) and adults (18-35
... Read more »
Church JA, Coalson RS, Lugar HM, Petersen SE, & Schlaggar BL. (2008) A developmental fMRI study of reading and repetition reveals changes in phonological and visual mechanisms over age. Cerebral cortex (New York, N.Y. : 1991), 18(9), 2054-65. PMID: 18245043
People are generally bad at estimating the slopes of hills, often overestimating their steepness many times over. The overestimates are even greater when subjects are asked to wear a heavy backpack. The effect of the backpack was thought to be due to an influence of physiology on conscious perception, but a new study by Durgin and colleagues suggests it might result from subjects guessing the purpose of the experiment.... Read more »
Proffitt, D. R. P., Bhalla, M., Gossweiler, R., & Midgett, J. (1995) Perceiving geographical slant. Psychonomic Bulletin , 409-428. info:/
Bhalla M, & Proffitt DR. (1999) Visual-motor recalibration in geographical slant perception. Journal of experimental psychology. Human perception and performance, 25(4), 1076-96. PMID: 10464946
Durgin, F., Baird, J., Greenburg, M., Russell, R., Shaughnessy, K., & Waymouth, S. (2009) Who is being deceived? The experimental demands of wearing a backpack. Psychonomic Bulletin , 16(5), 964-969. DOI: 10.3758/PBR.16.5.964
Happy Monday. Mondays are usually pretty rough, but now they’re about to become a little bit better for you, dear reader. And that is because I’m now several months into this blogging thing, and since I seem to enjoy it, and some of you seem to enjoy it, I’m going to make an attempt at [...]... Read more »
Bekoff, M. (1995) Play Signals as Punctuation: the Structure of Social Play in Canids. Behaviour, 132(5), 419-429. DOI: 10.1163/156853995X00649
Coyle et al. (2009) discuss how the lack of appropriate preabortion counselling, and conflict over the decision-making process, can lead to distinct psychological symptoms in women, and in men.
... Read more »
Coyle, C., Coleman, P., & Rue, V. (2009) Inadequate Preabortion Counseling and Decision Conflict as Predictors of Subsequent Relationship Difficulties and Psychological Stress in Men and Women. Traumatology, 16(1), 16-30. DOI: 10.1177/1534765609347550
The sight of their own blood plays a key role in the comfort that some non-suicidal people find in deliberately cutting themselves. That's according to a new study by Catherine Glenn and David Klonsky that suggests it is those self-harmers who have more serious psychological problems who are more likely to say the sight of blood is important.There are plenty of anecdotal reports hinting at the importance of the sight and taste of blood to self-harmers, as well as references in popular music. 'Ye........ Read more »
Glenn, C., & Klonsky, E. (2010) The Role of seeing blood in non-suicidal self-injury. Journal of Clinical Psychology. DOI: 10.1002/jclp.20661
Anna O.'s Default Mode. Anna O. is the famous patient whose case was included in Studies on Hysteria by Josef Breuer and Sigmund Freud. Midsagittal brain image (PALS cortical surface atlas, Van Essen 2005) shows resting state functional connectivity in three cortical networks: (i) dorsal attention system (DAS, blue); (ii) the salience system (light green); and (iii) the default mode network (orange). [Taken from Fig. 2 of Carhart-Harris & Friston 2010. Justin Vincent and Randy Buckner are ........ Read more »
Carhart-Harris, R., & Friston, K. (2010) The default-mode, ego-functions and free-energy: a neurobiological account of Freudian ideas. Brain. DOI: 10.1093/brain/awq010
How willing are you to have persistent pain? Can you accept pain without fighting against it? If you were told your pain was going to be there forever, would you avoid important activities or would you start to get back into life again?
Recently I reviewed about 200 questionnaires completed by people attending the [...]... Read more »
Fish, R., McGuire, B., Hogan, M., Morrison, T., & Stewart, I. (2010) Validation of the Chronic Pain Acceptance Questionnaire (CPAQ) in an Internet sample and development and preliminary validation of the CPAQ-8. Pain. DOI: 10.1016/j.pain.2009.12.016
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