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  • August 26, 2016
  • 03:38 AM
  • 212 views

What does the Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ) actually measure?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Higher AQ [Autism Spectrum Quotient] scores were associated with higher scores of loneliness, social anxiety, depression, and anxiety, as well as with lower scores of quality of life (QoL)."Those were some of the key findings reported by Phil Reed and colleagues [1] who used the very popular 'are you autistic?' AQ screening tool to look at the presence of autistic traits "along with depression, anxiety, loneliness, quality of life, and social anxiety" in a University student cohort (N........ Read more »

  • August 25, 2016
  • 02:50 PM
  • 241 views

The relationship between low physical activity and psychotic symptoms

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Physical activity can help reduce cardiovascular disease and premature mortality in people with psychological problems. However, there is limited data on exercise in people with serious mental disorders, especially from low- and middle-income countries. This study explored whether complying with the World Health Organization recommendations of 150 minutes of moderate-vigorous exercise per week is related to psychotic symptoms or the diagnosis of a psychosis.

... Read more »

Brendon Stubbs, Ai Koyanagi, Felipe Schuch, Joseph Firth, Simon Rosenbaum, Fiona Gaughran, James Mugisha, & Davy Vancampfort. (2016) Physical Activity Levels and Psychosis: A Mediation Analysis of Factors Influencing Physical Activity Target Achievement Among 204 186 People Across 46 Low- and Middle-Income Countries. Schizophrenia bulletin . info:/10.1093/schbul/sbw111

  • August 25, 2016
  • 03:45 AM
  • 277 views

Hospitalisation for infection and risk of death by suicide

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"An increased risk of death by suicide was found among individuals hospitalized with infection in prospective and dose-response relationships. These findings indicate that infections may have a relevant role in the pathophysiological mechanisms of suicidal behavior."Some intriguing data has been recently reported by Helene Lund-Sørensen and colleagues [1] (open-access) examining the possibility that certain types of infection (or perhaps the biological response to infection) might inc........ Read more »

  • August 24, 2016
  • 02:51 PM
  • 274 views

How long do you want to live? Your expectations for old age matter

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Why do some people want to live a very long time, while others would prefer to die relatively young? In a latest study, a team of researchers investigated how long young and middle-aged adults in the United States say they want to live in relation to a number of personal characteristics. The results showed that more than one out of six people would prefer to die younger than age 80, before reaching average life expectancy.

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  • August 24, 2016
  • 07:02 AM
  • 240 views

Psychopathy Personality Inventory—Revised (PPI-R) Scale 

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

We wrote about this scale in our last post when researchers (trying to convince the reader there is such a thing as a good psychopath for you to hire) used it in a study of German adults. The PPI-R is apparently a measure of psychopathy that is able to “detect relatively mild levels of psychopathy […]

Related posts:
The Trust in Science and Scientists Inventory Scale 
Measuring beliefs in the paranormal: The Australian Sheep Goat Scale
The Dirty Dozen Scale 


... Read more »

Lilienfeld, S. O., & Widows, M. R. (2005) Psychological Assessment Inventory–Revised (PPI-R). Lutz, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources. info:/

  • August 24, 2016
  • 04:13 AM
  • 256 views

ALSPAC says maybe to link between prenatal paracetamol exposure and childhood behavioural difficulties

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

ALSPAC - the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children - continues to give in research terms as today I approach the findings reported by Evie Stergiakouli and colleagues [1]. They observed that: "Children exposed to acetaminophen [paracetamol] prenatally are at increased risk of multiple behavioral difficulties, and the associations do not appear to be explained by unmeasured behavioral or social factors linked to acetaminophen use insofar as they are not observed........ Read more »

  • August 23, 2016
  • 02:31 PM
  • 274 views

Too much activity in certain areas of the brain is bad for memory and attention

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Neurons in the brain interact by sending each other chemical messages, so-called neurotransmitters. Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is the most common inhibitory neurotransmitter, which is important to restrain neural activity, preventing neurons from getting too trigger-happy and from firing too much or responding to irrelevant stimuli.

... Read more »

  • August 23, 2016
  • 03:47 AM
  • 234 views

Autism and/or ADHD in Down's syndrome

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"High rates of ASD [autism spectrum disorder] and ADHD [attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder] were found: 17 (42%) and 14 (34%) of the 41 children met DSM criteria for ASD and ADHD respectively."That was the conclusion reached in the study by Ulrika Oxelgren and colleagues [1] looking at the "prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in a population-based group of children and adolescents with Down syndrome." The populatio........ Read more »

Oxelgren UW, Myrelid Å, Annerén G, Ekstam B, Göransson C, Holmbom A, Isaksson A, Åberg M, Gustafsson J, & Fernell E. (2016) Prevalence of autism and attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder in Down syndrome: a population-based study. Developmental medicine and child neurology. PMID: 27503703  

  • August 22, 2016
  • 07:02 AM
  • 240 views

Listen up, HR folks! There are ‘good’ psychopaths for you to hire!

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

How to hire the "good psychopath"? ... Read more »

  • August 22, 2016
  • 05:17 AM
  • 280 views

"Theory of mind is not theory of emotion"

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

A rather interesting paper by Beth Oakley and colleagues [1] (open-access might be available here) appeared recently providing a "cautionary note on the Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test" [2], one of the premier assessments thought to offer a performance-based measure "involving mental state attribution and complex facial emotion recognition from photographs where only the eye region of the face is available."Most people with some knowledge about autism research history will have heard about the........ Read more »

  • August 20, 2016
  • 09:30 PM
  • 246 views

Are Teaching and Learning Coevolved?

by Joshua Fisher in Text Savvy

Discussions in education are increasingly focused on "how students learn," and it seems to be widely accepted that teaching should adjust itself to what we discover about this. But if teaching is as natural a human faculty as learning, then this may be only half the story. How students (naturally) learn might be caused, in part, by how teachers (naturally) teach, and vice versa. And learners perhaps should be asked to adjust to what we learn about how we teach as much as the other way ........ Read more »

  • August 20, 2016
  • 05:45 PM
  • 264 views

'I miss you so much': How Twitter is broadening the conversation on death and mourning

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Death and mourning were largely considered private matters in the 20th century, with the public remembrances common in previous eras replaced by intimate gatherings behind closed doors in funeral parlors and family homes. But social media is redefining how people grieve, and Twitter in particular -- with its ephemeral mix of rapid-fire broadcast and personal expression -- is widening the conversation around death and mourning.

... Read more »

Nina Lyn Cesare, & Jennifer Lynn Branstad. (2016) Dying and Mourning in the Twittersphere. American Sociological Association. info:/

  • August 20, 2016
  • 06:54 AM
  • 296 views

What are we getting wrong in neuroscience?

by neurosci in Neuroscientifically Challenged

In 1935, an ambitious neurology professor named Egas Moniz sat in the audience at a symposium on the frontal lobes, enthralled by neuroscientist Carlyle F. Jacobsen's description of some experiments Jacobsen had conducted with fellow investigator John Fulton. Jacobsen and Fulton had damaged the frontal lobes of a chimpanzee named "Becky," and afterwards they had observed a considerable behavioral transformation. Becky had previously been stubborn, erratic, and difficult to train, but post-operat........ Read more »

  • August 20, 2016
  • 04:47 AM
  • 259 views

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and risk of psychiatric disorder

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is an endocrine disorder affecting 5-15% of reproductive-aged women and characterized by high levels of circulating androgens."OK, go on."Women with PCOS had higher risks for a range of psychiatric disorders not shown before. Elevated risk in their siblings suggests shared familial factors between PCOS and psychiatric disorders."So said the findings reported by Carolyn Cesta and colleagues [1] who using Swedish national register data concluded that there ma........ Read more »

  • August 19, 2016
  • 07:02 AM
  • 295 views

Psychopaths brains work differently—at least when  they are criminal psychopaths

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

This will shock you, or maybe relieve you: Psychopaths are different from the rest of us. Here’s another article saying there are measurable differences in how the brains of how criminal psychopaths work (and look) when compared to non-criminal psychopaths (those who have psychopathic traits but have not been convicted of criminal offenses) and non-psychopaths. […]

Related posts:
Is this a new treatment for adult criminal psychopaths? 
I want to believe some psychopaths have feelings........ Read more »

  • August 19, 2016
  • 04:35 AM
  • 235 views

Childhood inflammation and hypomanic symptoms in young adulthood?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Higher levels of systemic inflammatory marker IL-6 in childhood were associated with hypomanic symptoms in young adulthood, suggesting that inflammation may play a role in the pathophysiology of mania."That was the conclusion reached by Joseph Hayes and colleagues [1] (open-access available here) who drew on data derived from the excellent resource that is ALSPAC ("Charting the health of 14,500 families in the Bristol area to improve the health of future generations"). I'll be talking abou........ Read more »

  • August 18, 2016
  • 08:54 AM
  • 336 views

Wait, let me google it. On the fall (and rise?) of human memory.

by gdw in FictionalFieldwork

Ruins of a memory palace Once upon a time, there were no computers. And yet, even in the ancient days when writing was not widespread, people told gigantic tales or recited poems of epic proportions. Often more than once. Admittedly, they probably changed a bit along the way, but still the plot remained intact. How […]... Read more »

  • August 18, 2016
  • 06:09 AM
  • 256 views

Mercury and autism: where the science currently stands

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Yes, I know that on the 'hot potato' scale, to talk about mercury and autism still moves the needle up to somewhere approaching furnace level for some people despite discussions on this heavy metal still figuring in several quarters. This is however a blog based on peer-reviewed science (for the most part) and so with mucho, mucho caveats included I want to draw your attention to the review paper by Janet Kern and colleagues [1] (open-access available here) and the observation that: "The pr........ Read more »

Kern JK, Geier DA, Sykes LK, Haley BE, & Geier MR. (2016) The relationship between mercury and autism: A comprehensive review and discussion. Journal of trace elements in medicine and biology : organ of the Society for Minerals and Trace Elements (GMS), 8-24. PMID: 27473827  

  • August 17, 2016
  • 02:20 PM
  • 270 views

Can cell phones make you feel less connected to your friends and family?

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

In this digital age, with phones at our fingertips, you would think that access to constant communication would make us feel closer to one another. But a new study shows that may not be the case. In fact, cell phone use might actually lead to feeling less socially connected, depending on your gender or cell phone habits.

... Read more »

  • August 17, 2016
  • 11:45 AM
  • 227 views

In Dog Training, Balance Is Off

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

It’s not a good thing when dog trainers describe themselves as ‘balanced’. Here’s why.When you think about balancing dogs, your first thoughts might be of a dog walking along a beam, all nicely balanced and not falling off. Or maybe of a dog posing for a photo with a pile of cookies balanced on their muzzle, to show off how good their balancing skills are.But, unfortunately, this is not what people mean when they refer to ‘balanced’ dog training.Balance is one of those weasel words i........ Read more »

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