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  • April 5, 2015
  • 03:05 PM
  • 156 views

Gender differences in moral judgements linked to emotion

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

If a time machine was available, would it be right to kill Adolf Hitler when he was still a young Austrian artist to prevent World War II and save millions of lives? Should a police officer torture an alleged bomber to find hidden explosives that could kill many people at a local cafe? When faced with such dilemmas, men are typically more willing to accept harmful actions for the sake of the greater good than women. For example, women would be less likely to support the killing of a young Hitler........ Read more »

  • April 4, 2015
  • 05:52 AM
  • 57 views

Academic Journals In Glass Houses... (Updated)

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

A psychiatry journal, the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease (JNMD), has just published a remarkable attack on another journal, Frontiers in Psychology. Here's the piece: it's by the JNMD's own Statistics Editor. In it, he writes that:
To be perfectly candid, the reader needs to be informed that the journal that published the Lakens (2013) article, Frontiers in Psychology, is one of an increasing number of journals that charge exorbitant publication fees in exchange for free open access to p... Read more »

  • April 4, 2015
  • 04:55 AM
  • 138 views

No evidence for efficacy of omega-3 fatty acids on [autism] core symptom domains

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

To quote from the study by Deepali Mankad and colleagues [1] (open-access): "This study does not support high dose supplementation of omega-3 fatty acids in young children with ASD [autism spectrum disorder]."Only yesterday I was discussing the results from Bos and colleagues [2] (see here) and the idea that inattention might be a target behaviour for supplementation with PUFAs [polyunsaturated fatty acids] with (and without) ADHD [attention deficit hyperactivity disorder] in mind. The........ Read more »

Mankad, D., Dupuis, A., Smile, S., Roberts, W., Brian, J., Lui, T., Genore, L., Zaghloul, D., Iaboni, A., Marcon, P.... (2015) A randomized, placebo controlled trial of omega-3 fatty acids in the treatment of young children with autism. Molecular Autism, 6(1). DOI: 10.1186/s13229-015-0010-7  

  • April 3, 2015
  • 04:29 AM
  • 157 views

Improving inattention in boys with and without ADHD

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The [truncated] PubMed listing of the abstract by Dienke Bos and colleagues [1] does little justice to the results reported by this group looking at the effects of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation on the behaviour of boys both diagnosed with ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder) and those who are described as 'typically developing'.Luckily the paper is open-access (see here) and one can get a true flavour of what happened to this cohort of boys with and without a diagnosis of AD........ Read more »

Bos DJ, Oranje B, Veerhoek ES, Van Diepen RM, Weusten JM, Demmelmair H, Koletzko B, de Sain-van der Velden MG, Eilander A, Hoeksma M.... (2015) Reduced symptoms of inattention after Dietary Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation in boys with and without Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Neuropsychopharmacology : official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology. PMID: 25790022  

  • April 2, 2015
  • 02:55 PM
  • 124 views

Beta secretase inhibitors to treat Alzheimer's disease

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

With each new amyloid-targeting treatment for Alzheimer’s disease that has been developed, there has been a corresponding concern. For example, antibodies targeting amyloid-β peptide (Aβ) produce inflammation in the brain in some patients. Gamma secretase inhibitors tend to produce adverse effects by interacting with Notch, an important pathway for cellular signaling. However, a new target for alzheimer’s is offering some new hope.... Read more »

Filser, S., Ovsepian, S., Masana, M., Blazquez‐Llorca, L., Brandt Elvang, A., Volbracht, C., Müller, M., Jung, C., & Herms, J. (2015) Pharmacological Inhibition of BACE1 Impairs Synaptic Plasticity and Cognitive Functions. Biological Psychiatry, 77(8), 729-739. DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2014.10.013  

  • April 2, 2015
  • 02:11 PM
  • 141 views

Underage drinking has lasting effects on the brain and epigenetics

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

The rise of underage drinking has almost left a sense that it is acceptable or even free of long-term consequences. Unfortunately because the brain continues forming long into the early twenties, environmental factors can have a large impact on the development. In fact, research shows that binge-drinking during adolescence may perturb brain development at a critical time and leave lasting effects on genes and behavior that persist into adulthood.... Read more »

  • April 2, 2015
  • 10:56 AM
  • 32 views

Just how plastic is the brain?

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

By guest blogger David RobsonA patient researchers call “M.M.” had lived for 40 years as if he was viewing the world through frosted-glass on a moonlit night. The reason? When he was just 3 years old, a chemical explosion destroyed one eye and left the other damaged beyond repair. Without a cornea to focus clear images on his retina, he could see no more than a vague perception of dark and bright.Then, in the early 2000s, the seemingly unthinkable happened. Thanks to advances in stem cell re........ Read more »

Huber, E., Webster, J., Brewer, A., MacLeod, D., Wandell, B., Boynton, G., Wade, A., & Fine, I. (2015) A Lack of Experience-Dependent Plasticity After More Than a Decade of Recovered Sight. Psychological Science. DOI: 10.1177/0956797614563957  

  • April 2, 2015
  • 06:25 AM
  • 113 views

Did A Soviet Psychiatrist Discover Autism In 1925?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

Who discovered autism? Traditionally, the priority has been ascribed to two psychiatrists, Leo Kanner and Hans Asperger, who both published independent but remarkably similar descriptions of the syndrome in 1943 - 44 (although Asperger had released a preliminary description in 1938.)




But according to a new paper in the Nordic Journal of Psychiatry, both Kanner and Asperger were scooped by nearly two decades - by a Soviet child psychiatrist, Grunya Efimovna Sukhareva. She described a syn... Read more »

Manouilenko I, & Bejerot S. (2015) Sukhareva - Prior to Asperger and Kanner. Nordic Journal of Psychiatry, 1-4. PMID: 25826582  

  • April 2, 2015
  • 03:12 AM
  • 130 views

Physical activity and sleep in autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Sleep issues are not an uncommon feature for quite a few people on the autism spectrum (see here).Autism research has provided some pretty strong evidence to support that last sentence and how sleep, or a lack of it in terms of quality and/or quantity, might not be optimal for people on the autism spectrum (as it isn't for those not on the spectrum).The hows and whys of sleep affecting the behavioural presentation of autism are still a little in the air outside of what is known more generally ab........ Read more »

  • April 1, 2015
  • 05:37 AM
  • 138 views

Gulf War agents and delayed onset of symptoms in mice

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I was recently intrigued by the findings reported by Zuchra Zakirova and colleagues [1] (open-access) on what happened to mice following 'acute' exposure to pyridostigmine bromide (PB) and the pesticide permethrin (PER) in the context of these compounds being "key contributors to the etiology of GWI [Gulf War Illness] post deployment to the Persian GW [Gulf War]."I've covered the topic of Gulf War Syndrome (GWS) before on this blog (see here) and how, foll........ Read more »

  • March 31, 2015
  • 04:23 PM
  • 131 views

Ovulation changes women’s desire for variety in products

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

We know that hormones affect who we are, even when we aren’t aware of it. In the past scientists have found that people who are hungry tend to buy more things, no surprise for those of us who have shopped hungry. However, new research shows that women seek a greater variety of products and services, specifically when they are ovulating.... Read more »

  • March 31, 2015
  • 05:27 AM
  • 111 views

How time pressure improves decision making in emergency situations

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

A new simulation of a complex, realistic disaster event suggests that time pressure facilitates better decision-making among emergency responders. The two-day training exercise, overseen by Liverpool’s Centre for Critical and Major Incident Psychology, looked at the impact of a hypothetical aeroplane crash over a city. Nearly two hundred professionals were split into different rooms based on the agency they belonged to (14 agencies in all, including police, transport, health and science adviso........ Read more »

Alison, L., Power, N., van den Heuvel, C., Humann, M., Palasinksi, M., & Crego, J. (2015) Decision inertia: Deciding between least worst outcomes in emergency responses to disasters. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology. DOI: 10.1111/joop.12108  

  • March 31, 2015
  • 05:03 AM
  • 124 views

How to improve memory five times in less than an hour?

by Usman Paracha in SayPeople

Main Point:

You can enhance your memory nearly five times with the help of 45-60 minutes of sleep.

Published in:

Neurobiology of Learning and Memory

Study Further:

Memory is the power of retaining, remembering, and recalling past experiences and knowledge. Normally, new information moves away from the mind quite rapidly as we are prone to forget things. Every one of us wants to have a good memory. Researchers are working on new techniques to improve memory that may range from exer........ Read more »

Studte, S., Bridger, E., & Mecklinger, A. (2015) Nap sleep preserves associative but not item memory performance. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 84-93. DOI: 10.1016/j.nlm.2015.02.012  

  • March 31, 2015
  • 04:35 AM
  • 125 views

Is anhedonia a key component of depression comorbid to autism?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Anhedonia: the inability to experience pleasure from activities usually found enjoyable.Although by no means an expert on anhedonia (or much else), I believe that it is a concept quite important when it comes to making a diagnosis of depression although the precise hows and whys of connecting anhedonia to other symptoms are still the source of some discussion [1].The paper from Vicki Bitsika & Christopher Sharpley [2] brings the concepts of anhedonia and depression into v........ Read more »

  • March 30, 2015
  • 11:32 AM
  • 147 views

Gut Feelings

by Miss Behavior in The Scorpion and the Frog

This boy may be influencing who he will marry when he grows up. Photo by Orrling at Wikimedia Commons.Animals (including humans) are swarming with microorganisms both on and in our bodies. Humans harbor so many different microorganisms that we have over 150 times more microbial genes than mammalian genes, and it is reasonable to suspect that this scenario is similar for most animals. But before you run to soak in a tub of hand sanitizer, you should realize that many of these microorganisms are a........ Read more »

Ezenwa, V., Gerardo, N., Inouye, D., Medina, M., & Xavier, J. (2012) Animal Behavior and the Microbiome. Science, 338(6104), 198-199. DOI: 10.1126/science.1227412  

  • March 30, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 163 views

Simple Jury Persuasion: “Hey, look over here for a second!” 

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

This is sort of scary research. We all like to think our views on moral issues are pretty consistent and not easily shaken. That would be incorrect. They are not consistent and they are easily shaken. At least these are the conclusions reached by this research. We’ve written before about on which side of the […]

Related posts:
Simple Jury Persuasion: Telling jurors where to look
Simple Jury Persuasion: Activate the ‘intuitive prosecutor’
Simple Jury Persuasion: It’s really prett........ Read more »

Pärnamets P, Johansson P, Hall L, Balkenius C, Spivey MJ, & Richardson DC. (2015) Biasing moral decisions by exploiting the dynamics of eye gaze. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 25775604  

  • March 30, 2015
  • 04:58 AM
  • 85 views

Could you tell the difference between a person's memory and their imagination?

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

If I gave you a written description of an object – let's say a boat – would you be able to judge whether the author had written about the boat from their memory of it, as opposed to having written about a boat they'd imagined?It's a question with real-world importance because, in court, we often rely on eyewitness memories and it's up to a jury to determine their source and veracity. But memory, like the imagination, is a creative process. Sometimes the two even become blurred – it's quite........ Read more »

  • March 30, 2015
  • 03:20 AM
  • 129 views

Asthma and ADHD (again)

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Asthmatic children had a higher risk of also having ADHD."That was the conclusion reached by Kirsten Holmberg and colleagues [1] based on their analysis of rates of ADHD, and other variables found "through the Swedish Twin Register, linked to the Swedish Medical Birth Register, the National Patient Register and the Prescribed Drug Register." Said data came from over 20,000 twins who's parents were questioned when children were aged 9 or 12 years.For those unfamiliar with the proposed conne........ Read more »

  • March 29, 2015
  • 08:05 PM
  • 120 views

UK Researchers find parental perception of child’s weight is skewed

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Childhood obesity affects more than double the amount of children it did 30 years ago, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC). To figure out why the rate is increasing researchers studied the relationship between parents and their obese children to determine how to improve pediatric health. The study actually reveals how poorly parents rate their own child’s weight issues — at least until they reach extreme levels of obesity.... Read more »

Black et al. (2015) Child obesity cut-offs as derived from parental perceptions: cross-sectional questionnaire. British Journal of General Practice. info:/10.3399/bjgp15X684385

  • March 29, 2015
  • 04:39 AM
  • 128 views

Sera from children with autism inducing autistic features in rats?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"The autism sera injected rats demonstrated developmental delay and deficits in social communication, interaction, and novelty."That was one of the findings reported in the paper by Syed Faraz Kazim and colleagues [1] (open-access) who, among other things, injected intracerebroventricularly sera collected from children with autism into newborn rats and examined behavioural effects compared with injections of sera from asymptomatic controls. Actually, that was only one part of the resea........ Read more »

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