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  • May 26, 2010
  • 08:09 PM

Book sales, frumpy readers, and mental rotation of book titles

by Grant Jacobs in Code for life

Last Friday I attended the 30th annual 24-hour book sale at the Regent Theatre, Dunedin, held to raise funds to maintain that glorious old place, all red seating with the lolly-decorated proscenium arch and pillars of an older era. Books are donated, collected and sorted by volunteers and “sold” to the punters.
It starts at noon Friday [...]... Read more »

Koriat, A., & Norman, J. (1985) Reading rotated words. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 11(4), 490-508. DOI: 10.1037//0096-1523.11.4.490  

Michael D. Byrne. (2002) Reading vertical text: rotated vs. marquee. Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 46th Annual Meeting, 1633-1635. info:other/

  • May 26, 2010
  • 04:59 PM

The Price of Faking It

by Daniel Hawes in Ingenious Monkey | 20-two-5

Buying counterfeits might be cheaper than buying original brand names, but wearing counterfeit products might have a different cost: Your honesty and your perception of other people's honesty...... Read more »

Gino F, Norton MI, & Ariely D. (2010) The counterfeit self: the deceptive costs of faking it. Psychological science : a journal of the American Psychological Society / APS, 21(5), 712-20. PMID: 20483851  

  • May 26, 2010
  • 03:17 PM

Is Bipolar Disorder a Circadian Rhythm Problem?

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

By Hannah Dunbar (Brain Post Note: Hannah Dunbar is a Oral Roberts University undergraduate student who is doing a summer research elective with me. She will be providing some guest posts over the next two months related to her interest in sleep and bipolar disorder.) Bipolar disorder is commonly characterized by sleep fluctations and distrubance of a regular circadian rhythm. It is logical to explore the role of circadian clock genes in bipolar disorder genetic studies. Pediatric bipolar dis........ Read more »

McGrath, C., Glatt, S., Sklar, P., Le-Niculescu, H., Kuczenski, R., Doyle, A., Biederman, J., Mick, E., Faraone, S., Niculescu, A.... (2009) Evidence for genetic association of RORB with bipolar disorder. BMC Psychiatry, 9(1), 70. DOI: 10.1186/1471-244X-9-70  

  • May 26, 2010
  • 12:08 PM

Autism and white Matter/Myelination: the opposite of creativty/psychosis phenotype?

by sandygautam in The Mouse Trap

Image via Wikipedia

A new paper by Ben Bashat et al extends their earlier findings that had found that there was accelerated maturation of white matter in children with Autism. In this new paper they use Tract Based Spatial statistics (TBSS) to determine the white matter integrity of children (age around 3 years) with Autism as More >Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)

Related posts:Creativity-psychosis linkage via reduced white matter /myelination I have been following........ Read more »

Weinstein, M., Ben-Sira, L., Levy, Y., Zachor, D., Itzhak, E., Artzi, M., Tarrasch, R., Eksteine, P., Hendler, T., & Bashat, D. (2010) Abnormal white matter integrity in young children with autism. Human Brain Mapping. DOI: 10.1002/hbm.21042  

Ben Bashat, D., Kronfeld-Duenias, V., Zachor, D., Ekstein, P., Hendler, T., Tarrasch, R., Even, A., Levy, Y., & Ben Sira, L. (2007) Accelerated maturation of white matter in young children with autism: A high b value DWI study. NeuroImage, 37(1), 40-47. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2007.04.060  

  • May 26, 2010
  • 09:57 AM

Can Men's Risk-Taking Behaviours be called 'Health Promotion'?

by Ultimo167 in Strong Silent Types

Soffer (2010) thinks that men do 'type 1' health-promoting behaviours (exercise, diet and not snacking) better than women, although he claims that women are better at 'type 2' health-promoting behaviours (not smoking or drinking, sleeping well and eating breakfast) than men. But who gets stressed more?... Read more »

  • May 26, 2010
  • 08:20 AM

To Improve Girls' Science Scores, Show Them Women Scientists

by David Berreby in Mind Matters

Standardized tests are supposed to measure innate abilities. The subject of your last conversation, the lead story on the news last night, the pictures on the wall at the test site—this trivia is presumed to have zero impact on your score in geometry or chemistry. Trouble is, it's increasingly clear that this presumption is simply false. Case in point: This study, published in last month's Journal of Social Psychology, which erased the usual gender gap in high-school chemistry ........ Read more »

  • May 26, 2010
  • 08:15 AM

Whales, Dolphins, and Human Rights

by Jason Goldman in The Thoughtful Animal

The perspective that whales, dolphins, and other such marine mammals should be afforded "human rights" has surfaced again.

I thought I'd revisit a post I wrote about this several months ago, from the archives, when this first hit the news after the AAAS conference in San Diego. So here's a modified, updated version of the original post.

The blogosphere is all a-twitter with talk of the recent commentary in Science that dolphins should be considered people. Well, sort of people. Non-human peopl........ Read more »

Grimm, D. (2010) Is a Dolphin a Person?. Science, 327(5969), 1070-1071. DOI: 10.1126/science.327.5969.1070-c  

Marino, L. (2004) Dolphin cognition. Current Biology, 14(21). DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2004.10.010  

  • May 25, 2010
  • 10:02 PM

Mindreading by looking at the eyes: do we improve as we age?

by NeuroKüz in NeuroKüz

Do you think you’re good at understanding people by looking them in the eye? This skill is not only important for making money playing poker but for social situations, relationships and everyday professional interactions.Recently, scientific interest in mindreading by looking others in the eye has increased, mainly within the context of ‘theory of mind’ – the general capacity to understand one’s own and other people’s mental states (e.g. emotions, desires, beliefs). A test that is co........ Read more »

Castelli I, Baglio F, Blasi V, Alberoni M, Falini A, Liverta-Sempio O, Nemni R, & Marchetti A. (2010) Effects of aging on mindreading ability through the eyes: An fMRI study. Neuropsychologia. PMID: 20457166  

  • May 25, 2010
  • 04:55 PM

Science can't prove that! How rejecting evolution leads to rejecting science

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

Recent studies have shown that, at least in the USA, science and religion don't really mix. Religious people tend to have worse understanding of science, and scientists are, of course, far less religious that the general population (probably because they start out that way, before they ever get to university).

We also know that religious people are much more likely to reject evolution. You think there's a connection here? Well, no doubt. But new research suggests that the connection runs deeper........ Read more »

  • May 25, 2010
  • 04:26 PM

Scientific Impotence: How to Reject Belief-Challenging Research

by Daniel Hawes in Ingenious Monkey | 20-two-5

There are several ways of responding to belief-threatening information. Discounting the ability of science to inform a particular domain of knowledge seems to be one that is used in the light of belief-threatening scientific evidence. Sadly, using the scientific impotence excuse in one domain seems to also increase the likelihood of applying it to science in general...... Read more »

  • May 25, 2010
  • 12:00 PM

I had no choice but to post this

by Andrew Lyons in The Psych Student

According to biologist Anthony Cashmore’s theory on human behavior, there was no way I wasn’t going to write this blog post. Taking his work to its logical conclusion, it was environmentally and biologically predetermined that I was going to write this sentence and choose these words to do it. When I pause here and there to think about which word expression to use, I’m actually experiencing the illusion of free will. Really?... Read more »

  • May 25, 2010
  • 09:13 AM

New Study: 'Celebrity Endorsements' Sway Chimps, Too

by David Berreby in Mind Matters

Human beings give their attention readily to people who already have it. It doesn't matter if a guy won fame for his action movies, people will listen to his advice on carbon sequestration, and go out an buy his brand of shoe. That's not logical, but it does follow a predictable rule, which is that being famous, "cool" and/or prestigious gives you ready access to the minds of others. That bias may have evolved a very long time ago, according to this paper in the journal PLoS One last w........ Read more »

Horner, V., Proctor, D., Bonnie, K., Whiten, A., & de Waal, F. (2010) Prestige Affects Cultural Learning in Chimpanzees. PLoS ONE, 5(5). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0010625  

  • May 25, 2010
  • 08:39 AM

‘Halfalogues’ Demand Attention

by agoldstein in WiSci

Why is overhearing another person’s phone conversations so darned annoying? Cornell researchers site attention demands of "halfalogues" as the answer.... Read more »

  • May 25, 2010
  • 08:32 AM

ResearchBlogCast #7: Why would we ever cooperate?

by Dave Munger in News

Cooperation is seen not only in humans, but in societies formed by organisms from ants to baboons. But in many cases, it’s difficult to figure out why any individual would want to cooperate. Wouldn’t it be easier just to take what you want without doing any work? While cooperation is good for the group, why [...]... Read more »

  • May 25, 2010
  • 06:00 AM

What might have been

by David Winter in Careers - in Theory

Can dreaming up alternatives to what actually happened ever be anything more than a waste of time and effort? ... Read more »

  • May 25, 2010
  • 05:57 AM

The psychological barriers facing MMR promotion campaigns

by Christian Jarrett in BPS Research Digest

A focus group study of parents' attitudes towards interventions promoting uptake of the MMR vaccine suggests it is better for health advice to be seen as independent from government. The findings come after the General Medical Council ruled yesterday that Andrew Wakefield, the doctor who first suggested a link between the MMR vaccine and autism, was guilty of serious professional misconduct.The MMR vaccine protects children against measles, mumps and rubella. Unfortunately the number of UK paren........ Read more »

  • May 25, 2010
  • 04:44 AM

That Pesky Number 7

by Simon Harper in Thinking Out Loud

In reality then, we have trouble differentiating uni-dimensional stimuli such as audible tones played without reference to each other, but we can differentiate more than seven tones when played in a sequence, or separately when multiple dimensions such as loudness and pitch are varied. Further, we are able to remember more then seven things within a list especially if those things are related or can be judged relatively, or occur as part of a sequence.... Read more »

  • May 24, 2010
  • 06:11 PM

X-ed Out.

by Dirk Hanson in Addiction Inbox

Another look at MDMA and serotonin.
A study by Canada’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) has confirmed earlier findings that chronic users of ecstasy (MDMA) have abnormally low levels of serotonin transporter molecules in the cerebral cortex.
While a decade of research on the effects of ecstasy on brain serotonin has been controversial and largely inconclusive, the latest study used drug hair analysis to confirm levels of MDMA in 49 users and 50 controls. An additional division ........ Read more »

  • May 24, 2010
  • 06:10 PM

Is a Little Bullying—Offline and Online—Good for You?

by Krystal D'Costa in Anthropology in Practice

Following my discussion on bullying and cyberbullying, the NYT featured an article discussing the ways "antagonistic relationships can often enhance social and emotional development more than they impede it." The article suggests that when someone dislikes you, "it may be adaptive to dislike them back." This two part post will explore the following questions:Are there documented benefits to

... Read more »

  • May 24, 2010
  • 06:10 PM

Evidence Suggesting that Specialized Visual Regions Are Formed by Pruning in Early Childhood

by Livia in Reading and Word Recognition Research

There are quite a few specialized visual regions in the brain. For example, the fusiform face area (FFA) activates for faces, and the visual word form area (VWFA) in the left fusiform is consistently active for words.

How do these specialized...

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