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  • October 12, 2011
  • 04:03 PM

Pedophilia and the Progranulin Gene

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Solution Structure Model of Peptide Subdomain of GranulinThe development of pedophilic urges among pedophiles typically occurs during sexual maturation in adolescence.  However, in a minority of cases, pedophilic urges may emerge later in life.  An interesting case report has been published in the journal Biological Psychiatry describing a case of late-onset pedophilia.In the case description a 49 year old married man presented to a neurology clinic in with recent onset of pe........ Read more »

  • October 12, 2011
  • 03:24 PM

Cleese explains it all

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

Zatorre R, & McGill J (2005). Music, the food of neuroscience? Nature, 434 (7031), 312-5 PMID: 15772648... Read more »

Zatorre R, & McGill J. (2005) Music, the food of neuroscience?. Nature, 434(7031), 312-5. PMID: 15772648  

  • October 12, 2011
  • 12:04 PM

Want to become a wizard? Just read Harry Potter

by Psych Your Mind in Psych Your Mind

I will never forget when the final installment of the Harry Potter series came out. Myself and a few of my closest friends from college, all big HP fans, were spending the weekend at my Mom’s house. Although I hadn’t seen these friends in 6 months, although there were a ton of activities to do in that region of upstate NY, although we were twenty five years old - we could not wait to see how J.K. Rowling was going to wrap up the series. The second we picked up the Deathly Hallows, w........ Read more »

  • October 12, 2011
  • 09:59 AM

Overcoming the self-fulfilling prophecy of social rejection

by David Winter in Careers - in Theory

Way back in 2009 I wrote about the social rejection self-fulfilling prophecy. This relates to the unfortunate fact that if you are expecting someone you meet for the first time not to like you, you tend to behave more distantly towards them, which increases the chances that they won’t like you. The reverse is also [...]... Read more »

  • October 12, 2011
  • 09:02 AM

The Paradox of Protesting Democratic Wars

by Eric Horowitz in peer-reviewed by my neurons

When the Iraq war eventually came to its vague conclusion, much credit was given to the large anti-war protests that swept the nation (and deservedly so). However, a new study by researchers as the University of Geneva reveals that when it comes to the "bad PR" caused by war, protests are a mixed blessing because they make the war appear more illegitimate to other countries.... Read more »

Falomir-Pichastor, J., Staerkle, C., Pereira, A., & Butera, F. (2011) Democracy as Justification for Waging War: The Role of Public Support. Social Psychological and Personality Science. DOI: 10.1177/1948550611420172  

  • October 12, 2011
  • 07:02 AM

What happens when a juror agrees [or disagrees] with your expert witness?

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Mock jurors love to hate dueling experts who give them conflicting information regarding causation, liability, reasonableness, damages, etc. They also don’t appreciate expert witnesses who use jargon or speak so simply that jurors feel ‘talked down to’—but you already know that. What jurors want is to learn what is reliable and useful to resolve the dispute. [...]

Related posts:Hot hazy weather, violent behavior and the expert witness
When cross-examination [of the expert witness] off........ Read more »

  • October 11, 2011
  • 03:19 PM

How the Need to Pee Helps (and Hurts) Decision Making

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

The Ig Nobel awards are an annual, tongue-in-cheek version of their namesake, recognizing researchers for ridiculous-sounding papers ("How to Procrastinate and Still Get Things Done") and obscure areas of study (why do certain Australian beetles continuously attempt to mate with discarded beer bottles, even as ants chew off their genitalia?). Sometimes, the awards editorialize on the year's news: Erroneous doomsday predictor Harold Camping won this year's mathematics prize "for te........ Read more »

  • October 11, 2011
  • 01:55 PM

B12, Cognition and Brain Aging

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Molecular Model of B12-cyanocobalaminVitamin B12 is known to be important in the preservation of cognitive function in elderly populations.  I have previously reported on a study suggesting B vitamin supplementation may be related to reduction in the rate of brain atrophy associated with aging.A study of vitamin B12-related markers, cognition and brain MRI measures was recently published in the journal Neurology.  This study lends support to the importance of B12 and brain aging.  ........ Read more »

Tangney, C., Aggarwal, N., Li, H., Wilson, R., DeCarli, C., Evans, D., & Morris, M. (2011) Vitamin B12, cognition, and brain MRI measures: A cross-sectional examination. Neurology, 77(13), 1276-1282. DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e3182315a33  

  • October 11, 2011
  • 11:23 AM

Interested in human nature?

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

During a partner meeting yesterday evening at the residence of the Amsterdam municipality, the majority of the speakers list was released for the 2011 edition of the TEDxAmsterdam event. The speakers and the audience will enter the theme ‘Human Nature’ on an expedition to find out what it means to be human in a society that is increasingly dominated by technology and economical issues.... Read more »

  • October 11, 2011
  • 08:20 AM

The Good Behavior of Others Earns You the Right to be Bad

by Eric Horowitz in peer-reviewed by my neurons

Previous research on moral licensing — the idea that doing something that exhibits good morals liberates you to do something morally questionable — has found that it only applies to your own actions. However, a new study by Maryam Kouchaki of the University of Utah demonstrates that this effect holds not just when you have [...]... Read more »

  • October 11, 2011
  • 06:17 AM

Facebook and the unselfish gene

by EE Giorgi in CHIMERAS

So I finally did it. As some of you regulars may have noticed, I put the blog on Facebook. And then I instantly became needy and sent out a bulk of emails begging people to like me. I sent out five and since they're very nice friends of mine, they all liked me. And then I thought, "Well, now, my friends' friends' will like me, and then my friends' friends' friends', and then..."Hmm. That got me thinking. Does it work like with viruses? No, seriously, do "likes" spread like a viral infection in t........ Read more »

Benkler Y. (2011) The unselfish gene. Harvard business review, 89(7-8), 76. PMID: 21800472  

  • October 11, 2011
  • 02:54 AM

Mental Illness And Creativity Revisited

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

A new study offers support for the theory that mental illness is associated with "creative" achievement.The idea that madness is close to creative genius is a popular one. From the nutty professor to the tortured genius, there's no end of sterotypes, and pop culture seemingly offers plenty of examples, from Van Gogh and his ear to Charlie Sheen and his bi-winning.But is it true?A new study says yes. Kyaga et al looked at everyone in Sweden who had been treated as an inpatient for either schizoph........ Read more »

Kyaga, S., Lichtenstein, P., Boman, M., Hultman, C., Langstrom, N., & Landen, M. (2011) Creativity and mental disorder: family study of 300 000 people with severe mental disorder. The British Journal of Psychiatry. DOI: 10.1192/bjp.bp.110.085316  

  • October 11, 2011
  • 01:16 AM

Baby Pains

by Nsikan Akpan in That's Basic Science

A neuroimaging study tries to define when pain perception crops up in infants.... Read more »

  • October 10, 2011
  • 10:00 PM

A history of music cognition?

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

One of the pioneers in the field that would come to be called music cognition was H. Christopher Longuet-Higgins (1923-2004). Not only was Longuet-Higgins one of the founders of the cognitive sciences (he coined the term in 1973), but as early as 1971 he formulated, together with Mark Steedman, the first computer model of musical perception. That early work was followed in 1976 with a full-fledged alternative in the journal Nature, seven years earlier than the more widely known, but, according t........ Read more »

Longuet-Higgins, C. (1983) All in theory — the analysis of music. Nature, 304(5921), 93-93. DOI: 10.1038/304093a0  

Longuet-Higgins, H. (1976) Perception of melodies. Nature, 263(5579), 646-653. DOI: 10.1038/263646a0  

Honing, H. (2011) The illiterate Listener. On music cognition, musicality and methodology. Amsterdam University Press. info:other

  • October 10, 2011
  • 05:36 PM

Is There Anything Wrong With Incest? Emotion, Reason and Altruism in Moral Psychology

by Sam McNerney in Why We Reason

Meet Julie and Mark, two siblings who are vacationing together in France. One night after dinner and a few bottles of wine, they decide to have sex. Julie is on the pill and Mark uses a condom so there is virtually no chance that Julie will become pregnant. They enjoy it very much but decide [...]... Read more »

  • October 10, 2011
  • 09:29 AM

Managers in the middle shape change their own way

by Alex Fradera in BPS Occupational Digest

The middle child can be an awkward position in a family, and this is just as true in the workplace. Middle management juggle responsibilities to their reports and their managers, a feat trickiest when leadership decide that the organisation needs to change. Do they dutifully implement the bosses' plans, or cling to the manageable status quo? A recent qualitative study suggests this group take a third role, of ambivalent change agents.Edel Conway and Kathy Monks of Dublin City University conducte........ Read more »

  • October 10, 2011
  • 08:00 AM

Cooperation Is Child’s Play

by Krystal D'Costa in Anthropology in Practice

Cooperation confounds us: Humans are the only members of the animal kingdom to display this tendency to the extent that we do, and it’s an expensive endeavor with no guarantee of reciprocal rewards. While we continue to look for answers about how and why cooperation may have emerged in human social and cultural evolution, we [...]

... Read more »

  • October 10, 2011
  • 07:02 AM

Does familiarity improve our skill at identifying liars?

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

We want so much to believe we are able to detect deception, yet we simply aren’t good at it. Mock jurors often express the belief that they have a higher than average ability to detect deception citing nonverbal ‘tells’ and other indicators of lying. From behind the one-way observation windows, we know they are in error—but they remain [...]

Related posts:Outsmarting liars (five decades of research)
We know liars when we see ‘em
Deception Detection: The latest on what we know
... Read more »

Reinhard MA, Sporer SL, Scharmach M, & Marksteiner T. (2011) Listening, not watching: Situational familiarity and the ability to detect deception. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 101(3), 467-84. PMID: 21707196  

  • October 10, 2011
  • 02:00 AM

Fewer Friends, More Cooperation

by Thomas Shultz in Evolutionary Games Group

Cooperation is fundamental to all social and biological systems. If cells did not cooperate, multi-cellular organisms would never have evolved [1]. If people did not cooperate, there would be no nation states [2]. But this wide-scale cooperation is somewhat of a mystery from the perspective of Darwinian evolution, which would seem to favor competition for [...]... Read more »

  • October 9, 2011
  • 08:06 PM

Friday Fun: Breaking News! Correlation Does Not Equal Causation

by Psych Your Mind in Psych Your Mind

Man and IPhone pictured in loving embrace (source)

Right now I am teaching a personality psychology class and we are talking about research methods. Invariably, anytime I teach psychological methods I always end up talking about correlations--specifically, that a correlation is an association between two variables and nothing more. The important point is that correlations--even those that come from fancy associations between behavior and brain images--do not mean causation. Students are typic........ Read more »

Veerman JL, Healy GN, Cobiac LJ, Vos T, Winkler EA, Owen N, & Dunstan DW. (2011) Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: a life table analysis. British journal of sports medicine. PMID: 21844603  

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