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  • September 4, 2010
  • 08:33 AM
  • 907 views

the original Whorf

by Chris in The Lousy Linguist

Guy Deutcher's NYT's article on how language affects thought continues to get buzz, as surely his book Through The Language Glass will when people read it (it was just released 3 days ago and is currently #234 on Amazon's book rank). One common reaction amongst bloggers is that Deutscher gives Whorf himself unfairly harsh treatment, and ultimately mis-represents Whorf's own opinions.For example, Kathryn Woolard, SLA President, says "Whorf’s own statements of his theory look little like the car........ Read more »

Benjamin Lee Whorf. (1940) Science and Linguistics. MIT Technology Review, 42(6). info:other/

  • September 3, 2010
  • 06:48 PM
  • 892 views

Psychological Flexibility Improves Your Health and Well-Being

by Ultimo167 in Strong Silent Types

Could it be that becoming more psychologically flexible could effectively heal much psychopathology? Kashdan and Rottenberg (2010) seem to think so.... Read more »

  • September 3, 2010
  • 11:13 AM
  • 682 views

Are "Antipsychotics" Antipsychotics?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

This is the question asked by Tilman Steinert & Martin Jandl in a letter to the journal Psychopharmacology.They point out that in the past 20 years, the word "antipsychotic" has exploded in popularity. Less than 100 academic papers were published with that word in the title in 1990, but now it's over 600.The older term for the same drugs was "neuroleptics". This terminology, however, has slowly but surely fallen into disuse over the same time period.To illustrate this they have a nice graph ........ Read more »

Tilman Steinert and Martin Jandl. (2010) Are antipsychotics antipsychotics? . Psychopharmacology. DOI: 10.1007/s00213-010-1927-3  

  • September 3, 2010
  • 10:44 AM
  • 1,467 views

Human, quadruped: Uner Tan Syndrome, part 1

by gregdowney in Neuroanthropology


The photos that accompanied news releases about quadrupedal people living in Turkey, members of a family that allegedly could not walk except on hands and feet, looked staged when I first saw them. Three women and one man scrambling across rocky ground, the women in brightly coloured clothing, the sky radiant blue behind them, their eyes forward and backsides high in the air – like children engaged in some sort of awkward race at a field day or sporting carnival.
Members of a Turkish family ........ Read more »

Herz J, Boycott KM, & Parboosingh JS. (2008) "Devolution" of bipedality. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 105(21). PMID: 18487453  

Humphrey, Nicholas, Stefan Mundlos, & Seval Türkmen. (2008) Genes and quadrupedal locomotion in humans. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science , 105(21). DOI: 10.1073 pnas.0802839105  

Susanne M. Morton,, & Amy J. Bastian. (2007) Mechanisms of cerebellar gait ataxia. The Cerebellum, 6(1), 79-86. DOI: 10.1080/14734220601187741  

Tayfun Ozcelik, Nurten Akarsu, Elif Uz, Safak Caglayan, Suleyman Gulsuner, Onur Emre Onat, Meliha Tan, & Uner Tan. (2008) Mutations in the very low-density lipoprotein receptor VLDLR cause cerebellar hypoplasia and quadrupedal locomotion in humans. . Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105(11), 4232-4236. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0710010105  

Ozcelik, Tayfun,, Nurten Akarsu,, Elif Uz,, Safak Caglayan,, Suleyman Gulsuner,, Onur Emre Onat,, Meliha Tan,, & Uner Tan. (2008) Reply to Herz et al. and Humphrey et al.: Genetic heterogeneity of cerebellar hypoplasia with quadrupedal locomotion. . Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105(23). DOI: 10.1073 pnas.0804078105  

Thelen, E.,, & Ulrich, B. D. (1991) Hidden skills: A dynamic systems analysis of treadmill stepping during the first year. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 56(1), 1-98. DOI: 10.2307/1166099  

  • September 3, 2010
  • 06:25 AM
  • 1,396 views

What happens when you teach monkeys to use money?

by Duncan Hull in O'Really?

Freakonomics and its successor Superfreakonomics are two books by the economist Steven Levitt and his partner in crime Stephen Dubner that have a common theme running through them (quote): “People respond to incentives, although not necessarily in ways that are predictable and manifest. Therefore, one of the most powerful laws in the universe is the [...]... Read more »

Lakshminaryanan, V., Chen, M., & Santos, L. (2008) Endowment effect in capuchin monkeys. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 363(1511), 3837-3844. DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2008.0149  

  • September 2, 2010
  • 07:49 PM
  • 633 views

But Science Doesn’t Work That Way : Miller and Chomsky (1963)

by melodye in Child's Play

In this post, our heroine — spurred on by her godly pursuit of science and a bevy of caffeinated drinks — compares the standard approach to language to intelligent design.  It might get noodly. Pick one : Does language “emerge” full-blown in children, guided by a hierarchy of inbuilt grammatical rules for sentence formation and comprehension? Or [...]... Read more »

Bannard C, Lieven E, & Tomasello M. (2009) Modeling children's early grammatical knowledge. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 106(41), 17284-9. PMID: 19805057  

Ramscar, M., Yarlett, D., Dye, M., Denny, K., & Thorpe, K. (2010) The Effects of Feature-Label-Order and their Implications for Symbolic Learning. Cognitive Science, 34(7), 909-957. info:/10.1111/j.1551-6709.2009.01092.x

Scholz, B., & Pullum, G. (2006) Irrational Nativist Exuberance. Contemporary Debates in Cognitive Science, 59-80. info:/

  • September 2, 2010
  • 06:26 PM
  • 418 views

…give a dog a bad name, and shoot him

by Rift in Psycasm

[Wherein our hero - having gone AWOL - is posting old thoughts that might still be relevant. They're interesting, at the very least.... one hopes] As I’ve mentioned previously I’ve already attained a degree. I mention this because the body of this post represents the strangest assignment I’ve received in a full 6 years of [...]... Read more »

  • September 2, 2010
  • 04:23 PM
  • 1,659 views

Baseball Fans Behaving Badly

by Krystal D'Costa in Anthropology in Practice

So it's done. I've accepted it. There will be no playoff entry for the Mets this year—something that was evident earlier in the year, but the motto of this team is "Ya gotta believe." So you know, I had to believe. Am I disappointed? Yes. What fan wouldn't be? Am I surprised? No. What Mets fan would be? Does it mean that I won't be there come spring anxiously awaiting the crack of the bat?

... Read more »

Brearley M. (2000) Teams: lessons from the world of sport. BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 321(7269), 1141-3. PMID: 11061741  

  • September 2, 2010
  • 02:36 PM
  • 713 views

In a Data-Swamped World, Connecting the Dots Is All Too Easy

by David Berreby in Mind Matters

An information-saturated society is going to notice plenty of weird correlations, like the Blade Runner curse or the unfortunate fate of American presidents elected in years that ended in a zero (for a long time beginning in 1860, all died in office). The more data we collect, the more patterns we see. Iran leads the world in nose-jobs per capita. Major wars have been preceded by stock-market plunges on the other side of the world. It's increasingly easy to find unexpected alignments betw........ Read more »

Berreby, D. (2010) On markets and collective mood. Nature, 467(7311), 31-31. DOI: 10.1038/467031a  

  • September 2, 2010
  • 12:55 PM
  • 723 views

The Science of Sexism: Primate Behavior and the Culture of Sexual Coercion

by Eric Michael Johnson in The Primate Diaries in Exile

The latest stop in the #PDEx tour is being hosted by The Intersection at Discover magazine.Despite the advances our society has made for women’s rights and sexual equality during the last century this example is just one more sign of how far we still have to go. It’s not an isolated incident. According to statistics compiled by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission there were 12,696 workplace sexual harassment cases filed in 2009 (which would be a fraction of the number that actuall........ Read more »

Martin N. Muller and Richard W. Wrangham. (2009) Sexual Coercion in Primates and Humans: An Evolutionary Perspective on Male Aggression Against Females. Harvard University Press. info:/

  • September 2, 2010
  • 12:55 PM
  • 870 views

The Science of Sexism: Primate Behavior and the Culture of Sexual Coercion

by Eric Michael Johnson in The Primate Diaries

The latest stop in the #PDEx tour is being hosted by The Intersection at Discover magazine.Despite the advances our society has made for women’s rights and sexual equality during the last century this example is just one more sign of how far we still have to go. It’s not an isolated incident. According to statistics compiled by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission there were 12,696 workplace sexual harassment cases filed in 2009 (which would be a fraction of the number that actuall........ Read more »

Martin N. Muller and Richard W. Wrangham. (2009) Sexual Coercion in Primates and Humans: An Evolutionary Perspective on Male Aggression Against Females. Harvard University Press. info:/

  • September 2, 2010
  • 12:14 PM
  • 923 views

How To Fight Loneliness

by Rob Mitchum in ScienceLife

Loneliness is bad for your health. The work of John Cacioppo and others has proven this connection repeatedly over the last decade, finding links between loneliness and blood pressure, sleep quality, dementia, gene expression, and many other medical measures. The evidence has built to the point that loneliness could be considered a serious risk factor [...]... Read more »

Masi CM, Chen HY, Hawkley LC, & Cacioppo JT. (2010) A Meta-Analysis of Interventions to Reduce Loneliness. Personality and social psychology review : an official journal of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Inc. PMID: 20716644  

  • September 2, 2010
  • 11:33 AM
  • 526 views

Racial Bias of Adult Sensitivity to Infant Facial Care-Seeking Cues

by Michael Long in Phased

John Hodsoll (Queen Mary University, United Kingdom) and coworkers have shown that preferential adult attention to infant facial features is affected by the race of the infant relative to that of the adult, suggesting an influence of experience and environment. This news feature was written on September 2, 2010.... Read more »

Hodsoll, J., Quinn, K. A., & Hodsoll, S. (2010) Attentional Prioritization of Infant Faces Is Limited to Own-Race Infants. PLoS ONE, 5(9). info:/10.1371/journal.pone.0012509

  • September 2, 2010
  • 07:10 AM
  • 856 views

The woman whose new memories are erased each night

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Psychologists have documented what they believe to be a clinical first - the case of an amnesic woman whose memory for new material is erased each night that she goes to sleep (movie fans will recognise this as a plot device in the 2004 film 50 First Dates). Referred to as case FL, the woman developed these symptoms after she hit her head in a car accident in 2005, aged 48. Brain scans and neurological exams revealed no signs of brain damage, thus suggesting the woman is exhibiting what's known ........ Read more »

Smith, C., Frascino, J., Kripke, D., McHugh, P., Treisman, G., & Squire, L. (2010) Losing memories overnight: A unique form of human amnesia. Neuropsychologia, 48(10), 2833-2840. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2010.05.025  

  • September 1, 2010
  • 03:17 PM
  • 1,040 views

Self-Righteousness and Kink: Perfect Together?

by David Berreby in Mind Matters


Props to my colleague Lindsay Beyerstein for this great catch yesterday: Tea Party favorite Sharron Angle's campaign received a donation from someone who listed her employer as "husband" and her occupation as "slave." Maybe it's just a joke (boring). Or maybe this couple is in one of those Christian "submitted wife" relationships (unlikely, given that "slave" isn't the sort of rhetoric that culture promotes). But maybe this is an "out" dominant/submissive couple. That shouldn't be a ........ Read more »

Schnall S, Benton J, & Harvey S. (2008) With a clean conscience: cleanliness reduces the severity of moral judgments. Psychological science : a journal of the American Psychological Society / APS, 19(12), 1219-22. PMID: 19121126  

  • September 1, 2010
  • 02:13 PM
  • 999 views

The Stress Symphony a Prelude to Neurogensis et Stress

by neurobites in Neurobites

Hi there! Been a long time eh? Not sure what happened there, but I blame Harry. Somehow, somewhere he was involved. So let’s just jump right into it Stress. Your reason for not calling your mother, a graduate student’s excuse for overeating, not sleeping, forgetting to hand in an abstract, walking into walls and lying [...]... Read more »

Bruce S. McEwen. (2007) Physiology and Neurobiology of Stress and Adaptation: Central Role of the Brain. Physiological Reviews, 873-904. info:/

  • August 31, 2010
  • 10:18 PM
  • 1,506 views

The Link Between Positive Psychology and Cancer Survival

by Walter Jessen in Highlight HEALTH

The seemingly common idea that a positive outlook will help someone in poor health is currently under scientific investigation. A special supplement of the Annals of Behavioural Medicine directly addressed this topic and a recent article in the Lancet explored the relationship between positive psychology and cancer pathology.... Read more »

Ondicova K, & Mravec B. (2010) Role of nervous system in cancer aetiopathogenesis. The lancet oncology, 11(6), 596-601. PMID: 20522385  

  • August 31, 2010
  • 06:49 PM
  • 652 views

Are you high or low functioning? Examples from autism research

by Michelle Dawson in The Autism Crisis

If you are autistic and ever venture or are pushed into public, a near-certainty is that you will publicly be ranked and classified by total strangers. For example, you will be assigned to the "high end" or the "low end" of the autistic spectrum, according to whether you are claimed to have a good or bad outcome (I've been claimed to have both). Non-political observers may notice how ethically and scientifically problematic this is, but there are few discussions, formal or informal, in which aut........ Read more »

Akshoomoff N, Lord C, Lincoln AJ, Courchesne RY, Carper RA, Townsend J, & Courchesne E. (2004) Outcome classification of preschool children with autism spectrum disorders using MRI brain measures. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 43(3), 349-57. PMID: 15076269  

Farley MA, McMahon WM, Fombonne E, Jenson WR, Miller J, Gardner M, Block H, Pingree CB, Ritvo ER, Ritvo RA.... (2009) Twenty-year outcome for individuals with autism and average or near-average cognitive abilities. Autism research : official journal of the International Society for Autism Research, 2(2), 109-18. PMID: 19455645  

  • August 31, 2010
  • 06:15 PM
  • 394 views

… Sm;)e and whole Frontal Gyrus sm;)es with you

by Rift in Psycasm

[Wherein our hero smiles, and the whole Frontal Gyrus (and parts of the Occiptal Gyrus) smile with him.] Given that I’m leaving the country tomorrow night and I’m cramming some major assignment pre-deadline, I have to keep this post light. Here’s a mind-map a colleague and I put together. It was tiny piece of assessment, [...]... Read more »

  • August 31, 2010
  • 03:58 PM
  • 1,257 views

The Clinical Neuroscience iPad Library

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Carrying around a library of pdf files has now become easy with the introduction of the iPad and net book computers.  It is now possible to keep a library of key references that can be accessed at the patient bedside for reference use.  This brings up the question of what pdf files are most valuable for clinicians.   I have spent some time thinking about this and elected to come up with a dozen suggestions.  The criteria for selection included:Valuable for clinicians caring ........ Read more »

Davies P, & Koppel J. (2009) Mechanism-based treatments for Alzheimer's disease. Dialogues in clinical neuroscience, 11(2), 159-69. PMID: 19585951  

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