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  • May 28, 2010
  • 06:53 PM

Cerebellar Agenesis: Life without a Cerebellum

by Neuropsych15 in The MacGuffin

Many people are familiar with the famous patient H.M., the man who, in an attempt to control his intractable epilepsy, underwent surgical resection of both his medial temporal lobes.There is another patient who is less famous, known the by initials H.C. He died in 1939 when H.M. was just entering adolescence. Unlike H.M., this patient did not undergo radical resection surgery. In fact, he never underwent brain surgery at all. His contribution to neurology did not begin u........ Read more »

Boyd, C. (2009) Cerebellar agenesis revisited. Brain, 133(3), 941-944. DOI: 10.1093/brain/awp265  

Lemon, R., & Edgley, S. (2010) Life without a cerebellum. Brain, 133(3), 652-654. DOI: 10.1093/brain/awq030  

  • May 28, 2010
  • 05:46 PM

Protestants tempt fate, but atheists don't!

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

Apparently, some people think that talking or merely thinking about an event can actually bring it about. To me, that's incomprehensible. When I was young, I assumed that the concept of "tempting fate' was a poetic metaphor. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that some people take it literally!

Jonathan Abramowitz and colleagues, at the University of North Carolina, have done a nice little study into the differences between Protestants and nonbelievers in attitudes towards tempting fate. Tec........ Read more »

  • May 28, 2010
  • 04:06 PM

Study: People Think Less of Working Moms (And of Their Children)

by David Berreby in Mind Matters

Americans may talk a good game about "work-life balance," but according to this study, they're biased against working mothers. More surprisingly, those who liked working moms less also liked the children of those mothers less.
For her Master's degree, Jennifer Livengood, who graduated this month from Kansas State University, asked 96 students to rate mothers and children after hearing them interact with their kids on an audiotape and watching a brief video. The raters knew in advance........ Read more »

  • May 28, 2010
  • 11:13 AM

This Is Your Brain's Anti-Drug

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

What's your anti-drug? Well, it might well be hemopressin. At least, that's probably your anti-marijuana.Hemopressin is a small protein that was discovered in the brains of rodents in 2003: its name comes from the fact that it's a breakdown product of hemoglobin and that it can lower blood pressure.No-one seems to have looked to see whether hemopressin is found in humans, yet, but it seems very likely. Almost everything that's in your brain is in a mouse's brain, and vice versa.Pharmacologically........ Read more »

  • May 28, 2010
  • 09:49 AM

I remember because my DNA was methylated

by Grant Jacobs in Code for life

Our memories keep our yesterdays, our friends’ faces, the distinctive smell of previous partners, if we’ve read that book before, what clothes you wore to the party.
Movies and books have been written about memories. Or the trials not being able to keep them.2
Poets and lyricists evoke them, talk about them and reminiscence over them: “Preserve your memories, [...]... Read more »

Miller CA, Gavin CF, White JA, Parrish RR, Honasoge A, Yancey CR, Rivera IM, Rubio MD, Rumbaugh G, & Sweatt JD. (2010) Cortical DNA methylation maintains remote memory. Nature neuroscience, 13(6), 664-6. PMID: 20495557  

  • May 28, 2010
  • 09:34 AM

Eye Color Predicts and Doesn't Predict Perceived Dominance

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

An upcoming study Personality and Individual Differences links eye color to perceived dominance ratings. But there's more to the study than immediately reaches the eye...... Read more »

Kleisner, K., Kočnar, T., Rubešová, A., & Flegr, J. (2010) Eye color predicts but does not directly influence perceived dominance in men. Personality and Individual Differences, 49(1), 59-64. DOI: 10.1016/j.paid.2010.03.011  

  • May 28, 2010
  • 05:11 AM

Men with brown eyes are perceived as more dominant, but it's not because their eyes are brown

by Christian Jarrett in BPS Research Digest

Men with brown eyes are perceived to be more dominant than their blue-eyed counterparts. However, a blue-eyed man looking to make himself appear more dominant would be wasting his time investing in brown-coloured contact lenses. A new study by Karel Kleisner and colleagues has found that brown iris colour seems to co-occur with some other aspect of facial appearance that triggers in others the perception of dominance. Sixty-two student participants, half of them female, rated the dominance and/o........ Read more »

Kleisner, K., Kočnar, T., Rubešová, A., & Flegr, J. (2010) Eye color predicts but does not directly influence perceived dominance in men. Personality and Individual Differences, 49(1), 59-64. DOI: 10.1016/j.paid.2010.03.011  

  • May 28, 2010
  • 01:10 AM

Friday Weird Science: College Student Regrets

by Evil Monkey in Neurotopia

Sci happened to be Pubmedding the word "vomit"* today when she ran across this article. It's one of those articles that is weird because it's. So. Obvious.

Mallett et al. "Do We Learn from Our Mistakes? An Examination of the Impact of Negative Alcohol-Related Consequences on College Students' Drinking Patterns and Perceptions" J Stud Alcohol. 2006

That's right. The study of vomiting, hangovers, blackouts, and other stupid stuff you did in college.

(Including when you wore this shirt aroun........ Read more »

  • May 27, 2010
  • 08:09 PM

Fixing the Psychiatric Diagnosis Problem: A New Genetic Framework

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Progress in understanding the genetics of common psychiatric disorders has been disappointing. Promising findings commonly cannot be replicated in independent samples. There could be several potential explanations for this scenario.1.) There may be no genetic contributions to risk and findings represent random effects2.) Genetic effects are complex, due to multiple genes or explain only a small amount of the risk variance for the disorders3.) The psychiatric diagnostic categories are inherentl........ Read more »

  • May 27, 2010
  • 02:30 PM

The empathetic vegetarian brain

by NeuroKüz in NeuroKüz

It is often the case that meatless lifestyles are chosen for ethical reasons related to valuing animal rights. As a consequence of their food choices, vegetarians and vegans are often accused of and taunted for loving animals more than people. But do most vegetarians care less for fellow humans than animals, care for humans and animals equally, or care more for humans than animals but still care more for animals than omnivores do?A study published yesterday in PLoS ONE has attempted to parse out........ Read more »

Filippi M, Riccitelli G, Falini A, Di Salle F, Vuilleumier P, Comi G, & Rocca MA. (2010) The Brain Functional Networks Associated to Human and Animal Suffering Differ among Omnivores, Vegetarians and Vegans. PLoS ONE. info:/

  • May 27, 2010
  • 02:01 PM

Personality and emotion: take 4

by sandygautam in The Mouse Trap

Image via Wikipedia

I’ve written about the relation between personality and emotion from my perspective, but was gladdened when I found Scherer has written on the matter in a very eloquent and apt manner. To quote from him and Revelle:
Personality is the coherent patterning of affect, behavior, cognition, and desires (goals) over time and space. Just More >Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)

Related posts:Emotions and personality : take 2 Image via Wikipedia In my........ Read more »

Fontaine, J., Scherer, K., Roesch, E., & Ellsworth, P. (2007) The World of Emotions is not Two-Dimensional. Psychological Science, 18(12), 1050-1057. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2007.02024.x  

  • May 27, 2010
  • 12:25 PM

Prestigious Chimps and the Emergence of Cultural Innovation

by Eric Michael Johnson in The Primate Diaries

A new study in PLoS ONE by Victoria Horner, Darby Proctor, Kristin E. Bonnie, Andrew Whiten, and Frans de Waal suggests that prestige is an important factor in other primates besides humans. By employing a simple behavioral experiment these researchers demonstrated that chimpanzees, when given a choice between two nearly identical tasks, will choose the one they previously witnessed a high-ranking member of the troop perform. ... 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 27, 2010
  • 11:17 AM

Do Genes Remember?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

Almost all neuroscientists believe that memories are stored in the connections between neurons: synapses. Learning, then, consists of the strengthening of some synapses, the weakening of others, and maybe even the formation of entirely new ones. But a paper from Catherine Miller and colleagues suggests that changes to DNA are also involved: Cortical DNA methylation maintains remote memory.DNA is a series of bases, and fundamentally there are just four: C, A, T and G. However, the Cs and the As c........ Read more »

Miller, C., Gavin, C., White, J., Parrish, R., Honasoge, A., Yancey, C., Rivera, I., Rubio, M., Rumbaugh, G., & Sweatt, J. (2010) Cortical DNA methylation maintains remote memory. Nature Neuroscience, 13(6), 664-666. DOI: 10.1038/nn.2560  

  • May 27, 2010
  • 08:25 AM

Your Brain on Fast Food

by Jason Goldman in The Thoughtful Animal

Some kids more readily recognize Ronald McDonald than the President of the United States of America. Sad, right?

Check out this exchange, from the 2004 movie Super Size Me:

Morgan Spurlock: [to kids] I'm gonna show you some pictures and I want you to tell me who they are.
Children: OK.
Morgan Spurlock: [Showing a picture of George Washington] Who's that?
Child: George Washington?
Morgan Spurlock: Good. Who was he?
Children: He was the 4th president. He freed the slaves. He could never tell a l........ Read more »

Zhong CB, & Devoe SE. (2010) You are how you eat: fast food and impatience. Psychological science : a journal of the American Psychological Society / APS, 21(5), 619-22. PMID: 20483836  

  • May 27, 2010
  • 02:08 AM

Short Cuts

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

There is way too much to blog about these days. I can't decide among these 3 new papers:Sometimes, Categorical Statements about Prefrontal Neurons Are Just Wrong(1) Earl K. Miller (2007) in The Prefrontal Cortex: Categories, Concepts, and Cognitive Control (PDF):There was virtually no category effect across the ITC [inferior temporal cortex] population and no examples of neurons whose activity showed the sharp across-distinction/within-category generalization that is the behavioral signature of ........ Read more »

Minamimoto T, Saunders RC, Richmond BJ. (2010) Monkeys Quickly Learn and Generalize Visual Categories without Lateral Prefrontal Cortex. Neuron, 66(4), 501-507. info:/10.1016/j.neuron.2010.04.010

  • 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 »

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