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  • March 20, 2015
  • 06:19 PM
  • 116 views

Can Monkeys Get Depressed?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

According to a new study from Chinese neuroscientists Fan Xu and colleagues, some monkeys can experience depression in a similar way to humans.


The researchers studied cynomolgus monkeys, also known as crab-eating macaques (Macaca fascicularis), a species native to Southeast Asia. Cynomolgus monkeys are highly social animals. Xu et al. previously showed that isolating a monkey from its companions caused it to develop depression-like behaviors. In their new paper, the authors say that they'v... Read more »

Xu F, Wu Q, Xie L, Gong W, Zhang J, Zheng P, Zhou Q, Ji Y, Wang T, Li X.... (2015) Macaques exhibit a naturally-occurring depression similar to humans. Scientific reports, 9220. PMID: 25783476  

  • March 20, 2015
  • 10:48 AM
  • 128 views

Understanding the Origin of Psychopathic Tendencies Through Chimpanzees

by amikulak in Daily Observations

Psychopathy, a personality disorder characterized by antisocial behavior, lack of empathy, and disinhibition, is typically investigated among clinical and forensic samples, and sometimes among the general population. But a team […]... Read more »

Latzman, R., Drislane, L., Hecht, L., Brislin, S., Patrick, C., Lilienfeld, S., Freeman, H., Schapiro, S., & Hopkins, W. (2015) A Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) Model of Triarchic Psychopathy Constructs: Development and Initial Validation. Clinical Psychological Science. DOI: 10.1177/2167702615568989  

  • March 20, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 58 views

“Classical music will protect you from Alzheimer’s” and  other lies on the internet

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

This week I read several sensationalized reports of research findings from some scientists in Finland. “Classical music can help slow down the onset of dementia” and “Listening To Classical Music Could Improve Genes Responsible For Certain Brain Functions”. The articles reported that listening to a 20 minute Mozart violin concerto could stave off dementia and […]

Related posts:
No one knows you’re a dog on the internet (actually, they do!)
Another look at who lies…
Will ........ Read more »

Brown, M. J., Henriquez, E., & Groscup, J. (2008) The effects of eyeglasses and race on juror decisions involving a violent crime. American Journal of Forensic Psychology, 26(2), 25-43. info:/

  • March 20, 2015
  • 03:50 AM
  • 110 views

Autism genes and cognitive ability

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Autism IS linked to higher intelligence: People with genes related to the condition 'scored better in mental ability tests' was one of the media headlines reporting on the study by Toni-Kim Clarke and colleagues [1].Clarke et al reported results based on a pretty good sample size (in the thousands) whereby autism-associated genes and cognitive ability were examined in several cohorts including those taking part in The Generation Scotland : Scottish Family Health Study (G........ Read more »

  • March 19, 2015
  • 01:22 PM
  • 109 views

Secular community groups are just as effective as religious ones in stimulating concern for others

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

Researchers around the world have found that subliminal reminders of religion can have some fairly profound effects (for example, encouraging honesty, obedience, revenge and staying power – and, as we saw in the previous post – even risk taking). But is this specifically about religion? Perhaps being reminded about god makes people virtuous – but [Read More...]... Read more »

  • March 19, 2015
  • 12:50 PM
  • 92 views

The impact of military deployment on children

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Being a military family is hard, it’s hard for the person serving (obviously) and if divorce rates are any indication, it is also hard on the spouse. While the added stress of deployment on a family cannot adequately be explained, even as someone who has seen it first hand, those stresses affect even the littlest members of the family. A new study reports that following military parents’ return from combat deployment, their children show increased visits for mental healthcare, physical injur........ Read more »

Hisle-Gorman, E., Harrington, D., Nylund, C., Tercyak, K., Anthony, B., & Gorman, G. (2015) Impact of Parents’ Wartime Military Deployment and Injury on Young Children’s Safety and Mental Health. Journal of the American Academy of Child , 54(4), 294-301. DOI: 10.1016/j.jaac.2014.12.017  

  • March 19, 2015
  • 10:16 AM
  • 25 views

Psychologists use magic to study the illusory feeling of free choice

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Most of the time, when a magician asks you to "pick a card" she makes it feel as though you have a free choice, but you don't really. The authors of a new paper say this is a microcosm for many real-life situations in which we feel free to choose, but in fact our choices are heavily influenced and constrained. Jay Olson, a magician and psychologist, and his colleagues, have put a classic card trick technique under the spotlight as a way to study the psychology behind this experience of illusory ........ Read more »

Olson, J., Amlani, A., Raz, A., & Rensink, R. (2015) Influencing choice without awareness. Consciousness and Cognition. DOI: 10.1016/j.concog.2015.01.004  

  • March 19, 2015
  • 06:05 AM
  • 89 views

Objective measures of sleep in autism meta-analysed

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Children with ASD [autism spectrum disorder] have small but measurable objective differences in their sleep parameters that are consistent with subjective reporting."That was the main conclusion reached in the meta-analysis from Marilisa Elrod and Bradley Hood [1] who looked at the collected peer-reviewed data "that used objective measures such as actigraphy or polysomnography (PSG) to describe the sleep parameters of TST [total sleep time], SL [sleep latency], and SE&n........ Read more »

  • March 18, 2015
  • 02:19 PM
  • 121 views

Not “just in your head,” brain networks differ among those with severe schizophrenia

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

The brain is plastic, it’s how we grow, it’s how we adapt, it is quite literally how we survive. This can unfortunately be to our detriment and new research shows that people with a severe form of schizophrenia have major differences in their brain networks compared to others with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and healthy individuals. So while it may be true, that it is all be in your head, it isn’t how people usually mean it.... Read more »

Anne L. Wheeler, PhD, Michèle Wessa, PhD, Philip R. Szeszko, PhD, George Foussias, MD, MSc, M. Mallar Chakravarty, PhD, Jason P. Lerch, PhD, Pamela DeRosse, PhD, Gary Remington, MD, PhD, Benoit H. Mulsant, MD, Julia Linke, PhD.... (2015) Further Neuroimaging Evidence for the Deficit Subtype of Schizophrenia: A Cortical Connectomics Analysis. JAMA Psychiatry. info:/10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2014.3020

  • March 18, 2015
  • 08:30 AM
  • 113 views

The Right to Walk Away

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

What can pet owners learn from the way scientists give animals choices in research?When people take part in research, scientists must ensure they give informed consent. When the participants are pets, owners give consent on their behalf: they understand the risks of the research and they have the right to end their participation at any time (e.g. if they feel their dog is stressed). We can’t ask animals about their feelings, but scientists have several ways they give the pets a choice.In Sarah........ Read more »

  • March 18, 2015
  • 06:05 AM
  • 130 views

"Look at me!": When we feel powerful, we find ourselves inspirational

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Matthew McConaughey may have surprised some during the 2014 Oscars ceremony when he listed his heroes: each one was a past, present or future version of himself. But it turns out that being your own inspiration isn’t unusual, especially for people who feel socially powerful and influential.A new study, led by Gerben van Kleef from the University of Amsterdam, asked 140 undergraduates to spend a few minutes writing about a personally inspiring event that took place in the prior five years. Part........ Read more »

Van Kleef, G., Oveis, C., Homan, A., van der Lowe, I., & Keltner, D. (2015) Power Gets You High: The Powerful Are More Inspired by Themselves Than by Others. Social Psychological and Personality Science. DOI: 10.1177/1948550614566857  

  • March 18, 2015
  • 05:52 AM
  • 131 views

The label of autism rarely exists in a diagnostic vacuum

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Most young ASD [autism spectrum disorder] children met the criteria for additional psychopathology." That was the primary conclusion reported by Fernando Salazar and colleagues [1].At the risk of sounding like a broken record going on and on about how the diagnosis/label of autism very rarely exists in a diagnostic vacuum when it comes to comorbidity, I did think it important that the findings of Salazar et al were [briefly] brought to your attention. I've talked a few times on t........ Read more »

Salazar, F., Baird, G., Chandler, S., Tseng, E., O’sullivan, T., Howlin, P., Pickles, A., & Simonoff, E. (2015) Co-occurring Psychiatric Disorders in Preschool and Elementary School-Aged Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. DOI: 10.1007/s10803-015-2361-5  

  • March 17, 2015
  • 06:13 AM
  • 122 views

Psychotic symptoms managed by a gluten-free diet?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The case report detailed by William Eaton and colleagues [1] illustrating how a gluten-free diet might not just be the treatment of choice for the autoimmune condition coeliac (celiac) disease is served up for your consumption today.The authors report the story of 'Chris' an 8-year old boy who experienced various symptoms including "intermittent auditory and visual hallucinations" then moving later in his life to being hospitalised and eventually diagnosed with "major depressive disorder wi........ Read more »

  • March 17, 2015
  • 05:21 AM
  • 104 views

Different mental abilities peak at different times of life, from 18 to 70

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Look at the age at which athletes reach their top performance levels in different sports and it seems there isn't a single time in life at which physical capability peaks. For example, footballers are said to peak at around age 27 while for golfers the peak is likely at least five years later, and for ultra-marathon runners, the peak is later still, in the forties. Put simply, you reach your optimum age for different sporting skills at different ages. According to a new analysis, so it is with b........ Read more »

  • March 16, 2015
  • 11:45 PM
  • 112 views

Pairing tools and problems: a lesson from the methods of mathematics and the Entscheidungsproblem

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

Three weeks ago it was my lot to present at the weekly integrated mathematical oncology department meeting. Given the informal setting, I decided to grab one gimmick and run with it. I titled my talk: ‘2’. It was an overview of two recent projects that I’ve been working on: double public goods for acid mediated […]... Read more »

  • March 16, 2015
  • 09:18 PM
  • 145 views

Thinking about God causes people to take bigger risks… wait, what???

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

A team from Stanford University Graduate School of Business has just published a nice series of studies showing that priming people with the idea of god can increase their appetite for risk. Over at the Friendly Atheist, Rachel Ford did a good write up, leading with the headline conclusion that thinking about god actually causes [Read More...]... Read more »

Noussair, C., Trautmann, S., van de Kuilen, G., & Vellekoop, N. (2013) Risk aversion and religion. Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, 47(2), 165-183. DOI: 10.1007/s11166-013-9174-8  

  • March 16, 2015
  • 01:57 PM
  • 116 views

Does watching porn affect your performance in bed?

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Pornography, it’s why google and other search engines have safesearch. It’s all around us and if sales are any indication, it is not going away. There have been lots of claims regarding it, but does a predilection for porn mean bad news in bed? That’s the conclusion of many clinicians and the upshot of anecdotal reports claiming a man’s habit of viewing sex films can lead to problems getting or sustaining an erection, but what does science say?... Read more »

  • March 16, 2015
  • 07:51 AM
  • 82 views

Morning people ("larks") are more punctual than "owls"

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

You've probably heard that sleep psychologists like to divide people up into those who function optimally in the morning, and those who come alive at night (but see also). The former, "larks", tend to get up and go to bed earlier than "owls". A new study asks whether larks also tend to be more punctual people than owls – surprisingly, this is the first time anyone has examined this link.Laura Werner and her team waited as nearly 300 students arrived for their 8.15am morning lectures on 14 diff........ Read more »

Werner, L., Geisler, J., & Randler, C. (2014) Morningness as a Personality Predictor of Punctuality. Current Psychology, 34(1), 130-139. DOI: 10.1007/s12144-014-9246-1  

  • March 16, 2015
  • 05:37 AM
  • 100 views

Decreased plasma levels of lipoxin A4 in autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The paper by Chun-Lin Yan and colleagues [1] talking about significantly lower plasma levels of lipoxin A4 (LXA4) "a mediator involved in the resolution of inflammation" in cases of childhood autism is the point of discussions today.Continuing an important theme of immune system involvement in at least some cases of autism, Yan et al focused on a less well-trodden path looking at lipoxins that seem to be involved in something of a yin and yang relationship with another set of eicosanoi........ Read more »

  • March 14, 2015
  • 11:54 PM
  • 186 views

New approaches to epilepsy treatment: optogenetics and DREADDs

by neurosci in Neuroscientifically Challenged

Epilepsy refers to a group of disorders that are characterized by recurrent seizures. It is a relatively common neurological condition, and is considered the most common serious (implying that there is a risk of mortality) brain disorder, affecting around 2.2 million Americans.The seizures associated with epilepsy are not homogenous; they can have a drastically different presentation depending on the patient, the part of the brain the seizure originates in, and how much of the brain the seizure ........ Read more »

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