The paper by Pagan and colleagues  (open-access) looking at "serotonin, melatonin and the intermediate N-acetylserotonin (NAS) in a large cohort of patients with ASD [autism spectrum disorder] and their relatives" set the old grey-pink matter into action recently. Not only because I have some real interest in the starting material for these compounds - the aromatic amino acid known as tryptophan - but because this research group included some quite important analysis of the enz........ Read more »
Pagan C, Delorme R, Callebert J, Goubran-Botros H, Amsellem F, Drouot X, Boudebesse C, Le Dudal K, Ngo-Nguyen N, Laouamri H.... (2014) The serotonin-N-acetylserotonin-melatonin pathway as a biomarker for autism spectrum disorders. Translational psychiatry. PMID: 25386956
When choosing a restaurant for a dinner with friends we need to combine information prior to decision, concerning the location, menu, and price range. Similarly, when crossing a busy road, we sometimes need to integrate information from multiple sources, such as horn sounds and the sight of approaching cars. A recent paper published by myself and colleagues does not tell you which restaurant to choose for your party or how to safely cross the road. Rather, it provides a means for evaluating how ........ Read more »
Eidels, A., Townsend, J., Hughes, H., & Perry, L. (2014) Evaluating perceptual integration: Uniting response-time- and accuracy-based methodologies. Attention, Perception, . DOI: 10.3758/s13414-014-0788-y
Our clients are routinely stunned by the accuracy of mock juror impressions of witnesses and parties based on a 6 to 8 minute video clip from depositions. Mock jurors quickly assess character and are often eager to share their insights. Their comments can be insightful, surprising, and sometimes biting in their judgments. So, okay. It’s […]
Unfaithful partner? Would you rather be seen as mature– or as competent and strong?
A law firm’s financial success & the ........ Read more »
LAMBERT, N., MULDER, S., & FINCHAM, F. (2014) Thin slices of infidelity: Determining whether observers can pick out cheaters from a video clip interaction and what tips them off. Personal Relationships. DOI: 10.1111/pere.12052
A quote from the paper by Venla Lehti and colleagues  to start things off: "The study showed that children whose parents are both immigrants have a significantly lower likelihood of being diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome than those with two Finnish parents."Can I cook, or can't I?Based on an analysis of data derived from "the Finnish Hospital Discharge Register" and "the Finnish Medical Birth Register", researchers looked at the records of children with a diagnosis of Asperger syndrome (AS)........ Read more »
Which of your friends - the happier, or the more melancholy - is better at spotting your excitement that Chris is attending your birthday, or that a B+ has left you disappointed?Evidence suggests that more upbeat people consider themselves especially empathic, and it would be reasonable to believe them, given that they know more people on average, and tend to form deeper, more trusting relationships. The reality, however, is more complicated. New research led by Yale's Hillary Devlin suggests th........ Read more »
Devlin, H., Zaki, J., Ong, D., & Gruber, J. (2014) Not As Good as You Think? Trait Positive Emotion Is Associated with Increased Self-Reported Empathy but Decreased Empathic Performance. PLoS ONE, 9(10). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0110470
Among athletic trainers working in a college setting 14% reported that they were bullied, and 20% reported that they witnessed bullying. There were no differences between who experienced bullying, but most of the bullying perpetrators were males with the majority being coaches.... Read more »
Weuve, C., Pitney, W., Martin, M., & Mazerolle, S. (2014) Experiences With Workplace Bullying Among Athletic Trainers in the Collegiate Setting. Journal of Athletic Training, 49(5), 696-705. DOI: 10.4085/1062-6050-49.3.16
Most kids worry about passing tests, winning games, lost phones, fractured bones—and whether or not they will ever really fall in love. While the first few things are of relatively low value in the scientific pursuit, three Chinese researchers have focused on that last question. All in a bid to find out some of the more interesting questions about our genes: Why do some students stay single? What factors determine if a young adult falls in love?... Read more »
Liu, J., Gong, P., & Zhou, X. (2014) The association between romantic relationship status and 5-HT1A gene in young adults. Scientific Reports, 7049. DOI: 10.1038/srep07049
A while back I wrote a post about mental health and jail sentences, it seems like no one takes mental health seriously and that leads to lack of care for the individual. Well a new study offers even more bad news on the mental health front. Women with symptoms of serious mental illness are significantly less likely to receive three routine cancer screenings – Pap tests, mammograms and clinical breast exams – than women in the general population, despite being at elevated risk for medical com........ Read more »
Xiang, X. (2014) Serious Psychological Distress as a Barrier to Cancer Screening Among Women. Women's Health Issues. DOI: 10.1016/j.whi.2014.09.001
Using science, researchers are studying what makes songs catchy as a way to understand learning and memory. Did your favorite song make the list? ... Read more »
Snowdon CT, & Teie D. (2010) Affective responses in tamarins elicited by species-specific music. Biology letters, 6(1), 30-2. PMID: 19726444
Guessing even the wrong answer could help in learning the right answer.
Memory & Cognition
Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles, worked on some volunteers and gave them some pairs of words. Some participants were given the word pairs to study, and others were asked to guess the pairs of words before showing the right answer. Researchers found that guessing process, even when it is wrong, helps in better learning of wor........ Read more »
Yan, V., Yu, Y., Garcia, M., & Bjork, R. (2014) Why does guessing incorrectly enhance, rather than impair, retention?. Memory , 42(8), 1373-1383. DOI: 10.3758/s13421-014-0454-6
What a BOOMING month for dogs and science October was! We've captured the links to all the latest blogs, research and news that caught out attention throughout Dog-tober.Thanks to Storify (click here if the you can't see the collection of links below) you can make sure you didn't miss out too.[View the story "Do You Believe in Dog? [01-31 October 2014]" on Storify] Further reading:Bradshaw J.W.S. & Nicola J. Rooney (2014). Why do adult dogs ‘play’?, Behavioural Processes, DOI: http:/........ Read more »
Bozkurt Alper, Barbara Sherman, Rita Brugarolas, Sean Mealin, John Majikes, Pu Yang, & Robert Loftin. (2014) Towards Cyber-Enhanced Working Dogs for Search and Rescue. IEEE Intelligent Systems, 1-1. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/mis.2014.77
Over the past several decades we have seen the advent of a number of new pharmaceutical drugs to treat depression, but major depressive disorder remains one of the most common mood disorders in the United States; over 15% of the population will suffer from major depressive disorder at some point in their lives. Despite extensive research into the etiology and treatment of depression, we haven't seen a mitigation of the impact depression has on our society. In fact, there have even been a lot of ........ Read more »
Canli, T. (2014) Reconceptualizing major depressive disorder as an infectious disease. Biology of Mood , 4(1), 10. DOI: 10.1186/2045-5380-4-10
by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room
It’s a constantly moving target. Just over a year ago, we wrote about this on-going question and cited a Gallup Poll saying 65% of Black Americans have no preference when it comes to labels used to describe their racial or ethnic group. The authors of today’s research article would disagree. They say there are consequences […]
Should we say Black or African-American? Latino or Hispanic?
Everyday racism: A comparison of African American and Asian American Women
Are you........ Read more »
Hall, EV, Phillips, KW, & Townsend, SSM. (2014) A rose by any other name? The consequences of subtyping “African-Americans” from “Blacks”. . Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. . info:/
An eyebrow was raised upon reading the findings reported by Penelope Main and colleagues  concluding that: "it appears unlikely that genomic instability is a feature of the aetiology of autism." Based on results derived in part from "the cytokinesis-block micronucleus cytome (CBMN-cyt) assay"  looking at markers of DNA damage, authors reported very little to see in their small cohort of children with autism (n=35) compared with siblings (n=27) and asymptomatic controls (n=25) although with........ Read more »
Main PA, Thomas P, Angley MT, Young R, Esterman A, King CE, & Fenech MF. (2014) Lack of Evidence for Genomic Instability in Autistic Children as Measured by the Cytokinesis-Block Micronucleus Cytome Assay. Autism research : official journal of the International Society for Autism Research. PMID: 25371234
What is the intestinal barrier? What is intestinal permeability? What factors affect the permeability of the intestinal barrier? How do you measure intestinal permeability? How might [altered] intestinal permeability link to health, well-being and various clinical diagnoses?The new triad @ Bischoff SC et al. 2014These are some of the questions tackled by the excellent open-access review by Stephan Bischoff and colleagues  which I would like to draw your attention to i........ Read more »
Bischoff, S., Barbara, G., Buurman, W., Ockhuizen, T., Schulzke, J., Serino, M., Tilg, H., Watson, A., & Wells, J. (2014) Intestinal permeability - a new target for disease prevention and therapy. BMC Gastroenterology, 14(1), 189. DOI: 10.1186/s12876-014-0189-7
The "Natwest 3" jailedfor wire fraud in 2008.Picture a banker tossing a coin ten times. She knows the more tails she gets, the more money she wins (up to $200), so long as she gets more tails than a rival playing the same game. She performs her coin tossing in private and reports her number of tails. Do you think she'll be honest?When a team of researchers surveyed the general population about the likely dishonesty of bankers and other groups in this scenario, they found the bankers had the wors........ Read more »
Alain Cohn, Ernst Fehr, & Michel Marechal. (2014) Business culture and dishonesty in the banking industry. Nature . info:/
There’s a strand of thought that says that belief in the supernatural is founded upon a misunderstanding of how the world works (see: You either believe in it all, or you don’t). On the other hand, there’s another perspective that says the cognitive problem is with the atheists. Belief in gods, according to this school [Read More...]
... Read more »
Lindeman, M., Svedholm-Häkkinen, A., & Lipsanen, J. (2015) Ontological confusions but not mentalizing abilities predict religious belief, paranormal belief, and belief in supernatural purpose. Cognition, 63-76. DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2014.09.008
You have probably heard that Pink Floyd recently published their new album Endless River. Will this bring back the wonderful world of good music after the endless awfulness of the popular music scene in the last 20 years or so? Is good music, as we know it from the 60s and 70s, back for good? […]... Read more »
Bornstein, R. (1989) Exposure and affect: Overview and meta-analysis of research, 1968-1987. Psychological Bulletin, 106(2), 265-289. DOI: 10.1037/0033-2909.106.2.265
Johnson MK, Kim JK, & Risse G. (1985) Do alcoholic Korsakoff's syndrome patients acquire affective reactions?. Journal of experimental psychology. Learning, memory, and cognition, 11(1), 22-36. PMID: 3156951
If you were assigned to watch a dozen dwarf mongooses on the savannah, would you know how to keep them safe? Or would half of them get snatched by snakes before you finished checking the dictionary to make sure they weren’t really a dozen mongeese? Luckily these animals don’t need us to watch their backs. […]The post Mongoose Lookouts Carefully Weigh Risks (and Sing While They Do It) appeared first on Inkfish.... Read more »
Kern, J., & Radford, A. (2014) Sentinel dwarf mongooses, Helogale parvula, exhibit flexible decision making in relation to predation risk. Animal Behaviour, 185-192. DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2014.10.012
We’re used to reading that they are, but it’s more complicated than you think.Photo: legenda / ShutterstockA new study by González Ramírez and Landero Hernández in Mexico compares dog-owners with non-dog-owners to find out whether or not dogs are beneficial to people’s health and well-being. They wanted to improve on the design of many previous studies by comparing two groups of people who were similar except for the fact that some owned dogs and some did not.There are several reasons w........ Read more »
González Ramírez, M., & Landero Hernández, R. (2014) Benefits of dog ownership: Comparative study of equivalent samples. Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, 9(6), 311-315. DOI: 10.1016/j.jveb.2014.08.002
Herzog, H. (2011) The Impact of Pets on Human Health and Psychological Well-Being: Fact, Fiction, or Hypothesis?. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 20(4), 236-239. DOI: 10.1177/0963721411415220
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