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  • September 29, 2014
  • 04:35 AM
  • 132 views

Term vs. preterm birth and the presentation of autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The paper by Katherine Bowers and colleagues [1] continues the interest in the concept of 'the autisms' with their observations on the presentation of autism (and its comorbidities) when looking at those "born preterm versus those born at term".We'd better get back, 'cause it'll be dark soon, and they mostly come at night... mostlyBased on an analysis of quite a healthy participant number heading up to 900 "males and females with autism spectrum disorder", authors reported on several phenotypic ........ Read more »

  • September 28, 2014
  • 12:00 PM
  • 149 views

Numbers on a scale: How bad did you say your pain was?

by Bronwyn Thompson in Healthskills: Skills for Healthy Living

Have you ever been asked to give your pain rating on a scale of 0 – 10 (where 0 = no pain at all and 10 = most extreme pain you can imagine)? Have you ever tried to work out whether today’s pain is worse than yesterdays? What does a pain rating tell us?... Read more »

  • September 27, 2014
  • 08:37 AM
  • 168 views

The Memory Fades, The Emotion Remains

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

People with Alzheimer’s disease can experience severe memory impairments.However, according to a new study, the emotions associated with events can persist long after the events themselves have been forgotten: Feelings Without Memory in Alzheimer Disease In their paper, the researchers, University of Iowa neurologists Edmarie Guzman-Velez and colleagues, showed volunteers a series of emotional video […]The post The Memory Fades, The Emotion Remains appeared first on Neuroskeptic.... Read more »

Guzmán-Vélez E, Feinstein JS, & Tranel D. (2014) Feelings without memory in Alzheimer disease. Cognitive and behavioral neurology : official journal of the Society for Behavioral and Cognitive Neurology, 27(3), 117-29. PMID: 25237742  

  • September 27, 2014
  • 03:50 AM
  • 160 views

Yes, people with autism do have headaches

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I don't mean to be haughty but a sentence included in the paper by Victorio [1] led to the title of today's very quick post. Based on a chart review of patients diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) attending a neurology clinic, the author concluded that "ASD patients, despite being known to have indifference to pain, can experience headaches".Pain is something which has cropped up quite a bit in the autism research arena and has appeared more than once on this blog (see here and see ........ Read more »

  • September 26, 2014
  • 02:15 PM
  • 187 views

“GMO” Foods (Once Again) Proven Safe

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

GMO, I shudder every time I hear someone talk about the “dangers”. It’s one of the new buzzwords that doesn’t actually mean anything, but still manages to scare people. Well a new scientific review reports that the performance and health of food-producing animals consuming genetically engineered feed, first introduced 18 years ago, has been comparable to that of animals consuming non-GE feed. Not that this will stop people from spreading fear, but it’s a start.... Read more »

  • September 26, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 110 views

Would you prefer a smaller government? Actually, no you would not. 

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

For a number of years now, we have been asking our mock jurors what role they think government should play in our society and giving them a number of options among which to choose. Most of them say government should play a smaller role and we certainly have all heard the media messages that tell us […]

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  • September 26, 2014
  • 05:32 AM
  • 132 views

Schizophrenia after child and adolescent psychiatric disorders

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

More of a 'bring to your attention' post today, as I bring to your attention(!) the paper by Cecilie Frejstrup Maibing and colleagues [1] who concluded: "The risk of being diagnosed with schizophrenia spectrum disorders [SSD] after a child and adolescent psychiatric disorder was significantly increased particularly in the short term but also in the long-term period"."I coulda been a contender"The findings were based on an analysis of one of those very informative Scandinavian........ Read more »

  • September 25, 2014
  • 05:10 AM
  • 172 views

Temporal trends in US autism prevalence: mainly real increase

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Diagnosed autism prevalence has risen dramatically in the U.S over the last several decades and continued to trend upward as of birth year 2005. The increase is mainly real and has occurred mostly since the late 1980s"."They call me Cha Cha because I'm the best dancer at St. Bernadette's"That was the conclusion reached in the paper by Cynthia Nevison [1] (open-access) following her analysis of temporal trends in autism diagnosis for birth years between 1970 and 2005. Based on an analysis o........ Read more »

  • September 25, 2014
  • 03:00 AM
  • 71 views

How do male scientists balance the demands of work and family?

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Academia remains heavily gendered, thanks in part to historical stereotypes that assert men are suited to solving complex problems and ready to put "great works" over other concerns such as community or family. Psychology and sociology have shown how this disadvantages women working in these fields, particularly if they wish to have children.A new study led by Sarah Damaske of Pennsylvania State University takes a different approach, looking at what this world is like for men. From the 73 male s........ Read more »

  • September 24, 2014
  • 08:30 AM
  • 139 views

What Influences Whether Owners Pick Up After Their Dog?

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

What’s the scoop on picking up poop? New research by Christopher Lowe et al (2014) investigates.Photo: Jakkrit Orrasri / ShutterstockThe study consisted of an environmental survey of several popular dog walking locations, and an online survey that was completed by 933 participants from across the UK (83% were women).Eight footpaths in Lancashire, in the north of England, were visited in March/April 2010 to check for dog waste. This included a mix of urban and rural locations, and covered........ Read more »

Westgarth, C., Christley, R., Pinchbeck, G., Gaskell, R., Dawson, S., & Bradshaw, J. (2010) Dog behaviour on walks and the effect of use of the leash. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 125(1-2), 38-46. DOI: 10.1016/j.applanim.2010.03.007  

  • September 24, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 148 views

Unfaithful partner? Would you rather be seen as mature– or as competent and strong?

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

According to new research, you can’t have both. Inspired by women who told them they “would not vote for Hillary Clinton [in the Presidential primaries a decade later] because she forgave then-President Bill Clinton’s infidelity”, these researchers looked at how male and female observers viewed male and female victims of infidelity based on how they […]

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  • September 24, 2014
  • 06:58 AM
  • 208 views

Psychiatric effects of childhood inflammation?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Higher levels of the systemic inflammatory marker IL-6 [interleukin 6] in childhood are associated with an increased risk of developing depression and psychosis in young adulthood". So said the paper by Golam Khandaker and colleagues [1] looking at the growing link between inflammation and psychiatry.The bright light of Autumn @ Wikipedia The name Khandaker has appeared before on this blog (see here and see here), most recently with research looking at a possible link between the........ Read more »

Golam M. Khandaker, Rebecca M. Pearson, Stanley Zammit, Glyn Lewis, & Peter B. Jones. (2014) Association of Serum Interleukin 6 and C-Reactive Protein in Childhood With Depression and Psychosis in Young Adult Life. JAMA Psychiatry. info:/doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2014.1332

  • September 24, 2014
  • 03:00 AM
  • 72 views

Rats outperformed humans on this learning task

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

We like to think of ourselves as the top of the class when it comes to intelligence in the animal kingdom. Our inventions and scientific progress are testament to that claim, and yet there are some ways in which our complex brains let us down. In this new study researchers led by Ben Vermaercke compared human and rat performance on two forms of category-based learning. On one of them, the rodents trounced the homo sapiens.The participants - 16 rats and 24 humans - were trained to recognise that ........ Read more »

  • September 23, 2014
  • 01:55 PM
  • 171 views

Lie Detection using Brain Waves: It’s just as creepy as it sounds…

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Currently lie detectors (polygraphs) are not admissible in court, this is because (despite what you may read) there is little proof to show that they are much better than a guess — coming in at roughly 50% accuracy. They aren’t really based in science, making them more of a toy. There might just be a new contender in the lie detection department coming soon however, researchers have found that brain activity can be used to tell whether someone recognizes details they encountered in normal, d........ Read more »

  • September 23, 2014
  • 09:38 AM
  • 145 views

Maternal iron intake and offspring autism risk

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Much like the discussions around the paper by Rogers and colleagues (see here) on treating autism in the first year of life, the media scrum around the findings from Rebecca Schmidt and colleagues [1] talking about maternal iron supplements and offspring autism spectrum disorder (ASD) risk preceded the publication of the paper by a few days. It's getting to be a pet-hate of mine that big headlines are being generated sometimes days before your average Jane or Joe can see the data upon which they........ Read more »

Rebecca J. Schmidt, Daniel J. Tancredi, Paula Krakowiak, Robin L. Hansen, & Sally Ozonoff. (2014) Maternal Intake of Supplemental Iron and Risk of Autism Spectrum Disorder. American Journal of Epidemiology. info:/doi: 10.1093/aje/kwu208

  • September 23, 2014
  • 05:00 AM
  • 128 views

Gut issues in autism impacting on drug availability and absorption

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

As indicated in a recent post, I was really rather pleased to see the paper by Andrew Heitzer and colleagues [1] (open-access) asking the important question: Should clinical trial research of psychotropic medication in autism control for gastrointestinal symptoms? Some media about the study can also be found here."You write "Born to Kill" on your helmet and you wear a peace button".The answer is of course, yes and not just when it comes to psychotropic medicines either, given that gastroint........ Read more »

  • September 23, 2014
  • 04:00 AM
  • 86 views

Neuroscience does not threaten people's sense of free will

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

A key finding from neuroscience research over the last few decades is that non-conscious preparatory brain activity appears to precede the subjective feeling of making a decision. Some neuroscientists, like Sam Harris, have argued that this shows our sense of free will is an illusion. Books have even started to appear with titles like My Brain Made Me Do It: The Rise of Neuroscience and the Threat to Moral Responsibility by Eliezer J. Sternberg.However, in a new paper, a team led by Ed........ Read more »

  • September 22, 2014
  • 04:45 PM
  • 116 views

If You’re Bicultural, You Can Make it Work to Your Advantage

by Louise Rasmussen in Head Smart

There are many advantages to being bicultural. Studies have shown that biculturals are more creative and enjoy greater professional success. One of the reasons for the advantage may be that exposure to diverse beliefs and worldviews enables biculturals to consider different perspectives. This can help them come up with new ways to solve problems and […]... Read more »

  • September 22, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 74 views

It’s 2014: Where are all the female subjects in surgical research?

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

More than two decades after the 1993 Revitalization Act was signed (stating women and minorities must be included in NIH funded research), females are still under-represented in both “basic science and translational surgical research”. The authors acknowledge that medical research on human subjects is only a small subset of all medical research. However, even those […]

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Yoon DY, Mansukhani NA, Stubbs VC, Helenowski IB, Woodruff TK, & Kibbe MR. (2014) Sex bias exists in basic science and translational surgical research. Surgery, 156(3), 508-516. PMID: 25175501  

  • September 22, 2014
  • 03:32 AM
  • 148 views

Omega-3 fatty acids and ADHD

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

With a title like that, this post could turn out to be quite a long winded blog entry. As it happens, I'm not going to subject you, dear reader, to such a literary onslaught but rather focus my attention on the paper by Elizabeth Hawkey & Joel Nigg [1] who undertook two meta-analyses and concluded that: "Omega-3 levels are reduced in children with ADHD [attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder]" and "Dietary supplementation appears to create modest improvements in symptoms"."Maybe the 80s wi........ Read more »

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