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  • October 3, 2014
  • 05:24 PM
  • 140 views

The Neurobiological Basis of a Human-Pet Relationship

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

My wife adores our cats. Now, I'm not a cat person, but my wife loves them. In fact if we had children and someone held a gun to her head and said choose between the kid or the cats, there would likely be an uncomfortable amount of time before a response. The big question is, why do we love animals like we do our own children? Well a small study helps try to answer this complex question by investigating differences in how important brain structures are activated when women view images of their c........ Read more »

  • October 3, 2014
  • 04:01 PM
  • 135 views

Sleeping Brains Understand Words

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

Have you ever heard someone describe a task as being so easy that they ‘could do it in their sleep’? A fascinating new study from a team of French neuroscientists shows that this statement may be literally true, far more often than you’d think: Inducing Task-Relevant Responses to Speech in the Sleeping Brain Sid Kouider […]The post Sleeping Brains Understand Words appeared first on Neuroskeptic.... Read more »

Kouider S, Andrillon T, Barbosa LS, Goupil L, & Bekinschtein TA. (2014) Inducing task-relevant responses to speech in the sleeping brain. Current Biology, 24(18), 2208-14. PMID: 25220055  

  • October 3, 2014
  • 09:46 AM
  • 127 views

Did a five-day camp without digital devices really boost children's interpersonal skills?

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

"There's a brilliant study that came out two weeks ago," Baroness Professor Susan Greenfield said at a recent event promoting her new book, "... they took away all [the pre-teens'] digital devices for five days and sent them to summer camp ... and tested their interpersonal skills, and guess what, even within five days they'd changed."Greenfield highlighted this study in the context of her dire warnings about the harmful psychological effects of modern screen- and internet-based technologies. Sh........ Read more »

  • October 3, 2014
  • 05:10 AM
  • 136 views

S100B and schizophrenia meta-analysed

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I don't know if it's just me but this year (2014) I seem to be covering a lot more meta-analysis papers on this blog. I assume that's because of the increasing volume of peer-reviewed research being created year-on-year leading to greater volumes of research fodder for such grand reviews. Whatever the reason(s), there are some really interesting conclusions being reached in that literature as per the meta-analysis by Aleksovska and colleagues [1] (open-access) focusing on S100B bl........ Read more »

  • October 2, 2014
  • 09:30 AM
  • 34 views

Gamifying Surveys to Increase Completion Rate and Data Quality

by Richard Landers in NeoAcademic

One of the biggest challenges for research involving surveys is maintaining a high rate of completion and compliance with survey requirements. First, we want a reasonably representative sample of whomever we send the survey to. Second, we want those that do complete the survey to do so honestly and thoughtfully. One approach that researchers have taken to […]The post Gamifying Surveys to Increase Completion Rate and Data Quality appeared first on NeoAcademic.Related articles from NeoAcad........ Read more »

  • October 2, 2014
  • 06:07 AM
  • 91 views

Most people think CEOs are paid too much

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Tim Cook, CEO of Apple Inc, attends the 2013 Allen & Co conference.It's often assumed that a desire to reduce income inequality is held only by people on lower pay, or by those who endorse left-wing views. However, a new study of over 55,000 people (average age 47; 55 per cent were female) across 40 countries on 6 continents finds a universal desire to reduce the gap between the highest and lowest paid workers. The authors, Sorapop Kiatpongsan and Michael Norton, say their results "offer gui........ Read more »

Sorapop Kiatpongsan and Michael I. Norton. (2014) How Much (More) Should CEOs Make? A Universal Desire for More Equal Pay. Perspectives on Psychological Science. info:/

  • October 2, 2014
  • 05:19 AM
  • 86 views

How does the psychology of ownership differ between Western and Eastern cultures?

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Michael Jackson's glove sold for $350,000 at a New York auction in 2009. In India,celebrity possessions are not valued so highly. By guest blogger Bruce Hood.Many of us are nostalgic for original, authentic experiences and prepared to pay for them. For example, not so long ago vinyl records were ubiquitous but nowadays they are considered collectibles, with some attracting a high price. Even with the most mundane record, there is still a tangible tactile experience to possessing these ........ Read more »

  • October 2, 2014
  • 04:57 AM
  • 110 views

Volatile organic compounds and autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

As harsh as the phrase volatile organic compounds (VOCs) might appear at first glance, all this refers to is a class of compounds containing carbon which have a tendency to evaporate at room temperature assuming normal air pressure. VOCs have been associated with pollutants as per their inclusion in various literature on the topic of things like indoor air pollution (see here) and the fact that just about everything around us in the modern home or office is likely to release VOCs. Whilst not try........ Read more »

  • October 2, 2014
  • 04:52 AM
  • 116 views

JUST PUBLISHED: A Trial to Evaluate the Efficacy of an Integrated Smoking Cessation Intervention among Mental Health Patients

by Mark Rubin in The University of Newcastle's School of Psychology Newsline

Depending on diagnosis and setting, between 33 and 90 per cent of people with mental illness smoke tobacco, both in Australia and worldwide. As a result, tobacco-related diseases are one of the leading causes of mortality among this population subgroup. A paucity of research to date has examined the efficacy of cessation strategies to assist people with mental illness to quit smoking. However, limited findings have suggested that aids that have been found to be effective for the general populati........ Read more »

  • October 1, 2014
  • 02:17 PM
  • 117 views

What Encourages People to Walk Their Dog?

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

And is dog-walking a good way to persuade people to take more exercise?Photo: Monkey Business Images / ShutterstockWe know that most people do not get the 150 minutes of exercise per week that is recommended. Could encouraging people to walk their dogs more often help, and if so, how best to go about it? A new paper by Carri Westgarth et al (2014) of the University of Liverpool reviews the state of current research.Although to some dog owners a daily walk is an essential part of the routine, the........ Read more »

  • October 1, 2014
  • 09:00 AM
  • 172 views

What Is Love, Anyway?

by Bill Sullivan in The 'Scope

Inspired by the recent discovery of a couple still holding hands after 700 years, this article ponders the question, "What Is Love, Anyway?"... Read more »

Love TM. (2014) Oxytocin, motivation and the role of dopamine. Pharmacology, biochemistry, and behavior, 49-60. PMID: 23850525  

Domingue, B., Fletcher, J., Conley, D., & Boardman, J. (2014) Genetic and educational assortative mating among US adults. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(22), 7996-8000. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1321426111  

  • October 1, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 108 views

Admissibility of brain scans in criminal trials

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

It’s been a while since we’ve done an update on neurolaw issues and we think you’ll want to read the entire article upon which this post is based. The article is published in Court Review: Journal of the American Judges Association (which is probably a journal you would benefit from perusing regularly). The article (authored […]

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Rushing, SE. (2014) The admissibility of brain scans in criminal trials: The case of positron emission tomography. . Court Review, 50(2). info:/

  • October 1, 2014
  • 05:31 AM
  • 112 views

It’s ‘Stoptober’ – but 28 days isn’t long enough to change a habit

by Stuart Farrimond in Dr Stu's Science Blog

A month feels a very long time when you’re trying to give something up. Crikey, if you’re trying to give up cigarettes then even a weekend seems an eternity. And now that October is upon us, scores of smokers are going cold turkey on the fags for a 28 day stint. It’s all part of … Continue reading →... Read more »

Lally, P., van Jaarsveld, C., Potts, H., & Wardle, J. (2010) How are habits formed: Modelling habit formation in the real world. European Journal of Social Psychology, 40(6), 998-1009. DOI: 10.1002/ejsp.674  

  • October 1, 2014
  • 05:11 AM
  • 112 views

Maternal complement C1q and offspring psychosis

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"In conclusion, exposure to maternal C1q activity during pregnancy may be a risk factor for the development of schizophrenia and psychosis in offspring". That was the primary observation made by Emily Severance and colleagues [1] at Johns Hopkins, extending their scientific interest in immune system involvement being potentially linked to psychiatry [2]."Serve the public trust, protect the innocent, uphold the law"I've already talked about Dr Severance's previous research forays into complement ........ Read more »

Emily G. Severance, Kristin L. Gressitt, Stephen L. Buka, Tyrone D. Cannon, & Robert H. Yolken. (2014) Maternal complement C1q and increased odds for psychosis in adult offspring. Schizophrenia Research. info:/10.1016/j.schres.2014.07.053

  • October 1, 2014
  • 04:24 AM
  • 70 views

“Just try to ignore it”: How neurotic people respond to extreme rudeness at work

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

We’ve all experienced rudeness at work; at the time it’s offensive and can harm our creativity, but it bears even darker fruits in the long-term, as repeated exposure is associated with depression, anxiety and psychological distress.How do people deal with rudeness? When is it buried away, and when addressed? A new study suggests that we actually tend to ignore it most of the time. However more offensive acts may set us off – unless we are particularly emotionally sensitive, in which case,........ Read more »

  • September 30, 2014
  • 05:06 AM
  • 131 views

Autoimmune thyroiditis and depressive disorder

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Our study demonstrates a strong association between anti-TPO levels, which are considered to be of diagnostic value for autoimmune thyroiditis... with uni- or bipolar depression.""Beware the bad cat bearing a grudge"So said the study published by Detlef Degner and colleagues [1]. Anti-TPO antibodies by the way, refers to anti-thyroid peroxidase antibodies which, as the name suggests, are antibodies against thyroid peroxidase, an important step in the production of thyroid hormone........ Read more »

Degner D, Haust M, Meller J, Rüther E, & Reulbach U. (2014) Association between autoimmune thyroiditis and depressive disorder in psychiatric outpatients. European archives of psychiatry and clinical neuroscience. PMID: 25193677  

  • September 29, 2014
  • 06:07 PM
  • 162 views

Cat and Dogs: seeking solutions with sniffing canines and science

by Cobb & Hecht in Do You Believe In Dog?

Hi Mia and Julie,  First of all, I LOVE your blog! After meeting at SPARCS this past summer (summer for us in North America.. I take it summer is just beginning in Australia!), I’ve followed it closely.  You do amazing things for the promotion of  canine science. Serious love. A bit of background for the readers: I’m currently doing my PhD at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia in Canada, under the supervision of Dr. Simon Gadbois. Dr. Gadbois........ Read more »

  • September 29, 2014
  • 11:28 AM
  • 71 views

Can this simple strategy reduce children's anxiety about school tests?

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

The sad thing about children's exam nerves is that their fears often become self-fulfilling. Too much anxiety and they can end up under-performing relative to their abilities.A team of psychologists led by Fred Paas and colleagues has taken a cognitive psychology approach to this situation. Children have a certain amount of "working memory" capacity, they say, and it's either used up by the task at hand, or by external pressures, such as intrusive, worrying thoughts.Paas and his team have explor........ Read more »

  • September 29, 2014
  • 10:02 AM
  • 143 views

Eye contact makes us more aware of our own bodies

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

If you've ever felt acutely self conscious upon making eye contact with another person, a new study may help you understand why. Matias Baltazar and his colleagues have found that making eye contact activates people's awareness of their own bodies. That feeling of self consciousness induced by mutual gaze might be based in part on the fact that your brain is suddenly more attuned to your body.The researchers presented 32 participants with a series of positive and negative images on a computer sc........ Read more »

Baltazar M, Hazem N, Vilarem E, Beaucousin V, Picq JL, & Conty L. (2014) Eye contact elicits bodily self-awareness in human adults. Cognition, 133(1), 120-7. PMID: 25014360  

  • September 29, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 84 views

Simple Jury Persuasion: Should you consider 3-D for your courtroom videos?

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Evidence admissibility issues aside, the answer is, “only if you can do it as well as they did in the 3D movie Polar Express”. As it turns out, 3D isn’t that much more impactful than 2D unless it’s done really, really well. Psychologists and neuroscientists studying emotion often use film clips for their research. So […]

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Bride DL, Crowell SE, Baucom BR, Kaufman EA, O'Connor CG, Skidmore CR, & Yaptangco M. (2014) Testing the Effectiveness of 3D Film for Laboratory-Based Studies of Emotion. PLoS ONE, 9(8). PMID: 25170878  

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