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  • September 8, 2015
  • 06:14 AM

Psychiatric history infection during pregnancy increases the risk of psychosis in offspring

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The title of this (hopefully) brief post mirrors the conclusion reached by Åsa Blomström and colleagues [1] who analysed data pertinent to all children "born in Sweden 1978-1997" to calculate hazard ratios (HRs) of nonaffective psychosis "in relation to maternal infection during pregnancy." Also detailing RERI - relative excess risk due to interaction - bringing in factors such as maternal history of psychiatric disorder as part and parcel of any effect, and authors reported that: "Among ........ Read more »

  • September 7, 2015
  • 06:58 AM

Psychology Should Aim For 100% Reproducibility

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

Last week, the Open Science Collaboration reported that only 36% of a sample of 100 claims from published psychology studies were succesfully replicated: Estimating the reproducibility of psychological science.

A reproducibility rate of 36% seems bad. But what would be a good value? Is it realistic to expect all studies to replicate? If not, where should we set the bar?

In this post I'll argue that it should be 100%.

First off however, I'll note that no single replication attemp... Read more »

Open Science Collaboration. (2015) Estimating the reproducibility of psychological science. Science (New York, N.Y.), 349(6251). PMID: 26315443  

  • September 7, 2015
  • 06:48 AM

Images of ultra-thin models need your attention to make you feel bad

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

By guest blogger Tom StaffordWe all know that fashion models have unrealistic bodies. Even if they aren’t photoshopped, most of us could never be that thin, at least not without making ourselves ill. Previous research has suggested that viewing pictures of unrealistically thin female models makes young women feel bad – leaving them dissatisfied with their own bodies, more sad, angry and insecure.A crucial question is whether the effect of these thin-ideal images is automatic. Does the compar........ Read more »

  • September 7, 2015
  • 03:07 AM

Gluten- and casein-free diets and autism: the Hyman results (at last)

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Although these findings must be interpreted with caution because of the small sample size, the study does not provide evidence to support general use of the GFCF [gluten-free/casein-free] diet."So said the results of the study finally published by Susan Hyman and colleagues [1] detailing the effects (or not) of a small (n=14) "double-blind, placebo-controlled challenge study" of the use of a diet devoid of gluten and casein for young children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD........ Read more »

Hyman, S., Stewart, P., Foley, J., Cain, U., Peck, R., Morris, D., Wang, H., & Smith, T. (2015) The Gluten-Free/Casein-Free Diet: A Double-Blind Challenge Trial in Children with Autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. DOI: 10.1007/s10803-015-2564-9  

  • September 6, 2015
  • 03:35 PM

Guilting teens into exercise won’t increase activity

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Just like attempts at influencing hairstyles or clothing can backfire, adults who try to guilt middle-schoolers into exercising won’t get them to be any more active. The study found students who don’t feel in control of their exercise choices or who feel pressured by adults to be more active typically aren’t.... Read more »

  • September 5, 2015
  • 06:26 PM


by Joshua Fisher in Text Savvy

Can we please talk about how we keep kids trapped for too long in counting number land? I've got this marvelous study to show you which might provides some good reasons to interleave different number systems throughout students' educations. It's this one.... Read more »

  • September 5, 2015
  • 03:03 PM

The science of stereotyping: Challenging the validity of ‘gaydar’

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

“Gaydar” — the purported ability to infer whether people are gay or straight based on their appearance — seemed to get a scientific boost from a 2008 study that concluded people could accurately guess someone’s sexual orientation based on photographs of their faces. In a new paper researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison challenge what they call “the gaydar myth.” William Cox, an assistant scientist in the Department of Psychology and the lead author, says gaydar isn’t ........ Read more »

  • September 5, 2015
  • 06:21 AM

Are internal replications the solution to the replication crisis in Psychology? No.

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

Most Psychology findings are not replicable. What can be done? Stanford psychologist Michael Frank has an idea : Cumulative study sets with internal replication. ‘If I had to advocate for a single change to practice, this would be it.’ I took a look whether this makes any difference. A recent paper in the journal Science […]... Read more »

  • September 5, 2015
  • 05:10 AM

Vitamin D fortified mozzarella topped pizzas. Yum!

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

A slightly more light-hearted but nevertheless important post for you today as I bring to your attention the paper by Banaz Al-Khalidi and colleagues [1] and their conclusion that: "Vitamin D3 is safe and bioavailable from fortified mozzarella cheese baked on pizza."Adding vitamin D3 - cholecalciferol - to mozzarella cheese, researchers assessed what happened to serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in a high (28,000 international units, IU) and low (200 IU) dose group of "96 appare........ Read more »

Al-Khalidi B MSc, Chiu W MSc, Rousseau D PhD, & Vieth R PhD. (2015) Bioavailability and Safety of Vitamin D3 from Pizza Baked with Fortified Mozzarella Cheese: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Canadian journal of dietetic practice and research : a publication of Dietitians of Canada , 76(3), 109-116. PMID: 26280790  

  • September 4, 2015
  • 02:28 PM

Common antidepressant may change brain

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

A commonly prescribed antidepressant may alter brain structures in depressed and non-depressed individuals in very different ways, according to new research. The study – conducted in nonhuman primates with brain structures and functions similar to those of humans – found that the antidepressant sertraline, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) marketed as Zoloft, significantly increased the volume of one brain region in depressed subjects but decreased the volume of two brain areas........ Read more »

Willard, S., Uberseder, B., Clark, A., Daunais, J., Johnston, W., Neely, D., Massey, A., Williamson, J., Kraft, R., Bourland, J.... (2015) Long term sertraline effects on neural structures in depressed and nondepressed adult female nonhuman primates. Neuropharmacology, 369-378. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2015.06.011  

  • September 4, 2015
  • 11:17 AM

Sharing Laughter May Be Key To A Long-Lasting Relationship

by Marie Benz in Interview with: Jeffrey A. Hall PhD Associate professor of communication studies University of Kansas Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Hall: Men might want to ditch the pickup lines and … Continue reading →
The post Sharing Laughter May Be Key To A Long-Lasting Relationship appeared first on Medical Research Studies with Interviews and News.
... Read more »

Jeffrey A. Hall PhD. (2015) Sharing Laughter May Be Key To A Long-Lasting Relationship. info:/

  • September 4, 2015
  • 06:37 AM

Sexual arousal has a similar effect on men's and women's risk-taking

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

When it comes to condom use among heterosexual couples, there's evidence that women are often expected to be the sensible ones, in terms of raising and enforcing the issue. A new study published in the Archives of Sexual Behaviour suggests this isn't just unfair, it's unwise too – both men and women show a similarly increased inclination for risk-taking when they are sexually aroused.The Canadian research team, led by Shayna Skakoon-Sparling, recruited 144 heterosexual undergrads to take part ........ Read more »

  • September 4, 2015
  • 05:00 AM

Brain glutathione and "ASD in intellectually able adult men"

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

A quote to start:"[1H]MRS [proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy] measures of cortical and subcortical GSH [glutathione] are not a biomarker for ASD [autism spectrum disorder] in intellectually able adult men."So said the study published by Alice Durieux and colleagues [1] (open-access available here) based on the measurement of "GSH concentrations in the basal ganglia (BG) and the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex of 21 normally intelligent adult males with ASD and 29........ Read more »

Durieux AM, Horder J, Mendez MA, Egerton A, Williams SC, Wilson CE, Spain D, Murphy C, Robertson D, Barker GJ.... (2015) Cortical and subcortical glutathione levels in adults with autism spectrum disorder. Autism research : official journal of the International Society for Autism Research. PMID: 26290215  

  • September 3, 2015
  • 08:28 PM

Reproducibility project: A front row seat

by Dan Mirman in Minding the Brain

A recent paper in Science reports the results of a large-scale effort to test reproducibility in psychological science. The results have caused much discussion (as well they should) in both general public and science forums. I thought I would offer my perspective as the lead author of one of the studies that was included in the reproducibility analysis. I had heard about the project even before being contacted to participate and one of the things that appealed to me about it was that they were t........ Read more »

  • September 3, 2015
  • 02:06 PM

Do antipsychotic medications affect cortical thinning?

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

People diagnosed with schizophrenia critically rely upon treatment with antipsychotic medications to manage their symptoms and help them function at home and in the workplace. But despite their benefits, antipsychotic medications might also have some negative effects on brain structure or function when taken for long periods of time.... Read more »

  • September 3, 2015
  • 11:28 AM

Using brain imaging to reevaluate psychology's three most famous cases

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

It's 50 years since the American neurologist Norman Geschwind published his hugely influential Disconnexion Syndromes in Animals and Man, in which he argued that many brain disorders and injuries could best be understood in terms of the damage incurred to the white-matter pathways connecting different areas of the brain.To mark this anniversary, an international team of researchers has used modern brain imaging techniques to reveal, in an open-access article for Cerebral Cortex, the likely damag........ Read more »

Thiebaut de Schotten M, Dell'Acqua F, Ratiu P, Leslie A, Howells H, Cabanis E, Iba-Zizen MT, Plaisant O, Simmons A, Dronkers NF.... (2015) From Phineas Gage and Monsieur Leborgne to H.M.: Revisiting Disconnection Syndromes. Cerebral cortex (New York, N.Y. : 1991). PMID: 26271113  

  • September 3, 2015
  • 06:23 AM

Why are Psychological findings mostly unreplicable?

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

Take 97 psychological effects from top journals which are claimed to be robust. How many will replicate? Brian Nosek and his huge team tried it out and the results were sobering, to say the least. How did we get here? The data give some clues. Sometimes the title of a paper just sounds incredible. Estimating […]... Read more »

  • September 3, 2015
  • 04:34 AM

What will happen to my child when I'm gone?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

From time to time I cover some uncomfortable topics on this blog as a function of what hand the autism research cards deal. Today is another one of those times as I bring to your attention the paper by Cathy Cox and colleagues [1] and their analysis of death concerns and psychological wellbeing in mothers of children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD).What they observed based on completion of a "fear of death scale" and "measures of death-thought accessibility, positive and negativ........ Read more »

  • September 2, 2015
  • 02:41 PM

A supposedly memory-enhancing commercial brain-stimulation device actually impairs memory

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

It's easy to understand why so many people have been tempted by the futuristic-looking brain stimulation headset. The manufacturers promise their product will increase brain speed and plasticity and improve mental abilities such as working memory. What's more, the device uses a technology that's usually described as "non-invasive" – transcranial direct current stimulation, or tDCS for short – to send currents apparently safely into your prefrontal cortex.There is ample lab r........ Read more »

Steenbergen, L., Sellaro, R., Hommel, B., Lindenberger, U., Kühn, S., & Colzato, L. (2015) “Unfocus” on commercial tDCS headset impairs working memory. Experimental Brain Research. DOI: 10.1007/s00221-015-4391-9  

  • September 2, 2015
  • 02:23 PM

Feeling blue and seeing blue: Sadness may impair color perception

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

The world might seem a little grayer than usual when we’re down in the dumps and we often talk about “feeling blue” — new research suggests that the associations we make between emotion and color go beyond mere metaphor. The results of two studies indicate that feeling sadness may actually change how we perceive color. Specifically, researchers found that participants who were induced to feel sad were less accurate in identifying colors on the blue-yellow axis than those who were led to ........ Read more »

Thorstenson CA, Pazda AD, & Elliot AJ. (2015) Sadness Impairs Color Perception. Psychological science. PMID: 26307592  

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