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  • January 24, 2016
  • 07:47 AM

Safety devices can result in increased dangerous activities

by Usman Paracha in SayPeople

Main Point:

Dangerous activities of a person can be increased with the use of safety equipments as, for example, “wearing a bicycle helmet can increase risk taking and sensation seeking in adults.”

Published in:

Psychological Science

Study Further:

In a study, researchers from the University of Bath’s department of psychology have reported that humans develop their risk-taking behavior on the basis of the use of safety equipments.

They worked with some people ........ Read more »

  • January 23, 2016
  • 02:26 PM

When the music stops: Intensive instrument playing can lead to movement disorders

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

A musician takes up his/her violin and starts to play, but rather than gripping the strings, the fingers seize up--and this happens every time he/she takes up the instrument. Such a movement disorder--the so-called focal dystonia-- is a dramatic disease for those affected, which has thus far barely been studied.

... Read more »

Rozanski VE, Rehfuess E, Bötzel K, Nowak D. (2015) Task-specific dystonia in professional musicians—a systematic review of the importance of intensive playing as a risk factor. Dtsch Arztebl Int. info:/10.3238/arztebl.2015.0871

  • January 23, 2016
  • 05:35 AM

22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome and 'a highly increased risk of schizophrenia spectrum disorders'

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

22q11.2 deletion syndrome has turned out to be something of real interest to this blog. Not only because of the reported connection to the presentation of autism (see here) including some suggestion of a role for the immune system (see here) but also because of the idea that certain somatic comorbidity linked to the gastrointestinal (GI) tract might also figure as part of the presentation of at least some cases of Del22 (see here). Said GI issues have also cropped up across quite a few other lab........ Read more »

  • January 22, 2016
  • 04:36 AM

Our collective memory, like individual memory, is shockingly fallible

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

By guest blogger Laura SpinneyWhat were the greatest human catastrophes of the 20th century? When asked this question, most people answer the Second World War, followed by the First World War. The former killed around 50 million people, the latter 17 million. But there was another catastrophe that dwarfed both of these, that is rarely mentioned. The influenza pandemic of 1918-1920, better known as the Spanish flu, killed at least 50 million people worldwide, and perhaps as many as 100 million.Wh........ Read more »

  • January 22, 2016
  • 02:48 AM

Fatigue and severe behaviour problems associated with autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Challenging behaviours or behavioural crisis in relation to autism is a topic that has graced this blog before (see here). Covering a whole spectrum of issues ranging from aggression (self and/or directed against others) to various other quite undesirable presentations (such as smearing) quite a lot of behaviour can potentially fall into this description.Without heading too far into the possible [often very individual] reasons as to why challenging behaviours occur and their meaning (see he........ Read more »

  • January 22, 2016
  • 12:13 AM

Our brain can store information of the entire web (or more)

by Usman Paracha in SayPeople

Main Point:

Memory capacity of brain is about 10 times more than previous estimations, which is in the petabyte range, i.e. almost equivalent to the entire Web.

Published in:


Study Further:

Memories and thoughts in our brain are caused by a distinct pattern of chemical and electrical activity. Our brain has branches of neurons, which are connected to each other through synapses. Signals and information travel through these synapses with the help of neurotransmitters. Each ne........ Read more »

Bartol, T., Bromer, C., Kinney, J., Chirillo, M., Bourne, J., Harris, K., & Sejnowski, T. (2015) Nanoconnectomic upper bound on the variability of synaptic plasticity. eLife. DOI: 10.7554/eLife.10778  

  • January 21, 2016
  • 06:39 PM

"Cat-gras Delusion" - The Man Who Saw His Cat As An Impostor

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

Capgras syndrome is a strange disorder in which the sufferer becomes convinced that someone close to them has been replaced by an impostor.

Yet now, a new and even stranger variant of the syndrome has been reported - "Cat-gras". This is the name coined by Harvard neurologists R. Ryan Darby and David Caplan in a new paper in the journal Neurocase. The authors describe the case of a man who believed that his cat was in fact a different cat.

According to Darby and Caplan, the patient ... Read more »

  • January 21, 2016
  • 02:27 PM

Anxious? Chronic stress and anxiety can damage the brain

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

A scientific review paper warns that people need to find ways to reduce chronic stress and anxiety in their lives or they may be at increased risk for developing depression and even dementia. Led by the Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest Health Sciences, the review examined brain areas impacted by chronic anxiety, fear and stress in animal and human studies that are already published.... Read more »

Mah, L., Szabuniewicz, C., & Fiocco, A. (2016) Can anxiety damage the brain?. Current Opinion in Psychiatry, 29(1), 56-63. DOI: 10.1097/YCO.0000000000000223  

  • January 21, 2016
  • 07:27 AM

Teams are more creative when their leader is confident in her or his own creativity

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

If you’re wondering who to appoint to run a team with creative goals, you might favour a non-creative, reasoning that it’s down to the team members to generate creativity, with the person at the top acting more as driver and dogged coordinator. However, new research in Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes suggests that teams produce more creative outcomes when their managers have greater confidence in their own creativity.Lei Huang of Auburn University and his collaborators s........ Read more »

  • January 21, 2016
  • 02:51 AM

Pendulum swings... prenatal antidepressant exposure not linked to autism or ADHD

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Multiple studies have examined the risk of prenatal antidepressant exposure and risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), with inconsistent results."And..."These results suggest that prior reports of association between prenatal antidepressant exposure and neurodevelopmental disease are likely to represent a false-positive finding, which may arise in part through confounding by indication."'These results' refers to the findings reported by Castr........ Read more »

  • January 20, 2016
  • 09:31 PM

Students At Elite Universities Also View Asians As The Model Minority

by Marie Benz in Interview with: Jerry Park, Ph.D. Associate professor of sociology Affiliate Fellow, Institute for Studies on Religion Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Park: Research … Continue reading →
The post Students At Elite Universities Also View Asians As The Model Minority appeared first on
... Read more »

Jerry Park, Ph.D. (2016) Students At Elite Universities Also View Asians As The Model Minority. info:/

  • January 20, 2016
  • 02:29 PM

Overwhelmed and depressed? Well, there may be a connection

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Ever feel overwhelmed when you are depressed, well the good news is it isn't just you, the bad news is it's probably your brain. Regions of the brain that normally work together to process emotion become decoupled in people who experience multiple episodes of depression, neuroscientists report. The findings may help identify which patients will benefit from long term antidepressant treatment to prevent the recurrence of depressive episodes.

... Read more »

Jacobs, R., Barba, A., Gowins, J., Klumpp, H., Jenkins, L., Mickey, B., Ajilore, O., Peciña, M., Sikora, M., Ryan, K.... (2016) Decoupling of the amygdala to other salience network regions in adolescent-onset recurrent major depressive disorder. Psychological Medicine, 1-13. DOI: 10.1017/S0033291715002615  

  • January 20, 2016
  • 11:00 AM

WATCH: Persistence Pays Off For Squirrels

by Jenny Ludmer in Rooster's Report

Surely you can expect that the ubiquitous furry creature — a regular at your public park — is a master problem-solver. After all, squirrels must continuously stockpile acorns and occasionally raid bird feeders, all while playing in traffic and dodging hairy little beasts on leashes. But what personality characteristic most drives these exceptional abilities: persistence or flexibility? ... Read more »

  • January 20, 2016
  • 08:30 AM

Finding out if shelter dogs are friendly: testing the B.A.R.K. protocol

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

Research shows the challenges of assessing behaviour in shelter dogs.We know our pets well. My dog Bodger is bouncy and friendly; he sits to be patted, then jumps up with a surreptitious kiss; he likes zucchini and hates thunder. We form these observations through time spent with our dogs. But at animal shelters it’s not so easy. How do you assess the temperament of a dog you’ve only just met?Research by Kate Mornement(Monash University; Pets Behaving Badly) et al investigates this problem. ........ Read more »

  • January 20, 2016
  • 08:10 AM

The police believe a lot of psychology myths related to their work

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Despite recent improvements to their training, a new study in the journal of Police and Criminal Psychology suggests the police are as susceptible as the general public to holding false beliefs about psychology that apply to their work. The research, conducted in the UK, also showed that police officers have more confidence than the public in their false beliefs.Chloe Chaplin, a programme facilitator at the London Probation Trust, and Julia Shaw, senior lecturer at South Bank university, recruit........ Read more »

  • January 20, 2016
  • 05:01 AM

People who have experienced more adversity show more compassion

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

In parallel with the difficulties caused by trauma, such as depression and ill health, some people experience positive psychological changes, such as a renewed appreciation for life and increased resilience – a phenomenon psychologists term "post traumatic growth". According to a new study in the journal Emotion, we can add another positive outcome related to adversity – compassion. The more adversity in life a person has experienced, the more compassion they tend to feel and show toward oth........ Read more »

  • January 20, 2016
  • 03:11 AM

Middle ear infections and autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I'm gonna be fairly brief today in drawing your attention to the paper published by Daniel Adams and colleagues [1] reporting that: "Children with ASD [autism spectrum disorders] are more likely to have middle ear infections and otitis-related complications."The results, which we've known were coming (see here), detail findings based on a retrospective case-cohort study where the health insurance records of children of US military families were initially screened for the presence of au........ Read more »

Adams, D., Susi, A., Erdie-Lalena, C., Gorman, G., Hisle-Gorman, E., Rajnik, M., Elrod, M., & Nylund, C. (2016) Otitis Media and Related Complications Among Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. DOI: 10.1007/s10803-015-2689-x  

  • January 19, 2016
  • 02:14 PM

Can you trust your gut when public speaking?

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

There is good news for frequent public speakers. New research shows that individuals have the ability to quickly and accurately identify a crowd's general emotion as focused or distracted, suggesting that we can trust our first impression of a crowd's mood.

... Read more »

  • January 19, 2016
  • 04:29 AM

Get your (autism genetics) kicks on root 66?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

With the ever-increasing volumes of research being published in the peer-reviewed domain these days, one sometimes has to be a little creative to ensure that your research paper stands out and is not lost in the scientific noise. Quite a good way of getting noticed is to make sure that your paper catches the attention of your reader base. Y'know, give it a snappy title; something that social media might pick up on...So it was that my attention was taken when coming across the paper by Diaz-........ Read more »

  • January 18, 2016
  • 11:29 AM

Catch Him If You Can

by Miss Behavior in The Scorpion and the Frog

By Caitlin LockardWhen playing Frisbee with your dog, do you ever wonder how they have the ability to catch it so effortlessly? The art of being able to figure out where something like a Frisbee is headed requires some crazy math skills. Ostracods are one kind of animal that puts their wicked math skills to the test while finding a mate.The image above of a female ostracod was provided by Trevor Rivers.You’ve never heard of an ostracod you say? Ostracods are small crustaceans, which basicall........ Read more »

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