Society is gender-obsessed and the science of gender differences is riddled with controversy. Is this just another example of the mass media and scientists over-interpreting these differences to fit in with the popular notion of gender stereotypes?... Read more »
Ingalhalikar M, Smith A, Parker D, Satterthwaite TD, Elliott MA, Ruparel K, Hakonarson H, Gur RE, Gur RC, & Verma R. (2013) Sex differences in the structural connectome of the human brain. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 24297904
When asking someone to do something unethical, we underestimate what a difficult position we've put them in. New research suggests that to avoid social discomfort, many people will agree to perform a bad deed rather than say no.Vanessa Bohns and her colleagues first asked 52 student participants (31 women) to estimate how many people they'd have to approach on campus in order to get three people to tell a white lie. The lie was to sign a form saying the participant had given them a verbal introd........ Read more »
Bohns VK, Roghanizad MM, & Xu AZ. (2013) Underestimating Our Influence Over Others' Unethical Behavior and Decisions. Personality . PMID: 24327670
Gut inflammation and autism.Laughing or smirking? Wikipedia Words which still have the ability to furrow brows and precipitate eye rolling. Whatever your views on this topic, whether based on science or politics or both, there is no getting away from the evidence suggestive that in SOME cases of autism, issues with that deepest, darkest realm - the gut - do seem to be present.Whether based on the presence of functional bowel issues (see here and here) or something rather more fundamental (s........ Read more »
de Theije CG, Koelink PJ, Korte-Bouws GA, Silva SL, Mechiel Korte S, Olivier B, Garssen J, & Kraneveld AD. (2013) Intestinal inflammation in a murine model of autism spectrum disorders. Brain Behav Immun. DOI: 10.1016/j.bbi.2013.12.004
The crying was associated with a sorrowful facial expression, sobbing body movements, and a voice inflected with sadness. These physical manifestations ended with the termi- nation of stimulation and the patient described feeling sad, but could not express the trigger for the sadness or crying. Results were consistent and reproducible. I have previously wondered why […]... Read more »
Burghardt T, Basha MM, Fuerst D, & Mittal S. (2013) Crying with sorrow evoked by electrocortical stimulation. Epileptic disorders : international epilepsy journal with videotape, 15(1), 72-5. PMID: 23531727
This image was provided by the CDC and the Partnership, Inc. Available at Wikimedia Commons.Studies of the spread of infectious diseases have shown that behavior plays a strong role in which individuals are more likely to be infected and which ones aren't. For example, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are more commonly diagnosed in people that have more sexual partners. But despite our understanding of how diseases are spread among people, we know very little about the spread of diseases amo........ Read more »
Dizney L, & Dearing MD. (2013) The role of behavioural heterogeneity on infection patterns: implications for pathogen transmission. Animal behaviour, 86(5). PMID: 24319292
Health experts say we aren't eating enough fruit. Perhaps psychology can help. Try this. Picture yourself eating a portion of fruit tomorrow - an apple, say, or a couple of plums. Take your time. Focus on the colours, the consistency, the flavour. Visualise where you are at the time, and what you are doing.Do you think this simple imagery task will have increased the likelihood you will eat fruit tomorrow? A new study led by Catherine Adams attempted to find out. Over two hundred volunteers were........ Read more »
Adams C, Rennie L, Uskul AK, & Appleton KM. (2013) Visualising future behaviour: Effects for snacking on biscuit bars, but no effects for snacking on fruit. Journal of health psychology. PMID: 24217063
Dogs are social creatures, but while some dogs clearly love to visit dog parks, others seem less happy about it. New research by Ottenheimer Carrier et al (Memorial University of Newfoundland) investigates whether the dog park is stressful, and what dogs do there.Photo: Gerald Marella / ShutterstockDog parks are open spaces, usually fenced, where dogs can be off-leash. They are particularly useful in municipalities where leash laws mean there are few spaces for dogs to run free. The researchers ........ Read more »
Ottenheimer Carrier, L., Cyr, A., Anderson, R.E., & Walsh, C.J. (2013) Exploring the dog park: Relationships between social behaviours, personality and cortisol in companion dogs. Applied Animal Behaviour Science , 96-106. DOI: 10.1016/j.applanim.2013.04.002
Phospholipids are just one type of lipid in all cells. The fatty acids are the precursor to all kinds of lipids, but in some cases they have been modified to such a degree that they are not identifiable. The fatty acids are showing interesting functions, such as a new study showing that the levels of odd chain fatty acids can be used to monitor rumen health in cattle. The omega fatty acids are also becoming important in the treatment and prevention of depression. A new study shows that in Ameri........ Read more »
Beydoun MA, Fanelli Kuczmarski MT, Beydoun HA, Hibbeln JR, Evans MK, & Zonderman AB. (2013) ω-3 Fatty Acid Intakes Are Inversely Related to Elevated Depressive Symptoms among United States Women. The Journal of nutrition, 143(11), 1743-52. PMID: 24005610
Li Z, Thiel K, Thul PJ, Beller M, Kühnlein RP, & Welte MA. (2012) Lipid droplets control the maternal histone supply of Drosophila embryos. Current biology : CB, 22(22), 2104-13. PMID: 23084995
Vlaeminck B, Dufour C, van Vuuren AM, Cabrita AR, Dewhurst RJ, Demeyer D, & Fievez V. (2005) Use of odd and branched-chain fatty acids in rumen contents and milk as a potential microbial marker. Journal of dairy science, 88(3), 1031-42. PMID: 15738238
by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room
It’s been a while since we’ve done an update on neurolaw in the courtroom. The idea that pretty and colorful pictures of the brain (aka fMRIs) can give us a window into motivations, intent, and the creepiness of others captures our imagination. New research though, cautions us that perhaps (like the vast over-estimations of the […]
Confused about brain scans? Welcome to the club!
Defending the Psychopath: “His brain made him do it”
On brains, brain damage, pedophili........ Read more »
Hook CJ, & Farah MJ. (2013) Look again: effects of brain images and mind-brain dualism on lay evaluations of research. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 25(9), 1397-405. PMID: 23879877
Schweitzer NJ, Baker DA, & Risko EF. (2013) Fooled by the brain: re-examining the influence of neuroimages. Cognition, 129(3), 501-11. PMID: 24041836
Air pollution.I'm pretty sure most people are aware of all the talk about air pollution these days and how the human body is not particularly fond of air pollution in terms of potential adverse health outcomes (assuming that is, you leave things like selenium out of the equation). If you happen to live in China, I'm sure your mind was put at ease when reading about 'The Five Surprising Gains from the Smog'... or maybe not.Most people generally find it easier to accept that air pollution might sh........ Read more »
Volk HE, Kerin T, Lurmann F, Hertz-Picciotto I, McConnell R, & Campbell DB. (2013) Autism Spectrum Disorder: Interaction of Air Pollution with the MET Receptor Tyrosine Kinase Gene. Epidemiology (Cambridge, Mass.). PMID: 24240654
Myself (Miles Bore), Don Munro and David Powis have spent the last 15 years developing and testing personality questionnaires and ability tests for use in the selection of medical students. While much of the focus of our research has been the use of these tests in Australia and the UK, we have also had opportunities to trial the tests in countries where English is not the first language such as Sweden, Israel, Japan, Taiwan, Nepal and Fiji. Recently we were approached by Saharnaz Nedjat from Teh........ Read more »
Nedjat, S., Bore, M., Majdzadeh, R., Rashidian, A., Munro, D., Powis, D., Karbakhsh, M., . (2013) Comparing the cognitive, personality and moral characteristics of high school and graduate medical entrants to the Tehran University of Medical Sciences in Iran. Medical Teacher, 35(12), 1632-1637. DOI: 10.3109/0142159X.2013.826791
I'm self-employed and often need to get work done in a variety of locations. In theory, I should be most productive at home, with everything at my fingertips, but sometimes the exact reverse is true (which explains why I'm writing this from a cafe). So it was a treat to read a recent article by Mona Mustafa and Michael Gold on managing 'temporal and physical boundaries among self-employed teleworkers.' The article reports on a number of practices that may be useful to anyone in this situation.Th........ Read more »
Mona Mustafa, & Michael Gold. (2013) ‘Chained to my work’? Strategies to manage temporal and physical boundaries among self-employed teleworkers . Human Resource Management Journal, 23(4), 413-429. info:/
For some it's lying on a sun-drenched beach sipping sangria, for others it's wallowing in a cosy cocoon munching on chocolate and playing video games. Many people will admit that these or other immediate indulgences are what makes them happy. And yet, even given the freedom and resources to live a life of hedonism, many of us find it's not enough - we want to have meaning in our lives too.Unfortunately, what we mean by "meaning" has largely been neglected by psychologists. But now Roy Baumeister........ Read more »
Roy F. Baumeister, Kathleen D. Vohs, Jennifer L. Aaker, & Emily N. Garbinsky. (2013) Some key differences between a happy life and a meaningful life. Journal of Positive Psychology. DOI: 10.1080/17439760.2013.830764
“But, right now, do you think I made you stronger or weaker?” “I felt the flash and as we talked through it… it made me stronger.” I can trace my interest in neuroscience quite directly to when I was nine and my teacher showed us a video of the famous Penfield Experiments (see above, I’m pretty sure […]... Read more »
Parvizi J, Rangarajan V, Shirer W, Desai N, & Greicius MD. (2013) The Will to Persevere Induced by Electrical Stimulation of the Human Cingulate Gyrus. Neuron. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2013.10.057
Implicit gut feelings of newlyweds predict the succes of a marriage, new research suggests. ... Read more »
McNulty, J.K, Olson, M.A., Meltzer, A.L. . (2013) Though they may be unaware, newlyweds implicitly know whether their marriage will be satisfying. Science. DOI: 10.1126/science.1243140
We believe the negative press on the Millennials (our 20-somethings and early 30-somethings) is simply what happens to all of our young people as they are judged (and found wanting) by older generations. And mostly we eventually grow up, mature, and become something different than we started out as–at least when viewed through the eyes […]
Generation X: Active, balanced and happy. Seriously?
If your jurors are happy, will they blame the victim less?
Is the Millennial ........ Read more »
Roy F. Baumeister, Kathleen D. Voh, Jennifer L. Aaker, & Emily N. Garbinsky. (2013) Some key differences between a happy life and a meaningful life. . The Journal of Positive Psychology, 8(6), 505-516. DOI: 10.2139/ssrn.2168436
I'd like to begin with a quote from the paper by Hedvall and colleagues* who reported findings based on a study of developmental trajectory for 208 preschoolers diagnosed with an autism spectrum condition: "Changes in developmental profiles during preschool years are common in children with ASD".Seasons: Autumn @ Wikipedia Their naturalistic study suggested that the very early years of autism, at least some autism, and its presentation are characterised by "considerable chang........ Read more »
Hedvall A, Westerlund J, Fernell E, Holm A, Gillberg C, & Billstedt E. (2013) Autism and developmental profiles in preschoolers: stability and change over time. Acta paediatrica (Oslo, Norway : 1992). PMID: 24237479
Researchers have found that meditation can change our body at molecular level resulting in useful gene expression changes.
Gene expression refers to the process of getting information from a gene used in the synthesis of a functional gene product such as proteins.
Researchers have found that eight hours of mindfulness/calmness of mind practice, i.e. meditation, results in a r........ Read more »
Perla Kaliman et al. (2013) Rapid changes in histone deacetylases and inflammatory gene expression in expert meditators. Psychoneuroendocrinology. DOI: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2013.11.004
This is a thorough review of everything stupid ever said about the warrior gene, MAOA.... Read more »
Byrd AL, & Manuck SB. (2013) MAOA, Childhood Maltreatment, and Antisocial Behavior: Meta-analysis of a Gene-Environment Interaction. Biological psychiatry. PMID: 23786983
Oxytocin is hot. There are now hundreds of studies looking at the effect of this hormone on the human brain. A dose of oxytocin, delivered in the form of a nasal spray, can make people nicer towards the ostracised, reduce marijuana cravings, and ‘enhance brain function’ in autistic children – and much more, if you believe […]The post Does Nasal Oxytocin Enter The Brain? appeared first on Neuroskeptic.... Read more »
Striepens N, Kendrick KM, Hanking V, Landgraf R, Wüllner U, Maier W, & Hurlemann R. (2013) Elevated cerebrospinal fluid and blood concentrations of oxytocin following its intranasal administration in humans. Scientific reports, 3440. PMID: 24310737
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