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  • March 12, 2016
  • 03:08 PM

People with anxiety show fundamental differences in perception

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

People suffering from anxiety perceive the world in a fundamentally different way than others, according to a new study. The research may help explain why certain people are more prone to anxiety. The study shows that people diagnosed with anxiety are less able to distinguish between a neutral, “safe” stimulus (in this case, the sound of a tone) and one that had earlier been associated with gaining or losing money.

... Read more »

  • March 12, 2016
  • 07:57 AM

Science teachers could be obstacle to climate change education

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

Climate change will continue to affect future generations, but are our children receiving accurate information about it? A new survey suggests not - here's a look and why and some possible solutions... Read more »

Plutzer, E., McCaffrey, M., Hannah, A., Rosenau, J., Berbeco, M., & Reid, A. (2016) Climate confusion among U.S. teachers. Science, 351(6274), 664-665. DOI: 10.1126/science.aab3907  

  • March 11, 2016
  • 02:17 PM

Finding the circuit for experience-informed decision-making

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

How is the brain able to use past experiences to guide decision-making? A few years ago, researchers discovered in rats that awake mental replay of past experiences is critical for learning and making informed choices. Now, the team has discovered key secrets of the underlying brain circuitry — including a unique system that encodes location during inactive periods.

... Read more »

Kay, K., Sosa, M., Chung, J., Karlsson, M., Larkin, M., & Frank, L. (2016) A hippocampal network for spatial coding during immobility and sleep. Nature, 531(7593), 185-190. DOI: 10.1038/nature17144  

  • March 10, 2016
  • 10:08 PM

Mates Make Groups for Individualists But Not for Collectivists

by Mark Rubin in Mark Rubin's Social Psychology Research Blog

Humans are an incredibly groupy type of animal. We form psychologically-meaningful groups based on our gender, age, nationality, religion, politics, skin colour, occupation, sexual inclination, and sports teams, to name just a few. Even in the artificial environment of psychology labs, people will identify with groups based on their totally random allocation to “Group A.” Indeed, they will declare that they feel “more similar” to Group A members than to Group B members, a........ Read more »

  • March 10, 2016
  • 08:50 AM

Date of birth has a connection to ADHD

by Usman Paracha in SayPeople

Main Point:

Birth date of a child could play an important role in determining the chances of being diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Published in:

The Journal of Pediatrics

Study Further:

In a recent study, researchers from Taiwan considered 378881 subjects in the age range of 4 to 17 years during the study period from September 1, 1997 to August 31, 2011. Those subjects in the study were enrolled from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Dat........ Read more »

  • March 9, 2016
  • 02:36 PM

Want a younger brain? Stay in school — and take the stairs

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Taking the stairs is normally associated with keeping your body strong and healthy. But new research shows that it improves your brain’s health too — and that education also has a positive effect. Researchers found that the more flights of stairs a person climbs, and the more years of school a person completes, the “younger” their brain physically appears.

... Read more »

  • March 8, 2016
  • 09:22 PM

Temples helping heritage language maintenance in Australia

by Niru Perera in Language on the Move

Do you know which non-Christian religion has grown the fastest in Australia since the new millennium? You might be surprised...... Read more »

Perera, N. (2016) Tamil in the temples – Language and religious maintenance beyond the first generation. Multilingua. info:/10.1515/multi-2015-0059

  • March 7, 2016
  • 04:15 PM

Preemies’ gut bacteria reveal vast scope of antibiotic resistance

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Yesterday we blogged about the emergent and increasing antibiotic resistance problem, which was good -- or bad timing -- depending on how you look at it. A new study of gut bacteria in premature infants reveals the vast scope of the problem of antibiotic resistance and gives new insight into the extreme vulnerability of these young patients, according to researchers.

... Read more »

Gibson, M., Wang, B., Ahmadi, S., Burnham, C., Tarr, P., Warner, B., & Dantas, G. (2016) Developmental dynamics of the preterm infant gut microbiota and antibiotic resistome. Nature Microbiology, 16024. DOI: 10.1038/nmicrobiol.2016.24  

  • March 6, 2016
  • 06:10 PM

Antibiotic resistance, evolution, and our future

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Without the discovery of antibiotics we could not — and most certainly would not — be living in the world we do today. It was a discovery that would save countless lives, while simultaneously compromising our future. From the use (and unfortunate misuse) of antibiotics, we gave rise to more virulent bacteria that have become resistant to more and more types of antibiotics.

... Read more »

  • March 6, 2016
  • 05:54 PM

Testing the evolution of resistance by experiment

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

When the first antibiotics became available 70 years ago, they were often described as miracles of human ingenuity, rather like plastics or bright permanent dyes, which were discovered at roughly the same time. Packaged in vials or pills, they seemed like our inventions rather a chance gift of evolution and one that evolution might also rescind.

... Read more »

  • March 5, 2016
  • 05:30 PM

Retrieval Practice Effective for Young Students

by Joshua Fisher in Text Savvy

Post moved:

These results are about as straightforward as they come in the social sciences. In an article published in Frontiers in Psychology, researchers report the results of three experiments which show that the benefits of retrieval practice (practice with retrieving items from memory) extends to children as much as to adults.... Read more »

Jeffrey D. Karpicke, Janell R. Blunt, & Megan A. Smith. (2016) Retrieval-Based Learning: Positive Effects of Retrieval Practice in Elementary School Children. Frontiers in Psychology, 2-28. info:/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00350

  • March 5, 2016
  • 04:21 PM

Brain connectivity reveals your hidden motivations

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

To understand human behaviors, it is crucial to understand the motives behind them. So far, there was no direct way to identify motives. Simply observing behavior or eliciting explanations from individuals for their actions will not give reliable results as motives are considered to be private and people can be unwilling to unveil - or even be unaware of - their own motives.

... Read more »

Hein G, Morishima Y, Leiberg S, Sul S, & Fehr E. (2016) The brain's functional network architecture reveals human motives. Science, 351(6277), 1074-8. PMID: 26941317  

  • March 5, 2016
  • 11:15 AM

Een aap met maatgevoel? [Dutch]

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

Hieronder een videoimpressie van de Diesrede uitgesproken tijdens de 384ste Dies Natalis van de Universiteit van Amsterdam met de titel ‘Een aap met maatgevoel’. In die lezing beschrijf ik wat muzikaliteit is of kan zijn, maar ook in hoeverre we muzikaliteit delen met andere dieren, om er zo achter te komen of muzikaliteit een biologische basis heeft. Lang niet alle wetenschappers zijn het daar over eens.... Read more »

  • March 4, 2016
  • 03:00 PM

Zika virus infects human neural stem cells, but…

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

The Zika virus infects a type of neural stem cell that gives rise to the brain’s cerebral cortex, Johns Hopkins and Florida State researchers have found. On laboratory dishes, these stem cells were found to be havens for viral reproduction, resulting in cell death and/or disruption of cell growth. While this study does not prove the direct link between Zika and microcephaly, it does pinpoint where the virus may be doing the most damage.

... Read more »

Tang, Hammack, Ogden, Wen, and Qian et al. (2016) Zika Virus Infects Human Cortical Neural Precursors and Attenuates Their Growth". Cell Stem Cell. info:/

  • March 3, 2016
  • 09:01 PM

Herder: an explainer for linguists

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

Some contemporary sociolinguists love to hate an 18th century educator, philosopher, theologian, translator and general polymath by the name of...... Read more »

  • March 1, 2016
  • 11:39 AM

Kids Want Friends Who Know the Same Songs

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

"I've always wanted to have a neighbor just like you," Mister Rogers used to sing from millions of television sets while changing his shoes. But even if Fred Rogers wanted to be everyone's neighbor, most people are more selective. Whether they choose to hang out with each other may depend on their gender, race, political affiliation, or even favorite sports teams. A new study shows that these preferences start early: kids as young as 4 years old want to be friends with other kids who kn........ Read more »

  • March 1, 2016
  • 11:10 AM

Shame on You, Shame on Me: Shame as an Evolutionary Adaptation

by Jalees Rehman in The Next Regeneration

Can shame be good for you? We often think of shame as a shackling emotion which thwarts our individuality and creativity. A sense of shame could prevent us from choosing a partner we truly love, speaking out against societal traditions which propagate injustice or pursuing a profession that is deemed unworthy by our peers. But if shame is so detrimental, why did we evolve with this emotion? A team of researchers led by Daniel Sznycer from the Center for Evolutionary Psychology at the University ........ Read more »

Sznycer D, Tooby J, Cosmides L, Porat R, Shalvi S, & Halperin E. (2016) Shame closely tracks the threat of devaluation by others, even across cultures. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 26903649  

  • February 29, 2016
  • 03:37 AM

Black and white may not be the same in the U.S. courts

by Usman Paracha in SayPeople

Main Point:

In the U.S., black colored offenders may face more severe decisions as compared to white colored offenders.

Published in:

Journal of Quantitative Criminology

Study Further:

In a study, researchers tried to find the racial factors behind criminal sentencing in the U.S. They analyzed more than 17,000 decisions. They studied the flexibility of judges while sentencing decisions. Moreover, they collected data from South Carolina, where there were no sentencing guidelines. R........ Read more »

  • February 28, 2016
  • 05:00 PM

Matrix Unloaded: How you can fly a plane using expert-pilot brainwave patterns

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

“I know kung fu,” movie buffs might remember the remember the quote from “The Matrix.” We can all probably agree that being able to download knowledge “on tap” would be a boon to humanity. It is a shame it is just a movie… right? While that may be the case, it is just for now. That is because researchers have discovered that low-current electrical brain stimulation can modulate the learning of complex real-world skills.

... Read more »

  • February 28, 2016
  • 08:35 AM

Week 8 In Review: Open-Access Science | 22 to 28 Feb

by TakFurTheKaffe in Tak Fur The Kaffe

Sea level rose faster in the 20th century than in any other century of the last 3,000 years, new methods for estimating future sea level rise and heat waves, consumers to blame for their carbon footprint, and new virtual forests predict future impacts of climate change. Here are five of the latest scientific studies published open-access this week.... Read more »

Kopp, R., Kemp, A., Bittermann, K., Horton, B., Donnelly, J., Gehrels, W., Hay, C., Mitrovica, J., Morrow, E., & Rahmstorf, S. (2016) Temperature-driven global sea-level variability in the Common Era. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 201517056. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1517056113  

Mengel, M., Levermann, A., Frieler, K., Robinson, A., Marzeion, B., & Winkelmann, R. (2016) Future sea level rise constrained by observations and long-term commitment. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 201500515. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1500515113  

Ivanova, D., Stadler, K., Steen-Olsen, K., Wood, R., Vita, G., Tukker, A., & Hertwich, E. (2015) Environmental Impact Assessment of Household Consumption. Journal of Industrial Ecology. DOI: 10.1111/jiec.12371  

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