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.
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Laufer, O., Israeli, D., & Paz, R. (2016) Behavioral and Neural Mechanisms of Overgeneralization in Anxiety. Current Biology. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2016.01.023
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 »
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.
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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
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 »
Rubin, M., Milanov, M., & Paolini, S. (2016) Uncovering the diverse cultural bases of social identity: Ingroup ties predict self-stereotyping among individualists but not among collectivists. Asian Journal of Social Psychology, 19(3), 225-234. DOI: 10.1111/ajsp.12137
Birth date of a child could play an important role in determining the chances of being diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
The Journal of Pediatrics
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 »
Chen, M., Lan, W., Bai, Y., Huang, K., Su, T., Tsai, S., Li, C., Lin, W., Chang, W., Pan, T.... (2016) Influence of Relative Age on Diagnosis and Treatment of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Taiwanese Children. The Journal of Pediatrics. DOI: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2016.02.012
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.
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Steffener, J., Habeck, C., O'Shea, D., Razlighi, Q., Bherer, L., & Stern, Y. (2016) Differences between chronological and brain age are related to education and self-reported physical activity. Neurobiology of Aging, 138-144. DOI: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2016.01.014
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
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.
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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
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.
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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.
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Post moved: http://guzintamath.com/blog/2016/03/retrieval-practice-effective-students/
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
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.
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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
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 »
Wilson, M., & Cook, P. (2016) Rhythmic entrainment: Why humans want to, fireflies can’t help it, pet birds try, and sea lions have to be bribed. Psychonomic Bulletin . DOI: 10.3758/s13423-016-1013-x
Merchant, H., & Honing, H. (2014) Are non-human primates capable of rhythmic entrainment? Evidence for the gradual audiomotor evolution hypothesis. Frontiers in Neuroscience. DOI: 10.3389/fnins.2013.00274
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.
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Tang, Hammack, Ogden, Wen, and Qian et al. (2016) Zika Virus Infects Human Cortical Neural Precursors and Attenuates Their Growth". Cell Stem Cell. info:/dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.stem.2016.02.016
Some contemporary sociolinguists love to hate an 18th century educator, philosopher, theologian, translator and general polymath by the name of...... Read more »
"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 »
Soley, G., & Spelke, E. (2016) Shared cultural knowledge: Effects of music on young children’s social preferences. Cognition, 106-116. DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2015.09.017
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
In the U.S., black colored offenders may face more severe decisions as compared to white colored offenders.
Journal of Quantitative Criminology
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 »
Hester, R., & Hartman, T. (2016) Conditional Race Disparities in Criminal Sentencing: A Test of the Liberation Hypothesis From a Non-Guidelines State. Journal of Quantitative Criminology. DOI: 10.1007/s10940-016-9283-z
“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.
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Choe, J., Coffman, B., Bergstedt, D., Ziegler, M., & Phillips, M. (2016) Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Modulates Neuronal Activity and Learning in Pilot Training. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. DOI: 10.3389/fnhum.2016.00034
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
Leary, E., Young, L., DuClos, C., & Jordan, M. (2015) Identifying Heat Waves in Florida: Considerations of Missing Weather Data. PLOS ONE, 10(11). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0143471
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
Liénard, J., & Strigul, N. (2016) An individual-based forest model links canopy dynamics and shade tolerances along a soil moisture gradient. Royal Society Open Science, 3(2), 150589. DOI: 10.1098/rsos.150589
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