The children of traumatized people have long been known to be at increased risk for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and mood and anxiety disorders. However, there are very few opportunities to examine biologic alterations in the context of a watershed trauma in exposed people and their adult children born after the event.
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Yehuda, R., Daskalakis, N., Bierer, L., Bader, H., Klengel, T., Holsboer, F., & Binder, E. (2016) Holocaust Exposure Induced Intergenerational Effects on FKBP5 Methylation. Biological Psychiatry, 80(5), 372-380. DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2015.08.005
Don't look now, but this spineless sea creature may be able to count better than your toddler.
Cuttlefish need to be savvy if they want to eat. They're always on the lookout for shrimp, fish or crabs. When a cuttlefish spots a potential victim, it shoots out two specialized, sucker-bearing tentacles and nabs it. Since these hunters have to make constant judgments about which prey are worth targeting, it would make sense for them to have advanced cognitive skills—say, the ability to cou........ Read more »
Yang TI, & Chiao CC. (2016) Number sense and state-dependent valuation in cuttlefish. Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society, 283(1837). PMID: 27559063
March of the mammoths Improvements in our genetic tinkering capabilities have led several people to suggest potential uses for our newfound powers. Although we ought to add some nuance and note that those powers are still in development. In any case, one of those powers is quite impressive. De-extinction, or the process of bringing back […]... Read more »
Seddon PJ, Griffiths CJ, Soorae PS, & Armstrong DP. (2014) Reversing defaunation: restoring species in a changing world. Science, 345(6195), 406-12. PMID: 25061203
McCauley, D., Hardesty-Moore, M., Halpern, B., & Young, H. (2016) A mammoth undertaking: harnessing insight from functional ecology to shape de-extinction priority setting. Functional Ecology. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2435.12728
Roger Tsien died a few days ago, at the relatively young age of 64. He was a UCSD scientist, a Nobel laureate and he was one of the first to see the significance and usefulness of GFP. I’ve never met him. … Continue reading →... Read more »
Heim, R., Prasher, D., & Tsien, R. (1994) Wavelength mutations and posttranslational autoxidation of green fluorescent protein. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 91(26), 12501-12504. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.91.26.12501
The journal Brain has a new review on the history of converting the electroencephalogram (EEG) into sound (Lutters & Koehler, 2016). The translation of data into sound, known as sonification, has been applied to brain waves since the 1930s. In addition to early scientific and medical applications, sonification of the EEG has been used in the field of experimental music.In 1965, physicist Edmond Dewan and composer Alvin Lucier collaborated on Music for the Solo Performer:Sitting on a cha........ Read more »
Lutters, B., & Koehler, P. (2016) Brainwaves in concert: the 20th century sonification of the electroencephalogram. Brain. DOI: 10.1093/brain/aww207
"Overall, OO [optimal outcome] individuals are not showing BAP [broader autism phenotype] characteristics, but may be subject to other mild ADHD [attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder]-like characteristics."So said the findings reported by Joyce Suh and colleagues  who continue a research voyage based on the examination of a group of children who were very much once on the autism spectrum but no longer meet the diagnostic criteria for the label: those with so-........ Read more »
Suh J, Orinstein A, Barton M, Chen CM, Eigsti IM, Ramirez-Esparza N, & Fein D. (2016) Ratings of Broader Autism Phenotype and Personality Traits in Optimal Outcomes from Autism Spectrum Disorder. Journal of autism and developmental disorders. PMID: 27538964
Ever think it's silly that people don't recognize Clark Kent is actually Superman? Well as it turns out, glasses are actually a fairly good way to disguise yourself. In fact, researchers have shown that small alterations to a person's appearance, such as wearing glasses, can significantly hinder positive facial identification.
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Kramer, R., & Ritchie, K. (2016) Disguising Superman: How Glasses Affect Unfamiliar Face Matching. Applied Cognitive Psychology. DOI: 10.1002/acp.3261
An fMRI study shows different dogs have different preferences for food and social interaction.A recent fMRI study investigates individual differences in dogs’ preferences for food and social interaction with their owner. The results have been widely – and erroneously – reported as showing that dogs prefer praise to food. In fact, the results paint a far more interesting picture of how brain activity predicts canine choice.I think most people feel subjectively that their dog loves them. The........ Read more »
Cook PF, Prichard A, Spivak M, & Berns GS. (2016) Awake Canine fMRI Predicts Dogs' Preference for Praise Versus Food. Social cognitive and affective neuroscience. PMID: 27521302
In the morning you get up, trudge all the way to the sink, grab a bar of soap and rub it on your face. Sometimes, after you rinsed, you realize that some soap got into your mouth. The taste is nasty, pungent, more in your nose than on your tongue and it persists until you eat or drink something.
This sickening feeling doesn’t hit me only in my brightest mornings, but also every time in an ethnic restaurant or during a trip the cook decides to decorate my tacos or my curry with some chop........ Read more »
Eriksson, N., Wu, S., Do, C., Kiefer, A., Tung, J., Mountain, J., Hinds, D., & Francke, U. (2012) A genetic variant near olfactory receptor genes influences cilantro preference. Flavour, 1(1), 22. DOI: 10.1186/2044-7248-1-22
Callaway, E. (2012) Soapy taste of coriander linked to genetic variants. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature.2012.11398
Patients who suffered a knee injury have some understanding of their long-term risks. However, there is an astoundingly low number of patients who recall having conversations with health care professionals about the long-term risks after an injury. ... Read more »
Bennell, K., van Ginckel, A., Kean, C., Nelligan, R., French, S., Stokes, M., Pietrosimone, B., Blackburn, T., Batt, M., Hunter, D.... (2016) Patient Knowledge and Beliefs About Knee Osteoarthritis After Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury and Reconstruction. Arthritis Care , 68(8), 1180-1185. DOI: 10.1002/acr.22794
"The choice of the victim was in line with emerging evidence indicating that children with disabilities in general and with autism in particular are frequent victims of filicide-suicide."The case report presented by Declercq and colleagues  reflects yet another uncomfortable topic discussed on this blog and how the 'deliberate act of murdering ones own child' is something unfortunately not unfamiliar when it comes to the label of autism. Declercq et al provide quite a raw account of........ Read more »
Declercq F, Meganck R, & Audenaert K. (2016) A Case Study of Paternal Filicide-Suicide: Personality Disorder, Motives, and Victim Choice. The Journal of psychology, 1-13. PMID: 27537187
After a massive screening of existing drugs, researchers at Johns Hopkins have found two classes of compounds that may work against the Zika virus.... Read more »
Xu, M., Lee, E., Wen, Z., Cheng, Y., Huang, W., Qian, X., TCW, J., Kouznetsova, J., Ogden, S., Hammack, C.... (2016) Identification of small-molecule inhibitors of Zika virus infection and induced neural cell death via a drug repurposing screen. Nature Medicine. DOI: 10.1038/nm.4184
Decision-making is the cognitive process of choosing a preferred option from among a set of options (Wilson and Keil 2001). Decision-making is present through every aspect of life, and making good decisions for every important occasion during lifetime is a human being’s constant endeavor (Garnham 2016). Historically, religion and philosophy have been the only domains […]... Read more »
Pazhoohi, F., & Arantes, J. (2016) How to Live a Life with More Positive Than Negative Feelings? A Review of Menelaos Apostolou, Feeling Good: An Evolutionary Perspective on Life Choices. Evolutionary Psychological Science. DOI: 10.1007/s40806-016-0069-1
A new study describes the mechanism by which caffeine counteracts age-related cognitive deficits in animals. The international teams showed that the abnormal expression of a particular receptor - the adenosine A2A, target for caffeine - in the brain of rats induces an aging-like profile namely memory impairments linked to the loss of stress controlling mechanisms.
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Batalha, V., Ferreira, D., Coelho, J., Valadas, J., Gomes, R., Temido-Ferreira, M., Shmidt, T., Baqi, Y., Buée, L., Müller, C.... (2016) The caffeine-binding adenosine A2A receptor induces age-like HPA-axis dysfunction by targeting glucocorticoid receptor function. Scientific Reports, 31493. DOI: 10.1038/srep31493
Why do some learned behaviors appear more frequently in daughters than in sons? I describe an article that attempts to answer this question by looking at dolphins, and briefly, chimpanzees.... Read more »
Zefferman, M. (2016) Mothers teach daughters because daughters teach granddaughters: the evolution of sex-biased transmission. Behavioral Ecology, 27(4), 1172-1181. DOI: 10.1093/beheco/arw022
Dyslexia or developmental reading disorder is a common learning disorder affecting about 5% of the school age population.Treatment of dyslexia is difficult and typically is focused on special education classes and reading exercises.Medication treatment for dyslexia is nearly unheard of as no FDA-approved drug is available for the condition.However, a recent randomized clinical drug trial found evidence to support the potential use of atomoxetine for dyslexia.Atomoxetine is a drug approved for at........ Read more »
Shaywitz S, Shaywitz B, Wietecha L, Wigal S, McBurnett K, Williams D, Kronenberger WG, & Hooper SR. (2016) Effect of Atomoxetine Treatment on Reading and Phonological Skills in Children with Dyslexia or Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Comorbid Dyslexia in a Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial. Journal of child and adolescent psychopharmacology. PMID: 27410907
Something smells fishy about corporate governance today... Read more »
Yuliya Ponomareva. (2016) Costs and Benefits of Delegation: Managerial Discretion as a Bridge between Strategic Management and Corporate Governance. Linnaeus University Press. info:other/978-91-88357-09-0
The nature of the solar flare sub-THz emission (Kaufmann, 2012) with a positive spectral slope at 200-400 GHz is still not clear..... Read more »
Yuriy Tsap et al.*. (2016) On the thermal nature of 140 GHz emission from the 4 July 2012 solar flare. Advances in Space Research, 2016, 57, 1449. info:/
'Scientists study link between unhealthy pregnancy diet and ADHD' went one media headline covering the paper by Jolien Rijlaarsdam and colleagues .The name of the research game was again to draw on data derived from ALSPAC (Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children) (yes, again) to look-see "the degree to which prenatal high-fat and -sugar diet might relate to ADHD [attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder] symptoms via IGF2 DNA methylation for early-onset persistent (EOP........ Read more »
Rijlaarsdam J, Cecil CA, Walton E, Mesirow MS, Relton CL, Gaunt TR, McArdle W, & Barker ED. (2016) Prenatal unhealthy diet, insulin-like growth factor 2 gene (IGF2) methylation, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder symptoms in youth with early-onset conduct problems. Journal of child psychology and psychiatry, and allied disciplines. PMID: 27535767
We all know that we can quickly lose cardiovascular endurance if we stop exercising for a few weeks, but what impact does the cessation of exercise have on our brains? New research examined cerebral blood flow in healthy, physically fit older adults (ages 50-80 years) before and after a 10-day period during which they stopped all exercise.
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Alfini, A., Weiss, L., Leitner, B., Smith, T., Hagberg, J., & Smith, J. (2016) Hippocampal and Cerebral Blood Flow after Exercise Cessation in Master Athletes. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience. DOI: 10.3389/fnagi.2016.00184
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