Post List

  • April 14, 2010
  • 12:22 PM

The Brain That Can't Do Bigotry

by David Berreby in Mind Matters

A rapidly forming stereotype about autistic people is that they can't use stereotypes. In the words of this site about kids with Asperger's Syndrome, for instance, "they are usually free from sexism or racism." Scientific tests suggest that this is false—another example of stereotypes revealing more about the fears and hopes of stereotypers than they do about the stereotypees. "Seeing everyone as an individual" is an American ideal (so strong that children pretend not to see race), so we'r........ Read more »

Milne, Elizabeth, & Grafman, Jordan. (2001) Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex Lesions in Humans Eliminate Implicit Gender Stereotyping . The Journal of Neuroscience, 21(RC 150), 1-6. info:/11404442

  • April 14, 2010
  • 12:00 PM

Transcriptional Rewiring in Yeast

by Victor Hanson-Smith in Evolution, Development, and Genomics

Consider this 2006 Nature paper from Alexander Johnson’s lab. The story here is that transcriptional regulation of S. cerevisiae (i.e. yeast) mating genes has been handed-off from activation by the MATa gene to repression by the MAT-alpha gene. This is interesting because despite significant transcriptional rewiring, the logical output (the expression of mating genes) remained the same.... Read more »

  • April 14, 2010
  • 10:48 AM

Two views of brain function: Reflexive/reactive or Intrinsic/proactive?

by sandygautam in The Mouse Trap

Image via Wikipedia

Marcus Raichle, who had initially discovered the default brain network, has a new review article in TICS, that argues that brain activity should be understood as primarily an intrinsic and proactive process rather than a reflexive or reactive process.
He bases this argument on the fact that resting brain consumes 20 % of body’s More >Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)

Related posts:The right brain/ left brain asymmetry debate Over at the Health Information blog........ Read more »

M. Raichle. (2010) Two Views of Brain function. Trends in Cognitive Sciences. DOI: 10.1016/j.tics.2010.01.008  

  • April 14, 2010
  • 09:49 AM

Impaired or improved driving in abstinent Ecstasy users?

by DrugMonkey in DrugMonkey

A recent paper set out to examine automobile driving skills in people who had previously used Ecstasy (presumptively 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine; MDMA) but were currently not using. Dastrup and colleagues (2010) used a driving simulator task in which the job was to maintain a set distance behind a lead vehicle (LV) displayed on the computer screen. The job was to stay abut two car lengths (given as 18 meters) behind the LV while accelerating to 55mph. My Google U conversion calculation m........ Read more »

Dastrup, E., Lees, M., Bechara, A., Dawson, J., & Rizzo, M. (2010) Risky car following in abstinent users of MDMA. Accident Analysis , 42(3), 867-873. DOI: 10.1016/j.aap.2009.04.015  

  • April 14, 2010
  • 09:23 AM

Manipulating Morality with Magnetism

by agoldstein in WiSci

Using TMS, Rebecca Saxe and MIT/Harvard colleagues manipulate subjects' moral codes so that they focus on outcomes over intentions.... Read more »

  • April 14, 2010
  • 09:10 AM

Titanic and Lusitania: Lessons in Time, Tragedy and Survival

by Kelly Grooms in Promega Connections

Ninety-eight years ago today, the R.M.S Titanic hit an iceberg in the Atlantic Ocean and sank, taking with her 1,517 passengers and crew, and cementing her place in history forever.  Three years later on May 7, 1915, the R.M.S. Lusitania was hit by a German U-boat torpedo and sank carrying with her 1,198 passengers and crew [...]... Read more »

  • April 14, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Mind controlling an ant... with a fungus

by Zen Faulkes in NeuroDojo

Recently, I talked about a wasp that is able to use its venom to turn a cockroach from a freely moving individual into a soulless zombie. It’s a feat that stretches your imagination of how one animal could exert that much control over the nervous system of another.

As it happened, I cam across a paper that might just go one better. Another insect is the victim (an ant, this time), but the Svengali isn’t another animal. It’s a fungus.

The fungus is Ophiocordyceps unilateralis, here pictur........ Read more »

Andersen, S., Gerritsma, S., Yusah, K., Mayntz, D., Hywel‐Jones, N., Billen, J., Boomsma, J., & Hughes, D. (2009) The Life of a Dead Ant: The Expression of an Adaptive Extended Phenotype. The American Naturalist, 174(3), 424-433. DOI: 10.1086/603640  

  • April 14, 2010
  • 06:00 AM

ACL Graft Options: Allograft or Autograft?

by Mike Reinold in

Does the Graft Source Really Matter in Outcomes After ACL Reconstruction?  That seems to be a popular topic of late, with two new research articles in the last several months addressing this topic (one from AJSM and another from Sports Health).  These two particular articles performed systematic reviews of allograft versus autograft tissue during anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction. 
The first article, from AJSM,...


... Read more »

  • April 14, 2010
  • 05:41 AM

Alzheimers Postponed by Diet!

by Michael Ash in Nutri-Link Ltd - Clinical Education

If Alzheimer’s is a disease related to adverse inflammatory responses over time, could one of the largest and most regular antigenic burden – our foods have a significant impact on risk of development. What level of conviction would we as humans looking at a future of declining cognitive function require to moderate our food selection.

The journal Archives of Neurology in April 2010 published a paper looking at the role of a protective diet over time on the risk of Alzheimer&rsquo........ Read more »

Gu, Y., Nieves, J., Stern, Y., Luchsinger, J., & Scarmeas, N. (2010) Food Combination and Alzheimer Disease Risk: A Protective Diet. Archives of Neurology. DOI: 10.1001/archneurol.2010.84  

  • April 14, 2010
  • 05:30 AM

Study reveals reason why sleep deprivation leads to weight gain

by Yoni Freedhoff in Weighty Matters

Get ready for it.Sleep deprivation leads to weight gain because people who are sleep deprived eat more.The study was a small one. 12 men completed a randomized 2-condition crossover study where the conditions involved sleeping for 8 hours or sleeping for 4 hours. Following their sleeps the men were allowed to eat freely and consumption was recorded. Subjects also wore actimeters to measure physical activity and the men were also polled as to feelings of hunger, pleasantness of food, cravings and........ Read more »

Brondel, L., Romer, M., Nougues, P., Touyarou, P., & Davenne, D. (2010) Acute partial sleep deprivation increases food intake in healthy men. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. DOI: 10.3945/ajcn.2009.28523  

  • April 14, 2010
  • 05:22 AM

do quasars break the laws of physics?

by Greg Fish in weird things

Today, it’s pretty much common knowledge that time doesn’t behave the same way across space. The shape of the space-time fabric around massive objects like stars and planets actually slows its passage, and since the universe is constantly expanding, events seem to unfold slower the farther back in time we look relative to our planet’s [...]... Read more »

Hawkins, M. (2010) On time dilation in quasar light curves. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2010.16581.x  

  • April 14, 2010
  • 05:07 AM

Jewel Wasps manipulate specific brain centers to turn their prey into zombies

by Björn Brembs in

Jewel Wasps (Ampulex compressa) are amazing creatures and their form of parental care has received quite some attention not onkly by scientists but also from the general media, and rightfully so. This parasitoid wasp serves for its young by hunting cockroaches as food. But it doesn't serve the cockroach to the offspring in pieces. No, it first performs brain surgery on the 'roaches to render them docile and then lays an egg onto the pacified animal from which a larva will hatch which then burr........ Read more »

  • April 14, 2010
  • 05:00 AM

Invasive trout populations more productive than the natives they replace

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

... Read more »

Joseph R. Benjamin and Colden V. Baxter. (2010) Do Nonnative Salmonines Exhibit Greater Density and Production than the Natives They Replace? A Comparison of Nonnative Brook Trout with Native Cutthroat Trout. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society. info:/10.1577/T09-102.1

  • April 14, 2010
  • 03:56 AM

Starting from the Beginning: Evolutionary and Developmental Origins of Human Knowledge

by Jason Goldman in The Thoughtful Animal

What are the cognitive and neural systems that allow us to build buildings, play checkers, do multivariate statistics, receive DVDs by mail, follow Dr. Isis's pesto recipe, or navigate the tangled LA freeways?

You may ask: what can studying children and non-human animals tell us about the complexity of the human experience? Only educated human adults engage with formal mathematics, cooking, or map reading. Right?

This is a reasonable question to ask. But when human adults show complex, possi........ Read more »

Hauser, Marc D., & Spelke, Elizabeth. (2004) Evolutionary and Developmental Foundations of Human Knowledge. The Cognitive Neurosciences III (Ed. M. Gazzaniga). info:/

  • April 14, 2010
  • 03:00 AM

An approach for reducing human-wildlife conflicts

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

Researchers have developed a framework to help managers identify and prioritize actions that will reduce human wildlife conflict. They tested the approach in the Sundarbans of Bangledash where people are killing tigers and tigers are killing people...... Read more »

  • April 14, 2010
  • 02:40 AM

Individual Differences in Empathy

by Dr Shock in Dr Shock MD PhD

Empathy or the ability to appreciate someone else’s emotions and express this emotional awareness is a capacity that differs amongst individuals.
Cognitive empathy refers to imaginatively understanding another person’s thoughts, feelings and actions. Emotional empathy is feeling the emotion of another person, but maintaining a compassionate, other-focused perspective
Cognitive empathy can be tested with facial expression recognition. [...]

Related posts:Patient Doctor Relationship: Ca........ Read more »

  • April 14, 2010
  • 01:41 AM

Binge Eating, Bulimia, and Reward Sensitivity

by Evil Monkey in Neurotopia

You all may remember that Sci's recent posts have focused on eating, overeating, and dopamine. Today, Sci continues this trend. Honestly, she couldn't stop thinking about it. How is overeating like addiction? How is it different? And so she began to look up a bunch of papers on binge eating and dopamine.

I was particularly interesting in the changes in food intake and reward associated responses in people with eating disorders like bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa. There are many hy........ Read more »

  • April 13, 2010
  • 11:56 PM

Samurai and Deep-Sea Loricifera Should Use More Rouge

by Dr. M in Deep Sea News

He has not lived badly whose birth and death has been unnoticed by the world-Horace
It is good to carry some powered rouge in one’s sleeve. It may happen that when one is sobering up or waking from sleep, his complexion may be poor.  At such a time it is good to take out and apply [...]... Read more »

Danovaro, R., Dell'Anno, A., Pusceddu, A., Gambi, C., Heiner, I., & Kristensen, R. (2010) The first metazoa living in permanently anoxic conditions. BMC Biology, 8(1), 30. DOI: 10.1186/1741-7007-8-30  

  • April 13, 2010
  • 10:17 PM

The Creativity-dopamine (b)linkage: more brains and bonkers connections

by sandygautam in The Mouse Trap

Image by jef safi via Flickr

Creativity is certainly different from intelligence; it is usually gauged as the ability to make novel and useful unique contributions to a field. Creativity itself is not a unified construct but can be broken into convergent creativity (involving more focused approach) and divergent creativity (involving more widening and loosening of More >Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)

Related posts:Creativity-psychosis linkage via reduced white matter /myelination I........ Read more »

  • April 13, 2010
  • 08:40 PM

Life in the trees, not bamboo, shaped the panda's "thumb"

by Laelaps in Laelaps

A red panda (Ailurus fulgens, left, photographed at the Bronx Zoo) and a giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca, right, photographed at the National Zoo).

As the paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould so astutely pointed out in one of his most famous essays, the thumbs of giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) are nothing at all like the large digits on our own hands. Their accessory "thumbs", visible on the surface as a differentiated part of the pad on the "palm" of the hand, are modified sesamoid........ Read more »

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