Post List

  • November 15, 2010
  • 07:00 AM

The Lonely Hearts Club

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Loneliness is a complex set of emotions that encompasses feelings of social isolation, unfilled intimate needs, and heightened feelings of vulnerability. Though transient for some people, chronic loneliness can take a physical and psychological toll on individuals, leading to increased morbidity and mortality. Specifically, new research indicates that loneliness raises blood pressure – a silent [...]... Read more »

Cacioppo JT, Ernst JM, Burleson MH, McClintock MK, Malarkey WB, Hawkley LC, Kowalewski RB, Paulsen A, Hobson JA, Hugdahl K.... (2000) Lonely traits and concomitant physiological processes: the MacArthur social neuroscience studies. International journal of psychophysiology : official journal of the International Organization of Psychophysiology, 35(2-3), 143-54. PMID: 10677643  

Cacioppo JT, Hawkley LC, Crawford LE, Ernst JM, Burleson MH, Kowalewski RB, Malarkey WB, Van Cauter E, & Berntson GG. (2002) Loneliness and health: potential mechanisms. Psychosomatic medicine, 64(3), 407-17. PMID: 12021415  

Hawkley LC, & Cacioppo JT. (2003) Loneliness and pathways to disease. Brain, behavior, and immunity. PMID: 12615193  

Hawkley LC, Preacher KJ, & Cacioppo JT. (2010) Loneliness impairs daytime functioning but not sleep duration. Health psychology : official journal of the Division of Health Psychology, American Psychological Association, 29(2), 124-9. PMID: 20230084  

Hawkley LC, Thisted RA, & Cacioppo JT. (2009) Loneliness predicts reduced physical activity: cross-sectional . Health psychology : official journal of the Division of Health Psychology, American Psychological Association, 28(3), 354-63. PMID: 19450042  

Masi CM, Chen HY, Hawkley LC, & Cacioppo JT. (2010) A Meta-Analysis of Interventions to Reduce Loneliness. Personality and social psychology review : an official journal of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Inc. PMID: 20716644  

  • November 15, 2010
  • 07:00 AM

November 15, 2010

by Erin Campbell in HighMag Blog

Cell biologists make amazing discoveries using cells grown flat on culture dishes, yet the cells in an organism grow and function in three dimensions. Some cell biologists use clever tricks to understand how cells function in three dimensions by using cells cultured in gels, and they find out very valuable information. Throughout biology there are many cases of oriented cell division, during which a cell orients the mitotic spindle on a specific axis. These cell divisions can occur throughout........ Read more »

Hao, Y., Du, Q., Chen, X., Zheng, Z., Balsbaugh, J., Maitra, S., Shabanowitz, J., Hunt, D., & Macara, I. (2010) Par3 Controls Epithelial Spindle Orientation by aPKC-Mediated Phosphorylation of Apical Pins. Current Biology, 20(20), 1809-1818. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2010.09.032  

  • November 15, 2010
  • 06:00 AM

Article review: Pitfalls in writing test questions

by Michelle Lin in Academic Life In Emergency Medicine

Which is the best answer?A. YesB. NoC. MaybeD. 2 of the 3 aboveE. None of the aboveWait, what?! What a terribly written test question! Have you encountered similarly poor questions on exams? It turns out that writing multiple-choice test questions is actually pretty difficult. There are some basic rules to follow and pitfalls to avoid.In an article, the authors (hey, I know most of them! Wait, why wasn't I invited?!) talks about the lack of a National Board Medical Exam in Emergency Me........ Read more »

Senecal, E., Askew, K., Gorney, B., Beeson, M., & Manthey, D. (2010) Anatomy of a Clerkship Test. Academic Emergency Medicine. DOI: 10.1111/j.1553-2712.2010.00880.x  

  • November 15, 2010
  • 03:00 AM

The Study of Optical Illusions Prior to 1960 - With Illustrations

by John Wayland in The Darwin Tribune

Humans have been aware of optical illusions for a very long time. Indeed, recently, the study of illusions has provided psychology with many, many illusions. Colman (2006) states that broadly speaking, illusions fall into the following categories:Ambiguous figures, associative illusions, illusory contours, impossible figures, movement illusions, perspective illusions, space-time illusions, stereoscopic illusions, and visual aftereffects.Baldwin IllusionMany illusions actually were developed befo........ Read more »

Colman, A. (2001) The dictionary of psychology. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 15(3), 349-351. DOI: 10.1002/acp.737  

Wells, S.R. (1868) Seeing, Not Believing. American Journal of Phrenology And Life Illustrated, 47(3), 101-102. info:/

  • November 15, 2010
  • 01:36 AM

Narcissism and academic dishonesty

by Dr Shock in Dr Shock MD PhD

Academic dishonesty is any type of cheating that occurs in relation to a formal academic exercise. Examples are:

Plagiarism: The adoption or reproduction of original creations of another author (person, collective, organization, community or other type of author, including anonymous authors) without due acknowledgment.
Fabrication: The falsification of data, information, or citations in any formal academic exercise.
Deception: [...]

Related posts:Adolescents’ Narcissism on Facebook
Nar........ Read more »

  • November 14, 2010
  • 11:06 PM

The Mines of the Future and of the Past

by teofilo in Gambler's House

In 1527 an expedition led by the Spanish nobleman Pánfilo de Narváez left Spain with the intention of conquering and colonizing Florida.  Accompanying the expedition as treasurer was Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, who ended up being one of a handful of survivors of the disastrous expedition.  Cabeza de Vaca later wrote an account of [...]... Read more »

  • November 14, 2010
  • 10:34 PM

Corporate Social Responsibility

by Jan Husdal in

How far does corporate social responsibility go? While corporate social responsibility looks good on paper, how far are companies willing to not just talk the talk, but also walk the walk? For example, what should a company do if the authorities in a foreign country are clearing away residential areas (and removing residents without any compensation) to make room for industrial development that may allow said company to expand its offshored manufacturing facilities? Interfere? Do nothing? Milton........ Read more »

  • November 14, 2010
  • 06:31 PM

The limits of the immune system

by David Basanta in Cancerevo: Cancer evolution

After spending a good part of Wednesday talking with scientists at the department of immunology at Moffitt I am well aware of the importance of the immune system as an anticancer mechanism. The immune system is not perfect though...... Read more »

Martin, L., & Coon, C. (2010) Infection Protection and Natural Selection. Science, 330(6004), 602-603. DOI: 10.1126/science.1198303  

  • November 14, 2010
  • 06:12 PM

Potential link between first-born children and health risks in adulthood

by Phil Camill in Global Change: Intersection of Nature and Culture

Each year, we hear that people are gaining weight and that chronic health problems like obesity, heart problems, and diabetes are on the rise. It's commonplace to ascribe these trends to personal lifestyle choices, such as the lack of exercise and diet, as well as the increasingly pervasive nature of fast food and processed, high-sugar foods.
However, there may [...]... Read more »

  • November 14, 2010
  • 05:42 PM

Psycasm - The Science of Marriage

by Rift in Psycasm

[Wherein our Hero pops a question - What's so great about Marriage?]I’m surrounded by marriage at the moment. In just the last three weeks I’ve had two cousins marry off (people my own age, I should add), and – most notably for LabSpaceCadets - Brian ‘Dear Overlord’ Kreuger has become happily married in the last day and a half.One thing I’ve noticed about Weddings is that it becom; (read more)

Source: Rift - Discipline: Psychology... Read more »

Acevedo, B., & Aron, A. (2009) Does a long-term relationship kill romantic love?. Review of General Psychology, 13(1), 59-65. DOI: 10.1037/a0014226  

Koball, H., Moiduddin, E., Henderson, J., Goesling, B., & Besculides, M. (2010) What Do We Know About the Link Between Marriage and Health?. Journal of Family Issues, 31(8), 1019-1040. DOI: 10.1177/0192513X10365834  

Nealey-Moore, J., Smith, T., Uchino, B., Hawkins, M., & Olson-Cerny, C. (2007) Cardiovascular Reactivity During Positive and Negative Marital Interactions. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 30(6), 505-519. DOI: 10.1007/s10865-007-9124-5  

  • November 14, 2010
  • 04:12 PM

So, Homoeopathy has Benefits as a ... Talking Therapy?

by Maria Wolters in Speech and Science

Via Twitter, I noticed a study that claimed to show clinical benefits for Homoeopathy - not for the remedy, but for the consultation style. That aroused my interest. During three years of unexplained infertility, I saw quite a few CAM practitioners, a nutritionist, two herbalists (one Chinese, one Western), a Shiatsu therapist, an aromatherapist, a Structural Integration practitioner, and a woman who practiced Reiki. I was desperate and wanted to do something, anything, to become a m........ Read more »

  • November 14, 2010
  • 02:16 PM

Seek and ye shall find (friends online)

by Hadas Shema in Information Culture

Who makes new friends on social networks online? If we are going by the "rich get richer" assumption, we would expect to find that people who are already socially active will find even more friends on SNS. On the other hand, it's possible that those who have troubles forming offline relationships will socialize more on the Web (the "social compensation" model). The third possibility is the "seek and ye shall find" model: people who believe it's possible to create online friendships would be mor........ Read more »

Tufekci, Z. (2010) Who Acquires Friends Through Social Media and Why? "Rich Get Richer" versus "Seek and Ye Shall Find". Proceedings of the 4th International AAAI Conference on Weblogs and Social Media (ICWSM, 2010). info:/

  • November 14, 2010
  • 01:48 PM

The demon is out of the bottle

by Joerg Heber in All That Matters

Your desk at work, is it chaotic as mine, or clean and ordered? If the latter, I salute you, because it takes work to keep a desk tidy. Otherwise, chaos will soon reign. And while I admit that I should keep my desk cleaner (and no, I won’t share photos here), I have an excellent [...]... Read more »

  • November 14, 2010
  • 12:00 PM

Climate Change and the Importance of Maintenance Breeding

by Matt DiLeo in Biofortified

Variety IR8 is the original “Miracle rice” of the 1960s. This carefully-crafted variety has a stunted, semi-dwarf phenotype, which increases it’s harvest index (the proportion of grain biomass to total biomass), and allows it to resist lodging (falling over into the mud), even when heavily fertilized. As with wheat, the creation of dwarf varieties of rice played a major role in the enormous yield gains of the Green Revolution. But now it’s in Continue reading...... Read more »

  • November 14, 2010
  • 01:10 AM

Genes for autism or genes for connectivity?

by Jon Brock in Cracking the Enigma

Autism is a genetic disorder. We've known this ever since the 1970s when studies by Susan Folstein and Michael Rutter showed that identical twins  (who share the same random mix of genes from their parents) are much more likely to both be autistic than fraternal (non-identical) twins, who each have a different random mix of genes. These findings were incredibly important and fundamentally changed the way people think about autism. But they didn't tell us which genes cause aut........ Read more »

Scott-Van Zeeland AA, Abrahams BS, Alvarez-Retuerto AI, Sonnenblick LI, Rudie JD, Ghahremani D, Mumford JA, Poldrack RA, Dapretto M, Geschwind DH.... (2010) Altered Functional Connectivity in Frontal Lobe Circuits Is Associated with Variation in the Autism Risk Gene CNTNAP2. Science translational medicine, 2(56). PMID: 21048216  

  • November 13, 2010
  • 05:50 PM

How to win elections by changing beliefs in God

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

Aaron Kay a psychologist at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada is interested in how people react when you make them feel like they're not in control of the situation they find themselves in.

He's previously shown that, if you disturb people's sense of control, then they tend to compensate by increasing their belief in a controlling god. In a separate study, he also showed that there's a similar relationship with attitudes to government. What seems to be happening is that, when people........ Read more »

  • November 13, 2010
  • 04:00 PM

Saturday Review: Oral Vaccines

by Kevin Bonham in Food Matters

Last week, I talked about strategies to improve vaccine efficacy and safety. Most of those strategies were in the context of standard, inject-into-your-arm vaccines, but what about totally new delivery methods? This week, there was a review in PLoS Pathogens of strategies for generating vaccines that you can swallow:

Enhancing Oral Vaccine Potency by Targeting Intestinal M Cells

The immune system in the gastrointestinal tract plays a crucial role in the control of infection, as it constitutes ........ Read more »

  • November 13, 2010
  • 02:46 PM

The Limits of Neuroplasticity

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

Neuroplasticity is in.Books tell us about The Brain That Changes Itself or advise us on how to Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain.Now there's no doubt that the brain is plastic, able to rewire itself in response to damage or training, and that it's more so than was generally believed, say, 20 years ago. It's clearly an important and interesting field, but a little caution is warranted. Neuroplasticity can't fix everything.If the brain were infinitely plastic, brain damage would be no big deal. Y........ Read more »

  • November 13, 2010
  • 12:04 PM

Broken Taboo: A Major Journal Publishes Evidence of ESP

by David Berreby in Mind Matters

Psi is psychology's equivalent of the perpetual motion machine in physics. Claims in favor of telepathy, clairvoyance, premonitions or other extra-sensory perceptions were always considered the realm of looney-tunes who write to professors with no margins and lots of fanciful diagrams. Or worse ...Read More
... Read more »

Daryl J. Bem. (2011) Feeling the future: Experimental evidence for anomalous retroactive influences on cognition and affect. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. info:/10.1037/a0021524

  • November 13, 2010
  • 11:30 AM

Slow down = mow down?

by Alistair Dove in Deep Type Flow

Manatees in Florida are a battle hardened lot.  A large proportion of the sluggish sea cows have injuries from boat strikes, which is something of an occupational hazard when you live in the heavily trafficked coastal waterways of the sunshine state.  Indeed, lots of manatees have multiple scars from a lifetime of encounters with leisure craft, and boat strike is the biggest human cause of manatee deaths in that state.  The solution seems obvious, right?  Slow down! &nb........ Read more »

Gerstein, E. (2002) Manatees, Bioacoustics and Boats. American Scientist, 90(2), 154. DOI: 10.1511/2002.2.154  

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