There’s a spot near the west end of the Pueblo Bonito parking lot, close to the spot where guided tours begin, where you can yell something in the direction of the canyon wall and hear a very clear echo back. Some of the tour guides at Chaco regularly demonstrate this impressive effect when beginning their [...]... Read more »
Mills, B., & Ferguson, T. (2008) Animate Objects: Shell Trumpets and Ritual Networks in the Greater Southwest. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory, 15(4), 338-361. DOI: 10.1007/s10816-008-9057-5
The draft version of DSM-V: Revenge of the Fallen has been online for a few weeks (1) and much has already been written about it (1, 2, 3, 4). Much focus has been on what is "new" and what is "gone." One feature that is shared by the majority of DSM diagnoses, the "clinical significance" criterion, might be on its way out. Typically this criterion reads "The symptoms cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other........ Read more »
Wakefield, J., Schmitz, M., & Baer, J. (2010) Does the DSM-IV Clinical Significance Criterion for Major Depression Reduce False Positives? Evidence From the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. American Journal of Psychiatry. DOI: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2009.09040553
The placebo effect is that spooky phenomenon that can cure people simply by convincing them they're getting real medicine (whereas they in fact are just taking a sugar pill). Although it's been reported in all sorts of areas of medicine, it's particularly potent for treating things like irritable bowel syndrome, pain, and depression.In fact, a recent analysis found that most of the effect of antidepressant medicine in people with depression was in fact due to the placebo effect (but the effect........ Read more »
Murphy, P., & Fitchett, G. (2009) Belief in a concerned god predicts response to treatment for adults with clinical depression. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 65(9), 1000-1008. DOI: 10.1002/jclp.20598
I know you've been on pins and needles waiting to hear, so I'm happy to report that the finalists are out! Congrats to everyone! There are some fantastic blogs in the running for some nice sums of cash. In a week or so, voting will open to allow research blogging members to vote for their favorites in a bunch of categories.
I am so honored that Observations of a Nerd was chosen as a finalist not only in the "Best Blog -- Biology" and in the "Best Lay-Level Blog" categories, but one of my post........ Read more »
Figure 1: Dogs are pretty intelligent.
Domesticated dogs seem to have an uncanny ability to understand human communicative gestures. If you point to something the dog zeroes in on the object or location you’re pointing to (whether it’s a toy, or food, or to get his in-need-of-a-bath butt off your damn bed and back onto his [...]... Read more »
Hare, B., Plyusnina, I., Ignacio, N., Schepina, O., Stepika, A., Wrangham, R., & Trut, L. (2005) Social Cognitive Evolution in Captive Foxes Is a Correlated By-Product of Experimental Domestication. Current Biology, 15(3), 226-230. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2005.01.040
Prediction is an invaluable skill for navigating through complex environments. Somehow the brain generates predictions about perceptual inputs it's likely to receive using contextual information from recent memory. Statistical regularities are learned (e.g. movement and attack patterns of Mega Man bosses) and lead to less activation in corresponding brain areas. The brain is truly a miserly organ. "Why put in more work than I have to when I know what's gonna happen next", says the brain. Alink a........ Read more »
Alink, A., Schwiedrzik, C., Kohler, A., Singer, W., & Muckli, L. (2010) Stimulus Predictability Reduces Responses in Primary Visual Cortex. Journal of Neuroscience, 30(8), 2960-2966. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3730-10.2010
Doppelmayr M, Klimesch W, Sauseng P, Hödlmoser K, Stadler W, & Hanslmayr S. (2005) Intelligence related differences in EEG-bandpower. Neuroscience letters, 381(3), 309-13. PMID: 15896490
Research has shown that marine protected areas (MPAs)—areas where fishing and other potentially destructive activities are regulated—are benefitting, not just the fish habitats they are known to aid, but nearby coral reefs as well. MPAs may benefit corals by restoring reef-based food webs and protecting damage from anchors and nutrient runoff.... Read more »
Research has shown that marine protected areas (MPAs)—areas where fishing and other potentially destructive activities are regulated—are benefitting, not just the fish habitats they are known to aid, but nearby coral reefs as well. MPAs may benefit corals by restoring reef-based food webs and protecting damage from anchors and nutrient runoff...
... Read more »
Some symptoms of OCD might be describable as pathological doubt, for instance, that one’s hands are clean or that the doors are locked. A review of OCD treatments states, “pathological doubt is one of the central manifestations of this illness. The person goes to the door, shuts it, locks it, feels that it is locked, knows that it is locked, turns around, and walks away. All of a sudden, he or she feels that it is absolutely necessary to go back and check. It appears clinically that the m........ Read more »
Dolbier, C., Jaggars, S., & Steinhardt, M. (2009) Stress-related growth: pre-intervention correlates and change following a resilience intervention. Stress and Health. DOI: 10.1002/smi.1275
Watkins, E. (2008) Constructive and unconstructive repetitive thought. Psychological Bulletin, 134(2), 163-206. DOI: 10.1037/0033-2909.134.2.163
For invasive plants, flowering time is a trait that may often be under selection during colonization—when a plant flowers determines its climatic tolerances, its vulnerability to herbivores, and its compatibility with the local pollinator community. In a study just released online at Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Colautti and coauthors examined the evolution of this trait in a plant that has swept across eastern North America since its introduction from Europe: purple loosestrife, and fo........ Read more »
Colautti, R., Eckert, C., & Barrett, S. (2010) Evolutionary constraints on adaptive evolution during range expansion in an invasive plant. Proc. R. Soc. B. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2009.2231
Phillips, B., & Shine, R. (2006) An invasive species induces rapid adaptive change in a native predator: cane toads and black snakes in Australia. Proc. R. Soc. B, 273(1593), 1545-50. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2006.3479
Vellend, M., Harmon, L., Lockwood, J., Mayfield, M., Hughes, A., Wares, J., & Sax, D. (2007) Effects of exotic species on evolutionary diversification. Trends in Ecology , 22(9), 481-8. DOI: 10.1016/j.tree.2007.02.017
Social factors affect success of marine reserves
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Pollnac, R. et al. (2010) Marine reserves as linked social-ecological systems. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0908266107
The cod stock in the Baltic Sea collapsed in the 1990s because of overfishing and climate change, and this once-valuable fishery has not yet recovered. Could intensified harvesting of sprat—a small fish that eats cod eggs and competes with young cod for planktonic food—be the solution to restore cod, as some people suggest? ... Read more »
Lindegren, M., Möllmann, C., & Hansson, L. (2010) Biomanipulation - a tool in Marine Ecosystem Management and Restoration?. Ecological Applications, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1890/09-0754
When you say or hear a concrete noun, such as “apple”, what happens in your mind? Even without seeing a physical apple in front of you, your brain is drawing up an image of an apple, maybe the last one you ate or saw in the stores or on TV. A team of researchers at [...]... Read more »
Just, M., Cherkassky, V., Aryal, S., & Mitchell, T. (2010) A Neurosemantic Theory of Concrete Noun Representation Based on the Underlying Brain Codes. PLoS ONE, 5(1). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0008622
Today’s post is another research update by Dan Lorenz on the effect of surgical timing in multiple ligament knee injuries. There are pros and cons to both acute and chronic reconstruction. My experience has always been to be about the middle of the road, get them early but let them settle down a bit first, then get rehab going...
... Read more »
Mook WR, Miller MD, Diduch DR, Hertel J, Boachie-Adjei Y, & Hart JM. (2009) Multiple-ligament knee injuries: a systematic review of the timing of operative intervention and postoperative rehabilitation. The Journal of bone and joint surgery. American volume, 91(12), 2946-57. PMID: 19952260
Image by Getty Images via Daylife
I have earlier written about the entrepreneurial roller-coaster and how when entrepreneurs are in a happy mood, they focus on long-term vision related creativity; while when they are in negative mood they focus on the task at hand. I had also tried to relate this to prevention and promotion focus More >Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
Related posts:Entrepreneurial rollercoaster- am happy, have vision; am sad, will focus on task There is a recent artic........ Read more »
de Vries, M., Holland, R., Chenier, T., Starr, M., & Winkielman, P. (2010) Happiness Cools the Warm Glow of Familiarity: Psychophysiological Evidence That Mood Modulates the Familiarity-Affect Link. Psychological Science. DOI: 10.1177/0956797609359878
The coast of present-day Massachusetts was inhabited by several Native American tribes in the early 17th century. Fishermen, traders, and explorers from the Old World encountered the Indians during their occasional travel through the area. However by the time the Mayflower landed in Plymouth in 1620 to establish a colony, a mysterious epidemic had ravaged coastal New England, killing up to 90% of the indigenous population during the years 1616 through 1619. Experts have yet to ........ Read more »
Marr, J.S., & Cathey, J.T. (2010) New Hypothesis for Cause of Epidemic among Native Americans, New England, 1616–1619. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 16(2), 281-286. DOI: 10.3201/eid1602.090276
A new study from researchers at the University of Illinois has looked at wetland restoration projects across the state and found that successional trends vary substantially from one site to another. The study findings have implications for the Clean Water Act and its ability to meet its mandate of enforcing no net-loss of wetland area or function in the United States...... Read more »
Matthews, J., & Endress, A. (2010) Rate of succession in restored wetlands and the role of site context. Applied Vegetation Science. DOI: 10.1111/j.1654-109X.2010.01076.x
One of the many tools we use in our team to manage the development of ChEBI software is an automated build tool called Apache Maven. Opinions are often divided on whether Maven is a good or a bad thing. Most of them are very subjective, argumentative and often very extended. See why does maven have [...]... Read more »
Stroustrup, B. (2010) Viewpoint: What should we teach new software developers? Why?. Communications of the ACM, 53(1), 40. DOI: 10.1145/1629175.1629192
Bjarne Stroustrup. (2007) Evolving a language in and for the real world: C 1991-2006. Proceedings of the third ACM SIGPLAN conference on History of programming languages. DOI: 10.1145/1238844.1238848
Nutrition had a very nice and comprehensive editorial on the essence of chocolate. It mentions the recently discovered profitable effects of chocolate on the human physiology often mentioned on this blog.
Reduction of blood pressure by 6 grams of dark chocolate per day. Probably due to the flavonol epicatechin
Reduction of platelet and endothelial cell activation
Related posts:Dark Chocolate Improves Coronary Blood Flow Flavonoid rich dark chocolate (45 g per day) ........ Read more »
McShea, A., Leissle, K., & Smith, M. (2009) The essence of chocolate: A rich, dark, and well-kept secret. Nutrition, 25(11-12), 1104-1105. DOI: 10.1016/j.nut.2009.05.012
Funny how we are really good, for the most part, at knowing where sounds are coming from. And it is funny since the ear provides the brain with no direct information about the actual relationship in space of different sound sources. Instead, the brain makes use of what happens to the sound as it reaches [...]... Read more »
Seidl, A., Rubel, E., & Harris, D. (2010) Mechanisms for Adjusting Interaural Time Differences to Achieve Binaural Coincidence Detection. Journal of Neuroscience, 30(1), 70-80. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3464-09.2010
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