How does the brain learn about space? Two papers in Science show that neural representations of place and direction appear in baby rats astonishingly early - within just a couple of days of beginning to explore outside the nest.Two teams of researchers, Langston et al, and Wills et al, found that at just 16 days after birth, rats possess adult-like direction cells and place cells in the hippocampus and entorhinal cortex, areas known to be critical for spatial cognition. A couple of days later, g........ Read more »
Langston, R., Ainge, J., Couey, J., Canto, C., Bjerknes, T., Witter, M., Moser, E., & Moser, M. (2010) Development of the Spatial Representation System in the Rat. Science, 328(5985), 1576-1580. DOI: 10.1126/science.1188210
Wills, T., Cacucci, F., Burgess, N., & O'Keefe, J. (2010) Development of the Hippocampal Cognitive Map in Preweanling Rats. Science, 328(5985), 1573-1576. DOI: 10.1126/science.1188224
Happy Father's Day, everyone!
I spent a lot of time today thinking back to why I started blogging in the first place, while I was at my parents house doing the other-than-science things that I love to do: playing with the dog, cooking, gardening. I realized that I've not done enough of that stuff lately.
I've only been seriously doing the blog thing (in the current format) since January, and I've now been here at Scienceblogs around two months, so it was time to reflect. The transition from ........ Read more »
Sherman, G., Haidt, J., & Coan, J. (2009) Viewing cute images increases behavioral carefulness. Emotion, 9(2), 282-286. DOI: 10.1037/a0014904
With the warnings this week in Canada and the United States about the risks of dosing errors with vitamin D drops, I thought it was an appropriate time to discuss dose measurement as barrier to science-based care. Dosing errors are the among the most common and most preventable causes of adverse drug events in children. [...]... Read more »
Yin HS, Mendelsohn AL, Wolf MS, Parker RM, Fierman A, van Schaick L, Bazan IS, Kline MD, & Dreyer BP. (2010) Parents' medication administration errors: role of dosing instruments and health literacy. Archives of pediatrics , 164(2), 181-6. PMID: 20124148
You might expect a paper whose title starts with “Neural control” to include neurons.
This new paper by Liden and collegues doesn’t. It’s straight behaviour paper in the style of classic neuroethology. It starts by explicitly trying to tie itself to a hot new field: neuroeconomics. Neuroeconomics is about value assessment and decision making in humans. In many cases, this means doing brains scans of people while they play with experimenter’s money.
Liden and company argue that humans........ Read more »
Liden, William H., Phillips, Mary L., & Herberholz, Jens. (2010) Neural control of behavioural choice in juvenile crayfish. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. info:/10.1098/rspb.2010.1000
Yeh, S., Fricke, R., & Edwards, D. (1996) The Effect of Social Experience on Serotonergic Modulation of the Escape Circuit of Crayfish. Science, 271(5247), 366-369. DOI: 10.1126/science.271.5247.366
↑ Click to enlarge image
Imagine a hungry group of youngsters bursting into a candy store where sweets are free for the taking—no cashiers asking for money, no one at the counter putting lids on the candy jars. Children flock to all corners of the store, spreading out evenly so each can claim an entire row of candy jars as their own. As more and more children flood into the shop, they fill the open spaces, packing themselves ever tighter until each child claims just a single jar of ........ Read more »
Mahler, D., Revell, L., Glor, R., & Losos, J. (2010) ECOLOGICAL OPPORTUNITY AND THE RATE OF MORPHOLOGICAL EVOLUTION IN THE DIVERSIFICATION OF GREATER ANTILLEAN ANOLES. Evolution. DOI: 10.1111/j.1558-5646.2010.01026.x
Family presence in the ED resuscitation of a dying patient is a controversial topic. Some surveys suggest that families favor this practice and would repeat it again in a similar situation.An article in Critical Care Medicine examines the impact of family presence on the ED personnel's actions, rather than the impact on the families themselves. Second and third-year EM residents were randomized into paired teams in simulation exercises. All resuscitations involved a cardiac arrest patient. Each ........ Read more »
Fernandez R, Compton S, Jones KA, & Velilla MA. (2009) The presence of a family witness impacts physician performance during simulated medical codes. Critical care medicine, 37(6), 1956-60. PMID: 19384215
More waterfowl weirdness...
Most waterfowl can walk fine on land, and the majority of species are pretty agile in terms of their terrestrial abilities. But some species are so specialised for life on water, and have their legs placed so far back on their bodies, that any terrestrial abilities are poor, if not hilarious. One often reads of how divers (or loons) are only able to move on land with an awkward shuffle; less well known is that some waterfowl are pretty much the same. Read the re........ Read more »
McCracken KG, Harshman J, McClellan DA, & Afton AD. (1999) Data set incongruence and correlated character evolution: an example of functional convergence in the hind-limbs of stifftail diving ducks. Systematic biology, 48(4), 683-714. PMID: 12066296
An up-and-coming theory to explain type 2 diabetes suggests that abnormal lipid metabolism, not glucose/sugar metabolism, is the primary metabolic defect. Roger H. Unger, M.D., wrote about this in the March 12, 2008, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. Early in the writing of this blog entry, I realized it is much [...]... Read more »
Unger, R. (2008) Reinventing Type 2 Diabetes: Pathogenesis, Treatment, and Prevention. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 299(10), 1185-1187. DOI: 10.1001/jama.299.10.1185
What happens when you recruit dozens of students to perform a maze-based computer task and then you ratchet up the competitive pressure? Does their performance improve or do they just cheat more?Christiane Schwieren and Doris Weichselbaumer found out by having 33 men and 32 women at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona spend 30 minutes completing on-screen mazes. Crucially, half the students were paid according to how many mazes they completed whereas the half in the 'highly competitive' co........ Read more »
Schwieren, C., & Weichselbaumer, D. (2010) Does competition enhance performance or cheating? A laboratory experiment. Journal of Economic Psychology, 31(3), 241-253. DOI: 10.1016/j.joep.2009.02.005
If you’ve been following the Diabetes news lately, you likely noticed that two stories have dominated the news over the last couple of days. The first is a widely published study that implicates the consumption of white rice (as opposed to brown rice) in increased incidents of diabetes and the second relates to emerging evidence [...]... Read more »
Today's post comes to you from several tweets that Sci received way back in the mists of time (that is...two weeks ago. Three? Something like that). Sci got wind of this paper and has been meaning to blog it for a while, but other things get in the way, like other things will. And when those other things finally get out of the way, Sci sometimes finds that she's so SLEEPY she doesn't know if she can make it through any more dry, sciency prose (sciency prose, even at the best of times, is pat........ Read more »
Magalhaes, A., Holmes, K., Dale, L., Comps-Agrar, L., Lee, D., Yadav, P., Drysdale, L., Poulter, M., Roth, B., Pin, J.... (2010) CRF receptor 1 regulates anxiety behavior via sensitization of 5-HT2 receptor signaling. Nature Neuroscience, 13(5), 622-629. DOI: 10.1038/nn.2529
In my last post, I discussed a debate that is going on over whether using the internet is good or bad for the brain. Those who argue against apparently harmful effects of the internet often cite studies that suggest playing video games actually enhances certain cognitive abilities. How compelling is the evidence for these purported benefits?Well if you search the research literature, you will find a large number of studies (some in very high-impact journals) suggesting that regular video game pl........ Read more »
Donohue SE, Woldorff MG, & Mitroff SR. (2010) Video game players show more precise multisensory temporal processing abilities. Attention, perception , 72(4), 1120-9. PMID: 20436205
Mark Pagel (MP) delivered a keynote lecture at the 22nd annual Human Behavior and Evolution Society conference, titled “The Rise of the Speaking Machine: Explorations in Language Evolution.” Here is a brief description of the lecture.... Read more »
Pagel, M. (2009) Human language as a culturally transmitted replicator. Nature Reviews Genetics. DOI: 10.1038/nrg2560
It's amazing what you'll catch in the letters to the editor sometimes. In the latest issue of Fisheries Magazine is a classic back-and-forth editorial origination from an article by researcher John. C. Briggs. At first my interest was piqued simply by the fact that there was something ocean-related (since the start of my subscription Fisheries has been utterly dominated by freshwater articles), but reading the debate motivated me to go back and track down the original article. ........ Read more »
Briggs, J. (2008) The North Atlantic Ocean: Need for Proactive Management. Fisheries, 33(4), 180-185. DOI: 10.1577/1548-8446-33.4.180
Josh Donlan C, Berger J, Bock CE, Bock JH, Burney DA, Estes JA, Foreman D, Martin PS, Roemer GW, Smith FA.... (2006) Pleistocene rewilding: an optimistic agenda for twenty-first century conservation. The American naturalist, 168(5), 660-81. PMID: 17080364
One of the greater uncertanties about Avian Influenza is why it is not efficiently transmitted among humans. Thus, it is clear how likely it is that the virus is able to cross this barrier and a more efficient line appears. For example, until now the H5N1 was transmitted mainly to breeders and people in very [...]... Read more »
Scull MA, Gillim-Ross L, Santos C, Roberts KL, Bordonali E, Subbarao K, Barclay WS, & Pickles RJ. (2009) Avian Influenza virus glycoproteins restrict virus replication and spread through human airway epithelium at temperatures of the proximal airways. PLoS pathogens, 5(5). PMID: 19436701
What’s soil made of? Take out the chunks of roots and twigs, take out the particles of minerals, and what are you left with? What makes it soil, brown and lumpy, rather than something like fine sand? It’s a mixture of organic matter: stuff produced by things living in or on the soil, that can’t [...]... Read more »
Rillig, M., Wright, S., Nichols, K., Schmidt, W., & Torn, M. (2001) Large contribution of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi to soil carbon pools in tropical forest soils. Plant and Soil, 233(2), 167-177. DOI: 10.1023/A:1010364221169
Professionalism is an explicit outcome in most medical curricula yet remains a nebulous concept. Some medical students recently asked for my opinion on body piercing and tattoos. Would having a tongue piercing or a tattoo constitute an unprofessional act? The many systems being developed to assess and measure professionalism can feel oppressive. Paradoxically, patients thrive [...]... Read more »
Bone, A., Ncube, F., Nichols, T., & Noah, N. (2008) Body piercing in England: a survey of piercing at sites other than earlobe. BMJ, 336(7658), 1426-1428. DOI: 10.1136/bmj.39580.497176.25
Large European study confirms earlier findings.
It doesn’t mean you should start popping handfuls of B vitamins if you are a smoker or a former smoker (those who never smoked rarely get the disease). What it appears to mean is that people with the highest levels of vitamin B6 in their bodies may have as little as half the risk of developing lung cancer as people with very low levels of B6--also known as pyridoxine.
In a June 16 article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (........ Read more »
Mattias Johansson, et. al. (2010) Serum B Vitamin Levels and Risk of Lung Cancer. Journal of the American Medical Association, 303(23), 2377-2385. info:/
Counterintuitively, people who exercise self control in some way, such as dieting or trying not to look at or think about something, might end up buying things more impulsively instead if given the opportunity.Vohs & Faber (2007) explain in their study, Spent Resources: Self-Regulatory Resource Availability Affects Impulse Buying, that opportunities for impulse purchasing have increased with the proliferation of ATMs, shopping on the Internet, and shop-at-home television programs. Depletion ........ Read more »
Vohs, K., & Faber, R. (2007) Spent Resources: Self‐Regulatory Resource Availability Affects Impulse Buying. Journal of Consumer Research, 33(4), 537-547. DOI: 10.1086/510228
There was an interesting post over at Culturing Science about the widespread dispersal of bacteria which, as well as sporting an amazing hand-drawn MS Paint picture also put forward the argument that bacterial evolution occurs in very selective environmental pockets and niches, while a sort of general 'less-evolving' population floats around the world. This helps to explain why you can find almost identical species of bacteria all over the world, yet still find very specialised colonies in disti........ Read more »
Do you write about peer-reviewed research in your blog? Use ResearchBlogging.org to make it easy for your readers — and others from around the world — to find your serious posts about academic research.
If you don't have a blog, you can still use our site to learn about fascinating developments in cutting-edge research from around the world.
Research Blogging is powered by SMG Technology.
To learn more, visit seedmediagroup.com.