Post List

  • February 25, 2010
  • 03:24 PM

Social Cognition in Dogs, or How did Fido get so smart?

by Jason Goldman in The Thoughtful Animal

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 »

  • February 25, 2010
  • 02:56 PM

The power of prediction reduces activation in the primary visual cortex

by William Lu in The Quantum Lobe Chronicles

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  

  • February 25, 2010
  • 01:14 PM

Research demonstrates that marine protected areas aid coral reefs

by Katie Kline in EcoTone

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 »

  • February 25, 2010
  • 01:08 PM

Research demonstrates that marine protected areas aid coral reefs

by Katie Kline in EcoTone

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 »

  • February 25, 2010
  • 12:50 PM

It's What You Learn, Not What You Think

by Cole Bitting in Fable

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 »

Nolen-Hoeksema, S., Wisco, B., & Lyubomirsky, S. (2008) Rethinking Rumination. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 3(5), 400-424. DOI: 10.1111/j.1745-6924.2008.00088.x  

  • February 25, 2010
  • 10:05 AM

Invasive species runs out of evolutionary "steam" as it invades

by Jeremy Yoder in Denim and Tweed

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 »

  • February 25, 2010
  • 09:31 AM

Rocking the Boat

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

Social factors affect success of marine reserves

... Read more »

Pollnac, R. et al. (2010) Marine reserves as linked social-ecological systems. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0908266107  

  • February 25, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Can biomanipulation of the sea rescue a collapsed fishery?

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

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 »

  • February 25, 2010
  • 07:00 AM

How Your Brain Groups Words

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

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 »

  • February 25, 2010
  • 06:00 AM

How Soon Should You Have Surgery After a Multiple Ligament Knee Injury?

by Mike Reinold in

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 »

  • February 25, 2010
  • 05:17 AM

Am happy, will seek novelty; am sad, will stick with familiar

by sandygautam in The Mouse Trap

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 »

  • February 25, 2010
  • 05:09 AM

Did spirochetes kill off the Indians in Massachusetts before the Mayflower landed?

by Microbe Fan in Spirochetes Unwound

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 »

  • February 25, 2010
  • 05:00 AM

Study finds post-restoration wetland succession highly variable

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

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 »

  • February 25, 2010
  • 05:00 AM

Apache Maven: A Misbehavin’ Build Tool?

by Duncan Hull in O'Really?

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 »

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  

Bjarne Stroustrup. (1993) A history of C : 1979–1991. The second ACM SIGPLAN conference on History of programming languages. DOI: 10.1145/154766.155375  

  • February 25, 2010
  • 02:32 AM

The Essence of Chocolate

by Dr Shock in Dr Shock MD PhD

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.
In short:

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
Reduction [...]

Related posts:Dark Chocolate Improves Coronary Blood Flow Flavonoid rich dark chocolate (45 g per day) ........ Read more »

  • February 25, 2010
  • 12:37 AM

Getting up to speed with sound localisation

by kubke in Building Blogs of Science

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 »

  • February 24, 2010
  • 11:54 PM

What do juvenile fish want to do when they grow up?

by Daniel Bassett in Chew the Fat

Juvenile fish are highly abundant in mangrove habitats. This study shows whether these juveniles act as a source or sink to their adult coral reef populations. ... Read more »

  • February 24, 2010
  • 10:41 PM

Less known but worrying variants of the influenza

by Atila Iamarino in Influenza A (H1N1) Blog – English

Although we are acquainted with the influenza A (H1N1) and types such as H5N1 or H3N2, there are other influenza variants that infect humans and cause us concern.
The influenza H7 comprises various lineages, H7N7, H7N3 and H7N2 are those who knowingly infect humans. Some lineages are not very pathogenic (LPAI) and others highly pathogenic (HPAI), [...]... Read more »

DEWIT, E., & FOUCHIER, R. (2008) Emerging influenza. Journal of Clinical Virology, 41(1), 1-6. DOI: 10.1016/j.jcv.2007.10.017  

Subbarao*, K., & Katz, J. (2000) Avian influenza viruses infecting humans. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences, 57(12), 1770-1784. DOI: 10.1007/PL00000657  

Butt, K., Smith, G., Chen, H., Zhang, L., Leung, Y., Xu, K., Lim, W., Webster, R., Yuen, K., Peiris, J.... (2005) Human Infection with an Avian H9N2 Influenza A Virus in Hong Kong in 2003. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 43(11), 5760-5767. DOI: 10.1128/JCM.43.11.5760-5767.2005  

  • February 24, 2010
  • 09:44 PM

Reversing Blindness in Retinitis Pigmentosa With Stem Cells

by Reason in Fight Aging!

Retinitis pigmentosa is an inherited form of slow degenerative blindness, in which essential retinal cells accumulate defects due to one or more mutated genes. Generating replacement, properly formed retinal cells to treat this condition is one of the longer-running initiatives in the stem cell research community; if you look back in the Longevity Meme archives, you'll see it mentioned in 2004, for example. It appears that researchers have now succeeded in restoring sight in mice: An internation........ Read more »

Wang, Nan-Kai, Tosi, Joaquin, Kasanuki, Jennifer Mie, Chou, Chai Lin, Kong, Jian, Parmalee, Nancy, Wert, Katherine J., Allikmets, Rando, Lai, Chi-Chun, Chien, Chung-Liang.... (2010) Transplantation of Reprogrammed Embryonic Stem Cells Improves Visual Function in a Mouse Model for Retinitis Pigmentosa. Transplantation, 89(5). info:/10.1097/TP.0b013e3181d45a61

  • February 24, 2010
  • 07:54 PM

A Tale of Two Studies: Voxel-Based Lesion-Symptom Mapping

by Neuropsych15 in The MacGuffin

Brain imaging has contributed greatly to our understanding of the functional neuroataomy of the human brain. A lot these contributions have been blogged about by my bestest buddy Neuroskeptic (why don't you return my phone calls anymore!?). One of the more popular methods used to capture brain function is the functional magnetic resonance (fMRI). However, the results of fMRI studies are correlational and do not represent causation. There is another method, however, that "can ........ Read more »

Gläscher J, Rudrauf D, Colom R, Paul LK, Tranel D, Damasio H, & Adolphs R. (2010) Distributed neural system for general intelligence revealed by lesion mapping. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 20176936  

Gläscher J, Tranel D, Paul LK, Rudrauf D, Rorden C, Hornaday A, Grabowski T, Damasio H, & Adolphs R. (2009) Lesion mapping of cognitive abilities linked to intelligence. Neuron, 61(5), 681-91. PMID: 19285465  

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