This week a brief update consisting of a short interview with Ani Patel (Senior Fellow at the Neuroscience Institute in San Diego, US) at a conference workshop at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) talking about Snowball: the dancing cockatoo that gracefully helped boosting the visibility of research in the neuroscience and cognition of music.See earlier entries on beat induction.Honing, H., Ladinig, O., Háden, G., & Winkler, I. (2009). Is Beat Induction Innate or Learne........ Read more »
I just came across a neat blog called Decasia: critique of academic culture run by Eli Thorkelson, a graduate student in the anthropology department at the University of Chicago. I started to offer a response to his though-provoking post on neoliberalism in the academy when I realized that really I was running on so long [...]... Read more »
Ferguson, J., & Gupta, A. (2002) Spatializing States: Toward an Ethnography of Neoliberal Governmentality. American Ethnologist, 29(4), 981-1002. DOI: 10.1525/ae.2002.29.4.981
On one side we have a long list of scientists who are known, and respected, by the wider public primarily because they have chosen to venture beyond the confines of the laboratory or the classroom into the realm of policy advocacy. Think Carl Sagan (nuclear winter), Sylvia Earle (marine conservation) or Albert Einstein (atomic warfare). On the other are a comparable list of lesser-known but accomplished academics who insist scientists should keep to the facts for fear of tarnishing the reputatio........ Read more »
NELSON, M., & VUCETICH, J. (2009) On Advocacy by Environmental Scientists: What, Whether, Why, and How. Conservation Biology, 23(5), 1090-1101. DOI: 10.1111/j.1523-1739.2009.01250.x
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Strauss-Blasche G, Reithofer B, Schobersberger W, Ekmekcioglu C, & Marktl W. (2005) Effect of vacation on health: moderating factors of vacation outcome. Journal of travel medicine, 12(2), 94-101. PMID: 15996454
Cancer can’t be ‘caught’ from another person. But infections caused by viruses and bacteria can trigger certain forms of the disease. For example, human papillomavirus (HPV) can cause cervical cancer and several other types, hepatitis B and hepatitis C can cause liver cancer, and the bacterium Helicobacter pylori is the major cause of stomach cancer.
But [...]... Read more »
Casey, G., Neville, P., Plummer, S., Xiang, Y., Krumroy, L., Klein, E., Catalona, W., Nupponen, N., Carpten, J., Trent, J.... (2002) RNASEL Arg462Gln variant is implicated in up to 13% of prostate cancer cases. Nature Genetics, 32(4), 581-583. DOI: 10.1038/ng1021
Urisman, A., Molinaro, R., Fischer, N., Plummer, S., Casey, G., Klein, E., Malathi, K., Magi-Galluzzi, C., Tubbs, R., Ganem, D.... (2006) Identification of a Novel Gammaretrovirus in Prostate Tumors of Patients Homozygous for R462Q RNASEL Variant. PLoS Pathogens, 2(3). DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.0020025
Stark, J., Judson, G., Alderete, J., Mundodi, V., Kucknoor, A., Giovannucci, E., Platz, E., Sutcliffe, S., Fall, K., Kurth, T.... (2009) Prospective Study of Trichomonas vaginalis Infection and Prostate Cancer Incidence and Mortality: Physicians' Health Study. JNCI Journal of the National Cancer Institute. DOI: 10.1093/jnci/djp306
The human brain undergoes rapid development from late gestation to early childhood. The brain structures that are developing or undergoing age-related changes are more vulnerable to the effects of stress. Trauma at different time points in an individual’s life might be associated with different outcomes, depending on the brain structure that was affected at the [...]... Read more »
Lupien, S., McEwen, B., Gunnar, M., & Heim, C. (2009) Effects of stress throughout the lifespan on the brain, behaviour and cognition. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 10(6), 434-445. DOI: 10.1038/nrn2639
McGowan, P., Sasaki, A., D'Alessio, A., Dymov, S., Labonté, B., Szyf, M., Turecki, G., & Meaney, M. (2009) Epigenetic regulation of the glucocorticoid receptor in human brain associates with childhood abuse. Nature Neuroscience, 12(3), 342-348. DOI: 10.1038/nn.2270
Charmandari, E., Kino, T., Souvatzoglou, E., & Chrousos, G. (2003) Pediatric Stress: Hormonal Mediators and Human Development. Hormone Research, 59(4), 161-179. DOI: 10.1159/000069325
Killer whale declines may be driven by changes in salmon populations
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Ford, J., Ellis, G., Olesiuk, P., & Balcomb, K. (2009) Linking killer whale survival and prey abundance: food limitation in the oceans' apex predator?. Biology Letters. info:/10.1098/rsbl.2009.0468
Hit the TV. The way it breaks down offers clues as to how it works. For example, you'll never find that a thump causes the screen to selectively stop displaying women, because there's no mechanism in the machine that exclusively supports the transmission of female images. Cognitive neuropsychologists pursue a similar approach with the human brain, except of course they don't kick people, but rather they study patients with a brain damaged through some other misfortune.A new study focuses on the ........ Read more »
Corbett F, Jefferies E, Ehsan S, & Lambon Ralph MA. (2009) Different impairments of semantic cognition in semantic dementia and semantic aphasia: evidence from the non-verbal domain. Brain : a journal of neurology, 132(Pt 9), 2593-608. PMID: 19506072
I decided to take a short break from scratching my chigger bites to recommend a paper on ecology. The paper reviews the links between biodiversity and ecosystem function, and does an excellent job of clarifying some of the commonly held misconceptions about species diversity.
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Reiss, J., Bridle, J., Montoya, J., & Woodward, G. (2009) Emerging horizons in biodiversity and ecosystem functioning research. Trends in Ecology , 24(9), 505-514. DOI: 10.1016/j.tree.2009.03.018
Just reported in PLoS ONE is a new dinosaur.
Here are the salient facts: Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...... Read more »
Remes K, Ortega F, Fierro I, Joger U, & Kosma R. (2009) A New Basal Sauropod Dinosaur from the Middle Jurassic of Niger and the Early Evolution of Sauropoda. PLoS ONE, 4(9). info:/
It may be a dog-eat-dog world* out there, but nowhere is the competition fiercer than in the female reproductive tract.
Biologically speaking, the goal of every male is to produce as many offspring as possible. To do this, males need to have some kick-ass sperm, but according to a recent study, too much kick-ass sperm can [...]... Read more »
Hasson, O., & Stone, L. (2009) Male infertility, female fertility and extrapair copulations. Biological Reviews, 84(2), 225-244. DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-185X.2008.00068.x
BRETMAN, A., NEWCOMBE, D., & TREGENZA, T. (2009) Promiscuous females avoid inbreeding by controlling sperm storage. Molecular Ecology_id, 18(16), 3340-3345. http://blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1365-294X.2009.04301.x
explores the cognitive similarities between depression and dreaming, emphasizing the role of brain chemistry but also taking depth psychology into account. ... Read more »
Roberts, J., Lennings, C., & Heard, R. (2009) Nightmares, life stress, and anxiety: An examination of tension reduction. Dreaming, 19(1), 17-29. DOI: 10.1037/a0014787
We've talked a lot on Cognitive Daily about change blindness: the inability to spot visual differences between images and even real people and objects right before our eyes. The most dramatic demonstration might be Daniel Simons' "experiment" that took place before participants even knew they were being studied:
More recently researchers have uncovered a similar phenomenon for sounds: Change deafness. Listeners are asked to listen to two one-second clips separated by 350 milliseconds of white........ Read more »
Gregg, M., & Samuel, A. (2009) The importance of semantics in auditory representations. Attention, Perception , 71(3), 607-619. DOI: 10.3758/APP.71.3.607
It’s kind of ironic that we spend so much time and effort trying to eliminate the noise problem in fMRI research on auditory speech perception when we do most of our everyday speech comprehension in noisy environments. In fact, one could argue that we are getting a more veridical picture of the neural networks supporting speech perception when we use standard pulse sequences than when we use sparse or clustered acquisition. (I am TOTALLY going to use this argument the next time a reviewer sa........ Read more »
Bishop, C., & Miller, L. (2009) A Multisensory Cortical Network for Understanding Speech in Noise. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 21(9), 1790-1804. DOI: 10.1162/jocn.2009.21118
Scott, S. (2000) Identification of a pathway for intelligible speech in the left temporal lobe. Brain, 123(12), 2400-2406. DOI: 10.1093/brain/123.12.2400
Pitcher plants are carnivorous plants, that unlike active traps such as the Venus Fly Trap, passively gain nutrients from animal sources. In general, the pitchers produce nectar that attract insects and other small animals (I have found frogs and salamanders in Sarracenia purpurea leaves), which then fall into the pitchers, drown, and decompose. The plant is then able to absorb nutrients from this decomposing material. Generally decomposition within the pitchers is aided by an inquiline commu........ Read more »
Clarke, C., Bauer, U., Lee, C., Tuen, A., Rembold, K., & Moran, J. (2009) Tree shrew lavatories: a novel nitrogen sequestration strategy in a tropical pitcher plant. Biology Letters, 5(5), 632-635. DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2009.0311
It's well known that religious people are more likely to be authoritarian than non-religious people. By 'authoritarian' I mean someone who's predisposed to follow the dictates of a strong leader and traditional, conventional values.But, in a secular society, this leads to a potential for conflict. How do religious people respond if the government authority contradicts religious authority? A new study suggests that it depends on how firm their moral convictions are.First off, let me just quote fr........ Read more »
Wisneski, D., Lytle, B., & Skitka, L. (2009) Gut Reactions: Moral Conviction, Religiosity, and Trust in Authority. Psychological Science, 20(9), 1059-1063. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2009.02406.x
Last week an interesting study was published (online) that provides evidence that music exposure facilitates neuroplasticity in rats. While I feel quite uncomfortable with using animals for these studies (especially if you read the explicit method sections of these kind of neurobiological papers :-\) , the results could well contribute to a better insight in how music might be functional in the neurohabilitation of humans.About sixty rats were divided in four groups, two of which had callosotomy........ Read more »
Amagdei, A., Balteş, F., Avram, J., & Miu, A. (2009) Perinatal exposure to music protects spatial memory against callosal lesions. International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijdevneu.2009.08.017
Following on from yesterday’s post about core stability, today I want to look at training, back pain prevention and rehabilitation as it relates to core stability.
Motor learning moves from conscious attention to make certain movements through to movements that are basically over-learned or automatic. There are considerable differences in how a beginning learner carries [...]... Read more »
There is almost a sad inevitability about the discussion in the media around the issue of giving heroin to heroin users. When it come to heroin-assisted treatment (HAT) it is inevitable that any reasonable discussion will be drowned out by the clamouring commentariat.
The UK has been using heroin as part of the treatment of users [...]... Read more »
Oviedo-Joekes E, Brissette S, Marsh DC, Lauzon P, Guh D, Anis A, & Schechter MT. (2009) Diacetylmorphine versus methadone for the treatment of opioid addiction. The New England journal of medicine, 361(8), 777-86. PMID: 19692689
Preliminary results from two studies published online last week by the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) show that a single dose of the H1N1 vaccine will offer protection for most adults within three weeks of vaccination [1-2]. This is [...]... Read more »
Greenberg, M., Lai, M., Hartel, G., Wichems, C., Gittleson, C., Bennet, J., Dawson, G., Hu, W., Leggio, C., Washington, D.... (2009) Response after One Dose of a Monovalent Influenza A (H1N1) 2009 Vaccine -- Preliminary Report. New England Journal of Medicine. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa0907413
Clark, T., Pareek, M., Hoschler, K., Dillon, H., Nicholson, K., Groth, N., & Stephenson, I. (2009) Trial of Influenza A (H1N1) 2009 Monovalent MF59-Adjuvanted Vaccine -- Preliminary Report. New England Journal of Medicine. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa0907650
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