Human memory capacity is many orders of magnitude more impressive than previously realised, psychologists have shown (the study can be accessed for free).Timothy Brady and colleagues presented 14 participants with 2,500 mundane objects, presented one at a time for three seconds each. The whole study phase took over five and a half hours. The participants' motivation was maintained by asking them to look out for repeats. Ten minutes after the study phase, the participants showed astonishing accur........ Read more »
T. F. Brady, T. Konkle, G. A. Alvarez, & A. Oliva. (2008) Visual long-term memory has a massive storage capacity for object details. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0803390105
A neat study in Educational Studies in Mathematics (Link) points to a familiar yet disturbing characteristic of mathematics textbooks.
In the study, samples from eighteen different elementary mathematics texts used in the UK were analyzed. Researchers were interested in how often the texts provided "reasons" for the mathematics they presented—that is, how often the texts explained a mathematical idea (or solicited an explanation from students) in terms of purposes and causes:... Read more »
Douglas P. Newton, & Lynn D. Newton. (2006) Could Elementary Mathematics Textbooks Help Give Attention to Reasons in the Classroom?. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 64(1), 69-84. DOI: 10.1007/s10649-005-9015-z
Aaron Beck, considered the Father of Cognitive Therapy, is an American psychiatrist and a professor emeritus at the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania. He is President of the Beck Institute for Cognitive Therapy and Research that is directed by his daughter, Judith S. Beck, Ph.D.. He is noted for his research in psychotherapy, psychopathology, suicide, and psychometrics, and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), one of the most widely used instruments for measuring depress........ Read more »
Beck, Aaron. (2008) The Evolution of the Cognitive Model of Depression it's Neurobiological Correlates. American Journal of Psychiatry, 969-977. DOI: http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/full/165/8/969
Lots of bloggers in the DNA network have been busy these past few days writing about Google's co-founder Sergey Brin, his blog, his wife's company (23andme), and his mutation in the LRRK2 gene.
I was a little surprised to see that while other bloggers (here, here, here, and here) have been arguing about whether or not the mutation really increases the risk to the degree (20-80%) mentioned by Brin, no one has really looked into the structure and biochemistry of the LRRK2 protein to see if ther........ Read more »
B. Luzon-Toro, E. R. de la Torre, A. Delgado, J. Perez-Tur, & S. Hilfiker. (2007) Mechanistic insight into the dominant mode of the Parkinson's disease-associated G2019S LRRK2 mutation. Human Molecular Genetics, 16(17), 2031-2039. DOI: 10.1093/hmg/ddm151
J. Deng, P. A. Lewis, E. Greggio, E. Sluch, A. Beilina, & M. R. Cookson. (2008) Structure of the ROC domain from the Parkinson's disease-associated leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 reveals a dimeric GTPase. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105(5), 1499-1504. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0709098105
Nematodes are small wormlike creatures that live almost everywhere. Many of them are parasites but there are thousands of species that live in the soil. "... it is said that if everything on the earth were to disappear except the nematodes, the outlines of everything would still be visible: the mountains, lakes and oceans, the plants and the animals would all be outlined by the nematodes... Read more »
Christoph Dieterich, Sandra W Clifton, Lisa N Schuster, Asif Chinwalla, Kimberly Delehaunty, Iris Dinkelacker, Lucinda Fulton, Robert Fulton, Jennifer Godfrey, Pat Minx.... (2008) The Pristionchus pacificus genome provides a unique perspective on nematode lifestyle and parasitism. Nature Genetics. DOI: 10.1038/ng.227
B. ROWSON & W. 0. C. SYMONDSON (2008). Selenochlamys ysbryda sp. nov. from Wales, UK: a Testacella-like slug new to western Europe (Stylommatophora: Trigonochlamydidae) Journal of Conchology, 39, 537-552Back in July, the discovery of a bizarre carnivorous slug in Wales was in the news. The formal description of Selenochlamys ysbryda got published in the June issue of the Journal of Conchology that I received a couple of days ago and read this morning.Selenochlamys ysbryda. Picture from Natio........ Read more »
B. ROWSON . (2008) Selenochlamys ysbryda sp. nov. from Wales, UK: a Testacella-like slug new to western Europe (Stylommatophora: Trigonochlamydidae). Journal of Conchology, 537-552. DOI: http://www.conchsoc.org/resources/show-abstract-39.php?id
Notwithstanding the cute pictures from yesterday's post, Jim is now nearly seventeen years old. He's taller than me, has a beard, and is much less interested in having his photo taken, so I don't have any recent pictures. He also plays a mean bass guitar, and he's in a band, which means -- you guessed it -- girls have started taking an interest in him.
Of course we've explained to him the basics of sex, including contraception and preventing sexually transmitted diseases, but we always wonder w........ Read more »
Pepijn Empelen, & Gerjo Kok. (2008) Action-specific Cognitions of Planned and Preparatory Behaviors of Condom Use among Dutch Adolescents. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 37(4), 626-640. DOI: 10.1007/s10508-007-9286-9
tags: bpr3.org/?p=52, Seychelles magpie-robin, Copsychus sechellarum, behavioral ecology, conservation biology, endangered species, population dynamics, ornithology, birds
Seychelles magpie-robin, Copsychus sechellarum.
Image: Tony Randell (Wikipedia) [larger view].
Every once in awhile, I read a paper that surprises me. Today, I read one of those papers, and it surprised me because it analyzes a phenomenon that is so obvious that I wonder why no one ever thought of studying it in a systemati........ Read more »
Andrés López-Sepulcre, Ken Norris, & Hanna Kokko. (2008) Reproductive conflict delays the recovery of an endangered social species. Journal of Animal Ecology. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2656.2008.01475.x
Broca's area shows a "sentence complexity" effect. It responds more during the comprehension of object relative (OR) constructions than easier to process subject relative (SR) constructions:OR: The man that the boy pushes is wearing a red shirtSR: The man that pushes the boy is wearing a red shirtWhat is driving the complexity effect? Presumably it is some form of working memory. In the case of OR sentences, you have to hold two items in memory -- the man, the boy -- before you get to the ver........ Read more »
David Caplan, Nathaniel Alpert, Gloria Waters, & Anthony Olivieri. (2000) Activation of Broca's area by syntactic processing under conditions of concurrent articulation. Human Brain Mapping, 9(2), 65-71. DOI: 10.1002/(SICI)1097-0193(200002)9:23.0.CO;2-4
Radiation therapy is a common treatment for adults and children who present with tumours in or close to the brain. In the last 20 years, advances in radiotherapy have significantly improved the prognosis for brain cancer patients. However, the resulting longer survival rates reveal that the therapy has deleterious effects on brain health - even at low doses, radiation leads to cognitive impairments in later life.
These impairments, which include attention deficits and learning disabilities, occ........ Read more »
A. S. Naylor, C. Bull, M. K. L. Nilsson, C. Zhu, T. Bjork-Eriksson, P. S. Eriksson, K. Blomgren, & H. G. Kuhn. (2008) Voluntary running rescues adult hippocampal neurogenesis after irradiation of the young mouse brain. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105(38), 14632-14637. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0711128105
Rooting around in some citation analysis papers, I’ve come across a neat synopsis of the issues surrounding the use of citation count to determine the impact of an individual author’s work [*].
Lee A. Vucovich, Jason Blaine Baker and Jack T. Smith give an account of a library enquiry to determine the impact of various members of [...]... Read more »
Lee A. Vucovich, Jason Blaine Baker, & Jack T. Smith. (2008) Analyzing the impact of an author's publications. Journal of the Medical Library Association : JMLA, 96(1), 63-66. DOI/10.3163/1536-5050.96.1.63
It's not just Alaskan governors who have a problem with treating polar bears as a threatened species. For some reason, a lot of people who just can't bring themselves to accept the idea that we're heating up the planet seem to have it in for poor old Ursus maritimus. A year ago, the journal Ecological Complexity published an attack on the theory that the population of polar bears widely considered most at risk from climate change wasn't actually at risk at all. The inevitable rebuttal just appea........ Read more »
I STIRLING, A DEROCHER, W GOUGH, & K RODE. (2008) Response to Dyck et al. (2007) on polar bears and climate change in western Hudson Bay. Ecological Complexity, 5(3), 193-201. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecocom.2008.01.004
M DYCK, W SOON, R BAYDACK, D LEGATES, S BALIUNAS, T BALL, & L HANCOCK. (2007) Polar bears of western Hudson Bay and climate change: Are warming spring air temperatures the “ultimate” survival control factor?. Ecological Complexity, 4(3), 73-84. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecocom.2007.03.002
Empathy is the ability and quality that allows humans to feel and understand what others are experiencing. It literally means “with [em-] suffering [-pathos]” as in suffering along with someone else. Empathy is not just emotionally suffering; it is also cognitively understanding what another person is going through; walking in their shoes, per se. [...]... Read more »
RODGER LL. WOOD, & CLAIRE WILLIAMS. (2008) Inability to empathize following traumatic brain injury. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 14(02). DOI: 10.1017/S1355617708080326
This unique paper comes from BMC Bioinformatics; the provisional PDF is available online. Wirawan et al. concocted and tested CBESW, capable of local sequence alignments using the Smith-Waterman algorithm and the CBE-powered PS3. Here’s a very quick overview/refresher of SW vs. BLAST:
The SW algorithm exhaustively finds the optimum local alignment relative to the [...]... Read more »
This is the third option for "things I could present in Journal Club". Please let me know if you have a strong preference! The Journal Club is, um, tomorrow. So I probably better get my rear in gear.
As I'm sure you all know, Alzheimer's Disease is a serious problem in today's aging population, affecting 26.6 million people around the world. Diagnoses of Alzheimer's are growing, mostly due to the fact that no one's ever lived this long before, and we're able to catch it at earlier and earli........ Read more »
D. L. Brody, S. Magnoni, K. E. Schwetye, M. L. Spinner, T. J. Esparza, N. Stocchetti, G. J. Zipfel, & D. M. Holtzman. (2008) Amyloid- Dynamics Correlate with Neurological Status in the Injured Human Brain. Science, 321(5893), 1221-1224. DOI: 10.1126/science.1161591
I have always prided myself on my sense to be able to pick up on when people are lying. The way they stand, where their eyes are moving, each of the muscles in their face telling a story, it's just something I have been able to do. It could all just be in my head as well.It's actually one of my two favorite things to do. The other is to try and figure out what personality traits a person is most likely to exhibit. After about thirty minutes of talking to a person, I can usually give them an ........ Read more »
B MCLEOD, & R GENEREUX. (2008) Predicting the acceptability and likelihood of lying: The interaction of personality with type of lie. Personality and Individual Differences, 45(7), 591-596. DOI: 10.1016/j.paid.2008.06.015
Since our paper on the role of blogs in academia was published earlier this week, we've received quite a bit of feedback from the across blogosphere. Befittingly, the authors of the paper have contributed to this, as Tara gave her thoughts on her blog, I gave mine on my blog (Shelley has been busy traveling for interviews, so she hasn't had a chance to weigh in yet), and we published a list of acknowledgments. (I'd also like to thank our respective universities' press offices for their outreach........ Read more »
Shelley A. Batts, Nicholas J. Anthis, & Tara C. Smith. (2008) Advancing Science through Conversations: Bridging the Gap between Blogs and the Academy. PLoS Biology, 6(9). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.0060240
Trying to find a topic to write a review article in Bio416 Virology, I came across a post on enzyme evolution in the Discount Thoughts blog that led me to a post on the possible functionality of the appendix. Bollinger et al., writing in Journal of Theoretical Biology, propose that the appendix is a tool for creating probiotic biofilms in the large intestine as well as re-inoculating the large intestine in the event of its defloration by, for example, diarrhea. Their argument rests mostly on r........ Read more »
R RANDALBOLLINGER, A BARBAS, E BUSH, S LIN, & W PARKER. (2007) Biofilms in the large bowel suggest an apparent function of the human vermiform appendix. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 249(4), 826-831. DOI: 10.1016/j.jtbi.2007.08.032
Johannes Aas, Charles E. Gessert, & Johan S. Bakken. (2003) Recurrent Colitis: Case Series Involving 18 Patients Treated with Donor Stool Administered via a Nasogastric Tube. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 36(5), 580-585. DOI: 10.1086/367657
At Cognitive Group last Friday, we watched the TED Talk of Sir Ken Robinson. In that talk, Robinson raises concerns about whether our educational system is designed in a way that kills creativity. The group discussed several of Robinson's...... Read more »
So here's the second in the series of "things I could present for Journal Club". I figure I'll blog the top three, and then actually prepare whichever one I want to do the morning before. Procrastination is a mark of genius, and don't let anyone tell you different.
I'm considering this one because the series of experiments is beautifully elegant and really well laid out, and it proves a very interesting point that had been bugging the field for a while. I saw some of this data at a conferenc........ Read more »
G. D. Stuber, M. Klanker, B. de Ridder, M. S. Bowers, R. N. Joosten, M. G. Feenstra, & A. Bonci. (2008) Reward-Predictive Cues Enhance Excitatory Synaptic Strength onto Midbrain Dopamine Neurons. Science, 321(5896), 1690-1692. DOI: 10.1126/science.1160873
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.