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  • July 28, 2015
  • 03:35 AM
  • 32 views

Adult outcomes following childhood psychiatric problems

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

A long quote to begin:"If the goal of public health efforts is to increase opportunity and optimal outcomes, and to reduce distress, then there may be no better target than the reduction of childhood psychiatric distress—at the clinical and subthreshold levels."That was the bottom line reported by William Copeland and colleagues [1] (open-access) who set out to test whether psychiatric problems presenting in childhood can "adversely affect adult functioning even if the problems themselves do n........ Read more »

  • July 27, 2015
  • 05:36 PM
  • 49 views

Distrust of atheists is widespread and pervasive: more evidence

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

A new opinion poll has some bad news for atheists. Some 40% of the US population would not consider voting for an atheist presidential candidate, regardless of their policies. That’s fewer than would vote for a gay or lesbian – or even (gasp!) a Muslim! It’s pretty much in accordance with a previous poll which showed that atheism is a bigger no-no for presidential candidates than homosexuality, extra-marital affairs, or drug use.... Read more »

  • July 27, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 9 views

Things you always wondered about—probably  not so much

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Here again is a collection of tidbits we don’t deem worthy of a complete blog post but which might be of interest or even amusing to you. Social media is how we get our news these days While you may think Twitter is receding in importance, the numbers beg to differ. A new Pew Research […]

Related posts:
Narcissism and Social Media Use
Panic on Tweet Street: “Without Twitter, I felt jittery and naked”
Are Millennials unaware of  current events?


... Read more »

  • July 27, 2015
  • 06:35 AM
  • 46 views

How rudeness spreads like a contagion

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

University of Florida researchers have finally put a long-standing hypothesis about rudeness to the test. The history to this is a study published in 1999 [pdf] that showed rudeness can create a vicious circle between individuals – if you’re rude to someone, they’re more likely to be rude back at you. What the authors of that paper also speculated though, and the new research investigates, is that an initial act of rudeness creates a "secondary spiral" where offended parties end up dumping........ Read more »

  • July 27, 2015
  • 03:08 AM
  • 47 views

Incontinence and paediatric autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Urinary incontinence - "the unintentional passing of urine" - is a fairly common issue affecting millions of people of all ages worldwide. Achieving full bladder and bowel control is seen as a typical part of growing up but for some children, particularly those diagnosed with a behavioural or developmental condition, issues with incontinence can persist much later into life [1].The findings reported by Alexander von Gontard and colleagues [2] bring the issue of incontinence into the autism resea........ Read more »

von Gontard A, Pirrung M, Niemczyk J, & Equit M. (2015) Incontinence in children with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of pediatric urology. PMID: 26052001  

  • July 26, 2015
  • 07:39 PM
  • 69 views

Sleep not just protects memories against forgetting, it also makes them more accessible

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Sleeping not only protects memories from being forgotten, it also makes them easier to access, according to new research from the University of Exeter and the Basque Centre for Cognition, Brain and Language. The findings suggest that after sleep we are more likely to recall facts which we could not remember while still awake.... Read more »

Dumay, N. (2015) Sleep not just protects memories against forgetting, it also makes them more accessible. Cortex. info:/http://hdl.handle.net/10871/17864

  • July 26, 2015
  • 03:12 PM
  • 47 views

Cell phone notifications may be driving you to distraction

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Whether you are alerted to an incoming phone call or text by a trendy ringtone, an alarm bell or a quiet vibration, just receiving a notification on your cell phone can cause enough of a distraction to impair your ability to focus on a given task. In fact, the distraction caused by a simple notification — whether it is a sound or a vibration — is comparable to the effects seen when users actively use their cell phones to make calls or send text messages, the researchers found.... Read more »

Stothart, C., Mitchum, A., & Yehnert, C. (2015) The Attentional Cost of Receiving a Cell Phone Notification. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance. DOI: 10.1037/xhp0000100  

  • July 26, 2015
  • 11:18 AM
  • 63 views

Stop Wasting Time Abroad: How to Ensure Contact with New Cultures Boosts Your Creativity

by Louise Rasmussen in Head Smart

Yuck! Splashes of chicken blood and insects fly everywhere. The old Chinese woman waves the butcher knife and squirming corpse triumphantly. She flashes a toothless grin. You’re speechless. Flabbergasted. Grossed out big time. You thought you’d take a leisurely stroll in a quaint out-door market. You expected to see some strange veggies. Marvel at oddly […]
Check out Stop Wasting Time Abroad: How to Ensure Contact with New Cultures Boosts Your Creativity, an original post on Global Cog........ Read more »

  • July 26, 2015
  • 12:22 AM
  • 54 views

The relationship between self-reported sleep disturbance and polysomnography in traumatic brain injury

by William Lu in The Quantum Lobe Chronicles

Check it out. My work during postdoc that was just published early online in Brain Injury. Feel free to contact me for a PDF copy.AbstractPRIMARY OBJECTIVE: To characterize sleep architecture and self-reported sleep quality, fatigue and daytime sleepiness in individuals with TBI. Possible relationships between sleep architecture and self-reported sleep quality, fatigue and daytime sleepiness were examined.METHODS: Forty-four community-dwelling adults with TBI completed the Pittsburgh Sleep Qua........ Read more »

  • July 25, 2015
  • 03:51 AM
  • 69 views

Medical comorbidity and adult autism (again)

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Regular readers are probably tired of reading blog titles like the one for today on this site. It's not as if the idea that a diagnosis of autism might predispose someone to quite a few more comorbid conditions (see here and see here) hasn't been discussed on quite a few occasions.But just in case the message hasn't got through, I draw your attention to the paper by Kyle Jones and colleagues [1] concluding that: "Adults in this cohort of autism spectrum disorder first ascertained in the 198........ Read more »

  • July 24, 2015
  • 02:21 PM
  • 99 views

Brain structure reveals ability to regulate emotions

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

We all vary in how often we become happy, sad or angry, and also in how strongly these emotions are expressed. This variability is a part of our personality and can be seen as a positive aspect that increases diversity in society. However, there are people that find it so difficult to regulate their emotions that it has a serious impact on their work, family and social life. These individuals may be given an emotional instability diagnosis such as borderline personality disorder or antisocial pe........ Read more »

Petrovic, P., Ekman, C., Klahr, J., Tigerstrom, L., Ryden, G., Johansson, A., Sellgren, C., Golkar, A., Olsson, A., Ohman, A.... (2015) Significant gray matter changes in a region of the orbitofrontal cortex in healthy participants predicts emotional dysregulation. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. DOI: 10.1093/scan/nsv072  

  • July 24, 2015
  • 12:26 PM
  • 91 views

An Anxious Moment Makes People Clean Obsessively

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish



Whether you're a person biting her nails during a phone interview or a polar bear pacing its cage, anxious animals often do the same thing over and over. Extreme cases of repetitive behavior show up in people with obsessive-compulsive disorder or autism. Now researchers have shown that even a simple, anxiety-inducing experiment can make an average person act in a repetitive and ritualized way.

"A lot of social theorists have talked about the link between anxiety and ritualization," says M........ Read more »

Lang M, Krátký J, Shaver JH, Jerotijević D, & Xygalatas D. (2015) Effects of Anxiety on Spontaneous Ritualized Behavior. Current biology : CB, 25(14), 1892-7. PMID: 26096971  

  • July 24, 2015
  • 06:32 AM
  • 96 views

Gay And Lesbian TV Characters Increase LGBTQ Support

by Sarah Boers-Goi in United Academics

While at times, media can be seen as forces out to create negative feelings towards minority groups, recent research by Garretson of Vanderbilt University shows an example of the positive powers that media can have on group-mechanisms. ... Read more »

  • July 24, 2015
  • 03:25 AM
  • 40 views

Psychologists reveal our "blatant dehumanisation" of minority groups

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Participants used a sliding scale under an image like this to indicate "how evolved" they believed an average member of various racial and ethnic groups to beGhanaian footballer Emmanuel Frimpong’s match in Russia last Friday ended nastily: "When the match was stopped,” he said, “the fans started shouting 'monkey' at me.” Redefining human beings as animals in this way, or as vermin, or insects, is no small thing; time and again it’s augured the worst that our species has........ Read more »

  • July 24, 2015
  • 03:05 AM
  • 83 views

Autism, asthma and IL-17

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"IL-17 was increased in ASD [autism spectrum disorder] children with co-morbid asthma compared to controls with the same condition."That was the conclusion reached by Marjannie Eloi Akintunde and colleagues [1] including some notable names on the authorship list from the University of California, Davis. IL-17 (Interleukin 17) by the way, refers to a group of cytokines - chemical messengers of the immune system - linked to various processes centred on inflammation. Jin & Dong [........ Read more »

Akintunde, M., Rose, M., Krakowiak, P., Heuer, L., Ashwood, P., Hansen, R., Hertz-Picciotto, I., & Van de Water, J. (2015) Increased production of IL-17 in children with autism spectrum disorders and co-morbid asthma. Journal of Neuroimmunology. DOI: 10.1016/j.jneuroim.2015.07.003  

  • July 23, 2015
  • 02:33 PM
  • 99 views

Body fat can send signals to brain, affecting stress response

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

The brain’s effect on other parts of the body has been well established. Now, a group of researchers has found that it’s a two-way street: Body fat can send a signal that affects the way the brain deals with stress and metabolism. While the exact nature of those signals remains a mystery, researchers say simply knowing such a pathway exists and learning more about it could help break a vicious cycle: Stress causes a desire to eat more, which can lead to obesity. And too much extra fat can im........ Read more »

de Kloet, A., Krause, E., Solomon, M., Flak, J., Scott, K., Kim, D., Myers, B., Ulrich-Lai, Y., Woods, S., Seeley, R.... (2015) Adipocyte glucocorticoid receptors mediate fat-to-brain signaling. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 110-119. DOI: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2015.03.008  

  • July 23, 2015
  • 08:37 AM
  • 43 views

Social Priming: Money for Nothing?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

Can the thought of money make people more conservative?



The idea that mere reminders of money can influence people's attitudes and behaviors is a major claim within the field of social priming - the study of how our behavior is unconsciously influenced by seemingly innocuous stimuli. However, social priming has been controversial lately with many high profile failures to replicate the reported effects.

Now, psychologists Doug Rohrer, Hal Pashler, and Christine Harris have joined the sk... Read more »

Doug Rohrer, Harold Pashler, & Christine R. Harris. (2015) Do Subtle Reminders of Money Change People’s Political Views?. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. info:/

  • July 23, 2015
  • 07:54 AM
  • 79 views

Choice Architecture: Even in “Heads or Tails,” It Matters What’s Presented First

by Jeremiah Stanghini in Jeremiah Stanghini

If you’re familiar with behavioural economics, then the results of this study will be right up your alley. The researchers set out to determine whether there was a “first-toss Heads bias.” Meaning, when flipping a coin and the choices are presented “Heads or … Continue reading →... Read more »

Bar-Hillel M, Peer E, & Acquisti A. (2014) "Heads or tails?"--a reachability bias in binary choice. Journal of experimental psychology. Learning, memory, and cognition, 40(6), 1656-63. PMID: 24773285  

  • July 23, 2015
  • 04:36 AM
  • 11 views

Why fathers might want to thank their handsome sons

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Women rated men's faces as more attractive when they were shown alongside a good-looking sonIf you're the father to a good-looking boy, you might want to give him your thanks – his handsome looks apparently mean women will tend to find you more attractive. That's according to a new study by Pavol Prokop at Trnava University in Slovakia, who says the result is consistent with the established idea from evolutionary psychology that women instinctively pick up on cues to the quality of a man's gen........ Read more »

  • July 23, 2015
  • 02:58 AM
  • 72 views

Sickle cell disease, asthma and behaviour

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Children with sickle cell disease may have increased risk for certain neurodevelopmental diagnoses based on their disease characteristics and associated comorbidities."That was the conclusion reached by Eboni Lance and colleagues [1] following their retrospective chart review including "59 children with sickle cell disease with a documented neurodevelopmental diagnosis, specifically attention deficit hyperactivity disorder [ADHD], attention issues, behavioral issues, executive dy........ Read more »

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