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  • December 18, 2014
  • 05:08 AM
  • 13 views

Autistic traits in adults with epilepsy

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Increased autistic characteristics found in adults with epilepsy without an ASD [autism spectrum disorder] diagnosis suggest that epilepsy syndromes may incorporate behavioral aspects of autism in the absence of some of its core cognitive features."Contrariwise, if you think we're alive you ought to speak to us.That was the intriguing finding reported by Sally Ann Wakeford and colleagues [1] who examined test performance on the Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ) and "systemizing ........ Read more »

Wakeford S, Hinvest N, Ring H, & Brosnan M. (2014) Autistic characteristics in adults with epilepsy. Epilepsy , 203-207. PMID: 25461216  

  • December 17, 2014
  • 08:30 AM
  • 29 views

Picking a New Dog is a Complex Choice

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

It’s not a case of ‘any puppy will do’ - the whole package counts.Photo: DragoNika / ShutterstockSurprisingly little is known about how people choose a new dog considering how popular they are. While it’s a personal choice, it has wider implications – humane societies would really like to know how to increase adoptions from shelters and decrease purchases from puppy mills. Could relocation programs, where dogs are brought in from out of town, be part of the solution?A new paper by Laur........ Read more »

  • December 17, 2014
  • 04:29 AM
  • 23 views

Folate receptor autoantibodies and (some) schizophrenia

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I am the league's director, Silas Ramsbottom.Upon reading the paper published by Ramaekers and colleagues [1] talking about the use of folinic acid in cases of schizophrenia as a function of the presence of "Auto-antibodies against folate receptor alpha (FRα)", I raised a little smile. Not only because the authors suggested that there may be quite a lot more to see in this area on top of some already interesting discussions about the folate cycle and schizophrenia, but also because of the ........ Read more »

Ramaekers VT, Thöny B, Sequeira JM, Ansseau M, Philippe P, Boemer F, Bours V, & Quadros EV. (2014) Folinic acid treatment for schizophrenia associated with folate receptor autoantibodies. Molecular genetics and metabolism. PMID: 25456743  

  • December 16, 2014
  • 08:00 AM
  • 47 views

Giving, Getting, and Grey Matter

by Mark E. Lasbury in The 'Scope

It’s time to search out Christmas gifts! Let brain research guide you in your giving. We now know why women are often better at picking out gifts, and we know that you expect people to like your homemade gifts more than you should. We have learned that we give gifts to make ourselves feel good, and that too many gifts can screw your kids up for life. But most importantly, it actually is the thought that counts! Merry Christmas.... Read more »

Moll, J., Krueger, F., Zahn, R., Pardini, M., de Oliveira-Souza, R., & Grafman, J. (2006) Human fronto-mesolimbic networks guide decisions about charitable donation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 103(42), 15623-15628. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0604475103  

  • December 16, 2014
  • 07:14 AM
  • 51 views

The scientific community’s Galileo affair (you’re the Pope)

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

Science is in crisis. Everyone in the scientific community knows about it but few want to talk about it. The crisis is one of honesty. A junior scientist (like me) asks himself a similar question to Galileo in 1633: how much honesty is desirable in science? Science Wonderland According to nearly all empirical scientific publications […]... Read more »

  • December 16, 2014
  • 04:41 AM
  • 56 views

Thioredoxin... a new 'diagnosis indicator' for autism?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

My name's Buttercup. You've met Baron von Shush."Our study demonstrated that serum TRX [thioredoxin] levels were associated with ASD [autism spectrum disorder], and elevated levels could be considered as a novel, independent diagnosis indicator of ASD." So was the conclusion reported by Qing-biao Zhang and colleagues [1] looking at serum levels of TRX in 80 children diagnosed with an ASD compared against "100 sex and age matched typically developing children".I'll freely admi........ Read more »

Zhang QB, Gao SJ, & Zhao HX. (2014) Thioredoxin: A novel, independent diagnosis marker in children with autism. International journal of developmental neuroscience : the official journal of the International Society for Developmental Neuroscience. PMID: 25433158  

  • December 15, 2014
  • 07:49 AM
  • 75 views

Want to learn something better? Draw it

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

When you're trying to learn, do something with your new knowledge, such as summarising it or explaining it to someone else. This deepens your memories and helps integrate what you've learned with what you already knew. A new study has tested the benefits of another beneficial learning activity - drawing.Annett Schmeck and her team asked 48 German school-kids (average age 14) to read a 850-word passage about the biology of influenza, broken down into seven paragraphs. This was an unfamiliar topic........ Read more »

  • December 15, 2014
  • 07:15 AM
  • 73 views

Why do friendly people usually lead happier lives?

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

High scorers on the personality trait of agreeableness are eager to please, concerned for others, and compliant to other perspectives. On average, they live happier lives too. A new study suggests a possible reason: when they have the chance, friendly people tend to avoid engaging with negative things.The researchers, Konrad Bresin and Michael Robinson, began by asking participants to view a series of positive and negative images, spending as much time as they wanted on each one. Most people lin........ Read more »

  • December 15, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 61 views

Are you a murdered white female? Here is some small comfort!

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

We are again honored by our inclusion in the ABA Blawg 100 list for 2014. If you value this blog, please take a moment to vote for us here in the Litigation Category. Voting closes on December 19, 2014. Doug and Rita If you are a murdered white female, your case will be investigated and […]

Related posts:
Does your capital client “look deathworthy”?
Does the Prosecution want African-American jurors for the Trayvon Martin case?
Bev Kearney: Is it because I’m female, African-America........ Read more »

Pierce, G., Radelet, M., Posick, C., & Lyman, T. (2014) Race and the Construction of Evidence in Homicide Cases. American Journal of Criminal Justice, 39(4), 771-786. DOI: 10.1007/s12103-014-9259-1  

  • December 15, 2014
  • 04:45 AM
  • 57 views

Rates of medical illnesses in bipolar disorder

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I've mentioned a few times on this blog that a diagnosis of autism or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is by no means protective against any other diagnosis being received, be it based on a somatic illness or condition, or something more behaviourally defined.Reading through the paper by Liz Forty and colleagues [1] (open-access) it appears that a similar scenario might also pertain to other behaviourally-defined conditions as per the example of bipolar disorder (BD) and their conclusion: "Bi........ Read more »

Forty L, Ulanova A, Jones L, Jones I, Gordon-Smith K, Fraser C, Farmer A, McGuffin P, Lewis CM, Hosang GM.... (2014) Comorbid medical illness in bipolar disorder. The British journal of psychiatry : the journal of mental science. PMID: 25359927  

  • December 14, 2014
  • 07:57 AM
  • 58 views

Increasing Rigor in Huntington’s Disease Research

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

The CHDI Foundation, a charitable organization who fund a lot of research into Huntington's disease, are interested in reforming the scientific process.


The story comes from a paper written by British neuroscientist Marcus Munafo and colleagues (the authors including CHDI staff) published in Nature Biotechnology a couple of months ago: Scientific rigor and the art of motorcycle maintenance.



Munafo et al. begin by pointing to the history of car manufacturing as an analogy for the scie... Read more »

Munafo M, Noble S, Browne WJ, Brunner D, Button K, Ferreira J, Holmans P, Langbehn D, Lewis G, Lindquist M.... (2014) Scientific rigor and the art of motorcycle maintenance. Nature Biotechnology, 32(9), 871-3. PMID: 25203032  

  • December 13, 2014
  • 01:51 PM
  • 80 views

High fat diet leads to brain inflammation and obesity

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

The stomach strikes again, or so it seems. We’ve already covered how your stomach seemingly controls your brain and your blood-brain barrier, but now it seems that what you eat –not too indirectly related to your stomach– might make you fatter, but not in the way you might be thinking thinking. What you are eating may be causing inflammation in the brain.... Read more »

  • December 13, 2014
  • 05:19 AM
  • 66 views

Social communication disorder (SCD) reviewed

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Sometimes I believe in as many as six impossible things before breakfast.A micropost if you will, for today, and a link to a potentially very important paper by Lauren Swineford and colleagues [1] (open-access) talking about the diagnostic concept: social (pragmatic) communication disorder (SCD) and it's various crossings with language impairments and autism spectrum disorder (ASD).SCD, as I've indicated in other posts (see here and see here) is something that the autism community in partic........ Read more »

  • December 12, 2014
  • 10:35 PM
  • 77 views

Guns And Controllers: Do Violent Video Games Cause Aggressive Behaviour? A Review Of Meta-Analytic Research

by Alexis Delanoir in How to Paint Your Panda

There is a lot of debate over whether or not violent video games manifest in violent behaviour. Consensus has not entirely been reached, but some suggest that the literature provides solid evidence for the hypothesis in question. In this post I examine meta-analytic reviews of the literature and weigh their significance, coming to the conclusion that violent video games most likely do cause aggressive behaviour and other negative social outcomes.... Read more »

  • December 12, 2014
  • 04:51 PM
  • 63 views

The White Elephant in the Room: The Gift of Subversion

by Melissa Chernick in Science Storiented

Ah, the holiday work party. Free food, spending time with people you spend your whole day with already, and enough boozy libations to make things a bit more interesting. Here in North America, many workplaces engage in the gift “game” called the White Elephant Gift Exchange. On this topic, I'm basing today’s post on an article that I recently came across by Gretchen Herrmann in The Journal of Popular Culture where she dissects the Machiavellian nature of this little holiday game.The White ........ Read more »

  • December 12, 2014
  • 10:37 AM
  • 65 views

Detecting lies with fMRI

by neurosci in Neuroscientifically Challenged

In 2006, a company called No Lie MRI began advertising their ability to detect "deception and other information stored in the brain" using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). They were not the first to make this claim. Two years prior, a company called Cephos had been founded on the same principle. Both companies were launched by entrepreneurs who hoped to one day replace the polygraph machine and its recognized shortcomings with a foolproof approach to lie detection.Within several yea........ Read more »

  • December 12, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 65 views

Simple Jury Persuasion: Gender and message delivery and framing

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

We are again honored by our inclusion in the ABA Blawg 100 list for 2014. If you value this blog, please take a moment to vote for us here in the Litigation Category. Voting closes on December 19, 2014. Doug and Rita Trial lawyers (and others who communicate to persuade) are always looking for a […]

Related posts:
Simple Jury Persuasion: Are those folks in the jury box thinkers or feelers?
Simple Jury Persuasion: Be Powerful in the Courtroom
Simple Jury Persuasion: Should we channel Do........ Read more »

  • December 12, 2014
  • 03:32 AM
  • 70 views

Party On! (If You're Middle-Class and Young): Age Differences Explain Social Class Differences in University Friendships

by Mark Rubin in Mark Rubin's Social Psychology Research Blog

In a recent meta-analytic review, I found that working-class students are less integrated at university than their middle-class peers. I offered up nine potential explanations for this working-class exclusion effect. It turns out that one of the simplest explanations in this list is also the most promising. It’s all to do with age.Working-class students tend to be older than middle-class students. Why? Most likely because they don’t tend to go to university immediately after school but i........ Read more »

  • December 11, 2014
  • 11:15 PM
  • 118 views

The Male Idiot Theory

by Shelly Fan in Neurorexia

Image credits: bilbypdalgyte.deviantart.com Yes, that’s a thing. According to hospital emergency departments and mortality stats, men are far likelier than women to experience accidental and sporting injuries, as well as...... Read more »

Ben Alexander, Daniel Lendrem, Dennis William Lendrem, Andy Gray, & John Dudley Isaacs. (2014) The Darwin Awards: sex differences in idiotic behaviour. BMJ, 349. info:/Ben Alexander Daniel Lendrem Dennis William Lendrem Andy Gray John Dudley Isaacs

  • December 11, 2014
  • 08:27 PM
  • 80 views

Depression And Stress/Mood Disorders: Causes Of Repetitive Negative Thinking And Ruminations

by Alexis Delanoir in How to Paint Your Panda

Repetitive Negative Thinking (RNT) has been suggested to be of clinical significance as a transdiagnostic process. Research has been conducted to explain the causes of RNT and ruminations but is limited. This article explores the causes and possible solutions to RNT, as well as its clinical implications concerning mood and stress disorders such as major depressive disorder (MDD).... Read more »

Ehring, T., & Watkins, E. (2008) Repetitive Negative Thinking as a Transdiagnostic Process. International Journal of Cognitive Therapy, 1(3), 192-205. DOI: 10.1680/ijct.2008.1.3.192  

Gibb, B., Grassia, M., Stone, L., Uhrlass, D., & McGeary, J. (2011) Brooding Rumination and Risk for Depressive Disorders in Children of Depressed Mothers. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 40(2), 317-326. DOI: 10.1007/s10802-011-9554-y  

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