Staying positive can feel like an uphill battle. No wonder: when Philippe Verduyn and Saskia Lavrijsen asked over 200 high-school students (average age 17) to reminisce about the duration of their recent emotional experiences, they found that sadness had an unfortunate habit of lingering, more so than any of the other 26 emotions studied, including joy, pride and relief.Indeed, the average duration of the episodes of sadness recalled by the students was 120 hours. At the other extreme, the most ........ Read more »
Verduyn, P., & Lavrijsen, S. (2014) Which emotions last longest and why: The role of event importance and rumination. Motivation and Emotion. DOI: 10.1007/s11031-014-9445-y
FC, by the way, refers to Facilitated Communication, a controversial technique which as the name suggests relies on a facilitator to support "the hand or arm of a communicatively impaired individual while using a keyboard or other devices with the aim of helping the individual to point and thereby to communicate." The quote for the title of this post comes from the paper by Ralf Schlosser and colleagues  who following systematic review, found "unequivocal evidence for facilitator co........ Read more »
Schlosser RW, Balandin S, Hemsley B, Iacono T, Probst P, & von Tetzchner S. (2014) Facilitated Communication and Authorship: A Systematic Review. Augmentative and alternative communication (Baltimore, Md. : 1985), 1-10. PMID: 25384895
My sister suffers from chronic pain issues. I’ve written several posts about how her autoimmune disease is a special brand of pain that you will thankfully (almost certainly) never have to feel. While great strides have been made in pain management, there are still relatively few options that do not carry the risk of being extremely addictive. Well thankfully there is some new research and it offers hope, not just for my sister, but for the millions of people suffering from chronic pain that ........ Read more »
Little JW, Ford A, Symons-Liguori AM, Chen Z, Janes K, Doyle T, Xie J, Luongo L, Tosh DK, Maione S.... (2014) Endogenous adenosine A3 receptor activation selectively alleviates persistent pain states. Brain : a journal of neurology. PMID: 25414036
Think you’re in control of your own body? A simple virtual-reality session could not only make you feel like an avatar’s body is your own, but make you speak more like the digital character. First there was the rubber-hand illusion, a classic experiment that showed syncing up someone’s touch perceptions with what they see happening […]The post Illusion Makes People Speak with the Voice of Their Avatar appeared first on Inkfish.... Read more »
Banakou D, & Slater M. (2014) Body ownership causes illusory self-attribution of speaking and influences subsequent real speaking. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 25422444
Does few toys and no play equal issues with your cat?Photo: XSeon / ShutterstockA new survey of cat owners by Beth Strickler and Elizabeth Shull investigates how many toys the average cat has, how often their owner plays with them, and whether there is a link with behaviour problems. Since behaviour problems are a common reason for cats to be surrendered to shelters and so many cats are euthanized every year, it’s important to understand how meeting the behavioural needs of cats can lead to fe........ Read more »
Ellis, S., Rodan, I., Carney, H., Heath, S., Rochlitz, I., Shearburn, L., Sundahl, E., & Westropp, J. (2013) AAFP and ISFM Feline Environmental Needs Guidelines. Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, 15(3), 219-230. DOI: 10.1177/1098612X13477537
Strickler, B., & Shull, E. (2014) An owner survey of toys, activities, and behavior problems in indoor cats. Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, 9(5), 207-214. DOI: 10.1016/j.jveb.2014.06.005
The recent preliminary findings from Elena Biagi and colleagues  (open-access) reporting on the constitution of the gut microbiome - the collected bacteria which reside in the deepest, darkest recesses of our gastrointestinal (GI) tract - in a small number of cases of Down's syndrome caught my eye recently.It's a funny feeling being taken under the wing of a dragonPerhaps a little bit unusually looking at the gut microbiome because of the link between premature ageing in Down's syndrome ........ Read more »
When we look at our lives, we tend to break them up into chapters, rather like the seasons of a TV box set. Potential dividers come in many forms, including the dawn of a new year, or the start of a new job. But if those events act as a marker between episodes, it is the decades of our lives that represent the more profound end of one series or season and the start of the next.According to the psychologists Adam Alter and Hal Hershfield, when we're on the cusp of one of these boundaries - in oth........ Read more »
Alter, A.L., & Hershfield, H.E. (2014) People search for meaning when they approach a new decade in chronological age. PNAS. info:/
Across different professions, many people are familiar with the sense of having to deliver more with less, meaning clocking-off time falls later and later. One way to protect workers’ rights, and look after their wellbeing, is to introduce working hours restrictions. But a new paper by Korea University's Robert Rudolf investigates the impact of such a reform, and its conclusions are disappointing.Beginning its roll-out in 2004, the (South) Korean Five Day Working Reform was intended to manage ........ Read more »
Rudolf, R. (2013) Work Shorter, Be Happier? Longitudinal Evidence from the Korean Five-Day Working Policy. Journal of Happiness Studies, 15(5), 1139-1163. DOI: 10.1007/s10902-013-9468-1
The paper by Pagan and colleagues  (open-access) looking at "serotonin, melatonin and the intermediate N-acetylserotonin (NAS) in a large cohort of patients with ASD [autism spectrum disorder] and their relatives" set the old grey-pink matter into action recently. Not only because I have some real interest in the starting material for these compounds - the aromatic amino acid known as tryptophan - but because this research group included some quite important analysis of the enz........ Read more »
Pagan C, Delorme R, Callebert J, Goubran-Botros H, Amsellem F, Drouot X, Boudebesse C, Le Dudal K, Ngo-Nguyen N, Laouamri H.... (2014) The serotonin-N-acetylserotonin-melatonin pathway as a biomarker for autism spectrum disorders. Translational psychiatry. PMID: 25386956
When choosing a restaurant for a dinner with friends we need to combine information prior to decision, concerning the location, menu, and price range. Similarly, when crossing a busy road, we sometimes need to integrate information from multiple sources, such as horn sounds and the sight of approaching cars. A recent paper published by myself and colleagues does not tell you which restaurant to choose for your party or how to safely cross the road. Rather, it provides a means for evaluating how ........ Read more »
Eidels, A., Townsend, J., Hughes, H., & Perry, L. (2014) Evaluating perceptual integration: Uniting response-time- and accuracy-based methodologies. Attention, Perception, . DOI: 10.3758/s13414-014-0788-y
Our clients are routinely stunned by the accuracy of mock juror impressions of witnesses and parties based on a 6 to 8 minute video clip from depositions. Mock jurors quickly assess character and are often eager to share their insights. Their comments can be insightful, surprising, and sometimes biting in their judgments. So, okay. It’s […]
Unfaithful partner? Would you rather be seen as mature– or as competent and strong?
A law firm’s financial success & the ........ Read more »
LAMBERT, N., MULDER, S., & FINCHAM, F. (2014) Thin slices of infidelity: Determining whether observers can pick out cheaters from a video clip interaction and what tips them off. Personal Relationships. DOI: 10.1111/pere.12052
A quote from the paper by Venla Lehti and colleagues  to start things off: "The study showed that children whose parents are both immigrants have a significantly lower likelihood of being diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome than those with two Finnish parents."Can I cook, or can't I?Based on an analysis of data derived from "the Finnish Hospital Discharge Register" and "the Finnish Medical Birth Register", researchers looked at the records of children with a diagnosis of Asperger syndrome (AS)........ Read more »
Which of your friends - the happier, or the more melancholy - is better at spotting your excitement that Chris is attending your birthday, or that a B+ has left you disappointed?Evidence suggests that more upbeat people consider themselves especially empathic, and it would be reasonable to believe them, given that they know more people on average, and tend to form deeper, more trusting relationships. The reality, however, is more complicated. New research led by Yale's Hillary Devlin suggests th........ Read more »
Devlin, H., Zaki, J., Ong, D., & Gruber, J. (2014) Not As Good as You Think? Trait Positive Emotion Is Associated with Increased Self-Reported Empathy but Decreased Empathic Performance. PLoS ONE, 9(10). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0110470
Among athletic trainers working in a college setting 14% reported that they were bullied, and 20% reported that they witnessed bullying. There were no differences between who experienced bullying, but most of the bullying perpetrators were males with the majority being coaches.... Read more »
Weuve, C., Pitney, W., Martin, M., & Mazerolle, S. (2014) Experiences With Workplace Bullying Among Athletic Trainers in the Collegiate Setting. Journal of Athletic Training, 49(5), 696-705. DOI: 10.4085/1062-6050-49.3.16
Most kids worry about passing tests, winning games, lost phones, fractured bones—and whether or not they will ever really fall in love. While the first few things are of relatively low value in the scientific pursuit, three Chinese researchers have focused on that last question. All in a bid to find out some of the more interesting questions about our genes: Why do some students stay single? What factors determine if a young adult falls in love?... Read more »
Liu, J., Gong, P., & Zhou, X. (2014) The association between romantic relationship status and 5-HT1A gene in young adults. Scientific Reports, 7049. DOI: 10.1038/srep07049
A while back I wrote a post about mental health and jail sentences, it seems like no one takes mental health seriously and that leads to lack of care for the individual. Well a new study offers even more bad news on the mental health front. Women with symptoms of serious mental illness are significantly less likely to receive three routine cancer screenings – Pap tests, mammograms and clinical breast exams – than women in the general population, despite being at elevated risk for medical com........ Read more »
Xiang, X. (2014) Serious Psychological Distress as a Barrier to Cancer Screening Among Women. Women's Health Issues. DOI: 10.1016/j.whi.2014.09.001
Using science, researchers are studying what makes songs catchy as a way to understand learning and memory. Did your favorite song make the list? ... Read more »
Snowdon CT, & Teie D. (2010) Affective responses in tamarins elicited by species-specific music. Biology letters, 6(1), 30-2. PMID: 19726444
Guessing even the wrong answer could help in learning the right answer.
Memory & Cognition
Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles, worked on some volunteers and gave them some pairs of words. Some participants were given the word pairs to study, and others were asked to guess the pairs of words before showing the right answer. Researchers found that guessing process, even when it is wrong, helps in better learning of wor........ Read more »
Yan, V., Yu, Y., Garcia, M., & Bjork, R. (2014) Why does guessing incorrectly enhance, rather than impair, retention?. Memory , 42(8), 1373-1383. DOI: 10.3758/s13421-014-0454-6
What a BOOMING month for dogs and science October was! We've captured the links to all the latest blogs, research and news that caught out attention throughout Dog-tober.Thanks to Storify (click here if the you can't see the collection of links below) you can make sure you didn't miss out too.[View the story "Do You Believe in Dog? [01-31 October 2014]" on Storify] Further reading:Bradshaw J.W.S. & Nicola J. Rooney (2014). Why do adult dogs ‘play’?, Behavioural Processes, DOI: http:/........ Read more »
Bozkurt Alper, Barbara Sherman, Rita Brugarolas, Sean Mealin, John Majikes, Pu Yang, & Robert Loftin. (2014) Towards Cyber-Enhanced Working Dogs for Search and Rescue. IEEE Intelligent Systems, 1-1. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/mis.2014.77
Over the past several decades we have seen the advent of a number of new pharmaceutical drugs to treat depression, but major depressive disorder remains one of the most common mood disorders in the United States; over 15% of the population will suffer from major depressive disorder at some point in their lives. Despite extensive research into the etiology and treatment of depression, we haven't seen a mitigation of the impact depression has on our society. In fact, there have even been a lot of ........ Read more »
Canli, T. (2014) Reconceptualizing major depressive disorder as an infectious disease. Biology of Mood , 4(1), 10. DOI: 10.1186/2045-5380-4-10
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