I was not surprised to read the findings of the paper from Marie Moore Channell and colleagues  (open-access) who "identified patterns of ASD [autism spectrum disorder] symptomatology, measured by the SRS [Social Responsiveness Scale], in individuals with DS [Down syndrome] who do not have comorbid ASD."You're not going Turbo, are you?Harking back to the paper by Georgina Warner and colleagues  discussed not-so-long-ago on this blog (see here), the idea that variou........ Read more »
Marie Moore Channell, B Allyson Phillips, Susan J Loveall, Frances A Conners, Paige M Bussanich, & Laura Grofer Klinger. (2015) Patterns of autism spectrum symptomatology in individuals with Down syndrome without comorbid autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders. info:/10.1186/1866-1955-7-5
When scientists disagree about something, what often happens is that the two sides of the argument form separate communities, with scientists collaborating with others on their "team" while avoiding working with their "opponents". But is there a better way?
A paper just published today presents the results of an experiment that was conducted as an 'adversarial collaboration'. This is where some researchers sit down with some members of the "other side" and agree upon a plan for a study to... Read more »
Matzke D, Nieuwenhuis S, van Rijn H, Slagter HA, van der Molen MW, & Wagenmakers EJ. (2015) The effect of horizontal eye movements on free recall: A preregistered adversarial collaboration. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 144(1). PMID: 25621378
If so, we can certainly suggest a few to be disregarded! We don’t write about most of the articles we consider for this blog (the reject pile grows taller every day). And when we do write about questionable pieces we let you know if we think it’s a little ridiculous or if it’s a prospective […]
Mock Jury Research: How do we make it more useful?
Red, redux: Men won’t pay attention to Tammy in red
It’s 2014: Where are all the female subjects in surgical research? ........ Read more »
DeRight, J., & Jorgensen, R. (2014) I Just Want My Research Credit: Frequency of Suboptimal Effort in a Non-Clinical Healthy Undergraduate Sample. The Clinical Neuropsychologist, 1-17. DOI: 10.1080/13854046.2014.989267
A new paper suggests ways to develop the welfare and performance of working canines.A search-and-rescue dog takes part in a training exerciseHave you ever stopped to think about the amazing variety of jobs that dogs do: herding sheep, chasing criminals, sniffing out cancer, assisting people with disabilities, supporting the military in the field, detecting explosives or narcotics, visiting sick people in hospital, pulling sleds, search and rescue, and so on. They bring a wide variety of ski........ Read more »
Cobb, M., Branson, N., McGreevy, P., Lill, A., & Bennett, P. (2015) The advent of canine performance science: Offering a sustainable future for working dogs. Behavioural Processes, 96-104. DOI: 10.1016/j.beproc.2014.10.012
The paper by Muneko Nishijo and colleagues  (open-access) caught my eye recently and their continuing investigations into the potential effects of perinatal dioxin exposure on offspring neurodevelopmental outcomes. For a bit of background on this initiative based in Vietnam, I would refer readers to a previous post on this blog (see here).Your weakness is copper? Y-you're kidding right?In case you can't be bothered to follow that previous link, the idea was that exposure to TCDD [2,........ Read more »
Nishijo M, Tai PT, Anh NT, Nghi TN, Nakagawa H, Van Luong H, Anh TH, Morikawa Y, Waseda T, Kido T.... (2015) Urinary Amino Acid Alterations in 3-Year-Old Children with Neurodevelopmental Effects due to Perinatal Dioxin Exposure in Vietnam: A Nested Case-Control Study for Neurobiomarker Discovery. PloS one, 10(1). PMID: 25584822
Left or right? Apple or orange? Selma or Birdman? One way to make these decisions is precisely what intuition tell us it should be: we weigh up the pros and cons of each choice. Then, when we have sufficient evidence for one over the … Continue reading →... Read more »
Hanks, T., Kopec, C., Brunton, B., Duan, C., Erlich, J., & Brody, C. (2015) Distinct relationships of parietal and prefrontal cortices to evidence accumulation. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature14066
Brunton, B., Botvinick, M., & Brody, C. (2013) Rats and Humans Can Optimally Accumulate Evidence for Decision-Making. Science, 340(6128), 95-98. DOI: 10.1126/science.1233912
The paper by Ryan Yuen and colleagues  suggesting that most siblings with autism do not share the same genetic variations thought to contribute to the condition has garnered quite a few media headlines of late (see here and see here).Applying the concept of whole-genome sequencing whereby the complete genetic blueprint of a person is mapped to provide "the most comprehensive collection of an individual's genetic variation" , 340 genomes from 85 families with two children with a d........ Read more »
Yuen, R., Thiruvahindrapuram, B., Merico, D., Walker, S., Tammimies, K., Hoang, N., Chrysler, C., Nalpathamkalam, T., Pellecchia, G., Liu, Y.... (2015) Whole-genome sequencing of quartet families with autism spectrum disorder. Nature Medicine. DOI: 10.1038/nm.3792
by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room
We’ve written about the brain based defenses a lot here. And here’s an article that may shed light on how the presentation of neural defenses could backfire on defense attorneys. First, let’s look at the research. The researchers wondered how the biological explanation of mental illness might affect the empathy of mental health clinicians toward […]
Which jurors most “feel” your client’s pain?
Empathy: Paving the road to preferential treatment with good intenti........ Read more »
Lebowitz MS, & Ahn WK. (2014) Effects of biological explanations for mental disorders on clinicians' empathy. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 111(50), 17786-90. PMID: 25453068
When we’re stressed out and feeling threatened, our priority becomes self-preservation. According to new research, this defensive mode even affects our morality, making us more likely to cheat and excuse our own unethical behaviour.Maryam Kouchaki and Sreedhari Desai demonstrated this through six experiments. In the clearest example, 63 student participants spent three minutes listening to either calm music, or in the anxiety condition, to Bernard Herrmann's Psycho score. Those freaked out by ........ Read more »
Kouchaki, M., & Desai, S. (2014) Anxious, Threatened, and Also Unethical: How Anxiety Makes Individuals Feel Threatened and Commit Unethical Acts. Journal of Applied Psychology. DOI: 10.1037/a0037796
“It is feasible to recruit and retain a cohort of female participants to perform a functional magnetic resonance imaging [fMRI] task focused on making decisions about sex, on the basis of varying levels of hypothetical sexual risk, and to complete longitudinal prospective diaries following this task. Preliminary evidence suggests that risk level differentially impacts brain activity related to sexual decision making in these women [i.e., girls aged 14-15 yrs], which may be related to pas........ Read more »
Hensel, D., Hummer, T., Acrurio, L., James, T., & Fortenberry, J. (2015) Feasibility of Functional Neuroimaging to Understand Adolescent Women's Sexual Decision Making. Journal of Adolescent Health. DOI: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2014.11.004
Rupp, H., James, T., Ketterson, E., Sengelaub, D., Janssen, E., & Heiman, J. (2009) The role of the anterior cingulate cortex in women's sexual decision making. Neuroscience Letters, 449(1), 42-47. DOI: 10.1016/j.neulet.2008.10.083
The question posed in the title of this post was asked and [partly] answered by the paper by Vincent Guinchat and colleagues  based on the analysis of 58 adolescents diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and "hospitalized for severe challenging behaviors." Challenging behaviours, by the way, refers to a whole spectrum of presentations which doesn't just include aggressive or violent behaviours (see here). Indeed, I recently talked about irritability and autism (see here), whic........ Read more »
Guinchat V, Cravero C, Diaz L, Périsse D, Xavier J, Amiet C, Gourfinkel-An I, Bodeau N, Wachtel L, Cohen D.... (2015) Acute behavioral crises in psychiatric inpatients with autism spectrum disorder (ASD): Recognition of concomitant medical or non-ASD psychiatric conditions predicts enhanced improvement. Research in developmental disabilities, 242-255. PMID: 25575287
To control one’s dreams and to live out there what is impossible in real life — a truly tempting idea. Some people — so-called lucid dreamers — can do this. Researchers have discovered that the brain area which enables self-reflection is larger in lucid dreamers. Thus, lucid dreamers are possibly also more self-reflecting when they are awake.... Read more »
Filevich E, Dresler M, Brick TR, & Kühn S. (2015) Metacognitive mechanisms underlying lucid dreaming. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 35(3), 1082-8. PMID: 25609624
The paper by Thomas Ciecierega and colleagues  (open-access) talking about 'refractory' coeliac disease (CD) - a lack of, or diminished response to a gluten-free diet (the primary management option for CD) - and the subsequent diagnosis of Hartnup disease in a young girl is fodder for today's brief post.I already had a big bowl of curly-toed weirdo for breakfast.Describing how authors first diagnosed her with CD but witnessed "only mild clinical and laboratory improvement"........ Read more »
Ciecierega, T., Dweikat, I., Awar, M., Shahrour, M., Libdeh, B., & Sultan, M. (2014) Severe persistent unremitting dermatitis, chronic diarrhea and hypoalbuminemia in a child; Hartnup disease in setting of celiac disease. BMC Pediatrics, 14(1). DOI: 10.1186/s12887-014-0311-6
by Alexander Yartsev in Evolutionary Games Group
Moral decision making is one of the major torrents in human behavior. It often overrides other ways of making judgments, it generates conflicting sets of cultural values and is reinforced by them. Such conflicts might even occur in the head of some unfortunate individual, which makes the process really creative. On the other hand ethical […]... Read more »
Wlodarski, R., & Dunbar, R.I. (2013) Examining the possible functions of kissing in romantic relationships. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 42(8), 1415-23. PMID: 24114390
People have a distinctive way of talking to babies and small children: We speak more slowly, using a sing-song voice, and tend to use cutesy words like "tummy". While we might be inclined to think that we talk this way because it is easier for children to understand, new research suggests that, surprisingly, mothers may actually speak less clearly to their infants than they do to adults.... Read more »
Andrew Martin, Thomas Schatz, Maarten Versteegh, Kouki Miyazawa, Reiko Mazuka, Emmanuel Dupoux, and Alejandrina Cristia. (2015) Kouki Miyazawa, Reiko Mazuka, Emmanuel Dupoux, and Alejandrina Cristia. Mothers Speak Less Clearly to Infants Than to Adults: A Comprehensive Test of the Hyperarticulation Hypothesis. Psychological Science. info:/10.1177/0956797614562453
I've started playing in a higher division in my local table-tennis league. I'm winning games less, but enjoying the experience more. I'm far from alone in preferring the danger of possible defeat to the comfort of easy wins. Psychologically this is curious because, at whatever level, virtually everyone who plays competitive games finds winning more pleasurable than losing, and most people like to feel good at what they do. In a new study, Sami Abuhamdeh and his colleagues have shone a light on t........ Read more »
Abuhamdeh, S., Csikszentmihalyi, M., & Jalal, B. (2014) Enjoying the possibility of defeat: Outcome uncertainty, suspense, and intrinsic motivation. Motivation and Emotion, 39(1), 1-10. DOI: 10.1007/s11031-014-9425-2
It's been a while since I talked about NAC - N-acetylcysteine - on this blog with either autism or schizophrenia in mind (see here and see here respectively). Today I'm going to remedy that situation by bringing the paper by Nikoo and colleagues  to your attention, and their observation: "N-acetylcysteine can be considered as an adjuvant therapy for ADs [autistic disorders] with beneficial therapeutic outcomes." Adjuvant therapy by the way, refers to a sort of add-on therapy.We have........ Read more »
Nikoo M, Radnia H, Farokhnia M, Mohammadi MR, & Akhondzadeh S. (2015) N-Acetylcysteine as an Adjunctive Therapy to Risperidone for Treatment of Irritability in Autism: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial of Efficacy and Safety. Clinical neuropharmacology. PMID: 25580916
Ever wonder what makes people susceptible to addiction? Think about it, some people can stop addictive painkillers without a problem and others, well others are not so lucky. So the big question is are there more than biophysical factors at play in addiction? A new study shows that cognitive beliefs play a significant role in a person’s neurological response to an addictive substance and that belief can diminish the neurological effects of an addictive drug.... Read more »
Gu, X., Lohrenz, T., Salas, R., Baldwin, P., Soltani, A., Kirk, U., Cinciripini, P., & Montague, P. (2015) Belief about nicotine selectively modulates value and reward prediction error signals in smokers. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 201416639. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1416639112
I am not a morning person. I can force myself into a morning schedule when I have to teach classes at 8 a.m., but left to its own devices my body would remain alert and active well into the evening, and then sleep through noon. I have done some of my best writing – include my master’s thesis – in the red-eye hours, and I would much prefer to see sunrise as the last vision before sleep than the first sight upon waking. I am undoubtedly a “night owl”, the poetic name ........ Read more »
Gunia BC, Barnes CM, & Sah S. (2014) The morality of larks and owls: unethical behavior depends on chronotype as well as time of day. Psychological Science, 25(12), 2272-2274. PMID: 25287664
We were devastated by the news that Dr. Allison Doupe, a much-loved neuroscientist at UCSF, passed away late last year, following a long battle with cancer, a struggle that she refused to let mitigate the exuberance and overflowing passion with which she carried out her research. A symposium in Allison’s honor is being held tomorrow as an opportunity to reflect upon her intellectual and personal life.... Read more »
Brainard MS, & Doupe AJ. (2000) Interruption of a basal ganglia-forebrain circuit prevents plasticity of learned vocalizations. Nature, 404(6779), 762-6. PMID: 10783889
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