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  • December 18, 2015
  • 04:39 PM
  • 876 views

Depression is more than a “mental health” problem and we can now measure its risk

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

A network of interacting brain regions known as the default mode network (DMN) was found to have stronger connections in adults and children with a high risk of depression compared to those with a low risk. These findings suggest that increased DMN connectivity is a potential precursor, or biomarker, indicating a risk of developing major depressive disorder (MDD).... Read more »

Posner, J., Cha, J., Wang, Z., Talati, A., Warner, V., Gerber, A., Peterson, B., & Weissman, M. (2015) Increased Default Mode Network Connectivity in Individuals at High Familial Risk for Depression. Neuropsychopharmacology. DOI: 10.1038/npp.2015.342  

  • December 16, 2015
  • 09:46 AM
  • 949 views

Buried with a Sickle: Death’s Scythe or Anti-Demon Protection?

by Katy Meyers Emery in Bones Don't Lie

Scythes and sickles have a very clear symbolic association for modern populations. The personification of death is traditionally pictured with a scythe (full size version pictured to the right) or sickle […]... Read more »

  • December 14, 2015
  • 05:40 PM
  • 732 views

Emotion processing in the brain changes with tinnitus severity

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Tinnitus, otherwise known as ringing in the ears, affects nearly one-third of adults over age 65. The condition can develop as part of age-related hearing loss or from a traumatic injury. In either case, the resulting persistent noise causes varying amounts of disruption to everyday life. While some tinnitus patients adapt to the condition, many others are forced to limit daily activities as a direct result of their symptoms. A new study reveals that people who are less bothered by their tinnitu........ Read more »

Fatima T. Husain et al. (2015) Increased frontal response may underlie decreased tinnitus severity. PLOS ONE. info:/10.1371/journal.pone.0144419

  • December 8, 2015
  • 05:43 PM
  • 1,305 views

Discrimination by any other name: Language tests and racist migration policy in Australia

by Laura Smith-Khan in Language on the Move

Australia has a proud national narrative of migration and multiculturalism. It also has an equally prevalent history of exclusionary and discriminatory migration policy. Perhaps the most famous is its “White Australia Policy”, which sought to restrict the migration of “non-European” … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • December 8, 2015
  • 04:28 PM
  • 821 views

Self-consciousness: Beyond the looking-glass and what dogs found there

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

That man’s best friend has a conscience is what every owner would be willing to bet, without even thinking about it for a moment. This means that dogs have self-consciousness. But the problem in science is that ideas and assumptions must be demonstrated. It is not enough for someone to have an inkling of something for it to be considered a scientific fact. Self-awareness, or self-consciousness, has been studied mainly by examining the responses of animals and children to their reflection in th........ Read more »

  • December 8, 2015
  • 01:46 PM
  • 1,557 views

The Dire State of Science in the Muslim World

by Jalees Rehman in The Next Regeneration

Universities and the scientific infrastructures in Muslim-majority countries need to undergo radical reforms if they want to avoid falling by the wayside in a world characterized by major scientific and technological innovations. This is the conclusion reached by Nidhal Guessoum and Athar Osama in their recent commentary "Institutions: Revive universities of the Muslim world", published in the scientific journal Nature. The physics and astronomy professor Guessoum (American University ........ Read more »

  • December 4, 2015
  • 02:54 PM
  • 888 views

Do Bilingual People Have a Cognitive Advantage?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover



For years, psychologists have been debating the "bilingual advantage" - the idea that speaking more than one language fluently brings with it cognitive benefits. Believers and skeptics in the theory have been trading blows for years, but matters recently came to a head in the form of a series of papers in the journal Cortex.



The bilingual advantage hypothesis states that bilinguals excel at 'cognitive control' also known as 'executive function' - meaning that they find it easier to su... Read more »

  • December 3, 2015
  • 03:11 PM
  • 597 views

Exposure to violence makes you more likely to lie, cheat

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Can watching a violent movie make you more likely to lie, cheat or steal? What about reading a violent book? While that may seem like a stretch, a new research study shows it may be the case. The study finds that exposure to human violence is strongly linked to an increase in cheating for monetary gain. In other words, violence may be making us less ethical.... Read more »

  • December 3, 2015
  • 11:33 AM
  • 877 views

So You’ve Got a Hole in Your Head, Now What?

by Katy Meyers Emery in Bones Don't Lie

Let’s just say that you are an Iron Age herder living in Switzerland. You’re out walking through your flock of cattle, and one of them gets fiesty and kicks you […]... Read more »

Erdal, Y., & Erdal, �. (2011) A review of trepanations in Anatolia with new cases. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, 21(5), 505-534. DOI: 10.1002/oa.1154  

Moghaddam, N., Mailler-Burch, S., Kara, L., Kanz, F., Jackowski, C., & Lösch, S. (2015) Survival after trepanation—Early cranial surgery from Late Iron Age Switzerland. International Journal of Paleopathology, 56-65. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpp.2015.08.002  

  • December 2, 2015
  • 09:18 PM
  • 1,249 views

Our pale blue dot in the wake of destruction

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

This is our home, that pale blue dot, dwarfed by an arrow that takes up less space on your screen than this sentence. For all our might and “overwhelming” intelligence, if we flexed our mental might and developed a weapon to destroy this pale blue dot, it would almost certainly go unnoticed in the universe.... Read more »

  • November 28, 2015
  • 04:20 PM
  • 685 views

The silence of the genes, an epigenetic tale

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Research led by Dr. Keiji Tanimoto from the University of Tsukuba, Japan, has brought us closer to understanding the mechanisms underlying the phenomenon of genomic imprinting. In this intriguing event, one copy of a gene is ‘turned off’, or silenced, depending on whether it was derived from the mother or the father.... Read more »

Matsuzaki H, Okamura E, Takahashi T, Ushiki A, Nakamura T, Nakano T, Hata K, Fukamizu A, & Tanimoto K. (2015) De novo DNA methylation through the 5'-segment of the H19 ICR maintains its imprint during early embryogenesis. Development (Cambridge, England), 142(22), 3833-44. PMID: 26417043  

  • November 24, 2015
  • 05:36 PM
  • 1,200 views

Cultural brokering

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

Recently, I signed a contract for a revised second edition of my 2011 book Intercultural Communication: A Critical Introduction to be published in 2017. One way in which I am planning to extend the book is to have a greater … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • November 22, 2015
  • 11:30 PM
  • 874 views

History of neuroscience: The mystery of trepanation

by neurosci in Neuroscientifically Challenged

In 1867, an archaeologist and diplomat named Ephraim George Squier sought out the help of Paul Pierre Broca, the esteemed anatomist and surgeon. He was trying to solve a mystery about an ancient Incan skull that had been given to him by a wealthy artifact collector in Peru. In addition to its age, the Neolithic skull had a unique feature: on the top of the cranium a rectangular piece of bone had been removed. The presence of several cross-cuts surrounding the hole suggested that it was not a sim........ Read more »

  • November 22, 2015
  • 04:01 PM
  • 775 views

Neuroscience and the search for happiness

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Exercising, meditating, scouring self-help books… we go out of our way to be happy, but do we really know what happiness is? Wataru Sato and his team at Kyoto University have found an answer from a neurological perspective.... Read more »

Sato, W., Kochiyama, T., Uono, S., Kubota, Y., Sawada, R., Yoshimura, S., & Toichi, M. (2015) The structural neural substrate of subjective happiness. Scientific Reports, 16891. DOI: 10.1038/srep16891  

  • November 21, 2015
  • 06:09 PM
  • 707 views

The mysterious fungus that has major health consequences

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Researchers at the University of Toronto examined fungi in the mucus of patients with cystic fibrosis and discovered how one particularly cunning fungal species has evolved to defend itself against neighbouring bacteria. A regular resident of our microbiome – and especially ubiquitous in the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients -the Candida albicans fungus is an “opportunistic pathogen.”
... Read more »

  • November 21, 2015
  • 11:40 AM
  • 942 views

Where Are All the Wearables We Want to Wear?

by Aurametrix team in Health Technologies

Millions of years ago our ancestors straightened up and started carrying tools around, instead of dropping them after use. And so technology became a part of daily routine.​As time passed, more useful tools were made than it was feasible to carry or wear over the shoulder. One solution to this problem was monetary exchange, the other was a better technology. Wearables promised to add more convenience than carryables and, ever since humans started to wear clothes some 170,000 years ag........ Read more »

Bouzouggar A, Barton N, Vanhaeren M, d'Errico F, Collcutt S, Higham T, Hodge E, Parfitt S, Rhodes E, Schwenninger JL.... (2007) 82,000-year-old shell beads from North Africa and implications for the origins of modern human behavior. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 104(24), 9964-9. PMID: 17548808  

Sungmee Park, & Jayaraman S. (2014) A transdisciplinary approach to wearables, big data and quality of life. Conference proceedings : .. Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. Annual Conference, 4155-8. PMID: 25570907  

  • November 17, 2015
  • 05:48 PM
  • 886 views

What’s in a name? More than you think…

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

What’s in a name? In the case of the usernames of video gamers, a remarkable amount of information about their real world personalities, according to research. Analysis of anonymised data from one of the world’s most popular computer games by scientists in the Department of Psychology at York also revealed information about their ages.... Read more »

  • November 17, 2015
  • 12:47 PM
  • 926 views

Landscapes of Death and Mass Graves from the Roman Empire

by Katy Meyers Emery in Bones Don't Lie

There is an amazing relationship between human behavior and space. Our landscape and environment shapes what we can do on it, how we move through it, and where we can […]... Read more »

  • November 15, 2015
  • 01:58 PM
  • 795 views

Bioanthro lab activity: Hominin brain size

by zacharoo in Lawn Chair Anthropology

Last week in my Human Evolution class we looked at whether we could estimate hominin brain sizes, or endocranial volumes (ECV), based on just the length and width of the bony brain case. Students took these measurements on 3D surface scans… … and then plugged their data into equations relating these measurements to brain size […]... Read more »

  • November 14, 2015
  • 05:18 PM
  • 628 views

3-D printing aids in understanding food enjoyment

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Tasting food relies on food volatiles moving from the back of the mouth to the nasal cavity, but researchers have wondered why airflow doesn’t carry them in the other direction, into the lungs. Now a team of engineers, using a 3D printed model of the human airway from nostril to trachea, has determined that the shape of the airway preferentially transfers volatiles to the nasal cavity and allows humans to enjoy the smell of good food.... Read more »

Ni, R., Michalski, M., Brown, E., Doan, N., Zinter, J., Ouellette, N., & Shepherd, G. (2015) Optimal directional volatile transport in retronasal olfaction. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1511495112  

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