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  • April 19, 2014
  • 05:32 AM
  • 16 views

The nose knows: How to pick your friends

by Teodora Stoica in CuriousCortex

The importance of human odor in a social context. ... Read more »

  • April 19, 2014
  • 12:46 AM
  • 26 views

Energy Expenditure (Calories Burned) in Anorexia Nervosa Patients

by Tetyana in Science of Eating Disorders


How many calories do patients with anorexia nervosa need to eat to gain a kilo (2.2 lbs)? It seems like a simple question and one that we should have figured out a long time ago, given the importance (err, necessity) of refeeding and weight restoration in recovery from anorexia nervosa.
Unfortunately, research in this area has often led to contradictory results (see Salisbury et al., 1995 and de Zwaan et al., 2002 for reviews). Fortunately, a paper by Stephan Zipfel and colleagues (2013,........ Read more »

Zipfel S, Mack I, Baur LA, Hebebrand J, Touyz S, Herzog W, Abraham S, Davies PS, & Russell J. (2013) Impact of exercise on energy metabolism in anorexia nervosa. Journal of Eating Disorders, 1(1), 37. PMID: 24499685  

  • April 18, 2014
  • 01:56 PM
  • 26 views

Moving Beyond “Just-So Stories”: Young Children Can Be Taught Basic Natural Selection

by amikulak in Daily Observations

Spend more than a few hours with a child under the age of 10 and “why?” is a question you’re likely to hear a. Children are naturally curious explorers, and […]... Read more »

  • April 18, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 47 views

Hey, trial lawyers! The FDA is watching you!

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

And they want you to stop abusing their Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS). We’ve worked a number of cases recently where FDA warnings were used as evidence at trial and were very interested to see this article in the American Journal of Gastroenterology. And the answer to the skeptic’s question is “no”. No, we don’t […]

Related posts:
Should you ask your overweight female client to diet before trial?
Black? On trial in Florida? You don’t want an all-white jury!
Predic........ Read more »

Racine A, Cuerq A, Bijon A, Ricordeau P, Weill A, Allemand H, Chosidow O, Boutron-Ruault MC, & Carbonnel F. (2014) Isotretinoin and risk of inflammatory bowel disease: a French nationwide study. The American Journal of Gastroenterology, 109(4), 563-9. PMID: 24535094  

  • April 17, 2014
  • 11:02 PM
  • 105 views

Dear CNRS: That mouse study did not "confirm" the neurobiological origin of ADHD in humans

by in Neuroscientifically Challenged

Late last week the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS - the acronym is based on the French translation) put out a press release describing a study conducted through a collaboration between several of its researchers and scientists from The University of Strasbourg. CNRS is a large (30,000+ employees), government-run research institution in France. It is the largest research organization in Europe, and is responsible for about 1/2 of the French scientific papers published annual........ Read more »

  • April 17, 2014
  • 09:14 AM
  • 72 views

What Do You Want to Hear First: Good News or Bad News?

by Jeremiah Stanghini in Jeremiah Stanghini

As it turns out, our answer to this question is different depending on whether we’re the one delivering the news or we’re the one receiving the news. If we’re delivering the news, we’re more likely to want to lead with … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • April 17, 2014
  • 09:00 AM
  • 54 views

A poor excuse for removing a peer-reviewed publication

by Katharine Blackwell in Contemplating Cognition

I became disenchanted with the idea of e-books when Amazon reached into scores of Kindles and removed copies of (of all possible books) 1984 and Animal Farm. The notion that a major company had the power to deny access to any content they deemed problematic simply presented too many visions of reactive, totalitarian control.

I never considered that those very concerns might apply to the publishers of scientific research, who – in this age of online-only publications – have the pow........ Read more »

  • April 17, 2014
  • 07:49 AM
  • 73 views

Cannabis use and structural changes in the brain

by Robb Hollis in Antisense Science

“One or two spliffs a week could mess up your brain” – Metro, 16 April 2014

Spark your interest? This headline caught the eyes of the Antisense team, so we chased down the original article in the Journal of Neuroscience and took a closer look!

Cannabis is the most commonly used illegal drug in the US, and the ‘casual use’ culture surrounding marijuana is a subject of great debate and controversy, with arguments for drug legalisation making their way into our ........ Read more »

  • April 17, 2014
  • 04:31 AM
  • 43 views

Mitochondrial dysfunction as a neurobiological subtype of autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The paper by Suzanne Goh and colleagues [1] reporting on "a possible neurobiological subtype of mitochondrial dysfunction in ASD [autism spectrum disorder]" is a worthy addition to the research roll call which has graced this blog down the years. Based on the analysis of brain lactate levels - a potential marker of mitochondrial dysfunction - via the analysis of lactate doublets on brain magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging (MRSI), authors picked up a significantly higher rate of l........ Read more »

  • April 16, 2014
  • 08:29 PM
  • 47 views

What makes music groovy?

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

Today PLOS ONE publishes a study that uses an often criticized research method: questionnaire and web-based research (cf. Honing & Ladinig, 2008). This study, however, is a good example of how an unspectacular method (i.e. compared to, e.g., controlled experiments, brain imaging techniques or computational modelling) can still be quite informative.... Read more »

Witek, M., Clarke, E., Wallentin, M., Kringelbach, M., & Vuust, P. (2014) Syncopation, Body-Movement and Pleasure in Groove Music. PLoS ONE, 9(4). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0094446  

Honing, H., & Reips, U.-D. (2008) Web-based versus lab-based studies: a response to Kendall (2008). Empirical Musicology Review, 3(2), 73-77. info:/

  • April 16, 2014
  • 05:04 PM
  • 45 views

What Do Preschoolers Learn from Fantastical Picture Books?

by Rebecca Schwarzlose in Garden of the Mind

One of the new picture books making the bedtime rounds at our house is How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?, which describes and depicts dinosaurs doing such un-dinosaurly things as tucking themselves into bed or kissing their human mothers good night. The book is whimsical, gorgeously illustrated, and includes a scientific angle, as the genus names of the dinosaurs are included in the pictures. I’m always careful to read these genus names aloud as we look at each picture. But is this book actu........ Read more »

  • April 16, 2014
  • 08:30 AM
  • 64 views

Does Animal-Assisted Therapy Help At-Risk Boys?

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

If existing behavioural programs aren’t working, can therapeutic sessions with a dog help boys who have problems at school?Photo: criben / ShutterstockA new paper by Abbey Schneider et al (2014) investigates the success of a program designed to help boys who are considered ‘at-risk’ – by matching them up with a specially trained dog and handler.In Colorado, a group of elementary schools take part in a program called the Human Animal Bond in Colorado (HABIC). It is designed to help ........ Read more »

Schneider, A.A.,, Rosenberg, J., Baker, M., Melia, N., Granger, B., & Biringen, Z. (2014) Becoming relationally effective: High-risk boys in animal-assisted therapy. Human-Animal Interaction Bulletin, 2(1), 1-18. info:/

  • April 16, 2014
  • 01:54 AM
  • 39 views

Joined by HDAC (inhibitors)

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I'm treading quite carefully with this post which came about following my [non-expert] reading of the paper abstract from Anand Venkatraman and colleagues [1] on a potential downside to the use of HDAC (histone deacetylase) inhibitors for treating spinocerebellar ataxia type 1 (SCA1), a progressive disease affecting movement and other knock-on functions. This follows other work suggesting that certain HDAC inhibitors might offer some important new lines of investigation when it co........ Read more »

  • April 15, 2014
  • 09:00 AM
  • 5 views

Young Children Take Authoritarian Cues From Their Parents

by amikulak in Daily Observations

Some people bridle at the very idea of having to bend to authority. Others, however, value following a leader and playing by the rules, a trait that researchers refer to […]... Read more »

  • April 14, 2014
  • 10:51 PM
  • 73 views

Disordered Eating and Athletic Performance: Where’s the Line?

by Emma in Science of Eating Disorders


If a person severely restricts his diet and exercises for hours each day, he has an eating disorder. If another does exactly the same but it is because she wants to make the lightweight rowing team (which has an upper weight limit), she’s a committed athlete. When the two overlap, and an athlete presents with eating disorder symptoms, how do we distinguish between the demands of the sport and the illness?
I’ve been interested in the distinctions we make between disordered and n........ Read more »

  • April 14, 2014
  • 10:24 AM
  • 70 views

Some exploratory evidence that wait-list conditions may act as a nocebo in psychotherapy trials

by Kristoffer Magnusson in R Psychologist

The hypothesis that wait-lists could be nocebo conditions was investigated by Furukawa et al (2014). The authors performed a network meta-analysis of 49 RCT that involved cognitive-behaviour therapy for depression. ... Read more »

Furukawa TA, Noma H, Caldwell DM, Honyashiki M, Shinohara K, Imai H, Chen P, Hunot V, & Churchill R. (2014) Waiting list may be a nocebo condition in psychotherapy trials: a contribution from network meta-analysis. Acta psychiatrica Scandinavica. PMID: 24697518  

  • April 14, 2014
  • 09:12 AM
  • 69 views

Why Humanistic Psychology is Still Relevant

by Jeremiah Stanghini in Jeremiah Stanghini

The development of humanistic psychology began in the late 1950s and was ‘born‘ in the early 1960s. Given the time that humanistic psychology grew, there’s no doubt that it informed the civil rights movement. However, some say that humanistic psychology peaked in the 1970s. An … Continue reading →... Read more »

DeRobertis, E. M. (2013) Humanistic Psychology: Alive in the 21st Century?. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 53(4), 419-437. DOI: 10.1177/0022167812473369  

  • April 14, 2014
  • 09:00 AM
  • 4 views

Idealistic Thinking Linked With Economic Slump

by amikulak in Daily Observations

Envisioning a bright future should pave the way for success, right? Maybe not. Research suggests that thinking about an idealized future may actually be linked with economic downturn, not upswing. […]... Read more »

  • April 14, 2014
  • 09:00 AM
  • 62 views

How practicing compassion alters the brain

by Katharine Blackwell in Contemplating Cognition

As tempting as it is to hope that one meditation practice could be a panacea within the mind – meditate, and become more mindful! improve your attention! cure your depression! notice when those around you need help! – I have to admit that I know the brain doesn’t work this way. The skills you practice are the skills you strengthen, and compassion in particular is a skill that requires more than just a general awareness of your environment.... Read more »

Weng HY, Fox AS, Shackman AJ, Stodola DE, Caldwell JZ, Olson MC, Rogers GM, & Davidson RJ. (2013) Compassion training alters altruism and neural responses to suffering. Psychological science, 24(7), 1171-1180. PMID: 23696200  

  • April 14, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 61 views

A new neurolaw caveat to minimize punishment

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Just say his brain made him do it! That is the conclusion of new research on the relationship between gruesomeness of the crime and the harshness of the sentence. In case you can’t intuit this one, the more gruesome (and disturbing) the crime, the harsher the sentence tends to be. But if the assault was […]

Related posts:
Neurolaw Update: Who’s in charge here—me or my brain?
When identifying punishment—will jurors focus on intent or outcome?
Simple Jury Persuasion: Anger + Disgust........ Read more »

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