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  • August 1, 2014
  • 08:00 AM
  • 22 views

The Friday Five for 8/1/2014

by Bill Sullivan in The 'Scope

Five of the coolest science news stories of the week! Friends & DNA, Alzheimer’s, a satanic gecko, fist bumps, and political brains... Read more »

Christakis, N., & Fowler, J. (2014) Friendship and natural selection. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(Supplement_3), 10796-10801. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1400825111  

  • August 1, 2014
  • 05:25 AM
  • 32 views

Psychologists investigate a major, ignored reason for our lack of sleep - bedtime procrastination

by Christian Jarrett in BPS Research Digest

Short term, lack of sleep scrambles our mental functioning. Long term, the health consequences can be dire. What's stopping us from getting enough?For many, adequate sleep is elusive because of sleep disorders, including varieties of insomnia. For others there are practical challenges - baby care or night shifts, for example. A new study focuses on another major, yet strangely overlooked, reason - bedtime procrastination. You want to go to bed early. You know you need to get to bed. And yet you ........ Read more »

  • August 1, 2014
  • 03:46 AM
  • 20 views

Restricted and repetitive behaviours disappeared? More optimal outcome and autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Today I'm bringing to your attention the paper by Eva Troyb and colleagues [1] and the quite dramatic assertion: "Reports of current behavior indicated that RRB's [restricted and repetitive behaviors] had almost totally disappeared in the OO [optimal outcomes] group". RRBs just in case you might not know include quite an array of behaviours, some of which might not be considered 'disabling' such as the presence of certain circumscribed interests. Others, such as an insistence........ Read more »

  • July 31, 2014
  • 07:18 PM
  • 75 views

Serious Restrictive Eating Disorders Occur at Any Weight

by Tetyana in Science of Eating Disorders


Although the words “anorexia nervosa” typically conjure up images of emaciated bodies, eating disorders characterized by dietary restriction or weight loss can — and do — occur at any weight. However, precisely because anorexia nervosa is associated with underweight, doctors are less likely to identify eating disorders among individuals who are in the so-called “normal” or above normal weight range, even if they have........ Read more »

  • July 31, 2014
  • 07:10 PM
  • 60 views

Twitter Psychosis as a Cultural Artifact

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

The creation of the category “Twitter Psychosis" tells us more about the culture of contemporary psychiatry than it does about the purported dangers of social media overuse. Can Twitter really “cause” psychotic symptoms in predisposed individuals? Or is Twitter merely the latest technical innovation that influences “the form, origin and content of delusional beliefs” (Bell et al., 2005)? Twitter as the new telephone tower, radio waves, microchip implant or personal TV show, if you wil........ Read more »

Kalbitzer J, Mell T, Bermpohl F, Rapp MA, & Heinz A. (2014) Twitter Psychosis: A Rare Variation or a Distinct Syndrome?. The Journal of nervous and mental disease, 202(8), 623. PMID: 25075647  

  • July 31, 2014
  • 08:10 AM
  • 32 views

Tough Talking Apes

by Mark E. Lasbury in The 'Scope

The new Planet of the Apes movie has talking apes! In the old Charleton Heston versions, the apes had thousands of years to evolve speech capabilities, but Dawn of the Planet of the Apes takes place only 10 years after their escape from the lab. Anatomical differences between human and ape hyoid position, rib musculature and tongue show us why speech is not possible for Cesar and his friends. In addition, new research points out the importance of the foxp2 protein for speech and auditory functio........ Read more »

  • July 31, 2014
  • 05:31 AM
  • 41 views

The voices heard by people with schizophrenia are friendlier in India and Africa, than in the US

by Christian Jarrett in BPS Research Digest

When a patient with schizophrenia hears voices in their head, is the experience shaped by the culture they live in? Tanya Luhrmann and her colleagues investigated by interviewing twenty people diagnosed with schizophrenia living in San Mateo, California; twenty in Accra, Ghana; and twenty others in Chennai India. There were similarities across cultures, including descriptions of good and bad voices, but also striking differences.In San Mateo the interviewees talked about their condition as a bra........ Read more »

  • July 31, 2014
  • 04:18 AM
  • 34 views

Dipeptidyl peptidase (DPP) IV and autism: supporting opioid-excess?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Serum levels of dipeptidyl peptidase (DPP) IV were found to be lower in children with autism compared to asymptomatic controls according to the study by Shahid Bashira & Laila AL-Ayadhi [1]. Based on analysis by ELISA, researchers concluded that "alterations in the plasma level of DPP IV play a role in the pathophysiology of autism".A sailor went to sea, sea, sea... @ Wikipedia Anyone who has followed the autism research scene for any length of time might have already heard ab........ Read more »

  • July 30, 2014
  • 01:31 PM
  • 63 views

Suicide, it might be in the blood

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

I tried to kill myself, more than once in fact. It was a troubling time for me and as a former active duty Marine that might not be too surprising […]... Read more »

  • July 30, 2014
  • 09:19 AM
  • 43 views

Higher Implicit Self-Esteem Linked to Positive Evaluation of Spouses

by amikulak in Daily Observations

It’s often said that we can’t love others unless we love ourselves.  According to a new study, this may be true, but perhaps in a different way than we expect: […]... Read more »

  • July 30, 2014
  • 08:30 AM
  • 32 views

The Attentive Look of a Dog in Training

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

Researchers investigate the body language of a dog that is performing well in training.Photo: Markus Balint / ShutterstockA new study puts dogs through the first stage of a basic training task and analyzes eye contact and posture in the most successful dogs. The research by Masashi Hasegawa et al (Azabu University School of Veterinary Medicine) is motivated by a desire to improve people’s training abilities by helping them recognize the posture associated with successful learning. O........ Read more »

  • July 30, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 14 views

We agree and thus, I am certain we shall prevail

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

The American Bar Association is seeking nominations until August 8, 2014 to help it decide on the Top 100 law blogs (“Blawgs”). We have been in the ABA Top 100 for the past 4 years and would like to make it 5! If you like this blog, please nominate us (it’s fast and free) here. THANKS! […]

Related posts:
“Reactions vary along traditional partisan lines”
I want to be special: The desires of the conservative and the liberal
Politics and prejudice? Nope. It’s about........ Read more »

  • July 30, 2014
  • 05:35 AM
  • 55 views

When the cuddle hormone turns nasty - oxytocin linked with violent intentions

by Christian Jarrett in BPS Research Digest

For many years, the hormone oxytocin was caricatured as the source of all human goodness - trust, altruism, love, and morality. Among the findings that contributed to this picture were the discovery that sniffing oxytocin increases people's trust and generosity in financial games; that it aids face recognition; and that its release is associated with maternal bonding; and with orgasm.However, the picture has grown a lot more complicated of late, with findings showing that oxytocin........ Read more »

  • July 30, 2014
  • 04:52 AM
  • 33 views

Immunological effects from risperidone treatment in autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The findings from Jai Eun Choi and colleagues [1] suggesting that use of the antipsychotic risperidone may impact on levels of certain cytokines - messenger cells of the immune system - in some cases of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) grabbed my attention recently. I've always been pretty interested in the complexity of the immune system when it comes to something like autism (see here) as well as the various examples of how many of the medications used to 'manage' aspects of autis........ Read more »

Choi JE, Widjaja F, Careaga M, Bent S, Ashwood P, & Hendren RL. (2014) Change in Plasma Cytokine Levels During Risperidone Treatment in Children with Autism. Journal of child and adolescent psychopharmacology. PMID: 24828014  

  • July 29, 2014
  • 01:15 PM
  • 52 views

Can’t Handle the Stress? Blame your Brain

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Do you rise to the occasion, or do you fold under the pressure? No matter which side of the fence you’re, you can thank [or blame] your brain. Some people […]... Read more »

  • July 29, 2014
  • 12:32 PM
  • 43 views

Are silly superstitions useful because they are silly?

by neuroecology in Neuroecology

(Attention warning: massive speculation ahead.) Auguries often seem made up, useless. Is that why they are useful? Dove figured that the birds must be serving as some kind of ecological indicator. Perhaps they gravitated toward good soil, or smaller trees, or some other useful characteristic of a swidden site. After all, the Kantu’ had been […]... Read more »

  • July 29, 2014
  • 07:35 AM
  • 45 views

Is Twitter Ruining Our Proper English?

by Katja Keuchenius in United Academics

“Hey al im on my way 2wrk but i totes 4got 2bring ur ipod sori il hav 2 bring it nxt tym ur workin. Hav a nice day xo”
Gives you the cramps? Maybe you should read this article.... Read more »

  • July 29, 2014
  • 07:30 AM
  • 44 views

Is homosexuality "natural"?

by Bill Sullivan in The 'Scope

In the beginning, there was no sex. That’s because in the beginning, there was no Barry White. A playful look at examples of homosexuality in nature.... Read more »

Van Houdenhove E, Gijs L, T'sjoen G, & Enzlin P. (2014) Asexuality: A Multidimensional Approach. Journal of sex research, 1-10. PMID: 24750031  

  • July 29, 2014
  • 05:30 AM
  • 13 views

Remembering together - How long-term couples develop interconnected memory systems

by Christian Jarrett in BPS Research Digest

Although it might seem a good idea to work with other people to remember important information, the evidence suggests that this typically isn't so. Individual recall is most efficient whereas social remembering comes with drawbacks, tripping up our flow and inhibiting memories. But this evidence mostly comes from asking people to collaborate with a stranger. What happens when you know each other really, really well?Celia Harris and colleagues at Macquarie University recently reviewed their previ........ Read more »

  • July 29, 2014
  • 04:04 AM
  • 45 views

Ketogenic diet and the valproate mouse model of autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

A brief entry today and yet another blog post that starts with a quote (sorry)... "The offspring exposed to VPA [valproic acid] prenatally demonstrated a significant decrease in the number of play initiations/attacks and this was reversed with the KD [ketogenic diet]".Gloucester Old Spot @ Wikipedia That finding reported in the paper by Ahn and colleagues [1] continues my interest in all-things related to prenatal VPA exposure and the reported effects on some offspring (........ Read more »

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