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 »
Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute scientists have reported measurements of dopamine release with unprecedented temporal precision in the brains of people with Parkinson’s disease. The measurements, collected during brain surgery as the conscious patients played an investment game, demonstrate how rapid dopamine release encodes information crucial for human choice.... Read more »
Kenneth T. Kishida, Ignacio Saez, Terry Lohrenz, Mark R. Witcher, Adrian W. Laxton, Stephen B. Tatter, Jason P. White, Thomas L. Ellis, Paul E. M. Phillips, & P. Read Montague. (2015) Subsecond dopamine fluctuations in human striatum encode superposed error signals about actual and counterfactual reward. Proceedings of the natural sciences academy of the United States of America. info:/10.1073/pnas.1513619112
This past Friday was a busy day for a lot of the folks in Integrated Mathematical Oncology here at the Moffitt Cancer Center. Everybody was rushing around to put the final touches on a multi-million dollar research center grant application to submit to the National Cancer Institute. Although the time was not busy for me, […]... Read more »
Gambetta, D., & Hertog, S. (2009) Why are there so many Engineers among Islamic Radicals?. European Journal of Sociology, 50(02), 201. DOI: 10.1017/S0003975609990129
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
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.”
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Kim, S., Clark, S., Surendra, A., Copeland, J., Wang, P., Ammar, R., Collins, C., Tullis, D., Nislow, C., Hwang, D.... (2015) Global Analysis of the Fungal Microbiome in Cystic Fibrosis Patients Reveals Loss of Function of the Transcriptional Repressor Nrg1 as a Mechanism of Pathogen Adaptation. PLOS Pathogens, 11(11). DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1005308
About one third of people with depression have high levels of inflammation markers in their blood. New research indicates that persistent inflammation affects the brain in ways that are connected with stubborn symptoms of depression, such as anhedonia, the inability to experience pleasure.... Read more »
Felger, J., Li, Z., Haroon, E., Woolwine, B., Jung, M., Hu, X., & Miller, A. (2015) Inflammation is associated with decreased functional connectivity within corticostriatal reward circuitry in depression. Molecular Psychiatry. DOI: 10.1038/mp.2015.168
Scientists at the Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB) in Mainz have unraveled a complex regulatory mechanism that explains how a single gene can drive the formation of brain cells. The research is an important step towards a better understanding of how the brain develops. It also harbors potential for regenerative medicine.... Read more »
Pataskar, A., Jung, J., Smialowski, P., Noack, F., Calegari, F., Straub, T., & Tiwari, V. (2015) NeuroD1 reprograms chromatin and transcription factor landscapes to induce the neuronal program. The EMBO Journal. DOI: 10.15252/embj.201591206
More than 80% of the US population lives in cities, making their adaptation strategies one of the most important political decisions in the coming decades. Here we discuss a new study that identifies reasons why some cities have already prepared response programs while others haven't yet started.... Read more »
Carlson, K., & McCormick, S. (2015) American adaptation: Social factors affecting new developments to address climate change. Global Environmental Change, 360-367. DOI: 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2015.09.015
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 »
Kokkinakis, A., Lin, J., Pavlas, D., & Wade, A. (2016) What's in a name? Ages and names predict the valence of social interactions in a massive online game. Computers in Human Behavior, 605-613. DOI: 10.1016/j.chb.2015.09.034
A direct and positive link between pupils’ breakfast quality and consumption, and their educational attainment, has for the first time been demonstrated in a ground-breaking new study carried out by public health experts at Cardiff University. The study of 5000 9-11 year-olds from more than 100 primary schools sought to examine the link between breakfast consumption and quality and subsequent attainment in Key Stage 2 Teacher Assessments* 6-18 months later.... Read more »
Littlecott, H., Moore, G., Moore, L., Lyons, R., & Murphy, S. (2015) Association between breakfast consumption and educational outcomes in 9–11-year-old children – CORRIGENDUM. Public Health Nutrition, 1. DOI: 10.1017/S1368980015003365
There's a new article in Trends in Cognitive Sciences about how neuroscientists can incorporate social media into their research on the neural correlates of social cognition (Meshi et al., 2015). The authors outlined the sorts of social behaviors that can be studied via participants' use of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.: (1) broadcasting information; (2) receiving feedback; (3) observing others' broadcasts; (4) providing feedback; (5) comparing self to others.Meshi, Tamir, and Heekeren / Tr........ Read more »
Meshi D, Tamir TI, Heekeren HR. (2015) The Emerging Neuroscience of Social Media. Trends in Cognitive Sciences. info:/10.1016/j.tics.2015.09.004
We can and should (and do) avoid the idea that stringing together "nothing but" pieces of content is sufficient to make 'holistic' understanding bubble up as an emergent property of student learning. But equally dubious, and equally unsubscribed, is the idea that learning can be transformed from fragmented to holistic by subtracting something from the experience.... Read more »
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
The notion that older people are happier than younger people is being challenged following a recent study led by a University of Bradford lecturer. In fact it suggests that people get more depressed from age 65 onwards. The study, led by psychology lecturer Dr Helena Chui, builds on a 15-year project observing over 2,000 older Australians living in the Adelaide area.... Read more »
Chui, Helena, Gerstorf, Denis, Hoppmann, Christiane A., & ; Luszcz, Mary A. (2015) Supplemental Material for Trajectories of Depressive Symptoms in Old Age: Integrating Age-, Pathology-, and Mortality-Related Changes. Psychology and Aging. DOI: 10.1037/pag0000054.supp
When people are listening to music, their emotional reactions to the music are reflected in changes in their pupil size. Researchers from the University of Vienna and the University of Innsbruck, Austria, are the first to show that both the emotional content of the music and the listeners’ personal involvement with music influence pupil dilation. This study demonstrates that pupil size measurement can be effectively used to probe listeners’ reactions to music.... Read more »
Gingras, B., Marin, M., Puig-Waldmüller, E., & Fitch, W. (2015) The Eye is Listening: Music-Induced Arousal and Individual Differences Predict Pupillary Responses. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. DOI: 10.3389/fnhum.2015.00619
We all have our standards. For humans, it's the five-second rule. For macaques, it's "think twice before eating food off a pile of poop." The monkeys have several ways of keeping their food (sort of) clean. And the most fastidious macaques, it seems, are rewarded with fewer parasites.
On the Japanese island of Koshima, scientists have been studying Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata) for nearly seven decades. The tiny, forested island is overrun with the monkeys, which live there naturally... Read more »
Sarabian C, & MacIntosh AJ. (2015) Hygienic tendencies correlate with low geohelminth infection in free-ranging macaques. Biology letters, 11(11). PMID: 26538539
A new paper from British psychologists David Shanks and colleagues will add to the growing sense of a "reproducibility crisis" in the field of psychology.
The paper is called Romance, Risk, and Replication and it examines the question of whether subtle reminders of 'mating motives' (i.e. sex) can make people more willing to spend money and take risks. In 'romantic priming' experiments, participants are first 'primed' e.g. by reading a story about meeting an attractive member of the opposite s... Read more »
Shanks DR, Vadillo MA, Riedel B, Clymo A, Govind S, Hickin N, Tamman AJ, & Puhlmann LM. (2015) Romance, Risk, and Replication: Can Consumer Choices and Risk-Taking Be Primed by Mating Motives?. Journal of experimental psychology. General. PMID: 26501730
New research shows that drinking one 16-ounce energy drink can increase blood pressure and stress hormone responses significantly. This raises the concern that these response changes could increase the risk of cardiovascular events.... Read more »
Svatikova, A., Covassin, N., Somers, K., Somers, K., Soucek, F., Kara, T., & Bukartyk, J. (2015) A Randomized Trial of Cardiovascular Responses to Energy Drink Consumption in Healthy Adults. JAMA, 1. DOI: 10.1001/jama.2015.13744
Energy drinks have grown in popularity for many Americans, but there is growing concern about the health risks of consuming them in large quantities. Because men are the main consumers of energy drinks, a research team lead by Dr. Ronald F. Levant, a professor of psychology at The University of Akron, set out to study a possible link between masculinity, expectations about the benefits of consuming energy drinks, how those expectations affect energy drink use, and the impact on sleep.... Read more »
Levant, R., Parent, M., McCurdy, E., & Bradstreet, T. (2015) Moderated mediation of the relationships between masculinity ideology, outcome expectations, and energy drink use. Health Psychology, 34(11), 1100-1106. DOI: 10.1037/hea0000214
Job applicants who are cancer survivors are less likely to receive callbacks from potential retail employers than those who did not disclose their health history, according to a recent study by Rice University and Penn State University researchers.... Read more »
Martinez, L., White, C., Shapiro, J., & Hebl, M. (2015) Selection BIAS: Stereotypes and Discrimination Related to Having a History of Cancer. Journal of Applied Psychology. DOI: 10.1037/apl0000036
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