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Posts

April 12, 2014

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3:46 AM | Brain Determining Body?
One of the most sensitive, and often the most ignored, sensory system is the ear and the auditory pathways of the brain. Auditory information is so constant in our daily lives, that we can’t possibly attend to all of it at once. Such information is, however, extremely detailed, and with mere micro-adjustments of the body […]
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3:04 AM | Let's play "Guess the Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Speaker" (soundbytes from #cns2014)
Another CNS meeting, another series of delayed blog posts from The Neurocritic. Long in the vanguard of the slow blogging movement, these conference recaps have attained the cult status of unplanned obsolescence.Without further ado, let's begin our walk down memory lane...The 21st Annual Cognitive Neuroscience Society Meeting was held in Boston from April 4–8, 2014. We'll kick off our recapping festivities with a contest of "Name that Soundbyte!" from an invited symposium on how […]
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2:12 AM | The Mercury Threat To Antarctic Birds
Scientists who monitored skuas in Adélie Land and the Kerguelen Islands for ten years have found when these seabirds exhibit high mercury levels in their blood, their breeding success decreases. The researchers from the Centre d'Etudes Biologiques de Chizé and from the Littoral, Environnement et Sociétés Laboratory (CNRS / Université de La Rochelle) say that this is the first time that toxicological measurements have been combined with a population study […]
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12:21 AM | Time Dilation In Nobel Prize Awards
Before 1940, Nobel Prizes were a reflection of the rapidly evolving state of science. It was uncommon for an award to happen for a discovery 20 years or more after the research happened, it seemed more like a concession prize because nothing had happened recently - in physics, chemistry and medicine, delayed awards only occurred 11%, 15% and 24% of the time. By 1985, those percentages were 60%, 52% and 45%. This is only a problem that has cropped up in science and medicine, other prizes […]

April 11, 2014

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7:04 PM | Viagra Linked To Risk Of Malignant Melanoma
A recent paper found an increased risk for malignant melanoma in men who took sildenafil (Viagra) for erectile dysfunction.Unlike some observational studies, this is not being exaggerated by attention-whoring researchers. They are cautious about what it means and doesn't mean. The media is making hay, of course, and they may be making it for good reason.The prospective cohort study was based on participants in the Health Professionals’ Follow-up Study who were questioned regarding […]
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5:55 PM | A Burglar’s Perspective
  When defining any kind of addiction, decision-making behavior plays a huge role. For many drug addicts, like the crack-addicted Janice in America Anonymous, drug seeking and consumption so overpower other urges that they neglect their other personal and professional obligations. This is also the case for those suffering from behavioral addictions; what separates an […]
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5:26 PM | Two ChancesThat Global Warming Is Due To Natural Factors: Fat And Slim
An analysis of temperature data since 1500 A.D. all but rules out the possibility that global warming in the industrial era is a natural fluctuation of climate, according to a paper in Climate Dynamics. read more
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5:13 PM | Whitespace popout
Apologies for all these images that I’m posting, I promise I’m not turning this into my tumblr. I’m just a tad bit busy finishing my thesis with little time to write cogently about science. So enjoy this example of your visual system screwing with you.
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3:38 PM | Entrain: Boost Jet-Lag Recovery Using Math
Want to reduce jet lag? A new app called Entrain claims it is the first to use a numbers-based approach  to "entrainment," the scientific term for synchronizing circadian rhythms with the outside hour. It's based on work by  Danny Forger, a professor of mathematics at the University of Michigan, and Kirill Serkh, a doctoral student at Yale University.    Entrain is built around the premise that light, particularly from the sun and in wavelengths that appear to […]
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3:17 PM | BLOODHOUND And The Aerodynamics Of A 1,000 MPH Car
In Tom Wolfe's "The Right Stuff" and in 1940s engineering, there was a demon in the air at 750 miles per hour, a line some said could not be crossed. It was called the Sound Barrier for that reason. If that demon could cause a plane to break apart in air, imagine what it would do to a car on the ground.  We'll find out in 2015. The BLOODHOUND SSC will make a test run at almost 800 MPH in 2015, which will beat the current official land speed record of 763 MPH, and will attempt […]
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2:45 PM | Amakusaplana Acroporae: This Coral-Eating Worm May Mean Big Trouble For Reefs
It is barely possible to see the parasitic worm Amakusaplana acroporae when it sits on its favorite hosts, the staghorn coral Acropora, thanks to its excellent camouflage. However, new research from the University of Southampton has found that the small flatworm could cause significant damage to coral reefs. read more
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2:38 PM | Newspapers Often Mirror The Views Of Political Elites - Study
To a high degree, newspapers mirror the viewpoints of the political elite, a bolster to the 'elite-driven media' theory about editorial viewpoints, according to a new analysis in thejournal Media, War&Conflict. The scholars from the University of Copenhagen elite-driven media theory may explain why support for the war efforts in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya have been remarkably consistent in the small, non-belligerent nation of Denmark.read more
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2:34 PM | Color-Changing Chameleons
Chameleons are famous for their quick color-changing abilities. It’s a common misperception that they do this to camouflage themselves against a background. In fact, chameleons mostly change color to regulate their temperatures or to signal their intentions to other chameleons. But how do they do it? Read more here: How Do Chameleons Change Colors?
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2:21 PM | Greenland Ice Cores Show US Clean Air Act Reduced Acid Rain
The rise and fall of acid rain is a global experiment whose results are preserved in the geologic record and in Greenland ice sheet samples, which discovered a link between air acidity and how nitrogen is preserved in layers of snow, University of Washington atmospheric scientists say the U.S. Clean Air Act worked.read more
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2:14 PM | Splice Variants Reveal New Connections Among Autism Genes
Researchers from the UC San Diego School of Medicine and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute believe they have uncovered a new aspect of autism - that proteins involved in autism interact with many more partners than previously known. These interactions had not been detected earlier because they involve alternatively spliced forms of autism genes found in the brain.  In their study, the scientists isolated hundreds of new variants of autism genes from the human brain, and then screened their […]
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2:10 PM | Review Finds That Women Who Take Iron Supplements Exercise More
A systematic review in the Journal of Nutrition has associated iron supplements with improved exercise performance of women in child-bearing years. Lead researcher, Dr Sant-Rayn Pasricha from the University of Melbourne School of Population and Global Health and colleagues concluded that iron supplementation improved women’s exercise performance, in terms of both the highest level they could achieve at 100% exertion (maximal capacity) and their exercise efficiency at a submaximal […]
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1:54 PM | Off-Shore Tax Evasion Is Talked About But How Widespread Is It?
The IRS and the Recording Industry Association of America share one thing in common; if they ever actually collected all of the estimated money they claim they are owed, they could buy a small country with it. With the RIAA, they always made piracy projections under the assumption that every illegal download imaginable was a lost sale and the IRS believes every business and resident exists to fund their coffers. read more
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1:37 PM | Free will and the psychology of freedom
The most basic distinction in the philosophy of free will is between “compatibilists” and “incompatibilists”. The difference is in their view of determinism. “Incompabilists” believe that determinism is incompatible with free will. Compatibilists do not necessarily believe that free will exists, but they don’t believe that determinism automatically implies that it doesn’t. My goal in … Continue reading »
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1:24 PM | Young Athletes From Higher Income Families More Likely To Suffer Serious Overuse Injuries
MAYWOOD, Il. (April 11, 2014) – A Loyola University Medical Center study is reporting for the first time a link between overuse injury rates in young athletes and their socioeconomic status. The rate of serious overuse injuries in athletes who come from families that can afford private insurance is 68 percent higher than the rate in lower-income athletes who are on public insurance (Medicaid), the study found.read more
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1:23 PM | " Painful Disparities, Painful Realities"
Recently posted to SSRN (and published as a Univeristy of Maryland Legal Studies Research Paper): "Painful Disparities, Painful Realities" AMANDA C. PUSTILNIK, University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law Legal doctrines and decisional norms treat chronic claims pain...
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12:54 PM | Is pressure to publish causing scientific fraud?
A paper which was widely regarded as an exciting breakthrough has come under scrutiny, with some people suggesting that the results were false, or even fabricated. This is not the first time that a major study has been subject to … Continue reading →
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12:47 PM | A Mad Man, Indeed: Don Draper on the Couch
When last we saw our fearless antihero, Don Draper, he was standing face-to-face...
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12:43 PM | A Mad Man, Indeed: Don Draper on the Couch
AMCWhen last we saw our fearless antihero, Don Draper, he was standing face-to-face with his crumbling, dilapidated childhood home. Surprisingly, his three children were by his side as he took these first tentative steps towards admitting his past life. In the episode's final moments, he shared a knowing glance with his oldest (and somewhat estranged) daughter, Sally.In Season 7 of Mad Men, which launches this Sunday on AMC, we hope for some closure on the real Don Draper and the secret life he […]
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10:02 AM | La Neuropsicopedagogía Sistémica: una novedosa aproximación.
Entrevista D. José María Jiménez López, Fundador y Director de Axón Centro de Neuropsicología y Psicopedagogía Sistémica, quien cuenta sobre su innovadora labor Aquí únicamente se muestra el resumen, para leer la entrada entera pulsa sobre el título.
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9:59 AM | Don’t forget the cerebellum
Many theories of humanness rely on a simple idea that the cerebral cortex is enlarged in humans relative to other primates and in primates relative to other mammals. So it must be the cerebral cortex that is the important part of the brain, giving us our smarts and our skills. What is often overlooked is […]

Baizer, J. (2014). Unique Features of the Human Brainstem and Cerebellum, Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 8 DOI:

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8:00 AM | Facial expressions as social camouflage
Can making faces mask your personality?According to a group of University of Glasgow psychologists, Daniel Gill and colleagues, it can. Writing in the journal Psychological Science, these researchers say that human facial expressions can signal how dominant, trustworthy, or attractive we are – and that these ‘dynamic’ signals can mask or override the impression given off by the ‘static’ structure of the face.In other words, someone might have a face that […]
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7:48 AM | Brain Scans: Don’t Throw Out The Baby With The Dead Salmon
Is neuro-skepticism in danger of going too far? Is it time to take a critical look at critiques of neuroscience? Martha Farah of the University of Pennsylvania says yes, in a Hastings Center Report just published: Brain Images, Babies, and Bathwater: Critiquing Critiques of Functional Neuroimaging Farah covers a broad spectrum of criticisms, ranging from […]The post Brain Scans: Don’t Throw Out The Baby With The Dead Salmon appeared first on Neuroskeptic.

Farah MJ (2014). Brain images, babies, and bathwater: critiquing critiques of functional neuroimaging., The Hastings Center report, 44 Suppl 2 30. PMID:

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Editor's Pick
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5:27 AM | Tamiflu Helps The Flu A Little But The Nausea And Psychiatric Disturbances May Not Be Worth It
A review based on full internal reports of 20 Tamiflu (oseltamivir) and 26 Relenza (zanamivir) trials found that Tamiflu (the antiviral drug oseltamivir) shortens symptoms of influenza by half a day but there is no good evidence to support claims that it reduces admissions to hospital or complications of influenza. Evidence from treatment trials confirms increased risk of suffering from nausea and vomiting and when Tamiflu was used in prevention trials there was an increased risk of headaches, […]
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5:03 AM | MisTable: Your Future Computer Monitor Could Be Made Of Mist
A new tabletop display has a personal screen made from a curtain of mist. It allows users to move images around and push through the fog-screens and onto the display.MisTable, led by Professor Sriram Subramanian and Dr Diego Martinez Plasencia from the University of Bristol’s Department of Computer Science, is a tabletop system that combines a conventional interactive table with personal screens, built using fog, between the user and the tabletop surface.read more
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4:34 AM | Lab-Grown Vaginas Implanted In 4 Young Patients
A report in The Lancet describes the first instance of human recipients receiving laboratory-grown vaginal organs. The research team describes long-term success in four teenage girls who received the vaginal organs, engineered with their own cells.read more
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