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Posts

April 22, 2014

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4:11 PM | New Electric Knifefish Species Discovered In Brazil's Rio Negro
Researchers report that they have discovered a new genus and species of electric knifefish in several tributaries of the Negro River in the Amazonia State of Brazil. Professor Cristina Cox Fernandes at UMass Amherst, with Adília Nogueira and José Antônio Alves-Gomes of INPA, describe the new bluntnose knifefish in the current issue of the journal Proceedings of the Natural Sciences of Philadelphia and detail the new genus and species' anatomy, range, relationship to other […]
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3:57 PM | Resuelto uno de los misterios sobre del Síndrome de Williams
El Síndrome de William tiene asociado unas características físicas y cognitivas que difcultan su desarrollo, de de ahí la importancia de nuevos descubrimientos. Aquí únicamente se muestra el resumen, para leer la entrada entera pulsa sobre el título.
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2:54 PM | The Impact Of A False-Positive Mammogram On Women's Well-being
Anywhere from 40 to 60 percent of women who undergo routine screening mammography during a ten-year period will experience a false-positive mammogram. They then suffer anxiety while they undergo additional testing, sometimes involving a biopsy, to confirm that cancer is not present. Researchers have suspected that increased anxiety, pain, and the bother of additional tests might adversely affect the quality of life for women who experience false-positive screening mammograms. In a new […]
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2:50 PM | Speed-Reading Apps Impair Reading Comprehension
Are you on the go a lot? Is your time so limited even moving your eyeballs is putting you behind? If so, there is an app for that. If not, app developers are looking to create a market for that kind of personalized optimization, so they have devised speed-reading software that eliminates the time we supposedly waste by moving our eyes as we read. Are eyes just passive conduits getting in the way of the modern world with their ancient biological mechanism?  A paper in Psychological […]
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2:21 PM | Religious Belief Linked to Brain Cortex Thickness
In a previous post, I reviewed a longitudinal study of religious belief and major depression.This study by Lisa Miller and colleagues found a reduced risk of depression in subjects who rated religious belief or spirituality as an important factor in their lives.Reduction in depression risk with religiosity/spirituality was largest (90% smaller risk) in those with a family history of depression.This correlation may not be causal and may be explained by some common third factor between religion […]
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2:18 PM | 'Tween' Programming : Is Disney Promoting Stereotypes Or Creating What Kids Want To Watch?
The term "tween" is a marketing colloquialism for a child who is between the ages of 8 and 12 -not quite a little kid but not yet a teenager. A pre-adolescent.  This demographic watches more television than any other age group and is thus considered a lucrative market for advertisers. Tween television programming often consists of the following: "teen scene" and "action-adventure" , which a pair of academics say is shaping stereotypes in tweens rather than reflecting what kids want to […]
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12:17 PM | Motivated Memory
I have had the following experience many times, and so I suspect that it is a near-universal experience. You are in a heated conversation with one or more other people who have differing opinions on the topic of discussion. Perhaps it’s just a fight over personal matters. After the heat has died down and calmer [...]
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12:00 PM | Tuesday Crustie: “Wait... that’s no coconut!”
It would be quite a shock to be walking along in a forest, then look up...Not a coconut, but a coconut crab, which is featured in this Wired piece a few months back.External linksAbsurd Creature of the Week: Enormous Hermit Crab Tears Through Coconuts
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11:41 AM | Book signing
If you are near the West Chester, PA area, we are planning a booksigning event at my local independent bookstore. Stay tuned! (:-D) Filed under: Blogging
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10:39 AM | Nuevo proyecto para ofrecer Neurorrehabilitación de calidad
La rehabilitación es fundamental para pacientes con afecciones neuronales, de ahí la importancia de contar con proyectos como Rhbneuromad Neurorrehabilitación. Aquí únicamente se muestra el resumen, para leer la entrada entera pulsa sobre el título.
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10:30 AM | Earth Day: Is The Temperature A Symptom Of Climate Change?
77% of Americans prefer summer over winter and while we know what temperatures actually were this past winter, what people think they were in a recent Harris Poll is something else.When it came to the temperature, 88 percent of Midwesterners and 84 percent of Easterners say it was colder than normal. 71 percent believe it was while only 18 percent felt it was colder than normal. 45% in the West believe it was warmer than normal.When it came to precipitation, 77 percent of those in the Midwest, […]
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8:53 AM | Why all babies love peekaboo
Peekaboo is a game played over the world, crossing language and cultural barriers. Why is it so universal? Perhaps because it’s such a powerful learning tool. One of us hides our eyes and then slowly reveals them. This causes peals of laughter from a baby, which causes us to laugh in turn. Then we do […]
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8:00 AM | A self-fulfilling fallacy?
Lady Luck is fickle, but many of us believe we can read her mood. A new study of one year's worth of bets made via an online betting site shows that gamblers' attempts to predict when their luck will turn has some unexpected consequences.A common error in judging probabilities is known as the Gambler's Fallacy. This is the belief that independent chance events have an obligation to 'even themselves out' over the short term, so that a run of wins makes a loss more likely, and vice versa. An […]
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5:28 AM | Compassionate Behavior Towards Dying Mate Observed In Monkey
Dr. Bruna Bezerra from the University of Bristol and colleagues have captured video of a wild male marmoset embracing and caring for his dying partner after she accidentally fell from a tree in the Atlantic Forest in the Northeast of Brazil, the first time that compassionate care-taking behavior towards a dying adult group member has been observed in monkeys. Previously, such behavior was believed to be unique to humans and chimpanzees.read more
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5:25 AM | Strawberry DNA
This month, I’m going to show you how you can extract DNA from a strawberry at home! DNA cannot dissolve in alcohol, so it  comes out of solution as a solid or precipitates where the alcohol meets the salty strawberry water. Suspended in alcohol and clumped together, DNA looks like a fluffy cloud. When you […]
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5:02 AM | Cow Manure Harbors Diverse New Antibiotic Resistance Genes
Manure from dairy cows, which is commonly used as a farm soil fertilizer, contains a surprising number of newly identified antibiotic resistance genes from the cows' gut bacteria. The findings, reported in mBio® the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, hints that cow manure is a potential source of new types of antibiotic resistance genes that transfer to bacteria in the soils where food is grown. Thousands of antibiotic resistance (AR) genes have already […]
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4:27 AM | Earth Day: Parents Concerned About The Planet For Future Generations – But Aren't Taking Action
2,234 adults surveyed online between March 12 and 17, 2014 by The Harris Poll reveal that people are concerned about the environment - but may not be doing much about it.And over 80 percent avoid labels like “green”, “conservationist” and “environmentalist”, which shows that environmental corporations have lost a lot of credibility among the public. However, parents with younger kids are more concerned than childless people, though they are only […]
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3:29 AM | Cuckoo Mafia: Birds Raise The Young Of Others To Avoid Retaliation
We are all familiar with the Mafia. In China, it is the Triads, in Italy it is La Cosa Nostra. You pay for protection or disaster is sure to befall you.It happens in the bird world too, according to a new report. A bird will lay an egg in your home and you will raise the hatchling or pay the price. Throw the little parasite out and an accident will befall your nest.It is a child-rearing strategy, but is it an effective one? Evolutionary biologist Amotz Zahavi postulated the mafia hypothesis […]
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2:00 AM | Black Death: A Plague In Your Family
For the first time, researchers have studied the Black Death bacterium's entire family tree to fully understand how some of the family members evolve to become harmful. Contrary to popular belief, pathogenic members of this bacterial family do not share a recent common disease-causing ancestor, but instead, have followed parallel evolutionary paths to become harmful.read more
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1:26 AM | Now That's Warming: 50 Million Years Ago, Antarctica Was Like California
Think global warming might change things a little? You haven't seen anything compared to 50 million years ago. Though Antarctica is year-round one of the coldest places on Earth, and the continent's interior is the coldest place, with annual average land temperatures far below zero degrees Fahrenheit, during the Eocene epoch, 40-50 million years ago, there was a period with high concentrations of atmospheric CO2 and consequently a greenhouse climate.  read more
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12:53 AM | Self-Lensing Binary System And The Upside-Down Planet
What looked at first like a sort of upside-down planet in the binary star system KOI-3278 has instead revealed a new method for studying binary star systems, according to a University of Washington team who writes of the first "self-lensing" binary star system — one in which the mass of the closer star can be measured by how powerfully it magnifies light from its more distant companion star. Our sun stands alone but about 40 percent of similar stars are in binary (two-star) or multi-star […]

April 21, 2014

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9:28 PM | Bingeing rats show the power of food habits
Rats allowed to binge on sweetened milk show a bad habit for food. But while food might change our habits, a bad food habit may not necessarily be an addiction.
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9:09 PM | Bingeing rats show the power of food habits
ScicuriousNeuroscience,Nutrition,Mental Health by Bethany Brookshire 5:28pm, April 21, 2014 A new study suggests that repeated binges on sugar and fat could tilt the neural balance from taking a few modest bites of a tasty dessert toward devouring an entire sundae — and then some. rojoimages/iStockPhotoMany of us have experienced that depressing sight: The bottom of the ice cream […]
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8:40 PM | A history of the mind in 25 parts
BBC Radio 4 has just kicked off a 25-part radio series called ‘In Search of Ourselves: A History of Psychology and the Mind’. Because the BBC are not very good at the internet, there are no podcasts – streaming audio only, and each episode disappears after seven days. Good to see the BBC are still […]
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8:38 PM | Developing Gain Control in Single Cortical Neurons
If you are reading this sentence, it is quite likely that you have heard of “gain control” in a neuroscience context. You may notice that the picture provided above has very little to do with the context in which this blog post shall discuss “gain control”. You may also notice that this blog post has […]

Mease R.A., Famulare M., Gjorgjieva J., Moody W.J. & Fairhall A.L. (2013). Emergence of Adaptive Computation by Single Neurons in the Developing Cortex, Journal of Neuroscience, 33 (30) 12154-12170. DOI:

Citation
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7:58 PM | Alternative metrics, but mainstream happiness
Because I am starved for attention, I have been obsessively watching the altmetric score for my article on post publication peer review in Neuron last week. It’s performed well from day one. But I’m screen grabbing this today:“Other articles of a similar age in Neuron: Ranks 1st.”Thanks to all who read the piece, tweeted, and shared it. I am grateful for your attention.
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4:08 PM | 10 Edible Chinese Flowers That Work As Well As Any Other Antioxidant
The latest fad in implied health benefits that can slip under the regulatory radar are edible flowers from China.  Why implied? Because they are rich in phenolics and have good antioxidant capacity.  What will that do? No one knows. Antioxidants haven't been shown to help anyone at all and phenolics claims were how the rationalization that organic food was healthier arose - and then debunked. To maintain a level of credibility the key phrase "may be partly responsible" is […]
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4:01 PM | Quantum Turbulence - A Mystery Of Physics Without A Public Relations Campaign
The confirmation of the Higgs boson and what it can tell us about the origins of mass is getting all of the attention but there are scientific mysteries about less-understood forces that may also be keys to figuring out natural laws. Among these is quantum turbulence, the chaotic motion - at very high rates - of fluids that exist at temperatures close to zero. Observers as far back as Leonardo da Vinci have studied turbulence, a complex state of fluid motion. He observed that water […]
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4:01 PM | Detecting inner consciousness
Mosaic has an excellent in-depth article on researchers who are trying to detect signs of consciousness in patients who have fallen into coma-like states. The piece meshes the work of neuroscientists Adrian Owen, Nicholas Schiff and Steven Laureys who are independently looking at how to detect signs of consciousness in unresponsive brain-injured patients. It’s an […]
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3:30 PM | In-Group Or Out-Group: The Status Of The Other May Influence What Is An Atrocity
Why is Edward Snowden a villain to some people while the same people regard Bradley Manning as a hero? Why do so many people say they never thought it could happen if someone they know commits a crime? When is an atrocity not remembered that way at all? An in-group portrayal may make the difference. read more
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