Posts

September 19, 2014

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2:14 PM | Is Depression an Addiction?
One of the chapters of my memoir, Beyond Blue, is called “The Least Harmful Addiction.” I explain that willpower is, regrettably, a finite thing. We have a limited amount, so we must preserve it for the most harmful addictions we have (i.e., when desperate, we should inhale chocolate truffles over getting wasted on vodka). In […]
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2:08 PM | ADHD Coaching: Everything You Always Wanted to Know But Were Afraid to Ask (Upcoming Webinar)
I’ve been sharing a few updates about my ADHD coaching experience here at my blog. Now, it’s your turn! Mark Jones, from Anchored Awareness Coaching, has offered up his time and experience to present a webinar for us this Monday, September 22 at 7 p.m. ET to talk about ADHD coaching: what it is (and […]
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2:05 PM | Kids with incarcerated dads more likely to be held back a grade
While proud classmates bring parents to school for Career Day, […]
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2:04 PM | Fingertip sensor gives robot unprecedented dexterity
Equipped with a novel optical sensor, a robot grasps a […]
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1:57 PM | Tourette’s Symptoms Increase When Patients Watch Themselves Tic
When we see children moving their bodies uncontrollably, we sometimes tell them to calm their bodies and thereby draw their attention to the unwanted behavior. But for people with Tourette’s syndrome, being more aware of their tics may actually exacerbate the actions. In a new study, researchers found that people with Tourette’s syndrome who watched […]
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1:48 PM | Problems with Bargh’s definition of unconscious
I have a new paper out in Frontiers in Psychology: The perspectival shift: how experiments on unconscious processing don’t justify the claims made for them. There has been ongoing consternation about the reliability of some psychology research, particularly studies which make claims about unconscious (social) priming. However, even if we assume that the empirical results […]
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10:30 AM | Best of Our Blogs: September 19, 2014
At the heart of every issue lies a painful truth. It’s the reason why an impersonal comment can devastate you. It’s why you ruminate over a conversation you had with a friend. It explains why you can’t let go of a transgression, are sensitive to any slights and can’t seem to shake off criticism. Early […]
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8:52 AM | The 10 most controversial psychology studies ever published
Controversy is essential to scientific progress. As Richard Feynman said, "science is the belief in the ignorance of experts." Nothing is taken on faith, all assumptions are open to further scrutiny. It's a healthy sign therefore that psychology studies continue to generate great controversy. Often the heat is created by arguments about the logic or ethics of the methods, other times it's because of disagreements about the implications of the findings to our understanding of human […]
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8:08 AM | Increasing parental age and autism severity?
An interesting paper by David Geier and colleagues [1] (open-access here) caught my eye recently, concluding that there was a lack of support for the suggestion that: "increasing parental age was associated with increasing autism spectrum disorder phenotypic severity"."the snozzberries taste like snozzberries".Before progressing through the paper and its possible implications, the eagle-eyed out there might have already spotted the name Dr Brian Hooker on the authorship list of the Geier paper. […]

Geier DA, Hooker BS, Kern JK, Sykes LK & Geier MR (2014). An Evaluation of the Effect of Increasing Parental Age on the Phenotypic Severity of Autism Spectrum Disorder., Journal of child neurology, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25163730

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4:02 AM | The neuroscience behind scratching an itch
The beautiful experience of alleviating an itch, the vigorous scratching of skin cells, and the white flakes that float away slowly and gently like a whimsical dream.If only those with chronic itching problems could describe their conditions in such a serene way. In the latest edition of Nature Neuroscience, Diana Bautista and colleagues (2014) review the literature on the underlying mechanism of the itch at the molecular and cellular level within the peripheral and central nervous systems. […]

Bautista, D., Wilson, S. & Hoon, M. (2014). Why we scratch an itch: the molecules, cells and circuits of itch, Nature Neuroscience, 17 (2) 175-182. DOI: 10.1038/nn.3619

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4:01 AM | Who Falls in Love the Easiest?
Millions of people take to the bars, coffee shops and internet sites of the world looking for love. Finding that love connection isn’t always easy because your new found guy may end up having too many Star Trek figurines or your new found gal may have one too many cats. While there are seemingly a million things that can go wrong, people do fall in love. But is it possible that some people fall easier than others?

September 18, 2014

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10:35 PM | New Study Examines the Effects of Prayer on Mental Health
Prayer is the key of the morning and the bolt of the evening. — Mahatma Gandhi What are your deepest beliefs regarding the nature of God? When you pray, do you talk to a loving, protective and easily accessible God? Or does God feel strangely distant and unreachable? Perhaps a disciplinarian? A new study says […]
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6:24 PM | Better is Not Well: Consumer-Clinician Collaboration to Raise Treatment Expectations
Our friends over at the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) will host an interactive panel discussion between peers and clinicians on raising expectations for the treatment of mood disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder. We invite you to join them for this free, live web-stream broadcast of the event. The interactive panel is […]
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5:52 PM | Nature of war: Chimpanzees inherently violent
New research disproves theory that ‘chimpanzee wars’ are sparked by […]
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4:00 PM | Future spacesuits may resemble a second skin
For future astronauts, the process of suiting up may go […]
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3:59 PM | Babies Learn Words Differently as They Age
Study findings can help speech therapists, parents broaden toddlers’ vocabularies […]
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3:45 PM | When Your Partner Has Difficulty Expressing Emotion
When partners aren’t able to express their emotions, it can erode the relationship. Emotions give us important information that we can use to better understand our needs, priorities and limits. We can use emotions to set boundaries and make decisions. “If you’re not authentically experiencing, expressing, and learning from your emotions, then that erodes trust, […]
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3:29 PM | Americans rate losing eyesight as having greatest impact on their lives
Attitudinal survey on eye health shows differences among groups Many […]
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3:21 PM | Hubble Helps Find Smallest Known Galaxy Containing a Supermassive Black Hole
Astronomers using data from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and ground […]
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3:19 PM | Dogs can be pessimists too
Dogs generally seem to be cheerful, happy-go-lucky characters, so you […]
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3:18 PM | First eyewitness accounts of mystery volcanic eruption
This eruption occurred just before the 1815 Tambora volcanic eruption […]
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2:38 PM | Science bloggers are ruining the public’s understanding of Science
Like most of today’s ameatur and expert scienctists, I get my science news from science blogs. It only makes sense. In a quick paced world where knowledge is power, it seems more lucrative to quickly read a blog than it would be to read an entire scientific journal article. Unfortunately, the majority of these blogs […] The post Science bloggers are ruining the public’s understanding of Science appeared first on Homoskepticus .
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2:38 PM | Science Press Releases are ruining the public’s understanding of Science
*This article was originally written about Science Blogs, however it has come to my attention that the “blog” was actually a press release.* Like most of today’s ameatur and expert scienctists, I get my science news from science blogs and press releases. It only makes sense. In a quick paced world where knowledge is power, […] The post Science Press Releases are ruining the public’s understanding of Science appeared first on Homoskepticus .
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2:16 PM | How To Quickly Turn Your Emotions Up or Down
You can dial your emotions both ways with this simple switch. Dr Jeremy Dean is a psychologist and author of PsyBlog. His latest book is "Making Habits, Breaking Habits: How to Make Changes That Stick" Related articles:How Our Emotions Work The Body Map of Emotions: Happiness Activates the Whole Body High Emotional Intelligence Dramatically Improves Decision-Making How The Brain Processes The Emotions How Many Basic Emotions Are There? Fewer Than Previously Thought
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2:00 PM | How to Tell if You are an Emotional Sleeper
A week or so ago I was talking to one of my colleagues. We were discussing stress. I asked her how she copes with stress in her life – her answer surprised me. She said, “I am an ‘emotional sleeper.’” It didn’t take me long (i.e. about two seconds) to figure out that I, too, […]
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12:36 PM | Underestimating dolphin’s brains
I have been reading in the social media an essay by Captain Paul Watson, and as I know nothing about his scientific credentials, I have been fact checking. Watson was associated over the years with a number of conservation groups, especially Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. From other sites I find that his description of the […]
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12:00 PM | Use and Abuse of Research in the Courtroom
In parenting cases, judges are asked to resolve the dispute by reference to the best interests of the child. In many cases, they have the benefit of expert witnesses who are trained in a social science and who draw upon...            Related Stories"Provocation" Cited in Bizarre UK Domestic Violence CaseThe Jesus Experiment (Part 1of 2)"Evil Spirit" Blamed for U.K. Murder 
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10:45 AM | Movie Music and Theory of Mind
Movie music can have a huge impact on our perception of a film. Ever since the days of “silent” movies, filmmakers have recognized that music enhances the movie-going experience. The earliest movies were shown in halls with live accompanists playing pianos and organs. Some films were even accompanied with full live orchestras. Why would movie companies […]
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9:44 AM | Framing Folly and Fantasy in Safety
Framing Folly and Fantasy in Safety Research by published in the Orthomolecular Psychiatry Journal shows that humans can be primed by colour. Advertisers and political strategists know that colours can ‘frame’ the way people receive a message. The choice of a red or blue tie is most important for a politician. Research by Schauss demonstrates […] The post Framing Folly and Fantasy in Safety appeared first on Safety Risk.
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9:32 AM | Why is poverty associated with mental health problems for some people, but not others?
By guest blogger Peter Kinderman“I’ve been rich and I’ve been poor. Believe me, rich is better” (Mae West).  Critiques of the rather discredited "disease-model" of mental illness are commonplace, but we also need to articulate the alternative. New research by Sophie Wickham and colleagues helps do that, by providing support for the idea that we learn, as a consequence of our experiences in life, a framework of appraising, understanding and responding to new […]
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