Posts

March 02, 2015

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9:49 AM | Systemic low grade inflammation and bowel issues in autism?
The paper from Katarina Babinská and colleagues [1] (open-access here) presents an interesting, if preliminary take on two potentially important issues linked to at least some cases of autism: gastrointestinal (GI) issues and inflammation (see here and see here respectively).Detailing the examination of plasma levels of a compound called high mobility group box 1 protein (HMGB1), a protein which has the apparent ability to 'bend DNA' and has some pretty potent immune effects [2] […]

Babinská K, Bucová M, Ďurmanová V, Lakatošová S, Jánošíková D, Bakoš J, Hlavatá A & Ostatníková D (2015). Increased plasma levels of the high mobility group box 1 protein (HMGB1) are associated with a higher score of gastrointestinal dysfunction in individuals with autism., Physiological research / Academia Scientiarum Bohemoslovaca, 63 Suppl 4 8. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25669692

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8:17 AM | The scientist as problem solver
Start the week with one of the founding fathers of cognitive science: in ‘The scientist as problem solver‘, Herb Simon (1916-2001) gives a short retrospective of his scientific career. To tell the story of the research he has done, he advances a thesis: “The Scientist is a problem solver. If the thesis is true, then […]
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5:01 AM | Catching Fertility
As a 40-something, married father of two, I’ve experienced a lot of transitions in my life, including some particularly big ones over the past decade or so. I started a new job, got married, had a kid, bought a house, and had another kid. Importantly, I’m not unique in this regard --- many of the people I know my age have gone through most, if not all, of these same transitions (albeit perhaps in a different order). Although I didn’t really notice it at the time, my […]
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4:29 AM | SPSP 2015: Actually Predicting the Future
In regression (a common statistical practice used in social science research) we often attempt to predict the outcome of a given dependent measure (the DV) based on what we know about other measured variables theoretically related to the DV (the IVs). This common regression method has one problem though: We are predicting values for data that we have already collected. What if we were to engage in actual prediction? That is, what if we attempted to predict the values of a DV that is unknown? […]
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4:25 AM | SPSP 2015: Status Shapes Preferences for Redistribution
A lot of people think about political ideology as a powerful causal force that influences the structure of our society and our respective positions within it. In the politics and inequality symposium Jazmin Brown-Iannuzzi of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and her colleagues examined political ideology from a different perspective: Instead of shaping the structure of society, does political ideology arise from our position within that structure? That is, do we create our political […]
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12:55 AM | 3-Step Plan for Your ‘Why Me?’ Moments
With a single sentence, life can knock you down. Here’s how to get back up and keep swinging… Have you ever noticed how a single sentence can feel as if a bomb exploded and life as you know it is irrevocably transformed? A single sentence like: “It’s cancer.” “You’re fired.” “I’m pregnant.” “I’m leaving you […]

March 01, 2015

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7:25 PM | Take, Take, Take and Never Give
Mike was grumbling about his daughter Crystal. “She told me she was in ‘desperate need’ of a state-of-the-art computer only six months after she ‘needed’ a ‘loan’ because the lease on her Lexus had expired. Crystal wasn’t even apologetic when she asked me to foot the bill. She just rattled off a bunch of reasons […]
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7:22 PM | Mr Spock : The Needs Of The Many Outweigh The Needs Of The Few
Chato Stewart: (day dreaming) Mr. Spock: Remember Caption: Live long and Prosper “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.” This above-title, to me, is to me one of the most iconic line in the all of Star Trek’s history!  Aside from the #LLAP “Live long and Prosper” of course! You don’t have to […]
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4:05 PM | Want to Increase Your Happiness? Science says…
On Friday I went to a great talk by Dr. Matthew Killingsworth wherein he gave us some data-based pro tips on how to increase happiness. The secret? Interacting frequently and deeply with other people. As part of his research project, Dr. Killingsworth developed a smartphone app called Track Your Happiness. At random moments during the day, the app will prompt a few simple questions about your activities (e.g., “How are you feeling?”; “What are you doing?”; […]
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3:58 PM | Weekend update: Science of Science Communication 2.0: on CRED "how to" manual & more on 97% messaging
Here are some contributions to class discussion.  The first is from Tamar Wilner, who offers reactions to session 7 readings.  I've posted just the beginning of her essay and the linked to her page for continuation. The second is from Kevin Tobia (by the way, I also recommend his great study on the quality of "lay" and "expert" moral intuitions), who addresses "97% messaging," a topic initially addressed in Session 6 but now brought into sharper focus with a […]
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3:44 PM | Self-Care Sunday: Easeful Evenings
Last Sunday we talked about creating meaningful mornings. Today, let’s talk about evenings. How do you normally spend your evenings? Do you plop on the couch and watch TV? Do you continue responding to email? Do you wash the dishes and clean up most of the night? Do you read or write? Think about how […]
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3:22 PM | Introducing Bipolar Out Loud
We know that living with bipolar disorder — just like living with any mental health concern — is rarely an easy road to walk. That’s why it takes a gentle yet deft hand to share one’s own experiences with bipolar disorder, in order to help others with their own journey. So I’m pleased to introduce […]
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2:56 PM | Depressed People Take Social Rejection Harder, Here’s Why
There's a good reason why depressed people find it much harder to deal with social rejection. 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:Social Rejection Triggers Release of Natural Painkillers in the Brain The 5 Biggest Reasons People Get Anxious or Depressed How People Use Social Media to Manage Their Emotions Male or Female Bosses? The Sex Which Gets More Depressed From […]
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2:49 PM | Link between image and sound
Babies link the sound of a word with the image of an object in their early learning of language and this is an important ability. How do they come to have this mechanism? Are there predispositions to making links between sounds and images? Research by Asano and others (citation below) shows one type of link. […]

Asano, M., Imai, M., Kita, S., Kitajo, K., Okada, H. & Thierry, G. (2015). Sound symbolism scaffolds language development in preverbal infants, Cortex, 63 196-205. DOI: 10.1016/j.cortex.2014.08.025

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1:00 PM | Bearing the Wounds of Christ
For nine-year-old Cloretta Robinson, her strange odyssey apparently began on March 17, 1972. Known as "Cocoa" to her friends, she was sitting in her fifth-grade classroom at the Santa Fe Elementary School in Oakland, California when a friend noticed blood...            Related StoriesNorwegian Care Home Condemned for Recruiting ExorcistThe Turing Problem (Part 3)The Baby Farmers 
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11:30 AM | 5 Steps to Increase Motivation
I hear it all the time: “I’m not motivated.” For many of my clients, they are referring to not having the motivation to perform basic life responsibilities such as paying bills, cleaning the house, making calls, and taking care of their health. When do they get motivated? When they are in the danger zone. A […]
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8:52 AM | Vitamin D status affecting autoimmune disease risk?
I want to bring the paper from Tea Skaaby and colleagues [1] to your attention for today's brief blog post and their observation that there may be: "a possible protective role of a higher vitamin D status on autoimmune disease". Autoimmune disease by the way, reflects a breakdown in communication and tolerance of 'self' whereby the body attacks healthy tissue.Their findings, based on an analysis of "a total of 12,555 individuals from three population-based studies with measurements of […]

Skaaby T, Husemoen LL, Thuesen BH & Linneberg A (2015). Prospective population-based study of the association between vitamin D status and incidence of autoimmune disease., Endocrine, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25666936

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8:01 AM | The Sex Talk By Millennials
Click here for our articles on having "the talk" with your kids.
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4:59 AM | Remembering Jacobson v. Massachusetts
By Deborah Cho In light of the measles outbreaks in California and now in Nevada, many, including myself, have wondered how we’ve come to this point where a completely preventable disease seems to threaten the lives of so many.  While there … Continue reading →
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12:35 AM | Transforming Failure
My heroes are the ones who survived doing it wrong, who made mistakes, but recovered from them. - Bono I agree with Bono. Surviving a mistake or a perceived failure and transforming it into wisdom or a life lesson is inspiring. If you do an Internet search for quotes or articles on failure, there seems […]

February 28, 2015

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8:15 PM | Reeducar a los Hombres que Ejercen Violencia: ¿Realmente funciona?
La violencia hacia la mujer es una problemática social que afecta a mujeres alrededor de todo el mundo. Especialmente, la violencia hacia la pareja, suele ser una de sus manifestaciones con mayor frecuencia; sólo en México, en 2011, el 47% de las mujeres de 15 años y más sufrieron algún episodio de violencia por parte de su pareja (INEGI, 2013). Este problema está considerado como el principal obstáculo para lograr la igualdad de […]

Ramírez, M., Giménez-Salinas Framís, A. & de Juan Espinosa, M. (2013). Evaluación de la eficacia del programa de tratamiento con agresores de pareja (PRIA) en la comunidad, Psychosocial Intervention, 22 (2) 105-114. DOI: 10.5093/in2013a13

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8:15 PM | Reeducar a los Hombres que Ejercen Violencia: ¿Realmente funciona?
La violencia hacia la mujer es una problemática social que afecta a mujeres alrededor de todo el mundo. Especialmente, la violencia hacia la pareja, suele ser una de sus manifestaciones con mayor frecuencia; sólo en México, en 2011, el 47% de las mujeres de 15 años y más sufrieron algún episodio de violencia por parte de su pareja (INEGI, 2013). Este problema está considerado como el principal obstáculo para lograr la igualdad de […]

Ramírez, M., Giménez-Salinas Framís, A. & de Juan Espinosa, M. (2013). Evaluación de la eficacia del programa de tratamiento con agresores de pareja (PRIA) en la comunidad, Psychosocial Intervention, 22 (2) 105-114. DOI: 10.5093/in2013a13

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7:25 PM | 5 Mistakes So Many of Us Make When Navigating Anxiety
Every one of us experiences anxiety. And we can experience anxiety about anything in our lives. Anxiety expert Marni Goldberg’s clients struggle with everything from worrying about the future to feeling like they’re not good enough to being overwhelmed by daily demands. Many of psychotherapist Tracy Tucker’s clients struggle with a fear of the unknown. […]
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5:59 PM | How Sex Changes Across Stages in Relationships
Thursday during the sexuality preconference, Gurit Birnbaum and Eli Finkel gave a talk about how the functions of sexual cues and desire change across different phases of a relationship. People in relationships tend to think about sex as having several different functions. Sex feels good, helps us to intimately connect with our partners, and is necessary for reproduction--these are just a few examples. But the truth is that these functions matter more or less depending on how long a couple has […]
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3:28 PM | Is Worry Part of Your Creative Life?
Probably most of us experience worry, stress and various kinds of anxiety to some extent, but creative people may be especially vulnerable to these mood and health challenges. As psychologist and creativity coach Eric Maisel notes, “Life produces stress, the artistic personality produces additional stress, creating produces even more stress, and living the artist’s life […]
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3:23 PM | Kaiser Continues to Improve, But Can Do Better for California
Apparently a $4 million stick wasn’t big enough to encourage Kaiser Permanente in California to offer residents better mental health care in the state. While Kaiser fixed two of the deficiencies originally identified by the government agency charged with oversight of care in California, it still didn’t fix two others to the agency’s satisfaction. The […]
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2:33 PM | Borderline Personality Disorder: 8 Classic Signs You Should Know
How to tell if someone has a borderline personality disorder. 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:5 Classic Signs of Depression Most People Don’t Recognise A Curious New Sleep Disorder That Affects One in Seven Social Anxiety Disorder: Impressive Study Reveals The Very Best Treatment Mental Health Problems Can Shorten Life More Than Heavy Smoking Two
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2:31 PM | How Can You Seek Stillness?
The beautiful and intimidating thing about yoga is that it’s a time to stop and be still. It’s a time to be quiet with ourselves. Which many of us don’t do very often. The other types of exercises I do are mostly high intensity (which I also love). Go. Go. Go. We sprint from one […]
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1:30 PM | Could You Be Convinced You Committed a Crime That You Didn't Commit?
In a new groundbreaking study, researchers convinced 70% of participants that they had committed a serious crime. How did they come to such an astounding finding?  Read More
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11:30 AM | Psychology Around the Net: February 28, 2015
Check out this week’s Psychology Around the Net to learn more about smokers and their relationships to anxiety and depression, how your state ranks regarding the five aspects of life satisfaction, neurons that predict how we might react in particular situations, and more. Neurons That Help Predict What Another Individual Will Do Identified: Scientists have […]
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