Posts

December 19, 2014

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7:09 PM | How The Military Could Turn Your Mind Into The Next Battlefield
Long a staple of science fiction, the idea of creating weapons that can disrupt or alter the cognitive processes of enemy combatants is starting to become reality. Inspired by recent advances in neuroscience, the U.S. military is considering the potential for "neuro-cognitive weapons". Here's what you need to know about this fascinating and frightening prospect.Read more...
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7:06 PM | Why “fat shaming” makes the problem worse
Thanks to the internet age we have lost touch with the fact that there is a human out there reading these words. Because of this, the golden rule –treat others […]

LOGEL, C., STINSON, D., GUNN, G., WOOD, J., HOLMES, J. & CAMERON, J. (2014). A little acceptance is good for your health: Interpersonal messages and weight change over time, Personal Relationships, 21 (4) 583-598. DOI: 10.1111/pere.12050

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7:06 PM | Why “fat shaming” makes the problem worse
Thanks to the internet age we have lost touch with the fact that there is a human out there reading these words. Because of this, the golden rule –treat others […]

LOGEL, C., STINSON, D., GUNN, G., WOOD, J., HOLMES, J. & CAMERON, J. (2014). A little acceptance is good for your health: Interpersonal messages and weight change over time, Personal Relationships, 21 (4) 583-598. DOI: 10.1111/pere.12050

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5:55 PM | Mental Illnesses Run In Families, So How Can We Protect Children?
Children should be taken into consideration when helping adults with mental health issues. ShutterstockBy Sam Cartwright-Hatton, University of SussexMental illness runs in families. This is well known and uncontroversial. There is much that we could do to reduce this risk, but we currently do almost nothing. read more
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5:49 PM | Furries! Haters! Queefs?? by lacigreen: last vid of the year!...
Furries! Haters! Queefs?? by lacigreen: last vid of the year!  answering your questions in my best titled video of 2014: “Furries! Haters! Queefs??”
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2:01 PM | The Wellcome Trust has a really cool online exhibit right now...
The Wellcome Trust has a really cool online exhibit right now that explores “a century of madness, murder and mental healing, from the arrival in Paris of Franz Anton Mesmer with his theories of ‘animal magnetism’ to the therapeutic power of hypnotism used by Freud.” As you move through Mindcraft the stories and sections, the design does a great job of highlighting facts, and really immersing you in the story. And that story is weird, eerie and ultimately […]
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11:30 AM | Best of Our Blogs: December 19, 2014
When I was a kid, my mom regularly told me the story about the “boy who cried wolf.” It’s one of Aesop’s Fables whose moral lesson is to teach kids about the negative consequences of lying and exaggerating. “Do that too much and no one will believe you,” she said. After awhile I began to […]
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9:44 AM | Uric acid and bipolar disorder
Bipolar disorder appearing again on this blog this week? It's just the way that the papers fall...With a title like: 'Increased uric acid levels in bipolar disorder subjects during different phases of illness' I was hardly likely to pass up the opportunity to discuss the paper by Umberto Albert and colleagues [1] and their suggestion that there may be a lot more to see when it comes to "a purinergic dysfunction associated with BD [bipolar disorder]".I lost the defuser gun when I […]

Albert U, De Cori D, Aguglia A, Barbaro F, Bogetto F & Maina G (2014). Increased uric acid levels in bipolar disorder subjects during different phases of illness., Journal of affective disorders, 173C 170-175. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25462413

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7:15 AM | Did 2014 mark the beginning of the end for mental health stigma? | Dean Burnett
A lot of dreadful things happened in 2014. But one potential positive trend is that it seemed increasingly difficult to get away with dismissing or condemning those with mental health problems. Is this an anomaly, or is the tide really turning against mental health stigma? • The Guardian and Observer Christmas appeal on mental health• Click here to donate to the Guardian and Observer Christmas charity appealIn August, I did a post about the tragic passing of Robin Williams. It was a […]

December 18, 2014

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5:17 PM | DNews: Visiting Teams Strike Out with Referees
It can't be an easy to officiate a sport fairly, especially in games with tens of thousands of rabid fans loving or hating every call. Science thinks there's even some evidence officials subconsciously lose their impartiality toward the home team.
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2:00 PM | To Build Character In Kids, Forget Focusing On Self-Esteem
read more
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10:08 AM | Autistic traits in adults with epilepsy
"Increased autistic characteristics found in adults with epilepsy without an ASD [autism spectrum disorder] diagnosis suggest that epilepsy syndromes may incorporate behavioral aspects of autism in the absence of some of its core cognitive features."Contrariwise, if you think we're alive you ought to speak to us.That was the intriguing finding reported by Sally Ann Wakeford and colleagues [1] who examined test performance on the Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ) and "systemizing […]

Wakeford S, Hinvest N, Ring H & Brosnan M (2014). Autistic characteristics in adults with epilepsy., Epilepsy & behavior : E&B, 41C 203-207. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25461216

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9:42 AM | Dividing up the pie in relation to REF2014
OK, I've only had an hour to look at REF results, so this will be brief, but I'm far less interested in league tables than in the question of how the REF results will translate into funding for different departments in my subject area, psychology. I should start by thanking HEFCE, who are a model of efficiency and transparency: I was able to download a complete table of REF outcomes from their website here. What I did was to create a table with just the Overall results for Unit of Assessment 4, […]

December 17, 2014

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6:45 PM | Blogging for Science Outreach, Blogging for Myself
A few weeks ago, I blogged about a new paper that came out in Public Understanding of Science on science bloggers’ practices, motivations and target audiences. In the paper, Mathieu Ranger and Karen Bultitude interviewed seven authors of popular science blogs. Among their findings, most of the bloggers they interviewed cited personal motivations to blog about science: “The most commonly reported motivation was intrinsic in nature, […]
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6:45 PM | Blogging for Science Outreach, Blogging for Myself
A few weeks ago, I blogged about a new paper that came out in Public Understanding of Science on science bloggers’ practices, motivations and target audiences. In the paper, Mathieu Ranger and Karen Bultitude interviewed seven authors of popular science blogs. Among their findings, most of the bloggers they interviewed cited personal motivations to blog about science: “The most commonly reported motivation was intrinsic in nature, […]
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6:45 PM | Blogging for Science Outreach, Blogging for Myself
A few weeks ago, I blogged about a new paper that came out in Public Understanding of Science on science bloggers’ practices, motivations and target audiences. In the paper, Mathieu Ranger and Karen Bultitude interviewed seven authors of popular science blogs. Among their findings, most of the bloggers they interviewed cited personal motivations to blog about science: “The most commonly reported motivation was intrinsic in nature, […]
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1:30 PM | Picking a New Dog is a Complex Choice
It’s not a case of ‘any puppy will do’ - the whole package counts.Photo: DragoNika / ShutterstockSurprisingly little is known about how people choose a new dog considering how popular they are. While it’s a personal choice, it has wider implications – humane societies would really like to know how to increase adoptions from shelters and decrease purchases from puppy mills. Could relocation programs, where dogs are brought in from out of town, be part of the […]

Garrison, L. & Weiss, E. (2014). What Do People Want? Factors People Consider When Acquiring Dogs, the Complexity of the Choices They Make, and Implications for Nonhuman Animal Relocation Programs, Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, 18 (1) 57-73. DOI: 10.1080/10888705.2014.943836

Mornement, K., Coleman, G., Toukhsati, S. & Bennett, P. (2012). What Do Current and Potential Australian Dog Owners Believe about Shelter Practices and Shelter Dogs?, Anthrozoos: A Multidisciplinary Journal of The Interactions of People & Animals, 25 (4) 457-473. DOI: 10.2752/175303712X13479798785850

Siettou, C., Fraser, I. & Fraser, R. (2014). Investigating Some of the Factors That Influence “Consumer” Choice When Adopting a Shelter Dog in the United Kingdom, Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, 17 (2) 136-147. DOI: 10.1080/10888705.2014.883924

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1:30 PM | Picking a New Dog is a Complex Choice
It’s not a case of ‘any puppy will do’ - the whole package counts.Photo: DragoNika / ShutterstockSurprisingly little is known about how people choose a new dog considering how popular they are. While it’s a personal choice, it has wider implications – humane societies would really like to know how to increase adoptions from shelters and decrease purchases from puppy mills. Could relocation programs, where dogs are brought in from out of town, be part of the […]

Garrison, L. & Weiss, E. (2014). What Do People Want? Factors People Consider When Acquiring Dogs, the Complexity of the Choices They Make, and Implications for Nonhuman Animal Relocation Programs, Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, 18 (1) 57-73. DOI: 10.1080/10888705.2014.943836

Mornement, K., Coleman, G., Toukhsati, S. & Bennett, P. (2012). What Do Current and Potential Australian Dog Owners Believe about Shelter Practices and Shelter Dogs?, Anthrozoos: A Multidisciplinary Journal of The Interactions of People & Animals, 25 (4) 457-473. DOI: 10.2752/175303712X13479798785850

Siettou, C., Fraser, I. & Fraser, R. (2014). Investigating Some of the Factors That Influence “Consumer” Choice When Adopting a Shelter Dog in the United Kingdom, Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, 17 (2) 136-147. DOI: 10.1080/10888705.2014.883924

Citation
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1:30 PM | Picking a New Dog is a Complex Choice
It’s not a case of ‘any puppy will do’ - the whole package counts.Photo: DragoNika / ShutterstockSurprisingly little is known about how people choose a new dog considering how popular they are. While it’s a personal choice, it has wider implications – humane societies would really like to know how to increase adoptions from shelters and decrease purchases from puppy mills. Could relocation programs, where dogs are brought in from out of town, be part of the […]

Garrison, L. & Weiss, E. (2014). What Do People Want? Factors People Consider When Acquiring Dogs, the Complexity of the Choices They Make, and Implications for Nonhuman Animal Relocation Programs, Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, 18 (1) 57-73. DOI: 10.1080/10888705.2014.943836

Mornement, K., Coleman, G., Toukhsati, S. & Bennett, P. (2012). What Do Current and Potential Australian Dog Owners Believe about Shelter Practices and Shelter Dogs?, Anthrozoos: A Multidisciplinary Journal of The Interactions of People & Animals, 25 (4) 457-473. DOI: 10.2752/175303712X13479798785850

Siettou, C., Fraser, I. & Fraser, R. (2014). Investigating Some of the Factors That Influence “Consumer” Choice When Adopting a Shelter Dog in the United Kingdom, Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, 17 (2) 136-147. DOI: 10.1080/10888705.2014.883924

Citation
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1:30 PM | Picking a New Dog is a Complex Choice
It’s not a case of ‘any puppy will do’ - the whole package counts.Photo: DragoNika / ShutterstockSurprisingly little is known about how people choose a new dog considering how popular they are. While it’s a personal choice, it has wider implications – humane societies would really like to know how to increase adoptions from shelters and decrease purchases from puppy mills. Could relocation programs, where dogs are brought in from out of town, be part of the […]

Garrison, L. & Weiss, E. (2014). What Do People Want? Factors People Consider When Acquiring Dogs, the Complexity of the Choices They Make, and Implications for Nonhuman Animal Relocation Programs, Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, 18 (1) 57-73. DOI: 10.1080/10888705.2014.943836

Mornement, K., Coleman, G., Toukhsati, S. & Bennett, P. (2012). What Do Current and Potential Australian Dog Owners Believe about Shelter Practices and Shelter Dogs?, Anthrozoos: A Multidisciplinary Journal of The Interactions of People & Animals, 25 (4) 457-473. DOI: 10.2752/175303712X13479798785850

Siettou, C., Fraser, I. & Fraser, R. (2014). Investigating Some of the Factors That Influence “Consumer” Choice When Adopting a Shelter Dog in the United Kingdom, Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, 17 (2) 136-147. DOI: 10.1080/10888705.2014.883924

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10:59 AM | A Review of a Review of Paul Brunton’s Book on Meditation
With a few minutes to kill before the day starts, I go to Amazon to post a review of Paul Brunton’s very excellent “Notebook 4″ on meditation (which I have recently been re-reading) … only to realize that I was there ALREADY once at that Amazon page back in 2006 when I had posted a […]
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9:29 AM | Folate receptor autoantibodies and (some) schizophrenia
I am the league's director, Silas Ramsbottom.Upon reading the paper published by Ramaekers and colleagues [1] talking about the use of folinic acid in cases of schizophrenia as a function of the presence of "Auto-antibodies against folate receptor alpha (FRα)", I raised a little smile. Not only because the authors suggested that there may be quite a lot more to see in this area on top of some already interesting discussions about the folate cycle and schizophrenia, but also because […]

Ramaekers VT, Thöny B, Sequeira JM, Ansseau M, Philippe P, Boemer F, Bours V & Quadros EV (2014). Folinic acid treatment for schizophrenia associated with folate receptor autoantibodies., Molecular genetics and metabolism, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25456743

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9:00 AM | Guest Post: The Art of Losing Paperclips
Not long ago, walking past some court buildings with a friend, I kept stopping to pick up paper clips. Besides the usual little Gem clips, like ACCO Brand Trombones No 1, I found a black-and-silver binder clip and a rare angel-shaped “ideal clamp”–all of them no doubt carelessly dropped by lawyers who once used them […]
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9:00 AM | Guest Post: The Art of Losing Paperclips
Not long ago, walking past some court buildings with a friend, I kept stopping to pick up paper clips. Besides the usual little Gem clips, like ACCO Brand Trombones No 1, I found a black-and-silver binder clip and a rare angel-shaped “ideal clamp”–all of them no doubt carelessly dropped by lawyers who once used them […]
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12:00 AM | The Baker/baker Effect Explains Why You're Awkward At Parties
The Baker/baker effect, otherwise known as the Baker/baker paradox, explains why people's names slip away from you, while their other details stay embedded in your head. This happens, even if the name and the detail are the same.Read more...

December 16, 2014

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10:35 PM | Prover’s Block
What to do when afraid to see if what you want is true Cropped from Canadian Bergler Society source Edmund Bergler coined the term in 1947, the great writers Francis Fitzgerald—F. Scott to most—and Joseph Conrad among many others suffered from it, as did the great cartoonist Charles Schulz. The problem is writer’s block. Today […]
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8:00 PM | Chocoholics rejoice! It’s (mostly) good news
We’ve all heard claims chocolate is healthy. But if you’re anything like me, you’ve wondered if that’s a vicious rumour started by a chocolate multinational. I’m delighted to tell you in fact scientists have found plenty of evidence for the health benefits of chocolate eaten in moderation. But there are a few things you need […]
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4:45 PM | You Can’t Please Everyone
I’ve had an interesting couple of weeks. I’ve been talking to an agent about a book proposal. The book is already written, but in talking to the agent I’ve come to realize that in order for him to take me on as a client, I would need to entirely rewrite the book. I gave his […]
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2:08 PM | How painkillers really can relieve a headache brought on by foreigners | Dean Burnett
A Ukip candidate recently resigned after making racist and homophobic comments. The excuse offered was that this was due to his being under the influence of prescription medication. Many have scoffed at this explanation, but is there any scientific basis to the claim that painkillers can cause racism or other bigotry?Ukip candidate Kerry Smith has not had a good week. He has resigned after it was revealed he had made several alarmingly offensive comments about homosexuals and Chinese people. […]
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12:14 PM | The scientific community’s Galileo affair (you’re the Pope)
Science is in crisis. Everyone in the scientific community knows about it but few want to talk about it. The crisis is one of honesty. A junior scientist (like me) asks himself a similar question to Galileo in 1633: how much honesty is desirable in science? Science Wonderland According to nearly all empirical scientific publications […]

John, L., Loewenstein, G. & Prelec, D. (2012). Measuring the Prevalence of Questionable Research Practices with Incentives for Truth-Telling, SSRN Electronic Journal, DOI: 10.2139/ssrn.1996631

Simmons, J., Nelson, L. & Simonsohn, U. (2011). False-Positive Psychology: Undisclosed Flexibility in Data Collection and Analysis Allows Presenting Anything as Significant, Psychological Science, 22 (11) 1359-1366. DOI: 10.1177/0956797611417632

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