Posts

July 23, 2014

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4:55 PM | 3 Ways to Reclaim Your Work Life
If you’re stressed, depressed and dreading Mondays, you’re probably working in a toxic interpersonal environment that has started to take its toll on your physical and mental health. In my recent research on workplace bullying, I have discovered a baffling phenomenon: Targets often don’t realize they are being bullied for months or years. I believe […]
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4:46 PM | As a butterfly flaps its wings in Tokyo, a neuron in your head veers slightly heavenward…
When you look at the edge of a table, there is a neuron in your head that goes from silence to pop pop pop. As you extend your arm, a nerve commanding the muscle does the same thing. Your retina has neurons whose firing rate goes up or down depending on whether it detects a light spot […]

Kaufman MT, Churchland MM, Ryu SI & Shenoy KV (2014). Cortical activity in the null space: permitting preparation without movement., Nature neuroscience, 17 (3) 440-8. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24487233

Mante V, Sussillo D, Shenoy KV & Newsome WT (2013). Context-dependent computation by recurrent dynamics in prefrontal cortex., Nature, 503 (7474) 78-84. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24201281

Churchland, M., Cunningham, J., Kaufman, M., Foster, J., Nuyujukian, P., Ryu, S. & Shenoy, K. (2012). Neural population dynamics during reaching, Nature, DOI: 10.1038/nature11129

Shenoy KV, Sahani M & Churchland MM (2013). Cortical control of arm movements: a dynamical systems perspective., Annual review of neuroscience, 36 337-59. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23725001

Ames KC, Ryu SI & Shenoy KV (2014). Neural dynamics of reaching following incorrect or absent motor preparation., Neuron, 81 (2) 438-51. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24462104

Churchland, M., Cunningham, J., Kaufman, M., Ryu, S. & Shenoy, K. (2010). Cortical Preparatory Activity: Representation of Movement or First Cog in a Dynamical Machine?, Neuron, 68 (3) 387-400. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2010.09.015

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3:54 PM | The Adolescent Dog: One Last Chance?
A synthesis of the latest research on social influences on development suggests adolescence is an important time for mammals – including dogs.Photo: dezi / ShutterstockMost people are familiar with the idea of a sensitive period for puppies that ends around 12 or 14 weeks. Is it possible that adolescence is also an important period for brain development and future behaviour?Social experience plays an important role in shaping animal behaviour throughout development according to Sachser et […]

Riemer, S., Müller, C., Virányi, Z., Huber, L. & Range, F. (2014). The Predictive Value of Early Behavioural Assessments in Pet Dogs – A Longitudinal Study from Neonates to Adults, PLoS ONE, 9 (7) DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0101237

Sachser, N., Kaiser, S. & Hennessy, M. (2013). Behavioural profiles are shaped by social experience: when, how and why, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 368 (1618) 20120344-20120344. DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2012.0344

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3:54 PM | The Adolescent Dog: One Last Chance?
A synthesis of the latest research on social influences on development suggests adolescence is an important time for mammals – including dogs.Photo: dezi / ShutterstockMost people are familiar with the idea of a sensitive period for puppies that ends around 12 or 14 weeks. Is it possible that adolescence is also an important period for brain development and future behaviour?Social experience plays an important role in shaping animal behaviour throughout development according to Sachser et […]

Riemer, S., Müller, C., Virányi, Z., Huber, L. & Range, F. (2014). The Predictive Value of Early Behavioural Assessments in Pet Dogs – A Longitudinal Study from Neonates to Adults, PLoS ONE, 9 (7) DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0101237

Sachser, N., Kaiser, S. & Hennessy, M. (2013). Behavioural profiles are shaped by social experience: when, how and why, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 368 (1618) 20120344-20120344. DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2012.0344

Citation
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3:54 PM | The Adolescent Dog: One Last Chance?
A synthesis of the latest research on social influences on development suggests adolescence is an important time for mammals – including dogs.Photo: dezi / ShutterstockMost people are familiar with the idea of a sensitive period for puppies that ends around 12 or 14 weeks. Is it possible that adolescence is also an important period for brain development and future behaviour?Social experience plays an important role in shaping animal behaviour throughout development according to Sachser et […]

Riemer, S., Müller, C., Virányi, Z., Huber, L. & Range, F. (2014). The Predictive Value of Early Behavioural Assessments in Pet Dogs – A Longitudinal Study from Neonates to Adults, PLoS ONE, 9 (7) DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0101237

Sachser, N., Kaiser, S. & Hennessy, M. (2013). Behavioural profiles are shaped by social experience: when, how and why, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 368 (1618) 20120344-20120344. DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2012.0344

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2:35 PM | Free Webinar: Free Yourself with The Four Stages of Codependency Recovery
Expert codependency psychotherapist, writer, and professional trainer, Ross Rosenberg presents his compact and revolutionary 4-stage codependency treatment model and his “Surgeon General’s” Codependency Recovery Warning. Both were developed as a direct result of his own codependency recovery and 27 years of working with codependent clientele. These new and innovative codependency recovery concepts have been met […]
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12:05 PM | More Than a Pet: Service Dogs for PTSD
Profile of labradoodle Rocco and the veteran he assists as a service dog.
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8:55 AM | What the textbooks don't tell you - one of psychology's most famous experiments was seriously flawed
Zimbardo speaking in '09Conducted in 1971, the Stanford Prison Experiment (SPE) has acquired a mythical status and provided the inspiration for at least two feature-length films. You'll recall that several university students allocated to the role of jailor turned brutal and the study had to be aborted prematurely. Philip Zimbardo, the experiment's lead investigator, says the lesson from the research is that in certain situations, good people readily turn bad. "If you put good apples into a bad […]

Griggs, R. (2014). Coverage of the Stanford Prison Experiment in Introductory Psychology Textbooks, Teaching of Psychology, 41 (3) 195-203. DOI: 10.1177/0098628314537968

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8:55 AM | What the textbooks don't tell you - one of psychology's most famous experiments was seriously flawed
Zimbardo speaking in '09Conducted in 1971, the Stanford Prison Experiment (SPE) has acquired a mythical status and provided the inspiration for at least two feature-length films. You'll recall that several university students allocated to the role of jailor turned brutal and the study had to be aborted prematurely. Philip Zimbardo, the experiment's lead investigator, says the lesson from the research is that in certain situations, good people readily turn bad. "If you put good apples into a bad […]

Griggs, R. (2014). Coverage of the Stanford Prison Experiment in Introductory Psychology Textbooks, Teaching of Psychology, 41 (3) 195-203. DOI: 10.1177/0098628314537968

Citation
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8:55 AM | What the textbooks don't tell you - one of psychology's most famous experiments was seriously flawed
Zimbardo speaking in '09Conducted in 1971, the Stanford Prison Experiment (SPE) has acquired a mythical status and provided the inspiration for at least two feature-length films. You'll recall that several university students allocated to the role of jailor turned brutal and the study had to be aborted prematurely. Philip Zimbardo, the experiment's lead investigator, says the lesson from the research is that in certain situations, good people readily turn bad. "If you put good apples into a bad […]

Griggs, R. (2014). Coverage of the Stanford Prison Experiment in Introductory Psychology Textbooks, Teaching of Psychology, 41 (3) 195-203. DOI: 10.1177/0098628314537968

Citation
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8:55 AM | What the textbooks don't tell you - one of psychology's most famous experiments was seriously flawed
Zimbardo speaking in '09Conducted in 1971, the Stanford Prison Experiment (SPE) has acquired a mythical status and provided the inspiration for at least two feature-length films. You'll recall that several university students allocated to the role of jailor turned brutal and the study had to be aborted prematurely. Philip Zimbardo, the experiment's lead investigator, says the lesson from the research is that in certain situations, good people readily turn bad. "If you put good apples into a bad […]

Griggs, R. (2014). Coverage of the Stanford Prison Experiment in Introductory Psychology Textbooks, Teaching of Psychology, 41 (3) 195-203. DOI: 10.1177/0098628314537968

Citation
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7:46 AM | Trauma and PTSD raise risk of autoimmune disorders?
I admit to some head scratching when I first read the paper by Aoife O’Donovan and colleagues [1] reporting that among war veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns, "trauma exposure and PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder] may increase risk of autoimmune disorders".It wasn't that I didn't believe the results, but rather that the idea that a physical event with a psychological consequence could impact on a somatic condition with an autoimmune element to it seemed to […]

O’Donovan, A., Cohen, B., Seal, K., Bertenthal, D., Margaretten, M., Nishimi, K. & Neylan, T. (2014). Elevated Risk For Autoimmune Disorders In Iraq And Afghanistan Veterans With Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Biological Psychiatry, DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2014.06.015

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3:16 AM | Heroes and Villains: Banal or Special People? Part 2 of 2
In part 1 of this post, I discussed the situationist analysis of the “banality” of evil and of heroism respectively. To recap, according to Phil Zimbardo and colleagues, both heroic acts and evil acts occur primarily in response to situational factors, rather than internal features of the person. However, on closer inspection, the situationist analysis provides inconsistent accounts of how each of these occurs. Evil actions are attributed to factors entirely outside the person, […]

Carnahan T & McFarland S (2007). Revisiting the Stanford prison experiment: could participant self-selection have led to the cruelty?, Personality & social psychology bulletin, 33 (5) 603-14. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17440210

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12:35 AM | Are We What We Wear?
On a hot summer day in Central Texas I exited my apartment in a linen skirt, white short-sleeved sweater, and sandals. My neighbor, who is also a friend, greeted me on this bright sunny morning with the comment “you look like such a counselor today.” At first I wondered what this meant and felt it […]

July 22, 2014

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11:30 PM | With Asthma, Thinking They Might Smell Something Harmful Causes Inflammation
A new paper finds that asthmatics who believe that an odor is potentially have increased airway inflammation for at least 24 hours following exposure, which highlights the role that expectations and psychology can play in health-related outcomes. Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the lungs. According to the National Institutes of Health, over 25 million Americans have the disease, which can interfere with quality of life. The airways of asthmatics are sensitive to 'triggers' that […]
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10:56 PM | A charitable foundation has just donated $650 million to the Broad Institute, earmarked for psychiat
A charitable foundation has just donated $650 million to the Broad Institute, earmarked for psychiatric research. It is the largest such donation ever made, and is welcome in an era when we're seeing a decline in funding for the study of mental illness. Read more...
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10:47 PM | When Crazy becomes a Crime
My friend has a glass eye, you would never notice and unless you knew the story you might not think anything of it. His older brother did it. Yes, you […]

Dana Goldman,, John Fastenau,, Riad Dirani,, Eric Hellend,, Geoff Joyce,, Ryan Conrad, & Darius Lakdawalla, (2014). Medicaid Prior Authorization Policies and Imprisonment Among Patients With Schizophrenia, The American Journal of Managed Care, 20 (7) Other:

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10:47 PM | When Crazy becomes a Crime
My friend has a glass eye, you would never notice and unless you knew the story you might not think anything of it. His older brother did it. Yes, you […]

Dana Goldman,, John Fastenau,, Riad Dirani,, Eric Hellend,, Geoff Joyce,, Ryan Conrad, & Darius Lakdawalla, (2014). Medicaid Prior Authorization Policies and Imprisonment Among Patients With Schizophrenia, The American Journal of Managed Care, 20 (7) Other:

Citation
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10:47 PM | When Crazy becomes a Crime
My friend has a glass eye, you would never notice and unless you knew the story you might not think anything of it. His older brother did it. Yes, you […]

Dana Goldman,, John Fastenau,, Riad Dirani,, Eric Hellend,, Geoff Joyce,, Ryan Conrad, & Darius Lakdawalla, (2014). Medicaid Prior Authorization Policies and Imprisonment Among Patients With Schizophrenia, The American Journal of Managed Care, 20 (7) Other:

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5:45 PM | Suspicious Things Really Make Us ‘Smell Something Fishy’
When we say “Fred is a warm person,” we don’t usually mean his body temperature is hotter than average. We use metaphors such as “warm”, “high”, and “clean” to describe more abstract concepts like “friendly,” “powerful,” and “morally sound.” So we mean that Fred is friendly, not that he has a fever. But these metaphors […]

Lee S.W.S. & Schwarz N. (2012). Bidirectionality, mediation, and moderation of metaphorical effects: The embodiment of social suspicion and fishy smells., Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 103 (5) 737-749. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0029708

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5:45 PM | Suspicious Things Really Make Us ‘Smell Something Fishy’
When we say “Fred is a warm person,” we don’t usually mean his body temperature is hotter than average. We use metaphors such as “warm”, “high”, and “clean” to describe more abstract concepts like “friendly,” “powerful,” and “morally sound.” So we mean that Fred is friendly, not that he has a fever. But these metaphors […]

Lee S.W.S. & Schwarz N. (2012). Bidirectionality, mediation, and moderation of metaphorical effects: The embodiment of social suspicion and fishy smells., Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 103 (5) 737-749. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0029708

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3:16 PM | Bats Use Polarized Light to Set Their Internal Magnetic Compasses
Although bats are known for using echolocation to orient and navigate, they draw on a suite of senses to get around. A new study reveals another ability: bats use patterns of polarized light in the sky to navigate. Read about the experiment in my latest Zoologic post: Bats Use Polarized Light to Set Their Internal Compasses .
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2:09 PM | Learning to Let Go of Past Hurts: 5 Ways to Move On
We’ve all been hurt. You can’t be an adult — or teen — alive today who hasn’t experienced some kind of emotional pain. It hurts. I get that. But what you do with that hurt is probably more important than the hurt itself. Would you prefer to get back to being an active liver of […]
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8:32 AM | Common variation and the genetics of autism
The paper by Trent Gaugler and colleagues [1] reporting that the genetic architecture of the autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) seems in the most part to be due to "common variation" over and above "rare variants or spontaneous glitches" adds to the quite voluminous literature in this area.Everything in proportion? @ Wikipedia Based on an analysis of "a unique epidemiological sample from Sweden" researchers looked at DNA variations in some 3000 individuals with autism and asymptomatic […]

Gaugler T, Klei L, Sanders SJ, Bodea CA, Goldberg AP, Lee AB, Mahajan M, Manaa D, Pawitan Y, Reichert J & Ripke S (2014). Most genetic risk for autism resides with common variation., Nature genetics, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25038753

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8:00 AM | Zoned Out
There a few moments in your childhood that stick with you the rest of your life. I don’t mean first kiss, prom, or that time you punched Kelly Weir in the stomach for stealing your bike (believe me, he had it coming). Those are big moments. I mean the little things – the things that […]
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8:00 AM | Zoned Out
There a few moments in your childhood that stick with you the rest of your life. I don’t mean first kiss, prom, or that time you punched Kelly Weir in the stomach for stealing your bike (believe me, he had it coming). Those are big moments. I mean the little things – the things that […]

July 21, 2014

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7:00 PM | What Did Doctors Learn By Scaring Toddlers in the "Risk Room"?
Remember the twisted experiment to see what happens when kids think they've broken a treasured toy ? The doctor in charge of that study also studied children's responses to a creepy "Risk Room." Their behavior in the room revealed surprising things about the child's future behavior.Read more...
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5:27 PM | Autism and Parents: Reducing stress
Raising an autistic child can be a gift. Unfortunately it can also be challenging and stressful. Let’s be real, it’s stressful just being a parent, throw in a disability that […]

Dykens E.M. & Fisher M.H. (2014). Reducing Distress in Mothers of Children With Autism and Other Disabilities: A Randomized Trial, Pediatrics , DOI: doi: 10.1542/peds.2013-3164

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5:27 PM | Autism and Parents: Reducing stress
Raising an autistic child can be a gift. Unfortunately it can also be challenging and stressful. Let’s be real, it’s stressful just being a parent, throw in a disability that […]

Dykens E.M. & Fisher M.H. (2014). Reducing Distress in Mothers of Children With Autism and Other Disabilities: A Randomized Trial, Pediatrics , DOI: doi: 10.1542/peds.2013-3164

Citation
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5:27 PM | Autism and Parents: Reducing stress
Raising an autistic child can be a gift. Unfortunately it can also be challenging and stressful. Let’s be real, it’s stressful just being a parent, throw in a disability that […]

Dykens E.M. & Fisher M.H. (2014). Reducing Distress in Mothers of Children With Autism and Other Disabilities: A Randomized Trial, Pediatrics , DOI: doi: 10.1542/peds.2013-3164

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