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Posts

April 19, 2014

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4:46 AM | Energy Expenditure (Calories Burned) in Anorexia Nervosa Patients
How many calories do patients with anorexia nervosa need to eat to gain a kilo (2.2 lbs)? It seems like a simple question and one that we should have figured out a long time ago, given the importance (err, necessity) of refeeding and weight restoration in recovery from anorexia nervosa. Unfortunately, research in this area has often led to contradictory results (see Salisbury et al., 1995 and de Zwaan et al., 2002 for reviews). Fortunately, a paper by Stephan Zipfel and colleagues […]

Zipfel S, Mack I, Baur LA, Hebebrand J, Touyz S, Herzog W, Abraham S, Davies PS & Russell J (2013). Impact of exercise on energy metabolism in anorexia nervosa., Journal of Eating Disorders, 1 (1) 37. PMID:

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2:57 AM | Meeting myself at 17
For something I’m writing I looked up a newspaper article I was interviewed in in, from June 7, 1989.  Here’s what I had to say: Ellenberg on mathematics: “I always think of it — this is kind of crazy — as a zoo. There are a million different mathematical objects. They are like animals. Some […]

April 18, 2014

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9:09 PM | Sexual Healing in Bonobos
Bonobos have earned a reputation as a “sexy” ape. Sexual activity — in many creative forms — plays a large role in bonobo society. Sexual contacts occur often, in virtually all partner combinations and in a slew of different positions. Read my latest Zoologic post, a Q&A with Emory University’s Zanna Clay about her research looking at how bonobos use sex to break the tension after conflicts: Sexual Healing: How Bonobos Use Sex to De-Stress .
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5:12 PM | Is Psychology really science? Why, yes it is!
The following is a guest blog post by Tanya Karam, @PsychAllDay on Twitter. In my own research in science and environmental communication, I've recently discovered the importance of human psychology in understanding human processing of scientific information and human behaviors toward the environment. So I asked Tanya to write a blog post about the science of psychology... Enjoy! On the first day of the first psychology class I ever taught, before I was able to get through the syllabus, a […]
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5:12 PM | Is Psychology really science? Why, yes it is!
The following is a guest blog post by Tanya Karam, @PsychAllDay on Twitter. In my own research in science and environmental communication, I've recently discovered the importance of human psychology in understanding human processing of scientific information and human behaviors toward the environment. So I asked Tanya to write a blog post about the science of psychology... Enjoy! On the first day of the first psychology class I ever taught, before I was able to get through the syllabus, a […]
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5:12 PM | Is Psychology really science? Why, yes it is!
The following is a guest blog post by Tanya Karam, @PsychAllDay on Twitter. In my own research in science and environmental communication, I've recently discovered the importance of human psychology in understanding human processing of scientific information and human behaviors toward the environment. So I asked Tanya to write a blog post about the science of psychology... Enjoy! On the first day of the first psychology class I ever taught, before I was able to get through the syllabus, a […]
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5:12 PM | Is Psychology really science? Why, yes it is!
The following is a guest blog post by Tanya Karam, @PsychAllDay on Twitter. In my own research in science and environmental communication, I've recently discovered the importance of human psychology in understanding human processing of scientific information and human behaviors toward the environment. So I asked Tanya to write a blog post about the science of psychology... Enjoy! On the first day of the first psychology class I ever taught, before I was able to get through the syllabus, a […]
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5:12 PM | Is Psychology really science? Why, yes it is!
The following is a guest blog post by Tanya Karam, @PsychAllDay on Twitter. In my own research in science and environmental communication, I've recently discovered the importance of human psychology in understanding human processing of scientific information and human behaviors toward the environment. So I asked Tanya to write a blog post about the science of psychology... Enjoy! On the first day of the first psychology class I ever taught, before I was able to get through the syllabus, a […]
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5:12 PM | Is Psychology really science? Why, yes it is!
The following is a guest blog post by Tanya Karam, @PsychAllDay on Twitter. In my own research in science and environmental communication, I've recently discovered the importance of human psychology in understanding human processing of scientific information and human behaviors toward the environment. So I asked Tanya to write a blog post about the science of psychology... Enjoy! On the first day of the first psychology class I ever taught, before I was able to get through the syllabus, a […]
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10:30 AM | Best of Our Blogs: April 18, 2014
When your heart sinks from disappointment, rejection, or loss, how do you cope? Do you get engulfed in it falling into a pool of despair? Do you see it as a single moment or an example of more dark ones to come? Is it possible that your latest challenge has a deeper purpose? Could there […]
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7:15 AM | Water’s Psychological Benefits
“All of us have in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and, therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea — whether it is to sail […]
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2:40 AM | Dear CNRS: That mouse study did not "confirm" the neurobiological origin of ADHD in humans
Late last week the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS - the acronym is based on the French translation) put out a press release describing a study conducted through a collaboration between several of its researchers and scientists from The University of Strasbourg. CNRS is a large (30,000+ employees), government-run research institution in France. It is the largest research organization in Europe, and is responsible for about 1/2 of the French scientific papers published […]

Mathis, C., Savier, E., Bott, J., Clesse, D., Bevins, N., Sage-Ciocca, D., Geiger, K., Gillet, A., Laux-Biehlmann, A., Goumon, Y. & Lacaud, A. (2014). Defective response inhibition and collicular noradrenaline enrichment in mice with duplicated retinotopic map in the superior colliculus, Brain Structure and Function, DOI:

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April 17, 2014

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6:15 PM | Finding the Right Kind of Mental Health Support at the Right Time
Our society has come a long way in terms of open dialogue about mental health and wellness. What used to be swept under the rug, looked down upon and ostracized is now discussed freely and holistically. However, too many Americans still have a foggy notion of available mental and physical wellness options. When most think […]
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3:53 PM | Lab Grown Organs and Artistic Computers in Fifty Years?
The Pew Research Center released the 2014 survey of U.S. adults (1,001 participants, surveyed by land-line or cell phone interviews) regarding their views on technological advancements in the next 50 years. Over eighty percent of the participants said that "People in need of an organ transplant will have new organs custom made for them in a lab" and roughly half of the participants felt that "Computers will be as effective as people at creating important works of art such as... Read more
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3:53 PM | Lab Grown Organs and Artistic Computers in Fifty Years?
The Pew Research Center released the 2014 survey of U.S. adults (1,001 participants, surveyed by land-line or cell phone interviews) regarding their views on technological advancements in the next 50 years. Over eighty percent of the participants said that "People in need of an organ transplant will have new organs custom made for them in a lab" and roughly half of the participants felt that "Computers will be as effective as people at creating important works of art such as... Read more
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2:00 PM | Is It Good For Kids To Have A Pet?
People overwhelmingly believe that having pets is overall a good thing for children. Indeed, a 2003 paper by developmental psychologist Gail F. Melson reports that most parents say that they acquired... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

Mueller M.K. (2014). Is Human-Animal Interaction (HAI) Linked to Positive Youth Development? Initial Answers, Applied Developmental Science, 18 (1) 5-16. DOI:

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11:32 AM | Cannabis use and structural changes in the brain
  “One or two spliffs a week could mess up your brain” – Metro, 16 April 2014 Spark your interest? This headline caught the eyes of the Antisense team, so […]

Gilman, J., Kuster, J., Lee, S., Lee, M., Kim, B., Makris, N., van der Kouwe, A., Blood, A. & Breiter, H. (2014). Cannabis Use Is Quantitatively Associated with Nucleus Accumbens and Amygdala Abnormalities in Young Adult Recreational Users, Journal of Neuroscience, 34 (16) 5529-5538. DOI:

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10:44 AM | The Lie of Focusing on Those with Serious Mental Illness
I’ve long scratched my head at one of the arbitrary political lines drawn in the sand in the world of mental health and mental illness advocacy — “serious mental illness.” (Some people refer to it as “severe mental illness,” but the correct term is “serious.”) Focusing on this division is a lie. It is a […]
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8:31 AM | Mitochondrial dysfunction as a neurobiological subtype of autism
The paper by Suzanne Goh and colleagues [1] reporting on "a possible neurobiological subtype of mitochondrial dysfunction in ASD [autism spectrum disorder]" is a worthy addition to the research roll call which has graced this blog down the years. Based on the analysis of brain lactate levels - a potential marker of mitochondrial dysfunction - via the analysis of lactate doublets on brain magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging (MRSI), authors picked up a significantly higher rate of […]

Goh, S., Dong, Z., Zhang, Y., DiMauro, S. & Peterson, B. (2014). Mitochondrial Dysfunction as a Neurobiological Subtype of Autism Spectrum Disorder, JAMA Psychiatry, DOI:

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7:00 AM | Go Behind the Science of 'Transcendence'
The science fiction thriller Transcendence explores the weirdness of artificial intelligence and mind uploading. We look at the science behind the fiction.
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6:00 AM | Dispelling the nightmares of post-traumatic stress disorder | Dispelling the nightmares of post-traumatic stress disorder | Daniel and Jason Freeman
Treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder can take months, but an intense course may relieve symptoms in just a weekOn Wednesday morning we woke to the news that a passenger ferry had sunk off the coast of South Korea, with at least four people confirmed dead and 280 unaccounted for. Meanwhile, though the search has continued for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane, relatives' hopes of a safe landing have long since been extinguished.Human tragedies like these are the stuff of daily news, […]
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2:59 AM | Eyes On You – Cereal Psychology
Any beginner’s course on public communication stresses the importance of eye contact for building a connection between the speaker and the audience. The same holds true for advice of the romantic variety, with scientific research supporting the claim that direct eye contact makes people seem more attractive to potential mates. But eyes don’t necessarily need […]

April 16, 2014

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9:02 PM | What Do Preschoolers Learn from Fantastical Picture Books?
One of the new picture books making the bedtime rounds at our house is How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?, which describes and depicts dinosaurs doing such un-dinosaurly things as tucking themselves into bed or kissing their human mothers good night. The book is whimsical, gorgeously illustrated, and includes a scientific angle, as the genus names […]

Ganea, P., Canfield, C., Simons Ghafari, K. & Chou, T. (2014). Do cavies talk? The effect of anthropomorphic picture books on children's knowledge about animals, Frontiers in Psychology, 5 DOI:

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Editor's Pick
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9:02 PM | What Do Preschoolers Learn from Fantastical Picture Books?
One of the new picture books making the bedtime rounds at our house is How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?, which describes and depicts dinosaurs doing such un-dinosaurly things as tucking themselves into bed or kissing their human mothers good night. The book is whimsical, gorgeously illustrated, and includes a scientific angle, as the genus names […]

Ganea, P., Canfield, C., Simons Ghafari, K. & Chou, T. (2014). Do cavies talk? The effect of anthropomorphic picture books on children's knowledge about animals, Frontiers in Psychology, 5 DOI:

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Editor's Pick
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5:00 PM | The science behind the benefits of mindfulness
“I feel like I should try meditating with everyone talking about it.” These were the words that came out of my classmate’s mouth as we discussed the science behind mindfulness. What he went on to express is the sentiment that I’ve... Read More ›
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3:19 PM | A Risk Analyst Explains Why Climate Change Risk Misperception Doesn’t Necessarily Matter
A longtime analyst of risk misperception says leaders can't wait for the public to "get" global warming.
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12:30 PM | Does Animal-Assisted Therapy Help At-Risk Boys?
If existing behavioural programs aren’t working, can therapeutic sessions with a dog help boys who have problems at school?Photo: criben / ShutterstockA new paper by Abbey Schneider et al (2014) investigates the success of a program designed to help boys who are considered ‘at-risk’ – by matching them up with a specially trained dog and handler.In Colorado, a group of elementary schools take part in a program called the Human Animal Bond in Colorado (HABIC). It is […]

Schneider, A.A.,, Rosenberg, J., Baker, M., Melia, N., Granger, B. & Biringen, Z. (2014). Becoming relationally effective: High-risk boys in animal-assisted therapy, Human-Animal Interaction Bulletin, 2 (1) 1-18. Other: Link

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10:45 AM | Does Sluggish Cognitive Tempo (SCT) Exist?
Sluggish cognitive tempo is a long-time component believed to either be a part of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or may be its own stand-alone concern. Parts of what we now call sluggish cognitive tempo (SCT) has been around since the 1960s, but it was in the late 1980s — long before any attention deficit hyperactivity […]
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10:27 AM | DNews: How Trauma is Passed Down Through Sperm
As time goes on, more and more research is being done on the effects of your sperm on your children. Tara discusses a recent study that found mental illness caused by traumatic events can be passed on through sperm.
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5:54 AM | Joined by HDAC (inhibitors)
I'm treading quite carefully with this post which came about following my [non-expert] reading of the paper abstract from Anand Venkatraman and colleagues [1] on a potential downside to the use of HDAC (histone deacetylase) inhibitors for treating spinocerebellar ataxia type 1 (SCA1), a progressive disease affecting movement and other knock-on functions. This follows other work suggesting that certain HDAC inhibitors might offer some important new lines of investigation when it […]

Venkatraman A, Hu YS, Didonna A, Cvetanovic M, Krbanjevic A, Bilesimo P & Opal P (2014). The histone deacetylase HDAC3 is essential for Purkinje cell function, potentially complicating the use of HDAC inhibitors in SCA1., Human molecular genetics, PMID:

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