Posts

July 30, 2014

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8:23 AM | When the cuddle hormone turns nasty - oxytocin linked with violent intentions
For many years, the hormone oxytocin was caricatured as the source of all human goodness - trust, altruism, love, and morality. Among the findings that contributed to this picture were the discovery that sniffing oxytocin increases people's trust and generosity in financial games; that it aids face recognition; and that its release is associated with maternal bonding; and with orgasm.However, the picture has grown a lot more complicated of late, with findings showing that […]

DeWall, C., Gillath, O., Pressman, S., Black, L., Bartz, J., Moskovitz, J. & Stetler, D. (2014). When the Love Hormone Leads to Violence: Oxytocin Increases Intimate Partner Violence Inclinations Among High Trait Aggressive People, Social Psychological and Personality Science, 5 (6) 691-697. DOI: 10.1177/1948550613516876

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3:30 AM | Secular And Longitudinal Trends In Young Female Dieting Strategies - 30 Year Study
Research to be presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior (SSIB) finds that the younger a woman is when she goes on her first diet, the more likely she is to experience several negative health outcomes later in life. read more
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2:00 AM | Sugary Beverages In Adolescence Impair Memory
Some critics go after sucrose, and some go after fructose, but new research at the Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior (SSIB) says it's all bad; daily consumption of beverages sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup or sucrose were shown to impair the ability to learn and remember information, particularly when consumption occurs during adolescence. read more
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1:30 AM | Prehistoric Dairy Farming At Extreme Latitudes
Before there was a war on wheat and a war on sugar, there was a war on dairy products. Nutritionists need science insight the most and are least likely to want it, they instead listen to Yogic flying instructors, actresses and Food Babes at conferences embracing the latest fad.read more
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1:06 AM | DXL Instrument Settles Interstellar Helium Debate
New findings have resolved a decades-old puzzle about a fog of low-energy X-rays observed over the entire sky. Thanks to refurbished detectors first flown on a NASA sounding rocket in the 1970s, astronomers have now confirmed the long-held suspicion that much of this glow stems from a region of million-degree interstellar plasma known as the local hot bubble, or LHB.  At the same time, the study also establishes upper limits on the amount of low-energy, or soft, X-rays produced within our […]

July 29, 2014

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10:25 PM | Sensorimotor area Spt under attack (but their shooting blanks): Reply to Parker Jones et al. 2014
A recent report in Frontiers (link to it here) by my good friends Oiwi Parker Jones (first author) and Cathy Price (senior author) challenges the claim that area Spt is a sensorimotor integration area for vocal tract actions.  Their attack comes from multiple fronts, both fMRI and lesion data.  On the fMRI side they sought to determine whether Spt was more active during repetition tasks, particularly for pseudowords which demand sensory-to-motor translation, compared to two auditory […]
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9:42 PM | Mike Massimino, The Firsr Tweeting Astronaut, Leaves NASA For Academia
Mission Accomplished. Now it's time to go back home.After two space shuttle missions and almost two decades, astronaut Mike Massimino has left NASA for Columbia University in New York. During the final servicing mission of the Hubble Space Telescope in 2009, Massimino became the first astronaut to tweet from space, and he now has nearly 1.3 million followers.read more
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8:34 PM | We Can Predict Audience Reaction To TV Programming
Marketing experts have long wanted a reliable method of forecasting responses to products and messages. A study that analyzed the brain responses of 16 individuals says even a few people can be a remarkably strong predictor of the preferences of large TV audiences, up to 90 percent in the case of Super Bowl commercials. This is far superior to the wobbly claims made by psychology surveys. read more
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7:59 PM | Socialization relative strength in fragile X longitudinal study
Adaptive behavior covers a range of everyday social and practical skills, including communication, socialization, and completing tasks of daily living such as getting dressed. In a recent study, socialization emerged as a relative strength in boys with fragile X, in that it did not decline as much as the other two domains of adaptive behavior measured: communication and daily living skills. The post Socialization relative strength in fragile X longitudinal study appeared first on Lab Land.
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6:52 PM | Tracking tiny worms
Continuing the series of “behind the scenes” stories around papers in the new issue of Intergrative and Comparative Biology issue...Brian Fredensborg and I had successfully collaborated on a project looking at parasites in the shrimp nervous system. Along the way, I bugged him about the possibility of doing another project on the local sand crabs, Lepidopa benedicti. I’d decided that there was so little known about that family, that anything we discovered about their basic […]
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6:04 PM | Quantum Cheshire Cat: Scientists Separate A Particle From Its 'Grin'
In Lewis Caroll's novel "Alice in Wonderland", the Cheshire Cat could disappear but its grin remained.  Why? Who knows? Like dogs named Checkers and Esther Williams swimming pools, things don't always make sense. Scientifically, that cat was an object separated from its properties - it was a quantum cat. read more
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5:55 PM | Debunking detour to DNA
We use most of our brains. So there, ScarJo. But do we use most of our DNA? The post Debunking detour to DNA appeared first on Lab Land.
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5:49 PM | Validation problem with antibodies – get free samples, report back, help community
Antibodyresource.com is running an interesting validation program over in the UK. They are providing free samples of antibodies, the catch is that they would like to see if the antibody validates. If this is something you are interested in, please contact Christian at christian.booty@antibodyresource.com From Christian: “The antibody comparison program, is designed to greatly reduce […]
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5:46 PM | Tuesday Crustie: Milk or white
To paraphrase Michael Jackson, if you want to be my crayfish, it don’t matter if you’re milk or white.Spotted in the New Orleans airport on my way back from the American Society for Parasitologists conference. New Orleans and Boston are, I think, in competition for the most crustacean proud cities I’ve visited.
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5:37 PM | Shuffle Your Mind: Short Film Screenings
If you’re around in London Saturday 2nd August I’m curating a showing of short films about psychosis, hallucinations and mental health as part of the fantastic Shuffle Festival. The films include everything from a first-person view of voice hearing, to out-of-step behaviour in the urban sprawl, to a free-diver’s deep sea hallucinations. There will be […]
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5:15 PM | Can’t Handle the Stress? Blame your Brain
Do you rise to the occasion, or do you fold under the pressure? No matter which side of the fence you’re, you can thank [or blame] your brain. Some people […]

Kumar, S., Hultman, R., Hughes, D., Michel, N., Katz, B. & Dzirasa, K. (2014). Prefrontal cortex reactivity underlies trait vulnerability to chronic social defeat stress, Nature Communications, 5 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms5537

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5:01 PM | Achalasia Esophagus Disease Is Autoimmune
Achalasia is a rare disease, affecting 1 in 100,000 people, characterized by a loss of nerve cells in the esophageal wall and manifested as chest pain during eating, weight loss, and regurgitation of food. When we swallow, a sphincter in the lower esophagus opens, allowing food to enter the stomach. Nerve cells in the esophageal wall control the opening and closing of this sphincter, but in people with achalasia, these nerve cells gradually disappear. Without these cells, the esophageal […]
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5:01 PM | Virtual Water Shortage By 2040
Two new papers postulate that there will be a water crisis by 2040. Not because of population, but because of current energy and power solutions.  And they believe solar and wind power is the only answer.  In most countries, electricity is the biggest source of water consumption because the power plants need cooling cycles in order to function and that is why the scholars from Aarhus University in Denmark, Vermont Law School and CNA Corporation, a federally-funded research center for […]
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4:32 PM | Are silly superstitions useful because they are silly?
(Attention warning: massive speculation ahead.) Auguries often seem made up, useless. Is that why they are useful? Dove figured that the birds must be serving as some kind of ecological indicator. Perhaps they gravitated toward good soil, or smaller trees, or some other useful characteristic of a swidden site. After all, the Kantu’ had been […]

Cockburn, J., Collins, A. & Frank, M. (2014). A Reinforcement Learning Mechanism Responsible for the Valuation of Free Choice, Neuron, DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2014.06.035

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4:31 PM | 1 PostDoc & 2 PhD Positions, Language & Predictive Coding, University of Frankfurt / Germany
The Cognitive Neuroscience Lab (Prof. Christian Fiebach) at the Department of Psychology of Goethe University Frankfurt offers three research positions as part of an ERC consolidator project that investigates neurophysiological mechanisms of language processing from a predictive coding perspective: Postdoctoral Researcher (German Salary Level E13, 100%) in Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience of LanguageWe seek a colleague with a strong background in EEG/MEG, fMRI, and/or […]
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4:02 PM | ¿Qué porcentaje de acoso escolar se produce hoy en día?
Uno de los grandes problemas que pueden vivir en épocas tempranas los más pequeños es el buylling escolar, con las consecuencias que ello tiene sobre la salud.
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4:02 PM | What percentage of bullying occurs today?
One of the major problems that children can live in early times is the school bullying, with the consequences this has on health.
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3:59 PM | Teach For America Efforts Show School Board Politics Alive And Well
Teach For America is a group that recruits recent college graduates to teach in poorer public schools for two years, the idea being that they would be better than substitute teachers in those districts. Education unions dislike the organization and call them 'scabs' - because they are non-union labor. Now, Teach for America is setting its sights on capturing school board seats across the nation. They are never going to win over an education union that wants to protect tenure and jobs, but if […]
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3:23 PM | First Grade Reading Suffers In Minority Neighborhood Schools
Beginning in 1969, a court decision, motivated by a lack of racial integration in schools, led to students being shipped to schools in other neighborhoods. As part of a political campaign against Richard Nixon, his political opposition latched onto this forced busing and school desegregation to show they cared about minorities more. The trade-off was that kids were no longer in their own neighborhoods and felt like pawns in a culture war.read more
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3:15 PM | Treating Sleep Problems Following Traumatic Brain Injury
Sleep problems are common following traumatic brain injury (TBI).In a previous post, I reviewed a study of the risk factors for sleep disorders following TBI.The most severe TBI is a risk factor for hypersomnia. Anxiety and depression following TBI increase risk for insomnia complaints.Few large studies of treatment for sleep problems after TBI exist. However, a recent manuscript outlined the potential benefit of treatment of sleep disorders in a series of 12 subjects.Catherine […]
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2:49 PM | The Chatty Hippocampus
The hippocampus, a skinny log of brain tissue tucked in deep above your ear, is the star of …
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12:28 PM | What makes some children of alcoholics vulnerable, and some resilient?
I come from a family of four siblings, two of whom are alcoholic and two who are not. I have often wondered why this is the case? Why is it the case that certain children of alcoholic parents will grow up to become alcoholics and why some will not? What is it that makes certain […]
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12:17 PM | Reward and Punishment in the Brain
In a recent study, scientists looked at the brain with high resolution fMRI scanning while they showed subjects pictures. Following each picture was a painful electric shock, or a money reward, or no response, or a random response. Subjects quickly learned which pictures would be followed by which stimuli – positive, negative, neutral, or unpredictable. [...]
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11:00 AM | Water Vapor Is The Most Abundant Greenhouse Gas
Though many people believe that CO2 is the most abundant greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, that honor actually goes to water vapor. NASA has been saying for years that water vapor is the biggest amplifier in global warming, perhaps double the effect of CO2,  and a new study from scientists at the University of Miami confirms rising levels of water vapor in the upper troposphere will intensify climate change impacts over the next decades.read more
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11:00 AM | NFL Players: Here Is The Best Time To Sign A Contract
In the NFL. there is a salary cap and while money in contracts can be guaranteed, the contract itself is not. For people outside the US this makes no sense but basically every contract has a bonus, which is guaranteed, and then an annual salary, which is not. A team can waive a player and the money of the bonus counts 'against the cap' while the annual salary is prorated.read more
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