Laura’s Psychology Blog

One Professor’s Observations of the World of Psychology….   

November 25, 2014

readings for psychology for 25 november 2014 #PsychScience #psychology

Filed under: a current story,Biological Psychology,General Psychology,Psychology — Laura Freberg @ 11:15 am
My favorite of all and I remember playing it when it first came out!

My favorite of all and I remember playing it when it first came out! #Nintendo

What I am reading today:

“Researchers studying honeybees during learning activities have shown that memory management in the bee brain is controlled by small genetic elements called microRNAs that help regulate gene expression.

Queensland Brain Institute researchers Professor Charles Claudianos and Dr Judith Reinhard have led an international team which has discovered that these microRNAs could directly target the key developmental gene ‘actin’, which controls the ability of nerve cells to connect with other nerve cells.”

“To capture the details of the aerodynamics of the hummingbird’s ability to hover, Tyson Hedrick, associate professor of biology at UNC, put tiny dabs of non-toxic paint at nine places on a female ruby-throated hummingbird’s wing. Then he took high-speed videos at 1,000 frames per second with four cameras while the bird hovered in front of an artificial flower.

Then at Vanderbilt Haoxiang Luo, associate professor of mechanical engineering, and doctoral student Jialei Song took the video, extracted data on the position of the points in three dimensions and reconstructed the varying wing shape and position for a full flapping cycle.”

“During brain development, neurons extend projections called axons to connect with other neurons. Axons from groups of neurons with the same function tend to extend together, but the mechanisms involved in keeping the growing axons in contact for collective extension have been unclear. Masatoshi Takeichi, Shuichi Hayashi and colleagues from the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology and RIKEN Quantitative Biology Center have now revealed that the protein protocadherin-17 (Pcdh17) plays a crucial role in this coordinated axon growth and correct development of the nervous system.”

““The clinical histology slide offered us a great opportunity to generate the first genome sequence of this elusive class of tapeworms,” says Dr Hayley Bennett, first author of the study from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. “However, we only had a minute amount of DNA available to work with – just 40 billionths of a gram. So we had to make difficult decisions as to what we wanted to find out from the DNA we had.”

To identify the exact species of worm, the researchers sequenced one particular gene, the so-called “barcode of life”. Fortunately for the patient, the gene’s DNA sequence revealed that the parasite was the more benign of the two sparganosis-causing worm species.”

““We think that the degree of plasticity in the cortex gets more and more limited with older people,” said Takeo Watanabe, the Fred M. Seed Professor at Brown University and a co-author of the study published in Nature Communications. “However, they keep the ability to learn, visually at least, by changing white matter structure.”

The study’s lead authors are Yuko Yotsumoto of the University of Tokyo and Li-Hung Chang of Brown University and National Yang Ming University in Taiwan. The corresponding author is Yuka Sasaki, associate professor (research) of cognitive, linguistic, and psychological sciences at Brown University.”

“To date, roughly 85 people worldwide have undergone hand replant or transplant surgery, an 8- to 10-hour procedure in which surgeons reattach the bones, muscles, nerves, blood vessels, and soft tissue between the patient’s severed wrist and their own hand or one from a donor, often using a needle finer than a human hair. After surgery, studies have shown that it takes about 2 years for the peripheral nerves to regenerate, with sensation slowly creeping through the palm and into the fingertips at a rate of roughly 2 mm per day, says Scott Frey, a cognitive neuroscientist at the University of Missouri, Columbia.”

 

November 19, 2014

readings in psychology for 19 november 2014 #PsychScience #psychology

Filed under: a current story,Biological Psychology,General Psychology,Psychology — Laura Freberg @ 11:05 am
Always fun to meet with friends and break bread

Always fun to meet with friends and break bread

Here’s what we are reading today:

“The study looked at the entire nasal complex of Neanderthals and involved researchers with diverse academic backgrounds. Supported by funding from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health, the research also indicates that the Neanderthal nasal complex was not adaptively inferior to that of modern humans, and that the Neanderthals’ extinction was likely due to competition from modern humans and not an inability of the Neanderthal nose to process a colder and drier climate.

Samuel Márquez, PhD, associate professor and co-discipline director of gross anatomy in SUNY Downstate’s Department of Cell Biology, and his team of specialists published their findings on the Neanderthal nasal complex in the November issue of The Anatomical Record, which is part of a special issue on The Vertebrate Nose: Evolution, Structure, and Function (now online).”

“According to senior study investigator and neurobiologist Regina Sullivan, PhD, who is scheduled to present her team’s findings at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 18, the research is believed to be the first to show the short-term effects of maternal caregiving in a distressed infant pup’s brain. The study was also designed to support her research into the long-term consequences of differences in how mammals, including humans, are nurtured from birth.

“Our study shows that a mother comforting her infant in pain does not just elicit a behavioral response, but also the comforting itself modifies — for better or worse — critical neural circuitry during early brain development,” says Sullivan, a professor at the NYU School of Medicine and its affiliated Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research.”

“One of the most surprising outcomes of the study was that those who underwent the training also saw their IQ jump by an average of 12 points, compared to a control group that didn’t undergo training.

Dr Daniel Bor, who co-led the study with Dr Nicolas Rothen, says: “The main implication of our study is that radically new ways of experiencing the world can be brought about simply through extensive perceptual training.”

“”These results seem to suggest that males are selected to be aggressive toward females to increase their paternity success, which explains why male-female aggression is observed in so many chimpanzee populations,” says Joseph Feldblum of Duke University.

Chimpanzee males are known to direct surprising amounts of aggression toward their female group mates, according to the researchers, but previous studies of mating success had found evidence both for and against the presence of sexual coercion in wild chimps.”

“The scientists made their discovery as part of research in which they identified genes that are activated to make specific proteins in crucial stem cells in the brain known as radial glial cells. The discovery stems from a collaboration between the laboratories of leading radial glial cell scientist Arnold Kriegstein MD, PhD, director of the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regeneration Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCSF, and Michael Oldham, PhD, who recently made a rapid career leap from graduate student to principal investigator and Sandler Fellow at UCSF.”

“”Previous research into facial structure of athletes has been primarily in the United States and Canada,” said Keith Welker, a postdoctoral researcher in CU-Boulder Department of Psychology and Neuroscience and the lead author of the paper. “No one had really looked at how facial-width-to-height ratio is associated with athletic performance by comparing people from across the world.”

FWHR is the distance between the cheekbones divided by the distance between the mid-brow and the upper lip. Past studies have shown that a high FWHR is associated with more aggressive behavior, with both positive and negative results. For example, high FWHR correlates with greater antisocial and unethical behavior, but it also correlates with greater success among CEOs and achievement drive among U.S. presidents.”

“”In the future, robots must be able to solve tasks in deep mines on distant planets, in radioactive disaster areas, in hazardous landslip areas and on the sea bed beneath the Antarctic. These environments are so extreme that no human being can cope. Everything needs to be automatically controlled. Imagine that the robot is entering the wreckage of a nuclear power plant. It finds a staircase that no-one has thought of. The robot takes a picture. The picture is analysed. The arms of one of the robots is fitted with a printer. This produces a new robot, or a new part for the existing robot, which enables it to negotiate the stairs,” hopes Associate Professor Kyrre Glette who is part of the Robotics and intelligent systems research team at Oslo University’s Department of Informatics, Norway.”

 

November 2, 2014

readings in psychology for 2 november 2014

Filed under: Psychology — Laura Freberg @ 8:31 am
For you video game fans, I am dressed as LINK from the legend of Zelda! My kudos to think geek.com for offering such a quality costume.

For you video game fans, I am dressed as LINK from the legend of Zelda! My kudos to think geek.com for offering such a quality costume.

Here is what I am reading today:

:”Our findings suggest a link between brain birth defects and recreational drug use in expectant mothers,” Dr Anna David of the UCL Institute for Women’s Health, lead author of the study and Consultant in Fetal Medicine at UCLH. “We were unable to identify significant links between specific drugs and brain birth defects. Therefore I would discourage women trying to get pregnant and those in early pregnancy from taking any recreational drugs including cannabis. Since only 20 of the mothers in our study had babies with brain birth defects, a larger study of such cases is now needed to examine the links with specific drug use more closely.””

“”While 20 minutes of daily physical activity (DPA) is required in Ontario primary schools, there is a need for innovative and accessible ways for teachers to meet this requirement,” says Dr. Gurd, lead researcher and professor in the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies. “Given the time crunch associated with the current school curriculum we thought that very brief physical activity breaks might be an interesting way to approach DPA. We were particularly interested in what effects a brief exercise bout might have in the classroom setting.””

“Are you a glass half full or a glass half empty person? When it comes to dieting, your answer could change how many calories you drink, according to a study published this month in PLOS ONE. Food psychologists have previously found that people drink less and feel more satisfied when they use a tall, skinny glass rather than a short, wide one, because the human brain perceives height more readily than width. Now, researchers suggest a more nuanced reality: The difference also has to do with where you focus your attention when you pour that drink. “

“Herpes simplex virus (HSV) is thought to play an etiological role in the development of Alzheimer’s disease (AD).”

“During the 168th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA), to be held October 27-31, 2014 at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown Hotel, Steven J. Waller, of Rock Art Acoustics, will describe several ways virtual sound images and absorbers can appear supernatural.

“Ancient mythology explained echoes from the mouths of caves as replies from spirits, so our ancestors may have made cave paintings in response to these echoes and their belief that echo spirits inhabited rocky places such as caves or canyons,” explained Waller.”

“Thanks to this miniature telemetry technology, the animals could move freely in groups in large aviaries so that the scientists were able to continuously register the animals’ entire behavioural repertoire. In their experiment, the researchers concentrated on so-called “stack” calls. They discovered that these calls mainly promote cohesion between males and females within bonded pairs. “Constant contact with a partner is important, as the zebra finches live in large social groups,” says Lisa Trost, co-author of the study.”

“Binge drinking can have lasting effects on brain pathways that are still developing during adolescence, say neuroscience researcher Heather N. Richardson and her colleagues at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Louisiana State University. Results of their study using a rodent model of adolescent drinking appear in the October 29 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience.”

Our daughter Karla drew these great pictures to bring in Halloween. A time to gift strange and strange kids with chocolate!

Our daughter Karla drew these great pictures to bring in Halloween. A time to gift strangers and strange kids with chocolate!

 

 

October 28, 2014

readings in psychology for 28 october 2015 #PsychScience #psychology

I have collaborated with Savant Learning Systems to produce lectures for John Cacioppo and my new edition of "Discovering Psychology -- the Science of Mind" Read more:  http://www.savantlearningsystems.com

I have collaborated with Savant Learning Systems to produce video lectures for John Cacioppo and my new edition of “Discovering Psychology — the Science of Mind”
Read more: http://www.savantlearningsystems.com

Here is what I am reading today:

“When Yanomamö men in the Amazon raided villages and killed decades ago, they formed alliances with men in other villages rather than just with close kin like chimpanzees do. And the spoils of war came from marrying their allies’ sisters and daughters, rather than taking their victims’ land and women.”

“Ever wonder how biologists use RNA sequencing from cytoplasm to decode a cell’s stress response? Or how about how astronomers use heterodyne arrays with superconducting mixers to observe the birth of stars? Rather than reading a paper about it, why not watch a dance? A ballet and a modern dance on those very topics have made it into the finals of this year’s “Dance Your Ph.D.” contest.

It was a tight race among this year’s 21 Ph.D. dance submissions. The previous winners of the contest scored each of them on their scientific and artistic merits, and these 12 finalists made the cut.”

“The study involved a small group of healthy people aged in their late 20s to early 30s who rode exercise bikes. They were monitored for changes in the brain immediately after the exercise and again 15 minutes later.

“We saw positive changes in the brain straight away, and these improvements were sustained 15 minutes after the exercise had ended,” says research leader Associate Professor Michael Ridding.”

“Using a high-resolution, one-of-a-kind microscope, Daniel A. Dombeck and Mark E. J. Sheffield peered into the brain of a living animal and saw exactly what was happening in individual neurons called place cells as the animal navigated a virtual reality maze.”

““Dopamine is a ubiquitous molecule in the brain that signals ‘mission accomplished.’ It serves as the key indicator during almost all aspects of learning and the formation of new memories,” said David Kleinfeld professor of physics at UC San Diego, who directed the work. “Disruptions to dopamine signaling lie at the heart of schizophrenia and addiction.” Kleinfeld also holds appointments in neurobiology, and electrical and computer engineering.”

“Richard G. M. Morris developed the water maze that bears his name as an alternative for the radial arm maze. The radial arm maze had been used for many decades prior to Morris’s first use of the water maze in 1981. 

The radial arm maze provides limited information about cues other than the immediate visual environment. Because Morris was interested in an array of cues, including audition and olfaction, he needed to find another way to study spatial learning.

See: Morris (1981)”

“Dr Shelley Gorman, of the Telethon Kids Institute and lead author of the study, said: “Our findings are important as they suggest that casual skin exposure to sunlight, together with plenty of exercise and a healthy diet, may help prevent the development of obesity in children.”

“These observations further indicate that the amounts of nitric oxide released from the skin may have beneficial effects not only on heart and blood vessels but also on the way our body regulates metabolism,” Dr Martin Feelisch, Professor of Experimental Medicine and Integrative Biology at the University of Southampton, added.”

John Cacioppo and I have worked hard to update our text to reflect the many discoveries that have affected the wonderfully dynamic field we call Psychology! Questions?? feel free to contact me:  laura (AT) laurafreberg.com

October 15, 2014

readings in psychology for 15 october 2014 #PsychScience #psychology

In case you are unaware of video games, Zelda has a new adventure that is a but different from the rest and loads of fun!

In case you are unaware of video games, Zelda has a new adventure that is a but different from the rest and loads of fun!

Here is what I am reading today:

““This isn’t ready for application in the clinic yet, but as we get a better feel for where these and other hubs are found in the brain, they may factor into surgical decision-making,” said co-senior author Steven Petersen, PhD, the James S McDonnell Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience in Neurology. “The risks of surgeries to these sites could include significant impairment of attention, memory, language, speech and many other cognitive functions.””

“The researchers hope that this unifying theory, if validated, could offer new strategies for treating autism.
“At the moment, the treatments that have been developed are driven by the end symptoms. We’re suggesting that the deeper problem is a predictive impairment problem, so we should directly address that ability,” says Pawan Sinha, an MIT professor of brain and cognitive sciences and the lead author of a paper describing the hypothesis in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this week.”

“Society for Neuroscience archival interview with American sleep researcher William C. Dement. He founded the Sleep Research Center, the world’s first sleep laboratory, at Stanford University. The interview took place July 21-22, 2004. This video is part of the Society for Neuroscience’s autobiography series, “The History of Neuroscience in Autobiography,” detailing the lives and discoveries of eminent senior neuroscientists.”

“”We have now shown that one way maternal inflammation could result in larger brains and, ultimately, autistic behavior, is through the activation of the neural stem cells that reside in the brain of all developing and adult mammals,” said Dr. Harley Kornblum, the paper’s senior author and a director of the Neural Stem Cell Research Center at UCLA’s Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior.”

“Blood-brain barrier (BBB) damaging during ischemia may induce devastating consequences like cerebral edema and hemorrhagic transformation. This study presents a novel strategy for dynamically imaging of BBB damaging with PEGylated supermagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) as contrast agents.”

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Quote to Ponder

It is not a lack of love,
but a lack of friendship
that makes unhappy marriages
-------- Nietzsche



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