Laura’s Psychology Blog

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

January 20, 2014

readings in psychology for 20 january 2014 @PsychScience

 

 

Screen Shot 2014-01-20 at 5.57.48 PMHere is what we are reading today:

“Researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have identified a new molecular mechanism by which cocaine alters the brain’s reward circuits and causes addiction. Published online in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by Dr. Eric J. Nestler, MD, PhD, and colleagues, the preclinical research reveals how an abundant enzyme and synaptic gene affect a key reward circuit in the brain, changing the ways genes are expressed in the nucleus accumbens. The DNA itself does not change, but its “mark” activates or represses certain genes encoding synaptic proteins within the DNA. The marks indicate epigenetic changes—changes made by enzymes—that alter the activity of the nucleus accumbens.”

“”Researchers tend to be either in a camp that believes the control of eating is all regulated from the top down, or from the bottom up,” said Ralph DiLeone, associate professor of psychiatry and neurobiology and senior author of the paper. “Both are important and this paper brings a little more neurobiological clarity to the question.””

“Sports teams take the field in a blinding array of color combinations. Nearly every color in the rainbow seems to be worn by someone. Is this just a matter of national pride or taste?

According to Hill and Barton (2005), individuals and teams competing in sport who wear red uniforms are more likely to win. What principles might be responsible for this phenomenon?”

“Prof Tim Spector, research collaborator and director of the TwinsUK study from King’s College London, said: “This is an exciting finding that shows that some components of foods that we consider unhealthy like chocolate or wine may contain some beneficial substances. If we can start to identify and separate these substances we can potentially improve healthy eating. There are many reasons including genetics why people prefer certain foods so we should be cautious until we test them properly in randomised trials and in people developing early diabetes.””

“”Alzheimer’s is a challenging disease that researchers have been approaching from all angles,” said Mohamed Naguib, M.D., the Cleveland Clinic physician who lead the study. “This discovery could provide us with a new approach for preventing and treating Alzheimer’s disease.””

“Gopikrishna Deshpande, an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in Auburn’s Samuel Ginn College of Engineering, and the NIH researchers recently published their results in the journal, “Brain Connectivity.””

 

 

February 12, 2012

readings in psychology for 12 february 2012

Italian Wedding Soups celebrates the wonderful marriage of delightfully delicious ingredients!

Here is what I am reading today:

“Cultural differences between the West and East are well documented, but a study shows that concrete differences also exist in how British and Chinese people recognize people and the world around them. Easterners really do look at the world differently to Westerners, according to new research funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).”

“Researchers have found a way to study how our brains assess the behavior — and likely future actions — of others during competitive social interactions. Their study, described in a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is the first to use a computational approach to tease out differing patterns of brain activity during these interactions, the researchers report.”

Cambridge scientists have, for the first time, created cerebral cortex cells – those that make up the brain’s grey matter – from a small sample of human skin.  The researchers’ findings, which were funded by Alzheimer’s Research UK and the Wellcome Trust, were published today in Nature Neuroscience.”

“Placebos reduce pain by creating an expectation of relief. Distraction — say, doing a puzzle — relieves it by keeping the brain busy. But do they use the same brain processes? Neuromaging suggests they do. When applying a placebo, scientists see activity in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. That’s the part of the brain that controls high-level cognitive functions like working memory and attention — which is what you use to do that distracting puzzle.”

“A painless bit of electrical current applied to the brain helped some people play a video game, and someday it might help Alzheimer’s disease patients remember what they’ve learned, a small study suggests. “

“A research team in Taiwan has succeeded in isolating two nerve cells in fruit fly brains that are believed to be the major players in allowing for the formation of long term memories. Furthermore, they’ve also found the genes that appear to be essential in creating related proteins that allow such memories to be saved. They have published a paper describing their work in Science.”

“The goal of our project is to provide a window into the brain of the man who helped establish the scientific study of memory and unfailingly forgot the enormously generous contribution he made to medical research. “

“Researchers at the Salk Institute have discovered a startling feature of early brain development that helps to explain how complex neuron wiring patterns are programmed using just a handful of critical genes. The findings, published in Cell, may help scientists develop new therapies for neurological disorders, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and provide insight into certain cancers.”

“Drivers who consume cannabis within three hours of driving are nearly twice as likely to cause a vehicle collision as those who are not under the influence of drugs or alcohol claims a paper published recently on the British Medical Journal website.”

“Whether or not you know any high school students that actually get nine hours of sleep each night, that’s what U.S. federal guidelines currently prescribe.”

 

Quote to Ponder

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



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