Laura’s Psychology Blog

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

January 31, 2013

readings in psychology for 31 january 2013 @PsychScience

Every once and a while, I will have a visitor sit into my class, this time it was my husband Roger armed with his ever present camera!

Every once and a while, I will have a visitor sit into my class, this time it was my husband Roger armed with his ever present camera!

Here is what I am reading today:

“Vocabulary instruction in the early years is not challenging enough to prepare students for long-term reading comprehension, argues a study led by a Michigan State University education researcher.”

“Female mice exposed to Bisphenol A through their mother’s diet during gestation and lactation were found to be hyperactive, exhibit spontaneous activity and had leaner body mass than those not exposed to the chemical, researchers at the University of Michigan School of Public Health have discovered.”

  • even a beetle navigates by the stars

“Despite having tiny brains, dung beetles are surprisingly decent navigators, able to follow straight paths as they roll poo balls they’ve collected away from a dung source. But it seems the insects’ abilities are more remarkable than previously believed. Like ancient seafarers, dung beetles can navigate using the starry sky and the glow from the Milky Way, new research shows.

“This is the first time where we see animals using the Milky Way for orientation,” said lead researcher Marie Dacke, a biologist at Lund University in Sweden. “It’s also the first time we see that insects can use the stars.””

“The connection between poor sleep, memory loss and brain deterioration as we grow older has been elusive. But for the first time, scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, have found a link between these hallmark maladies of old age. Their discovery opens the door to boosting the quality of sleep in elderly people to improve memory.”

“Results of a recent clinical study by researchers from Western and the University of Arkansas reveal the presence of a unique blood marker, which may further the understanding of possible gut linked environmental contributors to autism. The findings may also forecast potential blood tests for early screening to identify and potentially treat the condition, even before symptoms present.”

“A patient’s relationship with his or her doctor has long been considered an important component of healing. Now, in a novel investigation in which physicians underwent brain scans while they believed they were actually treating patients, researchers have provided the first scientific evidence indicating that doctors truly can feel their patients’ pain – and can also experience their relief following treatment.”

“New research at Oregon State University suggests the health benefits of small amounts of activity – even as small as one- and two-minute increments that add up to 30 minutes per day – can be just as beneficial as longer bouts of physical exercise achieved by a trip to the gym.”

“In mice, a particular type of neuron responds specifically to gentle touch. Stroking skin produces a pleasurable sensation in many mammals, including humans, but until now, it was unclear which neurons detected that stimulus”

“You knew it would have to come around sometime. Too many gamers out there to not believe it was going to happen. Finally there are a few sites which allow men and women who love to play video games to play with each other! Although it is hard for many of my female colleagues to believe, but there are a rising number of young women who love and play video games! We play as a family, in pairs and individually… and now we know we are not alone!” — Laura Freberg



June 8, 2011

readings in psychology for june 8th 2011

My daughter Karen was pulled out of a crowd for an interview on Frontier airline's first flight from Knoxville to Denver. She always looks nice.

Here is what I am reading today:

“Here’s some of the interesting stuff I’m following in today’s science and tech news (follow the hotlinks for the full stories) -

Space, the final frontier…for cucumbers? We are totally missing out on our opportunities to grow space fruit now that we don’t have a space program.  Meh.  But that doesn’t stop us from appreciating the wonders of outer-space SciFi as Super 8 hits theaters with a few surprising twists:  non-cheesy special effects that actually apply to the plot, no product placement, and, gasp, a STORY!”

“The bacterium responsible for the current outbreak of enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) infections in Germany is a strain that has never before been isolated in humans. The discovery, announced today by the food safety office of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland, means that the infection could prove unusually difficult to bring under control.”

“his is the first study to examine concentrations of BPA in any animal models after exposure through a regular, daily diet, which is a better method to mirror the chronic and continuous exposure to BPA that occurs in animals and humans. Cheryl Rosenfeld, associate professor in biomedical sciences and Bond Life Sciences investigator, is the corresponding lead author of the study published in Environmental Health Perspectives on June 6.”

“But if you answered yes (like any normal member of the human race), you’re likely heartened by the arrival of vacation season. Just the ticket for a little stress-reduction.

And that can have some big payoffs. It can lower your blood pressure, boost your immune system and help you live longer. It may even make you smarter.”


November 23, 2010

Readings in psychology for november 23rd 2010

the spanish tortilla

The Spanish Tortilla -- CLICK on the picture above for this extraordinary recipe!

Here are a few stories for today:

“A startling number of overweight and normal weight women of reproductive age inaccurately perceive their body weight, affecting their weight-related behaviors and making many vulnerable to cardiovascular and other obesity-related diseases, according to new research from the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) at Galveston.”

“Both the rate and direction of axon growth in the spinal cord can be controlled, according to new research by USC College’s Samantha Butler and her collaborators.”

“Add this to your list of worries, high schoolers: daylight savings time might mess with your college admissions. For decades, scientists have debated whether spring and fall time changes affect everything from seasonal affective disorder to traffic accidents. The idea is that resetting clocks by “springing forward” and “falling back” can upset sleep patterns and with them the ability to concentrate…”

November 22, 2010

readings in psychology for november 22nd 2010

NCA Conference in San Francisco

My daughter Karen presented a 'best paper' at the NCA Conference in San Francisco and we drove up to watch. Here I am with Karen's advisor Dr. Palenchar of the University of Tennessee and a remarkable young professor.

Here are a few readings for today:

“”The negative social consequences of getting good grades were particularly pronounced for black and Native American students in high-achieving schools with small proportions of students similar to themselves,” said University of Michigan developmental psychologist Thomas Fuller-Rowell, the lead author of the study.”

“How you think about your goals — whether it’s to improve yourself or to do better than others — can affect whether you reach those goals. Different kinds of goals can also have distinct effects on your relationships with people around you, according to the authors of a paper published in Current Directions in Psychological Science.”

“A complex network of brain connections necessary for language comprehension has been mapped in new detail, according to recent research. These newly charted pathways will help scientists understand how language is processed in the brain, and how brain injuries disrupt the system.”

“A brain area known to play a critical role in vision is divided into compartments that respond separately to different colors and orientations, Vanderbilt University researchers have discovered. The findings have important implications for furthering our understanding of perception and attention.”

September 30, 2010

Birthday Time at the Freberg House

Filed under: Random Fun — Laura Freberg @ 3:13 pm

Our oldest two daughters, Kristin and Karen, both have birthdays at the end of September, 3 years and a day apart. With my c-sections, I was asked if we wanted Karen to be born on Kristin’s birthday. Hmmm. Birthdays were so special to me as a child, I don’t think I would have wanted to share one with one of my three siblings, so we opted for the next day instead. We did end up eating a lot of birthday cake at the end of September, but I think it was a good idea all around.

To celebrate the occasion, our youngest, Karla, whose birthday is in May, drew this picture for her sisters.

Karla's Version of Her Sisters' Birthdays

As much as Kristin and Karen enjoy each other’s company as adults, Karla also drew her rendition of Kristin’s reaction to getting a little sister as a birthday present: :)

Kristin Gets a Little Sister for her Birthday

 If you have siblings, as much as we love them, you’ll appreciate the expression on Kristin’s face!

Happy birthday, ladies!

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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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