Laura’s Psychology Blog

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

August 5, 2012

readings in psychology for 5 august 2012 @PsychScience

One of my families favorite homemade desserts: Blueberry Buckle!

Here is what I am reading today:

“As science has long suspected, overall brain size matters somewhat, accounting for about 6.7 percent of individual variation in intelligence. More recent research has pinpointed the brain’s lateral prefrontal cortex, a region just behind the temple, as a critical hub for high-level mental processing, with activity levels there predicting another 5 percent of variation in individual intelligence.

Now, new research from Washington University in St. Louis suggests that another 10 percent of individual differences in intelligence can be explained by the strength of neural pathways connecting the left lateral prefrontal cortex to the rest of the brain.

Published in the Journal of Neuroscience, the findings establish “global brain connectivity” as a new approach for understanding human intelligence.”

“The junior high and high school years are emotionally challenging even under the best of circumstances, but for adolescents with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), that time can be particularly painful. Lacking the social skills that enable them to interact successfully with their peers, these students are often ostracized and even bullied by their classmates.”

“Over the last 30 years, rates of obesity have doubled among adults and tripled among children. The new IOM report summarizes growing evidence that these increases have been driven by a complex interaction of changes in the environments in which we live — our schools, our workplaces, our communities, in the media and in our food and beverage systems.

While praising the IOM report’s scope and vision, Colleen L. Barry, PhD, MPP, associate professor of Health Policy and Management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and lead author of “Are Americans Ready to Solve the Weight of the Nation?” says that it is critical to understand how the public thinks about the problem of obesity. “…

August 11, 2011

readings in psychology for august 11th 2011

 Europeans share 80% of KING TUT's Genes

Here is what I am reading today:

“For a film created for the Discovery Channel, scientists worked to reconstruct the DNA of the young male King, his father Akhenaten and his grandfather Amenhotep III. They discovered that King Tut had a DNA profile that belongs to a group called haplogroup R1b1a2. This group can be found in over 50 percent of European men and shows the researchers that there is a common ancestor.”

“Solar flares are giant explosions on the sun that send energy, light and high speed particles into space. These flares are often associated with solar magnetic storms known as coronal mass ejections (CMEs). The number of solar flares increases approximately every 11 years, and the sun is currently moving towards another solar maximum, likely in 2013. That means more flares will be coming, some small and some big enough to send their radiation all the way to Earth.”

“You’re trying to decide what to eat for dinner. Should it be the chicken and broccoli? The super-sized fast-food burger? Skip it entirely and just get some Rocky Road?”

“A new University of Colorado Boulder study shows that a small amount of physical exercise could profoundly protect the elderly from long-term memory loss that can happen suddenly following infection, illnesses or injury in old age.”

“Constant bitterness can make a person ill, according to Concordia University researchers who have examined the relationship between failure, bitterness and quality of life.”

“”We suggest that fast disclaimers can give consumers the impression that the advertisement is trying to conceal information, ‘pulling a fast one’ toward the goal of boosting purchase intention,” write authors Kenneth C. Herbst (Wake Forest University), Eli J. Finkel (Northwestern University), David Allan (Saint Joseph’s University), and Gráinne M. Fitzsimons (Duke University). At first glance, it may seem preferable to zoom through those nasty side effects, saving precious advertising moments for the positive aspects of a product and glossing over undesirable information. But the authors found this strategy can backfire, except for the most trusted brands.”

March 12, 2011

the no-willpower diet

CLICK on this picture to read my syndicated blog!

“If you’re like many Americans, you probably started the new year with a resolution to lose weight. And like many Americans, your willpower is probably faltering about now.”   (READ MORE)

February 11, 2011

readings in psychology for february 11th 2011

soduku for iPad

In my family, we compete at everything, even a sudoku game for the iPad! Scoring 100% was kind of fun! ;)

Here is what I am reading today:

“A new study from Utrecht and Cambridge Universities has for the first time found that an administration of testosterone under the tongue in volunteers negatively affects a person’s ability to ‘mind read’, an indication of empathy. The findings are published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.”

Research shows that great passion and romance can be present even in couples married over 20 years. So, how do these happily-in-love couples do it? One technique to keep a great romance going is for the spouses/partners to act like they are having an affair with each other. Yes, with each other.”

Language is arguably what makes us most human. Even the smartest and chattiest of the animal kingdom have nothing on our lingual cognition. In computer science, the Holy Grail has long been to build software that understands — and can interact with — natural human language. But dreams of a real-life Johnny 5 or C-3PO have always been dashed on the great gulf between raw processing power and the architecture of the human mind. Computers are great at crunching large sets of numbers. The mind excels at assumption and nuance.”

“Whether or not you’re fond of Indian, Southeast Asian and Middle Eastern food, stroke researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center think you may become a fan of one of their key spices.”

Regular exercise improves the ability of overweight, previously inactive children to think, plan and even do math, Georgia Health Sciences University researchers report.”


 

Quote to Ponder

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



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