Laura’s Psychology Blog

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

November 29, 2010

readings in psychology for november 29th 2010

the Madonna Inn of San Luis Obispo

One of our local treasures: the Madonna Inn of San Luis Obispo, California

“Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that differs between the sexes in terms of age at onset, symptomatology, response to medication, and structural brain abnormalities. Now, a new study from the Université de Montréal shows that there is gender difference between men and women’s mental ability — with women performing better than men.”

We all know alcohol impairs a person’s reasoning abilities. But in a study presented at the annual meeting of the Academy of Management in August, researchers reported that booze also diminishes how smart others perceive us to be. In a series of six experiments, the investigators consistently found that participants rated people in pictures, videos and face-to-face encounters as less intelligent when they held or drank alcoholic beverages than when they drank nonalcoholic beverages or nothing at all. The “imbibing idiot bias,” as the researchers call it, persisted even when participants drank fake alcoholic beverages that did not interfere with their cognitive functioning. Most strikingly, in mock interviews volunteers judged job candidates as less intelligent when they ordered an alcoholic drink—even when the person interviewing them had done so first.”

November 28, 2010

readings in psychology for november 28th 2010

'tis the season

'tis the season

Here are a few readings for today:

“Over millions of years dogs have developed bigger brains than cats because highly social species of mammals need more brain power than solitary animals, according to a study by Oxford University.”

The European Commission has announced a ban on the use of bisphenol A (BPA) in plastic baby bottles from next year. The commission cited fears that the compound could affect development and immune response in young children. There has been concern over the use of BPA for some time, with six US manufacturers removing it in 2009 from bottles they sold in the US, although not other markets.”

Binge drinkers have a risk of heart disease twice that of people who consume the same amount of alcohol but more steadily, researchers say.The study compared 10,000 male drinkers from “booze-bingeing” Belfast and “moderate” France over 10 years”

“AN Australian company will sell the world’s first armpit testosterone lotion in American stores next year after receiving approval from the US Food and Drug Administration.

The lotion, created by Melbourne-based drug delivery firm Acrux, treats men with hypogonadism, a disease which produces low testosterone levels and includes symptoms such as erectile dysfunction, low sexual desire and performance. Axiron – an anagram for “iron ax” – is the first testosterone replacement therapy to be applied in the armpit, with current treatments including a gel for the upper body and regular injections.”

November 27, 2010

readings in psychology for november 27th 2010

indoor bee hive

View of indoor beehive in Piru, California. Bees travel in and out of the building via a tube at the back of the hive.

Here are a few readings after Thanksgiving!

“In experiments with African cichlid fish, the scientists discovered that when a female shows a preference for a particular male, but then witnesses him losing a fight with another male, her feelings toward him change.”

An international team of immunologists studying the effects of cannabis have discovered how smoking marijuana can trigger a suppression of the body’s immune functions. The research, published in the European Journal of Immunology, reveals why cannabis users are more susceptible to certain types of cancers and infections.”

After years of wrangling over the chemical’s toxicity, researchers are charting a new way forwards. Brendan Borrell investigates how the debate has reshaped environmental-health studies.”

Chronic jet lag alters the brain in ways that cause memory and learning problems long after one’s return to a regular 24-hour schedule, according to research by University of California, Berkeley, psychologists.”

“It’s a Thursday afternoon at the Live Well center in San Diego and a group of seniors are skipping, clapping and hooting in the recreation room. That’s precisely what Dr. Caroline Meeks, aka “Dr. Funshine” ordered. As part of her holistic practice, Meeks, a physician and author, visits senior centers and hospitals aiming to treat chronic seriousness.”

November 25, 2010

readings in psychology for november 25th 2010

Filed under: a current story,Biological Psychology,Psychology — Laura Freberg @ 10:40 am
butternut pie

Happy Thanksgiving! Does anyone need help knowing what this is a picture of?

Here are a few readings for Thanksgiving:

“It’s no secret that obesity has become an epidemic in humans — among American adults, nearly one in three is obese, defined as having a Body Mass Index (BMI) greater than 30. Researchers have pointed their fingers at everything from a lack of physical activity to the highly processed foods that so many of us eat.”

“A male scientist says he’s discovered what makes women happy. It’s a hormone called oxytocin, says Paul Zak, a researcher at Claremont Graduate University. Zak presented evidence to back his case today at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in San Diego.Produced naturally in the body, oxytocin can trigger labor contractions and lactation in women. It’s also been shown to boost feelings of trust and empathy in both men and women.”

“Like most animals, fruit flies must distinguish between a potential mate and a potential competitor. When a male fruit fly suspects he’s encountered a female, he’ll court; when he senses the other is a male, he’ll fight. What triggers these sex-specific responses? According to new research by scientists at Harvard Medical School, the answer lies with both pheromonal profiles and behavioral patterns. The researchers investigated the effects of taste and action by manipulating a gene that governs both the sex specificity of a fruit fly’s body-surface hydrocarbons, or pheromones, and the sex-linked behavioral cues that issue through the dense nerve-cell network that constitutes the fly’s brain.”

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…”

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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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