Laura’s Psychology Blog

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

January 30, 2011

readings in psychology for january 30 2011

me and my nephew a while back at his Rugby Game (Dartmouth vs. Cal Poly)

me and my nephew a while back at his Rugby Game (Dartmouth vs. Cal Poly)

Here are a few readings for today:

“What sounds like science fiction is actually possible: thanks to magnetic stimulation, the activity of certain brain nerve cells can be deliberately influenced. What happens in the brain in this context has been unclear up to now. Medical experts from Bochum under the leadership of Prof. Dr. Klaus Funke (Department of Neurophysiology) have now shown that various stimulus patterns changed the activity of distinct neuronal cell types. In addition, certain stimulus patterns led to rats learning more easily. The knowledge obtained could contribute to cerebral stimulation being used more purposefully in future to treat functional disorders of the brain.”

“Psychologists at Harvard University have found that infants less than one year old understand social dominance and use relative size to predict who will prevail when two individuals’ goals conflict. The finding is presented this week in the journal Science.”

“Do your children think you work too much and don’t spend enough time with them? If so, their perception could lead to bullying behavior, according to research by Vanderbilt University sociologist Andre Christie-Mizell.”

January 27, 2011

readings in psychology for january 27 2011

Spanish Tortilla

Spanish Tortilla is something special and really not what you might expect. This is what I enjoyed today so CLICK on the picture and see our recipe!

Here is what I am reading today:

“A new study takes a close look at the brain of the migratory monarch butterfly to better understand how these remarkable insects use an internal compass and skylight cues to navigate from eastern North America to Mexico each fall. The research, published by Cell Press in the January 27 issue of the journal Neuron, provides key insights into how ambiguous sensory signals can be integrated in the brain to guide complex navigation.”

The growing numbers of new cases of substance abuse disorders are perplexing. After all, the course of drug addiction so often ends badly. The negative consequences of drug abuse appear regularly on TV, from stories of celebrities behaving in socially inappropriate and self-destructive ways while intoxicated to dramatization of the rigors of drug withdrawal on “Intervention” and other reality shows.”

Derval conducted her research on men and women of various ethnicities: Chinese, Caucasian, African and Middle-Eastern. Subjects reported their lower-order aberrations (nearsightedness or farsightedness), and then declared which color they preferred, which color they found relaxing and which color they found irritating. The reported colors were classified by their wavelength in nanometers (nm). Derval found the correlation between visual acuity and color preference to be slightly stronger in women than in men.”

“Using a rat model, behavioral scientists are examining brain activity that could explain why adolescents are more vulnerable to drug addiction, behavioral disorders, and other psychological ills.”

January 25, 2011

readings in psychology for january 25 2011

High above Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in the surrounding hills!

High above Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in the surrounding hills!

Here is what I am reading today:

“Perceptual psychology and the brain sciences emphasize the communality in the way that people experience reality. Leaving aside cases of brain damage or mental disease, we all see the sun rise in the east, enjoy the scent of a rose and experience a jolt of fear when we are woken up in the middle of the night by the sound of breaking glass. This is a reflection of the great similarities of our brains compared with the brains of our close cousins on the evolutionary tree, the great apes. Laboratory science reinforces this bias by lumping together the performance of its subjects on any one experiment and reporting only the average and the variation around this mean. This conflation is also true for the telltale hot spots that show up in functional magnetic resonance brain images that we are used to seeing in newspapers, in magazines such as this one, on television and in the movies.”

The composer Frédéric Chopin, who regularly hallucinated, probably had temporal lobe epilepsy throughout his short life, reveals research published online in Medical Humanities. Hallucinations typically feature in seizure disorders, the study’s authors say.”

“Young kids lacking self-management skills are way more than annoying. They’re more likely to be big-time losers in the game of life, a new study finds. Low levels of conscientiousness, perseverance and other elements of self-control in youngsters as young as age 3 herald high rates of physical health problems, substance abuse, financial woes, criminal arrests and single parenthood by age 32, says an international team led by psychologists Terrie Moffitt and Avshalom Caspi of Duke University in Durham, N.C. Increasing self-control difficulties among children herald progressively greater numbers and seriousness of these adult troubles, the scientists report online January 24 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.”

January 24, 2011

readings in psychology for january 24 2011

Filed under: a current story,Biological Psychology,Psychology — Laura Freberg @ 12:56 pm
remembering Jack laLanne

CLICK on the picture above to visit Jack laLanne's website

Here is what I am reading today:

“I was reading an article that appeared on PR Daily (a great resource for PR professionals to get an overview of some of the trends and issues going on with social media in the industry) from Ragan Communications, and one article particularly sparked my interest.  This article was discussing the nature of how to balance two Facebook profiles – one for your professional contacts and connections,and the other is for your personal contacts.  The article raised some good points on why it is important if you do have one account, you will need to be aware of what you post and share with others in the online community.”

Put down those science text books and work at recalling information from memory. That’s the shorthand take away message of new research from Purdue University that says practicing memory retrieval boosts science learning far better than elaborate study methods.”

“Can’t help molding some snow into a ball and hurling it or tossing a stone as far into a lake as you can? New research from Indiana University and the University of Wyoming shows how humans, unlike any other species on Earth, readily learn to throw long distances. This research also suggests that this unique evolutionary trait is entangled with language development in a way critical to our very existence”

Changes in the environment that put the lives of adults at risk drive parents to invest more in caring for their offspring, scientists have found.”

Writing by hand strengthens the learning process. When typing on a keyboard, this process may be impaired.”

I suspect that the more time we spend with another person involved in intimacies, the more intimate we get regardless of our overall intentions. I would even go so far to say that it’s inevitable. That like that old premise in “When Harry Met Sally,” men and women can’t just be friends. Well, I mean that they definitely cannot just be friends if they’re actively engaging in a sexual relationship.”

January 23, 2011

readings in psychology for january 23 2011

Random House is publishing Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken. It’s the story of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic athlete who endured incredible hardships during World War II. CLICK on the picture above to read more!

Here is what I am reading today:

“With a fringe of white hair poking out from under a University of Southern California baseball cap and blue eyes sharp behind bifocals, 93-year-old Louis Zamperini refuses to concede much to old age. He still works a couple of hours each day in the yard of his Hollywood Hills home, bagging leaves, climbing stairs and, on occasion, trimming trees with a chainsaw.”

Around one in four Montrealers take some kind of anti-depressant, and according to new research, the drugs are passing into the waterways and affecting fish.”

New research by a team of psychologists from Canada, Belgium, and the United States shows there is more than a literal truth to the saying that ‘you never get a second chance to make a first impression’. The findings suggest that new experiences that contradict a first impression become ‘bound’ to the context in which they were made. As a result, the new experiences influence people’s reactions only in that particular context, whereas first impressions still dominate in other contexts.”

“IS IT time to alter the advice to eat five portions of fruit and veg a day to a whopping eight daily doses? That’s a key question raised by an eight-year study of 300,000 Europeans in eight countries, which found that eating eight portions daily reduced the risk of heart disease by 22 per cent, compared with people who ate fewer than three portions (European Heart Journal, DOI: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehq465).”

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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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