Laura’s Psychology Blog

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

February 28, 2011

readings for psychology for february 28th 2011

lovely Virginia

I will be traveling to the commonwealth of Virginia tomorrow combining buisness and pleasure!

Here are a few stories I am reading today!

“AS THE light at the end of the tunnel approaches, the need to belong to a group and be near loved ones may be among your final thoughts. So say Markus Quirin and his colleagues at the University of Osnabrück in Germany. The team prompted thoughts of death in 17 young men with an average age of 23 by asking them whether they agreed or disagreed with a series of statements such as “I am afraid of dying a painful death”. At the same time, the men’s brain activity was monitored using a functional MRI scanner.”

“The so-called reward center of the brain may need a new name, say scientists who have shown it responds to good and bad experiences. The finding, published in PLoS One, may help explain the “thrill” of thrill-seeking behavior or maybe just the thrill of surviving it, according to scientists at Georgia Health Sciences University and East China Normal University.”

Freshmen on the eve of finals and graduate students staring down a thesis committee may not feel this way, but the privilege of obtaining an advanced education correlates with decades of lower blood pressure, according to a study led by a public health researcher at Brown University. The benefit appears to be greater for women than for men.

“A sub-study of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) headed by Ms Posserud was conducted as part of the “Barn i Bergen” (Children in Bergen) project. The study shows that the diagnosis of ASD may apply to as much as one per cent of the population.”

February 27, 2011

readings in psychology for february 27 2011

sweet and sour pork

One of our favorite recipes is Cantonese Sweet and Sour Pork CLICK for the recipe and step-by-step directions! Lots of work but the impressions are everything!

Here is what I am reading today:

21 sets of mug shots of addicts taken over a few year period show tremendous signs of the devastating impact of drugs on the face, alone.

“On an African savanna 10 million years ago, our ancestors awoke to the sun rising over dry, rolling grasslands, vast skies, and patterned wildlife. This complex scenery influenced the evolution of our eyes, according to a new study, guiding the arrangement of light-sensitive cone cells. The findings might allow researchers to develop machines with more humanlike vision: efficient, accurate, and attuned to the natural world.”

It is amazing how some wonderful things continue to influence our attitudes and culture! — Laura


February 25, 2011

readings in psychology for february 25 2011

A lot of lessons from simple movies!

Here is what I am reading today:

“Lumosity, a startup with more than 40 science-inspired web and mobile games for exercising the brain, has surpassed 11 million members in 190 countries and saw 400% growth in 2010.”

“A long-standing concern among parents and researchers has been that young people who are exposed to violent video games may become desensitized to violent acts and images, but a new study suggests that may not be the case.”

“Being a ‘happy’ teenager is linked to increased well-being in adulthood, new research finds.”

“Mouse models are yielding important clues about the nature of autism spectrum disorders, which impact an estimated one in 110 children in the U.S.[1] In labs at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio, researchers are studying strains of mice that inherently mimic the repetitive and socially impaired behaviors present in these disorders.”

‘”Embarrassed by what search engines report about you? The answer is to reveal more about yourself, not less”

The world does seem like it is obsessed with facebook! — Laura

February 24, 2011

readings in psychology for february 24 2011

Filed under: a current story,autism,Biological Psychology,neuroscience,Psychology — Laura Freberg @ 9:13 am
Bhut Jolokia sauce

Roger is always asking me to try this or smell that in search of my 'discerning' opinion; however, his latest foray into the field of culinary accessories is with a sauce made from India's Bhut Jolokia ( the world's hottest chili!). Should I be concerned?

Here are some of my readings for today:

“A computational physicist and a cognitive neuroscientist at Children’s Hospital Boston have come up with the beginnings of a noninvasive test to evaluate an infant’s autism risk. It combines the standard electroencephalogram (EEG), which records electrical activity in the brain, with machine-learning algorithms. In a pilot study, their system had 80 percent accuracy in distinguishing between 9-month-old infants known to be at high risk for autism from controls of the same age.”

“The Society for Neuroscience (SfN) has been awarded $1.53 million in funding over six years to create and maintain,  a unique nonprofit online source for authoritative public information about the progress and promise of brain research. With joint founding partners The Kavli Foundation and The Gatsby Charitable Foundation, SfN will launch the Web site in late spring 2012 to communicate with the public, educators, and policymakers about revolutionary advances in understanding the brain and mind.”

“Babies born in newer U.S. states have more distinctive names compared with their counterparts in older regions such as New England, a new study finds. It turns out, the same values that pushed adventurous individuals into new territories as our country was being populated may still show up in the names their descendants give to babies, a new study finds. In more recently established states, such as Washington and Oregon, parents tend to choose less common baby names, while parents in “older” areas, such as the original 13 states, go for more popular names. Frontiers typically have fewer established institutions or infrastructure, and often occupy harsh environments. Early pioneers couldn’t rely on others for help in such sparsely populated areas.”

“It can be a helpless and heartbreaking situation for families as they try to confront a family member with an eating disorder. What they may not know is that there’s a society on the Internet that is dedicated to thwarting any recovery from this dangerous and possibly fatal behavior.”

“Afraid of becoming disabled in old age, not being able to dress yourself or walk up and down the stairs? Staying physically active before symptoms set in could help. But so could going out to eat, playing bingo and taking overnight trips.”

“Kelly MacDonald and her mom, Betsy Thompson, are alike in a lot of ways. They’re both avid runners. They both have the Irish complexion of Betsy’s parents. They both like hiking. And they both decided to become soldiers. But MacDonald, who is about to graduate from West Point, is going into an Army much different from the one her mother joined in the early 1980s. There are more opportunities, but there’s also more risk.”

“In 2007, Guinness World Records certified the Bhut Jolokia as the world’s hottest chili pepper, 401.5 times hotter than Tabasco sauce. On December 3, 2010, the Bhut Jolokia was replaced as the hottest known chili pepper by the Naga Viper, which has an average peak Scoville rating more than 300,000 points higher than an average Bhut Jolokia – but still not higher than the hottest ever recorded Dorset Naga.

February 22, 2011

readings in psychology for february 22 2011

My daughter Karla drew this up so we could both celebrate ZELDA's 25 year anniversary! It has been quite a ride that I hope will never end and a new version is supposed to come out this year! CLICK on the above picture to visit the Zelda Universe

Here are some equally fun readings for today!

The link above will also provide and addition reference for further reading — Laura

“Italy has ruled the fashion world for longer than we thought. That, at least, is the claim of archaeologists who say they have evidence that Neanderthals were using feathers as ornaments 44,000 years ago. The tenuous claim adds fuel to the debate over whether our distant cousins were simple brutes or as cultured as Homo sapiens.”

“The rapid and precise muscle movements of speech must be the most intricate, yet poorly understood, of all the sensory-motor skills,” says De Nil. De Nil’s interest in finger-tapping came out of his group’s previous work on adults who stutter. His team discovered that they have problems in acquiring new and unusual tapping sequences and not just speech. The research suggests an underlying neural basis for the motor deficit.”

“A new Iowa State University study may shed light on one reason for those false confessions. In two experiments simulating choices suspects face in police interrogations, undergraduate subjects altered their behavior to confess to illegal activities in order to relieve short-term distress (the proximal consequence) while discounting potential long-term (distal) consequences.”

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

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