My daughters and I love to collaborate on each of our projects. Karen had this great idea inspired by John Cacioppo’s book entitled “Loneliness” and her interest in social media!

Here is what I am reading today:

“Society for Neuroscience archival interview with American neuroscientist and Nobel Prize winner Eric R. Kandel. The interview took place July 24, 2001. This video is part of the Society for Neuroscience’s autobiography series, “The History of Neuroscience in Autobiography,” detailing the lives and discoveries of eminent senior neuroscientists.”

“MRSA infections acquired outside of hospital settings – known as community-acquired MRSA or CA-MRSA– are on the rise and can be just as severe as hospital-acquired MRSA. However, we still do not fully understand the potential environmental sources of MRSA or how people in the community come in contact with this microorganism,” says Amy R. Sapkota, assistant professor in the Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health and research study leader. “This was the first study to investigate U.S. wastewater as a potential environmental reservoir of MRSA.”

“Dr James Flanagan, Breast Cancer Campaign scientific fellow at Imperial College London and co-author of the research, said: “This research may help to build a test that will be able to look at a person’s epigenetic information at the molecular level and measure in great detail the added risk of cancer from exposures such as smoking. “Previous research into smoking has often asked people to fill out questionnaires, which have their obvious drawbacks and inaccuracies. Using this approach, we will be able to read the fingerprint on a person’s DNA to tell us a story of how their habit may have changed over the course of their life.”

“In the fraught, emotional world of speed dating, scientific calculations don’t usually hold much sway. But the brain runs a complex series of computations to tally the allure of a prospective partner in just seconds, a new study finds. And the strength of these brain signals predicted which speed daters would go on to score a match.

The results help explain how people evaluate others — a process that happens at lightning speed, says neuroscientist Daniela Schiller of Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. “It’s a gut feeling, but here, the paper dissects it for us and tells us, ‘This is what we calculate.”

“”The research is not clear yet on the effects of swishing with glucose on long-term self-control,” he said. “So, if you are trying to quit smoking, a swish of lemonade may not be the total cure, but it certainly could help you in the short run.” Martin, in collaboration with co-author Matthew Sanders, a doctoral candidate also in the UGA Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, believes the motivation comes in the form of self-values, or emotive investment. “

“This post is a bit off the beaten path for me. I am trying to publicize an opportunity to participate in research conducted by one of my students based on the recent Inbar and Lammers (2012) study in Perspectives in Psychological Science about political diversity among personality and social psychologists. My student addressed some of the concerns about the methodology raised by some of our colleagues in the same issue, and wants to have participation by psychologists across perspectives (if you identify with personality and social psych, we’d still love to have you weigh in!). So if you are a graduate teaching assistant or faculty member in psychology, I hope you can help us out. Please feel free to share this information with any of your colleagues who might be willing to help. Participants from outside the US are also welcome (and this would be very interesting to us!).

If you’re interested in participating, the survey takes about 15 minutes and can be found here:

“Caffeine perks up most coffee-lovers, but a new study shows a small dose of caffeine also increases their speed and accuracy for recognizing words with positive connotation. The research published November 7 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Lars Kuchinke and colleagues from Ruhr University, Germany, shows that caffeine enhances the neural processing of positive words, but not those with neutral or negative associations.”

“Daniel Oldis, a software engineer and former teacher from Costa Mesa, Calif. uses little more than a special EEG headband called the Zeo, a red light bulb, some clever programming skills and an Internet connection to engage in what he calls “social dreaming” with another person. It stems from his four decades of research into lucid dreaming, and his recent invitations to other lucid dreamers that he found online, to take part in his “open protocol” experiment.”

“Humans can smell fear and disgust, and the emotions are contagious, according to a new study. The findings, published Nov. 5 in the journal Psychological Science, suggest that humans communicate via smell just like other animals. “These findings are contrary to the commonly accepted assumption that human communication runs exclusively via language or visual channels,” write Gün Semin and colleagues from Utrecht University in the Netherlands.”