Laura’s Psychology Blog

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

March 7, 2013

readings in psychology for 7 march 2013 @PsychScience

Don't be afraid... just a "Dr. Who" fan made this!

Don’t be afraid… just a “Dr. Who” fan made this!

Here is what I am reading today:

The researchers, John S. Torday, PhD, and Virender K. Rehan, MD, wrote an editorial citing recent studies by Dr. Rehan that found pregnant rats given nicotine produced asthmatic pups that went on to produce their own asthmatic pups, despite the absence of nicotine exposure in the third generation. The findings suggest nicotine can leave heritable epigenetic marks on the genome, which make future offspring more susceptible to respiratory conditions.”

“”When anesthesiologists are taking care of someone in the operating room, they can use the information in this article to make sure that someone is unconscious, and they can have a specific idea of when the person may be regaining consciousness,” says senior author Emery Brown, an MIT professor of brain and cognitive sciences and health sciences and technology and an anesthesiologist at MGH. Lead author of the paper is Patrick Purdon, an instructor of anesthesia at MGH and Harvard Medical School.”

“”In real life and in academic studies, we tend to focus on the harm done to victims in cases of social aggression,” says co-author Richard Ryan, professor of clinical and social psychology at the University of Rochester. “This study shows that when people bend to pressure to exclude others, they also pay a steep personal cost. Their distress is different from the person excluded, but no less intense.””

“The specific molecule in green tea, (—)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate, also known as EGCG, prevented aggregate formation and broke down existing aggregate structures in the proteins that contained metals—specifically copper, iron and zinc. “A lot of people are very excited about this molecule,” said Lim, noting that the EGCG and other flavonoids in natural products have long been established as powerful antioxidants. “We used a multidisciplinary approach. This is the first example of structure-centric, multidisciplinary investigations by three principal investigators with three different areas of expertise.””

“The Oxford University researchers, along with Dr David Henderson-Slater of the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, report their findings in the journal Nature Communications. They were funded by the Royal Society, Marie Curie Actions, the Wellcome Trust, National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Oxford Biomedical Research Centre, and the Medical Research Council. ‘Almost all people who have lost a limb have some sensation that it is still there, and it’s thought that around 80% of amputees experience some level of pain associated with the missing limb. For some the pain is so great it is hugely debilitating,’ says first author Dr Tamar Makin of the Centre for Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Brain (FMRIB) at Oxford University.”

““Humans can build up an impression about somebody just based on what we see,” says author James Anderson, a comparative psychologist at the University of Stirling, UK. The capuchin results suggest that this skill “probably extends to other species”, he says.”

“The human brain can learn to treat relevant prosthetics as a substitute for a non-working body part, according to research published March 6 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Mariella Pazzaglia and colleagues from Sapienza University and IRCCS Fondazione Santa Lucia of Rome in Italy, supported by the International Foundation for Research in Paraplegie.”

“”The current findings explain the sleepiness of narcolepsy, as well as the depression that frequently accompanies this disorder,” said senior author Jerome Siegel, a professor of psychiatry and director of the Center for Sleep Research at UCLA’s Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. “The findings also suggest that hypocretin deficiency may underlie depression from other causes.””

14 Responses to “readings in psychology for 7 march 2013 @PsychScience”

  1. jbfournier Says:

    in response to: the happiness peptide??

    I find it truly amazing that we have come so far in our understanding of depression and other disorders. However, I still think there is a lot of room to learn about depression. A lot of people still see depression as a sign of weakness, especially in men. I think continued research and findings such as in this article will help to limit these false notions and teach people to see depression as a serious biological disorder.

  2. jbfournier Says:

    in response to: monkeys and mean people

    Although this article was interesting I would like to read a little more into their experimental design. I feel like they are making a pretty extreme correlation without truly knowing all the details behind the situation. There seems to be a lot of room for random or chance occurrences in picking whom to receive food from. I’m sure they tried to account for these chance occurrences but they didn’t really go into detail about their analysis in the article.

  3. nfuentes25 Says:

    In response to: child’s asthma

    I found this article fairly interesting as I myself have suffered from asthma my entire life. My mom also suffers from asthma, but my grandmother has never smoked in her life. I was a bit curious as to whether or not the same effects can be said of secondhand smoke as I know that many of my elder relatives either smoked or used to smoke so that may have had an effect on her. I’d also be interested to know if chewing tobacco or using nicotine patches has a similar effect

  4. traoufi Says:

    In response to: ‘Mean girls’ be warned: Ostracism cuts both ways-

    I wasn’t surprised to find that those who excluded the other players felt more shame and less connected. I recall Dr. Freberg presenting a study with the same set up that found those excluded felt angry/hurt, it’s important to see the other side of the situation and focus on those who are excluding the players. It would be interesting to do the same study on a younger age group and see if the results are more extreme. The results could potentially raise more awareness of things such as bullying that cause a lot of distress in young children and carries with them into adulthood.

  5. traoufi Says:

    In response to: Monkeys Stay Away from Mean People-

    The results the researchers obtained are quite similar to what our species would do, I find this fascinating. I think the study could have been controlled better to avoid results that occurred by random chance. The conclusion that they derived might not have been proven in the best way but it’s still interesting to see monkeys stay away from people who reject to help others. I know I tend to take things offered more from generous people who share than those who don’t so it’s striking to see it in another species.

  6. lily gomez Says:

    We often perceive mean girls as confident, mentally and emotionally strong, but after reading the article it shows how every individual in society is in need of societal acceptance. We are so caught up on how others think of us that we form cliques and structure in our life. It was interesting to learn that mean girls have it as bad as individuals who are socially excluded. It explains why sometimes we are so emotionally unstable if we dont fit in and are at a constant need for social integration.

  7. ctamblin Says:

    In response to Alzheimer and Green Tea

    This article reminds me of some of the low brow articles posted on MSN, in which they recommend eating blueberries to prevent some sort of ailment. I struggle with this kind of research because although I do want to find cures and preventative measures for such degenerative disease, I feel that some of these “treatments” are a bit over-dramatized. As someone who has seen loved ones fall to Alzheimer, I am interested in the research regarding this disease, but I personally care more about the cure than preventative measures. I will state, however, that I appreciated the fact that I understood much of what this article discussed thanks to my new found understanding of biopsychology.

  8. kfrance Says:

    In response to Mean Girls be warned:
    I think it is an interesting point to bring up that the “mean girls” feel distress from socially excluding people. I do not think it is something that is completely aware but more subconsciously felt. It is also sort of disturbing that when told by an authority to socially exclude someone, that in most cases people did. So, even though they may have known or felt this sense of distress or guilt, they still went through with the action of excluding the other player.

  9. kfrance Says:

    In response to a child’s asthma may come from where:
    This article really caught my attention. I have always been a big believer in not smoking and this further supported my opinion of the damage that nicotine can do to someone. My grandma has smoked her whole life and smoked in her house during my mom’s pregnancy with me and my brother. I have sports induced asthma and my brother has chronic asthma. I am not pointing the finger directly at my grandma but it is interesting to start thinking of the possibility that her bad habit could have possibly had a role in the development of me and my brother’s asthma experience. Epigenetics is a growing field and it is exciting to be unfolding more interesting facts of our genome.

  10. shelbyromuk Says:

    In response to : ‘Mean girls’ be warned: Ostracism cuts both ways’.

    I found this study and article to be very interesting because it does seem that rarely are the people who are doing the ostracizing affected emotionally. For myself, I can see how it is true though, that such effects are happening for the ostracizers themselves. I can recall times as a younger child when I tested my “popularity” and “authority” at school by not being particularly nice to someone. I did not enjoy the feeling, and I give credit to my parents for this fact. But considering the problem that bullying has become, I think it is important to know this information so that we can develop new ways to educate children about prejudice and kindness.

  11. rachel.simons Says:

    In response to: “Mean girls’ be warned: Ostracism cuts both ways”.

    It isn’t surprising to me that girls act this way. We have all been around it and witnessed middle school or highschool girls in action. What is surprising to me though is how many girls do not seem to grow out of this. Thankfully, many do, but I still know people who tend to act this way. I cant seem to understand this considering how badly it makes you feel, and how one could stand to hurt other girls this way for years past middle school and highschool. It is very strange to me.

  12. rachel.simons Says:

    In respoonse to: “Alzheimer and Green Tea”

    This article is very interesting and I am excited to hear more about this. It is amzing to me how some foods can be so powerful. Foods can hurt our bodies in so many ways, while others can heal us and prevent many medical diseases. It is crazy to me that certain foods are now even found to help our brains .I was aware of the many health benefits green tea has, but after reading this, I am an ever bigger fan of green tea!

  13. sisandhu Says:

    In response to: “Monkeys Stay Away from Mean People”

    Its interesting to see how monkeys though cognitively inferior to us, have a sense of morality and are able to distinguish from good and bad. The monkeys preference to accept food from a helpful person rather than someone who refused to help another individual shows their ability to discern from whats right and wrong. The article explains how being unhelpful or refusal to help is a direct sign that you are dangerous or negative in the monkeys opinion. This fact must mean that within the monkey societies the more selfish monkeys do not get very far. A video on a similar topic showed by “60 Minutes” demonstrated how infants as little 5 months, would always pick the stuffed animal that was portrayed doing “nice” things rather than the stuffed animal that was mean to the others.

  14. sisandhu Says:

    In response to: “Mean girls’ be warned: Ostracism cuts both ways”

    Prior to this article, I had never known that people who fostered social exclusion felt a distress of any sort. Though it is a different type of distress, the intensity of it remains the same as the person who was excluded. Being that humans are social creatures by nature the actual act of turning someone away causes feelings of shame and a drop in mood which supports the fact that humans are designed to relate with other people. The most interesting fact in my opinion from this article, was that people who were socially excluded (left out) had the same neurons firing as the neurons that would have been activated for physical pain. So in theory someone who had their heartbroken, would physically feel as if their heart was broken. Sad but extremely interesting!

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