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

May 3, 2013

readings in psychology for 3 may 2013 @PsychScience

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Here is what I am reading today:

“In a potentially seismic move, the National Institute of Mental Health – the world’s biggest mental health research funder, has announced only two weeks before the launch of the DSM-5 diagnostic manual that it will be “re-orienting its research away from DSM categories”.

In the announcement, NIMH Director Thomas Insel says the DSM lacks validity and that “patients with mental disorders deserve better”.”

“”Just finding these metals isn’t the issue; it’s the levels that matter,” said study principal investigator S. Katharine Hammond, professor of environmental health sciences. “Some of the toxic metals are occurring at levels that could possibly have an effect in the long term.” Lipstick and lip gloss are of special concern because when they are not being blotted on tissue or left as kiss marks, they are ingested or absorbed, bit by bit, by the individual wearing them, the study authors said. “

“Dr Guy Barry from the Institute for Molecular Bioscience at the University of Queensland and Professor John Mattick from Sydney’s Garvan Institute of Medical Research showed that levels of the long non-coding RNA called ‘Gomafu’ drop dramatically when a neuron is activated in the normal brain, causing a chain of other regulatory events to occur inside the cell.”

“”Scientists have long wondered whether aging occurs independently in the body’s various tissues or if it could be actively regulated by an organ in the body,” said senior author Dongsheng Cai, M.D., Ph.D., professor of molecular pharmacology at Einstein. “It’s clear from our study that many aspects of aging are controlled by the hypothalamus. What’s exciting is that it’s possible—at least in mice—to alter signaling within the hypothalamus to slow down the aging process and increase longevity.””

“The mutation is in the gene known as casein kinase I delta (CKIdelta). “This is the first gene in which mutations have been shown to cause a very typical form of migraine,” said senior investigator Louis J. Ptáček, an investigator at HHMI and a professor of neurology at UCSF. “It’s our initial glimpse into a black box that we don’t yet understand.””

“As a national leader in neonatology, UCSF’s mission is to initiate and rigorously pursue both basic science and clinical research to better treat, and one day eliminate, neonatal diseases. UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital is one of the top ranked children’s hospitals in the country, and is committed to training physician-scientists to investigate human development and the root causes of congenital anomalies. “The findings are a significant advance in developmental biology that will help to understand the basis of certain birth defects that alter the number or specification of fingers and toes,” said David Rowitch, MD, PhD, chief of neonatology at the children’s hospital.”

“That excuse is no longer valid. Neuroscientists now understand some of the ways that brain circuits for memory, emotion and attention malfunction in various mental disorders. Since 2009 clinical psychologist Bruce Cuthbert and his team at the National Institute of Mental Health have been constructing a classification system based on recent research, which is revealing how the structure and activity of a mentally ill brain differs from that of a healthy one.”

“”We have the ability to capture information from the brain and use it to control the robotic arm,” said Dr. Elizabeth Tyler-Kabara, who presented her team’s latest findings on the technology Tuesday, at the annual meeting of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, in New Orleans. However, she stressed, “we still have a ton to learn.””

“”The striking finding is that you have a massive shift of receptors from one set of nerve endings impinging on these neurons to another set,” said Ken Mackie, professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences at IU Bloomington. “Before, activating this receptor inhibited the secretion of orexin; now it promotes it. This identifies potential targets where an intervention could influence obesity.””

“Normally, the circulatory system of the body is isolated by tight junctions between the endothelial cells of the capillaries inside the brain. There is also a thick basement membrane composed of matrix proteins, as well as astrocytic endfeet surrounding the capillaries. Nutrients required by the brain, such as glucose and amino acids, are actively transported across this barrier by specific membrane-bound transporter proteins. There are also specific efflux pumps, that remove certain molecules that might occasionally breach the BBB.”

“The research is the first to use brain scans to look for a link between math-learning abilities and brain structure or function, and also the first to compare neural and cognitive predictors of kids’ responses to tutoring. In addition, it provides information on the differences between how children and adults learn math, and could help researchers understand the origins of math-learning disabilities. The study was published online April 29 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.”

 

 

14 Responses to “readings in psychology for 3 may 2013 @PsychScience”

  1. n_angel Says:

    In regards to Kiss and Die,

    I don’t want to be constantly eating metal……??? Why has it taken the FDA so long to find this and should I be worried about years of wearing lipgloss…..

  2. n_angel Says:

    In regards to DSM-5:

    It is interesting to me how we have made such advancements in the understanding of brain circuits and in things like “kinds of changes that are partially responsible for post-traumatic stress disorder,” and yet we don’t include these things in something that is as important as the DSM-5 which we have been waiting most of my life for. Regardless it will be interesting some of the similarities and differences the book will have to its last edition.

  3. rshade714 Says:

    In regards to Kiss and Die:
    I’m continually amazed at the toxic things that are put into our water, food, makeup, hygiene/beauty products, etc. Especially in the U.S. There are many chemicals used here that have been outlawed in other countries (i.e. Switzerland is extremely strict).

  4. ketom Says:

    “Brain region may hold key to aging”

    Just as I mentioned in regards to the Dr. Levay speech, it is awesome that science is taking control over many social stigmas. People who are over concerned about their age seem to follow a cult and become brainwashed into cosmetics. This concept of age is turning focus away from material products and delving into scientific reasons. These products may or may not provide satisfying results but science almost always provides answers such as identifying the hypothalamus as an age processing mechanism. Although current research for this cause is performed on mice, it will be interesting to see how this translates over the years into medicines to help with aging.

  5. ketom Says:

    “Brain structures in kids predict benefit from math tutoring”

    When I was young I remember participating in extracurricular math programs and performing well in my math classes. I was never sure if that was due to coincidence or if the additional math practice really did help. Now I know that that extra math was most likely assisting with the sizes of my hippocampus and other brain regions. I fully believe that there is a strong correlation between brain structures and math tutoring but there should be much larger sample sizes tested. A group of 24 students is not large enough to have complete confidence with these experimental results.

  6. schen41 Says:

    “Moving Things With Your Mind”

    When I was younger I always saw movies that had humans with bionic limbs and robots. It’s amazing to see this technology develop! With further research and technological advances, people who are unable to control their limbs or those who have lost limbs altogether would be able to function just as well as the average person. Besides the beneficial uses for handicapped or disabled people, I feel like this could be expanded to allow a large range of machines to be controlled with our brain, such as cars or construction machinery. I’m interested to see how this will be incorporated into society if successful.

  7. schen41 Says:

    “Brain Shift and Overeating”

    The brain’s plasticity is amazing, a full 180 with the stimulation of that receptor in the hypothalamus. The thought of your brain “resetting” the endocannabinoid system during obesity surprises me though. I would think that due to sudden increase in food intake or of unhealthy food, your brain would want to decrease the amount of orexin A in order to maintain the ideally semi-healthy weight. Maybe from a biological viewpoint your brain would want to take advantage of the large amounts of nutrition in preparation for a season of food shortages? Very interesting article, bottom line: eat healthy.

  8. mparisi Says:

    “Brain Shift and Overeating”

    It has always bothered me when individuals blame obese people for being responsible for their weight problem. So, I love seeing research about the chemicals that influence appetite and food consumption. I’ve never been obese, but I do have unusual eating habits. No matter how much you try to lose weight, I think the most important component is being in a healthy, happy, relaxed state of mind first…then the nutrition and exercise will be easier to maintain.

  9. mparisi Says:

    “Kiss and Die”

    I think that people are very unaware and naive to the toxins and chemicals that go into their cosmetic products (and their food). The fact that there are high amounts of metals are found in lipstick is probably just the beginning. If you think about the cheap lotion your entire body absorbs, the 4 or 5 different products you use in the shower, the makeup you put on everyday, the makeup remover used to take it off…the list can go on and on…it may be beneficial to reduce your use or use more natural alternatives, even without “troubling levels of toxic metals” being written about.

  10. deykholt Says:

    “Kiss and Die”

    It’s shocking how there aren’t current regulations regarding the amount of metals in cosmetics. However, beauty products are so essential to morning routines that this information probably won’t stop people from using these products. Pressure from peers, magazines, and other forms of media sell beauty products very well. The health risk is a compromise some people are willing to take. I trust the brands I use for eyeliner, and I can’t remember the last time I’ve gone a day without eyeliner. But, I don’t want to look up these brands in case I find something I don’t want to know. Ignorance is bliss?

  11. ncamat Says:

    Moving things with your mind
    When I saw the title to this I instantly thought of one of my favorite childhood movies called Matilda, which is based on the story of a telepathic girl. It is crazy how science fiction is slowly yet surely becoming reality.

  12. ncamat Says:

    brain shift and overeating
    Findings like this neuron swap, to me, reinforce how amazing hormones are. In my mind, they are analogous to watching a baby push a train.They have a mass that is minuscule compared to the whole body yet they are able to influence behavior.

  13. ketom Says:

    “Moving things with your mind”

    A few years ago I predicted that the biomedical engineering world would burst in activity in the near future with the modern advancements in technology. However I did not consider the involvement of psychology. For many people without limbs, it is a blessing just to receive prosthetic replacements for cosmetic and self conscious purposes. Now these extensions into the nervous system and brain allow these victims to eventually control the limb replacements and have even more to look forward to. I have heard about many research projects that really do not directly help the world. This project is the complete opposite in that thousands or even millions with physical defects or deficiencies can rapidly improve their lives. I am truly excited to track the advancement of this research and see where it ends up with future technology.

  14. mathesonbliss Says:

    I thought the ‘moving things with your mind’ article was fascinating. It is hard to believe that we have this type of technology already working and it sounds like it is only going to be getting better, and probably cheaper, in the future. It truly does seem straight out of a science fiction movie. In one of my other classes, my professor mentioned how there are some patients that have locked-in syndrome, meaning they are paralyzed but the neocortical region of their brain can still process everything they’re feeling and thinking, and they can move a computer cursor with their brain to be able to communicate. It is amazing that the same type of technology can now be used to move robotic arms. I also liked how the researchers are working on making the technology a two-way system in which people can move a prosthetic arm, but also be able to feel how tight or loose their grip is.

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