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    We're Good At Recognizing Distorted Faces

    A new paper from MIT neuroscientists Sharon Gilad-Gutnick and colleagues reveals that we are remarkably good at recognizing faces even if they are highly distorted. Not only is this scientifically interesting, the deformed images used in this study are rather hilarious. Here's an example of a face being distorted by horizontal and vertical compression (also known as thinning and flattening). The unfortunate victim of these distortions is Bill Clinton: Gilad-Gutnick et al. found tha

    in Discovery magazine - Neuroskeptic on April 22, 2018 03:06 PM.

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    Weekend reads: A new publishing scam; reproducibility as a political weapon; prosecuting predatory publishers

    Before we present this week’s Weekend Reads, a question: Do you enjoy our weekly roundup? If so, we could really use your help. Would you consider a tax-deductible donation to support Weekend Reads, and our daily work? Thanks in advance. The week at Retraction Watch featured a neither-correction-nor-retraction that made no one happy, a debate over … Continue reading Weekend reads: A new publishing scam; reproducibility as a political weapon; prosecuting predatory publishers

    in Retraction watch on April 21, 2018 01:23 PM.

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    Cicadas on different schedules can hybridize

    A new genetic study suggests that cicadas that emerge every 17 years have swapped genetic material with those that emerge every 13 years.

    in Science News on April 20, 2018 09:00 PM.

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    Attention to metabolic energy disturbance is needed to treat relapse of heroin

    Heroin_powder

    Animal models of addiction

    Several animal models are used to study drug dependence in which self-administration has obvious advantages. The first benefit of self-administration is that it provides the most direct point-to-point correspondence with addictive behaviors that are found in people.

    A typical self-administration procedure in animals includes acquisition, extinction / abstinence and reinforcement. During the acquisition stage, animals undergo operant conditioning and learn to perform one action, typically a lever press, in order to receive a drug. Once a specific criterion is obtained, animals are regarded as addicted to a drug.

    Rat self-administration chamber with catheter implanted in the jugular vein
    Picture provided with permission by Zhang Fuqiang from Ningbo Institute of Drug Treatment

    Intravenous administration via catheterization is an optimal method for self-administration in that it maximizes drug bioavailability and has rapid onset. Humans suffering from addiction often resort to intravenous drug use for similar reasons. This parallel provides further benefits of this route of administration in animal studies in that it increases the validity of the self-administration methodology.

    After acquisition, animals are returned to their home cage and resume normal living conditions. This process is similar to people undergoing abstinence in that they can’t acquire drugs while carrying out their everyday lives. In animal models, after 14 days of abstinence, reinforcement is induced by either administration of the drug or returning the animal to an environment associated with the drug. Both of these events are analogous to events that can trigger relapse in human drug abusers.

    Relapse and metabolomics

    In our study published in BMC Neuroscience, we set up an intravenous, heroin self-administration rat model and collected a serum sample during the reinforcement stage. As we want to get a complete picture that could reflect the status of this stage, we tried nuclear magnetic resonance based metabolomics analysis. Specifically, metabolomics is the “systematic study of the unique chemical fingerprints that specific cellular processes leave behind”.

    Specifically, metabolomics is the “systematic study of the unique chemical fingerprints that specific cellular processes leave behind”.

    The results revealed that energy metabolism was greatly disturbed. An increase in glucose and decrease in intermediates of glycolysis and the TCA cycle indicate impairment in essential pathways for energy production. The finding that there was an increase in levels of 3-hydroxybutyrate and acetoacetate suggest that energy production was activated from fatty acids. These types of changes in fatty acids have been correlated with relapse and potential neurological dysfunctions associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

    More importantly phenylalanine, glutamine, and choline increased greatly. These molecules are precursors of the neurotransmitters γ-aminobutyric acid/glutamate, acetylcholine, and dopamine respectively. These neurotransmitters play an important role in learning and reward.

    We know that when animals are re-exposed to a drug or a drug-associated environment the “happy memory” of the drug experience is awakened, and the compulsive drug seeking behavior reappears.

    We know that when animals are re-exposed to a drug or a drug-associated environment the “happy memory” of the drug experience is awakened, and the compulsive drug seeking behavior reappears. During this process, the increase of these three precursors of neurotransmitters in the circulatory system could partly explain why the motivation of drug seeking is so strong.

    Our ultimate goal is to develop new therapies for drug addiction. The most challenging component is reducing the incidence of relapse. Although we don’t know whether the same changes would happen in humans with opiate addiction, the results found in our study remind us that more attention should be paid to the restoration of energy metabolism in addition to the neurotransmitters which have already received great concerns.

    The post Attention to metabolic energy disturbance is needed to treat relapse of heroin appeared first on BMC Series blog.

    in BMC Series blog on April 20, 2018 08:46 PM.

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    Closing the gender gap in some science fields may take over 100 years

    In some STEM fields, the gender gap won’t disappear for decades or even centuries, a new study suggests.

    in Science News on April 20, 2018 05:19 PM.

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    That study reporting worrisome levels of zinc in tuna? It’s being retracted

    Recently, a rash of news outlets posted concerns that canned tuna and other products may contain potentially dangerous levels of zinc. They were all wrong. News outlets such as The Daily Mail and The Sun reported findings from a recent study, which showed that canned foods such as tuna may contain 100 times the daily limit … Continue reading That study reporting worrisome levels of zinc in tuna? It’s being retracted

    in Retraction watch on April 20, 2018 03:16 PM.

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    Heat waves are roasting reefs, but some corals may be resilient

    The latest research on coral reefs clarifies the devastation of heat waves and looks at how coral might be able to adapt to warming waters.

    in Science News on April 20, 2018 03:07 PM.

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    Hans Asperger and the Nazis

    Big news this week as Hans Asperger, autism pioneer and namesake of Asperger's syndrome, is accused of having collaborated in the murder of children during the Nazi rule in Austria. The accusations come in the form of a long paper by historian Herwig Czech in the journal Molecular Autism. Czech presents an analysis of Asperger's activities as head of the Heilpädagogik Ward of the Pediatric Clinic at the University of Vienna, from 1935 to 1943. Here, Asperger was responsible for the evalua

    in Discovery magazine - Neuroskeptic on April 20, 2018 02:04 PM.

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    After issuing dozens of corrections to high-profile book, historian shuts down his blog

    A historian has shuttered his personal blog, which he created to respond to critics of his high-profile book. Columbia University professor Charles Armstrong launched the blog in order to address the criticisms of his book about North Korea during the Cold War. Soon after Tyranny of the Weak appeared, Balazs Szalontai of Korea University uploaded … Continue reading After issuing dozens of corrections to high-profile book, historian shuts down his blog

    in Retraction watch on April 20, 2018 12:00 PM.

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    Celebrity names now mark places on Pluto’s moon Charon

    Pluto’s largest moon, Charon, now has 12 new names for its topological features.

    in Science News on April 20, 2018 11:00 AM.

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    What can brain research offer people who stutter?

    There’s something compelling about watching a person who stutters find a way to experience fluent speech. British TV viewers witnessed such a moment on Educating Yorkshire, back in 2013. When teenager Musharaf Asghar listened to music through headphones during preparations for a speaking exam, he found that his words began to flow. Singers, like Mark Asari who is currently competing on The Voice UK, also demonstrate how using the voice in song, rather than speech, can result in striking fluency.

    In fact, a range of techniques can temporarily enhance how fluently a person who stutters can speak. Changing auditory feedback by delaying it, or “drowning” it out with music, or altering habitual speaking patterns by singing, or speaking in time with a metronome, often results in an immediate increase in fluency. However, the effect disappears as soon these alterations are removed. Although the underlying mechanism isn’t completely understood, these effects indicate that people who stutter may show brain differences in how the signals guiding speech movements are integrated with feedback on the sound and feel of speech.

    Brain imaging studies of adults who stutter do reveal differences in both the structure and the function of the circuits involved in speech production. For example, a number of studies show that the bundle of nerve fibers connecting the sensory and motor brain areas involved in speech production is less organized in people who stutter. This could affect communication between these brain areas, causing speech disfluency. There are also differences in the patterns of brain activity we see when people who stutter speak in the MRI scanner. An area in the left frontal part of the brain – an important hub in the circuit that plans and executes speech – is less active in people who stutter than in people who don’t. The equivalent area on the right side is often more active in people who stutter. We think this pattern of increased activity on the right could make up for the lack of activity on the left, but it might also reflect the stuttering process itself.

    So, how can information about the brain differences in people who stutter be used? When discussing our research with people who stutter, and others with an interest in this area, it’s become clear that just knowing about these findings can help. The cause of stuttering has been debated for many years, and a “nervous personality” has erroneously been offered as a likely explanation. Another unhelpful belief is that it’s possible to “grow” or “snap” out of this way of speaking. So, being able to point to a neurological difference located in brain regions controlling speech, can be a welcome reassurance that such myths have no basis.

    Image credit: An intervention session of the tDCS randomized controlled trial. Used with permission.

    Advances in neuroscience mean that brain imaging findings can now inform non-invasive brain stimulation studies aimed at increasing speech fluency. As speech therapy outcomes for adults who stutter can be limited, our team recently completed the first randomized controlled trial investigating whether transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) could be usefully applied in therapy. TDCS involves passing a very weak electrical current across two surface electrodes placed on the scalp, and through the underlying brain tissue. This changes the excitability of the targeted brain area. When it’s paired with a task, the change in brain excitability from the tDCS can interact with task-related brain activity, resulting in improved performance and learning. The parameters for safe, painless application of tDCS have been established from large body of research studies, and the equipment is portable, and relatively affordable. For these reasons tDCS has attracted interest as a therapeutic tool for conditions that affect how the brain functions.

    We used two temporary fluency-enhancing techniques: reading along with another person, and speaking in time with a metronome. In combination with this, we applied tDCS over the left inferior frontal cortex – the key area for planning and executing speech movements which is relatively less active in people who stutter. We were interested in whether pairing tDCS with the tasks, practiced in 5 daily sessions, would increase speech fluency after the intervention was completed. Thirty adult men who stutter were randomly assigned to real tDCS or an indistinguishable “sham,” or placebo, tDCS. The group receiving real tDCS showed persistent improvement in their speech fluency six weeks following the intervention, compared to the group receiving sham. TDCS reduced stuttering symptoms by around 25%.

    Our results show that tDCS is certainly a promising approach for fluency intervention, and we are continuing to study it’s use. However, the relationship between the fluency of our speech and our perception of ourselves as speakers is far from straight-forward. For this reason, increasing speech fluency may not necessarily give a person who stutters a useful therapy outcome. In fact sometimes feeling you are “chasing fluency” can be a particularly negative experience. For example, living with a covert stutter involves avoiding any possibility of stuttering, with the constant fear that a moment of disfluency might slip through. Overtly, speech appears completely fluent, but the burden to the person who stutters to maintain this illusion is huge. Speech and Language Therapy in the United Kingdom for adults who stutter is varied so that all experiences of stuttering can be addressed. Therapy may include approaches to increase fluency, to stutter with less struggle, or to build more positive thoughts and beliefs about living with a stutter. Some combination of these approaches often yields the best outcome for any one person.

    Image credit: Design of the tDCS randomized controlled trial intervention. Used with permission.

    Of course, some people who stutter choose no therapy at all. An approach that is universally beneficial for educating us all about stuttering, and supporting those of us who have this condition, is to acknowledge the strength, resilience, and considerable talents of people who stutter. Five years on from the first airing of Educating Yorkshire, Musharaf Asghar is now a motivational speaker. He is an inspiration, not because his stutter has disappeared from his speech (it hasn’t), but because he speaks with confidence about his experiences of living with a stutter, as one facet of who he is.

    Understanding the brain differences that are associated with stuttering, and using this knowledge to shape and improve interventions, is one of the many ways that we can support people who stutter to live the life they choose. If a person who stutters chooses to work on their speech fluency, non-invasive brain stimulation could allow us to give them the best possible outcomes.

    Featured image credit: Brain by GR_Image. CC0 via Pixabay.

    The post What can brain research offer people who stutter? appeared first on OUPblog.

    in OUPblog - Psychology and Neuroscience on April 20, 2018 10:30 AM.

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    Our brains rapidly and automatically process opinions we agree with as if they are facts

    GettyImages-583690890.jpgBy Christian Jarrett

    In a post-truth world of alternative facts, there is understandable interest in the psychology behind why people are generally so wedded to their opinions and why it is so difficult to change minds.

    We already know a lot about the deliberate mental processes that people engage in to protect their world view, from seeking out confirmatory evidence (the “confirmation bias“) to questioning the methods used to marshal contradictory evidence (the scientific impotence excuse).

    Now a team led by Michael Gilead at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev report in Social Psychological and Personality Science that they have found evidence of rapid and involuntarily mental processes that kick-in whenever we encounter opinions we agree with, similar to the processes previously described for how we respond to basic facts.

    The researchers write that “their demonstration of such a knee-jerk acceptance of opinions may help explain people’s remarkable ability to remain entrenched in their convictions”.

    The background to this involves something you’ve probably heard of, the Stroop Effect – how we’re slower to name the ink colour of colour-denoting words when the word meaning doesn’t match the ink, like RED written in blue ink. The Stroop Effect occurs because our brains rapidly and involuntarily process the colour meaning of the word, which interferes with our processing of the ink colour.

    A while back, psychologists showed there’s a similar phenomenon for facts (they called it the “Epistemic Stroop Effect”) – we’re quicker to verify that factual, than non-factual, statements are spelled correctly, suggesting that our rapid discernment of factual accuracy interacts with our judgment about spelling (even though the factual accuracy of the statements is irrelevant to the spelling task).

    Now, across four studies, Giliead and his team have found that something similar occurs for opinions. They composed 88 opinion statements, written in Hebrew, that covered politics, personal tastes and social issues, such as “The internet has made people more isolated” or “The internet has made people more sociable”. They presented dozens of  Israeli participants with versions of these statements that were grammatical or not (e.g. the gender or use of singular/plural were incorrect) and the participants’ task was to indicate as rapidly as possible whether the grammar was correct. Later, the participants were shown all the statements again and asked to indicate whether they agreed with them.

    The key finding was that participants were quicker to identify statements as grammatically correct when they agreed with the opinion expressed in the statement, compared with when they disagreed (there was no difference for time taken to identify ungrammatical statements as ungrammatical). This was the case even though their agreement with the opinion expressed in the statements was irrelevant to the grammatical task at hand. “The results demonstrate that agreement with a stated opinion can have a rapid and involuntary effect on its cognitive processing,” the researchers said, which is similar to the epistemic Stroop Effect observed for facts.

    In their final study, the researchers created a variation of the task that required participants to indicate whether statements (e.g. “coriander is tasty” or “coriander is disgusting”) indicated something positive or negative. For statements that they agreed with, participants were faster to answer “yes”, whether they were identifying that the statement was positive or identifying that it was negative. The researchers said this confirms that we have a rapid, involuntary cognitive bias is for answering in the affirmative to semantic questions about opinion statements that we agree with (ruling out effects of fluency or unfamiliarity that might have confounded the results for judging the grammar of statements in the earlier studies).

    “The current findings suggest that despite adults’ understanding of the notion of subjectivity, they may react to opinion-incongruent statements as if they were factually incorrect,” the researchers said, adding, “The distinction between factual truths and opinions held to be true is pivotal for rational discourse. However this distinction may apparently be somewhat murky within human psychology.”

    More generally they said their paradigm provided “an addition to the social psychologists’ tool kit” that could be used as a new way to explore implicitly held opinions (providing an alternative to the implicit association test, for example). Further research could also explore whether the effect described here is moderated by factors like stress or peer pressure, or individual characteristics like one’s political leanings.

    That’s My Truth: Evidence for Involuntary Opinion Confirmation

    Christian Jarrett (@Psych_Writer) is Editor of BPS Research Digest

    in The British Psychological Society - Research Digest on April 20, 2018 07:03 AM.

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    Larger spleens may help ‘sea nomads’ stay underwater longer

    The Bajau people of Southeast Asia have a gene variant associated with larger spleens, boosting their oxygen while breath-hold diving, researchers say.

    in Science News on April 19, 2018 07:04 PM.

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    Rising CO2 levels might not be as good for plants as we thought

    A 20-year experiment spots a reversal in the way two kinds of plants take up extra carbon from the atmosphere.

    in Science News on April 19, 2018 06:00 PM.

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    One Small Step for Preprints, One Giant Step Forward for Open Scientific Communications

    Thanks to our recent partnership with bioRxiv, PLOS authors will have the choice of posting their submitted manuscript on the bioRxiv preprint server on May 1st. Preprints enable authors to accelerate the dissemination of their work and invite commentary by a broader community, which PLOS editors will evaluate as part of peer review.

    Posting your work before formal peer review has other significant advantages:

    • You can stake an intellectual claim to methods, results and ideas contained within that paper, while obtaining citations.
    • Your work can be discovered. Many journals, including PLOS Genetics, use preprint servers to identify and solicit manuscripts.
    • Early posting can lead to collaborations by fostering connections with researchers in different disciplines.

    Still not convinced of the value of the preprint and its role in accelerating scientific communication? There are a lot of resources on this topic. Here’s a sampling:

    PLOS is committed to putting your science first. Please send any questions, concerns or delights that you have regarding preprints to preprints@plos.org following our launch on May 1st. Publish with PLOS and post your preprint on bioRxiv and let’s keep science open and accessible, together.

    in The Official PLOS Blog on April 19, 2018 05:39 PM.

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    Male fruit flies enjoy ejaculation

    Red light exposure made some genetically engineered fruit flies ejaculate, spurring a surge of a brain reward compound — and less desire for booze.

    in Science News on April 19, 2018 04:00 PM.

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    Political science has a #metoo moment

    Many political scientists are up in arms over an editor’s decision to use his journal as a platform to defend himself from allegations of sexual harassment. The editor, William Jacoby of Michigan State University, has since removed a statement denying the allegations from the American Journal of Political Science (AJPS), and posted an apology. Midwest … Continue reading Political science has a #metoo moment

    in Retraction watch on April 19, 2018 03:08 PM.

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    New thematic series: Veterinary antimicrobial resistance and antimicrobial use

    Antimicrobials are integral to current medicine, both veterinary and human, towards the treatment of zoonotic and infectious diseases. Unfortunately, inappropriate antimicrobial use (AMU) often renders them ineffective.

    In order to maintain the well-being of both companion and food animals, all existing antimicrobial types, along with the development of new ones, need to be continuously accessible. This must be achieved with the concurrent introduction of official legislation and guidelines on the responsible use of antimicrobials.

    Across the globe, medical doctors and veterinary practitioners share serious concerns over the public health implications from the misuse of antimicrobials and the development of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

    British Veterinary Association (BVA) has issued guidance on the responsible use of antimicrobials, which can be summarized in the phrase ‘Correct antimicrobial: as little as possible, as much as necessary’.

    These concerns have resulted in a very elevated profile for AMR in the past couple of years, a fact expressly evident by the production of the Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance in 2015, developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) in collaboration with the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), that will combat AMR through a one-health approach.

    A year later, at the 71st General Assembly of the United Nations (UN), the focus remained on constructing an international agenda to manage AMR. April 2017 saw the World Veterinary Association (WVA) issuing its official position on the use of antimicrobials. The purpose of this initiative was to limit the prevalence and development of AMR from the misuse of antimicrobials. In a similar initiative, the British Veterinary Association (BVA) has issued guidance on the responsible use of antimicrobials, which can be summarized in the phrase ‘Correct antimicrobial: as little as possible, as much as necessary’.

    In addition to the aforementioned events, BMC Microbiology and BMC Veterinary Research draw further motivation for the roll-out of this thematic series from the interaction with our authors and readers in recent conferences. More specifically, BMC Microbiology attended ASM Microbe 2017, where AMR was the single most central theme (read about our experience here). The environmental aspects of AMR, the absence of official legislation for appropriate antimicrobial use, along with ways by which the farm can affect hospitals were prominent themes amongst the discussions.

    On the other hand, BMC Veterinary Research attended ARAE 2017, which is an important cornerstone in global AMR research allowing those working across different fields of AMR to come together to discuss and share ideas with an aim to mitigate the impact of resistance.

    About the series

    For the above reasons, we believe that there is no better time to roll out this long-awaited thematic series. Henceforth, BMC Veterinary Research and BMC Microbiology would like to invite you to submit to our new thematic series: ‘Veterinary Antimicrobial Resistance and Antimicrobial Use’.

    The thematic series will review and feature robust veterinary microbiology research and will consider studies with a broad scope of antimicrobials, ranging from antiparasitics, antiviral, antibacterial, fungicides and phytobiotics and from diverse, domesticated vertebrate animal sources, including livestock, poultry and companion animals.

    We welcome submissions on the drivers and mechanisms of AMR and its emergence and on the incentives/disincentives of AMU and knowledge in different production systems, and especially in food production. We will investigate the role of regulation and policies, the role of the farm environment and the animal attendants and the consequences of all of the above on public health.

    Technical advances including molecular tools towards the construction of early warning systems and any other form of prevention, early diagnosis and treatment will be also considered. Review and Debate articles will also be considered, but are at the discretion of the Editors.

    We believe that this topic is of importance to veterinary and medical practitioners, microbiologists and policy makers, and the published articles aspire to examine the current use of antimicrobials and their implications in animals and the environment. The articles will also endeavor upon the level of resistance to antimicrobials and their prominence in terms of animal and human health.

    Please submit directly to BMC Veterinary Research or BMC Microbiology stating in your cover letter that you are targeting the ‘Veterinary Antimicrobial Resistance and Antimicrobial Use’ collection. Alternatively you can email your pre-submission queries to hayley.henderson@biomedcentral.com and cecilia.devoto@biomedcentral.com

    The deadline for submission of manuscripts is 15th December 2018.

    We look forward to hearing from you!

    The post New thematic series: Veterinary antimicrobial resistance and antimicrobial use appeared first on BMC Series blog.

    in BMC Series blog on April 19, 2018 01:30 PM.

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    A hole in an ancient cow’s skull could have been surgery practice

    Before performing skull operations on people, ancient surgeons may have rehearsed on cows.

    in Science News on April 19, 2018 01:00 PM.

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    Research problems at Australian university hit the news

    A university in Australia that’s made headlines before over allegations of research misconduct has found itself in the news once again. Last week, the University of Queensland (UQ) announced some of its authors were retracting a paper after discovering data were missing. Just days later, the university made headlines over an investigation into three papers … Continue reading Research problems at Australian university hit the news

    in Retraction watch on April 19, 2018 12:00 PM.

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    Harvard and beyond: 4 ways machine learning is making researchers more efficient

    From tackling information overload to identifying manipulated images, machine learning is changing the way science gets done

    in Elsevier Connect on April 19, 2018 11:24 AM.

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    This plastic-gobbling enzyme just got an upgrade

    Scientists tweaked a bacterial enzyme and made it more efficient in breaking down plastics found in polyester and plastic bottles.

    in Science News on April 19, 2018 11:00 AM.

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    Study of 20,000 finds an income advantage for those judged to be very unattractive

    GettyImages-888271472.jpg

    By Alex Fradera

    Do chiselled features garner better pay? Researchers have previously found that income is associated with attractiveness, leading to the idea of both a beauty premium and an ugliness penalty. A common explanation is discrimination: employers seek out beautiful people and reject or ignore those harder on the eye. But in the Journal of Business Psychology, Satoshi Kanazawa and Mary Still have published research aiming to upset this. The biggest takeaway is that being perceived as very unattractive may not incur an income penalty at all.

    The researchers drew on a longitudinal study of 20,000 young Americans, interviewed at home at age 16 and then on three more occasions up to the age of 29. Each time the interviewer rated the person’s physical attractiveness, from very unattractive to very attractive. While previous research often collapses below-average scores into one category, this research treated them separately, which turns out to be important.

    Kanazawa and Still wanted to see whether the participants’ gross earnings at 29 were associated with their physical attractiveness at that or any previous age. Overall, there was a positive association between attractiveness and earnings. But there was an anomaly: very unattractive participants kept bucking the trend.

    Those participants who were rated very unattractive at age 29 were earning significantly more than people judged more attractive than them, including (though to a lesser extent) the very attractive. For attractiveness measures earlier in life, which allow more persuasive claims of causality, echoes of this pattern were present, as the very unattractive went on to earn significantly more at age 29 than those who were earlier rated unattractive, and they earned in the same region or even slightly more than those who were earlier rated as attractive. 

    The correlation between extreme unattractiveness and higher pay remained using median earnings and looking separately at men and women. The authors argue this is hard to square with the usual discrimination explanation for why attractiveness (or lack of it) is associated with income. After all, why would employers be less discriminatory towards the worst-looking people? 

    An alternative explanation is that the highly unattractive and attractive each favour different high-value industries. But this wasn’t supported by the data – even within a given industry, those rated very unattractive still achieved higher incomes than their more attractive counterparts.

    Kanazawa and Still prefer an explanation for the attractiveness-income link that is tied into Kanazawa’s focus on evolutionary psychology and his sometimes controversial interest in the biological significance of attractiveness.

    Kanazawa reasons that attractive people earn more because facial attractiveness is a marker of better developmental health, which in turn correlates with more intelligence, advantageous personality traits, and being stronger, fitter and taller – all factors that are associated with higher earnings. In this dataset, after accounting for these factors, the attractiveness–income link was no longer statistically significant, supporting Kanazawa’s claim that it’s these correlates of attractiveness that are driving the higher income for more attractive people, not their beauty per se. This analysis also accounted for some of the earnings benefit for the very unattractive, but not all of it – and why would it, if the assumption is that the unattractive should be less healthy developmentally, on average?

    It seems likely to me that we are seeing two factors at work. One relates to the income advantage for increasingly attractive people, maybe the developmental health explanation, maybe something else, and then something separate is at work raising income for the very unattractive group.

    As to what gives rise to the income advantage for the very unattractive group, the only speculation I can offer is that in this dataset the personality trait Openness to Experience – which is usually associated with higher pay – was surprisingly correlated with lower earnings and higher attractiveness, meaning it was the only “bad” trait associated with higher attractiveness.

    Could this Openness-attractiveness association be an indicator that some of the very unattractive scored especially low on Openness, and were perhaps highly devoted to a specific topic area, pursuing it obsessively to the exclusion of all distractions and eventually entering the forefront of their field? We know that Openness correlates negatively with the passion component of “Grit”, so such effects are conceivable.

    The very unattractive group was small, as extremes are in any population – just a few hundred participants – so we would want to investigate this again to see if these effects  hold.  For now, this research challenges assumptions about the potential for those born without conventional looks to find uncommon success.

    Is There Really a Beauty Premium or an Ugliness Penalty on Earnings?

    Alex Fradera (@alexfradera) is Staff Writer at BPS Research Digest

    in The British Psychological Society - Research Digest on April 19, 2018 09:02 AM.

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    NASA’s TESS spacecraft launches to begin its exoplanet search

    After reaching its orbit in about two months, the telescope will start scanning nearby stars telltale dips in light that signal a passing planet.

    in Science News on April 18, 2018 11:36 PM.

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    How ravens caused a LIGO data glitch

    Ravens pecking at frosty pipes caused a glitch in gravitational wave data.

    in Science News on April 18, 2018 07:00 PM.

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    This meteorite’s diamonds hint that it was born in a lost planet

    Bits of metal nestled inside diamonds suggest the space rock could have formed in a Mars-sized protoplanet in the early solar system.

    in Science News on April 18, 2018 06:30 PM.

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    Why touch can be such a creepy sensation in VR

    Touch sensation in VR can go from immersive to unnerving as the feeling gets more realistic, if you can’t see the source.

    in Science News on April 18, 2018 06:00 PM.

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    Masses of shrimp and krill may play a huge role in mixing oceans

    Hoards of migrating shrimp and krill can cause large-scale turbulence in the ocean, a new study suggests.

    in Science News on April 18, 2018 05:20 PM.

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    Caught Our Notice: Why did Reuters remove a 3.5-year-old story?

    Title: Oil producer Afren fires CEO, 3 other executives in scandal What Caught Our Attention: Two days ago, the news organization Reuters mysteriously withdrew a 2014 story about the firing of four people from now-defunct oil company Afren, including its CEO. The only explanation: “it did not meet Reuters standards for accuracy.” The executives were … Continue reading Caught Our Notice: Why did Reuters remove a 3.5-year-old story?

    in Retraction watch on April 18, 2018 04:11 PM.

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    Nutrition paper claims intervention cuts child obesity. Experts disagree.

    Does incorporating gardens and their harvest into school-based nutrition programs help children get healthier? A 2017 paper claims it does, but a group of outside experts disagrees — strongly. The 2017 paper reported that adding gardens to schools and teaching kids how to cook the harvest, among other elements, helped kids learn about nutrition — … Continue reading Nutrition paper claims intervention cuts child obesity. Experts disagree.

    in Retraction watch on April 18, 2018 12:00 PM.

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    Speedy species divergence and the curious case of the blind cavefish

    The world’s waters are full of weird and wonderful creatures. Astyanax mexicanus, otherwise known as the Mexican Tetra, is no exception.

    Hardly larger than a tin of sardines and visually unremarkable, the surface variety can be spotted in rivers from Eastern Mexico all the way to Southern Texas.

    However, the fame of Astyanax mexicanus does not arise from this river dwelling surface population. Only when journeying into the dark depths of isolated limestone Central American caves, is it possible to find the oddball relatives of surface fish populations.

    Within different caves, the cavefish populations have independently evolved similar traits, while sharing a common evolutionary ancestor.

    Each population of cavefish is characterized by a distinctive set of common traits. The loss of its eyes means it instead depends on detecting fluctuations in water pressure through its lateral lines to aid navigation. Unlike the shiny silver coloration of its river dwelling cousin, the blind cavefish populations have lost all pigmentation, causing their scales to appear a ghostly pale pink as a consequence.

    Approximately 30 cavefish populations have been identified to date, with each population inheriting the name of their respective cave of residence. Within different caves, the cavefish populations have independently evolved similar traits, while sharing a common evolutionary ancestor. It is for this reason Astyanax mexicanus is the model of choice for the study of convergent evolution in the natural world.

    Despite their physical differences, surface fish and cave fish are more similar than they appear. Surface –cavefish hybrids have been observed in the Chica caves of Mexico, suggesting that surface fish DNA markers could be introduced into cavefish populations through the mating of hybrids with other members of the cavefish population.

    Phylogenetic analysis using mitochondrial DNA led to the widely accepted theory that at least two distinct surface residing ancestors gave rise to the present day cave populations over the period of several million years. The older ancestral stock is now thought to be extinct, with the surviving stock then invading the Western Micos caves as well as others further to the south east.

    A recent origin

    A recently published study in BMC Evolutionary Biology takes a controversial view, arguing that the coalescence time of mitochondrial genes in a particular cavefish population, alone, should not be interpreted to indicate the age of the oldest cavefish populations.

    The authors computationally analyzed variations in both nuclear and mitochondrial DNA in order to date the evolutionary divergence in populations of blind Mexican cavefish. The results suggest both cavefish populations may have had a far more recent origin than previously thought, with evolutionary divergence potentially dating back to less than 20,000 years ago.

    If this hypothesis were to be correct, the blind Mexican cavefish would have become eyeless in an impressively short time. It has been suggested that the necessary alleles must have been present in ancestral surface populations to allow these alleles to reach a frequency high enough for this to occur at a sufficiently fast rate.

    Selection pressures present in each cave that have allowed this to occur in parallel across different populations are also still keenly debated. The lack of need for eye development has been suggested to conserve energy for seeking food in habitats where food is scarce. A recent study has also suggested a molecular basis, where on inhibition of the protein chaperone Hsp90, increased eye size variation could be observed. However, the identification of different eye gene mutations in different cavefish populations suggests a combination of different evolutionary factors at play.

    If the findings of Fumey et al. were to be confirmed, it is likely Astyanax mexicanus would become a favored model for deciphering the molecular basis surrounding its speedy rates of evolutionary adaptation. Nonetheless, this publication in BMC Evolutionary Biology only continues to fuel the intrigue and debate surrounding the evolution of this unusual species.

    The post Speedy species divergence and the curious case of the blind cavefish appeared first on BMC Series blog.

    in BMC Series blog on April 18, 2018 10:49 AM.

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    Does it matter whether your therapist is similar to you?

    GettyImages-896857954.jpgBy Emma Young

    How do you choose the best possible therapist for someone who needs help? Does it make any difference if the therapist is about the same age, for instance, or the same gender, or from the same socio-economic background? 

    It seems intuitive that it might be easier to relate to someone from a similar background. However, while a positive relationship between client and therapist is known to be one of the most important factors for a good treatment outcome, there’s been surprisingly little work on how their respective personal attributes might interact to create a successful alliance.  

    Now work led by Alex Behn, affiliated to both the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile and the Millennium Institute for Research in Depression and Personality, in Santiago, published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, attempts to help plug that gap. 

    The study involved 28 therapists and 547 adult clients, who had been referred to receive psychotherapy (of different types) for depression. Just over ten per cent had previously been hospitalised for psychiatric reasons and 90 per cent were taking psychiatric medication when they joined the study. All of the therapists had a degree in psychology, and they saw the clients in weekly individual sessions. 

    Before their first sessions, the clients and the therapists reported on their gender, age and average monthly family income. Based on these responses, they were classed as male/female; young adults (18-25), adults (aged 25-40), middle aged (40-60) or older people (aged 60 years and up); and as low-middle income class, high-middle income class or “vulnerable”.

    Each week, from the second session until the seventh, when the study ended (but not necessarily the sessions), the clients also completed an inventory designed to assess the quality of the therapeutic alliance based on how much they agreed with their therapist on goals and the tasks necessary to achieve them, and also the quality of the emotional bond between them. 

    In all their analyses, the researchers controlled for initial symptom severity because this is known to affect the therapeutic alliance (the alliance is usually rated more negatively by clients with more severe problems). 

    Initially, having a therapist of the same or different gender made no difference to how clients rated the therapeutic relationship with one exception: male clients with a female therapist showed some sharper downturns in the alliance over the first few sessions. However, this recovered from the fourth session onwards. There wasn’t any evidence for the so-called “female effect” documented in earlier research, in which female clients enjoy a more positive alliance with a female therapist.

    When the therapist was the same age, or especially if they were younger, there was evidence for extra positive relationship growth over the course of the study – what the researchers called a “youth effect”, although they don’t give any explanation for why this might be.

    In terms of socioeconomic class, you might think that it would be easier to strike a rapport with someone from a similar economic background. In fact the opposite seemed to be true – clients reported greater gains in therapeutic alliance when their therapist was from a wealthier background. The researchers called this an “affluence effect” and they said it might be “related to the increase in social trust observed when income status increases”. 

    “Particular forms of age and income match appear to allow for an additional improvement in the rate of initial change in the therapeutic alliance,” the researchers concluded. However they admitted that it is not possible to say from this study whether the extra growth in alliance associated with the “youth effect” or “affluence effect” actually improved treatment outcomes (although other research on the importance of therapeutic alliance suggests that it might).  

    Client and therapist match on gender, age, and income: Does match within the therapeutic dyad predict early growth in the therapeutic alliance?

    Emma Young (@EmmaELYoung) is Staff Writer at BPS Research Digest

    in The British Psychological Society - Research Digest on April 18, 2018 07:35 AM.

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    These seals haven’t lost their land ancestors’ hunting ways

    Clawed pawlike forelimbs help true seals hunt like their land-dwelling ancestors.

    in Science News on April 17, 2018 11:09 PM.

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    This ancient Maya city may have helped the Snake King dynasty spread

    A rural hub in an ancient Maya state gets its due with some laser help.

    in Science News on April 17, 2018 06:00 PM.

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    “Youth Guru” loses turkey-neck paper that overlapped with book chapter

    A prominent cosmetic surgeon and his daughter have lost a 2017 paper on treating men with excessive neck flab — otherwise known as “turkey neck” — because much of the work appears to have duplicated a book chapter he co-authored about the topic. The first author of the retracted article is Ronald L. Moy, a … Continue reading “Youth Guru” loses turkey-neck paper that overlapped with book chapter

    in Retraction watch on April 17, 2018 04:50 PM.

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    Here’s why putting a missile defense system in space could be a bad idea

    Expanding missile defense capabilities could put the world on a slippery slope to space warfare.

    in Science News on April 17, 2018 03:52 PM.

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    Smokers have worse diets than non-smokers

    It has been suggested in the literature that concern about weight gain is a barrier to smoking cessation. Dietary energy density (ED; kcal/g) is an established risk factor for obesity and a marker for diet quality. Diets low in energy density may reduce risk of weight gain. However, little is known about the relationship between diet quality and smoking status in US adults.

    In their study, Dr Jacqueline Vernarelli and colleagues at Fairfield University and Yale University in the United States looked at dietary data taken from a nationally representative sample of 5,293 U.S. adults who had been asked to report what they had eaten in the past 24 hours. Smokers were identified as individuals reporting more than 100 lifetime cigarettes and never smokers as those reporting less than 100 lifetime cigarettes. Current smokers were further classified as daily smokers (smoking cigarettes every day) and nondaily smokers (identifies as a smoker, but does not smoke cigarettes every day).

    The researchers calculated the average dietary energy density of each participant’s diet and, after accounting for factors such as age, race, sex, physical activity and body mass index, found that smokers consumed around 200 more calories a day than non-smokers or former smokers, even though they ate significantly smaller portions of food.

    People who had never smoked consumed around 1.79 calories per gram of food, daily smokers consumed 2.02 kcal/g and non-daily smokers consumed 1.89 kcal/g. The researchers also found that former smokers consumed more calories per gram of food (1.84kcal/g) than those who had never smoked, but the former smokers’ dietary energy density was still significantly lower than that of current smokers.

    The calorie dense diets consumed by the smokers whose data was used in this study often included less fruit and vegetables, which means their intake of vitamin C was likely to be lower. The authors suggest that this deficiency could potentially put smokers at further risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer, presenting a major public health concern.

    As dietary energy density is a marker for both diet quality and a risk factor for obesity, the results of the study suggest that the consumption of a diet low in energy density may be a successful strategy for preventing weight gain following smoking cessation.

     

    The post Smokers have worse diets than non-smokers appeared first on BMC Series blog.

    in BMC Series blog on April 17, 2018 02:18 PM.

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    Don’t like a paper, but don’t want to retract it? Just issue an “editorial statement”

    Last April, the American Journal of Epidemiology and the American Journal of Public Health published a rare joint editorial statement. It concerned a pair of papers on the topic of mortality and obesity. Several complaints had prompted the journals to investigate. Their assessment: These papers contained inaccurate results. The statement was not a retraction—it was … Continue reading Don’t like a paper, but don’t want to retract it? Just issue an “editorial statement”

    in Retraction watch on April 17, 2018 12:00 PM.

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    A new plastic film glows to flag food contaminated with dangerous microbes

    Plastic patches that glow when they touch some types of bacteria could be built into food packaging to reduce the spread of foodborne illness.

    in Science News on April 17, 2018 11:00 AM.

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    The public find articles about education more convincing when they contain extraneous neuroscience

    GettyImages-522798525.jpgBy Christian Jarrett

    Brain science is mysterious and sexy and people are more inclined to believe claims that contain superfluous neuroscience references or neuro-imagery – an effect referred to as “the seductive allure of neuroscience” or “SANE” (that’s the short story, however the literature on the effect is messy, to say the least, with a mix of successful and failed replications).

    One context where we might expect the seductive allure of neuroscience to be particularly problematic is in the emerging field of educational neuroscience, which seeks to use findings about the brain to improve educational practice. While the field holds promise, experts have warned about the dangers of neuro-jargon lending a confusing veneer of credibility to educational practices that lack an evidence base (one prominent example would be Brain Gym which has been widely criticised by neuroscientists and psychologists).

    Until recently, however, no one had looked to see whether the seductive allure of neuroscience applies specifically in an educational context. A research group at the University of Minnesota has now attempted to plug this gap. They recently reported in the British Journal of Educational Psychology their “major finding” that the public find popular articles about the psychology of learning more credible when they contain extraneous neuroscience.

    Soo-hyun Im and his colleagues presented 245 members of the US public with short articles (approximately 250 words) about the educational implications of psychology studies. For example, one article, based on a real psychological finding, explained that people are more likely to remember trivia answers that they feel more curious about.

    Each article was either devoid of neuroscience or accompanied by varying amounts of what the researchers called “extraneous” neuroscience: a brain-based claim in the text; the same textual neuroscience claim plus a basic chart; or the textual claim plus a colourful brain-scan type image (the neuroscience references were based on real pieces of research).

    For example, the article about curiosity either made no mention of the brain, or it stated that participants’ higher curiosity ratings were correlated with activity in brain areas involved in motivation, or it included this neuroscience reference plus a line chart, or the neuroscience reference plus a brain scan showing the location of the curiosity-related activity.

    The participants’ task was to rate how credible they found each article, in terms of its quality, comprehensibleness, reasonableness, validity and how much they agreed with it.

    The participants found the articles more credible when they contained the most extreme form of extraneous neuroscience – a textual neuroscience reference plus a brain scan image. This seductive allure of neuroscience effect (SANE) was greater among participants with more familiarity with educational topics and among participants with more prior knowledge of neuroscience (although their knowledge was modest).

    “The current study extended the SANE effect to the important case of articles about educational topics” the researchers concluded. “Perhaps the most important direction for future research is to investigate whether the SANE effect for educational topics holds for educational professionals such as teachers, administrators, and policy makers”.

    There’s no question this new research addresses an important issue. There is a lot of hype about educational neuroscience and it is important that policy-makers and teachers do not get misled by the allure of neuroscience.

    Unfortunately the study features several methodological shortcomings that make it difficult to interpret the findings as showing a true SANE effect. As the researchers partly acknowledged, the addition of extraneous neuroscience information was confounded with article length and image richness. Perhaps participants simply rated longer, more graphic articles as more credible.

    Similarly, we do not really know based on these findings that there is anything especially alluring about neuroscience in an educational context – for instance, the addition of extraneous information from genetics or another field may have had the same or even a greater effect.

    Lastly, even though I am sceptical about neuroscience hype I think there’s an argument that the supposedly extraneous neuroscience added to the articles was rather relevant. The brain-based information was derived from real studies and provided converging, objective evidence relevant to the psychological findings being discussed, arguably lending greater credibility to the claims. A more convincing demonstration of the SANE effect would have tested whether participants were swayed by truly superfluous and non-sensical neuroscience claims.

    Extending the seductive allure of neuroscience explanations effect to popular articles about educational topics

    Christian Jarrett (@Psych_Writer) is Editor of BPS Research Digest and author of Great Myths of the Brain.

    in The British Psychological Society - Research Digest on April 17, 2018 09:16 AM.

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    Weight misperceptions strongly associated with unhealthy dieting

    It is no secret that the United States (US) is facing an obesity problem; adolescent obesity is currently three times more prevalent than it was in the 1980s. What is perhaps surprising is that at the same time, the prevalence of US households with both overweight and underweight members exceed 5% of the population. This highlights the US’s dual burden of weight mismanagement at both ends of the weight spectrum. Moreover, it is striking to note that this trend is accompanied by a high persistence of unhealthy dieting behaviors among youths.

    Unhealthy dieting behaviors such as fasting for extended periods of time or purging via forced vomiting have been shown to be risk factors of several eating disorders (EDs). Unhealthy dieting is not the same as EDs since EDs are classically linked with psychological implications, but they may act as precursors to more severe mental disorders and can lead to being dangerously underweight.

    Unhealthy dieting behaviors have also been shown to be ineffective for long-term weight loss for people who are overweight, and could cause weight gain in that population since they are associated with counter-productive practices such as reduced physical activities and a decrease in fruit and vegetable consumption. As seen, these behaviors could potentially exacerbate the weight mismanagement issue in both directions.

    Perceiving one’s weight

    Although numerous public health strategies to combat weight mismanagement have been implemented over the years, many have focused on behavioral interventions such as diet and exercise education. In our research, we wanted to explore in detail the role of one’s perception of their own weight and so examined associations between self-perceptions of weight status, weight change intentions, and unhealthy dieting behaviors across the different sex, age, race and weight spectrum in US adolescents.

    To find out, we analyzed data from 113,542 adolescents collected between 1999 and 2013 in the Youth Risk Behaviour Surveillance System, which monitors the health risk behaviors among 9th through 12th grade students in the US through school-based surveys. The survey included questions on self-perception of weight, weight change intentions and unhealthy dieting behaviors. Measures of self-reported unhealthy dieting behaviors were fasting for 24 hours or more, taking diet pills/powders/liquids, and vomiting/taking laxatives, in the last 30 days in order to lose weight or keep from gaining weight.

    We discovered that overestimating one’s own body weight and a desire to change it were most strongly associated with unhealthy dieting.

    We found that adolescent girls were more likely to overestimate their weight, while boys were more likely to underestimate. Also, unhealthy dieting was more common among girls than boys, with 26.2% of girls performing an unhealthy dieting behavior in 1999 and 22.7% in 2013. These figures for boys were 10.4% in 1999 and 10.1% in 2013. After adjusting for sex, age and race, we discovered that overestimating one’s own body weight and a desire to change it were most strongly associated with unhealthy dieting.

    We also observed significant racial disparities in unhealthy dieting behaviors, with non-white groups displaying higher levels of fasting and purging, which are important precursors of anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa respectively. As racial disparities were found to have persisted over time, it could mean that minority groups may be disadvantaged in the long term.

    These findings are important as unhealthy dieting behaviors are linked to serious health consequences and can further worsen the weight mismanagement observed in US adolescents. This study suggests that high levels of weight misperceptions, particularly overestimation, increase the likelihood of clinically inappropriate weight change intentions, which was found to be associated to unhealthy dieting behaviors. Hence, public health policies should look to helping adolescents have an accurate perception of their own weight to help reduce unhealthy dieting in the future.

    As ever, there are caveats: as this study used self-reported survey data, information and recall bias may be a factor. Moreover, as we were unable to track the same individuals over time, causation between the factors could not be drawn conclusively. Nevertheless, the persistence of the high prevalence of unhealthy dieting behaviors, especially among females across all racial groups, is concerning. Further research into weight status perceptions may inform efforts to curb this worrying trend.

    The post Weight misperceptions strongly associated with unhealthy dieting appeared first on BMC Series blog.

    in BMC Series blog on April 17, 2018 08:00 AM.

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    A Wider Life Gap

    Scientific American 318, 84 (2018). doi:10.1038/scientificamerican0518-84

    Author: Mark Fischetti

    U.S. life span is rising disproportionately

    in Scientific American on April 17, 2018 12:00 AM.

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    50, 100 & 150 Years Ago

    Scientific American 318, 83 (2018). doi:10.1038/scientificamerican0518-83

    Author: Daniel C. Schlenoff

    Innovation and discovery as chronicled in Scientific American

    in Scientific American on April 17, 2018 12:00 AM.

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    Mothering, Wild Style

    Scientific American 318, 82 (2018). doi:10.1038/scientificamerican0518-82

    Author: Steve Mirsky

    Some moms can be murder on the family

    in Scientific American on April 17, 2018 12:00 AM.

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    You Kant Be Serious

    Scientific American 318, 80 (2018). doi:10.1038/scientificamerican0518-80

    Author: Michael Shermer

    Utilitarianism and its discontents

    in Scientific American on April 17, 2018 12:00 AM.

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    Recommended

    Scientific American 318, 78 (2018). doi:10.1038/scientificamerican0518-78

    in Scientific American on April 17, 2018 12:00 AM.

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    Is Deep-Sea Mining Worth It?

    Scientific American 318, 72 (2018). doi:10.1038/scientificamerican0518-72

    Author: Thomas Peacock & Matthew H. Alford

    The race is on to exploit—and protect—the ocean floor

    in Scientific American on April 17, 2018 12:00 AM.

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    Our Stuff, Ourselves

    Scientific American 318, 66 (2018). doi:10.1038/scientificamerican0518-66

    Author: Francine Russo

    Low emotional security can intensify our relationships to our belongings

    in Scientific American on April 17, 2018 12:00 AM.

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    Letters

    Scientific American 318, 6 (2018). doi:10.1038/scientificamerican0518-6

    in Scientific American on April 17, 2018 12:00 AM.

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    Catching Fever

    Scientific American 318, 58 (2018). doi:10.1038/scientificamerican0518-58

    Author: Lois Parshley

    Climate change is accelerating the spread of disease—and making it much harder to predict outbreaks

    in Scientific American on April 17, 2018 12:00 AM.

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    American Epidemic

    Scientific American 318, 44 (2018). doi:10.1038/scientificamerican0518-44

    Author: Melinda Wenner Moyer

    Resurgent outbreaks of infectious diseases are sickening thousands, and the causes are societal

    in Scientific American on April 17, 2018 12:00 AM.

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    Emerging Disease in a Changing World

    Scientific American 318, 42 (2018). doi:10.1038/scientificamerican0518-42

    in Scientific American on April 17, 2018 12:00 AM.

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    Our Planet, Ourselves

    Advertisment

    Scientific American 318, 4 (2018). doi:10.1038/scientificamerican0518-4

    Author: Mariette DiChristina

    in Scientific American on April 17, 2018 12:00 AM.

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    Messengers from the Sky

    Scientific American 318, 36 (2018). doi:10.1038/scientificamerican0518-36

    Author: Ann Finkbeiner

    Astronomers' newfound ability to see the same cosmic events in light, particles and gravitational waves—a synthesis called multimessenger astronomy—gives them a fuller picture of some of the universe's most mysterious phenomena

    in Scientific American on April 17, 2018 12:00 AM.

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    The Unlikely Triumph of Dinosaurs

    Scientific American 318, 28 (2018). doi:10.1038/scientificamerican0518-28

    Author: Stephen Brusatte

    New fossils and analyses topple the long-standing explanation of how dinosaurs came to rule the earth

    in Scientific American on April 17, 2018 12:00 AM.

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    Weirdest Hardware Product Ever?

    Scientific American 318, 26 (2018). doi:10.1038/scientificamerican0518-26

    Author: David Pogue

    Google's new camera decides what to photograph, based on AI algorithms

    in Scientific American on April 17, 2018 12:00 AM.

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    The Battle of the Belt

    Scientific American 318, 25 (2018). doi:10.1038/scientificamerican0518-25

    Author: Claudia Wallis

    Gaining belly fat is dangerous for reasons we don't fully grasp

    in Scientific American on April 17, 2018 12:00 AM.

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    Views of Evolution Shaped by Knowledge

    Scientific American 318, 24 (2018). doi:10.1038/scientificamerican0518-24

    Author: Amanda Montañez

    Greater understanding of the theory supersedes religion or politics

    in Scientific American on April 17, 2018 12:00 AM.

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    Timber Trafficking

    Scientific American 318, 22 (2018). doi:10.1038/scientificamerican0518-22b

    Author: Rachel Nuwer

    Cutting to the core of Thailand's illegal rosewood trade

    in Scientific American on April 17, 2018 12:00 AM.

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    Orangutan Medicine

    Scientific American 318, 22 (2018). doi:10.1038/scientificamerican0518-22a

    Author: Doug Main

    The great apes use plant extracts to soothe achy limbs

    in Scientific American on April 17, 2018 12:00 AM.

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    Sweaty Trees

    Scientific American 318, 21 (2018). doi:10.1038/scientificamerican0518-21

    Author: Yasemin Saplakoglu

    How one species of eucalyptus keeps its cool

    in Scientific American on April 17, 2018 12:00 AM.

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    Dogs lived and died with humans 10,000 years ago in the Americas

    Dogs unearthed at sites in Illinois were older than originally thought.

    in Science News on April 16, 2018 07:30 PM.

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    Delayed launch of NASA’s next exoplanet hunter is now set for tonight

    NASA’s next exoplanet hunter, TESS, launches today to seek planets in 85 percent of the sky.

    in Science News on April 16, 2018 06:53 PM.

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    Reproducibility and Recognition: One year later

    This blog is authored by PLOS staff with contributions by Lenny Teytelman, protocols.io CEO.

    For many scientists, there is a common frustration with methods sections of research papers that lack sufficient details, which are necessary to follow up on the work. The mission of protocols.io is to encourage precision and to facilitate the sharing of these details.  We’re excited that our partnership with them over the past year is providing yet another catalyst for transforming research communication. Our combined aim is simple: improve the rigor of published research papers by encouraging authors to report precise protocols accompanying their manuscripts on protocols.io.

    “In addition to helping the PLOS papers and the scientists reading them, this partnership also had a dramatic impact on the adoption of protocols.io. The new author guidelines at PLOS helped protocols.io to also connect in a similar way to 200 other journals,” says protocols.io CEO Lenny Teytelman. “As a result, the number of scientists creating new protocols every month has more than tripled on protocols.io over the past year.”

    Figure Legend: Number of scientists creating new protocols each month on protocols.io

    “Partnering with organizations like protocols.io and bioRxiv is a way for PLOS to achieve its Open Science mission in the spirit of collaboration,” says PLOS Executive Editor Veronique Kiermer. “Leveraging the effective platform that protocols.io has developed enables us to take a leap forward in promoting reproducibility.”

    Out of the hundreds of protocols accompanying PLOS articles published over the past year, we want to highlight a few great and diverse examples of what scientists have chosen to share via their Materials & Methods sections:

    Looking ahead to the rest of 2018: protocols.io continues to broaden its scope to include “all research” instead of simply biomedical and the life sciences. And thanks to our continued partnership authors will soon see an improvement to the platform interface for clinical trials, neuroscience and other fields; a better experience for reporting reagents and equipment; and easier to use templates.

    Publish with PLOS and your protocols with protocols.io and let’s keep science open, transparent and reproducible together.

     

    in The Official PLOS Blog on April 16, 2018 05:09 PM.

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    Lasers squeezed iron to mimic the conditions of exoplanet cores

    In the first experiment to measure what exoplanets might be like on the inside, scientists hit iron with 176 lasers at once.

    in Science News on April 16, 2018 04:49 PM.

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    Caught Our Notice: Forged email for corresponding author dooms diabetes paper

    Title: Naringin Alleviates Diabetic Kidney Disease through Inhibiting Oxidative Stress and Inflammatory Reaction What Caught Our Attention: PLOS ONE had a few reasons for retracting a 2015 paper about a treatment for kidney disease due to diabetes: For one, despite what the paper claims, the authors did not obtain ethical approval to conduct the reported … Continue reading Caught Our Notice: Forged email for corresponding author dooms diabetes paper

    in Retraction watch on April 16, 2018 03:38 PM.

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    First ever neuroimaging study of people in the midst of Transcendental Meditation

    power in human hand, inspiration abstract, world, universe inside your mind, watercolor paintingBy Christian Jarrett

    It is possible to pay attention effortlessly, your mind “pulled by the inherent nature of the object of experience”. In fact, with practice, doing so can “lead you to experience inner silence, tranquility, peace and transcendence”. That’s according to a research team led by Michelle Mahone at the California School of Professional Psychology, who have published in Brain and Cognition what they describe as the first neuroimaging study of people in the midst of Transcendental Meditation (TM).

    The 16 women volunteers (average age 60) had practised TM for an average of 34 years, meaning they had amassed around 36,000 hours of meditation practice. The researchers scanned the meditators’ brains while they lay resting with their eyes closed and then while they meditated for 10 minutes. The volunteers’ extensive mastery at meditation allowed them to achieve “bliss”, “deep restfulness” and “clear transcending” despite the noise and discomfort of the brain scanner.

    Compared with rest, the scans showed that while meditating the volunteers exhibited increased activity at the front of their brains (in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and the anterior cingulate gyrus), alongside reduced activity in the cerebellum and the pons – structures at the back of the brain and in the brain stem. These latter activity reductions have not been observed in brain scan studies of other forms of meditation that involve focused attention (for example on one’s breathing) or open monitoring (paying mindful non-judgmental attention to one’s thoughts and sensations).

    The researchers said their findings were consistent with the idea that Transcendental Meditation involves a unique form of effortless attention, in which “the attention is guided by the inherent pleasure of inner transcendence, rather than through cognitive evaluation and control”. The increase in frontal brain activity reflects the engagement with a specific experience, they said, while the minimal control required was reflected in reduced activity in the cerebellum and pons.

    Sceptical readers may feel that the researchers are guilty of “reverse inference” – making assumptions about the meaning of the brain activity patterns that they observed. Mahone’s team said further research is needed to directly compare brain activity during different meditation practices.

    fMRI during Transcendental Meditation practice

    Christian Jarrett (@Psych_Writer) is Editor of BPS Research Digest

    in The British Psychological Society - Research Digest on April 16, 2018 12:17 PM.

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    Whoops: Authors didn’t mean to include new data in article about transgender identity

    Here’s something we don’t see that often — authors retracting one of their articles because it included new data. But that is the case with a 2017 review exploring the potential genetic and hormonal underpinnings of gender identity.  The authors Rosa Fernández García and Eduardo Pásaro Mendez told Retraction Watch that they asked bioethics journal … Continue reading Whoops: Authors didn’t mean to include new data in article about transgender identity

    in Retraction watch on April 16, 2018 12:00 PM.

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    ‘Weird Math’ aims to connect numbers and equations to the real world

    The book Weird Math attempts to make chaos theory, higher dimensions and other concepts more relatable.

    in Science News on April 16, 2018 11:00 AM.

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    People with “misophonia” find background chewing sounds so annoying it affects their ability to learn

    Young woman in dress blowing bubbleBy Alex Fradera

    Research in clinical settings shows that some people with mental health problems experience extreme distress when hearing non-speech vocal sounds, like coughs and chewing noises, a phenomenon called “misophonia”. Now research from Amanda Seaborne at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and Logan Fiorella at the University of Georgia, published in Applied Cognitive Psychology, suggests that this issue exists in the broader population, and that people sensitive to these sounds perform poorly in their presence.

    Seventy-two undergraduates sat in a cubicle and read a technical text about migraines for six minutes, before reporting what they remembered, answering questions on the text, and finally completing a questionnaire about their misophonia sensitivity (they rated how distressing they found sounds like “rustling papers, sneezing, chewing gum, tapping, eating crunchy foods, and heavy breathing”). For half the participants, a nearby cubicle contained a confederate working for the researchers who chewed gum loudly throughout the experiment. Participants in this condition who scored higher on the misophonia questionnaire performed worse at the comprehension measures than lower scorers. 

    Interestingly, the reverse pattern was found for the participants in the quiet control condition, with the more sound-sensitive students performing slightly better – perhaps because these conditions were the ones in which they naturally thrive. So misophonia seems to have an impact in non-clinical contexts (none of the rating scores reached clinical levels of sensitivity), although we can’t say whether its origin is in a subtle neurological difference or a psychological preoccupation. But it’s a good reminder that by honouring the expectations in designated quiet spaces, we may be helping others more than we know.

    Effects of background chewing sounds on learning: The role of misophonia sensitivity

    Alex Fradera (@alexfradera) is Staff Writer at BPS Research Digest

    in The British Psychological Society - Research Digest on April 16, 2018 08:14 AM.

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    100 Years Later: The Lessons of Encephalitis Lethargica

    In 1917, at the height of the Great War, a new and mysterious disease emerged into the world, before vanishing a few years later. Although it was to prove less destructive than the 1918 influenza pandemic which occured at around the same time, the new outbreak had a persistent legacy: some of the victims of the disease remained disabled decades later. The new syndrome was first reported by Constantin von Economo, a neurologist in Vienna. He dubbed the disease 'encephalitis lethargica', after

    in Discovery magazine - Neuroskeptic on April 15, 2018 04:50 PM.

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    The Facebook data debacle may not change internet behavior

    In the wake of the Facebook data breach, personal privacy experts say there’s little individuals can do to control their personal information online.

    in Science News on April 15, 2018 11:00 AM.

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    Weekend reads: Unauthorized vaccine trial leads to criminal investigation; outrage over a skeleton study; how much plagiarism is OK?

    Before we present this week’s Weekend Reads, a question: Do you enjoy our weekly roundup? If so, would you consider a tax-deductible donation of $25, or a recurring donation of an amount of your choosing, to support it? Thanks in advance. The week at Retraction Watch featured a look at how likely it is for researchers who … Continue reading Weekend reads: Unauthorized vaccine trial leads to criminal investigation; outrage over a skeleton study; how much plagiarism is OK?

    in Retraction watch on April 14, 2018 01:48 PM.

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    Cargo ships must cut their emissions in half by 2050

    A new international agreement places a cap on greenhouse gas emissions from international cargo ships.

    in Science News on April 13, 2018 09:47 PM.

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    Tales of rampant suicide among Custer’s soldiers may be overblown

    Few of Custer’s men killed themselves in the face of overwhelming Native American numbers at the Battle of the Little Bighorn, skeletal data suggest.

    in Science News on April 13, 2018 08:31 PM.

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    An antiscience political climate is driving scientists to run for office

    Hoping to inject evidence-based science into policy, more scientists are putting their name on the ballot.

    in Science News on April 13, 2018 08:03 PM.

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    Caught Our Notice: JAMA warns readers about all of Brian Wansink’s papers in its journals

    Titles: First Foods Most: After 18-Hour Fast, People Drawn to Starches First and Vegetables Last Fattening Fasting: Hungry Grocery Shoppers Buy More Calories, Not More Food Watch What You Eat: Action-Related Television Content Increases Food Intake Super Bowls: serving bowl size and food consumption Consequences of belonging to the “clean plate club” Preordering school lunch … Continue reading Caught Our Notice: JAMA warns readers about all of Brian Wansink’s papers in its journals

    in Retraction watch on April 13, 2018 05:08 PM.

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    A retraction gets retracted

    Last year, an emergency medicine journal retracted a letter to the editor because it didn’t include the author’s potential conflict of interest. Now, it’s had a change of heart. Earlier this month, the Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine withdrew the retraction after determining the author, Guy Weinberg, had, in fact, provided information about his potential conflict  … Continue reading A retraction gets retracted

    in Retraction watch on April 13, 2018 03:00 PM.

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    This is how norovirus invades the body

    Norovirus targets a rare type of gut cell, a study in mice finds.

    in Science News on April 13, 2018 02:23 PM.

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    ArchaeaBot: A Post Singularity, Post Climate Change Lifeform

    Artists in Residence Anna Dumitriu and Alex May were recently awarded an European Media Art Platform Residency at LABoral in Spain and Arts Council England funding to develop their new project in progress. The work will take the form of underwater robotic art installation that explores what 'life' might mean in a post singularity, post climate change future. The robots will be based on new research about archaea (the most ancient life forms on earth which often live in extreme environments) combined with the latest innovations in machine learning & artificial intelligence to create the 'ultimate' species for the end of the world as we know it. The project involves collaboration with Imperial College and the University of Hertfordshire.

    Date: 20/04/2018
    Time: 16:00
    Location: LB252

    in UH Biocomputation group on April 13, 2018 12:28 PM.

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    Caught Our Notice: Make love, not fake reviews — semen papers retracted

    Titles:  1) Study of enzyme activities and protein content of beluga (Huso huso) semen before and after cryopreservation 2) Determination of some blood and seminal plasma ions in the beluga, Huso huso (Linnaeus, 1758) 3) Effects of multiple collections on spermatozoa quality of Persian sturgeon, Acipenser persicus: Motility, density and seminal plasma composition What Caught … Continue reading Caught Our Notice: Make love, not fake reviews — semen papers retracted

    in Retraction watch on April 13, 2018 12:00 PM.

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    Becoming the real you: Do we become more authentic as we get older?

    GettyImages-665831230.jpgBy Christian Jarrett

    Do you think you are closer to your “true self” today than in the past? If so, is this a work in progress? Will the you of the future be even more authentic than you are today?

    A pair of US psychologists recently put these kind of questions to over 250 volunteers across two studies, to find out if there is a general pattern in the way that we think about the development of our true selves.

    Reporting their findings in Self and Identity, Elizabeth Seto and Rebecca Schlegel found there is a tendency for us to see ourselves as becoming progressively more authentic through life. “If these reflections are at all reflective of how people feel in real time,” they concluded, “it is possible that people believe they will be the closest they have ever been to who they really are when they reach the end of their lifetime.”

    Seto and Schlegel started out by looking at the near past, present and future. They gave 125 students (mostly 18 to 19-year-olds) a definition of the true self:

    Your TRUE SELF is made up of the characteristics, roles, or attributes that define who you really are – even if those characteristics are different than how you sometimes act in your daily life.

    Then they asked the students to indicate how much overlap there was between their true self and their self when they graduated high school, their self today, and their self as they will be at the end of the current semester. There was a clear trend for the students to see themselves as currently closer to their true self than they were in the past, and for this closeness to their true self to increase further in the future.

    In a follow-up study, the researchers asked 134 participants recruited online (a wider age range this time of 19 to 67) to divide their entire lives – past, present and future – into chapters, to write a description for each chapter, and to rate how close their self in each chapter was to their “true self”.

    Again, there was a clear trend for people to see their authenticity as having increased through time, and to expect it to progress further in the future (although there was a tapering effect, so that the largest increases in authenticity were seen in the near past, and in the near future).

    Seto and Schlegel said this pattern of findings is consistent with what would be expected based on the psychology of self-enhancement: this is usual our motivation – well-established by prior research – to see our current selves in a positive light, including by derogating our past selves. Most of us also tend to be unrealistically optimistic, thinking that we and life will only get better in the future. Consistent with this, the participants ratings for their happiness and meaning for each life chapter showed a similar rising trend across the lifespan. Also, higher participant self-esteem correlated with expecting to increase more in authenticity over time.

    In contrast, the findings generally didn’t tie in with what Harvard psychologists termed the “End of History Illusion” five years ago, based on their finding that most of us think we’ve changed a lot in the past, but that we don’t expect to keep changing so much in the future.

    Unfortunately what the new findings can’t do is answer what the researchers admit is “the most interesting question” – how people’s sense of authenticity really does vary through life. The new results suggest that overall people – at least in American culture – think they’ve become progressively more “real”, and they expect this to continue. But to see if that’s really true we’d need a longitudinal study to take repeated measures of the same people’s feelings of authenticity over time. Stay tuned: we’ll let you know if and when such a study is done.

    Becoming your true self: Perceptions of authenticity across the lifespan

    Christian Jarrett (@Psych_Writer) is Editor of BPS Research Digest

    in The British Psychological Society - Research Digest on April 13, 2018 08:44 AM.

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    Sweet potatoes might have arrived in Polynesia long before humans

    Genetic analysis suggests that sweet potatoes were present in Polynesia over 100,000 years ago, and didn’t need help crossing the Pacific.

    in Science News on April 12, 2018 10:14 PM.

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    Using laser tweezers, chemists nudged two atoms to bond

    This is the first time researchers have purposefully combined two specific atoms into a molecule.

    in Science News on April 12, 2018 06:00 PM.

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    A key constant’s new measurement hints ‘dark photons’ don't exist

    New measurement of the fine-structure constant is the most precise yet.

    in Science News on April 12, 2018 06:00 PM.

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    These hummingbirds aim their singing tail feathers to wow mates

    Acoustic cameras reveal how male Costa’s hummingbirds can aim the sound produced by fluttering tail feathers during courtship dives.

    in Science News on April 12, 2018 04:39 PM.

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    Join us for live updates from the Women in Tech Summit #WITSNE

    Tech leaders are gathering in Philadelphia to talk about the latest trends — and how to pursue a career in technology

    in Elsevier Connect on April 12, 2018 03:19 PM.

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    Authors retract heart disease paper for “nonscientific reason”

    Researchers have retracted a 2018 paper about the genetic underpinnings of heart disease from the FASEB Journal — and it’s not entirely clear why. The paywalled retraction notice simply cites a “nonscientific reason.” Cody Mooneyhan, the director of publications at the journal, declined to provide further details, and the authors have provided different accounts of … Continue reading Authors retract heart disease paper for “nonscientific reason”

    in Retraction watch on April 12, 2018 03:00 PM.

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    Yosemite Sam: Bunny nemesis…and renowned scientist who nominates a journalist for a Nobel?

    If you’re unfamiliar with the work of Tom Spears, a reporter at the Ottawa Citizen, you have missed some clever lampooning of fake journals. But that work has not gone unnoticed in some circles, apparently: In the not-so-cleverly named journal Significances of Bioengineering & Biosciences, whose publisher’s motto is “Wings To The Research,” a researcher … Continue reading Yosemite Sam: Bunny nemesis…and renowned scientist who nominates a journalist for a Nobel?

    in Retraction watch on April 12, 2018 12:00 PM.

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    With the launch of TESS, NASA will boost its search for exoplanets

    The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite will set the stage for the next chapter of exoplanet exploration.

    in Science News on April 12, 2018 11:00 AM.

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    Around 20 to 30 per cent of us hear something when viewing silent videos – do you?

    giphyPeople who hear silent videos are more likely to report other synaesthesias, including seeing flashes upon hearing sounds in the dark / giphy.com

    By Emma Young

    If you have a couple of minutes, click through to this survey site of “noisy gifs” – brief silent movies that, for some people at least, evoke illusory sounds. If you hear a thwack when fists collide with a punchbag, or a yell while watching a man silently scream, then you’re experiencing a “visual-evoked auditory response” (vEAR), also called “hearing motion synaesthesia”.

    Ten years after the first, preliminary journal paper on the phenomenon, Christopher Fassnidge and Elliot Freeman at City University, London, report – in a new paper  in Cortex – that it’s remarkably common, affecting perhaps 20 – 30 per cent of us. Fassnidge and Freeman also investigated what induces vEAR, providing clues to what’s going on in the brain. 

    More than 4,000 volunteers, plus 126 paid participants, viewed 24, 5-second-long silent videos of real world scenarios and also more abstract images, such as shifting patterns. Using a scale of 0 to 5, they indicated how much auditory sensation they experienced for each video. They also answered a series of other questions, including about past experience of vEAR and of any other synaesthesias (when a perception via one sensory modality triggers a sensory perception in another modality). 

    As the unpaid volunteers were recruited via adverts with text such as “Do you experience ‘hearing motion?’”, it’s certainly possible that there was a self-selection bias. But, on enrolment, the paid participants did not know what the study was about, so, in theory, they should be more representative of the general population. Thirty-one per cent of this paid group (an even higher percentage, in fact, than in the bigger, unpaid group) reported past experience of vEAR. 

    When it came to the survey results, anyone who rated half of the videos at greater than or equal to 3 was identified as experiencing vEAR. Just over 20 per cent of the paid participants fell into this category. Taken with the self reports of past experience of vEAR, the findings suggest that the phenomenon is far from rare. 

    The higher-rated videos often depicted relatively familiar events that are reliably associated with particular sounds (like fists hitting a punchbag), suggesting that an understanding of what’s happening in the scene was involved in causing the illusory sounds.  

    However, in people who reported prior experience of vEAR, even videos containing abstract flickering or moving patterns could trigger sound perceptions. 

    Fassnidge and Freeman found that these videos had high levels of raw “motion energy” (imagine a flickering neon shop sign, for instance, compared with a silent video of a person screaming, in which case there’s very little movement or “motion energy”).

    This specific sensitivity to motion energy suggests, the researchers write, that in some people, at least, visual motion – rather than the meaning of a scene – affects auditory perceptions directly.  

    Given that participants with prior experience of vEAR were also more likely to report other synaesthesias, including seeing flashes in reaction to hearing sudden sounds in the dark, it’s possible the two phenomena are related. Synaesthesia has been associated with higher than normal cortical “excitability”, for instance, and the researchers said cortical excitability might also be involved in vEAR.  

    This is something that could now be investigated, the researchers write, before concluding: “Given the prevalence of visual-evoked auditory sensations and our new ability to quantify and correlate them, a potentially broad class of related subjective audiovisual phenomena have now become more accessible to scientific study.”   

    Sounds from seeing silent motion: Who hears them, and what looks loudest?

    Emma Young (@EmmaELYoung) is Staff Writer at BPS Research Digest

    in The British Psychological Society - Research Digest on April 12, 2018 08:44 AM.

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    Talking with—Not Just to—Kids Powers How They Learn Language

    Scientific American Mind 29, 8 (2018). doi:10.1038/scientificamericanmind0518-8

    Author: Claudia Wallis

    Back-and-forth exchanges build the brain's language center and verbal ability

    in Scientific American Mind on April 12, 2018 12:00 AM.

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    The Case for the Self-Driven Child

    Scientific American Mind 29, 50 (2018). doi:10.1038/scientificamericanmind0518-50

    Author: Gareth Cook

    In a new book, an argument for giving children more of a sense of control over their lives

    in Scientific American Mind on April 12, 2018 12:00 AM.

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    Brain Implants for Mood Disorders Tested in People

    Scientific American Mind 29, 5 (2018). doi:10.1038/scientificamericanmind0518-5

    Author: Sara Reardon

    AI-controlled devices record neural activity and automatically stimulate the brain

    in Scientific American Mind on April 12, 2018 12:00 AM.

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    What Is “Normal,” Anyway?

    Scientific American Mind 29, 45 (2018). doi:10.1038/scientificamericanmind0518-45

    Author: Jim Kozubek

    In psychology and psychiatry, it really means average or typical, but we too easily think of it as a synonym for how everyone is supposed to think and feel

    in Scientific American Mind on April 12, 2018 12:00 AM.

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    What Makes Us Vibe?

    Scientific American Mind 29, 42 (2018). doi:10.1038/scientificamericanmind0518-42

    Author: Daniel Barron

    We like other people in part because they think the way we do—but we may also think alike as a result of being friends

    in Scientific American Mind on April 12, 2018 12:00 AM.

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    To Combat Loneliness, Promote Social Health

    Scientific American Mind 29, 39 (2018). doi:10.1038/scientificamericanmind0518-39

    Author: Kasley Killam

    Mounting evidence shows that relationships should be a public health priority

    in Scientific American Mind on April 12, 2018 12:00 AM.

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    Brain “Pacemaker” Could Help You Remember Only What You Might Forget

    Scientific American Mind 29, 35 (2018). doi:10.1038/scientificamericanmind0518-35

    Author: Dana G. Smith

    An implant is the latest development in research on neural stimulation to boost cognition

    in Scientific American Mind on April 12, 2018 12:00 AM.

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    Foresee and Forget: How to Remember the Future

    Scientific American Mind 29, 29 (2018). doi:10.1038/scientificamericanmind0518-29

    Authors: Matthias Kliegel & Nicola Ballhausen

    Thanks to memory, we are able to recall the past. But we also need it to implement new ideas in the future

    in Scientific American Mind on April 12, 2018 12:00 AM.

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    Portrait of a Memory

    Scientific American Mind 29, 21 (2018). doi:10.1038/scientificamericanmind0518-21

    Author: Helen Shen

    Researchers are painting intricate pictures of individual memories and learning how the brain works in the process

    in Scientific American Mind on April 12, 2018 12:00 AM.