Academic Research

Academic Research Is Psychology biased? SPOT Effect research highlights cognitive bias

Is Psychology biased? SPOT Effect research highlights cognitive bias

The SPOT Effect presents a challenge to psychologists and other researchers who aim to empirically test hypotheses in order to build and evaluate theories.   Just as with the physical sciences (Physics, Biology and Chemistry), social science must uphold high levels of scientific rigour in order to claim its results are reliable and valid.     […]

From The Web Do you crave music like you crave a cookie?

Do you crave music like you crave a cookie?

Imagine there is a cookie sitting in front of you. You are hungry. You have been on a diet for months. If you have to look at one more raw, paleo, gluten free snack you are going to scream. And the cookie looks good. It smells good. Without putting it in your mouth, you can […]

Autism Low muscle tone and autistic traits

Low muscle tone and autistic traits

“This large study showed a prospective association of infant muscle tone with autistic traits in childhood.” So said the findings reported by Fadila Serdarevic and colleagues who, looking at nearly 3000 children, were able to assess early motor development and muscle tone “between ages 2 and 5 months” and later parental ratings of autistic traits […]

From The Web 1 in 5 children “met criteria for low language at 7 years”

1 in 5 children “met criteria for low language at 7 years”

Although primarily looking at the potential predictors of language outcome, the study results published by Cristina McKean and colleagues revealed the rather important title heading this blog entry: “Almost 19% of children (22/1204;18.9%) met criteria for low language at 7 years.” The source of the finding was a cohort of some 1900 infants “recruited at […]

From The Web Irresistible: Emotions affect choice of breed despite welfare issues

Irresistible: Emotions affect choice of breed despite welfare issues

Knowing a breed of dog may have health problems does not stop people from wanting one, because emotions get in the way. A new Danish study by Peter S Sandøe (University of Copenhagen) et al investigates the reasons why people acquire particular small breeds of dog and how attached the owners feel to their pet. […]

Autism Say my name

Say my name

“At 9 months of age, infants developing ASD [autism spectrum disorder] were more likely to fail to orient to their names, persisting through 24 months.” So said the findings reported by Meghan Miller and colleagues investigating an often over-looked but typically informative question relevant to childhood autism screening and assessment: the response to name. Anyone who knows a […]

Autism “Autoimmune epilepsy is an underrecognized condition…”

“Autoimmune epilepsy is an underrecognized condition…”

“Among adult patients with epilepsy of unknown etiology, a significant minority had detectable serum Abs [autoantibodies] suggesting an autoimmune etiology.” So said the findings reported by Divyanshu Dubey and colleagues continuing a research theme on how epilepsy / seizure-type disorder(s) for some might have more to do with immune function than many people might think. OK, a brief […]

Dementia History of bipolar disorder = elevated risk of dementia: is vitamin D important?

History of bipolar disorder = elevated risk of dementia: is vitamin D important?

“History of BD [bipolar disorder] is associated with significantly higher risk of dementia in older adults.” So said the systematic review and meta-analysis published by Breno Diniz and colleagues taking in the accumulated peer-reviewed literature on this topic. Including data for some 3000 individuals diagnosed with bipolar disorder and nearly 200,000 controls (without bipolar disorder), authors calculated something […]

From The Web

Do twitter or facebook activity influence scientific impact?

Are scientists smart when they promote their work on social media? Isn’t this a waste of time, time which could better be spent in the lab running experiments? No. An analysis of all available articles published by PLoS journals suggests otherwise. My own twitter activity might best be thought of as learning about science (in […]

Autism Neuropsychiatric disorder onset “temporally related to prior vaccinations”?

Neuropsychiatric disorder onset “temporally related to prior vaccinations”?

“Given the modest magnitude of these findings in contrast to the clear public health benefits of the timely administration of vaccines in preventing mortality and morbidity in childhood infectious diseases, we encourage families to maintain vaccination schedules according to CDC guidelines.” The quote opening this post comes from the paper published by Douglas Leslie and […]