Scientific American has an article looking at anticipated scientific developments in the coming year including the publication of DSM-V.
There is a brief but interesting review of research findings examining the relationship between Glutamate and mental illness here.
There is an interesting study (via @claudiamegele) about the genetics of Depression. A study involving an international collaboration of 86 scientists looking at studies with a cumulative total of 34, 549 participants found no strong genetic links to Depression. There are various studies which show there can be a strong family history of Depression but these most recent findings suggest important lessons are yet to be learnt in understanding the relationship between genetics and unipolar Depression.
The Institute of Psychoanalysis has a fascinating piece on the influence of Shakespeare on the development of psychoanalysis including the influence of Hamlet on Freud’s ‘The Interpretation of Dreams’.
There is an interesting video of Psychiatrist Dr Mark Salter giving a talk on the meaning of pain.
South Korea is reported to have a rapidly aging population and the anticipated increase in people with Dementia is examined in detail in this article.
The Bystander Effect occurs when a person observing a person in distress is less likely to act in the presence of other observers. There is also evidence that the likelihood of a response diminishes as the number of other observers increases. One team at University College London investigated this phenomenon using virtual reality. They found that people were more likely to react in the environment to a virtual character appearing to be in distress if the character had a similar affiliation to themselves or if the character appearing in distress looked directly at them.
A variation of the Dopamine gene has been found to be associated with longevity in one study. The gene variant (allele) known as DRD4 7r allele was investigated in people aged 7-109 years of age. Those people aged 90-109 years (n=310) were 66% more likely than the younger age (7 -45 years of age, n=2902) to have this allele. The researchers also undertook research into mice which corroborated these findings
There is an interesting writeup at the Well blog at the New York Times on animals studies showing that mood and memory gains from exercise can be lost after periods of inactivity. However this shouldn’t be too surprising if exercise promotes memory and mood.
The Medical Research Council have a fascinating piece on the pioneers of Magnetic Resonance Imaging including an early photograph of the team featuring Sir Peter Mansfield.
A recent study looking at 4802 people in the University of North California Alumni Heart Study concluded that people that never married were more than twice as likely to die in the study than those who had been in a stable marriage throughout adult life.
Anthropology Report have a comprehensive roundup of anthropology in 2012.
Emeritus Professor Geoff Cumming has written a piece on confidence intervals which he advocates in place of p values in scientific reporting.
David Brooks has an interesting piece on how behavioural research has been used in government policy citing several important examples
Professor Deevy Bishop has a helpful piece on reporting research on genetic variation and neuroimaging.
Twitter have released their findings after a study of UK Twitter users. Of 10 million UK users identified in the report 60% were estimated to be using Twitter while watching TV. 40% of Tweets during peak time were about Television.
Researchers looked at personality traits in research across 9 languages to examined culture-independent personality traits. The researchers found two invariant traits across these languages – social self-regulation and dynamism.
PLOS-One have an interesting paper on a study looking at how metaphors influence decision making. The researchers in this study gave subjects a problem to solve and examined the effects of metaphor use on decision-making by the subjects. The researchers found evidence for metaphor influencing decision-making. The researchers found that even if subjects did not have an explicit memory of the metaphor it still influenced their decision making.
There is an interesting piece on 12 cognitive biases at IO9 including confirmation and ingroup bias.
The strength of Chimpanzees relative to humans is covered in this article.
There is an interesting write up on the debate about the possible ‘mind reading’ abilities of Crows.
One group has developed a gene chip looking at SNP’s (Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms). These are short gene sequences. This gene chip is being used to identify specific traits in people with a high degree of confidence.
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