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November 22, 2022
by Patricia Tomasi

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New Study Looks At Cognitive Development In Children With HIV

November 22, 2022 08:00 by Patricia Tomasi  [About the Author]

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A new study published in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes looked at longitudinal outcomes in children with HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders in Zambia. “Our study is about cognitive development in children and adolescents with HIV,” study author David Bearden told us. Bearden is an assistant professor of Neurology and Pediatrics at the University of Rochester Medical Center. [More]

September 27, 2022
by Patricia Tomasi

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Can Stress Enhance Cognitive Functioning?

September 27, 2022 08:00 by Patricia Tomasi  [About the Author]

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A new study published in Psychiatry Research looked at whether perceived stress can be linked to enhanced cognitive functioning and a reduced risk for psychopathology. “Our study tested whether low to moderate levels of perceived stress are associated with benefits in cognitive functions and mental health,” study author Assaf Oshri told us. “We relied on the Hormesis model, which is from the field of toxicology- assuming that not all stress is bad for the organism and that there is a threshold of stress from which stress is bad for you.” [More]

December 28, 2021
by Patricia Tomasi

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New Study Tries To Answer What Makes Us Human

December 28, 2021 08:00 by Patricia Tomasi  [About the Author]

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Two new studies published in the Journal of Biological Psychiatry and BioRxiv focused on understanding how the frontal part of the cortex known as the prefrontal cortex (PFC) develops. “We were interested in studying this regions as it is important for higher order cognition (think problem solving, planning complex actitivies), regulating emotion and social behaviors, which are most advanced in humans and behaviors disrupted in most neuropsychiatric disorder,” studies author Kartik Pattabiraman told us. “Furthermore, the PFC is greatly expanded in primates and are further specialized i.e. unique connections and cellular properties in humans. For example, excitatory neurons in human PFC form more connections with other neurons than neurons in monkeys and other animals.” [More]

December 14, 2021
by Patricia Tomasi

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How Much About The Mind Do Preschoolers Understand?

December 14, 2021 08:00 by Patricia Tomasi  [About the Author]

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A new study published in the Society for Research in Child Development looked at Perceptual Access Reasoning (PAR) in developing a representational theory of mind. “My colleagues and I studied how young children develop a theory of mind, which refers to our common sense understanding that people’s outward behavior is caused by their internal mental states, such as their desires, perceptions, knowledge, memories, and beliefs,” study author William V. Fabricius told us. “Young children have to learn what the different kinds of mental states are, and how they work together to produce people’s behavior. It is so very important for children to understand these connections, because it lays the foundation upon which they learn how to get along with others.” [More]

November 30, 2021
by Patricia Tomasi

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New Study Finds Students Learn Five Times More With AI-Supported Hands-On Interactions

November 30, 2021 08:00 by Patricia Tomasi  [About the Author]

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A new study published in the Journal of Science looked at active learning. “The notion of active learning has been receiving a lot of attention recently,” study author Nesra Yannier told us. "Especially with COVID-19, the importance of engaging students with novel ways of learning has become even more apparent. While schools and teachers are trying to adapt by incorporating new techniques and technologies, quarantine has also been having psychological effects on students such as social isolation, restlessness and attention problems.” [More]

November 16, 2021
by Patricia Tomasi

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What Makes People Engage In Small Talk Rather Than Deep Conversation?

November 16, 2021 08:00 by Patricia Tomasi  [About the Author]

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A new study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology looked at miscalibrated expectations and how they create a barrier to deeper conversation. “In this research, we wanted to understand why people often engage in small talk in everyday life rather than initiate deeper and more intimate conversations that might strengthen their social relationships,” study author Michael Kardas told us. “We reasoned that people's decisions about what topics to discuss in conversation are guided by their expectations about the likely outcomes of the conversation.” [More]

July 6, 2021
by Patricia Tomasi

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Studying The Brain's Inner Workings When It Comes To White Lies

July 6, 2021 08:00 by Patricia Tomasi  [About the Author]

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A new study published in the Journal of Neuroscience looked at how the neural representation in the medical prefrontal cortex reveals selfish motivation in white lies. “In this study, we specifically aimed to identify distinctive neural signatures of selfish and altruistic motivation for Pareto white lies,” study author Dr. Hackjin Kim told us, “particularly focusing on the distinctive functional roles of the subregions in the medial prefrontal cortex in social valuation based on the model recently proposed by our research team.” [More]

March 16, 2021
by Patricia Tomasi

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New Study Looks At Why People Spread Misinformation And Why People Believe It

March 16, 2021 08:00 by Patricia Tomasi  [About the Author]

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A new study published in the British Journal of Social Psychology looked at how people who frequently try to impress or persuade others predicts receptivity to various types of misleading information. “On a basic level, it’s investigating some of the ways that misinformation is spread (intentionally and unintentionally) and evaluated by people when they encounter it,” study author Shane Littrell told us. [More]

April 28, 2020
by Patricia Tomasi

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Just How Different Are We From Chimpanzees, Gorillas And Orangutans?

April 28, 2020 08:00 by Patricia Tomasi  [About the Author]

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How different are our brains from our primate ancestors? This is the question researchers in Germany attempted to answer in a new study published in the Journal of Science Advances. The study looked at brain asymmetry in humans and great apes as seen from endocasts, casts of the inner bony brain case that approximate the size and shape of the brain. Brain asymmetry is imperative to cognition and brain function in humans and has been linked to language and the use of tools. [More]