Sex and Lies

Hi All

This article focuses on a topic we touched on earlier in the semester:  response bias in surveys.  The researchers asked participants questions about their sexual history and sexual activity on a questionnaire.  After the questionnaire participants were hooked up to a fake polygraph machine (lie detector test).  Participants changed their answers once they were hooked up to the polygraph machine compared to the answers they responded on the questionnaire.

This is a big issue for anyone conducting studies using questionnaires.  Even when their responses are anonymous people will tend to answer in ways that they think are socially desirable.

Link to the article:  http://www.everydayhealth.com/columns/dr-laura-berman-on-love-and-sex/study-finds-men-and-women-lie-to-sex-researchers/?xid=aol_eh-news_7_20130607_&aolcat=HLT&icid=maing-grid7|main5|dl27|sec3_lnk2&pLid=326435

-Rudy

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Psilocybin and cluster headaches

Hi All

We spent a portion of class talking about the different classifications of drugs and their affect on the body.  Psilocybin is one of the active ingredients in Psychedelic Mushrooms and it is a powerful serotonin agonist.  One of the possible uses for psilocybin is for it to be used as a treatment for cluster headaches.  Cluster headaches are an extremely painful form of debilitating headaches that affect a small portion of the population.  The video linked below shows one man’s personal struggle with cluster headaches and how he has gone about treating them.  I think this video is very interesting since it shows the possible uses of a drug that is currently socially stigmatized and strictly regulated for research purposes.

Link to video:  http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/channel/drugs-inc/videos/magic-mushroom-medicine/

-Rudy

Cold War animal spies

Hi All

 

During the Cold War some researchers had a novel idea to train animals as intelligence gatherers.  Apparently the researchers implemented their idea with some success.  Different animals learned how to plant listening devices, guide bombs, and play tic-tac-toe.  While playing tic-tac-toe may have been taught for entertainment purposes, the power of operant conditioning is evident.

Just one more reason not to trust cats…

-Rudy

 

Link to article:  http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/The-CIAs-Most-Highly-Trained-Spies-Werent-Even-Human-224933882.html?c=y&page=1#animal-intelligence-1.jpg

Memory tests influence how old you feel

Hi All

 

This article is about how performance on a memory test can influence how young or old you feel.  It does a great job of highlighting how important memory is not only for daily functioning, but also for self perception.  Take the article’s advice and ace a memory test, perhaps an OLI checkpoint quiz would provide a great opportunity.

 

-Rudy

 

Link to article:  http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/10/10/231460531/want-to-feel-five-years-older-just-take-a-memory-test

Sex of speaker influences comprehension

Hi All

 

This post looks at a recent study I was involved in.  We were interested in how words are stored in the mind.  To explore this question we tested two opposing theories.  The paper got picked up by a couple news outlets and even got into Scientific American’s 60 second science segment.

 

Your comment should include 2 questions you thought of based on the article in order to get 2 extra credit points.

The link to the article:  http://www.newswise.com/articles/view/610576/?sc=dwhp

 

Cheers,

Rudy

 

Restoring Touch

Hi All

This article describes new research attempting to restore the sense of touch to amputated limbs.  For a long time hearing has been the only sensation that could be restored, via cochlear implants.  However, touch and vision are on the verge of becoming senses that can be restored.  Exciting stuff!

 

-Rudy

 

link to article:  http://www.medicaldaily.com/touch-sensitive-artificial-limbs-horizon-amputees-new-age-smart-prosthetics-259820