Post Of The Week – Saturday 23rd December, 2017

1) Transfer Effects Of Working Memory Training

When studying working memory, we look at the idea that understanding a child’s working memory may be important in understanding why s/he might be having problems learning in school. There is also the claim that it is possible to train children to develop better working memory. This article based on a research study just published suggests otherwise. Doing memory training makes you better at memory training but doesn’t have significant impact on other memory tasks.


2) Explanations Of Obesity

We had a fine end to the term in Year 2 looking at biological and psychological explanations of obesity. It emerged that understanding obesity had an important socko-cultural dimension: the evidence from Early Bird illustrates this well. It also emerged that we had to consider obesity holistically, understanding how a number of different types of explanation might fit together. This article bears this out, showing how obesity is linked to where you live. The number of fast food outlets is important: this is why the Mayor Of London plans to curb them. However, active lifestyle also seems to matter. Tied in with this is this article about laws in Biology. It explains how Biology, and therefore by implication Psychology, requires a systems level perspective. A reductionist approach based on understanding components of systems has in recent years been productive. We need though to understand how these components fit together to create an entire system. That essentially is what the argument in both obesity and in anorexia nervosa has been all about.


3) Imagination And OCD

We’ll be working on OCD in Year 1 next term. This article looks at the relationship between obsessions and compulsions. Strongly imagined obsessive thoughts with sensory experiences included, for example imagining the smell of smoke from a burning house, were linked to stronger compulsions.


4) Information Processing

We’ll be working on the cognitive approach soon. I always introduce it by showing an image of a very early computer. This article deals with the computer metaphor at the heart of the cognitive approach. It explains how it arose and what is wrong with it. Fascinating.


5) Eating Disorders As Autoimmune And Inflammatory Disorders

This article explains what has been found about the links between eating disorders and autoimmune and inflammatory disorders. It represents a different way of thinking about biological explanations of eating disorders and has implications for the stigma surrounding these disorders.


6) Brain Imaging For Depression

This article explains what we know about biomarkers for depression and why we need to know more.


7) 10 Famous Animals In Psychology

These are here from the BPS. Included are very useful videos of Pavlov’s dogs and Harlow’s monkeys.

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