Post Of The Week – Sunday 21st October 2018

1) Stages Of Sleep

This article describes research into the function of stages of sleep. When we study ultradian rhythms, we identify as a strength of the research describing each stage that it has been influential because it has raised the question of what these stages are for. Slow wave sleep appears to help us consolidate memories but REM sleep is important in helping us deal with the emotional content of memories.

 

2) Theory Of Mind

When we study social cognition, we look at two pieces of evidence about children’s theory of mind. One is from Repacholi and Gopnik (1997) and involves a child making predictions about the preferences of an adult. The other is the false belief task by Wimmer and Perner (1983) where children have to remember what a character has seen in order to understand what the character will do next. The successful children in Repacholi and Gopnik are 18 months old but those in Wimmer and Perner are older. This study goes some way to explaining the difference in age. 18 month old children are found to be able to track false beliefs prospectively, predicting what characters will do. It is only when children reach the age of 3 years that they can develop episodic memories to enable them to think back to an event and work out what a character might have done.

 

3) Doing The Science Properly

This article explains the science behind claims in the media about withdrawal symptoms for antidepressants.  This is a controversial and sensitive area where it is important to get the science right. The contention of this article is that a paper which received the media coverage got the science wrong.

 

4) How Science Is Understood In Psychology Text Books

This article explains how the text books for undergraduates present Psychology as a science and compare it with other sciences. The picture is not encouraging. It has got me thinking about how we deal with objectivity and subjectivity, something which comes up quite a bit. With practicals in mind, it has also got me thinking about how we deal with data which doesn’t turn out the way we expect.

 

5) Statistical Significance

Here is a useful piece from the Edit Lab.

 

6) OCD

Here is a fine piece of video from the Maudsley Hospital and a charity with whom they work. There is a section on how OCD is treated using CBT. No mention of drug therapy.

 

7) Neurofeedback And ADHD

Here is a report this week from the BBC.

 

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