Posts tagged neuropsychology

Re: Nichey nicheness.

Since some of my work will now involve conflict studies relating to neuropsychology, you can expect to find more posts in this area. Most of you already know about this, so I feel dropping a few bread crumbs about what the hell I’m up to, might be fun. To that end, the February 11th ed. of Time Magazine has a decent introductory overview on drones and manages to squeeze in a few words that cut into a specific research interest of mine:

Drones bring that asymmetrical dynamic out into the real world: a drone is the physical avatar of the virtual presence of a real person. They provoke a new kind of anxiety, quiet unlike the nuclear terror of the 1980s or the conspiracy-theory paranoia of the 1990s. They’re a swarming persistent presence, low-level but ubiquitous and above all anonymous.  [via]

Above: A sample of unmanned aerial vehicles, including the LEMV (1), which can hover for weeks at a time, or the Seafox (5) which hunts and destroys floating mines, the Raven (6) which can deliver real time intel or the Nano (2) equipped with a tiny camera weighing only 19 grams. 

If you have anything similar you’d like to share, the inbox is now open.

[Img src Time, Feb 11, 2012, print ed., via]

Scientists find brain differences in pedophiles

Aside from functional differences in the brain during magnetic resonance tomography (MRT) experiments, where subjects are shown images of  ”cars, houses, holiday scenes, and images meant to arouse pedophiles”, there is also a “string of neuropsychological characteristics” says psychologist, Jorge Ponseti. 

"For example, their intelligence quotient is about 8 percentage points lower than the average. 

It’s also interesting that the age of the victim is related to the IQ of the abuser,” he added. “So the dumber the criminal, the younger the child. [via]

Mood and the False Memory Effect

With Sadness Comes Accuracy; With Happiness, False Memory

"In two experiments, we found that affect can influence the encoding processes believed to lead to the production of false memories. In particular, negative affective cues reduced the false memory effect."

Also suggesting:

…that positive affect can be expected to benefit performance on tasks requiring relational processing, but that negative affect may benefit performance on tasks requiring referential processing. In the present task, the referential processing of negative moods led to accuracy, whereas the relational processing of positive moods led to false memories.

I sat down with the author of this study yesterday. This is one of the first articles he did laying the ground work for his more recent research on how people who report being sad have better spacial recall and those who report being happy have better verbal recall. 

Torture can actually impair a person's ability to tell the truth.

"So let’s break this down anatomically. Fact One: To recall information stored in the brain, you must activate a number of areas, especially the prefrontal cortex (site of intentionality) and hippocampus (the door to long-term memory storage). Fact Two: Stress such as that caused by torture releases the hormone cortisol, which can impair cognitive function, including that of the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus. Studies in which soldiers were subjected to stress in the form of food and sleep deprivation have found that it impaired their ability to recall personal memories and information, as this 2006 study reported. “Studies of extreme stress with Special Forces Soldiers have found that recall of previously-learned information was impaired after stress occurred,” notes O’Mara. “Water-boarding in particular is an extreme stressor and has the potential to elicit widespread stress-induced changes in the brain.”