“Ecologists uncover the packages of behaviors and classes of stimuli as they occur in their natural environment, psychologists attempt to link their processing to the rest of cognition, and neuroscientists work on figuring out how the stimuli can be linked to the behaviors by the brain.”


“Why are rates of schizophrenia and autism higher in males? New evidence implicates an enzyme expressed in the placenta that helps protect the developing fetal brain from adverse effects of maternal stress early in pregnancy.”


….the gene that makes the enzyme, called OGT, is expressed less in placentas of male than in female offspring. Moreover, OGT was also expressed at relatively lower levels in placentas from stressed mothers. When they looked at evidence of its expression in human placentas, they saw a similar pattern of sex differences…OGT plays a pivotal role in

  • regulating the turning on-and-off of hundreds of brain genes

  • in protecting the developing brain from insults.

  • …OGTplaces male fetuses at a disadvantage in adapting to environmental changes – a possible mechanism underlying males’ increased vulnerability to enduring effects of maternal stress on brain development.

“It is interesting and indeed pathetic to observe how long a discovery of priceless value to humanity may be hidden away, or rather lie openly revealed, before the final and apparently obvious step is taken towards its practical application.”


John Tyndall (1881) on opposition to anesthesia during surgery.

“A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.”


German physicist Max Planck

Marketers Beware: Seeing Food Pics B4 May Kill Desire for Same


Instagram Is Spoiling Your Dinner  by Benjamin Plackett

It turns out that those self-appointed ‘foodies’ clogging up your Instagram feed with photos of their latest gastronomic feat are more than just annoying – they’re literally ruining your appetite.

Research published last month in the Journal of Consumer Psychology suggests the visual anticipation of that farm-to-table, foie gras-topped bison burger you’re going to eat tonight may not heighten the culinary experience after all – in fact it does the opposite.

Continue reading

Phasic Dopamine Responses – Biz and Marketing Folks Better Know a LOT About Dopamine System


This is THE fundamental system for all behavior “seeking/craving/getting ” behavior and all business, duh.

“…dopamine may act as a filter for selecting particular inputs, and thereby exert selective effects on corticostriatal inputs that underlie various behaviors.”

  • The novelty response of DA neurones habituates rapidly when a sensory stimulus is repeated in the absence of behaviourally rewarding consequences.
  • A phasic DA response will emerge following the presentation of a neutral sensory stimulus that predicts a primary reward. Under these conditions the DA responses to the predicted reward gradually diminish.
  • When a predicted reward is omitted, a reliable depression in the spontaneous activity of the DA neurones occurs 70-100 ms after the time of expected reward delivery. Continue reading

“There has never been…any example of an historic medical advance that now is widely accepted without a delay of at least 40 years (usually longer) …”


“There has never been, claims one historian of medicine,1 any example of an historic medical advance that now is widely accepted (like the germ theory of disease, or anesthetic surgery, or disproof of the efficacy of bleeding for pneumonia, or washing hands before delivery of a baby, or widespread antibiotic use) without a delay of at least 40 years (usually longer) between the presence of sufficient scientific evidence and widespread acceptance by the medical community.

How long is 40 years? Two generations of human beings.

The rule of thumb, proven by science and history, is that current generations always reject new truths.”