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Did You Hear That? Specific Brain Activity Linked With Imagined Hearing

Being able to distinguish what is real and what is not may seem pretty basic, but the inability to perform this task could be a marker of many psychiatric disorders. This task, known to researchers as “reality monitoring,” is at the core of a study from scientists at Yale University.

Previous research has demonstrated that there are specific brain areas related to whether a person correctly identifies a visual stimulus as something that actually happened or was “self-generated.” Researchers Eriko Sugimori, Marcia Johnson, and colleagues at Yale University hypothesized that this relationship may not be specific to just the visual system, and that specific brain activity may also distinguish heard and imagined words.

To find out, the researchers had participants undergo an auditory task in a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanner.

The participants were shown a cue on a computer screen…


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The Taxman Cometh: Science Explains Why Some Pay and Others Evade

The first week of April is drawing to a close, which means millions of Americans are making a mad dash to get their taxes done and filed by the April 15th deadline. In the face of an exceedingly arcane tax code, many turn to the help of professionals to make sure their taxes are done right — after all, no one wants to suffer through the all-dreaded audit.

But some will inevitably decide that the government won’t be getting their money this year. What motivates some people to pay and others not?

An article in the April 2014 issue of Current Directions in Psychological Science looks at the factors that drive people to pay, or not pay, their taxes.

“Citizens’ tax compliance is of utmost importance for a state to provide public goods and redistribute wealth,” write Erich Kirchler and colleagues at…


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Researchers Make Strides in Early Diagnosis for Autism

It’s World Autism Awareness Day, an annual celebration in which autism organizations across the globe engage in fundraising and educational events to raise public understanding of the developmental disorder. And it falls in the wake of last week’s U.S. government report showing a 30 percent rise in autism rates. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the condition now affects an estimated one of every 68 8-year-old children, up from one in 88 just two years ago.

Fortunately, psychological scientists are helping researchers from other disciplines make progress in early diagnosis and intervention for children with autism.

One of the most promising studies, published last year in Nature, found markers for the disorder within the first 6 months of life.

Biomedical scientist Warren Jones and psychological scientist Ami Klin of the Marcus Autism Center and Emory University…


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Current Directions in Psychological Science

Current Directions in Psychological Science: Volume 23, Number 2

Current Directions in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science publishes reviews by leading experts covering all of scientific psychology and its applications.


Cooperative Tax Compliance: From Deterrence to Deference Erich Kirchler, Christoph Kogler, and Stephan Muehlbacher

_______________________________________________________________________ Sources of Ostracism: The Nature and Consequences of Excluding and Ignoring Others Lisa Zadro and Karen Gonsalkorale

_______________________________________________________________________ The Nature and Power of Interests James Rounds and Rong Su

_______________________________________________________________________ The Psychology of Eating Animals Steve Loughnan, Brock Bastian, and Nick Haslam

_______________________________________________________________________ The Social Brain: Psychological Underpinnings and Implications for the Structure of Organizations R. I. M. Dunbar

_______________________________________________________________________ The Co-Evolution of Concepts and Motivation Andrew W. Delton and Aaron Sell

_______________________________________________________________________ Why Is Infant Language Learning…


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History on Display at the 2014 APS Convention

2014-EB_Web_260x210Original uniforms, a billy club, and sunglasses from the historic Stanford Prison Experiment, in which social psychology pioneer and APS Fellow Philip Zimbardo examined how college students reacted to being placed in a simulated prison environment as either guards or inmates, will be on display at the 2014 APS Convention in San Francisco, California. The Center for the History of Psychology is sponsoring the exhibit and will display the uniforms from the 1971 study in the Exhibit Hall.

The clothing prisoners and guards wore served an important purpose to the experiment by playing a role in their perceptions of and reactions to their experimental surroundings. While the inmates were given identical uniforms and referred to by numbers, the guards wore silver mirroring glasses that shaded…


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