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Volume 18, Issue8August, 2005

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Parkinsonian Executive Dysfunction Is Associated With Reduced Serotonin

Executive function was examined in mice lesioned with MPTP. MPTP did not affect baseline performance of the tasks. When challenged with shorter cue durations, reaction times were slower in lesioned mice. When pre-cue times were doubled, MPTP mice increased impulsive responding. Prefrontal serortonin was the best predictor of impaired performance. More

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Becoming Symbol-Minded

“Our symbolic ability is our defining characteristic of what it means to be a human being,” according to APS Fellow Judy DeLoache. “It’s what gives us our incredible cognitive power,” and is one of the core intelligence factors that separate people from animals. But it doesn’t come naturally. Learning to More

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In Search of the Social Brain

What are the biological underpinnings of human social behavior? Is it possible for brain research to provide the same degree of insight into human interaction that it recently has into more solitary processes like cognition and memory? That was the subject of this year’s Presidential Symposium at the APS Annual More

Animated Expressions

One of the buzz-generating highlights of the APS Annual Convention in Los Angeles was an “animated” roundtable discussion between Pete Docter of Pixar Animation Studios and two giants (you might even call them Incredibles) of emotion research, Paul Ekman, University of California, San Francisco and Dacher Keltner, University of California More

Can You Feel the Identity Shift?

A few years ago, Claude Steele felt discriminated against in a way he will not soon forget. Having traveled to Silicon Valley to meet a friend working at a start-up firm, Steele, coaxed inside, shook hands with the president — all 26 years worth of him — and the other More

Liar, Liar, Brains on Fire

Richard Milhouse Nixon, perhaps the most recognizable public deceiver of the 20th century, once said, “I don’t know anything about lie detectors, other than that they scare the hell out of people.” As one of the nation’s leading researchers on the topic, John J. B. Allen, University of Arizona, knows More

APS Veterans

APS Veterans: Helen Murphy and Cyrilla Wideman. To Cyrilla H. Wideman and Helen M. Murphy, John Carroll University researchers who have attended every APS Annual Convention, choosing a favorite one would approach the unthinkable, a task in the absurd realm of naming a most-loved child or picking the prettiest star More

Silver Screen Psychology

A distraught father sorts through mementos of his missing daughter, replaying in memory the last conversation he had with her before her disappearance. But gradually his memories change, and we no longer know what is real and what is imagined. If it sounds more like the premise of a Hollywood More

Know Thy Self

Self-knowledge is a perennial ideal in philosophy, but one that is seldom if ever attained. Benjamin Franklin wrote in his 1750 Poor Richard’s Almanac that “There are three things extremely hard: steel, a diamond, and to know one’s self.” According to Cornell University psychologist David Dunning, the problem of knowing More

History, Her Story

‘That Woman’ By Frank Landy SHL Landy Jacobs, Inc. USA 2005 APS Annual Convention. I had decided the topic would be national culture and the interaction between culture and human resource practice. At the last minute, I decided to change the topic and present a historical review of the concept More

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Empirical Science for the Spotless Mind

The blank slate, the dominant theory of human nature in modern intellectual life stating that humans are shaped entirely by their experiences and not by any preexisting biological mechanisms, is being challenged and soundly trounced by the cognitive, neural, and genetic sciences, said Steven Pinker, Harvard University, in his Keynote More

Adaptations of the Brain

In the complex studies of neurons and gray matter, cognitive psychologist Stephen Engel is sticking to the basics. Engel, a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, was able to characterize the way learning impacts the primary visual cortex — the first stop in the brain for information from More

Goodness of Fit: The History of the Person-Environment Paradigm

Matching people to the environments they live and work is centrally important in industrial/organizational psychology. At this year’s Annual Convention in Los Angeles, an invited symposium examined the history of the person—environment paradigm. Symposium Chair David Baker, Director of the Archives of the History of America at the University of More

Convention Snapshots

Judy DeLoache discusses how children become symbolminded. Her Bring the Family Address centered on the challenges children face and “how infants and very young children first start to learn about a variety of different kinds of symbols that are all around them, from the beginning of life.” Funny Meeting You More

Codes of Conduct in the Business World

Though her book The Fountainhead, was written over 60 years ago, Ayn Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism remain relevant today, particularly to business ethics, according to APS Fellow Edwin A. Locke, University of Maryland, in his invited talk, “Ethics in Business Organizations: Why Are They Needed? What Should Be Taught? Who More

With the Brain, Is Seeing Believing?

They’re everywhere these days: colorful images showing the human brain in action. With the advent of CT and PET scans, and now the growing use of functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI, researchers’ ability to correlate psychological processes with the activation of different brain areas is producing startling findings, seemingly More

Genetic Environment

The researchers used every medium from Canadian lab mice to Indian Rhesus monkeys to human twins, all in the pursuit of deciphering a condition that profoundly changes the way humans function. The disease is alcoholism, and while researchers know the necessary condition for its appearance – alcohol – they are More

Dropping The Ball

“If you don’t want to discover true associations, ignore what is going on among modern [statistical] techniques,” said Rand Wilcox, University of Southern California, playfully addressing the overflow audience. Wilcox’s invited address entitled, “More Reasons Why Discoveries Are Lost by Ignoring Modern Statistical Methods: Some Recent Advances When Comparing Groups More

New Opportunities in Aging Research

As a coping mechanism, dwelling on life’s daily struggles can end up causing more harm than good. But the good news is, we do less of it as we get older. It’s called “rumination,” and essentially means that “when you’re upset you become passive and have a lot of thoughts More