Psychology In the News

  • Violent imagery in computer games and on TV increases the risk of young children becoming aggressive and emotionally disturbed, a report says. The study found the effect was "small but significant" in the short-term and especially relevant for boys. The effect was less clear for older children and in the long-term, the Birmingham University researchers said. The review, published in The Lancet, said family and social factors were likely to affect the response too. View news story
  • Thought might not be dependent on language, according to new research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. A UK team has shown that patients who have lost the ability to understand grammar can still complete hard sums. This suggests mathematical reasoning can exist without language. View news story
  • Scientists say they have found the brain regions that help us to decide whether to look someone in the eye or look away. Using brain imaging, the Imperial College London team pinpointed specific areas deep within the frontal cortex. One region works when we decide to look at something, while another works if we change our mind at the last minute. Read news story
  • Spatial skills such as map reading and parking may be difficult for some women because they had too little testosterone in the womb. Some men have long held that women are deficient in these skills. Scientists from the University of Giessen, Germany, writing in the journal Intelligence found a lack of the hormone affects spatial ability. Read news story
  • 'God games' in which players must control virtual people and societies could be educational, says research. A US researcher has suggested that games such as The Sims could be a good way to teach languages. Ravi Purushotma believes that the world of The Sims can do a better job of teaching vocabulary and grammar than traditional methods. Read news story
  • A simple eye test has been developed to diagnose attention deficit hyperactive disorder in children, scientists say. A team at London's Brunel University developed the test during a study of 65 four to six-year olds. Researchers found the test, involving children following a spot of light on a computer screen, proved 93% accurate. Read news story
  • Pet therapy can help people with schizophrenia feel more motivated and improve their quality of life, research has suggested. A team from the Technion Institute of Technology in Israel looked at the effect of bringing dogs into therapy sessions. Patients in these sessions were much less apathetic compared to those who underwent conventional therapy. Read news story
  • Young people with brain injuries may benefit from drugs used to treat Alzheimer's patients, research shows. The drug boosts the function of a key brain chemical called acetylcholine. Brain injury resulting from accidents and serious falls is the most common cause of disability in young people. Read news story
  • The future of lying

    January 14, 2005
    As the British government unveils plans to make lie detector tests mandatory for convicted paedophiles, some scientists in the US are working on more advanced technology which might be better equipped at detecting deception. Read news story
  • Volunteers are to be 'burnt' by scientists to see if faith eases pain. Oxford University scientists will carry out experiments on hundreds of people in a bid to understand how the brain works during states of consciousness. One aspect of the two-year study will involve followers of both religious and secular beliefs being burnt to see if they can handle more pain than others. Read news story
  • Women may be more at risk of eating disorders than men because of the way their brain processes information. Scientists found the female brain responds differently to a man's when exposed to certain words concerned with body image. Read news story
  • The development of schizophrenia can be accurately predicted in high risk groups years before symptoms harden into psychosis, say scientists. A team from Edinburgh University has found people who go on to develop schizophrenia show subtle signs at an early stage. This includes social withdrawal, odd behaviour, and feelings of being disconnected from reality. Read news story