Doctors wary of medicating ear infections
Lucas Madrid was feverish and miserable in January. The 7-month-old pulled at his infected ear and woke up crying night after night. After more than a month and three courses of antibiotics, the Denver boy's ear finally cleared and he perked up, said his mother, Sara Madrid.
Walter has stopped hugging his friends. He is throwing out his clothes and furniture, and he rarely comes out of his Tenderloin hotel room anymore.
Sleepwalkers do the strangest things. Many accounts attest to a somnambulist leaving their house clad only in underpants, or rising to cook a meal and returning to bed without so much as tasting it. A stern warning is frequently tacked onto these tales: waking a sleepwalker could kill them. The chances of killing a sleepwalker due to the shock of sudden awakening, however, is about as likely as somebody expiring from a dream about dying.
While it is true that waking a sleepwalker, especially forcefully, may distress them, it is an absolutely false statement that someone would die from shock, says Michael Salemi, general manager at the California Center for Sleep Disorders. "You can startle sleepwalkers, and they can be very disoriented when you wake them up and they can have violent, or confused reactions, but I have not heard of a documented case of someone dying from being woken up." Sleepwalking's hazard is more closely linked to what the sleepwalker may encounter when roaming about in a nocturnal reverie.
Cops might want to put down the billy club and forget about psychology, new research suggests. An analysis of the TV show "COPS" reveals that the best way for police to calm down hysterical citizens is to look them straight in the eyes.
Gaze is important to everyday face-to-face interactions, and eye contact can be even more critical for police officers trying to gain compliance and calm hysterical individuals, said researcher Mardi Kidwell of the University of New Hampshire.
"A great deal of police work involves encountering people who are in crisis, people who are distraught, agitated and sometimes hysterical over the circumstances that have necessitated a police response," Kidwell said.
Her past research showed that when children refuse to obey adults they tend to avert their gaze, while adults attempting to get children to comply will try to get kids to look at them. Police officers, as well, interpret a person's looking away as a sign of resistance and will continue to pursue the individual's gaze to gain compliance.
Most people want to be normal. So, when we are given information that underscores our deviancy, the natural impulse is to get ourselves as quickly as we can back toward the center.
Marketers know about this impulse, and a lot of marketing makes use of social norms. This is especially true of campaigns targeting some kind of public good: reducing smoking or binge drinking, for example, or encouraging recycling. The problem with these campaigns is that they often do not work. Indeed, they sometimes appear to have the opposite of their intended effect.
Why would this be? Psychologist Wesley Schultz of California State University, San Marcos believes that despite the fact that we want to be normal, most people are very bad at estimating what normal human behavior really looks like. For example, many people probably think it's typical to spew 11 tons of carbon into the world every year, while others might think that a couple tons is probably closer to the mark. But, when Al Gore tells us that the national average is in fact 7.5 tons, he likely is sparking two very different reactions: Some feel guilty for being so gluttonous. But others probably react: whew, did something right for a change.
Will you lose weight and keep it off if you diet? No, probably not, UCLA researchers report in the April issue of American Psychologist, the journal of the American Psychological Association.
"You can initially lose 5 to 10 percent of your weight on any number of diets, but then the weight comes back," said Traci Mann, UCLA associate professor of psychology and lead author of the study. "We found that the majority of people regained all the weight, plus more. Sustained weight loss was found only in a small minority of participants, while complete weight regain was found in the majority. Diets do not lead to sustained weight loss or health benefits for the majority of people."
Canadian researchers have discovered a gene mutation that actually improves long-term memory and could eventually lead to a memory-enhancing pill.
Working with mice, lead researcher Mauro Costa-Mattioli, a postgraduate fellow at McGill University in Montreal, and colleagues found that rodents that had a defective version of a gene that produces a memory-blocking protein could learn and remember tasks faster than normal mice.
"We discovered a protein that is called eIF2a that, when mutated, mice have an enhanced memory," Mattioli said. "We hope that this could be a good target to develop a compound that will mimic this mutation, and we can enhance memory in humans," he said.
NEW YORK - City health officials are considering a program to urge circumcision for men at high risk of AIDS, noting studies that the procedure can reduce the chances of getting the disease.
How well people perform on tests after being deprived of sleep depends in part on their genes, new research suggests. After staying awake all night, individuals with a long version of the PER3 gene only scored half as well on cognitive tests as subjects with a short version.
What is more, the greatest differences in performance were seen during the small hours - the time when most tiredness-related accidents happen and when shift-workers have most trouble staying awake.
"It may be there are people who are genetically predisposed against shift work," says Malcolm von Schantz, at the University of Surrey, UK. But he emphasises that gene tests should not be used to discriminate against such individuals. It is very possible that carriers of the long PER3 gene have advantages at other times, he notes.
Study examines how Japan and United States vary in deciphering facial cues.
Research has uncovered that culture is a determining factor when interpreting facial emotions. The study reveals that in cultures where emotional control is the standard, such as Japan, focus is placed on the eyes to interpret emotions. Whereas in cultures where emotion is openly expressed, such as the United States, the focus is on the mouth to interpret emotion.
Across two studies, using computerized icons and human images, the researchers compared how Japanese and American cultures interpreted images, which conveyed a range of emotions.
"These findings go against the popular theory that the facial expressions of basic emotions can be universally recognized," said University of Alberta researcher Dr. Takahiko Masuda. "A person's culture plays a very strong role in determining how they will perceive emotions and needs to be considered when interpreting facial expression"