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Infant learning: Is more really better?

( Many parents and caregivers believe that multi-sensory stimulation during infancy promotes developmental growth and learning, but researchers who conducted eye movement experiments on preverbal infants show that this is not always true.

The team discovered that 8 to 10 month old infants could learn basic abstract rules, such as sequences, but only when the audio and visual stimuli were "congruently" or "consistently" paired. If a smiling face was paired with a crying sound, the infants were confused, and they did not learn the rule.

The findings indicate that having both visual and audio inputs--or more than one sensory stimulation--does not guarantee successful learning. They have to match each others' nature.

"How to match stimulation from visual, audio, tactile, and other sensory systems into a unified manner is the key to help our little ones fully benefit from it," said Dr. Chia-huei Tseng, senior author of the Developmental Science study.



New rule to help identify fractures in young children with head trauma

A new decision rule will help emergency department physicians determine when to use radiography in young children with minor head injuries. The Canadian-developed rule is published in CMAJ. Head injury is a common reason for children to visit emergency departments, resulting in more than 20 000 visits in Canada and 470 000 in the United States each year. Although termed "minor," these head injuries may have complications such as skull fractures and brain injury. Computed tomography (CT) scans, which are the most effective diagnostic tool, carry an increased risk of cancer, ...

Psychedelic therapy re-emerging for anxiety, PTSD and addiction

Renewed medical interest in the use of psychedelic drugs for anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and addiction has resulted in small research studies that show some success with the controlled use of these drugs, according to an analysis published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal). Psychedelic drugs are substances that have a strong effect on one's "conscious experience," such as lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), psilocybin, found in "magic mushrooms," dimethyltryptamine (DMT), mescaline and methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA). "The re-emerging ...

Electronic records with decision support help optimize emergency care for stroke patients

OAKLAND, Calif. -- The timely administration of a clot-dissolving treatment for emergency department patients with acute ischemic stroke nearly doubled following the introduction of new technology that enabled electronic order entry and offered care-decision support for physicians, according to a study published today in the Annals of Emergency Medicine. The study was conducted during the staged implementation of computerized physician order entry when integrated into electronic health records across 16 Kaiser Permanente Northern California medical centers from 2007 to ...

Big data tool to reveal immune system role in diseases

(NEW YORK - September 8, 2015) Researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Princeton University have designed a new online tool that predicts the role of key proteins and genes in diseases of the human immune system. Called "ImmuNet," details of the publically available resource were published online today in the journal Immunity. The tool uses information compiled from 38,088 public experiments to predict new immune pathway interactions, mechanisms, and disease-associated genes. With advances in inexpensive computing power, and stored data collections ...

Keeping older muscles strong

As we grow older, we lose strength and muscle mass. However, the cause of age-related muscle weakness and atrophy has remained a mystery. Scientists at the University of Iowa have discovered the first example of a protein that causes muscle weakness and loss during aging. The protein, ATF4, is a transcription factor that alters gene expression in skeletal muscle, causing reduction of muscle protein synthesis, strength, and mass. The UI study also identifies two natural compounds, one found in apples and one found in green tomatoes, which reduce ATF4 activity in aged ...

Pitt researchers developing a novel way to identify pathogens

PITTSBURGH--There are plenty of ways in the lab to determine which bug is bugging you when you're sick. The University of Pittsburgh's Xinyu Liu, Sanford Asher, and colleagues may have found a faster method. "You can do a swab and culture the bacterium or fungi, but that takes days," Liu says. "You can examine the DNA, but that takes another day or two. It's a pretty tedious process. So, before the identity of the pathogen can be determined, doctors give infected people a broad-spectrum antibiotic that kills everything." It would be better for the patient, then, to ...

Rudeness damages medical staff performance

Researchers have proven that rudeness -- like poison in the water cooler -- is toxic in the workplace, affecting both job and business performance. But what if your office is a hospital Intensive Care Unit where lives hang in the balance? A new Tel Aviv University study published in Pediatrics suggests that even the most benign forms of impoliteness may impede medical personnel's ability to perform under pressure and damage the quality of patient care. Rudeness alone accounts for a significant drop in hospital staff's diagnostic and professional performance, according ...

Bubble, bubble ... boiling on the double

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--The boiling of water is at the heart of many industrial processes, from the operation of electric power plants to chemical processing and desalination. But the details of what happens on a hot surface as water boils have been poorly understood, so unexpected hotspots can sometimes melt expensive equipment and disable plants. Now researchers at MIT have developed an understanding of what causes this extreme heating -- which occurs when a value known as the critical heat flux (CHF) is exceeded -- and how to prevent it. The new insights could make it possible ...

Dark matter: CRESST searches for 'lightweights'

Dark matter: CRESST searches for lightweights
This news release is available in German. The Earth, planets, stars, and galaxies form only the visible portion of the matter in the universe. Greater by far is the share accounted for by invisible "dark matter". Scientists have searched for the particles of dark matter in numerous experiments - so far, in vain. With the CRESST experiment, now the search radius can be considerably expanded: The CRESST detectors are being overhauled and are then able to detect particles whose mass lies below the current measurement range. As a consequence, the chance of tracking ...

Using a human voice in social media has a positive effect on company reputation

Washington, DC (September 8, 2015) - The modern-day complaints department tends to be a direct mention on Twitter to the company that has wronged you. It's easier than ever to have a direct line to a company, but what does a corporation get out of this interaction? A recent study published in the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication by researchers at VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands, found that people who follow corporate social media accounts that present a human voice are more likely to have a positive view of the company. Corné Dijkmans (NHTV Breda ...


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