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    ABSTRACT: Humans have been shown to display phenomena resembling sexual imprinting, whereby adults are attracted to features in potential mates which resemble their opposite sex parent. In humans this may be particularly so when the parent–child relationship is positive, but there are currently limited data elucidating the causes of these patterns. Here we investigate whether such preferences can be documented in children on the cusp of puberty, for whom prospective data exist on parent–child relationships. Sixty 9-year-olds and their parents were recruited from a British longitudinal sample who have been studied since infancy. Parents were photographed and children were then presented with stimuli in which a computer generated face was manipulated to appear more or less like the parent. Children also reported on their current relationship with each parent. Although attachment at 15 months did not predict imprinting at 9 years of age, children reporting a more accepting current relationship with their parents preferred parental features significantly more than those who reported a more rejecting relationship with their parents. These data support the suggestion that imprinting-like phenomena in humans may arise through associative learning.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2015 · Evolution and Human Behavior
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    ABSTRACT: Neuroimaging has shown that a network of cortical areas, which includes the superior temporal gyrus, is active during auditory verbal hallucinations (AVHs). In the present study, healthy, non-hallucinating participants (N=30) completed an auditory signal detection task, in which participants were required to detect a voice in short bursts of white noise, with the variable of interest being the rate of false auditory verbal perceptions. This paradigm was coupled with transcranial direct current stimulation, a noninvasive brain stimulation technique, to test the involvement of the left posterior superior temporal gyrus in the creation of auditory false perceptions. The results showed that increasing the levels of excitability in this region led to a higher rate of ‘false alarm’ responses than when levels of excitability were decreased, with false alarm responses under a sham stimulation condition lying at a mid-point between anodal and cathodal stimulation conditions. There were also corresponding changes in signal detection parameters. These results are discussed in terms of prominent cognitive neuroscientific theories of AVHs, and potential future directions for research are outlined.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · Neuropsychologia
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    ABSTRACT: People who experience auditory hallucinations tend to show weak reality discrimination skills, so that they misattribute internal, self-generated events to an external, non-self source. We examined whether inducing negative affect in healthy young adults would increase their tendency to make external misattributions on a reality discrimination task. Participants (N = 54) received one of three mood inductions (one positive, two negative) and then performed an auditory signal detection task to assess reality discrimination. Participants who received either of the two negative inductions made more false alarms, but not more hits, than participants who received the neutral induction, indicating that negative affect makes participants more likely to misattribute internal, self-generated events to an external, non-self source. These findings are drawn from an analogue sample, and research that examines whether negative affect also impairs reality discrimination in patients who experience auditory hallucinations is required. These findings show that negative affect disrupts reality discrimination and suggest one way in which negative affect may lead to hallucinatory experiences.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2014 · Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry
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