Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Women are More Sensitive to Pain

When it comes to rating pain, it turns out that women are more sensitive than men are.

New research from Stanford University suggests that women seem to suffer more from pain, whether it's back pain or a sinus infection.

It is estimated that chronic pain affects more than 116 million Americans, according to the Institute of Medicine.

The pain study involved doctors asking patients to rate their pain on a list from zero (for no pain) to 10 (worst pain imaginable).

Taken from the article from The New York Times, "For 21 of 22 ailments with sample sizes large enough to make a meaningful comparison, the researchers found that women reported higher levels of pain than men. For back pain, women reported a score of 6.03, men 5.53. For joint and inflammatory pain, it was women 6.00, men 4.93. Women reported significantly higher pain levels with diabetes, hypertension, ankle injuries and even sinus infections."

In several diagnoses, women's rates were usually higher than men's by at least one point. Overall, their rates were 20 percent higher, which is considered a clinically meaningful difference.

To read the whole article, click here.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Seeking the neurological roots of conflict - MIT News Office

Seeking the neurological roots of conflict - MIT News Office

A great program for trial lawyers.



March 10, 2012 - March 14, 2012
At Harvard Law School and the Sheraton Commander Hotel
Cambridge, MA
 Sponsored by Howard L. Nations, Law Offices of Howard L. Nations, P.C.
With the inaugural program held in 1990, ATLA's Ultimate was the first of its kind to train trial lawyers in advanced communication skills and trial strategies. Using more than 20 years of ATLA/AAJ research, ATLA's Ultimate remains the national gold standard of trial advocacy programs.
The intense five-day program delivers the ultimate strategies for jury selection, voir dire, trial psychology, and courtroom communications. It includes a combination of lectures, demonstrations, and hands-on workshops led by a faculty of seasoned trial lawyers with nationally recognized trial consultants and communications experts. Only experienced trial lawyers with more than five jury trials are admitted to the program.

Decisions: We're maxed out say Montreal researchers

Decisions: We're maxed out say Montreal researchers

An Important point for trial lawyers!

The Power of Counterfactual Thinking

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Neuroscience and the Law - Association for Psychological Science

Neuroscience and the Law - Association for Psychological Science

Interesting Article for Voir Dire

Feeling Threatened About
the Future: Whites’ Emotional
Reactions to Anticipated
Ethnic Demographic Changes

H. Robert Outten1, Michael T. Schmitt1, Daniel A. Miller2,
and Amber L. Garcia3

In many Western countries, the proportion of the population that is White will drop below 50% within the next century. Two experiments examined how anticipation of these future ethnic demographics affects current intergroup processes. In Study 1, White Americans who viewed actual demographic projections for a time when Whites are no longer a numerical
majority felt more angry toward and fearful of ethnic minorities than Whites who did not view future projections. Whites who viewed the future projections also felt more sympathy for their ingroup than Whites in the control condition. In Study 2, the authors replicated the effects for intergroup emotions with a sample of White Canadians. White Canadians who thought about a future in which Whites were a numerical minority appraised the ingroup as more threatened, which mediated the effect of condition on intergroup emotions. The authors discuss the implications of these findings for race relations in
increasingly diverse societies.

Monday, January 9, 2012

A Nice Article On Cognitive Capacity

Neural substrates of cognitive capacity limitations
Timothy J. Buschmana,1, Markus Siegela,b, Jefferson E. Roya, and Earl K. Millera
aThe Picower Institute for Learning and Memory and Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139; and bCentre for Integrative Neuroscience, University of Tübingen, 72076 Tübingen, Germany
Edited by Robert Desimone, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, and approved May 23, 2011 (received for review March 23, 2011)

Cognition has a severely limited capacity: Adult humans can retain only about four items “in mind”. This limitation is fundamental to human brain function: Individual capacity is highly correlated with intelligence measures and capacity is reduced in neuropsychiatric diseases. Although human capacity limitations are well studied, their mechanisms have not been investigated at the single-neuron level. Simultaneous recordings from monkey parietal and frontal cortex revealed that visual capacity limitations occurred immedi- ately upon stimulus encoding and in a bottom-up manner. Capacity limitations were found to reflect a dual model of working memory. The left and right halves of visual space had independent capacities and thus are discrete resources. However, within each hemifield, neural information about successfully remembered objects was re- duced by adding further objects, indicating that resources are shared. Together, these results suggest visual capacity limitation is due to discrete, slot-like, resources, each containing limited pools of neural information that can be divided among objects. 
Go to the full article

Patterns of connections reveal brain functions - MIT News Office

Patterns of connections reveal brain functions - MIT News Office

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Benefiting From Misfortune
When Harmless Actions Are Judged to Be Morally Blameworthy

Yoel Inbar
  1. David A. Pizarro2
  2. Fiery Cushman3
  1. 1Tilburg University, Tilburg, Netherlands
  2. 2Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA
  3. 3Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA
  1. Yoel Inbar, Tilburg University, P.O. Box 90153, Tilburg, 5000 LE, Netherlands Email:yinbar@uvt.nl


Dominant theories of moral blame require an individual to have caused or intended harm. However, the current four studies demonstrate cases where no harm is caused or intended, yet individuals are nonetheless deemed worthy of blame. Specifically, individuals are judged to be blameworthy when they engage in actions that enable them to benefit from another’s misfortune (e.g., betting that a company’s stock will decline or that a natural disaster will occur). Evidence is presented suggesting that perceptions of the actor’s wicked desires are responsible for this phenomenon. It is argued that these results are consistent with a growing literature demonstrating that moral judgments are often the product of evaluations of character in addition to evaluations of acts.

This is an interesting article worth reading for trial lawyers!