New insight into autism and reward circuitry in the brain
New research reveals people with autism spectrum disorder respond differently to social and non-social cues than typically developing individuals, and might not respond to rewards for desired behavior.
Why does sleep deprivation affect cognitive function of some more than others?
The key may be microRNAs, small non-coding RNAs that help regulate gene expression, according to a study from Penn Medicine and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
One in four Americans develops insomnia each year
About 25 percent of Americans experience acute insomnia each year, but about 75 percent of these individuals recover without developing persistent poor sleep or chronic insomnia.
Tipping point for large-scale social change? Just 25 percent
How many people need to take a stand before a behavior is no longer seen as normal? According to research from Annenberg’s Damon Centola, there’s now a quantifiable answer: roughly 25 percent.
Oxytocin, vasopressin flatten social hierarchy and synchronize behaviors
Findings from a study of male rhesus macaques from PIK professor Michael Platt and postdoc Yaoguang Jiang could lead to treatment options for social impairments in disorders like autism and schizophrenia.
‘Candy aspirin,’ safety caps, and the history of children’s drugs
When St. Joseph Aspirin for Children was introduced in the 1940s, it was formulated to be attractive in taste and color to its young audience. Dubbed “candy aspirin,” the product became popular—fast. As a consequence, aspirin poisonings of children under five skyrocketed.
New ‘match’ streamlines clinical training experience for psych graduate students
A new “match” for clinical psychology graduate students connects trainees with potential externship sites. In its second year, the initiative successfully matched more than 250 trainees in the mid-Atlantic region.
Wrongful convictions reported for 6 percent of crimes
For capital crimes like rape and murder, wrongful convictions happen in about 3 to 5 percent of cases. Such an estimate had proved elusive for the prison population as a whole—until now, thanks to work from Penn criminologists.
One-fifth of homeless youth are victims of human trafficking
A new study highlights the pipeline from abuse to homelessness to sex trafficking among youth in Philadelphia, D.C., and Phoenix, the largest study to date on human trafficking and teens.
A potential new weapon in the battle against addiction
New research revealed that FDA-approved drugs to treat diabetes and obesity may reduce cocaine relapse and help addicts break the habit. Such medications work by targeting receptors for glucagon-like peptide 1, a hormone in the brain.
In the News
Improving Family-based Comm. Key to Enhancing Sexual Health Outcomes of GBQ Adolescents
Research by Dalmacio Flores in the School of Nursing has highlighted missed opportunities for sexual-health education between gay, bisexual, or queer adolescent males and their parents.
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ERs in Pennsylvania, Delaware Report Huge Increases in Opioid Overdoses
JeanMarie Perrone of the Perelman School of Medicine advocates “more robust responses” for opioid overdose survivors in emergency departments.
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