Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

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Parent practices: change to develop successful, motivated readers

By Jamie Zibulsky and Anne E. Cunningham
Being literate involves much more than the ability to sound out the words on a page, but acquiring that skill requires years of development and exposure to the world of words. And once children possess the ability to sound out words, read fluently, and comprehend the words on a page, they have limitless opportunities to learn about new concepts, places, and people.

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What is clinical reasoning?

By Lloyd A. Wells
It is easy to delineate what clinical decision making is not; it is not evidence-based medicine, it is not critical thinking, it is not eminence-based medicine, it is not one of many other of its many attributes, and it stands alone, with many contributions from all these fields. It is far more difficult to characterize what clinical reasoning is and very difficult to define.

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A conversation with Alberto Gallace

From Facebook’s purchase of Oculus VR Inc. to the latest medical developments, technology is driving new explorations of the perception, reality, and neuroscience. How do we perceive reality through the sense of touch? Alberto Gallace is a researcher in touch and multisensory integration at the University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy, and co-author of In touch with the future: The sense of touch from cognitive neuroscience to virtual reality. We spoke to him about touch, personal boundaries and being human.

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Pagán’s planarians: the extraordinary world of flatworms

The earth is filled with many types of worms, and the term “planarian” can represent a variety of worms within this diverse bunch of organisms. The slideshow below highlights fun facts about planarians from Oné Pagán’s book, The First Brain: The Neuroscience of Planarians, and provides a glimpse of why scientists like Pagán choose to study these fascinating creatures.

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A question of consciousness

By Susan Blackmore
The problem of consciousness is real, deep and confronts us any time we care to look. Ask yourself this question ‘Am I conscious now?’ and you will reply ‘Yes’. Then, I suggest, you are lured into delusion – the delusion that you are conscious all the time, even when you are not asking about it.

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Dementia on the beach

By Cretien van Campen
If you think it makes little sense to take persons with dementia to the beach, it will surprise you that a nursing home in Amsterdam has built a Beach room. In this room, residents can enjoy the feeling of sitting in the sun with their bare feet in the sand. The room is designed to improve the well-being of these residents. The garden room at the centre of the home has recently been converted into a true ‘beach room’, complete with sand and a ‘sun’ which can be adjusted in intensity and heat output.

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Dopamine, Twitter, and the bilingual brain

Before I wrote my last blog entry, I got a Twitter account to start tracking reactions to that entry. I was surprised to see that people that I had never met favorited my post. Some even retweeted it.

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Expressing ourselves about expressiveness in music

Picture the scene. You’re sitting in a box at the Royal Albert Hall, or the Vienna Musikverein. You have purchased tickets to hear Beethoven’s Ninth symphony performed by an internationally renowned orchestra, and they are playing it in a way that sounds wonderful. But what makes this such a powerful performance?

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Plausible fictions and irrational coherence

By Joseph Harris
One of the most intriguing developments in recent psychology, I feel, has been the recognition of the role played by irrationality in human thought. Recent works by Richard Wiseman, Dan Ariely, Daniel Kahneman, and others have highlighted the irrationality that can inform and shape our judgements, decision-making, and thought more generally. But, as the title of Ariely’s book Predictably Irrational reminds us, our ‘irrationality’ is not necessarily random for all that.

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From art to autism: a Q&A with Uta Frith

Dame Uta Frith was the neuroscientist who first recognised autism as a condition of the brain rather than the result of cold parenting. Here she takes Lance Workman on a journey through her collection of memories.

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Kitty Genovese and the bystander effect: 50 years on

By Alfred Mele
A famous experiment on the behavior of bystanders was inspired by an electrifying episode in New York City in 1964 when Kitty Genovese was stabbed to death in the middle of a street. According to newspaper reports, although many people witnessed the early morning attack from their apartment windows when they heard screams, no one tried to stop the assault, and no one even called the police.

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Memories of Andy Calder

By Susan Gathercole
Andy Calder, dearly loved by his family and his many friends and colleagues from all over the world, died unexpectedly on 29 October 2013. Born in Edinburgh in 1965, he was a loving brother to his sisters Kath and Clare and brothers-in-law Gary and Tony, and a devoted uncle to his nieces and nephews.

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The ADHD explosion: How much do you know about the disorder?

The push for performance has never been higher. Students today are faced with a grueling course load, extra-curriculars, and standardized tests. In the wake of this competitive atmosphere, the United States has seen a spike in both ADHD diagnoses and increased demand for prescription medicine. But who’s to blame?

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Changes in the DSM-5: what social workers need to know

By Cynthia Franklin
Social workers that provide therapeutic and other services to children and adolescents can expect to find some major changes in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition: in their placement within the DSM-5, the conceptualization of the disorders, the criteria for the disorders, the elimination of disorders, and the inclusion of some new diagnoses.

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Collective emotions and the European crisis

By Mikko Salmela and Christian von Scheve
Nationalist, conservative, and anti-immigration parties as well as political movements have risen or become stronger all over Europe in the aftermath of EU’s financial crisis and its alleged solution, the politics of austerity. This development has been similar in countries like Greece, Portugal, and Spain where radical cuts to public services such as social security and health care have been implemented as a precondition for the bail out loans arranged by the European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund and countries such as Finland, France, and the Netherlands that have contributed to the bailout while struggling with the crisis themselves.

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The rise of music therapy

By Scott Huntington
Music therapy involves the use of clinical, evidence-supported musical interventions to meet a patient’s specific goals for healing (a useful fact sheet). The music therapist should have the proper credentials and be licensed in the field of music therapy.

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