US autism rates up 10 percent in new CDC report

7 children

Via Neuroscience News:

The prevalence of autism spectrum disorder in eleven surveillance sites is 1 in 54 among children aged eight. This is a 10% increase from 2014 when it was 1 in 59. Since 2000, prevalence rates of ASD have almost tripled, from 0.67% to 1.85%., according to Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Your brain evolved to hoard supplies and shame others for doing the same

Catesby Holmes writing in The Conversation:

The media is replete with COVID–19 stories about people clearing supermarket shelves – and the backlash against them. Have people gone mad? How can one individual be overfilling his own cart, while shaming others who are doing the same?

As a behavioral neuroscientist who has studied hoarding behavior for 25 years, I can tell you that this is all normal and expected. People are acting the way evolution has wired them.

NYU Tisch Students Asked For Tuition Refunds, And Their Dean Responded With A Bizarre, Unhelpful Dance Video

XyFOmkJEvfUUbhHUVia Boing Boing:

We’re not sure why Dean Allyson Green thought that a video of herself dancing to Rem’s “Losing My Religion” would be in any way a helpful response to NYU students’ recent requests for a tuition refund, given that virtual classes weren’t what they signed up for, especially considering NYU’s costly tuition.
According to Michael Price, the NYU student who uploaded the video on Twitter, Green asked the students to “dance along with her” in the email after explaining that the school wouldn’t be able to give them refunds.

Doctors consider universal do-not-resuscitate orders for coronavirus patients


Ariana Eunjung Cha writing in The Washington Post:

‘Health-care providers are bound by oath — and in some states, by law — to do everything they can within the bounds of modern technology to save a patient’s life, absent an order, such as a DNR, to do otherwise. But as cases mount amid a national shortage of personal protective equipment, or PPE, hospitals are beginning to implement emergency measures that will either minimize, modify or completely stop the use of certain procedures on patients with covid-19….’

I can’t tell you how upset I am by this trend, although I assume it is being blown out of proportion in the service of sensationalism. It is much more likely that there will be some triaging around the futility of heroic measures on a case-by-case basis. And, let’s not kid ourselves — there always is and always has been in the practice of medicine, it is just not publicized or codified in an official change in hospital policy as is being discussed now. 

If all it took us to get to this point is a looming shortage of personal protective equipment for frontline healthcare workers, then place American industry on a wartime footing and make the damn PPE! Instead, leaping to a blanket override on the advanced directive wishes of patients, or families of patients, with a particular disease is such a wholesale abandonment of ethical principles at the first sign of adversity (yes, I know, not actually the first sign) that it makes a mockery of there being any ethical standards at all, makes a mockery of the supposedly altruistic motives that make the practice of medicine a worthwhile endeavor. Not only will it kill people en masse but it will kill the souls of those who participated for the rest of their careers. 

Why contemporary experiments always work the first time (and always fail the second time)

UnknownVia Myths of Vision Science:

‘…[T]he popular type of study I’ve just described is known not to replicate. And while a lot of ink has been spilled (not least in the pages of Nature) over the ongoing “replication crisis” in neuroscience; while we even have a “Center for Reproducible Neuroscience” at Stanford; while paper after paper has pointed out the barrenness of the procedure (Jonas & Kording’s (2017) “Can a neuroscientist understand a microprocessor?” was a popular one); while the problems with post hoc inferences have been known to philosophers and scientists for hundreds of years; the technique remains the dominant one. As Konrad Kording has admitted, practitioners get around the non-replication problem simply by avoiding doing replications.

So there you have it; a sure-fire method for learning…nothing….’

(Thanks, Noah)