Thursday, May 23, 2013

Lab Update

Very long time I did not post something, sorry ... A lot of interesting projects going on, which kept me busy from updating. But now, it is really time for a small update !

A lot of good things happened in the lab in the last few months, here is a short summary.

First and foremost, our approach of virtual anthropology to study cyberbehavior and virtual worlds is so far extremely rewarding. We are advancing really well on different directions, and have enough data to launch a few long-term projects (some of them having keep me away from posting and tweeting recently). As a general update, I got elected as a Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute a few month ago and got promoted Associate Editor for Computers in Human Behavior (going to be official in the coming days or weeks). I can not stress enough how much I consider that this journal has an amazing potential. It is one of the oldest and clearly most prestigious academic journals on human behavior in virtual spaces, and, in contrast to most of the other journals of the field, it is trully inter-disciplinary. I was already part of the Editorial Board, and I am glad that I will be able to work more to do my best to push the journal forward.

Enough about me, now regarding the lab people ! Dr Anna Lomanowska is going to become Assistant Professor at the School of Psychology June 1st. But nonetheless, her postdoctoral grant to work in my lab got renewed one more year. And Catherine Lortie got the extremely prestigious Alexander Graham Bell grant from the three Research Council of Canada for outstanding students and research projects, which is given only to the 100 best canadian students. Of course, I am lucky to have such good people in my lab. But that also reinforces me in the idea that we should probably be doing good research, and that our working hypothesis go in the good direction.

And indeed, it shows with the publications. Since the last post (wow, was it really in January ? Shame on me !), we got a few more papers published :

Achim A, Guitton M, Jackson P, Boutin A, Monetta L (2013) On what ground do we mentalize? Characteristics of current tasks and sources of information that contribute to mentalizing judgments. Psychological Assessment, 25:117-126.

In fact, this paper was Epub ahead of Print since a good 6 months. But now at least, it is fully published. Worthy of note, it already elicited some comments and debates, which is always a good sign ...

Lortie CL, Guitton MJ (2013) Internet addiction assessment tools: dimensional structure and methodological status. Addiction, [7 May 2013, Epub ahead of print].

This paper is going to be a "must-quote", honestly. We performed a in-depth review of the different questionnaires and assessment tools developed so far to evidence Internet addiction, and we attempted to extract from the meta-analysis the general trends of how people in the field actually do perceive Internet addiction. So far, we already got some pretty good feedback. Catherine presented it in Nice at the 21st European Congress of Psychiatry (EPA) and is currently at Toronto presenting it at the Canadian Association for Neuroscience annual meeting.

Guitton MJ (2013) Telemedicine in Tinnitus: Feasibility, Advantages, Limitations and Perspectives. ISRN Otolaryngology, 2013 (2013), Article ID 218265.

With this paper, I am pretty happy. We are now succeeding to apply a bit of what we studied on human behavior in virtual spaces to medical problematics, and particularly to some which are close to my heart. More on this subject is coming soon (we are working on a few projects on tele-medicine in otolaryngology, going to be really interesting !).

And the work I presented at the PCA/ACA meeting a few months ago on the morphological conservation in human-animal hybrids in science fiction and fantasy settings (is our imagination as free as we think it is?) is now accepted for publication in Advances in Anthropology.

On the "molecular" side of our research, we have not been inactive either, with two papers published or accepted since January, both in the extremely prestigious Journal of Neuroscience :

Bories C, Husson Z, Guitton MJ, De Koninck Y (2013) Differential balance of prefrontal synaptic activity in successful versus unsuccessful cognitive aging. Journal of Neuroscience, 33:1344-1356.

and the coming accepted paper :

Arsenault D*, Dal-Pan A*, Tremblay C, Bennett DA, Guitton MJ, De Koninck Y, Tonegawa S, Calon F (Accepted) PAK inactivation impairs social recognition in 3xTg-AD mice without increasing brain deposition of tau and Abeta. Journal of Neuroscience, Accepted.

And, as a final note for this long update post, we are always looking for amazing PhD students and striking post-doctoral fellows to work on our research thematics. I have a lot of idea to explore both virtual worlds and human behavior in these virtual spaces, so do not hesitate to contact me if that sounds appealing to you !

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