Private Traits and Attributes Are Predictable From Digital Records of Human Behavior.

Private traits and attributes are predictable from digital records of human behavior.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Mar 11;
Kosinski M, Stillwell D, Graepel T

We show that easily accessible digital records of behavior, Facebook Likes, can be used to automatically and accurately predict a range of highly sensitive personal attributes including: sexual orientation, ethnicity, religious and political views, personality traits, intelligence, happiness, use of addictive substances, parental separation, age, and gender. The analysis presented is based on a dataset of over 58,000 volunteers who provided their Facebook Likes, detailed demographic profiles, and the results of several psychometric tests. The proposed model uses dimensionality reduction for preprocessing the Likes data, which are then entered into logistic/linear regression to predict individual psychodemographic profiles from Likes. The model correctly discriminates between homosexual and heterosexual men in 88% of cases, African Americans and Caucasian Americans in 95% of cases, and between Democrat and Republican in 85% of cases. For the personality trait “Openness,” prediction accuracy is close to the test-retest accuracy of a standard personality test. We give examples of associations between attributes and Likes and discuss implications for online personalization and privacy. HubMed – addiction


Dynamic expression of tyrosine hydroxylase mRNA and protein in neurons of the striatum and amygdala of mice, and experimental evidence of their multiple embryonic origin.

Brain Struct Funct. 2013 Mar 12;
Bupesh M, Vicario A, Abellán A, Desfilis E, Medina L

Emotional and motivational dysfunctions observed in Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, and drug addiction are associated to an alteration of the mesocortical and mesolimbic dopaminergic pathways, which include axons projecting to the prefrontal cortex, the ventral striatum, and the amygdala. Subpopulations of catecholaminergic neurons have been described in the cortex and striatum of several mammals, but the presence of such cells in the adult amygdala is unclear in murine rodents, and in other rodents appears to show variations depending on the species. Moreover, the embryonic origin of telencephalic tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) cells is unknown, which is essential for trying to understand aspects of their evolution, distribution and function. Herein we investigated the expression of TH mRNA and protein in cells of the striatum and amygdala of developing and adult mice, and analyzed the embryonic origin of such cells using in vitro migration assays. Our results showed the presence of TH mRNA and protein expressing cells in the striatum (including nucleus accumbens), central and medial extended amygdala during development, which are persistent in adulthood although they are less numerous, generally show weak mRNA expression, and some appear to lack the protein. Fate mapping analysis showed that these cells include at least two subpopulations with different embryonic origin in either the commissural preoptic area of the subpallium or the supraopto-paraventricular domain of the alar hypothalamus. These data are important for future studies trying to understand the role of catecholamines in modulation of emotion, motivation, and reward. HubMed – addiction


Childhood physical neglect associated with executive functions impairments in crack cocaine-dependent women.

Drug Alcohol Depend. 2013 Mar 8;
Viola TW, Tractenberg SG, Pezzi JC, Kristensen CH, Grassi-Oliveira R

BACKGROUND: Studies that have investigated the executive functions (EFs) in crack cocaine-dependence have focused on differences between groups of drug users and non-user controls. In this study, however, we employ a promising additional approach that considers individual differences, such as exposure to childhood neglect that might be related to the degree of cognitive impairment associated with addiction. OBJECTIVE: We evaluated EFs in crack cocaine-dependent women who have reported a history of childhood physical neglect (CPN) and compared these measures with those of crack cocaine-dependent women who do not reported CPN. METHOD: The participants were divided into 2 groups: those with a history of CPN (CPN+) (n=37) and those without a history of CPN (CPN-) (n=48). Cold EFs were assessed with the Stroop Task, the Trail Making Test B, the Verbal Fluency Task, the N-Back Task and the Letter and Number Sequencing task. Hot EFs were assessed with the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT). RESULTS: The CPN+ group exhibited lower performance in all of the tasks except the IGT. A multivariate analysis of covariance indicated significant group differences in EFs (F(6,63)=2.51, p=0.030), regardless of craving severity and premorbid IQ. CONCLUSIONS: CPN is associated with cognitive impairments in crack cocaine-dependent women specifically regarding EFs and working memory tasks. HubMed – addiction


The economic cost of heroin dependency and quality of life among heroin users in Taiwan.

Psychiatry Res. 2013 Mar 7;
Lin SH, Chen KC, Lee SY, Hsiao CY, Lee IH, Yeh TL, Chen PS, Lu RB, Yang YK

Heroin dependence may attract a huge cost and has an impact on quality of life (QOL). However, assessments of economic cost are scarce and the relationship between economic cost and QOL is unclear in the Asian population. In the present study, an established questionnaire was modified to assess the economic cost and its association with QOL. A total of 121 volunteer subjects in a methadone maintenance therapy programme and 157 normal controls were enrolled. The total economic cost of heroin dependency is US$ 18,310 per person-year. The direct cost is US$ 11,791 per person-year (64% of the total cost), mostly consisting of the cost of heroin and other illegal drugs. The indirect cost is US$ 6519 (36% of the total cost) per person-year, most of which arises from productivity loss caused by unemployment and incarceration. The QOL of heroin-dependent patients is poorer than that of healthy controls in all domains. The overall QOL is negatively related to direct cost and total cost. The economic cost of heroin dependency is huge, equal to 1.07 times the average gross domestic product per capita. Reduction of the economic cost to society and the economic burden for heroin users is important. HubMed – addiction