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Research we’re reading – March 2018

Research we’re reading is a regular series written by Taylor & Francis employees, taking a look at recent research that has caught our attention and got us thinking.

Research we're reading: Sophie ForsterSophie Forster, Marketing Coordinator

Personal Identity and Head Transplant: A Psychological Analysis by Giulia Avvenuti

Published in AJOB Neuroscience

“The media have been creating a storm over the controversial head transplant plans, but it can be hard to differentiate the facts from the fake news so I’ve been reading the AJOB Neuroscience special issue on the matter.

‘Personal Identity and Head Transplant: A Psychological Analysis’ was an enthralling exploration into the potential psychological effects of a head transplant, and it’s great to see psychological issues addressed, rather than just the medical or ethical viability.

This psychological approach particularly appeals to me since my degree was in psychology, and the head transplant concept is not only totally polarizing, but also potentially ground-breaking in the field.”

Research we're reading: Alejandra Leach-NunezAlejandra Leach-Núñez, Managing Editor

Should heading be forbidden in children’s football? by Alexander A. Tarnutzer

Point-counterpoint: should heading be restricted in youth football? Yes, heading should be restricted in youth football by George T. Chiampas & Donald T Kirkendall

Published in Science and Medicine in Football

Science and Medicine in Football is publishing articles on some of the most contentious issues within the world’s favorite sport. Recently, the journal focused on heading in youth football.

The authors agree that research has so far focused on mature players and cannot necessarily be generalized to youth players. Where they differ, however, is in what they think we should do with the information we do have.

Tarnutzer suggests addressing player-to-player contact would be more beneficial, as youth heading limitations, as in place in the United States, could lead to greater risks long-term.

Chiampas and Kirkendall, on the other hand, support delaying heading in football until players reach physical maturity, because children take longer to recover, find it difficult to recognize the injury, and are more susceptible to recurrent injury.

The ability of Science and Medicine in Football to lead such debates, and inform the public, footballing professionals, and policy-makers in such critical areas, is very exciting.”

Research we're reading: Rachel WinfieldRachel Winfield, Communications Executive

Insects are not ‘the new sushi’: theories of practice and the acceptance of novel foods by Jonas House

Published in Social & Cultural Geography

“I heard recently about a brand called ‘Bugsolutely’, which sells pasta made from 20% cricket flour. While I’m instinctively disgusted by this, I am also curious. Insects offer a more sustainable and eco-friendly alternative to traditional animal farming, so perhaps one day we’ll all be eating bug burgers to meet our daily protein quota.

This article examines how sushi made its way into mainstream culinary culture since its emergence in the 1960s, but suggests that insect-based products won’t make the transition to our dinner-plates quite so easily. When sushi first arrived in the US, the concept of eating raw fish and seaweed was highly novel – even slightly repulsive – to Western appetites, so how did it become so pervasive?

House explores different aspects of food culture, psychology, and even marketing, to argue that if we can’t integrate insect-based foods into an existing food practice, they’re unlikely to follow the sushi model of success.”


Read the previous Research we’re reading post.