Monthly Archives: January 2005

People hacking for women

A research team led by Simon Chu from the University of Central Lancashire have found that a woman’s height can significantly effect how they are perceived by others. The researchers found that taller women are perceived by both men and women as more intelligent, assertive, independent, ambitious, richer and more successful, regardless of how the […]


Since we’ve been hitting lie detection recently, I thought I’d point out that according to a brief communication in a 2000 volume of Nature (May, vol 405, abstract here, full text here if you can access it), people who have acquired aphasia (an impairment in the processing of others speech, leading to difficulties in comprehending […]

The Noonday Demon

Andrew Solomon, author of the award winning book on depression, ‘The Noonday Demon‘, is interviewed on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Taking A Stand‘. Solomon wrote the book after suffering from an intense clinical depression and managed to convey not only his own personal experiences, but much of the science and history of the disorder as well. […]

2005-01-28 Spike activity

Quick links from the past week in mind and brain news: A study finds significant differences in the structure of male and female brains related to IQ. However, an insightful article from the NYT seems to cut through a lot of the crap and looks at the implications and (mis)interpretation of such findings in the […]

New Scientist on sensation

The 29th September issue of New Scientist is a particularly good one if you’re interested in the mind and brain. It has a number of articles on sensation and the senses, and particularly challenges the idea that there are five ‘classical’ senses. Recent research suggests this may be a fairly artificial division, and more subtle […]

Blind people can use the visual cortex to locate sounds

A study just published in the open access journal PLoS Biology has reported that blind people might be able to use parts of the brain for locating sounds that sighted people normally use for vision. Fr√©d√©ric Gougoux and colleagues asked participants who had been blind from early life and who had previously demonstrated superior listening […]

On orgasms, epilepsy and the lack of sexual neuroscience

Recently published results report the first reliable link between brain activity and levels of sexual desire. Yoram Vardi from Rambam Hospital in Israel has reported an association between an electrical brain signal (known as P300) and libido. The fact that such a straightforward link is both important and newsworthy may be surprising for people who […]

Morph your personality

I recently attended the annual meeting of the Experimental Psychology Society in London and equipped with my PAA (personal analogue assistant, i.e. paper + pencil) got busy sucking up what was said. This is the first of a few posts looking at some of the new research presented there. Since much of this is genuinely […]


Summary details for Alex Fradera, author on mindhacks

2005-01-21 Spike activity

Quick links from the past week in mind and brain news: More news on developments in ‘lie detector’ technology – a mix of informed journalism and wild speculation. A journalist’s personal experience of synaesthesia, the experience of having information in one sense, cross over to another (tasting words, for example). A recent study suggests a […]

Polygraph hacking

A report on the deception of polygraph tests (commonly called “lie detector tests”) has just been released by the British Psychological Society. The section that most caught my eye was the discussion of polygraph countermeasures, and particularly a section on a fellow, who after being wrongly convicted for murder on polygraph evidence, took it on […]

Size and selection times: Fitts’s Law

Oo Oo – Just when I thought I was settling down to do some of the work i’m actually paid to do, I discovered a bit of psychology that is relevant to interaction design:- Did you know that the time it takes you to point your mouse, or your finger, at something is predictable from […]

Oxford Companion To The Mind, 2nd Edition

The second edition of The Oxford Companion to the Mind has been published and I didn’t even notice. It’s been ten years since the first edition, and I’m sure that for the second editon editor Richard Gregory has preserved and nurtured all the breadth and good humour of the first. The book has it’s own […]

Successful psychopaths at work

If you suspect your boss is a psychopath, you may be onto something. Belinda Board and Katarina Fritzon of the University of Surrey compared personality traits of successful business managers and patients at Broadmoor Hospital, one of Britain’s highest security psychiatric hospitals. The researchers found that the business managers scored, on average, more highly on […]

Review in The Guardian

We’ve had our first review (that I’m aware of, at least), in The Guardian It’s not long, but it’s very favourable – here it is:

Ones to watch

Two blogs I’ve just discovered and will be keeping an eye on are <a href=" “>Mixing Memory (who has recently done an excellent post on time perception, in two parts!) and Circadiana who has just started and promises: ‘This blog will be dedicated to tracking and commeting on the advances in the study of biological […]


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