Monthly Archives: June 2005

Out of the corner of my eye…

When we direct our attention to an object, we usually look directly at it, but research just published in the journal Neuron looks at how we focus our attention on things that we notice ‘out of the corner of our eye’. A research team, led by David Melcher from Oxford Brookes University, has been investigating […]

Why can’t Robert Lansberry get his mail ?

Filmmaker Richard Pell has released online a compelling documentary that questions the distinction between psychosis, reality and reasonable paranoia. It focuses on the life of the late Robert Lansberry, an anti ‘mind control’ protestor who heard voices he attributed to mind control technology. He also believed he was being targetting by the FBI and secret […]

Cigarettes designed to “addict women”

A review of tobacco industry documents show research on psychological and behavioural needs in women was used to target cigarette advertising and ingredients, to increase smoking and reduce quitting rates. The recently released review (PDF), published in the journal Addiction notes that: A 1976 British-American Tobacco Company (BAT) review of gender differences (drawing on both […]

IBM to simulate the “entire brain”

New Scientist is reporting that IBM will attempt to simulate the “entire brain” in collaboration with the Swiss Brain Mind Insititute using a specially modified computer system dubbed ‘Blue Brain‘. It seems from the news reports that the system will attempt to simulate the physical properties of individual neurons and their connections – a science […]

No function for the female orgasm ?

Elisabeth Lloyd caused a stir with a recent book that suggests the female orgasm has no evolutionary function, and she discusses her controversial views on ABC Radio’s All in the Mind. Professor Lloyd has examined the current evolutionary theories and argues none adequately explain why females orgasm, as sexual climax is not needed for succesful […]

Social problems activate additional brain resources

Continuing the recent evolutionary psychology theme (here,here), I’d like to recommend a piece posted by the ever excellent Carl Zimmer. Recent brain scanning evidence shows, possibly, that problems involving social exchange activate additional specific brain regions compared to problems of the same logical form which don’t involve social exchange. What’s this got to do with […]

Mental Health Update

The recently created Mental Health Update is a blog that collects mental health posts from across the internet. Although it bills itself as providing the “Latest info on bipolar disorder, mad cow disease and other mental conditions”, which strikes me as a bit of an odd combination for a strapline, it is frequently updated and […]

Influence, anorexia and the body beautiful

Online media journal Stay Free! Daily takes a critical look at a recent newspaper report that anorexia is ’caused’ by a brain dysfunction rather than pressure from society. The story is based on a recent paper from a research group led by psychiatrist Bryan Lask. Their study found decreased blood flow in a variety of […]

Sex and science: The debate continues

Some notable scientists have pitched into the gender determinism debate recently held between Pinker and Spelke, as previously mentioned on Mind Hacks. The debate centred on the influence of biology, sex and gender on psychological abilities, and was inspired by controversial comments suggesting that women might be genetically less suited to science. The commentary includes […]

2005-06-03 Spike activity

Quick links from the past week in mind and brain news: Review article from PLoS Medicine suggests schizophrenia is less prevalent than previously thought. It seems to be artificial intelligence week: 1) The Yemen Times runs an article giving an introduction to AI. 2) An article on kuro5hin takes a critical look at the recent […]

The Magnetic Sense

To add to Vaughan’s post about cyborg senses the other day, here’s another group experimenting with new ways of perceiving the world. Steve Haworth and Jesse Jarrell are body modification artists, and one of their clients was Todd Huffman, who has had a small magnet implanted in the tip of his finger. In an interview […]

Are our memories suffering from our reliance on gadgets?

So I’m in this month’s edition of Wired, just a short quote. Since it’s here and it’s now I’ve reproduced the full quote I sent them below: > I’m looking for a response to this question: “Are tools like Google and PDAs > ruining our ability to remember things?” So we have this amazing brain […]

BrainBlog

BrainBlog is a recent discovery of mine, that regularly updates with neuroscience and neuropsychology news. It’s run by neuropsychologist Anthony Risser and is more explicitly academic than most other news sources, but often includes abstracts of interesting papers as soon as they hit the press – covering from everything from protein folding to news from […]

The euthanasia underground

An online article from Scientific American discusses the work of criminologist Russel Ogden, who has been researching the social organisation of the euthanasia underground. The practice of assisted suicide is illegal in most countries and Ogden has been pressured academically and legally to give up his research or reveal the identities of anonymous interviewees in […]

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