Monthly Archives: July 2005

New series of BBC All in the Mind

Last Tuesday saw a new series of the BBC version of All in the Mind hit the airwaves. It’s broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and hosted by psychiatrist Raj Persaud, and is quite separate from the ABC Radio National version – also called All in the Mind – just to add to the confusion. The […]

Psychiatry’s dark debate, 1942

The latest issue of the History of Psychiatry journal contains an article by psychologist Jay Joseph, discussing a disturbing debate in a 1942 issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry, over whether the ‘feebleminded’ should be killed. The debate was held between neurologist Robert Foster Kennedy, one-time president of the American Neurological Association, and psychiatrist […]

2005-07-29 Spike activity

Quick links from the past week in mind and brain news: New York Times on going through all the stages of a relationship through the medium of text messaging. An elegant study shows that the brain ‘shuts down’ certain areas when we blink. A writer’s perception of the psychology of the London Underground in the […]

Drug use in 2025

The U.K.’s Office of Science and Technology Foresight programme has published a free report “Drugs Futures 2025?” that seeks answers to how we can best manage the use of psychoactive substances in the future for the betterment of society. The report points to three areas that will be affected by our rapidly growing understanding of […]

iPods increase likelihood of musical hallucinations?

Psychiatrist Victor Aziz has suggested that some iPod users are experiencing musical hallucinations owing to the constant repetition of favourite songs. Dr Aziz was recently featured in a New York Times article discussing musical hallucinations. This story was touted as ‘brain becomes an iPod’ because musical hallucinations can take the form of complete songs or […]

NewSci special on deception

For the third week in a row, New Scientist is full of mind and brain articles. This week, a special on the science of lying and deception. The issue covers the psychology of lying, but also deception in the wider sense. Mediums and fortune tellers are put under the spotlight. Even if some mediums are […]

Scientist posts own brain-tumour surgery pics

Scientist David La Puma recently had brain surgery to remove a meningioma. He describes the experience on his blog, and has uploaded pictures of the operation as a Flickr photo set. As you might expect from a dedicated and inquisitive scientist, the photo set is fully commented, and in the more ‘anatomical’ of the pictures […]

Psychology’s top 10 misguided ideas

Here’s one we can all join in on. Psychology Today magazine has a column from earlier this year on The Loose Screw Awards which gives out (notional) prizes for ‘psychology’s top 10 misguided ideas’. This includes “The P.T. Barnum Medal for Mass-Market Potential” (which goes to the Mozart effect), “The Idea That Launched a Thousand […]

Dalai Lama to lecture on neuroscience amidst protests

Tibetan Buddhist leader, the Dalai Lama, is to give a lecture to an international neuroscience conference, despite protests from some of the delegates. His lecture on the neuroscience of meditation, and participation in a discussion on the ‘Science and Clinical Applications of Meditation’, is planned for the prestigious annual conference of the Society for Neuroscience, […]

Epilepsy surgery on TV

BBC One is showing a television programme on Wednesday 27th July at 9pm on the work of neurosurgen Chris Chandler, as he completes an operation to prevent life threatening seizure in a 19 year-old woman. 19-year-old Sarah has epilepsy and suffers over 20 fits a day. Harry is seven, and his fits are so severe […]

Execution rests on IQ test

The BBC are reporting that convicted murderer Daryl Atkins may be executed by the state of Virginia, based on a recent IQ test where he scored 74, four points above the legal definition of retardation, which had previously excluded him from the death penalty. When first tested in 1998, his IQ measured 59, well below […]

Cognitive neuroscience quilts

The Museum of Scientifically Accurate Fabric Brain Art has a collection of scans from brain imaging studies – reproduced as lush hand-stitched fabrics. The detail on the work is intricate and enthralling, and includes the reinterpretation of both PET and MRI scans. Link to The Museum of Scientifically Accurate Fabric Brain Art. UPDATE: Thanks to […]

All in the Mind: The Intimate Unconscious

ABC Radio’s All in the Mind has so many good shows, we almost require a permanent feed. This week is no exception with an excellent edition on ‘An Intimate History of the Unconscious’. Our minds are wayward beasts. Many of the quirks of our conscious experience go unexplained. Could our conscious mind be but the […]

NewSci on speed, fatigue, denial and terrorism

This week’s New Scientist has a mixed bag of articles on psychology and neuroscience, covering the effects of amphetamine on the brain, and developments in understanding chronic fatigue syndrome, anosognosia and suicide bombers. The effects of amphetamine are a hot topic at the moment, owing to recent sharp increases in its use, illegally – in […]

2005-07-22 Spike activity

Quick links from the past week in mind and brain news: A thought-controlled voice synthesiser might be the next logical step for ‘neuroprosthetics’. Marketing companies are developing software to profile personal characteristics from blogs. One we missed from the week before: Great Cognitive Daily article on research into eliciting false confessions. Wired looks at the […]

Understanding ‘Aha!’

To this day, psychologists understand little about ‚Äòinsight‚Äô ‚Äì that Eureka moment when a long-sought answer suddenly jumps to mind. These ‚ÄúAha!‚Äù experiences range from the trivial ‚Äì suddenly solving a crossword clue, to the profound ‚Äì like Kary Mullis‚Äôs Nobel-Prize-winning invention of the polymerase chain reaction, the basis of which occurred to him while […]

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