Monthly Archives: October 2005

Essential sites for students

As the new academic year is in full flow, students might find themselves with a raft of information and little to paddle with. Mind Hacks has collected a list of favourite internet resources for mind and brain sciences students to help with getting yourselves ashore.

The ‘aboutness’ of thought…

- You know, Ollie, I was just thinking. – About what? – Nothing. I was just thinking. Laurel and Hardy accidentally struggle with the problem of intentionality in the 1943 film Jitterbugs.

2005-10-28 Spike activity

Quick links from the past week in mind and brain news: Interactive websites can significantly help people with chronic illness (via Slashdot) “Your brain’s sex can make you ill” says clumsy BBC headline, hiding a story about tailoring treatments by sex. Chronic nicotine and alcohol consumption seem to have a ‘double whammy‘ on mental function. […]

The addicted brain

Does an alcoholic have a disordered brain or a flawed character? The latest issue of Nature Neuroscience contains a special focus supplement on addiction that is freely available online for the next three months. The Focus contains the latest reviews and commentaries on the neuroscience of addiction, including discussion of the changes caused by drugs […]

NewSci on creativity

Today’s New Scientist is a special edition on creativity, tackling the subject from a number of angles. Unfortunately, very little of it seems to be available online, so it might require a trip to the library or newsagents. If you do get hold of a copy, however, you’ll find articles on the psychology and neuroscience […]

Criminal and forensic psychology on the web

CrimePsychBlog has been keeping my attention over recent weeks as it keeps tabs on the world of forensic and criminal psychology. It’s regularly updated with developments from the world of forensic cognitive science, and with snippets from the mainstream news that has a criminal psychology angle. Recent posts include an account of false memory researcher […]

Perceptual distortions are common in population

Researchers from Cardiff University report that anomalies of sensation and perception are common in the general population, with more than 1 in 10 reporting higher levels than the average of patients diagnosed with psychosis. The research project was inspired by a need for a comprehensive measure of anomalous sensory experience and perceptual distortion, as the […]

Possible explanation for premenstrual moodiness

New Scientist is reporting that the ‘moodiness’ experienced by some women during the premenstrual phase of the menstrual cycle may be linked to the function of the orbitofrontal cortex. The oribitofrontal cortex (OFC), the part of the brain that lies just above the eyes, is known to be involved in emotional regulation. The research, led […]

Childhood trauma and schizophrenia

Continuing the schizophrenia theme – the latest issue of the journal Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica is a special edition on the link between childhood trauma and schizophrenia. The new findings support the argument for a bio-psycho-social approach to psychosis and come in the wake of a recent article in Psychiatric News, published by the American Psychiatric […]

Schizophrenia featured article on Wikipedia

Schizophrenia is today’s featured article on wikipedia and already activity has hit fever pitch. It’s an article I’ve been quite heavily involved with over the last few years, and it has proved as much a project in diplomacy and fire fighting as it has in understanding the science and history of this complex diagnosis. There […]

Dreams made real

Artist Jesse Reklaw takes people’s descriptions of their dreams and turns them into beautifully pencilled four panel comic strips on her website SlowWave.com. Interesting, Jesse also asks for a physical description of the person submitting the dream, so she can include their likeness into the story. The archives are wonderfully offbeat and suitably surreal. My […]

2005-10-21 Spike activity

Quick links from the past week in mind and brain news: New York Times on ‘Life Hackers‘ researching the interaction between humans and computers. Neuroscientist Mike Merzenich interviewed on whether new technology is making us more intelligent or less. Children born prematurely are to be studied to see how their brains adapt to damage. Great […]

Sociology focus for ‘Thinking Allowed’

BBC Radio 4 programme Thinking Allowed seems to have changed its focus and now concentrates on sociology. Previously, it billed itself as “weekly discussion on topical issues of academic concern” but now seems to be advertised as discussing the “latest social science research”. In this series it has covered topics ranging from the social influence […]

High strength magnetic pulses alter touch sense

Open-access science journal PLoS Biology reports that high strength magnetic pulses, targetted at a specific area of the brain, can make areas of the body more sensitive to touch. The use of focused magnetic pulses to stimulate the brain, a technique known as transcranial magnetic stimulation or TMS, is now becoming commonplace in neuroscience research. […]

Missing in action

What’s happened to PsyBlog and Mixing Memory? Two of my favourite cognitive science blogs have gone mysteriously quiet. Answers on a Zener card please…

Brain scans, mental illness and false promises

The New York Times has an insightful article on the utility of brain scans for helping and treating people with mental illness. Mental illness is diagnosed on the basis of a clinical interview, where the clinician interviews the patient and encourages them to explain aspects of their first-person experience. This means that the criteria for […]

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