Monthly Archives: November 2005

Four ecstasies

Blog The Huge Entity has a post giving four quotes on the experience of ecstasy and the thin veil of consensual reality. My favourite is the following from author Fyodor Dostoevsky on epileptically induced ecstasy: “There are moments, and it is only a matter of five or six seconds, when you feel the presence of […]

SfN 2005

The world’s biggest scientific meeting, the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting, happens next week in Washington DC. They’ll be over 30,000 researchers and clinicians there, as well as the Dalai Lama talking about neuroscience and meditation, 17,000 presentations and a variety of side scientific meetings and social events (i’m intrigued by the Hippocampus open mike […]

Internet treatment for depression found effective

Psychological treatment for depression, delivered over the internet, is reliable and effective, according to the results of research published recently in the British Journal of Psychiatry. Psychological treatment, particularly a form of therapy known as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), is already known to be an effective treatment, but qualified therapists are relatively scarce. Some of […]

Wider than the sky

A poem by Emily Dickinson (1830‚Äì86): The brain is wider than the sky, For, put them side by side, The one the other will include With ease, and you beside. The brain is deeper than the sea, For, hold them, blue to blue, The one the other will absorb, As sponges, buckets do. The brain […]

The alternate realities of Richard Dadd

Richard Dadd was a promising artist who was admitted to the Royal Academy of Art in 1837. A decade later, Dadd was a patient in Bethlem psychiatric hospital after experiencing an intense psychosis, but was still to create the greatest of his works. Dadd first started experiencing the beginings of psychosis when travelling in Egypt. […]

Panexa for life

Media provocateurs Stay Free! Daily are behind a new web-based promotion for “life changing” medication Panexa. Reminiscent of the buzz that appeared over the Zoloft for Everything ad campaign that was first reported in The Onion, the Panexa marketing pushes the drug’s main selling points: No matter what you do or where you go, you’re […]

2005-11-04 Spike activity

Quick links from the past week in mind and brain news: Electrodes, inserted into the brain, can be used to change blood pressure. Study reports factors which could predict relationship violence. Further interesting commentary on applying these findings to everyday life. Study on the historical records of British asylum fails to support stereotype that women […]

Theodore Millon on mental illness

Theodore Millon, one of the grandees of modern psychology (so old-school he’s smoking a pipe on his homepage) is interviewed on ABC Radio’s All in the Mind. Misleadingly, the show is pitched as “Theodore Millon ‚Äì Grandfather of Personality Theory”, where in actuality he talks very little about personality research. He mainly focuses on the […]

Bad science on autism vaccine link

The Guardian’s Bad Science column, written by doctor Ben Goldacre, is an excellent resource for anyone who wants scientific straight talk on fashionable nonsense, and often references core ideas of the philosophy of science (which is a neat trick to pull off in a few hundred words in a newspaper column). This week Ben fires […]

Diagnosis by fridge magnet

A company called Psyches Tears, who otherwise seem to make clothes, have produced a set of fridge magnets with which you can make up your own psychiatric diagnoses. Whether you think you might have “paranoid kleptolepsy”, or suspect that your friend might suffer from a nasty case of “florid histriophobia”, now’s your chance let the […]

Open-access sleep special at Nature

Nature has a special supplement, freely available online, on the cognitive neuroscience of sleep. Homer Simpson, who once said “There is a time for many words, and there is also a time for sleep”, would, I’m sure, approve. The supplement contains a number of articles summarising recent research in the world of sleep, including the […]


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