Monthly Archives: December 2005

an appropriate error

Anna Airoldi, the translator of Mind Hacks into Italian has noticed a fantastic error in the published book. She writes (170) 1st paragraph of “How it works”; I’m not entirely sure this is a real typo, considering the topic discussed in the paragraph, but “conservations” shouldn’t just be “conversations”? She’s absolutely right – it should […]

2005-12-30 Spike activity

Quick links from the past week in mind and brain news: Slate asks the question “Is Anorexia Genetic?: What the newest theory leaves out”. A commentary on a recent Newsweek article discussed previously on Mind Hacks. “Language affects ‘half of vision’” says somewhat misleading title that belies some interesting research in colour perception and categorisation. […]

The Distorted Tune Test

Ever wondered if you are tone-deaf? The Distorted Tune Test page can help. You listen to 25 simple tunes and judge whether they are played correctly or not (it takes about five or six minutes). Based on your responses, you’ll be told how well you can judge pitch. If the results suggest you are tone-deaf […]

Handbags at 40 paces

“Clinical syndromes are not God’s gift to cognitive neuropsychology: a reply to a rebuttal to an answer to a response to the case against syndrome-based research.” Caramazza and Badecker get their slap-down in early during a heated 1991 debate on whether it is best to study the symptoms or syndromes of brain injury when attempting […]

Hack #104: Change the length of your arms!

Here’s a fantastic party-trick, if it works as reported in the Journal of Vision – make your arms feel like they are different lengths using a simple cut out piece of card. Now, we talked about perception of depth in the book (Hack #22) and about how the senses interact (Chapter 5). One common theme […]

The Mind-Body Problem – Who Cares?

Guy Claxton said this a few years ago in the Journal of Consciousness Studies: Any discussion of the causal status of conscious experience has to start, therefore, with the recognition that what appears to be a dispassionate enquiry is actually a question of life and death importance to which there is only one permissible answer. […]

Variable man

The Economist reports that in Japan, increasing importance is being placed on robots that look and act like humans. The article further argues that the focus on humanoid robots is driven, at least in part, by a desire to avoid the culture’s strong social conventions. Karl MacDorman, another researcher at Osaka, sees similar social forces […]

Positron annihilation

Borag Thungg Earthlets! I have just found the webpage of Professor Yasuharu Shirai from Osaka University in Japan. He is currently involved in researching the “Development of Artificial Skin for Humanoid Robot and Body Image Acquisition Learning” and “Mechanism Behavior Generation by Imitation Learning of Humanoid Robot”. Prof. Shirai also supervises an investigation into the […]

In Our Time analyses artificial intelligence

BBC Radio 4’s programme on the history of ideas discussed artificial intelligence recently, with some of the leading researchers in the field. The programme slipped past my attention when it was first on a couple of weeks ago, but the full audio archive is available online to listen to at your leisure. “Can machines think?” […]

Christmas update

Hello Mind Hacks readers. Just a note to say that updates to the site might be a bit sporadic over the Christmas period as we’re likely to be enjoying the time to kick back and read all the neuroscience books that Santa brings. Hopefully, the updates should be more or less daily, but please excuse […]

2005-12-23 Spike activity

Quick links from the past week in mind and brain news: Chronobiology site Circadiana recommends books about clocks and sleep. Brain Waves previews the upcoming ‘5th International Neuroesthetics Conference’ which focuses on how the brain responds to gourmet food, fine wine and aromatic perfumes. Feeling good is the ’cause, not effect’ of achievement according to […]

BBC All in the Mind returns

BBC Radio 4’s All in the Mind (not to be confused with the Australian radio show of the same name) has returned to the airwaves with a fascinating section on Anarchic Hand syndrome: The idea of a hand with its own will has been used as a comic device by many movie makers and writers…including […]

Theatre festival on brain injury

BrainBlog has picked up on an upcoming theatre festival based around the unusual consequences of brain injury and neurological disease. NEUROfest will run from January 6th to the 29th in New York City, and includes: * Multimedia by real-life neurologist James Jordan in CJD; to * A family musical with Welcome to Tourettaville! (co-written by […]

Depression and heart disease

The journal Psychosomatic Medicine has a new free online supplement all about the link between depression and heart disease. There’s evidence that even mild depression can put people at increased risk of heart disease, and depression is three to four times more prevalent among cardiac patients than among the general population. Link to free online […]

Sport psychology

The Lancet medical journal has published a special sports supplement that for one month is available to view free as an e-magazine. The 76 page publication includes features on aggression in sport (p.35); depression in sport (p.41), including comment on double Olympic gold medallist Dame Kelly Holmes’ admission earlier this year that she deliberately cut […]

Research and remote peoples

The New York Times reports on the interaction between isolated communities and the researchers which visit them. Remote peoples are often involved in psychology, anthropology and medical science research, although the NYT article focuses on how the researchers are regarded by their participants. Another member of the tiny and reclusive Ariaal tribe, Leketon Lenarendile, scanned […]


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