Monthly Archives: December 2005

Psychology, the soul and the immaterial

Carl Zimmer considers the tension between biological and psychological explanations of the mind (and, perhaps, the soul) in the conclusion to his history of early brain science Soul Made Flesh (ISBN 0099441659, p296): Our souls are material and yet immaterial: a product of chemistry but also a pulsating network of information – a network that […]

Study probes coffee’s effect on the brain

New Scientist reports on a recent study that examines the effect of coffee on the brain. The good news is that it seems to do the frontal lobes, and the executive system, the world of good. “The group all showed activation of the working memory part of the brain,” Koppelst√§tter explains. “But those who received […]

2005-12-02 Spike activity

Quick links from the past week in mind and brain news: The New York Times disusses the trials discusses the psychology of child prodigies. A study finds that the chemical high from new romantic love fades after a year. Blog ‘The Huge Entity’ presents some choice Shakespearean quotes on psychological themes. Computer scientists create a […]

How to read a paper

Via Ben ‘Bad Science‘ Goldacre (here) comes this hot tip: Trisha Greenhalgh’s How to read a paper. Although it focusses on medical research, many of the principles apply to all scientific papers. Although it’s great when science can be expressed in everyday language, the ability to go direct to the original research, as reported by […]

I can’t get no sleep…

Poor sleep is the common result of stress or illness, but sleep researchers are increasingly coming to believe that insomnia itself is a separate disorder. Science News discusses the science of insomnia, and new developments in the neuroscience of ‘sleeping pills’. One problem with previous types of sleeping pill (particularly the benzodiazepines) is that they […]


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