Monthly Archives: January 2006

Art and cognition

Interdisciplines is an organisation that aims to link the humanities with the cognitive sciences and their latest online conference focuses on art and cognition. New and original papers are regularly published on their website and are opened for commentary. The latest in the Art and Cognition workshop and is by philosopher John Hyman who examines […]

La Rochefoucald’s note on mental complaints

“Everybody complains of their memory, but nobody of their judgement”. French writer Fran√ßois de La Rochefoucauld comments on the limits of human insight.

Wired report on LSD conference

A conference on the science and culture of LSD was recently held to honour the 100th birthday of discoverer Albert Hoffman (as reported previously on Mind Hacks). Wired magazine sent one of their reporters to the gathering and have published a story discussing the event and its impact. The article particularly focuses on the number […]

Japanese-language Mind Hacks

Mind Hacks has been available in Japanese since December 2005, and according to the reviews on Google’s translation of the page, the book’s been exceptionally well translated. (Also, very well received which is gratifying!) I believe this is the translator’s blog and, if so, thanks very much and well done. Looking at a few […]


February the 14th is fast approaching, St. Valentines day. What can the considerate neuroscientist get his or her loved one? I think I’ve just had a brilliant idea, and it shouldn’t be too hard to sort out. All you need is a few well-connected neuroimaging buddies and probably four or five hundred pounds to afford […]

2006-01-20 Spike activity

Quick links from the past week in mind and brain news: Scientific American ask ‘What’s all that gray matter good for, anyway?‘ Exercise may significantly reduce the risk of developing dementia, especially in those who are frail. ‘Jonathan Edwards looks into… Memory’ in a rather luke warm radio documentary from the BBC (despite some interesting […]

I’m not feeling myself today

More radio goodness abounds as WNYC’s Radio Lab discusses how the self is represented in the brain and how it can be radically and idiosyncratically altered after brain injury. The programme is beautifully produced and was really a pleasure to listen to. The first ten minutes even has an audio representation of a firing neuron, […]

New York Times on ‘hikikomori’

A few days after our post on ‘hikikomori’ – the extreme social withdrawal increasingly seen in Japanese adolescents – the New York Times published an in-depth article on the controversy surrounding the phenomenon. Coincidence? Well… yes. But an interesting and well-timed one nonetheless. For all the attention, though, hikikomori remains confounding. The Japanese public has […]

I want my NTV

To follow on from a recent post on videos of neuroscience talks available online, the National Institutes of Health have an additional 129 neuroscience lectures available as streaming video. The topics cover everything from Dopamine and Motivated Behaviors to A Different View of the Primary Visual Cortex. Some of the talks are on topics completely […]

Programme on PKD’s altered reality

Science fiction author Philip K. Dick experienced unpredictable altered states of consciousness and his work contains some of the best descriptions of psychosis you are likely to find anywhere. BBC Radio 4 just broadcast a programme, archived online, that discusses PKD’s kaleidoscopic and life-changing “2-3-74” experience, where he believed he was being contacted by an […]

Tourette syndrome

The term “involuntary” used to describe Tourette syndrome tics is a source of confusion since it is known that most people with TS do have some control over the symptoms. Before tic onset, individuals with TS experience what is called a “premonitory urge,” similar to the feeling that precedes yawning. What is recognized is that […]

Susan Greenfield in conversation

ABC Radio’s Science Show hosts a wide-ranging and engaging conversation with neuroscientist Susan Greenfield, where she discusses the latest scientific and ethical implications of brain science. Professor Greenfield is constantly involved in drawing out science from the sometimes stuffy world of academia into the public eye and is one of the liveliest figures in contemporary […]

Autism Diva

Autism Diva is the name of an author who comments on the science and politics of autism. On her blog she maintains a distinctly positive view of the condition, is unashamedly critical of many mainstream views and keeps tabs on the developments in the research world. She presumably has an autistic spectrum diagnosis herself and […]

The madness of James Tilly Matthews

A psychoanalyst once proposed that ‘madness is when you can’t find anyone who can stand you’. This is not such a flippant definition as it might first appear. In practice, the mad are created when those around them can no longer cope with them, and turn them over to specialists and professionals. They are people […]

2006-01-13 Spike activity

Quick links from the past week in mind and brain news: Fantastic Time article on the recent burst of research on the psychology and neuroscience of meditation. An article in Salon discusses the impact of traumatic brain injury on American soldiers serving in Iraq. Study reports that babies that acquire certain infections during birth may […]

Why the brain has grey and white matter

A new paper in PLoS Computational Biology by Quan Wen and Dmitri Chklovskii reports on a computer model that would naturally separate into grey and white matter if asked to produce the optimum design for a brain that needs high interconnectivity and short conduction delays. Computational models are often good ways of developing theories, and […]


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