Monthly Archives: January 2006

Neuroscience a target for fundamentalism?

A letter in today’s Nature from neuroscientist Kenneth Kosik makes an interesting point about the possible theological implications of neuroscience and suggests that it may become a new battleground in the ongoing tussles between scientific theory and religious fundamentalism: The argument over evolution versus intelligent design, discussed in your News story “Day of judgement for […]

Mente Locale (Italian Mind Hacks)

Mente locale: Esperimenti, giochi, consigli per conoscere il proprio cervello e usarlo meglio di Tom Stafford, Matt Webb has been available since November 2005, it turns out. That’s the Italian translation of Mind Hacks, in case you didn’t guess. It has been translated by Anna Airoldi (who spotten an appropriate error in the English translation). […]

The ‘hikikomori’ phenomenon

Wikipedia has a fascinating article on the phenomenon of hikikomori – where large numbers of Japanese adolescents are socially withdrawing, often to the extent of seeking extreme isolation and self-confinement, presumably due to various personal and social difficulties. Although the article hints that hikikomori is considered a phenomenon of medical concern, there’s very little written […]

Does cannabis cause psychosis?

PsyBlog has picked up on a recent article in The Independent that discusses the debate over cannabis and the risk of developing psychosis. This is currently topical in the UK in light of an expected government report about the legal re-classification of the drug. Previously, it was known that there is an association between cannabis […]

Love in the asylum

A stranger has come To share my room in the house not right in the head, A girl mad as birds Bolting the night of the door with her arm her plume. Strait in the mazed bed She deludes the heaven-proof house with entering clouds Yet she deludes with walking the nightmarish room, At large […]

Neuroscience lectures on your desktop

Neuroscientist Michael Kilgard has found videos of leading mind and brain researchers giving lectures on their areas of interest, and created an online directory so you can view the talks at your leisure. The speakers include language researcher Steven Pinker, memory afficianado Endel Tulving and attention pioneer Michael Posner. This list includes almost 50 lectures […]

LSD discoverer turns 100

Albert Hofmann, discoverer of LSD, is 100 this week and discusses his controversial discovery in an article in the New York Times. Hofmann’s birthday is being marked by a symposium in Switzerland, where scientists, visionaries and artists are meeting to discuss the impact of the compound on society and how it may be put to […]

William James on laughing gas

“There are no differences but differences of degree between different degrees of difference and no difference.” Psychologist and philosopher William James writes under the influence of laughing gas, as reported in his essay on the subjective effects of nitrous oxide.

Brain in a vat

If you ever wanted to recreate scenes from movies like The Brain That Wouldn’t Die or The Man with Two Brains, now’s your chance with a plastic version now being sold online. On a more serious note, one of the most famous thought experiments in contemporary philosophy is about a brain in a vat and […]

Mind Hacking at the gym

Most of the time it feels as though our perception of the world is based on what‚Äôs out there, what psychologists call ‚Äòstimulus-driven‚Äô or ‚Äòbottom up‚Äô processing. But in reality, our perceptual experience is a seamless mixture of both what really is out in the world and what we expect to be out there (so-called […]

Artful dodges

“…no man ever understands quite his own artful dodges to escape from the grim shadow of self-knowledge.” From the novel Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad.

2006-01-06 Spike activity

Quick links from the past week in mind and brain news: Brain Waves considers the role of ‘bonding hormone’ oxytocin and the potential for a love spray. Town tries soft lighting to calm violent drinkers. In contrast to one of last year’s controversial claims, a new study provides evidence that suicide risk does not increase […]

Sex review and predictions – ’05 to ’06

Sex and relationship psychologist Petra Boyton has just posted her review of sexual health, science and media trends of 2005 as well as her predictions for 2006. As the media is increasingly keen on psychological angles to sex stories and pharmaceutical companies are now starting to push the pills and ills of sexual behaviour in […]

Survivors of stroke

ABC Radio’s Health Report has a special on stroke – where the blood supply is cut off by damage or obstruction to blood vessels in the brain – and interviews two survivors about their experiences: Robert McCrumb, the literary editor of The Observer newspaper and Ishbel, a 9 year old girl who suffered a stroke […]

Information integration and consciousness

There’s a raft of new articles just appeared on Science and Consciousness Review, including a speculative but fascinating article on information states in the brain and consciousness. The article by Henri Montandon discusses the ideas and implications of researcher Giulio Tononi who argues that an entity is more conscious the more information it can bring […]

PsyBlog returns

You spend all day waiting for a bus, then two come along at once… PsyBlog has risen from its slumber to rub its eyes and stare 2006 in the face. A welcome return.


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