2006-03-24 Spike activity

Quick links from the past week in mind and brain news:

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Tom Lunt asks web visitors to name my brain tumour.

A series of fits, terrors and crying spells hit children in Chechnya and is blamed on mass hysteria.

Psychologist Lauren Slater discusses the common ‘wonder-drug to toxic tablet’ story of new psychotropic medicines in the New York Times.

Woman with a ‘perfect memory’ is investigated by neuroscientists to try and understand her remarkable talents, reports ABC News (abstract of scientific paper here).

Daniel Dennett on taking a scientific approach to understanding religion in a Seed Magazine article, and a piece for American Scientist.

A study finds few consistent tell-tale signs of lying, providing further evidence against this sort of nonsense.

Mixing Memory has a careful analysis of recent claims that people with strong political affilitations show ‘irrationality’ in reacting to opposing pitches.

Impulsive violence linked to gene for monoamine oxidase.

Aliens gave me psychic powers says clinical psychologist.

American Scientist <a href="http://www.americanscientist.org/template/BookReviewTypeDetail/assetid/49580;jsessionid=aaa6J-GFIciRx2Live”>reviews new book “Origins of the Social Mind: Evolutionary Psychology and Child Development” – charting the beginnings of ‘EvoDevo Psych’.

Live Science examines the neuropsychology of numbers, and ‘dyscalculia’ – impairment in the ability to do mathematical operations.

One Comment

  1. Posted March 24, 2006 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    “A study finds few consistent tell-tale signs of lying, providing further evidence against this sort of nonsense.”
    I think you are being a bit rough of the ‘nonsense’ and a bit easy on the ‘science’.
    No serious researcher or even interested lay person would say that any body language is a sure fire tell of anything. The situation and the people involved have huge impact how people behave.
    When people are lying, it is how their body langague differs from what that person does when telling the truth that is important. Each person has to provide their own baseline.
    The science here and in much body langangue study is dubious. Being asked to lie, for the benifit of a scientist hardly represents real life. And of course you can’t control a field experiment well enough study lying in a naturlistic setting.
    Yet even in the unnatural setting of a lab experiment the study did find statistically significant indicators of lying. E.g. less movement and nose scratching.


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