Monthly Archives: March 2006

2006-03-17 Spike activity

Quick links from the past week in mind and brain news: Science Central News discusses change blindness (with video demos). Researchers find that antibiotic D-cycloserine, used to treat tuberculosis, improves recovery rate in psychological treatment for social anxiety. CBS News has an in-depth article on the science of sexual orientation. Research suggests that solo exercise […]

Open-access at Cortex Online

I love Cortex. I’m not referring to my brain (although I do think very highly of it – “my second favourite organ” to quote Woody Allen) but to the neuropsychology journal which has been around since 1965. Although the website doesn’t work properly in Firefox, and all the links seem to open as new windows, […]

USA Memory championship

Wired has some brief coverage of the USA Memory Championship, which was won by a journalist who entered as research for a book! This was Foer’s first time competing, but he’d covered it as a freelance science journalist, he said. This year, he decided to experience things from the inside as research for a book […]

Churchill in strait-jacket statue taken down

It looks like the statue of Winston Churchill in a strait-jacket (see previously on Mind Hacks) has been removed by the owners of The Forum – the library and tourism centre where the monument was displayed for three days. There’s more information at the Rethink website, including a downloadable postcard of the statue!

A neuroscientist’s grief

Neuroscientist Ruth McKernan was a guest on Radio 4’s midweek this morning, talking about her father’s death from a mystery illness, and how her scientific background shaped her coping and grief, an experience she has described in her book Billy’s Halo. Here’s an excerpt from the book’s synopsis: Now, she tells the story of her […]

Sleep drug causes ‘sleep driving’?

AADT have some intriguing coverage on recent concerns that popular sleep drug Ambien is linked to ‘sleep driving’ and ‘sleep eating’ in some people. The issue has recently been covered by the New York Times owing to the increase in people who have had the drug detected in their body by toxicology tests after “bizarre” […]

Why can’t we choose what makes us happy?

This from Hsee, C. K. & Hastie, R. (2006). Decision and experience: Why don’t we choose what makes us happy? Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 10(1), 31-37 Another common belief is that more choice options are always better. In reality, having more options can lead to worse experiences. For example, if employees are given a free […]

Amedeo Challenge now open to small donations

Amedeo Challenge, the site aiming to fund the creation of high-quality open-access medical textbooks, is now taking small and private donations. On the donations page you can give towards a ‘bounty’ for the completion of a textbook on a number of different topics. Medical professionals and researchers can work towards creating books to claim the […]

Neuroimaging genetics

Thomas Rams√∏y, one of the guys responsible for the Brain Ethics blog, has written a fantastic introduction to the emerging field of ‘imaging genetics’ for Science and Consciousness Review. Imaging genetics uses neuroimaging (‘brain scanning’) to examine the differences in brain activation between people with different versions of a gene, both to understand the interaction […]

What tangled webs we weave

Carl Zimmer has deleted his post on the controversy surrounding an upcoming TV programme about a Turkish family who walk on ‘all fours’ (see previously on Mind Hacks). Presumably, he could do without the headache (and who can blame him?). Nevertheless, there’s a good analysis over at Gene Expression, to which an interesting comment has […]

Mind Performance Hacks

While I’ve been away, I’ve been reading Mind Performance Hacks by Ron Hale-Evans. (Full disclosure: There are a couple of Mind Hacks pieces in the book, so O’Reilly sent me a free copy.) What follows are some brief thoughts, so if you already know about the book then skip to the end of the post […]

Start of brain awareness week

Today is the start of Brain Awareness Week with a number of events happening across the globe. Your local college, university or science museum might be putting on public events about the mind and brain, and encouraging lively debate and participation. The Brain Awareness Week website also has plenty of resources, including everything from in-depth […]

The creative brain and outsider art

ABC Radio National’s All in the Mind has had a couple of related editions over the last couple of weeks that have tackled the psychology and neuroscience of creative thought. Psychiatrist and one-time english literature professor Nancy Andreasan discusses the neuroscience of creativity and whether genius is related to particular brain states or measurable mental […]

Marshall smurf

I just found this great three-panel comic strip from Partially Clips that made me laugh out loud. It looks like a case of iatrogenic paraphasia, perhaps induced by an accidental lesion to the temporal lobe? I’ve just realised I’m diagnosing cartoon characters. I think I need to get out more. Link to ‘Brain surgeon’ comic […]

Churchill in a straitjacket

As part of an anti-stigma campaign, mental health charity Rethink has unveiled a statue of Winston Churchill in a strait-jacket, to highlight the great war-leader’s struggles with mental illness. Churchill was subject to severe bouts of clinical depression throughout his life (which he called his “black dog”). Despite these, he managed to lead and inspire […]

Post-traumatic growth

Trauma has been traditionally considered as intrinsically pathological. Some psychologists are now arguing that although damaging, the experience of trauma can also inspire some people to change in positive ways. The concept has been named ‘post-traumatic growth’ and is the subject of significant debate among contemporary researchers and clinicians. The debate is covered in a […]


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