Monthly Archives: April 2006

The Architecture of Happiness

We‚Äôre probably going to be seeing a lot of Alain de Botton in the coming months, as he‚Äôs out and about promoting his new book ‚ÄòThe Architecture of Happiness‚Äô. I‚Äôm a huge fan of de Botton, whose books such as ‚ÄòThe Consolations of Philosophy‚Äô have won widespread critical acclaim for making philosophy accessible and relevant […]

The Happiness Formula

There‚Äôs a new six-part series starting on BBC 2 this week called The Happiness Formula, and the companion website has all sorts of features including on-line video clips, happiness tests, and an article about the science of happiness. Glancing through, it looks like among the key contributors are well-being psychologist Ed Diener, positive psychologist Martin […]

‘They’re coming to take me away…’ now online

The recent Radio 4 documentary on the representation of madness in comedy (as mentioned by Christian in a previous post) is now online as a realaudio stream.

Omni Brain

While on a recent link ramble I discovered the wonderfully anarchic Omni Brain – an electic and entertaining mind and brain blog. It seems to be powered by cognitive scientists Steve Higgins and Sandra Kiume who are keeping the site posted with news on everything from vetinary psychiatry to the psychophysics of baseball. Link to […]

Ethics of human enhancement

Human Enhancement Technologies and Human Rights is a conference that kicks off next month to debate how the age-old practice of human modification should be handled in modern times and in the future. Yet, what, if any, limits should be considered to human enhancement? On what grounds can citizens be prevented from modifying their own […]

Jury psychology

Christian’s posted a great summary on the BPS Research Digest of a recent study that examined factors in jury death penalty decisions, some of which are quite surprising. It seems to reflect an increasing focus on the psychology of court room and jury interactions. It will be interesting to see these sort of findings will […]

Think friend and enter

Wired has a short piece on researchers from Carleton University who are attempting to use EEG signals in place of a password – so you can think ‘pass thoughts’ to get to your data. “It is known there are differences between people’s brains and their signals,” says Carleton researcher Julie Thorpe, who’s working on the […]

2006-04-28 Spike activity

Quick links from the past week in mind and brain news: Scientific American investigate the neuroscience and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease in a new feature article. Researchers devise software that tracks the mood swings of 150,000 LiveJournal users. The New York Times examines the neuropsychology of investor behaviour – christened neuroeconomics. The New Atlantis Magazine […]

They’re coming to take me away Ha Ha

How comedians have tackled the world of mental health head on, with contributions from Paul Whitehouse and psychiatrist Dr. Peter Byrne. Coming up on BBC Radio 4 (which you can listen to live over the net) at 11.30 BST and repeated on Monday at 0.15 BST.

NewSci: Likes love, neuroscience, psychology, GSOH

I take it Spring has truly sprung, as this week’s New Scientist keeps the theme of love alive by devoting a special issue to that most curious of human behaviours. There’s feature articles on everything from the psychology of finding (and keeping) the perfect partner to the darker side of obsession and stalking. Unfortunately, the […]

Neuroscience for lovers

Online science and humanities e-zine LabLit has an article about one guy’s experience of ‘luring the ladies’ with smooth talking neuroscience chit-chat (and presumably it works well for luring men too). So, next thing I know, I’m actually chatting away with three beautiful young ladies in a bar in Baltimore. And we’re chatting about signal […]

Fast Artificial Neural Network Library

The Fast Artificial Neural Network Library is a programming library that takes much of the pain out of constructing artificial intelligence and cognitive modelling projects. It is free software, incredibly professional, well documented, fully supported, and available for a number of programming languages both mainstream and obscure. There’s also a concise introduction to neural networks […]

The Age of Neuroelectronics

Technology and society magazine The New Atlantis has a comprehensive article on ‘neuroelectronics’ – the science of interfacing digital components with neural wetware. The potential merging of mind and machine thrills, frightens, and intrigues us. For decades, experiments at the border between brains and electronics have led to sensationalistic media coverage, vivid science fiction portrayals, […]

Check dis – Ali G interviews Noam Chomsky

YouTube has the fantastic clip of Ali G interviewing legendary Professor of Linguistics Noam Chomsky. ’nuff said. Link to video clip on YouTube.

Uncovering hidden biases

Science News has got an excellent article on one of psychology’s most recent developments – the Implicit Association Test – a computerised task that claims to measure hidden or unadmitted biases. The test involves reacting to (usually) words as they appear on-screen by classifying them into categories. The categories are altered to draw out differences […]

SfN Brain Briefings online

The Society for Neuroscience publishes monthly Brain Briefings that explain how basic neuroscience discoveries lead to clinical applications. The newsletters cover recent advances in neuroscience research and are intended for a lay audience so are jargon free and easily digestible. The webpage versions (rather than the pdf files) are referenced so you can also follow […]


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