Monthly Archives: May 2006

Autism podcast

We seem to be on a run of autism news lately, and here’s one more to add to the list. I’ve just discovered that has regular podcasts about autism science, parenting and people. The most recent programme has an interview with Autism Diva who has been diagnosed with Asperger syndrome herself, has both a […]

Autism in the London Review of Books

London Review of Books has an in-depth review of two recently released books on autism: Laura Schreibman’s The Science and Fiction of Autism and Kamran Nazeer’s Send in the Idiots. The author of the review, philosopher Ian Hacking (picture on the right), starts with some controversial views on autism. Autism is devastating ‚Äì to the […]

Art and the New Biology of the Mind video online

BrainEthics has just posted up a couple of news items of interest to those keeping track of developments in neuroaesthetics – the neuroscience of art and creativity. The first is that video from the recent conference on Art and the New Biology of the Mind is now online. Speakers include David Freedberg, Eric R. Kandel, […]

Time Magazine on the autistic mind

Time Magazine has a cover story entitled “Inside the Autistic Mind” from its upcoming May 15th edition. It is available online (after viewing an ad) and discusses the recent developments in the psychology and neuroscience of autism. “In the meantime, 300,000 school-age American children and many adults are attempting to get through daily life with […]

Dana neuroscience radio

While browsing the ever-vigilant (and mildly addictive) Neurofuture blog I was alerted to the fact that the Dana Foundation have an archive of podcasts online, including their Gray Matters radio series and other in-depth neuroscience discussions. They include a conversation with Nobel Prize-winning neuroscientist Eric Kandel, Nancy Andreasen on the creative brain and a number […]

Online communities in the 1800s

Adam Joinson discusses the process of community building via technology in his book Understanding the Psychology of Internet Behaviour (p11, ISBN 0333984684), noting that there is nothing new under the sun: The cost and lack of privacy tended to inhibit personal communication between members of the general public using the telegraph. However, for the telegraph […]

Freud birthday roundup

Today is the 150th birthday of the late Sigmund Freud, controversial granddaddy of psychoanalysis who sparked off the modern interest in the unconscious and the use of ‘talk therapies’ in treating mental distress. The Times has a critical article examining his legacy and finishing with a tongue-in-cheek quiz to test your knowledge of the great […]

BBC All in the Mind on the impact of combat

BBC All in the Mind has a special on the psychological impact of combat and military psychiatry. New presenter and psychiatrist Dr Kwame McKenzie investigates the mental health provisions of the armed forces, and the new developments introduced to support the emotional well-being of soldiers operating under intensely stressful conditions. Dr Kwame McKenzie takes a […]

Ripples of yawn

Seed Magazine has a short but thought-provoking article on the yawn and the mysterious way they are ‘transmitted’ around a social group. Scientists maintain that yawning has both social and physiological functions, and may even be useful clinically: Abnormal yawning can be symptomatic of pathology, such as tumors, hemorrhage or drug withdrawal. Researchers know that […]

2006-05-05 Spike activity

Quick links from the past week in mind and brain news: Mixing Memory examines evidence that craving a cigarette warps your sense of time. Researchers have located a gene that they believe contributes towards overall mental performance. New discoveries might lead to a ‘vaccine‘ for a certain type of brain tumour. Popular Science looks at […]

Cognitive science video interviews on Slate

Slate has a collection of streamed video interviews with significant public figures online, including a couple of cognitive scientists. A comprehensive interview with Daniel Dennett tackles his views on the supernatural, evolution, consciousness and free will. Stephen Pinker is also interviewed and discuses evolutionary psychology, consciousness and the limits of science, although from quite a […]

NewSci on reading the mind by measuring the brain

The cover story on today’s New Scientist is about recent efforts to determine what people are thinking by viewing their brain scans. Although you may think this is what neuroscientists already do, in most brain-scanning experiments the researchers will know exactly what the participants are experiencing in the scanner, and they just link the measured […]

Opposite Emotional Expressions

The Facial Action Coding System is a system for describing facial expression. It is based on 46 defined ‘Action Units’, which are each the contraction of a facial muscle or group of muscles. So, the six basic emotional expressions can be expressed in terms of combinations of action units. Disgust is Action Unit 7 + […]

An influential psychologist

Psychologist Richard Davidson (pictured below) of the W.M. Keck lab for Functional Brain Imaging and Behaviour at the University of Wisconsin has been named one of the world’s Top 100 most influential people by Time magazine. He’s most famous for researching the neural correlates of meditation and for collaborating with the Dalai Lama: “East and […]

Serotonin charm

Dr Raven Hanna is a biochemist-turned-artist who makes fantastic jewelry and clothing in the shape of neurotranmitters at Made with Molecules. If you ever wanted a necklace adorned with dopamine and acetylcholine molecules, or just a simple serotonin charm around your neck, you could do far worse than check out Hanna’s online collection. There’s also […]

What got you going where

By combining a hand-held global positioning system with a galvanic skin response sensor (that measures the sweatiness of your fingers), London-based artist Christian Nold has created a gadget that measures your arousal as you walk around. Superimposing the data onto your route, using something like Google Earth, allows you to see a kind of ’emotion […]


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