Monthly Archives: June 2006

Scienceblogs ‘Brain and Behavior’ channel

ScienceBlogs has just welcomed a slew of new writers in the fold and now has enough to justify a Brain and Behavior Channel which gathers all the posts from the cognitive and neuroscience sites. The new members include neuroscientists Shelly Batts, Jake Young and, er, The Evil Monkey. Also part of the collective are Jonah […]

From Freud to cognitive therapy

Prospect Magazine has an in-depth article about the development of cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) – one of the most researched and effective forms of modern psychotherapy. The article tracks how Aaron Beck discovered the principles of CBT after initially starting off as a Freudian therapist himself. The therapy is now one of the most widely […]

Neuroscience carnival

Medic and researcher Jake Young has started an online neuroscience carnival where anyone can submit their recent writing on neuroscience to see it collected and digested for the dedicated readers. The first one is due to be published on June 25, so contact Jake if you want to point him in the direction of your […]

Suicide itself now an act of war

A motivation not yet mentioned in the extensive scientific literature on suicide was offered by the US Government for why three inmates killed themselves in Guantanamo Bay – apparently, it was a well-planned “act of asymmetric warfare“. Perhaps, someone could email the organisors of the US Department of Defense 2006 Military Suicide Prevention Conference and […]

Cognitive science podcasts from Science and the City

New York Academy of Sciences webzine Science in the City has a been archiving a series of interviews, conversations, and lectures by noted scientists and authors, including some of the brightest and best in cognitive science. Some of the recent events have been: * Mind Versus Soul panel discussion [mp3] * Eric Kandel on In […]

SciAmMind on mental workouts and bitter pills

It’s that time again when a new edition of Scientific American Mind has hit the shelves with the customary freely available feature articles available online. One of the online articles examines the recent trend for mental workout computer games deliberately designed to keep the grey cells ticking over and the mind sharp. It particularly examines […]

2006-06-09 Spike activity

Quick links from the past week in mind and brain news: The Nobel Prize website has an online game to illustrate Roger Sperry’s work on split-brain patients – with Mr Split-Brainy! Brian Ethics has a cutting-edge update on the science of genetic influences on mind and brain. American Scientist talks to neuroscientist Eric Kandel about […]

Caffeine makes people more open to persuasion

Dosing someone with coffee or another strongly caffeinated drink may make them more susceptible to persuasion, according to a recent study, reported in New Scientist. Previous studies have show that consuming caffeine can improve one’s attention and enhance cognitive performance, with 200 milligrams (equivalent to two cups of coffee) being the optimal dose. Moderate doses […]

Implanting magnets for a sixth sense

Wired magazine has an article about reporter Quinn Norton’s experience of implanting a magnet in her fingertip to add a magnetic touch sense to her sensory repertoire. Matt reported on this practice previously on Mind Hacks, where those with the implants say they can detect magnetic fields from electrical devices. Because of the sensitivity of […]

Striking castle illusion

I’ve just found this very impressive visual illusion linked from that relies on an afterimage to give the impression that you’re viewing a colour photo, when in fact it’s black and white. Really very striking.

Anger is an energy – and a mental illness, apparently

Having ‘uncontrollable’ angry outbursts meets the criteria for “intermittent explosive disorder” – a diagnosable mental illness. According to a recent study, 7.3% of Americans could be diagnosable within their lifetime – that’s 1 in 14 people. The diagnosis just seems to describe people who have occasional and extreme angry outbursts that are out of proportion […]

Electric blues stimulation

The Economist has a short but interesting piece on the use of vagus nerve stimulation to treat depression. The technique involves implanting a pacemaker-like device into the body that stimulates the vagus nerve (in the neck) at regular intervals. The technology was originally developed as a treatment for epilepsy, but it was discovered that some […]

Beautiful webcasts of Dana debates

The UK’s Dana Centre regularly hosts free science events for the public and has been webcasting them live. They’ve now put the archives online and there’s a fantastic selection of high-quality programmes for mind and brain enthusiasts. It’s now quite common for video of lectures or science events to be put online, but they tend […]

Drug tampering for fun and profit

New Scientist has put an article online about drug-tampering – the practice of messing with prescription medication so it can be used to get a high or gives a stronger effect. Stimulant drugs such as Ritalin are being crushed and snorted, and users on internet sites discuss how to take other drugs in similarly non-standard […]

Spare change for a brain scan?

Delivery driver Gary Harris was suffering vomiting and headaches but was told he would have to wait 11 weeks for an NHS brain scan, so his workmates had a whip-round and collected enough money for a private scan – which saved his life. The scan found a large tumour, and doctors say his life would […]

Brain-computer interface video

Wow. I’ve just found a corporate video for a brain computer interface device. With spiffy animation and video of the real thing in action. It seems to be a video of this device currently in development. I didn’t realise the technology was at the stage where slick videos would be necessary. UPDATE: Thanks to the […]


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