Monthly Archives: July 2006

July’s BPS Research Digest online

A new BPS Research Digest for the second half of July has been published online; with articles on neural implants, marginalised minorities, judging trustworthiness, the effects of alcohol on noticing gorillas, the effects of mobile phones on the brain, and it asks the question does reading to babies gives them a head-start?

The Mask of Sanity

The complete text of the classic book on psychopaths and the psychopathic personality The Mask of Sanity is available online as a pdf file. The book was written by psychiatrist Hervey Cleckley (pictured on the left) and is one of the classics in the field. It is still highly regarded for its in-depth case studies […]


PsyWar is a website dedicated to the dark arts of psychological warfare and propoganda. It has a huge archive of propoganda and psychological warfare material from wars past, including copies of leaflets dropped into enemy territory to persuade soldiers and civilians that they were fighting for a lost cause. The website also has articles and […]

Synapse #3 now online

The third installment of neuroscience writing carnival Synapse just hit the net and is hosted at The Neurophilosopher’s Blog. Get it while it’s hot!

The genetics of violence

There’s a thought-provoking piece over at Brain Ethics about the role of genetics in violence, and particularly the role of a gene that codes for a type of monoamine oxidase enzyme involved in the breakdown of certain neurotransmitters in the brain. The post reports on recent research led by neuroscientist Andreas Meyer-Lindenberg that found that […]

Autism a target for ‘cereal box diagnosis’

In a somewhat bizarre turn of events, Kellogg’s Rice Krispies have agreed to print ‘autism awareness’ messages on the side of their US breakfast cereal packets in partnership with American lobbying group Autism Speaks. Autism Speaks is a controversial group in some areas, as they claim to speak for people with autism and tend to […]

Scientist creates android double of self

Hiroshi Ishiguro, director of the Intelligent Robotics Lab at Osaka University in Japan, has created an android double of himself and intends to use it to give lectures to test how well his creation recreates the ‘presence’ of genuine human interaction. Ishiguro was recently in the news when he demonstrated a female android he had […]

Probe the brain

PBS has a fun flash game where you can recreate Wilder Penfield’s brain stimulation experiments from the safety of your own desktop on a virtual, er, human. If the anyone actually looked like that, I suspect that having brain surgery to help alleviate epilepsy, or a neuroscientist poking round on the surface of your brain […]

Lays me down with my mind she runs

An article in last month’s American Scientist offered an interesting theory of why some people are driven to find knowledge – because of the kick of natural opioids in the brain. Sadly, the article is not freely available online, but the theory is outlined by neuroscientist Professor Irving Biederman in a pdf file he’s put […]

2006-07-21 Spike activity

Quick links from the past week in mind and brain news: New brain-computer interface turns brains into automatic image sorter thats operate faster than human consciousness. The Neurophile discusses the difficulty with classifying LSD. Manchester University reports on the use of virtual reality to test claims of telepathy. Do we agree on what’s beautiful? asks […]

It’s like jamais vu never again

The 4th International Conference on Memory is currently in full swing in the beautiful Australian city of Sydney, and there’s been a couple of interesting news reports from presentations on deja vu and jamais vu research. I’m sure d√©j√† vu is familiar to you, but you may never have encountered jamais vu before. [Thank you […]

The psychology of stalking

The ever excellent ABC Radio All in the Mind has a special edition on the psychology of stalking, investigating the drives and motivations of persistent stalkers as well as the impact on their victims. In order to better understand stalking, Paul Mullen’s group have categorised people who stalk according to what motivates them. There’s the […]

On the difficulty of choosing post-neurosurgery words

There’s a funny and insightful article in Time Magazine by writer Michael Kinsley on the difficulty of selecting the right words to mark the point when you become conscious after brain surgery. Kinsley wrote the piece before having surgery to implant a deep brain stimulation device to help alleviate the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. To […]

The best and worst on the mind

After attending April’s “Who’s the greatest? Minds that changed our minds” debate, and last night’s “From bad to worse: the worst ideas on the mind” debate – both hosted by the Royal Institution, I thought I’d give a quick summary of the results. In winning order: Who’s the greatest 1) Aaron T. Beck inventor of […]

The memory experience season

The BBC kicks off a season on memory in a few days that aims to explore the impact of memory on our everyday lives as well as encouraging people to improve their memory to keep it sharp. The Memory Experience includes a series of TV programmes, radio programmes and web resources that will also attempt […]

A little more conversation

The Guardian recently published an article on the effectiveness and concerns about the push to promote cognitive behaviour therapy as a treatment for a wide range of health problems. Cognitive behaviour therapy is one of the most researched and effective forms of psychotherapy, but there are worries it is nonetheless being oversold as a panacea […]


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