Monthly Archives: July 2006

Measuring depravity

Depravity is a concept often used in criminal trials when making decisions on the seriousness or gravity of a particular crime. The depravity scale is a project to develop a measure of depravity, and is asking members of the public to help develop it. It is the brainchild of forensic psychiatrist Dr Michael Welner who […]

Syd Barrett has left the building

BBC News are reporting that Syd Barrett, the troubled genius and founding member of Pink Floyd, has passed away. Barrett was rumoured to have had mental health difficulties, and his later solo albums are repleat with commentaries on the experience of mental turmoil. He is commonly cited as one of the most influential musicians of […]

after-effect illusions

There’s an illusion popular on right now here. Have a look – it’s a motion after-effect illusion. These are discussed in the book (Hack #25). The basic story is the same for all after-effects – continuous exposure to something causes a shift in sensitivity. For continuous motion this means that the visual system shifts […]

Time magazine on prosopagnosia

The curious condition of prosopagnosia (something referred to – somewhat incorrectly – as ‘face blindness’) is featured in a short article in Time. Prosopagnosia is a term used to refer to quite a broad range of neuropsychological difficulties that impair people from recognising others by their face, despite the fact that they may recognise them […]

The theft of humanity

An article in American Scientist bemoans the division of research into schools and traditions in modern universities as counter productive, and argues that the cognitive and biological sciences are now at the forefront of combining science and art practice. I would probably argue philosophy has always had a similarly broad outlook, but the author argues […]

Brain-Computer Interfaces

Neurons in a Dish: Scientists at the Potter Lab have found that blobs of neurons cultured in a dish spontaneously generate hierarchical structures of periodic activity with population-wide spatiotemporal structure demonstrating oscillations. Certain patterns persist for hours, implying that perhaps that such in vitro neural preparations could be used to store memories. Nerve Stump Interface: […]

Between a thing and a thought

Artist Susan Aldworth creates works based on neurology and brain scans, after her own experience of having an emergency angiogram after suffering a suspected stroke. BBC News reports on her ongoing exhibition entitled ‘Matter Into Imagination‘. The exhibition has just been moved from its previous home in the Menier Gallery, to the corridors of the […]

Five minutes with Sherry Turkle

Professor Sherry Turkle is a psychologist best known for her pioneering research into the psychology of computers and the internet, and particularly on how we interpret concepts such as the self and identity through the veil of technology. Her book Life on the Screen was hugely influential as one of the first books on ‘internet […]

Synapse vol 1 n 2

The most recent Synapse has just been published on A Blog Around the Clock with a collection of new psychology and neuroscience writing for your reading pleasure… In addition, there’s also a neuroscience competition embedded in this edition: This time, you have a puzzle to solve. Next to each entry, there is an image depicting […]

John Beloff has left the building

The Guardian has the obituary of Dr John Beloff, the British researcher who was one of the pioneers of academic parapsychology. Beloff had already been conducting research in parapsychology. In 1961, he and a physics student, Leonard Evans, carried out an innovative experiment in psychokinesis (PK) – that is, roughly, mind over matter. In this […]

Brain-Computer Interfaces

The June edition of IEEE Transactions in Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering has some articles of interest including such titles as “Could cortical signals control intraspinal stimulators?” from the Mushahwar lab, “Cortically coupled computer vision for rapid image search” from the Sajda lab, “An oral tactile interface for blind navigation” from Tang and Beebe, “The […]


Hi, My name is Mijail “Misha” Serruya, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to join the other MindHacks editors to share my passion for basic and clinical neuroscience. I finished my combined MD/PhD training at Brown University, helped co-found Cyberkinetics, and am currently a House Officer in internal medicine in Providence, and expect to begin […]

From bad to worse: the worst ideas on the mind

As a follow on to their previous ‘greatest minds on the minds’ event, the Royal Institution will be hosting a lively event in London to find out what is the worst idea ever to grace the worlds of psychology and psychiatry. The debate will happen on Tuesday 18 July and will feature lobotomy, post-trauma counselling, […]

2006-07-07 Spike activity

Quick links from the past week in mind and brain news: Seed Magazine has an insightful article on being seduced by the flickering lights of fMRI. Also see the April 2006 issue of Cortex for a more in-depth approach (warning: their website doesn’t work in Firefox). Differences in the placenta of pregnant women may predict […]

Limb amputation reduces brain volume in thalamus

There’s a fascinating study in the journal Neuroimage that reports that people who have had a limb amputated show reduction in the volume of grey matter in the thalamus – a complex deep brain structure. The study, led by neuroscientist Dr Bogdan Draganski, scanned the brains of 28 patients whose limbs had been surgically removed. […]

NYT on the ‘grim neurology’ of teenage drinking

The New York Times has published an extensive article on the effect of drinking on the teenage brain. Increasing research is now being conducted on the effect of teenage substance use on the brain, as it has recently been discovered that adolescents do not just have ‘young adult’ brains in all respects. It now seems […]


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