Monthly Archives: August 2006

Do you mind?

So this Flickr group just seems to consist of pictures of beautiful women wearing ‘I [brain] Cognitive Science’ t-shirts. Why? Your guess is as good as mine…

Home by Rupert Brooke

War poet Rupert Brooke describes an unsettling experience of apophenia in this 1913 poem. I came back late and tired last night   Into my little room, To the long chair and the firelight   And comfortable gloom. But as I entered softly in   I saw a woman there, The line of neck and cheek and chin, […]

Pursuing pleasure

Dr Lionel Tiger, an anthropologist who investigates the interaction between the biological basis of pleasure and how it is experienced in different cultures, is interviewed on ABC Radio’s In Conversation. He talks about the numerous ways in which pleasure can be sought (including food, art and sex) and how it is regarded and experienced in […]

Poverty on the brain

Neurocritic has just published a fantastic summary of Professor Martha Farah’s recent work on the effects of poverty on mind and brain function. For example, it is known that poor diet alone can restrict the development of certain skills and abilities. However, one of Farah’s main findings is that those from poorer backgrounds do not […]

interested in words

A classic quote from R.D. Laing of anti-psychiatry fame: I am very interested in words, and what we have words for and what we haven’t got words for. For instance, the word “paranoia.” It always seems very strange to me that we have this word which means, in effect, that someone feels that he is […]

2006-08-18 Spike activity

Quick links from the past week in mind and brain news: The Philidelphia Inquirer reviews a book on the Philosophy of Boredom. Is this the most sci-fi sounding article ever? Developing Intelligence unleashes The Argument for Multiplexed Synchrony. BBC Radio 4 has a half-hour programme on the experience and impact of mild brain injury. ABC […]

Inside medicine: the psychiatrist, the anaesthetist

The BBC News website has a brief section on medical specialties as part of its health coverage. Each article is a brief interview with a doctor about their work in a certain area. Two of interest to readers here might be the interviews with the psychiatrist and anaesthetist. No neurologist or neurosurgeon, but I suspect […]

Synaptic scarves and vesicle ties

A Slice of Life is a company that makes scarves and ties with bioscience prints on them, and two are likely to be particularly attractive to neuroscientists. Pictured on the left is a satin scarf (named ‘Contacts‘) that is decorated with neuron endings especially rich in synaptic vesicles. Also available is a bow tie that […]

Grand unifying theories in psychology

PsyBlog has just started a series looking at whether the different findings, concepts and predictions of the various schools of psychology could ever be explained by one ‘grand theory’. By drawing on excerpts from the existing literature, the series gives us a tour through a radical rethinking of how we explain the action of the […]

APA release statement on interrogation guidelines

As an update to a previous Mind Hacks story, the American Psychological Association has released a statement after considering the backlash against their guidelines that permit psychologists to participate in military interrogations. The statement seems to reaffirm the previous position that permits participation in interrogations but additionally requires that psychologists intervene in abusive situations and […]

Epileptic – the comic

Epileptic is a comic book by David B that charts the impact of his brother’s epilepsy on the author’s life and family. Originally written in French, when first published in English, Time Magazine described it as “a great work of art” and nominated it as the best graphic novel of the year. It has subsequently […]

Explaining differences in sex drive

The media has just been full of reports about research that suggests that while male sex drive stays constant, female sex drive reduces significantly after several years in a long-term relationship. Sex and relationship psychologist Dr Petra Boyton has an excellent analysis of the study, its conclusions and the media reports. Particularly, she notes that […]

In defense of Big Pharma

Commentary Magazine has an articulate article arguing in support of large drug companies and the necessity of current drug developing and marketing practices. Most of the articles you see these days are quite critical of ‘Big Pharma’ so it’s refreshing to see a spirited defense. Over the last decade, extraordinary advances in bioengineering have transformed […]

Encephalon #4 at Neurocritic

The 4th Encephalon psychology and neuroscience writing carnival is now online! The host for this edition is the excellent Neurocritic.

Philip K. Dick video interview

If you want to hear Philip K. Dick himself discuss the writing of A Scanner Darkly and describe some of the borderline-paranoid ideas that drove the plot, there’s a three minute video clip on YouTube. There’s evidence that Dick had reason to be paranoid. It is likely that he was investigated by the authorities during […]

Neuropsychology and Psychosis in ‘A Scanner Darkly’

Partly motivated by his increasing brushes with psychosis, by the early 1970s, Philip K. Dick was struggling with increasing doubts over the nature of reality and personal identity. Perhaps unsurprisingly, characters with unstable worlds and existential doubts are a familiar focus of his work. Dick was interested in more than just description however, and often […]


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