Monthly Archives: September 2006

Eternal dreamtime of the spotless mind

Seed Magazine has a video of a fascinating conversation between sleep neuroscientist Robert Stickgold and film director Michel Gondry, director of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Stickgold has reinvigorated sleep research by investigating the borderlands of consciousness with a series of novel experiments. I wrote briefly about one of my favourites in Mind Hacks […]

Synapse final reminder

Last call for mind and brain writing carnival The Synapse, to be hosted here on Sunday. Actually, it’s a bit light on entries so far, so if you’ve got something you’ve written about psychology or neuroscience that you want the world to know about, now’s the time to let your work shine.

Breastfeeding and baby’s risk for mental illness

The previous post on the neurological and psychological benefits of breastfeeding made me wonder if being breastfed is associated with a lower risk of developing mental illness later in life. For example, those with cognitive impairment and vulnerability to stress are more likely to end up with a diagnosis of schizophrenia. Perhaps, those who have […]

2006-09-29 Spike activity

Quick links from the past week in mind and brain news: Brain Ethics examines evidence for the effect of different types of attachment (early relationship with parents) on the brain. Everyday magical powers: A paper from the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology reports on the tendency to attribute magical causes to outside events. Researchers […]

‘Cognitive fitness’ software is booming business

There’s an interesting snippet on Brain Waves about the increasing commercial interest in computer games specifically designed to boost cognitive ability. This has largely been inspired by the success of Nintendo’s Brain Age cartridge for the DS handheld console, research that suggests that players of off-the-shelf video games have sharper cognitive abilities in certain domains, […]

Breastfeeding boosts neurological development

Science News reports on research that suggests that breastfed babies show measurable benefits in terms of action control and coordination. The coordination of movement relies heavily on good general brain function. If you ever visit a neurologist for a neurological examination, you’ll notice the majority of tests are to do with balance, muscle tone, movement […]

Is hysteria real?

The New York Times has an article on the scientific investigation of ‘hysteria’, the condition now typically called conversion disorder, where physical symptoms such as paralysis, seizures or even blindness seem to be caused by mental disorder rather than any detectable physical problems. The diagnosis is controversial for many reasons, not least because it is […]

Synapse submission reminder

A reminder that Mind Hacks will be hosting the upcoming edition of The Synapse psychology and neuroscience writing carnival this Sunday. So if you want your writing included, you need to send me the link before then. You can either email me, use the web-based submission form or email the.synapse.carnival {AT} gmail dot com.

Two types

There are two types of people in the world. Those who divide the world into two types of people, and those who don’t. No idea where this quotation came from, but I always think of it whenever I come across black and white classifications in psychology. Alternatively, McSweeney’s has a typology based on breakfast cereal.

Cannabis and psychosis – a causal link?

The latest edition of the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry has a comprehensive review of the evidence on whether cannabis contributes to causing psychotic mental illness – the best known being schizophrenia. It has been known for a long time that there is a link between cannabis use and psychosis, but it was not known whether […]

Dreaming of the philosophy of Freud

ABC Radio’s The Philosopher’s Zone has just had two special editions on Freud and his relevance to modern day thinking. The programmes look at two contrasting areas of his wide-ranging theories. The first is on Freud’s contribution to philosophy and the second contrasts Freud’s theories of dreaming with modern dream science derived from neuroscience. The […]

Encephalon #7 arrives

The latest edition of psychology and neuroscience writing carnival Encephalon has arrived, this time hosted on OmniBrain. A couple of my favourite’s include Neurocritic’s analysis of a recent study on the potential role of mirror neurons in viewing erotic images, and The Neurophilospher’s look at the latest development in MRI brain-scanning technology.

SciAm special editions on the senses and genius

Scientific American has released Secrets of the Senses and Uncommon Genius, two new editions of their special collections relevant to mind and brain enthusiasiasts. Ths special editions are collections of past articles from Scientific American on a single topic, that are available as an online pdf file for $5 dollars each. The Secrets of the […]

Books in the Bog reviews Mind Hacks

Mind Hacks has been chosen as September’s book of the month by online review site Books in the Bog. Mind Hacks is, fortunately for our toilet shelves, anything but an academic text book, yet manages to still do a great job in introducing how some of the mind’s systems work, though simple examples you can […]

not your average PSY101 slide

I’m putting together my lectures for the visual perception part of PSY101 (which I’m teaching in a few weeks). I was so proud of this particular slide that I had to share it: Long-time readers of will know what I’m on about. Original paper available from the Homepage of Rodrigo Quian Quiroga

Inducing the shadow-self by stimulating the brain

Yesterday’s Nature contains an intriguing short report of how stimulating part of the brain during neurosurgery induced the feeling that a shadowy version of the patient’s body had appeared and was mirroring the patient’s movements. The patient was undergoing routine neurosurgery to examine the brain, prior to more serious neurosurgery to treat otherwise untreatable epilepsy. […]


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