Monthly Archives: September 2006

From My Mind to Your Mind

London’s Victoria Miro Gallery is currently hosting an exhibition by Stephen Willats entitled From My Mind to Your Mind. Willats uses his artwork to explore how people makes sense of the world, particularly in terms of how we operate and interact as individuals in society. Particularly focusing on urban life, he often critiques the way […]

2006-09-22 Spike activity

Quick links from the past week in mind and brain news: Memory difficulties in older people may signal brain tissue loss in some, reports New Scientist. GNIF Brain Blogger gives a rundown on the DSM – the diagnostic manual for psychiatric disorders. The New York Times discusses the psychology of one of the most widely-known […]

Brain dissection video tutorial

The University of Wisconsin Medical School have an online video series that shows a dissection of a human body, including special sections on the brain and spinal cord, all expertly narrated by the professors in the department. There is no better way of learning anatomy than seeing a dissection for yourself (I have fond memories […]

Dawkins’ new book on religion

‘The God Delusion’, Richard Dawkins’ forthcoming book on religion, is “incurious, dogmatic, rambling and self-contradictory” according to Andrew Brown (author of the Darwin Wars), writing in Prospect magazine. To a psychologist (or anyone taking a scientific approach to religion), what’s particularly of interest, is not so much whether or not God exists, but why so […]

Upcoming Encephalon

Steve from OmniBrain has reminded me that Encephalon, one of the internet’s two regular psychology and neuroscience writing carnivals, is due to be hosted on his site in a few days time. If you have any writing to submit for publication in the next edition, send your links to directly Steve, or via the instructions […]

Liking for sprouts may be partly genetic

Nature is reporting that a gene which is involved in a receptor for bitter tastes can predict people’s liking for vegetables such as broccoli and sprouts. It has been proposed that humans are particularly sensitive to bitterness as natural poisons often taste bitter. Certain versions of this gene may make us especially sensitive, however. So […]

Bipolar disorder on the BBC

The BBC has a focus on bipolar disorder over the next few weeks with a TV documentary hosted by Stephen Fry investigating the condition, and a special edition of BBC Radio 4’s Case Notes on the disorder. We reported earlier this year that Stephen Fry, diagnosed with bipolar himself, visited Cardiff University’s neuropsychiatric genetics unit […]

NYT on killing of Dr Wayne Fenton

The New York Times has an article on the recent tragic death of psychiatrist Dr Wayne Fenton, a respected and admired schizophrenia specialist who seems to have been killed by a patient. The killing has highlighted the debate about violence and schizophrenia once again. Violence is rare in people with schizophrenia. In fact, people with […]

Why email is addictive (and what to do about it)

Email is addictive Like lots of people who sit in front of a computer all day, I am addicted to email. This worries me for two reasons. The first is the sheer strength of my compulsion. I must hit the ‘get mail’ button at least a hundred times a day. Sometimes, if I don’t have […]

Cognitive behaviour therapy creator wins Lasker Award

Aaron T. Beck, the creator of cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), has been awarded the Lasker Award – a prestigious prize that is given to those who are deemed to have made a significant contribution to the understanding and treatment of medical disorders. Randomised controlled trials have shown cognitive behaviour therapy to be one of the […]

Trouble with Spikol mental health video series

Last August, we interviewed editor of the Philadelphia Weekly and mental health campaigner Liz Spikol. Part of her work as a journalist and campaigner involves her blog The Trouble with Spikol, which includes regular video updates conveying her whimsical view of the world of journalism. Recently, she’s just begun a video series tackling current issues […]

The DiNET project

While in Seville, I met up with Marcos Cobe√±a and Jorge Cant√≥n, two computational neuroscientists who are involved in a project to develop a model of brain function based on Jeff Hawkins’ Hierarchical Temporal Memory framework. Their project, based at the University of Seville, is called DiNET and aims to develop free software to implement […]

Synapse #7 and BPS Research Digest

A beautiful-looking edition of The Synapse, the biweekly psychology and neuroscience writing carnival has hit the net, as has another compulsive release of the BPS Research Digest – edited by our very own Christian Jarrett. Just so you know, Mind Hacks will be the hosting the next edition of The Synapse. Although I’ve yet to […]

Jabberwacky wins Loebner prize again

BBC News is reporting that AI researcher Rollo Carpenter has won the Loebner Prize for the second year in a row with Joan, a development of his Jabberwacky chatbot. The Loebner Prize is an annual event where various computer programs are subjected to the Turing Test – a test where judges have to work out […]

Berkeley’s Cherry

I see this cherry, I feel it, I taste it: and I am sure nothing cannot be seen, or felt, or tasted: it is therefore real. Take away the sensations of softness, moisture, redness, tartness, and you take away the cherry, since it is not a being distinct from sensations. A cherry, I say, is […]

Classic Case Studies in Psychology

I picked up a copy of Classic Case Studies in Psychology (ISBN 0340886927) yesterday and have been hooked ever since. It looks at some of the most famous case studies in psychology, including those that have inspired important clinical methods as well as those that have just given us an insight into the more curious […]

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