Monthly Archives: December 2006

The Violent Brain in new SciAmMind

A new Scientific American Mind has arrived and two of the feature articles are available online – one of which is on the neuroscience of violence. The article makes a fantastic complement to the Science News article on psychopaths we featured previously. It touches on psychopathy, but is more focused on the wider issues of […]

Eli Lilly antipsychotic drug storm continues

The New York Times have published a second article based on internal documents from drug company Eli Lilly over the promotion of an antipsychotic medication known as Zyprexa or olanzapine – this time claiming that Eli Lilly have been deliberately promoting the drug for unlicensed conditions. When a drug is ‘licensed’, this is not a […]

A Place for Consciousness

A new edition of hardcore consciousness research journal Psyche has just been released online with a special issue focusing on consciousness, causation and the links to the physical structure of the brain. All the papers are freely available online, and address the arguments put forward in philosopher Gregg Rosenberg’s influential book A Place for Consciousness […]

Vegetarians have higher childhood IQ

…although a third seem to suffer from conceptual problems! A paper published this week by the British Medical Journal report that children with higher IQs tend to go on to become vegetarian. Adults who classified themselves as vegetarian tended to be five points higher in IQ when they were tested at age 10. Interestingly, the […]

The case of the missing Nature Neuroscience podcasts

So what happened to the Nature Neuroscience podcast? The first one was really good but no more have appeared. I don’t think these new fangled internet things are their strong point somehow.

Build your own brain stimulator

OpenStim is a community that aims to develop a magnetic brain stimulator which you can build and use in your own home. The technique is known as ‘transcranial magnetic stimulation’ or TMS. In essence, TMS is a powerful computer controlled electromagnet that sends focused magnetic pulses into the brain. The magnetic field induces a current […]

Light sleep

A poem on the collective unconsciousness of sleep by British poet John Hegley: Light Sleep Early in the evening I like to have a kip and dip into the pool of communal unconcious; resting, passive, where whatever size of a drip you are you make the whole more massive. Hegley’s poems are a mixture of […]

The woman who thinks like a cow

Google Video seems to have the full length documentary on Prof Temple Grandin, a world expert on animal science who was diagnosed with autism as a child. As well as her academic work which has been hugely influential around the world, she has also written several books on the psychology of autism that have become […]

Did Eli Lilly cover up antipsychotic dangers?

The New York Times has obtained documents suggesting that drug company Eli Lilly deliberately tried to cover up life-threatening side-effects of one of its most widely used antipsychotic drugs – known as Zyprexa or olanzapine. Antipsychotic drugs are largely used to treat hallucinations and delusions and seem to have their main effect by blocking ‘D2‘ […]

My DNA contains the Milky Way

I’ve just discovered that The Times published a wonderfully insightful and moving account of psychosis from a young woman diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder. Schizoaffective disorder is a diagnosis that indicates that the person experiences symptoms of both schizophrenia-like psychosis, and a serious mood disorder such as depression or bipolar. The author of the article is […]

Inside the mind of a psychopath

The cover story in this week’s Science News is an in-depth investigation into the science of psychopaths and psychopathy. The article is a fantastic round-up of much of the most recent work on the neuroscience and psychology of psychopathy, and clarifies exactly what is meant when someone is diagnosed as being a ‘psychopath’. One psychopathic […]

2006-12-15 Spike activity

Quick links from the past week in mind and brain news: The psychology of conjuring is pondered by medical ethicist and semi-professional magician Dr Daniel Sokol. Moral mazes and human cognition are investigated by The Mouse Trap. The Guardian has a short article on a case of focal dystonia (localised muscle spasms) caused specifically by […]

Dilated pupils and the dynamic brain

Cutting-edge cognitive science blog Developing Intelligence has a fantastic article on pupil dilation and its likely link to mental processing and arousal. The eyes are fascinating for neuroscientists as they show the only part of the central nervous system visible from outside the body – namely, the retina. Areas of the frontal lobes, called the […]

Forensic psychologists tackle Ipswich murder cases

With the tragic and chilling news that the bodies of five women have been found in woodland near Ipswich in the UK, forensic psychology has featured heavily in the news as the police hunt to catch the killer intensifies. Forensic psychology is psychology applied to the law or legal system. For example, it can involve […]

The Echo Maker

The Echo Maker (ISBN 0374146357) is the latest novel by American writer Richard Powers that centres around someone who develops Capgras delusion after suffering brain injury during a car crash. Capgras delusion is the belief that someone, usually a spouse or close relative, has been replaced by an identical (or near-identical) looking impostor. It most […]

PsyOps during the 2006 Israel-Lebanon war

Propaganda news site PsyWar have just published an article on the ‘psychological warfare’ tactics used in the Israel-Lebanon war earlier this year. PsyWar keeps meticulous archives of propaganda leaflets from wars past and present, as well as charting the increasingly sophisticated psychological techniques from both sides of contemporary conflicts. The article notes that information warfare […]


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