Monthly Archives: March 2007

St Anthony’s Fire

The gangrenous and convulsive ergot syndromes that can follow the ingestion of C. purpurea have long been known. Art depicts the classic signs and symptoms of poisoning, such as the strange dancing syndrome shown in woodcuts from the middle ages in Germany and Poland. The Temptation of St Anthony, a famous painting by the German […]

Perfect breast formula = nonsense + sell out

Dr Petra Boyton has spotted another psychologist who seems to have sold out his good name by pushing a Cliff Arnall-like nonsense formula: this time for the ‘perfect breast’. It all seems to be part of a promotion for a UK Men’s magazine which, in a press release, “reveals the formula for the perfect breast” […]

Sex, drugs and pharmacology

The eDrugSearch blog has noted that Mia Heaston, the current Miss Illinois and one of the 2007 Miss USA hopefuls, is also a pharmaceutical industry representative. If this link seems a bit too tenuous to be newsworthy, the blog also identifies two of last year’s Miss USA contestants who were drug reps and identified no […]

A child psychiatrist in Iraq

BBC News has a brief news story on its front page that relates the experiences of Dr Haidr al-Maliki, a child psychiatrist in Iraq. From what Dr al-Maliki says, it seems most psychiatrists have left the country and he himself is having to work with severely traumatised children despite not having the proper training. He […]

Neither fools nor rogues

A quote from a recent paper by psychiatrist Dr Paul Mullen on the difficulties with diagnostic manuals for mental illness, such as the DSM and ICD. Mullen argues that the definitions of mental illnesses are designed in an open-minded way to aid diagnosis and stimulate debate but end up trapping us into a narrow definition […]

2007-03-23 Spike activity

Quick links from the past week in mind and brain news: A man with a sleep disorder that causes him to have violent outbursts in his sleep is discussed by BBC News. Cognitive Daily asks whether “racing” video games cause reckless driving. A computer that ‘tunes in’ to the user’s mood and reacts emotionally is […]

Exploring neural continents

“The brain is a world consisting of a number of unexplored continents and great stretches of unknown territory.” A quote from the pioneering Spanish neuroscientist Santiago Ram√≥n y Cajal.

Doubt cast on definition of PTSD

New Scientist is reporting on a new study that questions the definition of post-traumatic stress disorder, based on the fact that a group of severely depressed patients seem to experience PTSD symptoms despite never having suffered a significant trauma. PTSD is one of the only psychiatric disorders that includes a specific cause in its definition: […]

Brain damage and the social chameleon

The BPS Research Digest has picked up on a curious case study of a brain injured man whose identity appears dependent on the environment he is in, owing to severe memory problems. The case was published in the neurological journal Neurocase by psychologist Giovannina Conchiglia and colleagues. The patient was investigated by the team after […]

Carrying a lethal gene

The New York Times has a fantastic article and video documentary on people who have decided to find out whether they carry the gene for the degenerative brain disorder Huntingdon’s disease, even before it’s started to causes any symptoms. The disorder is caused by a single gene which, if inherited, causes a progressive deterioration in […]

At the 15th European Congress of Psychiatry

I’ve spent the day at the 15th European Congress of Psychiatry and have been catching up with some of the latest developments in the field. As is common with these sorts of things, the exhibition hall is largely an exercise for drug companies to promote their products using giveaways and selective education. My favourite tagline […]

On not drowning in a teaspoon of water

The Stanford Magazine has an article an the work of psychologist Prof Carole Dweck who argues that the key to success lies in how you deal with failure. Dweck’s research was recently the subject of a great deal of interest after it was discussed in a widely read New York Magazine article on the sometimes […]

Vote for the greatest discovery in psychology

PsyBlog has just published the last of its articles on the top ten psychology studies, so you can now read through and vote for your favourite. The list is wide ranging and comprehensive, covering developmental psychology, perception, false memory, conformity, psychotherapy, personality and several other keys discoveries in the history of psychology. Head on over […]

Madrid, Dublin and a prior warning

Just a quick note to say posting may be a bit irregular over the next week or so, as I’m going to be travelling. I’m off to Madrid at the weekend to attend the European Congress of Psychiatry, where I’ve kindly been invited to speak at the Monday afternoon ‘Fringes of Psychosis’ symposium organised by […]

Artists look differently at visual scenes

Cognitive Daily has a fantastic piece on a eye-tracking study looking at how artists and non-artists look differently at visual scenes. The study concluded that artists spend more time looking at areas of the visual scene that the rest of us pass over as less important. So why do artists look at pictures — especially […]

2007-03-16 Spike activity

Quick links from the past week in mind and brain news: Esquire Magazine has an article on pioneering neurosurgery on Iraq vets to reconstruct large areas of damaged skull. Cognitive Daily looks at research suggesting that judges may be biased in their belief in the truth of videotaped confessions – depending on the angle of […]


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 26,836 other followers