Monthly Archives: April 2007

Emotion research needs you

Jeremy Dean is the author of PsyBlog and also a postgraduate psychology researcher. He’s asking for people to spend 15 minutes completing some online questionnaires as part of a study on emotion. The project is based at University College London but you can participate over the web. There’s more information at the link below. Link […]

Mouse-sized neural network created

Despite what the headlines might say, no-one has simulated a mouse brain. What has been created is still quite impressive though. Scientists from IBM have created an artificial neural network which contains the simulated equivalent of the number of neurons in an actual mouse cortex, but with less synapses. The mouse cortex contains about 8 […]

Golden Guide to Hallucinogenic Plants

Online psychedelic drug archive Erowid has scanned in a copy of a classic guide to hallucinogenic plants of the world and how they are used by native peoples. The Golden Guide to Hallucinogenic Plants is by pioneering ethnobotanist, Richard E. Schultes. Ethnobotany is the study of how people make use of plants, and hallucinogenic plants […]

You are not your brain scan!

ABC Radio National’s All in the Mind just broadcast some essential listening with a programme that takes a critical look at the reporting of brain scanning studies and discusses what brain scans actually tell us about human nature. The panel discussion also covers how cognitive and neuroscience discoveries get translated from lab work to public […]

Examining the brains of the dead to tackle dementia

The Washington Post has a fascinating article on the work of neuropathologist Dr Bennet Omalu (pictured right) who is researching whether American footballers are more likely to get dementia by examining their brains – after they’ve died. The technique itself isn’t particularly controversial as the post-mortem study of brain tissue is one of the mainstays […]

May’s Nature Reviews Neuroscience free on registration

The May edition of top brain research journal Nature Reviews Neuroscience is available online for anyone who completes the free site registration. The issue contains a round-up of recent neuroscience news, as well as some in-depth reviews of depth perception, the genetics of nervous system development, olfactory memory in fruit flies, neural cycle cyle regulation […]

Slate special on neuroscience

Slate has just released a special series on the brain – taking a critical look at some of the most recent developments in the field and asking researchers how neuroscience has changed their life. There’s a wonderful article by developmental psychologist Alison Gopnick on getting past the hype surrounding mirror neurons – which are being […]

2007-04-27 Spike activity

Quick links from the past week in mind and brain news: The BMJ had an fascinating editorial about the role of psychology in physical illness. Deric Bownds discusses whether recursion a universal aspect of languages. The Times Literary Supplement has a review of Hofstadter’s new book on consciousness. Scientists debate the limits of action for […]

Psychology and neuroscience in book prize shortlist

A psychology and a neuroscience book have made two of out of the six entries shortlisted for the UK’s premier science book prize. The award is the The Royal Society Prize for Science Books, previously called the Aventis Prize. Daniel Gilbert’s entertaining book on the sometimes paradoxical world of the psychology of contentment, Stumbling on […]

What is psychophysics?

The BPS Research Digest has a wonderfully straightforward explanation of a branch of psychology called psychophysics, which attempts to understand the relation between physical qualities and the psychological impressions they cause. The piece is written by Mind Hacks co-founder and psychophysicist extraordinaire, Dr Tom Stafford, who explains how this key area of psychology uses mathematical […]

One satiric touch

St Patrick’s in Dublin is the oldest psychiatric hospital in Ireland. It was founded by the author of Gulliver’s Travels, Jonathan Swift, who left his money after his death in 1745 “To build a house for fools and mad”. Swift was most famous for his satire and it is no surprise that his founding of […]

Fighting wildfire

ABC Radio National’s All in the Mind recently broadcast an incredibly moving account of a young woman’s fight with a life threatening brain tumour that eventually resulted in her death. The woman in question was the Australian writer Julie Deakin (pictured left), who wrote the most touching and elegant prose about her experiences of diagnosis […]

Remember me is all I ask…

The picture is of one of the lock gates on Grand Canal Way in South Dublin. The bench is a memorial to Irish artist, songwriter and civil engineer Percy French and is inscribed with the following ode to memory: Remember me is all I ask, And yet If the remembrance prove a task Forget

Jousting with magic

Psychiatrist and psychotherapist Irvin Yalom discusses some of the thinking behind his therapeutic approach on p154 of Love’s Executioner and Other Tales of Psychotherapy (ISBN 0140128468). Yalom is known for his work in developing existential psychotherapy, group therapy and his engaging and exciting books and novels on the psychotherapeutic process. To my mind “good” therapy […]

Turn on, tune in, get out

No sooner than we post something about psychedelic drug research becoming mainstream than a newspaper reports on a psychologist being barred entry to the US because he wrote an article on a 1967 LSD experience. Dr Andrew Feldmar (pictured right) is a Vancouver based psychologist and psychotherapist who was attempting a regular cross-border visit, this […]

Psychedelics: resurgence or flashback?

Time magazine has recently published two articles on psychedelic drugs: the first on the recent publication of successful psychedelic treatment studies and the other suggesting LSD was first taken up by the cultural and business elite before becoming a staple of the 60s underground. We covered some of the research investigating the therapeutic potential of […]

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