Monthly Archives: May 2007

Is the US over-diagnosing bipolar disorder in children?

New Scientist has an open-access article on the increasing tendency for atypical American children to be diagnosed with ‘juvenile bipolar disorder’. Children are being increasingly diagnosed with bipolar disorder in the US, despite the fact that there is limited evidence for its validity and disagreement about its symptoms. As we reported in a previous Mind […]

The benefits of persistence

Philip Dawdy is an investigative journalist who runs the Furious Seasons blog and he’s been on Eli Lilly’s case for some time. He’s been following the ongoing legal proceedings over whether the drug company obscured information about the side effects of antipsychotic drug Zyprexa, and has been posting some seemingly incriminating documents online that have […]

How doctors think, but psychiatrists still a mystery

Dr Jerome Groopman has written a book on the psychology of medical decision making called How Doctors Think but interestingly, he specifically excludes psychiatrists, as he says their thought processes are too complicated to understand. Groopman talks about his book on the NPR radio programme Fresh Air, which also has the introduction of his book […]

2007-05-18 Spike activity

Quick links from the past week in mind and brain news: Discover magazine interview Marc Hauser about the psychology of moral reasoning. Mixing Memory picks up on an article tracking the history of the concept of mind. The Guardian has an opinion piece by an NHS psychologist arguing that psychosis is over-medicalised. ABC Radio National’s […]

Quinn Norton has her sixth sense removed

Reporter Quinn Norton, who had a magnet implanted into her finger to allow her to ‘feel’ magnetic fields has finally had it removed – returning her to the normal world of the ‘five senses’. We reported on the operation last year, and Norton wrote up her experiences in an extended Wired article that also looked […]

Rare risks and irrational responses

Security guru Bruce Schneier has written an insightful article for Wired about rational precautions for rare risks, and why the typical response after a rare catastrophe is usually psychologically satisfying but practically irrelevant. He writes the article in the wake of the Virginia Tech shootings, which have caused a number of bizarre responses by people […]

BBC Case Notes special on multiple sclerosis

BBC Radio 4’s weekly medical programme Case Notes just had a special on multiple sclerosis. The programme looks at what we know about the brain disorder and investigates the controversial use of cannabis as a treatment. Some neurons in the brain have extended sections called axons that allow the neuron to transmit signals over distance. […]

Visual illusions competition winners announced

OmniBrain has alerted me to the fact that the winners of the 2007 Visual Illusion contest have been announced, with all of the top ten entries viewable online. Most of the entries are animated and range from the striking to the subtle. My favourite is the one pictured, simple but effective, which you really need […]

Gilbert’s Stumbling on Happiness wins science book prize

As an update to an earlier story, psychologist Daniel Gilbert’s book Stumbling on Happiness has been announced as the winner of The Royal Society Prize for Science Books. The book is a hugely entertaining look at the science of happiness, covering everything from brain science to decision making experiments using sandwiches. It’s perhaps most interesting […]

Happy Birthday Prozac

Prozac is twenty and The Observer celebrates with an article noting 20 things you may not know about the drug that was supposed to make us ‘better than well’. Prozac is the brand name for the drug fluoxetine and was so successful that it has become a by-word for antidepressants and psychiatric drug treatment. Its […]

Staying awake record attempt live on the web

Tony Wright is aiming to beat the world record for staying awake, and you can watch him on a webcam. The record is currently held by Randy Gardner who managed 11 days without sleep. A previous record was famously claimed by Radio DJ Peter Tripp who stayed awake for 8 days, but used methylphenidate (Ritalin) […]

Hume on the perversions of John Locke

18th century Scottish philosopher David Hume makes a dig at John Locke in the footnote to one of his most famous books – A Treatise of Human Nature. Hume wrote that completing the Treatise, at the age of 26, affected his mental health, causing ‘philosophical melancholy and delirium’. Footnote 1. I here make use of […]

How the Mind Works: The video lectures

The Technology, Entertainment, Design conference has strayed from its original focus and now hosts a wide-ranging set of talks, including a number on ‘How the Mind Works‘, all of which are available online as streamed video. I’m always a bit suspicious of anything in psychology with grand titles like this. I remember smiling to myself […]

My Dream

A poem by Ogden Nash entitled ‘My Dream’. This is my dream, It is my own dream, I dreamt it. I dreamt that my hair was kempt. Then I dreamt that my true love unkempt it.

Minds and computers

ABC Radio National’s The Philosopher’s Zone just had an excellent edition on artificial intelligence and whether a computer could ever simulate the mind. The guest on the show is philosopher Matt Carter, who’s also just written a book on the subject called Minds and Computers (ISBN 0748620990). For half an hour, the programme is a […]

Neuropsychoanalysis: Freud and the brain

Bookslut has an in-depth interview with neuropsychologist Dr Mark Solms, one of the pioneers of neuropsychoanalysis, the field that attempts to test, extend and integrate Freudian ideas with modern neuroscience. Twenty years ago, Freud’s ideas were considered virtually obsolete by mainstream cognitive scientists, but some recent findings have suggested a neurocognitive basis for some key […]


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 26,866 other followers