Monthly Archives: September 2007

Trauma from events that never occurred

A study just published in the medical journal Psychosomatics reports four case studies of people who developed PTSD after experiencing a traumatic event that never occurred – while their emotional reaction was real, the events were hallucinated. Post-traumatic stress disorder can occur when someone has experienced a traumatic event over which they had no control. […]


I’m not really one for blog memes, but I was pleased to see Psych Central has given us a nod. Actually, we’ve had a few of these now and they always give us a boost, but getting one from John Grohol is especially welcome because he’s the granddaddy of online psychology info. It’s a bit […]

Distant echoes of Shatner’s Bassoon

Language Log is doing a sterling job of keeping up with the increasing pace of Dr Alfred Crockus’ research, and seem to have found an important neuroanatomical link between the Crockus and another surprisingly neglected brain area, Shatner’s Bassoon. The Crockus is the shameless and unintentionally hilarious invention of educational consultant Dan Hodgins, which he […]

Seeking free will: a debate

The Dana magazine Cerebrum has just published a debate between a psychiatrist and neurologist on how we can make sense of free will in the age of neuroscience. The choice of professionals is an interesting one because each typically deals with what are assumed to be quite different disruptions in free will. Neurologists often treat […]

Advancing the history of psychology

I’ve been enjoying the Advances in the History of Psychology blog lately, which is full of interesting snippets about the past and often digs into the historical background of contemporary hot topics. For example, here’s an interesting bibliography about psychoactive drug use in psychology, and here’s another about Benjamin Franklin’s interest in ‘electrotherapy’. It’s run […]

Want fries with that?

Neurophilosophy discusses a recent study that suggests that the inclusion of large amounts of starchy foods into our diet helped fuel the evolution of the brain. It’s interesting because it’s not the first study to suggest that specific changes in diet improved nutrition and brain development: According to one theory, increased consumption of meat by […]

2007-09-21 Spike activity

Quick links from the past week in mind and brain news: SharpBrains has an interview with cognitive behaviour therapy guru Judith Beck about using CBT for effective dieting. Wired wonders whether EEG-based brain-to-game interfaces may mess with our heads. Hard-up students: Aren’t there a lot of psychology textbooks on torrent servers these days? Just sayin’ […]

Gone, and yet forgotten

An interesting section from neuropsychiatrist Michael Kopelman’s 2002 review article on the neuropsychology of memory disorders where he tackles transient global amnesia – a form of brief, severe, but mysterious amnesia that resolves in a few hours. No-one really knows what causes the majority of cases. Transient global amnesia (TGA) most commonly occurs in the […]

Won’t you help me doctor beat

Musicogenic epilepsy is a neurological disorder where epileptic seizures are uncontrollably triggered by music. Gloria Estefan’s Dr Beat is a catchy 80s pop song where she calls for medical assistance because music is irresistibly moving her body, moving her soul and affecting her brain. Coincidence? I think not. Doctor, I’ve got this feelin’ deep inside […]

Building on brain clich√©s

The Financial Times has a slightly bizarre article on the application of neuroscience to architecture that suggests that we’re genetically predisposed to feel relaxed around flowers, the hearth and food, and that homes need to be designed to release certain neurotransmitters. The piece is about the Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture (ANFA) which aims to […]

Sexuality special in this week’s Psychiatric Times

The latest edition of the Psychiatric Times has a special section on sexuality that discusses everything from dealing with sex-related problems as a clinician, to the science of sexual orientation. It’s actually quite a refreshing change from much of the recent hype we’ve seen about sexual dysfunction, which usually suggests that a patch, pill or […]

Here’s one we prepared earlier

This week’s edition of New Scientist has a cover article outlining a number of try-it-yourself experiments that give you an insight into the cognitive science of the mind and brain. Hang on a minute, that sounds familiar. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and if so, the British science weekly have just […]

An annotated guide to books on the brain

The Dana Foundation have collected a list of widely praised books on the mind and brain that cover everything from academic texts to compelling fiction. Every book on the list is accompanied by a brief write-up. It’s an extensive list with a number of great books on the list. My only reservation is that David […]

Patient HM marks 50 years in science with new study

A new study has been published on Patient HM, marking fifty years of participation in neuroscience research since the first study was published in 1957. HM was suffering from incapacitating epileptic seizures that were not helped by any of the medications of the 1950s. As a last resort, neurosurgeon William Scoville tried an experimental operation […]

Girls have a bigger crockus

The excellent Language Log have discovered that an ‘expert’ invited to give a talk to a district education group not only invented a completely bogus part of the brain called the ‘crockus’, but claimed that it’s four times larger in girls and used this fact to back up recommendations for the teaching of children. Language […]

Music, love survives the densest amnesia

Oliver Sacks has written an engaging piece for the latest edition of the The New Yorker on how musical ability can survive even the most severe amnesia, with particular reference to the famous case of Clive Wearing. Wearing was a renowned classical musicologist and conductor, involved in recreating some of the most challenging Renaissance works. […]


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