Monthly Archives: July 2008

The future is nonlinear

There have been some excellent articles recently on the psychology of time but one of the most fascinating is from Developing Intelligence who look at a new study that suggests our concept of time becomes nonlinear as we look into the future – in other words, not all futures are equal. The research, led by […]

Neuroscience recordings

If the words Neuroscience Recordings make you think of depth electrodes, you may be surprised to hear its also the name of a record label specialising in techno and trance. I am rather taken by this track, although even if techno isn’t your thing, they do have this rather catching range of t-shirts. Now if […]

Visual cliff hanger

Vimeo has some video of what looks like footage from Gibson and Walk’s original 1960 ‘visual cliff’ experiment where they tested whether infants had depth perception by attempting to get them to walk over glass plates suspended above a drop. Unfortunately, the video doesn’t fully describe the experiment, which is a pity as it was […]

Bonkersfest! strikes this Saturday

Bonkersfest! South East London’s fantastic festival of mirth and madness, kicks off this Saturday with its biggest ever event. It’s also finally getting the recognition it deserves with a fantastic article in The Times and another in the New Statesman covering the upcoming celebrations. In fact, it was also recently name dropped in a Guardian […]

Facebook ate my psychiatrist

Sometimes I just despair. I almost understand it when the media gets its knickers in a twist about ‘internet addiction’ and similar nonsense, because most outlets never been great at separating the wheat from the chaff. But it beggars beliefs why otherwise respectable professionals can spout similar drivel when they’re supposed to be trained to […]

Psychiatrists’ association faces drug funding probe

After a number of investigations into the under-disclosure of drug industry earnings by top psychiatry researchers, The New York Times reports that US Senator Charles Grassley is aiming at the mothership of American psychiatry, the American Psychiatric Association. Grassley is a Republican senator who has been pushing for transparency in the drug industry for some […]

Punk rock pogo robots

In early July, London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts hosted three nights of punk rock chaos with a difference, some of the audience were artificially intelligent robots designed to pogo when they recognised punk music being played. The project was led by artist Fiddian Warman who created the headlining band, Neurotic and the PVC’s for the […]

2008-07-11 Spike activity

Some slightly belated links from the past week in mind and brain news: Ben Goldacre’s Bad Science follows up the piece on the ‘mobile network causes suicide’ nonsense, plus an interesting additional section on the plausibility effect. Not Quite Rocket Science discusses the ‘Lady Macbeth effect’ and how physical cleanliness moral cleanliness are linked. The […]

United States of Analgesia

DrugMonkey has alerted to me an interactive map of the USA which displays rates of prescription drug abuse across all 50 states. You can select the year up the top, the drug of abuse on the left-hand side, and point the mouse at a particular state to get the details. It’s part of an investigation […]

Cat psychology (no, really)

I just found this curious empirical study, published last year in the academic journal Psychological Reports, on the personality structure of domestic cats. The study analysed owner ratings and found four underlying components of cat personality. Personality in domestic cats. Psychol Rep. 2007 Feb;100(1):27-9. Lee CM, Ryan JJ, Kreiner DS. Personality ratings of 196 cats […]

Mental illness: in with the intron crowd

Today’s Nature has an excellent feature article on the heated scientific debates over why its so hard to link genes to specific mental illnesses. Genetics is a complex business, but psychiatric genetics even more so, because it attempts to find links between two completely different levels of description. Genes are defined on the neurobiological level, […]

Imagine all the people

The BPS Research Digest covers an intriguing study that found that imagining friends, parents, and romantic partners differently affected how we rate ourselves on personality measures. The study suggests that being primed with certain sorts of relationship seems to alter either our personality, or how we perceive our personal characteristics. Dozens of female university students […]

Interrupting the final curtain

One of the myths of suicide is that if a person wants to kill themselves, they’ll always find a way. While this can occur in some cases, evidence that making methods of self-harm less accessible can reduce the suicide rate suggests that deaths can be prevented with simple safety measures. The New York Times has […]

Neurowarfare and the modern Rogue Trooper

Wired has picked up on a US military report that warns of the threat posed by neuro-enhanced enemy soldiers, just released by the “Pentagon’s most prestigious scientific advisory panel”. The full report is available online as a pdf file, and covers how pharmaceuticals and brain-computer interfaces could be used by enemies of the US to […]

The ambiguous gift of sign names

BBC Ouch! magazine has a completely fascinating article on sign names in the deaf community. They are like mandatory formal nicknames decided by a consensus of your peers that reflect something distinctive about you. The article describes how assigning and accepting one can be a tricky social negotiation with some having to mount campaigns against […]

Encephalon 49 evolves

The 49th edition of the Encephalon psychology and neuroscience writing carnival has just appeared online, this time hosted by Neuroscientifically Challenged – a blog that’s new to me but looks very good. A couple of my favourites include a sceptical look at gene therapy in psychiatry and an interesting overview of a theory of how […]


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