Monthly Archives: March 2009

The cognitive neuroscience of eye contact

The latest Trends in Cognitive Sciences has a fantastic review article on the cognitive neuroscience of eye contact, demonstrating how this fleeting social connection has a powerful impact on the mind and brain. Past research has shown that making eye contact has an impact on social perception and subsequent behaviour. The article notes that eye […]

The cognitive fallacy of East is East and West is West

New Scientist has an excellent article on East-West psychological differences and why they may be more to do with local lifestyle than broad cultural generalisations. Experiments that compare the responses of, for example, Americans and East Asians, are often used to support theories that Westerners have an analytical, individualistic world-view, while Easterners have a holistic, […]

Finding a Twitter flock

I’m interesting in creating a list of people on Twitter that Mind Hacks readers might be interested in: psychologists, neuroscientists, psychiatrists, AI hackers, anthropologists, sociologists, science writers, philosophers – you know the sort. However, it seems quite hard to track down people by their interests. So if you follow, or are, someone who posts lots […]

GABA gimmick in a can

Jones GABA a slickly advertised new energy drink that contains the neurotransmitter GABA, described as enhancing “focus + clarity” and putting you “in the zone”. It is backed by ‘one of the world’s leading authorities on natural medicine’ Dr Michael Murray, who seems completely unaware that GABA doesn’t cross the blood-brain barrier and so drinking […]

Psychology and advertising

Here are links to some old posts about psychology and advertising. About three years ago I was writing a lot about this, and I just thought I’d collect them here: Longer posts: Is there a science of advertising? Decoding adverisements Cognitive psychology & advertising Music wine and will advertising influences familiarity induces preference neuroscience and […]

mindhacks is now on twitter is now on twitter. You can find us at /mindhacksblog. Our rss is piped to twitter via the magic of twitterfeed. Thanks to Brent for the suggestion.

Uncannily beautiful

Below are a couple of strangely beautiful delusions described in a 1993 paper on ‘The reliability of three definitions of bizarre delusions’ published in the American Journal of Psychiatry: A 22-year-old woman had the delusion that thoughts and feelings emanating from her mother’s unconscious were being carried in raindrops that fell on her air conditioner. […]

Rewiring the brain for fun and profit

Wired has just published an excellent two part article on neuroengineering, the practice of altering the brain with electronics or optics. It looks at a number of interesting projects, from light controlled neurons to magnetic brain stimulation, and focuses on the work of talented neuroengineer Ed Boyden who I had the pleasure of doing a […]

Memory loss at the movies

Neurophilosophy has a great post about how amnesia is represented in cinema, concluding that there’s only three movies that accurately represent memory loss. The post is based on an article from the British Medical Journal by clinical neuropsychologist Sallie Baxendale who has written a number of excellent articles on topics such as epilepsy in music, […]

Where is my mind?

Fora.TV has a great video discussion with science writer Jonah Lehrer where he gives a wonderfully engaging talk on the on decision making, meta-cognition and the paradox of choice. The discussion is an hour long and well worth the time, although for those with pathological impatience or only five minutes to spare, the section on […]

Junk food marketers rediscover the Crockus

The following is from a recent New York Times article on how snack food company Frito-Lay have based their latest women-focused campaign on ‘neuromarketing’. Parts of the article nearly made with weep with despair. [Advertising agency] Juniper Park used neuromarketing in a slightly different way. Ms. Nykoliation began by researching how women‚Äôs brains compared with […]


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