2009-07-17 Spike activity

Quick links from the past week in mind and brain news:

NPR has a good piece on the vagaries of analysing functional brain scans.

Philosopher Pete Mandik features Mind Hacks as a ‘Top 10 mind and brain blog’ for blogs.com. Shakira yet to call.

The Independent covers the debate on clozapine – the best antipsychotic available that treats mortality-reducing schizophrenia but which causes potentially fatal white blood cell collapse in 10% 1-2% of patients. Choose your poison. Discuss.

Psychiatric-service dogs, especially trained to assist patients with mental illness, are discussed by the Wall Street Journal.

BBC News has an opinion piece by always thought provoking against-the-grain psychiatrist Joanna Moncrieff on why psychotropic medication should be considered separately from mental illnesses. Frontier Psychiatrist has a thoughtful response to the debate.

The side-effects from sugar pills nocebo effect is covered by Brain Blogger

Neuroskeptic has a good complimentary piece on the placebo effect in prescribed medication.

There’s a good piece on ‘How chaos drives the brain’ on New Scientist. I always assume chaos is just a sign of caffeine deficiency.

Neurotopia covers a brain imaging study on a ‘super memoriser‘.

The kazillion dollar war on some drugs is featured in a special issue of Mother Jones magazine.

Schizophrenia Forum has a fantastic discussion from some of the world’s leading schizophrenia researchers on the significance of the recent high profile whole genome studies.

Anthropology, teaching and the great student swindle is discussed in an insightful article on Neuroanthropology.

The Wall Street Journal has a piece on the Blue Brain project. Neglects to mention that it becomes self-aware at 2:14 a.m. Eastern time, August 29th.

Crypto ninja Bruce Schneier discusses the interesting concept of privacy salience and the psychology of online service design.

The Chronicle of Higher Education has a piece on how autism and academia can go hand in hand, while BBC News covers a software company that specifically looks for employees on the autism spectrum.

A cute but gimmicky sleep monitor is covered by The New York Times. It describes it as recording ‘brain waves’ but it looks like it uses near infrared spectroscopy to measure blood flow. See what you’re missing ladies.

Nassir Ghaemi is a well known research psychiatrist who writes an increasingly excellent blog called Mood Swings

New Scientist covers the “first-ever neurobiological study of honesty and cheating“, apparently by a journalist with amnesia for all the other studies.

Ding ding. Round 3. More DSM-V bun fighting on Psychiatric News: “I wish to call attention to the imperiousness, arrogance, and secrecy…”

Neurophilosophy covers researching finding that swearing increases pain tolerance.

Jonah Lehrer reviews ‘You Are Here’, a new book on spatial perception and intelligence for The New York Times.

The excellent Situationist blog has a fantastic article on the legal implications of implicit biases.

Dr Shock discusses a recent thought-provoking article on neuroscience and architecture.


  1. chook12
    Posted July 18, 2009 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    The agranulocytosis rate of clozapine is 1% (at most), not 10%.

  2. Posted July 18, 2009 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the correction. Change to 1-2% based on the following:

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