2009-10-16 Spike activity

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

<img align="left" src="http://mindhacks-legacy.s3.amazonaws.com/2005/01/spike.jpg&quot; width="102" height="120"

Slate has a brilliant article on the links between face structure and aggression and whether we can see criminality in the face. Contains the wonderful euphemism ‘muscular unreasonableness’.

Video games are good for the brain, according to an article from The Boston Globe that reviews evidence for the cognitive benefits of computer games.

The BPS Research Digest has an awesome review of the state of brain scan ‘lie detection‘ research. Punchline: scientifically interesting, practically useless still.

There’s a brilliant article on doing cognitive neuroscience experiments with patients during neurosurgery in this week’s Nature. Stupidly locked behind a paywall but has been touched by the irony fairy and given the rubbing-salt-in-the-wounds title ‘Opening up brain surgery’.

PsyBlog has as excellent piece on ‘how rewards can backfire and reduce motivation’.

The tragedy of the commons is really a farce, according to an excellent piece from The New York Times TiernyLab blog that tackles the myth behind the phrase and the latest economics nobel.

Not Exactly Rocket Science covers new research on how the placebo effect affects pain signalling in the spine.

The sound of something getting closer increases the sensitivity of the visual cortex ‚Äì before you’re even conscious of hearing it, according to new research covered by New Scientist.

Neurotopia is live blogging the annual Society of Neuroscience gathering of the tribes and has a list of other bloggers covering the proceedings.

An experiment on the neurobiology of fizz, is covered by a carbonated Science News.

Time magazine has a piece on the debates over whether dementia should be considered a terminal illness and new evidence that challenges the traditional view that the brain decline itself isn’t fatal.

There’s an great piece on placebo side-effects on the increasingly excellent Neuroskeptic.

The New York Times travels into the science of the ear and hearing.

Is Alzheimer’s like a strange form of brain cancer? asks Disover Magazine.

APS Observer has an interesting piece on an antique piece on psychology equipment called the ‘memory drum‘.

New research on Galileo’s work in the science of perception is covered by the wonderful Advances in the History of Psychology.

The Times has a breathless piece on the dawn of ‘brain to brain communication’ which includes “sending messages formed by one person‚Äôs brain signals though an internet connection to another person‚Äôs brain many miles away”. RFC1149 is that you?

One Comment

  1. Posted October 17, 2009 at 5:02 am | Permalink

    Increased sensitivity with approaching sounds?
    So let’s presume the cortex gets a bit disinhibited.
    And.. the city life provides a noisy environment with many sounds thus maybe disinhibiting a bit more.
    And.. some people may be more prone.
    Here’s another idea why city life is associated with schizophrenia.. I beleive there’s already a hundred of hypotheses on this point, so lets call it the Hypothesis-101.


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