2009-10-23 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"

The single best article you’ll read on technology and the brain for a while is published in The Times. 300 words of sense.

The Sydney Morning Herald covers an inattentional blindness study in mobile phone users and asks ‘Did you see that unicycling clown?’ I’m more interested to know whether the unicycling clown saw the psychologist following him around all day.

Apart from the fact that she seems to be labouring under the misapprehension that the right temporal parietal junction is not used for anything else (it is) there’s an excellent TED talk by Rebecca Saxe on ‘theory of mind‘ and the neuroscience of inferring others’ mental states.

Neurophilosophy covers on how electrodes planted into the open brain of an awake patient reveals the neural dynamics of speech. Accompanied by an equally as awesome image.

The anthropology song is featured on Neuroanthropology.

The Neurocritic finds an intriguing film about a professor who believes she has found a way of determining scientifically whether someone is in love.

Philosopher Stephen Stich gives four lectures on ‘Moral Theory Meets Cognitive Science’ which are collected at 3 Quarks Daily.

Dr Petra has been upgraded!

Another good TED talk, this time by Beau Lotto on what optical illusions tell us about perception.

Science News on research that a gene involved in vocal cord development may be a factor in a inherited speech disorder.

There’s a brief Q&A on the science of persuasion over at Nature.

The BPS Research Digest covers some heart-warming research on how a heated room makes people feel socially closer.

You can read a free taster issue of November’s The Psychologist here. Enjoy!

Scientific American’s Mind Matters blog has a great piece on making errors and learning.

Another good Neurophilosophy post, on how immediate goal kicking performance in American ‘foot’ ‘ball’ affects the perception of how big the goal seems.

Science News reports that ‘People can control their Halle Berry neurons‘. Neurons? I have enough trouble trying to control my Halle Berry thoughts. Don’t think of Catwoman. Damn.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is an American nonprofit, grassroots, self-help, support and advocacy organization of consumers, families, and friends of people with severe mental illnesses that happens to receive 75% of its funding from Big Pharma, according to The New York Times.

Cognitive Daily asks What does it take to get kids to eat healthy foods? Personally, I bribe them with cans of Red Bull.

There’s on excellent piece on how antidepressant sales are rising despite depression diagnoses falling in the UK over at Neuroskeptic. Apparently, longer-term treatment is now the norm.

FAILBlog has a hilarious duck phobia fail.

To the bunkers! H+ Magazine reports on robots controlled by human brain cells. Let’s hope they’re not the Halle Berry neurons.

Slashdot commentor kindly lists all the Doctor Who references to robots controlled by organic brains.

I found this great article on drug counterfeiting from a 1961 edition of Popular Mechanics.

BoingBoing has an interesting snippet on a new NIH study which will deploy robo-calling for boozers and stoners. Press 1 if you’re taking a bong hit?

Happy belated Fechner Day.

Language Log asks ‘Is irony universal?’. Rather ironically, asked by Americans. Also some interesting observations in the comments from Danny O’Brien.

Insecurity + power = boss rage, according to a new study covered by Neuronarrative.

The New York Times has a piece by David Brooks who marvels at how “damned young, hip and attractive” neuroscientists are. I would just like to disavow this dreadful stereotyping and point out that, like myself, many competent neuroscientists look pretty rough and find being deeply unfashionable quite groovy (by still using words like ‘groovy’ for example).

One Comment

  1. DarkHollow
    Posted October 24, 2009 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    You said that “Apart from the fact that she seems to be labouring under the misapprehension that the right temporal parietal junction is not used for anything else (it is) there’s an excellent TED talk by Rebecca Saxe on ‘theory of mind'”
    but it appears that she has just published a paper using a higher resolution fMRI and shown that the RTPJ appears to be ‘theory of mind’ specific:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19290043?ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DiscoveryPanel.Pubmed_Discovery_RA&linkpos=1&log$=relatedarticles&logdbfrom=pubmed


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