Quick links from the past week in mind and brain news:
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Wasting your corporate money on neuromarketing? That’s so last season. You should be wasting your money on genomarketing instead. The Neurocritic looks at the birth of an interesting new field which will undoubtedly get inappropriately commercialised any time now.
Not Exactly Rocket Science has an excellent post on how manipulating dopamine levels in the brain changes how much enjoyment we judge a future event to bring.
There’s an excellent short article on a new theory of dreaming and lucid dreams over at The New York Times.
The Situationist covers some fascinating research on whether we can judge people’s personalities purely from their appearance.
An exciting advance in gene therapy that halted the progression of a fatal neurodegenerative disease in two 7-year-olds is reported by Wired Science.
BBC News reports on government moves to reduce the prescription of antipsychotics to elderly people with dementia, owing to massive increases in short-term mortality (yes, that’s death folks).
Another big name article complains that the ‘internet is killing storytelling’ and mistakes anecdote for evidence. BrainSpin has a good analysis.
Vanity Fair has a Malcolm Gladwell satire: Gladwell explains Christmas.
Narcotecture! Afghan Desk has a photo tour of the opulent Afghan houses built through poppy growing profits.
The Guardian warns of extra heart dangers from mixing cocaine and alcohol.
The ‘peeriodic‘ table of optical illusions is described by veteran vision research Richard Gregory who classifies them according to how they affect perception in a piece for New Scientist.
PsyBlog has an interesting piece on how low mood tend to bounce back after a dip.
The New York Times discusses combat stress and mental illness in light of the recent Fort Hood shootings.
Carl Sagan explores the brain in his 1980 TV series, thanks to a video found by The Neuro Times. Starts by riffing on McLean’s outdated ‘triune brain’ theory (all that ‘reptilian brain’ nonsense) but otherwise great.
The BPS Research Digest reports on intriguing research on how performing horizontal eye movement exercises can boost your creativity.
Who says love hurts? Romantic partners alter our perception of pain. Another great piece from Jesse Berring in his Scientific American column.
Counter Punch discusses the controversy over the increasing use of social scientists in the military.
Rejection massively, albeit temporarily, reduces IQ, according to New Scientist who perhaps a little over-sensationalise the distracting effect of feeling shit in their headline.
The New York Times has a piece by Simon Baron-Cohen who argues that Asperger’s syndrome should not be removed from the diagnostic manuals (although doesn’t address why high functioning autism and Aspergers are different diagnoses despite differing solely in terms of a detail over when someone started talking).
There’s a great piece on the long-term effects of day care for kids over at Cognitive Daily.
Lot of places reported variations on the ‘being miserable is good for you’ theme. You’re best of reading the original study summary for a more sensible take.