2010-01-22 Spike activity

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

Drug Monkey covers a fascinating study finding that mental health workers judge patients differently depending on whether they’re described as being a ‘substance abuser’ or as having ‘a substance use disorder’. We covered a similar study on personality disorder previously.

To the bunkers! The robots are coming but are we ready for them? asks Silicon.com. Remember: see a twitch? Check for a switch. Species security is everyone’s responsibility.

NPR has a fascinating segment on the relationship between lies and wishful thinking.

To the bunkers! The age of the killer robot is no longer a sci-fi fantasy, says an article in The Independent. Remember: a disabled robot can be rebuilt, leave no component in working order. Clunk, clip, every chip.

Normal face recognition abilities are influenced by genetics finds new twin study reported by Wired Science.

To the bunkers! The Daily Express reports on the unveiling of robot planes hailed as ‘the future of warfare’. Remember: robot soldiers have no souls – make a dent, don’t repent.

The Neurocritic asks ‘Is this aspirin playful or serious?’ and covers a curious neuromarketing study that looked at the personalities of products.

To the bunkers! H+ Magazine reports on a nanotechnology robot arm that places atoms and molecules with 100% accuracy. Remember: he may look clean, but have you scanned? Even live humans may have robot parasites.

Neuronarrative reports that making a constant public commitment to lose weight improves dieting success.

To the bunkers! Popular Science reports on a robot that takes surer steps due to ‘chaos control’. Remember: see a wire? Open fire. Humans always fight for liberty.

PsyBlog lists the the 7 psychological principles of scams.

To the bunkers! CNET reports that Korean scientists have created a robot housemaid. Remember: Stepford Wives – check the eyes.

Wiley Science puts the first issue of its new Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science magazine online with an impressive list of academic articles freely available to download.

To the bunkers! Toyota predicts robot nurses will care for the frail elderly, according to a story in Wired Gadget Lab. Remember: a family with a robot is a massacre in the making. Take care of the robots, before they take care of you.

BBC News reports on a study finding that video game success is related to brain structure size: nucleus accumbens size predicts initial success, basal ganglia long-term success.

To the bunkers! TG Daily reports on Roxxxy, an AI sex robot that “has personality, and can even answer back”. Remember: nothing compares to human sex, don’t let the robots get you by the balls.

The Guardian has an excellent eight part summary of Heidegger’s ‘Being and Time’.

To the bunkers! New Scientist reports on a study finding that exposure to robots in the movies and television could affect our ability to empathise with synthetic beings. Remember: detect a bug? Pull the plug. Even loved ones can be androids.

New Scientist reports on a new study finding a link between symmetry of activity in the brain’s hemispheres and susceptibility to hypnosis.

To the bunkers! The New York Times reports that a new generation of ear bud headphones have built in artificial intelligence-based signal processing. Remember: your ears are a backdoor into the brain, don’t let the robots in – keep neural tissue pure.

The BPS Research Digest reports on a study finding that early risers are more proactive than evening people. Shortly to be the basis of a new diagnosis and licensing application for modafinil.

To the bunkers! An article in Popular Mechanics argues against the concept of the ‘uncanny valley‘, although neglects to mention a couple of relevant studies that support the concept. Remember: if it’s too good to be true, it’s robot through and through. Your intuition is the best defence against the robot menace.

The Psychiatric Times blog notes that families of US soldiers who commit suicide do not get condolence notes from the government like other military casualties.

To the bunkers! Geeky Gadgets sells an awesome Google / SkyNet t-shirt. Remember: humans, biology is our heritage. Metabolism pride!

The Telegraph reports that even the founder has given up on the idea of bullshit Blue Monday. Thankfully, we were relatively unafflicted this year although Dr Petra had a good antidote for any remaining infections.

To the bunkers! The Engineer reports on the development of a fire fighting robot. Remember: heat tolerance is a robot trait. No sweat, no soul.

Neuroworld takes apart the ‘blonde women get angry’ news that was completely made up from a barely related study.

To the bunkers! Entertainment Weekly reports that the next Spike Jonez film is a robot love story. Remember: to a robot, your heart is just a machine. Don’t let them capture it.

New Scientist covers and interesting study that mathematically modelled the social effects of monogamy and polygamy.

To the bunkers! USA Today reports on the unveiling of a new anti-terrorism robot at Boston’s Logan Airport. Remember: only humans feel fear, anti-terrorism is anti-humanism, fight the robot overlords.

Skeptical Inquirer magazine has an excellent piece on highlights of mass delusions and hysteria from the last millennium.

To the bunkers! The Guardian has an article looking at the history of robots in sport. Remember: sport strengthens human relationships, don’t let robots infiltrate your team.

The Economist covers an intriguing study find that power corrupts, but it corrupts only those who think they are entitled to take advantage of the situation.

9 Comments

  1. Posted January 22, 2010 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    Hey Vaughan – the spike graphic has changed!

  2. Posted January 22, 2010 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    Those bunkers are going to be awfully crowded.

  3. Posted January 22, 2010 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    > the spike graphic has changed!
    Bloody robots.

  4. Posted January 22, 2010 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    I knew it!

  5. Posted January 23, 2010 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    This is hilarious. Good job.

  6. Posted January 23, 2010 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    By the way — couple of errors — you didn’t link at all to the Guardian article near the bottom, and for Dr Petra’s article on Blue Monday you instead linked to the Telegraph article instead; here is the article I think you wanted.

  7. Posted January 23, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Hmm, TypePad doesn’t like links.
    Well it’s at:
    www DOT drpetra DOT co.uk
    SLASH
    blog/whether-tomorrows-a-blue-monday-or-a-happy-monday-its-still-only-all-about-pr/

  8. rita
    Posted January 23, 2010 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    Ah! I see the Korean scientists have actually created a robot which does work in the house – so who introduced the sexist language (and imagery, in the article)?.

  9. Posted January 23, 2010 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the link corrections. Now fixed!


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