2010-06-04 Spike activity

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

Brain scan ‘lie detection’ not admissible in a landmark case which has been considered a test for the legal acceptability of the technology, reports Wired Science.

The Frontal Cortex argues that the BP engineers should take a break from tying to solve the oil spill crisis from what we know about the psychology of creativity.

Video gamers are more likely to have lucid dreams according to research covered by Kotaku.

The Guardian list Mind Hacks among its ‘hottest science blogs.’ Shakira yet to call (not a Guardian reader it seems).

The tricky topic of SSRIs and suicide are discussed by The Neuroskeptic. Also a subject of a debate in this month’s British Journal of Psychiatry which is locked behind a paywall because debates are dangerous in the wrong hands.

The New York Times has an interview with neuroscientist Aniruddh Patel who studies music and the brain.

There’s a technical but engrossing post on how the binge-purge cycle in bulimia could be linked to the function of the vagus nerve over at Neurotopia.

The Boston Globe has a good article on how science is further uncovering the function of the long ignored glial cells in the brain – annoyingly calling them the “brain’s bubble wrap” – although otherwise an informative piece.

Drug company Boehringer Ingelheim are trying to get US government approval for their not very effective pill arguing that low sexual desire in women is a medical problem. Dr Petra begs to differ.

APA Monitor magazine has a cover feature on marijuana in light of the wider availability of ‘medical marijuana’ in the US.

An engrossing enthnographic study on how a homeless man manages his life to provide a sense of normality amid the public space of the city is brilliantly covered by the BPS Research Digest.

Olivier Oullier, neuroscientist mentioned in our piece on ‘neuropolicy’ got in touch to reply to our points and link to his centre’s report on neuroimaging and public policy. The post has been updated with all the relevant info.

Newsweek covers new research on the brain’s ‘default state‘. Despite using the slightly clumsy metaphor of the ‘brain’s dark matter’ its a good summary of an increasingly important topic.

A scheme where psychologists offer to help out philosophers with designing data collection studies is covered by The Splintered Mind.

ScienceNews covers a study finding that kids don’t reliably recognise the facial expression of disgust until surprisingly late – an average of about 5 years old.

“Is Internet ruining our minds?” asks Reuters. No, but it clearly cause problem with you grammar.

Technology Review has a brief piece on the use of neural networks to classify music. A million six-form arguments immediately subject to the power of technology.

Some great student articles on compulsion, sin and sex have been appearing on Neuroanthropology recently. Here’s the complete list.

The Times covers research on how dying people experience a spike in electrical activity in their brains moments before they shuffle of this mortal coil which may explain ‘near death’ experiences.

More brain activity in vegans and vegetarians when viewing animal suffering may be related to empathy, or it may not. The Neurocritic covers a new study on our lettuce munching friends.

The New York Times reports on research finding that happiness comes with age.

There’s an extended review of new book ‘The Cybernetic Brain’ on the history of neuroscience blog The Neuro Times.

The New York Times has a piece on the Vatican’s bizarre sexuality screening programme for priests. ‚ÄúWe have no gay men in our seminary at this time,‚Äù said Dr. Robert Palumbo – completely missing the point.

To the bunkers! Wired UK covers a research project to stop robots stabbing people. No research needed – just a spanner and a pure heart.

The Guardian interviews neuropsychologist and poet Sean Haldane who’s up for the Oxford professorship in poetry: “I tried farming, I tried living off the land in Canada. I tried publishing, and then I gravitated toward psychology and neuropsychology.”

Bored radiologists strip down a CAT scanner and crank it up to 11 in a brief YouTube video.

Slate asks ‘what determines the prices of a woman’s eggs?’ SAT scores, it turns out.

There are ‘five reasons neuroscience is not ready for the courtroom’ over at Brainspin. Although for ‘neuroscience’ read ‘functional neuroimaging’ as neuroscience of other types is regularly used in court.

Women’s Mag Science discusses the trouble with ‘sexperts‘.

A new study in the journal Psychological Science finds that superstition improves performance. Best of luck skeptics!

One Comment

  1. Posted June 4, 2010 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    Re: The Frontal Cortex article on the oil spill – I was surprised that Jonah suggested people with PFC damage might come up with more creative ideas, but I followed his reasoning.
    I was skeptical though, so I decided to take a little straw poll of Oil Spill cleanup ideas from four frontal lobe brain injured people whom I know from the brain injury charity Headway.
    The results are in the comments at the bottom of his article: http://scienceblogs.com/cortex/2010/06/high_stakes_innovation.php


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