2010-08-06 Spike activity

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

Time magazine has an excellent piece that tackles the myth that the only child is psychologically worse off due to a lack of siblings during development.

The new blog Neurotic Physiology at the Scitopia network that has an excellent piece on Freud’s experiences with cocaine.

The New York Times discusses how unflattering psychological studies on ‘Generation Y’ are being contested in the scientific literature.

As always, much great stuff on Neuroskeptic, but this piece on how negative drug trials are being swept under the carpet is particularly good – with trials for antidepressants and antipsychotics being among some of the least likely to appear.

Scientific American Mind has some excellent coverage of a recent study finding a link between impulsivity and a reduction in dopamine receptors in deep-brain areas.

There’s a great analysis of why Alcoholics Anonymous is so popular despite limited evidence for its effectiveness over at the excellent Neuroanthropology.

You guys are reading Child’s Play right? A fantastic new blog on developmental psychology.

NPR has been running an excellent five-part series on the drug war in Mexico. See the left hand side bar down the page for the earlier parts.

How regular folks solve complex biology problems better than super-computers – when the problem is turned into a game. Not Exactly Rocket Science covers an innovative project.

The Kansas City Star notes the passing of Ivar Lovaas the founder of the behavioural therapy for autism the Lovaas technique.

There’s an update on synthetic cannabinoid ‘legal highs’ over at the newly located DrugMonkey blog.

Wired Science covers a fascinating study finding that REM sleep behaviour disorder, where people act out dreams, are more likely in people who later develop dementia.

The more women value intimacy and human connection, the less interest they have in a career in science, finds a study covered by We’re Only Human. Which interestingly, seems to ignore psychology, in which men are an endangered species.

The New York Times has an interview with neuroscientist John Donoghue who creates brain-machine interfaces to connect paralysed patients to the outside world. Maybe he could create a brain-caps lock interface to stop the NYT ASKING ALL THEIR QUESTIONS IN CAPITAL LETTERS.

A fantastic piece on jam and how over-thinking can re-configure our preferences is over at The Frontal Cortex, which, incidentally has been packed with great pieces recently.

Miller-McCune covers research finding that women who kill their cheating lovers receive shorter sentences than men who do the same.

There’s a fantastic infographic on ‘The CSI Effect’ over at In The News forensic psychology blog.

The Washington Post has a good antidote to the ‘digital drug’ and ‘i-dosing’ silliness.

The mighty BPS Research Digest covers a great study finding that smokers trying to quit who tried not to think of smoking ended up smoking more.

Policy Review magazine (sizzling sex tips, the hottest goss, free sparkly lipstick with every issue) has an excellent in-depth piece on how compassion became professionalised in the United States.

The UK media lose the news about adolescent girls, sexual activity and the pill. Dr Petra goes searching for the real story.

The Global Post has a short piece on stuff seized from drug lords. Money can buy many things, but taste, it cannot.

Why people think they are less influenced than others by adverts and persuasive messages. A great piece over at PsyBlog.

The Boston Globe covers a misconduct investigation in a trial of a drug aiming to treat brain damage in US troops.

Acrylic brain upside your head. The Neurocritic. Yes.

Seed Magazine asks ‘does coffee work?’ and examines the effects of caffeine. I’m more concerned with the question of why anyone would want to consume a drink that tastes like burnt toast.

An intriguing new study finding an interaction between actions and object recognition is covered by Neurophilosophy.

New Scientist has an article on amazing research that simulates walking through a population of virtual skeletons controlled by a network of virtual nerves. Cool video.

If you’ve not heard Baba Brinkman’s new album A Rap Guide to Human Nature try this track on wannabe teenage gangstas and the evolution of self-deception. Glorious.

Science News reports on a study finding that older people react more strongly to sad scenes than twentysomethings.

To the bunkers! New Scientist reports on a study of artificial life forms which seemed to have evolved basic intelligence.

5 Comments

  1. LM
    Posted August 7, 2010 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    Acrylic brain upside your head. The Neurocritic. Yes.

    And

    An intriguing new study finding an interaction between actions and object recognition is covered by Neurophilosophy.

    Both link to

    http://scienceblogs.com/neurophilosophy/2010/07/motor_imagery_enhances_object_recognition.php

  2. Posted August 7, 2010 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    Now fixed. Thanks!

  3. joe
    Posted August 8, 2010 at 1:36 am | Permalink

    “Seed Magazine asks ‘does coffee work?’ and examines the effects of caffeine. I’m more concerned with the question of why anyone would want to consume a drink that tastes like burnt toast.”

    Wait, you think coffee tastes like burnt toast??? Maybe you drank some burnt coffee.

  4. cavall de quer
    Posted August 8, 2010 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Re the jam and over-thinking article: this is what Discourse Analysis is all about – could it be post-modernism is going to get the consideration it deserves now?

  5. Posted May 26, 2011 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    New Baba Brinkman Material:

    http://rapguidetoevolution.co.uk/videos/

    You wanna know about evolution? This is the definition
    Like this: performance, feedback, revision


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