Monthly Archives: December 2010

Interview with Wade Davis: Part I – altered states

Anthropologist and explorer Wade Davis recently gave a talk at Medellín’s fantastic science museum Parque Explorer and myself and science journalist Ana María Jaramillo managed to grab some of his time to discuss altered states of consciousness and cultural diversity. If you’re not familiar with Davis’ work, his TED talk on ‘Cultures at the far […]

Clapham Junction and the frustrations of dementia

I’ve just found an amazing Terry Pratchett article published in the Journal of Mental Health earlier this year entitled ‘Diagnosing Clapham Junction syndrome’ where he discusses his experience with dementia. Pratchett was diagnosed with posterior cortical atrophy, usually considered to be an atypical form of Alzheimer’s disease that is focused on the back of the […]

Embrace the Greenfield revolution

Science Oxford Online has an interview with neuroscientist Baroness Susan Greenfield where she argues that too much connection to digital technologies is as much as a threat to humanity as climate change. How does ‘climate change relate to the concept of ‘mind change’? Mind change and climate change are both critical scenarios concerning governments and […]

2010-12-03 Spike activity

Quick links from the past week in mind and brain news: The Wall Street Journal has a piece on how neuroscience is apparently being used to design kitchens. No, you haven’t just been slipped some acid – the article is real. The sleeper effect: how a persuasive message can kick in months after it’s delivered. […]

‘Tummy time’ for baby’s brain development

Slate has an amazing article on how the brain development of young babies is linked to the amount of playtime they spend on their tummies. This in itself is quite a startling fact, but it turns out that the campaign to cut cot death – which involved persuading parents to put babies to sleep on […]

I’m not waiting for inspiration, it’s waiting for me

Neuroscience blog Oscillatory Thoughts has a brilliant meditation on the phenomenology of “writer’s block”. It includes what I originally thought was an hilarious but mocked-up paper from the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, only for me to discover that it was genuinely published.     For those wanting verification of these important findings, Oscillatory Thoughts […]

Oxytocin is a complex character

Not Exactly Rocket Science elegantly covers a new study that counters the tired ‘love drug’ stereotype associated with the hormone oxytocin. Although several studies have found that doses of the hormone, usually sprayed into the nose, increase feelings of trust, it is also becoming clear that this just one effect and it may be heavily […]

Terminal self-diddling

The fantastic Morbid Anatomy blog found this picture from an 1845 medical book depicting ‘the Last Stage of Mental & Bodily Exhaustion from Onanism or Self-pollution’ from the days when self-diddling was widely assumed to be a cause of madness.   Of course, you wouldn’t find anything quite so ridiculous as a mental illness described […]


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