Monthly Archives: February 2011

It’s just something inside my head

A remarkably accurate account of the learned helplessness theory of depression as recounted in the lyrics of downbeat hip-hop track ‘Something Inside My Head’ by London based rapper Akala. I wasn’t born this way My condition was learned Once bitten twice shy I don’t wanna be burned When you travel a passage That leaves your […]

2011-02-11 Spike activity

Quick links from the past week in mind and brain news: Discover Magazine interviews the neuroscientist of love – who seems to have three hands in the photo. Imagine. Is anorexia more strongly influenced by size zero models in the mass media or use of online social networking? Neuroskeptic covers a fascinating new study. New […]

Let’s hear it for the boy

A fascinating study just published in the Archives of Sexual Behaviour looked at the link between women’s vocalisations during sex and the timing of orgasm during heterosexual encounters, finding that there was little connection with female climax but a strong link with male ejaculation. The researchers draw the ego-denting conclusion that women’s moans and sighs […]

Getting high from snakebites

The addiction journal Substance Abuse has two cases of people using snakebites to get high. To be clear, this isn’t the mix of beer and cider, a drink also known as snakebite, but an actual venomous bite from a serpent. Here’s the first case – and yes, alternative reality fans – he really is named […]

I’m Gladwell to hear it

The Malcolm Gladwell Book Generator is simultaneously a very silly and a very funny website that generates Malcolm Gladwell books from a parallel universe. If you never knew you wanted to read: “The Tripping Point: How Psychoactive Substances Created a… Wait, I Can’t Feel My Face Bro” or “The Paradox Paradox: Why Nobody Gives a […]

A liberal dose of controversy

The New York Times covers an important and provocative speech made at a recent big name social psychology conference where the keynote speaker Jonathan Haidt questioned whether social psychologists are blind ‘to the hostile climate they’ve created for non-liberals’. It’s a brave move and he brings up some important points about the narrow perspective the […]

Over-precautionary measures

I’ve just read a wonderfully revealing article from the Journal of Risk Research that compares the assumptions behind planning for modern-day terrorist attacks and the actual reactions of civilians from the intense bombing raids during World War II. It notes, contrary to popular belief, that both bombing raids and contemporary terrorist attacks rarely cause panic […]

No grief for clichés

Time magazine has a fantastic article that tackles common myths about the psychology of grief and the experience of losing a loved one. We’ve discussed previously how many of the grief clichés (there are specific stages, you have to ‘let it out’ etc) have already been shown to be false but this Time piece goes […]

Suck two of these and call me in the morning

While in Barcelona I discovered a fantastic psychiatry-themed sweet shop called Happy Pills which sells every possible candy you could imagine packaged into mood-lifting pill bottles. You can also browse their website although if you’re not a Spanish speaker wait for the ‘ingredients’ intro to pass before you can click to see the rest of […]

The early years of the frontal lobotomy

Neurosurgical Focus has an excellent open-access article that takes a critical look at the work of the Portuguese neurologist Egas Moniz – who controversially won the 1949 Nobel prize for inventing the frontal lobotomy. Although the over-enthusiasm for cutting patients’ frontal lobes to try and ‘cure’ them of mental illness is now looked upon as […]

The psychology of the 7 deadly sins

The Psychologist has an engrossing article on the psychology behind the ‘7 Deadly Sins’ and how they relate to modern life. The piece is full of fascinating and counter-intuitive snapshots from the science of social emotions. For example: Whereas the success and status of others can provoke envy, pride is what we feel when the […]

2011-02-04 Spike activity

Quick links from the past week or two in mind and brain news: The Wall Street Journal has a fascinating piece on child intelligence, genetics and household environment despite the misleading “Why rich parents don’t matter” headline. Can magnetically stimulating the brain produce Eureka moments? Not Exactly Rocket Science covers an intriguing new study. The […]


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