Monthly Archives: July 2011

Against Neuroethics

The BPS has published a discussion paper on “Neuroethics”. Neuroethics is an unnecessary phrase which covers a hodge-podge of ethical concerns for psychology researchers and broader societal concerns over the application of findings from the cognitive neurosciences. The paper, prepared by the impressive team of Carl Senior, Patrick Haggard and John Oates, is mostly a […]

Doubts about social contagion

Slate has an important article about how the studies behind last year’s headlines saying that things like divorce, obesity and loneliness spread through social networks like a ‘contagion’ may not be as sound as the stories suggested. The headline grabbing study on ‘divorce contagion’ has still yet to be published as it hasn’t made it […]

Cross Road Blues

The July issue of the British Journal of Psychiatry has another edition of its ‘psychiatry in 100 words’ series – this time on melancholia and the blues legend Robert Johnson. ‘I got stones in my pathway/And my road seems dark at night/I have pains in my heart/They have taken my appetite’. Robert Johnson, known as […]

Naomi Wolf, porn and the misuse of dopamine

‘Is pornography driving men crazy?’ asks campaigner Naomi Wolf in a CNN article that contains a spectacular misunderstanding of neuroscience applied to a shaky moral conclusion. Wolf asks suggests that the widespread availability and consumption of pornography is “rewiring the male brain” and “causing them to have more difficulty controlling their impulses”. According to her […]


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