2013-02-08 Spike activity

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

The New York Times covers the recent upsurge of robots-taking-over-the-world anxiety. To the bunkers!

The dodgy practice of psychologists trying to patent therapeutic techniques is covered by Neuroskeptic.

The Humanist discusses the explosion of the unhelpful concept of sex addition.

Forensic psychology nerds: In The News covers the latest in the debate on the accuracy of violence risk assessments.

The Bangkok Post on the bizarre Thai government announcement that calculators, phones “and even karaoke machines” could damage memory, lead to Alzheimer’s disease. Bryan Adams covers, screaming fits. 80s hair metal, unfortunately lycra incidents.

People without an amygdala can experience fear. Neurophilosophy covers an intriguing new study.

Wired Danger Room on the cost of war to the US: currently, at least 253,330 brain injuries, 129,731 cases of PTSD – and counting.

Missouri Public Radio on how ex- Abu Ghraib chief psychologist Larry James wants to launch a national gun violence prevention center. Presumably, by waterboarding assault rifle owners.

Short-term exercise boosts body image without making any physical difference. The BPS Research Digest on the short-term psychological effects of exercise.

Scientific American has an important piece on the science of what life events can trigger depression.

After a nonsense article on ‘girls and the science gap’ two neuroscientists write a stirling reply on why pseudoscience and stereotyping won’t solve the problem in Notes and Queries.


  1. kateorman
    Posted February 9, 2013 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

    Sex “addition”! Sounds like a helpful concept to me. ;)

  2. Tim Poston
    Posted February 10, 2013 at 12:02 am | Permalink

    Dammit, I thought the ‘concept of sex addition ‘ was some newly exploding concept, but it’s just boring old ‘sex addiction’, as long established as my addiction to eating and breathing. For once, you have disappointed me.

    Tim Poston http://geometeer.com/

  3. daoloth
    Posted February 10, 2013 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    Re the last article on sex differences in science. The authors would have a hard time fitting the tired old gender feminist explanation (viz “society is to blame”) to these data http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/34284/title/Some-Girls-Better-at-Science/ Perhaps some balance? Best Rob Date: Sat, 9 Feb 2013 11:07:30 +0000 To: spiersking@hotmail.com

    • kateorman
      Posted February 10, 2013 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

      If it’s nature, not nurture, then why were their results different in different countries?

  4. Posted February 11, 2013 at 4:00 am | Permalink

    Nice article on exercise. It almost seems to suggest that task accomplishment can be mixed in with body image esteem. I wish someone would compile a summary of research on brain chemistry involved with exercise (and distinguish outdoor exercise results from indoor exercise).

  5. Posted February 25, 2013 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    This article came out 2 months after the Humanist article.


    The researchers were volunteers, as well. It would be interesting to see the two authors debate.

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