Monthly Archives: March 2014

Spike activity 28-03-2014

Quick links from the past week in mind and brain news: Can charisma and leadership be taught? Matter looks at the history of ‘charm consultants’. Mental health stigma: where’s my cheesecake? A piece on the Brain Flapping discusses how people react when you’re depressed. Science News has an odd story about how 1 in 68 […]

Bomb disposal for the brain

New Statesman has an excellent profile of the wise, funny and acerbic neurosurgeon Henry Marsh. Marsh was the subject of the fantastic 2007 documentary The English Surgeon but he’s now one year away from retirement and has clearly decided that diplomatic responses are no longer a tactical necessity. The piece also gives a vivid insight […]

The genes are to blame game

The media love ‘your genes are to blame’ stories despite the fact that genetics is, in most cases, just one, often small, influence on a behaviour or trait. Here’s a few lowlights: Glass always half-empty? Your genes may be to blame Lazy? Your Genes May Be to Blame Have math anxiety? Your genes may be […]

A balanced look at brain scanning

Bioethics think tank The Hastings Center have published an excellent open-access report on ‘Interpreting Neuroimages: The Technology and its Limits’ that takes a critical but balanced look at the use of brain scans for understanding the mind. They’ve commissioned leading cognitive neuroscientists to write chapters including Geoffrey Aguirre, Martha Farah and Helen Mayberg, as well […]

Spike activity 21-03-2014

Quick links from the past week in mind and brain news: The thrill of cutting into a human brain says The Spectator, who have clearly never tried to operate on themselves after reading a HOWTO on the internet. The Loom has collected some brain visualisation fly-throughs and give the low-down and what they’re about. It […]

A modern psychiatry

If you want to know how your average reasonable mainstream medical psychiatrist thinks about mental illness, Aeon magazine has a good piece that captures where many are coming from. Now before you (yes you) Dr average reasonable mainstream medical psychiatrist, says that you don’t agree with all of it, I’m not suggesting it’s a manifesto, […]

Frozen nightmares

The Devil in the Room is a fantastic short film about the experience of hallucinatory sleep paralysis – a common experience that has been widely mythologised around the world. Sleep paralysis is the experience of being unable to move during the process of waking – when you have regained consciousness but you’re brain has not […]

Spray can happy pills

Psychopharmacological brain graffiti found on a car park wall in Dalston in East London.

How to win wars by influencing people

I’ve got an article in The Observer about how behavioural science is being put at the centre of military operations and how an ‘influence-led’ view of warfare is causing a rethink in how armed conflict is managed. Techniques such as deception and propaganda have been the mainstay of warfare for thousands of years, but there […]

Spike activity 14-03-2014

Quick links from the past week in mind and brain news: The Conversation has an excellent piece on how the study of brain injury, not brain scans, have told us the most about how the brain works. How light affects the brain. Only Human discusses a fascinating study on how a recently discovered form of […]

Loving you is easy because you’re beautiful

Neuroscape Lab, we salute your next generation of brain visualisation, that looks like something out of a sci-fi film where the director is a bit obsessed with correctly representing the anatomy of the brain. They describe the visualisation like this: This is an anatomically-realistic 3D brain visualization depicting real-time source-localized activity (power and “effective” connectivity) […]

From under-hearing to ultra-hearing

The BBC World Service has a fascinating radio programme on hearing loss and how it’s spurring the move towards auditory enhancement technology for everybody. The documentary, called Hack My Hearing, was created by science writer Frank Swain who is suffering hearing loss. He explores different forms of hearing disturbance and looks at technologies that aim […]

Parting – art through psychosis – at King’s Place

If you’re in London on Sunday 16th March, there’s an amazing stage show at King’s Place about psychosis called Parting. The performance has been created by talented twin sister composers Effy and Litha Efthymiou and, along with folks with first-person experience of psychosis, I’ve had the pleasure of collaborating with them during the development of […]

Spike activity 07-03-2014

Quick links from the past week in mind and brain news: Drug dependence has two faces — as a chronic disease and a temporary failure to cope. Interesting piece from Science News. Friend of Mind Hacks Christian Jarrett bids a fond farewell to the BPS Research Digest at 11 years at the helm. Matter has an excellent […]

Mind Mosaic

Biomedical charity The Wellcome Trust have launched a new online science magazine called Mosaic which is rammed full of mind and brain stories for its launch. As part of their role is medical education, the idea is that they get writers to produce in-depth articles about science and then give them away for free (welcome […]

What’s the evidence for the power of reason to change minds?

Last month I proposed an article for Contributoria, titled What’s the evidence on using rational argument to change people’s minds?. Unfortunately, I had such fun reading about the topic that I missed the end-of-month deadline and now need to get backers for my proposal again. So, here’s something from my proposal, please consider backing it […]

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