Author Archives: Alex

Are we designed for violence?

Are we wired for violence – is it brain-based, an original sin never to be expelled? Or could it be less indelible than we fear?

More cartoon fun

Further to the dinosaurs Vaughan speaks of below, there is a Flash-based dynamic comic* at Neuroscience for Kids which is a nice intro to the entire nervous system, with Sam and his friendly neurons. In addition, there are also suggestions for a number of neuroscience-based fun lesson plans, like synaptic tag. Sam’s brainy adventure: link […]

Through the k-hole

What do squat parties in Brixton, vetinarians in Buckinghamshire, and cereals in Budgens have in common?* The answer, of course, is Special K.** Ketamine is a tranquillising agent that was widely used until patients began to complain of its hallucinogenic effects, which they experienced when coming out of sedation. Not too fun. Except, of course, […]

Abstract structure need not be based on language

Grammar-impaired patients with problems in parsing sentences can parse sums. This weighs against the argument that language underpins our capacity for abstract thought: these individuals have problems with telling “dog bites man” from “man bites dog” but no similar problems with 112-45 vs 45-112. Aphasia and other language problems stemming from brain damage can indeed […]

Psychopharmacology of emotion processing

Some more stuff I learned about at the EPS meeting below the fold.

Chimps fair or foul

I went to a conference a few years ago at the LSE; if you look at the speakers you’ll see why. Although it proved to be patchier than I’d hoped, I was captivated by Frans de Waal’s contribution, outlining some wonderful research on the social behaviour of apes. One highlight, which is now finally coming […]

Liecatching

Since we’ve been hitting lie detection recently, I thought I’d point out that according to a brief communication in a 2000 volume of Nature (May, vol 405, abstract here, full text here if you can access it), people who have acquired aphasia (an impairment in the processing of others speech, leading to difficulties in comprehending […]

Morph your personality

I recently attended the annual meeting of the Experimental Psychology Society in London and equipped with my PAA (personal analogue assistant, i.e. paper + pencil) got busy sucking up what was said. This is the first of a few posts looking at some of the new research presented there. Since much of this is genuinely […]

Alex

Summary details for Alex Fradera, author on mindhacks

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