Author Archives: vaughanbell

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 […]

Stroop: an unrecognised legacy

The man who discovered the Stroop effect and created the Stroop test, something which is now a keystone of cognitive science research, never realised the massive impact he had on psychology. A short but fascinating news item from Vanderbilt University discusses its creator, the psychologist and preacher J. Ridley Stroop. J. Ridley Stroop was born […]

Interviews at the Frontier

The BBC Radio 4 Exchanges at the Frontier series has just concluded and it includes interviews with the likes of Kay Redfield Jamison and Human Brain Project leader Henry Markram. They’re all online as podcasts. All the interviews are done by philosopher A.C. Grayling and for a BBC talking shop are remarkably good fun. Even […]

Spike activity 28-02-2014

Quick links from the past week in mind and brain news: Can Baby Brain Scans Predict Later Cognitive Development? asks Neuroskeptic. The Economist debates the difference between a dialect and a language. Love with Robots. An interesting piece of graphic novel-esque reporting from Narratively about intimacy with digital beings and robots. Interesting new neuroscience blog […]

Building the greatest artificial intelligence lab on Earth

The Guardian has an article on technologist Ray Kurzeil’s move to Google that also serves to review how the search company is building an artificial intelligence super lab. Google has gone on an unprecedented shopping spree and is in the throes of assembling what looks like the greatest artificial intelligence laboratory on Earth; a laboratory […]

The Society of Mutual Autopsy

The Society of Mutual Autopsy was an organisation formed in the late 1800s to advance neuroscience by examining dead members’ brains and to promote atheism by breaking sacred taboos. It included some of the great French intellectuals and radicals of the time and became remarkably fashionable – publishing the results in journals and showing plaster-casts […]

Snow-fuelled neurophilosophy

Pete Mandik is a professor of philosophy and was due to give a class on neurophilosophy before his class got snowed out. Instead of ditching the class he made a fantastic and funny video lecture for his students. The pipe-chewing Mandik gives a great introduction to this particular philosophical approach to integrating neuroscience and concepts […]

2004-02-14 Spike activity

Quick links from the past week in mind and brain news: Cocaine use increases stroke risk in young people reports Science News. Risk of being a giant knob-end already well established. The New York Times has an interesting piece on how musical hallucinations are giving researchers clues about the workings of the brain. For the […]

Respect is a medicine

Aeon magazine has an excellent article on how social interactions among medical team members affect clinical outcomes, patient well-being and the number of medical errors that occur. It’s probably worth saying that the vast majority of doctors and warm and respectful people but it remains one of the last professions where teaching though humiliation is […]

A reality of dreams

The journal Sleep has an interesting study on how people with narcolepsy can experience sometimes striking confusions between what they’ve dreamed and what’s actually happened. Narcolepsy is a disorder of the immune system where it inappropriately attacks parts of the brain involved in sleep regulation. The result is that affected people are not able to […]

2004-02-07 Spike activity

Quick links from the past week in mind and brain news: Science News has an extended piece on progress with the still-not-entirely-clear-what’s-going-on billion dollar BRAIN initiative. There might be a little synesthesia in each of us. Nautilus looks at how our senses combine and cross. The LA Times reports that boxing and ultimate fighting promoters […]

Heroin, addiction and free will

The death of Phillip Seymour Hoffman has sparked some strong and seemingly contradictory responses. What these reactions show is that many people find it hard to think of addiction as being anything except either a choice or a loss of free will. The fact that addiction could involve an active choice to take drugs but […]

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