Category Archives: News

National Institute of Mental Health abandoning the DSM

In a potentially seismic move, the National Institute of Mental Health – the world’s biggest mental health research funder, has announced only two weeks before the launch of the DSM-5 diagnostic manual that it will be “re-orienting its research away from DSM categories”. In the announcement, NIMH Director Thomas Insel says the DSM lacks validity […]

A cuckoo’s nest museum

The New York Times reports that the psychiatric hospital used as the backdrop for the 1975 film One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest has been turned into a museum of mental health. In real life the institution was Oregon State Hospital and the article is accompanied by a slide show of images from the hospital […]

A neurobiological graphic novel

The Guardian has a video about the collaboration between neuroscientist Hana Ros and artist Matteo Farinella as they’ve been working on the neurocomic project to create a brain science graphic novel. The finished project isn’t quite out yet but the artwork is looking amazing. The film about the collaboration covers how they worked together and […]

What will the billion dollar brain projects do?

Two neuroscience projects have been earmarked for billion dollar funding by Europe and the US government but little has been said about what the projects will achieve. Here’s what we know. The European Commision has just awarded half a billion euros to the Human Brain Project – a development of Henry Markram’s Blue Brain project […]

The blossoms are beautiful on their own

Listen. I totally respect your new neuroscience discovery. Really, my balls are jazzed. But quit with the ‘may lead to a cure for epilepsy, autism and schizophrenia’ thing you always put in your press releases. Your new neuroscience discovery is genuinely cool, but, let’s face it, no more likely to lead to a cure for […]

Synthetic highs are mutating

A new study on the chemicals in the latest batch of legally sold ‘synthetic highs’ has found what looks like an unintended hybrid drug. As regular Mind Hacks readers will know, I’m a keen watcher of the murky ‘legal high’ market. We seem to be in the unprecedented position where sophisticated grey-market pharmacologists are rapidly […]

Hallucinema Paradiso

The Barbican Centre in London has a Cinema and Psychosis event on the 17th March where we’ll discuss how the silver screen can represent the altered states of psychosis. Rather than focus on ‘how films depict mad people’, which usually just involves appalling stereotypes, we’re interested in how cinema can depict delusions and hallucinations. The […]

Violating the prime directive

The Chronicle of Higher Education has an in-depth article that explores the controversy over social priming, which suggest that our behaviour can be changed by exposing us to certain concepts. The most famous study in the genre was led by psychologist John Bargh, who is the focus of the story and who found that people […]

Lives Scientific

The BBC Radio 4 programme The Life Scientific has just broadcast programmes on two of the most interesting cognitive scientists in the UK – developmental psychologist Annette Karmiloff-Smith and robotocist Noel Sharkey.     Karmiloff-Smith is a psychologist who has made an important contribution both to the deep theory of infant brain development and has […]

A depressing financial justification

One of the most controversial changes to the recently finalised DSM-5 diagnostic manual was the removal of the ‘bereavement exclusion’ from the diagnosis of depression – meaning that someone could be diagnosed as depressed even if they’ve just lost a loved on The Washington Post has been investigating the financial ties of those on the […]

A smoother flow

BBC Radio 1Xtra has just broadcast a fantastic programme about the rapper Scorzayzee who disappeared from the UK scene after, as it turned out, experiencing psychosis and being diagnosed with schizophrenia. It’s a brilliant piece that not only tells the story of Scorzayzee but also cheekily tackles mental health in men – something which is […]

The DSM-5 has been finalised

It’s arcane, contradictory and talks about invisible entities which no-one can really prove. Yes folks, the new psychiatric bible has been finalised. The American Psychiatric Association have just announced that the new diagnostic manual, to be officially published in May 2013, has been approved by the board of trustees. You can read the official announcement […]

The road to ‘war on terror’ torture

An obscure paper called The Spokesman Review has an excellent article charting the role of psychologists in developing America’s ‘war on terror’ enhanced interrogation programme – widely condemned as torture. The piece is fascinating because it outlines the competing tensions between those who championed the controversial physical interrogation techniques – created by reverse engineering the […]

Letter from the mental states of America

Alistair Cooke presented the longest running radio show in history. The BBC’s Letter from America was a weekly report, where Cooke reflected on life and news in the United States. It ran for just shy of 58 years. Despite the massive ‘psychologisation’ of society during the years Cooke was broadcasting, from 1946 to 2004 no […]

A vision of Oliver Sacks

New York Magazine has a wonderful in-depth profile of Oliver Sacks illustrated with a simple but sublime photo portrait of the gracefully ageing neurologist. Sacks has become much discussed in recent weeks due to the release of his new book Hallucinations. There has been much coverage, but perhaps some of the best coverage has been […]

Work for free!

South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust are taking the piss. They’re advertising for a full-time, one year assistant psychologist post that is completely unpaid. These jobs usually pay about £20,000-24,000 in London but despite this offer being completely exploitative they could easily fill the post for free. The reason is because […]

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