Category Archives: Nonsense

No, the web is not driving us mad

Oh Newsweek, what have you done. The cover story in the latest edition is an embarrasing look at non-research that certainly doesn’t suggest that the internet is causing “extreme forms of mental illness”. The article is a litany of scientific stereotypes and exaggeration: The current incarnation of the Internet—portable, social, accelerated, and all-pervasive—may be making […]

Made for PR Neuroscience

Times Higher Education has a short but revealing article about a ‘neuromarketing’ company called MindLab that keeps getting ‘accidentally’ associated with the University of Sussex. The ‘accidental’ association is not what makes the piece interesting, however, as it also gives an insight into a type of marketing that relies on the hype of neuroscience to […]

Ghost image in my mind

Offbeat indie singer Charlotte Gainsbourg released a 2009 song about being fMRI brain scanned that even incoporated sounds from an actual scanner. The track is called IRM, presumably because Gainsbourg is a French speaker and ‘magnetic resonance imaging’ in French is imagerie par résonance magnétique – which, by the way, is also the sound of […]

Dramatically titled neuroscience story

Question about your life. Introduction to a thematically related tragedy. Promise of hope. Over-simplified premise. Mention of a brain part and an inadequately explained technology in the same sentence. Dramatic claim of a breakthrough. Researcher and affiliation. Description of motivation related to a minor personal detail. Overly-technical account of experiment. Contrived analogy. Rhetorical question? Allusion […]

As addictive as cupcakes

If I read the phrase “as addictive as cocaine” one more time I’m going to hit the bottle. Anything that is either overused, pleasurable or has become vaguely associated with the dopamine system is compared to cocaine. In fact, here is a list of things claimed to be as addictive as the illegal nose powder […]

Neurological knitwear

One of the disappointing things about the upcoming US presidential elections is that none of the potential candidates has promised the people a made-to-order knitted brain hat. Fear not though, as citizens can now order their own. Etsy user Anabananna hand knits the woolly neuroogical headgear to your specification and ships them to you. You […]

At least it’s not Twitter

Susan Greenfield, the neuroscientist who seems to have given up on science but constantly appears in the media telling people that ‘the internet can damage your brain,’ now has a website and a YouTube channel. A sense of irony, however, seems still to be on pre-order from Amazon.   Link to susangreenfield.com but DON’T RISK […]

The hot Gosling effect

A bizarre and funny tumblr called Neuroscientist Ryan Gosling that has nothing but pictures of Ryan Gosling making hot neuroscience innuendos. It was bound to happen eventually.

A very brief guide to the DSM

The British Journal of Psychiatry’s ‘100 words’ series continues with a very brief guide to the DSM psychiatric manual and its ongoing revision. DSM is an American classification system that has dominated since 1980. It is disliked by many for reducing diagnostic skills to a cold list of operational criteria, yet embraced by researchers believing […]

Food for thought

  Life-sized edible brain sculptures from a series called ‘What have you got in your head?’ by artist Sara Asnaghi.   Link to full sculpture series (via BoingBoing).

Brain in your medieval pants

In Leonardo da Vinci’s anatomical drawings, the penis is connected directly to the brain. A 1986 article “On the sexual intercourse drawings of Leonardo da Vinci” explains why this connection, still commonly proposed today (although mostly as a metaphor it must be said), was thought to be anatomical fact by the great master. “A brief […]

Teen sex hamsters in health danger shock alert

The Daily Mail is a UK newspaper famous for a moralising obsession with teen sex and a tragic, long-term science impairment. Most of their science stories are simply face-palm material but occasionally they produce unintentional works of comic genius. Today, is one of those days. Teenage sex ‘leads to bad moods’ in later life’ Having […]

A theory of the bipolar economy

If you’re convinced that the current cycle of the boom and bust economy is due to the collapse of collateralised debt obligations secured on oversold mortgages that destablised the European market due to its reliance on cheap loans from an artificially inflated US market – think again! A 1935 Psychological Review article proposed a ‘manic-depressive […]

Bad celebrity tie-ins

No celebrity disaster is too tragic to remind us of an interesting fact about cognitive science. Some lowlights from the genre. Lindsay Lohan is likely to be jailed for violating her probation says The Christian Science Monitor – clearly an example illustrating recent findings from research on how behavior is influenced by like-minded cohorts rather […]

The New York Times wees itself in public

The New York Times has just pissed its neuroscientific pants in public and is now running round the streets announcing the fact in an op-ed that could as easily been titled ‘Smell my wee!’ The piece is written by Martin Lindström, famous for writing the ‘neuromarketing’ best-seller Buyology, but infamous for not making any of […]

The football cure / addiction

A psychologist from the University of Alabama says American football can absolutely heal the trauma that the deadly April tornados left behind but be careful because there is a risk you could suffer from football addiction. Clearly true because he says so in a priceless TV interview and the university backed it up in a […]

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