Category Archives: Nonsense

Brain candle

Like most neuroscientists, when you’ve had a hard day at the lab, you get home and just want to scatter a few rose petals into a warm bath, put on your favourite whale song tape, and sink into the tub. What’s missing? A few candles to shed a gentle ambient glow over your tired body. […]

No, internet addiction is not an ‘official mental illness’

The media has been buzzing with the supposed news that ‘internet addiction’ has been added to the list of ‘official mental disorders’. This is nonsense, but it tells us something oddly disappointing about how the media handles tech scare scores. This recent wave of ‘the internet is making us crazy’ drivel stemmed from an article […]

A stream of unconsciousness

I have just discovered that if you search Pinterest with the keyword psychology you get a wonderfully eclectic stream of psychological images that range from the frosting of pop culture to the depths of profound theory. In fact, it’s a bit like swimming around in the mind of a psychologist as they slowly drift off […]

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 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 […]


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