Category Archives: Other People

A shrink among the shady in 1920s New York

Neurophilosophy has a wonderful profile the pioneering forensic psychiatrist and criminologist Carleton Simon who was working the street in prohibition-era New York in the 1920s and 30s. Apparently, a minor celebrity in his day owing to a constant stream of headline-grabbing busts and scientific discoveries, he has since faded into obscurity but this excellent new […]

Ted Hughes On Thinking

Editor of The Psychologist and man about town, Jon Sutton, just sent me a fantastic monologue by poet Ted Hughes on the experience of thinking. I’ve uploaded the piece to YouTube where you can hear Hughes’ remarkable analysis in his own characteristic voice. The piece is almost nine minutes long but in this part Hughes […]

A previously unseen species of hallucinated moth

I’ve discovered H.G. Wells’ amazing short story The Moth about a scientific feud between two leading entymologists that ends with one’s premature death and the other being driven insane by an hallucinated moth. It’s a deftly written piece because it captures the method of scientific grudge matches – devastating and savage critiques in scholarly journals […]

Campaign man

Wired Science has an exclusive interview with Ari Ne’eman, the first openly autistic White House appointee in history, who has been given a place on the National Council on Disability that advises the president on equality for disabled people. Ne’eman is an advocate of neurodiversity, which rather than automatically seeing conditions like autism and Asperger’s […]

Edvard Munch in 100 words

This month’s British Journal of Psychiatry has the latest in their ‘100 words’ series on the Norwegian artist Edvard Munch, famous for his iconic painting ‘The Scream’ and his own struggles with mental illness. The Norwegian Expressionist Edvard Munch caused outrage when his paintings were first shown in Berlin but became one of the most […]

Visual science in the art of Chuck Close

I’ve just found this amazing article on the work of artist Chuck Close from a 2008 edition of the Archives of Ophthalmology. It examines the visual science behind his pixelated style and how a stroke left the artist paralysed – after which he has produced some of his finest work. Chuck Close (1940- ) is […]

An Opthamologist on Mars

Oliver Sacks is interviewed on NeuroTribes where he talks about his forthcoming book and his own experience of spectacular hallucinations that occurred after he developed a tumour behind his retina. NeuroTribes is a new blog by ace science writer and Wired veteran Steve Silberman. It is part of the new PLoS science blog network and […]

A series of famous cases

BBC Radio 4 have just started a new season of Case Study that looks at some of the most famous and important cases in the history of psychology. The first is on HM, and although there’s nothing in the programme that’s particularly new about the science of memory, it does give a much fuller account […]

A neuroscientist’s psychosis

As well as publishing scientific papers about mental illness, Schizophrenia Bulletin also publishes personal accounts of psychosis and schizophrenia. I’ve just discovered this incredible 2006 article where a neuroscientist recounts her personal experience of becoming psychotic. It’s not only vividly descriptive but wonderfully lyrical as well, written with both honesty and insight. I was awash […]

The legend of Lester D

When searching for psychology research, I inevitably come across a study by ‘Lester D’, who is apparently a psychologist in an obscure college in New Jersey who seems to be interested in everything. Mostly, the things you’ve never thought of, and probably never even thought of thinking of, and perhaps don’t even have the capacity […]

The experiment requires that you continue

Spanish daily El Pa√≠s recently published an article on psychologist Stanley Milgram which had this amazing photo of the young conformity researcher where he looks surprisingly beatnick. Sadly the photo isn’t dated but it makes quite a contrast to the better known photos where he looks much more like the typical professor of the age. […]

The blessed neuroscientist

Neurosurgery has an article on the 17th Century neuroanatomist Niels Stensen who not only made major contributions to our understanding of the brain but was beatified – the first step to becoming a saint – by Pope John Paul II in 1988. His work was not restricted to the brain and was a founding figure […]

Aldous Huxley’s final trip

This month’s edition of the cancer medicine journal Lancet Oncology discusses some ongoing trials of psychedelic drug assisted psychotherapy for people dying of cancer but notes that author Aldous Huxley actually died while on LSD – by his own request. Today, in a small handful of laboratories across the USA, an equally small handful of […]

The future isn’t what it used to be

I’ve just found a very odd news clip about an Australian project to create a disembodied virtual head that reminds people with dementia to take their medication. The clip is from 2009 and is a little strange not least because the project is actually much more ambitious than described. ‘The Thinking Head Project’ (warning: rubbish […]

Richard Gregory has left the building

The legendary perception researcher Richard Gregory has passed away and science is certainly the worse off for his departure. As a student he worked with the great Frederic Bartlett and later became one of the most influential researchers in perception. He was key in demonstrating that expectations and prior experience have a ‘top down’ influence […]

But I just think I’m free

From the track Bonkers by Dizzee Rascal, who turns out to be a remarkably insightful lyricist when he’s not rapping about working it with the ladies: I wake up, every day is a daydream Everything in my life isn’t what it seems I wake up just to go back to sleep I act real shallow […]

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