Category Archives: Other People

Kay Redfield Jamison on love and loss

ABC Radio National’s All in the Mind has an engaging interview with psychologist and author Kay Redfield Jamison who discusses her new book which is both a memoir of losing her husband and a consideration of the psychology of grief. Towards the end of the interview she tackles the distinction between grief and depression, which […]

On a literary trip

The Guardian books blog has a fantastic short piece on fictional mind-bending drugs from literature, stretching from the nightmare-inducing hallucinogens of William Burroughs to Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster from Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy. The most famous invented drug is probably soma in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. It was an integral part of the […]

Nine Legendary Hypochondriacs

ABC Radio National’s Late Night Live has a fascinating discussion with the author of a new book on nine famous hypochondriacs: James Boswell, Charlotte Bronte, Charles Darwin, Florence Nightingale, Alice James, Daniel Paul Schreber, Marcel Proust, Glenn Gould and Andy Warhol. I’m not sure Daniel Paul Schreber is necessarily the best example of someone with […]

Time to think

Bioemphemera has found some wonderfully left-field brain illustrations by Dutch graphic designer Rhonald Blommestijn. The image on the left is a brain made out of clocks. Blommestijn’s blog is full of strikingly surreal eye-candy that manages both to inspire a feeling of wide-eyed wonder and illustrate scientific themes. They’re certainly very original takes on the […]

To Bedlam and Part Way Back

BBC Radio 4 has a fantastic documentary on one of then 20th century’s great poets, Anne Sexton, who struggled with mental illness throughout her adult life and eventually committed suicide at the age of 46. Uniquely, tapes of Sexton’s psychotherapy sessions with psychiatrist Martin Orne were found after her death giving an alternative insight into […]

A Brilliant Madness online

I’ve just discovered that the excellent PBS documentary A Brilliant Madness that looks at the life of Nobel-prize winning mathematician, John Nash, is available online either as streamed video or as a torrent. Nash was famously the subject of the Oscar-winning film, A Beautiful Mind, although the while the main plot elements are true – […]

Leave my soul alone

I’m re-reading the excellent book Into the Silent Land by neuropsychologist Paul Broks and was reminded of a part where he recounts an eerie poem about a 1938 operation to remove a brain tumour. The poem is by Welsh poet and doctor Dannie Abse and, looking it up on the internet, I discovered that the […]

Tough on trauma, tough on the causes of trauma

Clinical psychologist and US Congressman Tim Murphy has volunteered to treat soldiers traumatised by the war he voted for. From January’s APA Monitor magazine: Clinical child psychologist Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.) has consistently voted to continue America’s military efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan while appreciating the deepening psychological toll the repeated deployments and combat experiences […]

By king or cobbler

A thoughtful reflection on the psychology of the New Year, published in 1895 by the acclaimed essayist Charles Lamb in his collection The Essays of Elia. Every man has two birth-days: two days at least, in every year, which set him upon revolving the lapse of time, as it affects his mortal duration. The one […]

John Nash, A Beautiful Mind, interviewed

There’s a video interview with Nobel prize winning mathematician John Nash, the subject of the Oscar-winning film A Beautiful Mind, over at 3QuarksDaily where he talks about his life, work and mental illness. The film is a quite heavily fictionalised account of Nash’s life and he clearly has some disagreements with Sylvia Nasar’s award winning […]

The Michigan Wildcat

The Providentia psychology blog has an excellent post about old-time champion boxer ‘The Michigan Wildcat’ Wolgast who fought on despite clear neurological damage and eventually suffered boxer’s dementia. He could apparently be found shadow boxing invisible opponents in the sanatorium. Wolgast won the world lightweight title in 1912 but sustained continuous damage throughout his career […]

The art of CT

New Scientist has a gallery of wonderful images from radiologist Kai-hung Fung who makes awesomely beautiful pictures from CT scans. The brain image (pictured) is particularly beautiful, it is labelled: This image looks directly down through the top of the patient’s head. The complex network of arteries and veins in the brain can be seen […]

Harlow’s Pit of Despair

ABC Radio National’s Artworks programme interviews two creators of a new play about the mind and motivations of psychologist and serial monkey abuser Harry Harlow. Harlow was a fascinating and troubled fellow who completed some of the most notorious studies in psychology where he raised monkeys apart from their mothers, most famously with ‘wire cage’ […]

Five minutes with Meg Barker

Meg Barker is a psychologist who specialises in understanding non-conventional sexuality and relationships. As well as being a researcher, Meg is also a psychotherapist where she puts her research into practice to help people overcome sex and relationship difficulties. Having completed a great deal of research on bisexuality and ‘BDSM’ culture, Meg also has a […]

Little Albert, lost and found

One of the most famous and most mythologised studies in psychology concerns John Watson’s experiment to condition ‘Little Albert’ to be afraid of a white rat. ‘Little Albert’ and his mother moved away afterwards and no-one knew what happened to him, leading to one of the most enduring mysteries in psychology. Finally, it seems, his […]

A shadow of your former self

Consciousness and the ‘myth of the self’ are tackled in an interesting discussion with philosopher Thomas Metzinger on this week’s edition of ABC Radio National All in the Mind. Metzinger is one of a relatively new breed of philosopher who actually gets his hands dirty with the business of experimental cognitive science and has co-authored […]

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