Category Archives: Other People

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 […]

One Night in Birdland

I’ve just re-read an interesting biographical study from last year on the ‘Neurological problems of jazz legends’ and noticed a interesting snippet about Charlie Parker: As a result of a car accident as a teenager, Parker became addicted to morphine and, in turn, heroin. Contemporary musicians took similar drugs, hoping to emulate his playing. Through […]

Debugging the free will relationship

In 1987, British TV station Channel 4 had a series called Voices that included four programmes on psychoanalysis. One of the guests was psychologist Sherry Turkle, years before she became well-known for her groundbreaking work on the internet and identity, and she makes some strikingly prophetic comments about free will and technology that ring true […]

On riding the mistake wave

I’ve just read a funny and insightful interview with neuroscientist Vincent Walsh from last November’s Current Biology that’s full of over-caffeinated anecdotes and understated wisdom. It’s really worth reading in full but, unfortunately, the whole thing is locked behind a paywall (a bargain at only $31.50), but I’ve reproduced part of the piece below: What’s […]

Mindful of Langer

The Boston Globe has an excellent profile of psychologist Ellen Langer, responsible for some of the most influential studies in psychology and a champion of ‘mindfulness’ as an approach to a happier life. Needless to say, she’s become a doyenne of the positive psychology movement, and, as the article notes, occasionally comes across as slightly […]

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 […]


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