NewSci on music, depression and brain-cooling chips

ns_20050716.jpgThis week’s New Scientist has three articles relevant to mind and brain science: An interview with controversial psychiatrist Peter Kramer, an article on the evolution of music, and an article on the development of brain-cooling anti-epilepsy chips.

The chips are being developed by neurologist Steven Rothman and work on the principle that brain cells stop working when cooled.

Some epilepsy is triggered by the activity of a small identifiable area, known as the foci, and spreads to the rest of the brain with catastrophic effect.

The idea is to implant a microchip that can detect when seizure activity starts, which subsequently starts a cooling device to temporarily deactivate the area of brain, stopping the seizure before it spreads.

The other articles include an interview with champion of biological psychiatry, and author of Listening to Prozac – Peter D. Kramer, and an article on evolutionary explanations for the existence of music.

Unfortunately, none are available online, although locked articles are occasionally freed-up after a few days, so we’ll link to them if they appear. Otherwise, it may require a trip to the newsagents or the local library.

Link to contents of New Scientist

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