2008-04-04 Spike activity

Quick links from the past week in mind and brain news:

The Economist looks at Jeff Hawkin’s work on making computers more brain-like: from palmtops to brain cells.

Yet another study on the benefits of meditation is covered by Scientific American.

Cognitive Daily has a cool summary of a study on how we decide whether to walk or run. Not how busy we want to look apparently.

All in the Mind’s Natasha Mitchell reviews a new book on the history of Freudian thought and therapy in The Australian.

Not Exactly Rocket Science covers an interesting study where electric shocks were used to increase discrimination between two previously identical seeming smells.

The New York Times has an article describing the important phenomenon of change blindness.

Neuron earrings! Jewellery inspired by our favourite above-the-neck cells (thanks Sandra!).

The Boston Herald looks at research on the psychology of decision-making and poverty.

Sidewalk psychiatry. Although I certainly wouldn’t want a psychiatrist who asked these sorts of questions.

The Economist looks at how blood sugar levels can affect decision making.

Daily caffeine ‘protects brain’, reports BBC News. But who protects your daily caffeine I ask?

The Frontal Cortex has an interesting snippet on the fact that the infinity mongering Argentinian writer Borges had a brain injury.

Poltergeists are due to the quantum effects of brain function, apparently. The freaky ghost cousin of Roger Penrose is invoked in New Scientist.

Wired reports that griefers attack epilepsy discussion board with flashing graphics. Accusations about Anonymous and Scientologists being linked to the attack fly about, but it’s happened on a previous occasion, before either were at war, so it’s likely just idiots.

Comfortably Numb, a new book on society and depression, is reviewed by Furious Seasons.

The New York Times discuss the runner’s high.

The psychology of religion and morality is discussed by psychologist Paul Bloom and philosopher Joshua Knobe on Bloggingheads.tv

Bad Science has video of the Brain Gym nonsense being ably addressed by Paxo and the Newsnight team.

2 thoughts on “2008-04-04 Spike activity”

  1. A new type of hippocampal GABAergic cells has been just describen in Neuron, called the Ivy Cell; thought you would like to know.
    http://mrcanu.pharm.ox.ac.uk/news.html
    “Ivy cells are so named because of their exceptionally dense tortuous axons that resemble the ivy plant abundant in the countryside of the wet British Isles, such as the one pictured from Peter Somogyi’s garden on this cover. Surprisingly, even with their distinct morphology, ivy cells had not been previously recognized as a distinct cell type. In this issue, Fuentealba et al. (Neuron 57 (6) 917-929) characterize ivy cells, finding that they are the most abundant GABAergic cell type of the hippocampus. Ivy cells fire broad action potentials at low rate, evoke slow GABAA receptor-mediated responses in pyramidal cells, and most likely evolved to provide homeostatic regulation of the CA3 to CA1 pyramidal cell glutamatergic synapses via pre- and postsynaptic mechanisms.”

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