2008-04-11 Spike activity

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

The scientist brain doping results are in! Neuroanthropology looks at the findings from the recent Nature survey.

Prospect Magazine has an excellent article on whether the recent upsurge in bipolar diagnoses is due to a better understanding of mood disorders or a new marketing fad.

Science writer Carl Zimmer writes in Wired discussing the remarkable unreliability of ion channels, essential components of neural signalling, and notes what little effect this seems to have on global brain functioning. Viva redundancy!

.CSV has a great post on new techniques in quantitative sociology including social network analysis.

The vagaries of behavioural genetics studies, particularly inlight of a recent study on the genetics of ‘ruthlessness’ are carefully dissected by Pure Pedantry.

Wired has a run-down of his Top 5 recreational drug studies in the scientific literature (sadly misplacing the brain-scanner bong at number 5).

Like shooting fish in a barrel. Internet addiction nonsense comes in for more criticism from psychologists Petra Boyton and Cory Silverberg.

Newsweek looks at the theory that Western individualism and Eastern collectivism differences may have resulted from adaptive social strategies to deal with different diseases.

My Mind on Books collects some blog reports on the recent conference “Toward a Science of Consciousness”.

Cognitive neuroscientist extraordinaire Michael Gazzaniga asks whether human brains are unique in an article for Edge.

Neurophilosophy reports on a man who had his compulsive gambling treated with a deep brain stimulation implant.

Popular social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook are a form of participatory surveillance and voluntary social voyeurism, argues an article from First Monday.

Six pack models in men’s magazine have a similar negative effect on self-esteem to stick thin models on women’s magazine, according to research reported by the BPS Research Digest.

“If we mistrust the real world so much that we’re prepared to fill the next generation’s heads with a load of gibbering crap about “brain buttons”, why stop there? Why not spice up maths by telling kids the number five was born in Greece and invented biscuits?” Very funny article in the The Guardian about Brain Gym foolishness currently sweeping British schools.

PsyBlog has been running a fantastic series on the psychology of money and economic decision-making.

Long-term methamphetamine use has serious long-term neurological effects on the brain, according to new research discussed by Treatment Online.

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