2009-03-06 Spike activity

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

The Economist discusses whether the famous Dunbar number, the maximum limit of human relationships, holds on Facebook.

A person who experienced the identity loss memory disorder dissociative fugue is interviewed in The New York Times.

BBC News reports that Malaysia is attempting to curb its suicide rate by planning to arrest those who attempt suicide.

Philosopher Eric Schwitzgebel asks what is an illusion, exactly?

Neuronarrative reports on a new study finding people tend to view leaders more favourably once they’ve died!

Drug giant and makers of Seroquel (quetiapine) lied about their data showing that the antipsychotic drug isn’t as effective as its competitors, reports the Clinical Psychology and Psychiatry blog.

The New York Times reports on research showing that interrupting an experience, whether dreary or pleasant, can make it significantly more intense.

The US Army’s group of ‘weaponised anthropologists’, the Human Terrain System, get slammed by a Marine Corps major in a military publication. Wired has the story.

The Onion, on news that a Lovecraftian school board member wants madness added to the curriculum. C’thulhu fhtagn!

Science News reports on a new study that links the genetics of Autism and bellyaches.

A long and confusing article on why minds are not like computers is published in The New Atlantis. Would greatly benefit from the insights from philosophy of mind.

Nature has an excellent article on the sociology of science and why we need a third way after the extremes of hard scientific realism and social constructionism. By the always interesting Harry Collins.

Gender effects in <a href="http://sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/41304/title/Playing_for_real_in_a_virtual__world
“>children’s play are seen in virtual worlds, reports Science News.

Furious Seasons reports on a recent study looking at the (large) placebo effect in studies of antidepressant treatment for adolescent depression.

Is patriotism a subconscious way for humans to avoid disease? asks the always engaging Carl Zimmer in Discover Magazine.

The Guardian reports on research suggesting that some people who suffer stroke develop PTSD after their experience.

Texting is associated with superior reading skills in children, reports the BPS Research Digest.

The New York Times has an interesting article looking at the psychology of rewarding students for study or good performance in light of mixed evidence of how effective the practice is.

ABC Radio National’s Ockham’s Razor has programme on how errors of grammar, punctuation and inaccurate scientific terminology can complicate important social issues.

Dr Shock covers some interesting research on the pros and cons on using PowerPoint presentations in teaching for learning by students.

Also from Dr Shock an awesome video showing how some stunning 3D illusion street art was created.

The New York Times reports that skin cells from people with Parkinson’s disease have been converted in a test tube to dopamine neurons.

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