2009-04-24 Spike activity

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

The first Neuroanthropology Conference kicks off in October and looks awesome.

Twitter causes immorality nonsense deftly dispatched by bloggers. Most mainstream press lost the plot although Time did a good job and Wired Science were keeping it real.

The Guardian review neurophysiologist Kathleen Taylor’s new book on cruelty.

AI system examines mysterious and ancient symbols from the long-lost Indus Valley civilization and suggests that they may represent a spoken language, reports Wired.

The Financial Times has a look at the Wellcome Collection’s latest exhibition on ‘madness and modernity’.

The links between autism and genius are explored by The Economist.

Not Exactly Rocket Science has a brilliant article on how touch-related brain activity reduces after only a couple of weeks of having your hand in a cast.

There are a couple of wonderful girl-with-exposed-brain paintings here.

The New York Times reports on mental illness, the musical! (thanks Daniel!)

BBC Radio 4’s Health Check has a programme on meningitis and supernumeray phantom limbs.

Newsweek has an interesting Q&A on the psychology of memory.

An extended and interesting article on the psychology of how we related to the environment is published by The New York Times.

NeuroImage has an article arguing for community neuroimaging databases. Hallelujah and amen!

Is there a link between autistic traits and anorexia? asks New Scientist.

Frontal Cortex has an excellent piece on the commuters paradox – where we consistently underestimate the pain of a long commute.

Rapid emotional swings could predict violence in psychiatric patients suggests new research covered by Science News.

BBC News on the impressive ‘Blue Brain‘ project but who seem to like talking themselves up rather a lot. Apparently just a “matter of money” to simulate a whole brain (oh, and a good conceptual understanding of how the brain actually works beyond simplified models of the neocortical column).

18 ways attention goes wrong. PsyBlog continues riffing on attention by listing several related problems.

Psychiatric Times has an excellent article on the philosophy of psychiatry and how we define what counts as a mental illness. Bonus ‘internet addiction’ slapdown included.

Neuronarrative on a study suggesting that TV may be a surrogate for social interaction.

New ‘mind reading’ consumer EEG headsets about to hit the shelves with dull-looking games, according to New Scientist. They look fantastic, but don’t believe the hype – the fun will be in equipment hacks and data aggregation projects.

The Economist has a couple more good articles: one on the cognitive benefits of bilingual babies and the other on preconscious action selection and free will.

Makes of antidepressant Lexapro (escitalopram) may be gearing up for the latest in a long line a heavy weight US government fines for illegal promotion, reports Furious Seasons.

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