2009-05-08 Spike activity

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

The excellent Holford Watch blog has a right-on-target debunking of a Daily Mail article that uncritically reprinted dodgy ‘hole in brain’ SPECT scans to ‘show’ we’re “wrecking” our brains with caffeine, alcohol, bad living etc.

Harvard Magazine discuss how their neuroscientists are working to ‘untangle the brain: from neuron to mind’.

Daniel Lende, co-founder of the brilliant Neuroanthropology blog, wins a university award for his work on the anthropology of drug use, HIV, PTSD and his online writing. I think this is the first time I’ve ever seen a blog being recognised by mainstream academia. Congratulations!

New Scientist reports on commercial text analysis programmes that rate emotional content.

There’s a brief but good infographic about the history and development of ‘behavioural economics‘ in Foreign Policy magazine.

Scientific American on recent revelations that Masters and Johnson may have faked their ‘gay cure’ case studies.

Eavesdrop on the world! I’ve just discovered searching Twitter for ‘overheard‘.

Science Policy magazine has an article about what the recent fMRI ‘voodoo’ criticisms mean for the role of fMRI in court. This month’s Wired UK has an awesome article on similar territory, but it’s not available online yet.

Researchers find the earliest signs of autism in infancy, reports Time magazine.

Time magazine reports on the recent STAR*D study that used ‘real world’ patients for an antidepressant trial, rather than the highly selected samples usually used, and found that rates of improvement were less.

New antipsychotic iloperidone is approved by the FDA, reports Furious Seasons.

New Scientist reports that IQ correlates with health and there are hints that some of the relationship might be explained by common genetic factors.

There’s an excellent post about pop stars, drug use, society and double standards at Frontier Psychiatrist.

Cognition and Culture has an interesting piece on cross-cultural variation in creationism.

A genetic study into narcolepsy, a disorder where people suddenly and uncontrollable fall asleep, finds an intriguing link with genes for the immune system. Science News covers the discovery.

Developing Intelligence covers a lovely study finding that physically taking a step back is associated with improved problem-solving.

A concert combining the music of Yo-Yo Ma and the neuroscience of Antonio Damasio is reviewed in The New York Times. There are also some interesting comments from Jonah Lehrer who also saw the performance.

Cognitive Daily cover a study that possibly tells us why it’s hard to ignore that attractive stranger that walks past, even when we’re with our partner.

Why does the vaccine/autism controversy live on? asks Discover Magazine in an article that discusses the social factors behind the deadly but popular myth.

Advances in the History of Psychology has an interview with the author of a new book on Skinner.

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