2009-08-07 Spike activity

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

I’ve just discovered the wonders of the Mental Nurse blog, which has a fantastically insightful piece on the dark cultural effects of nurse training.

Harpers Magazine has six questions for Oliver Sacks on music and the brain.

There’s a simple but genius demonstration of the innate structure of music by Bobby McFerrin at the World Science Festival.

Dr Petra examines media pressures and the celebrity psychologist in ‘A tale of two psychologists’.

The risk of dementia is vastly increased in middle aged people who who smoke, have high blood pressure or diabetes, according to research reported by BBC News.

Neuron Culture investigates suicides in US army veterans and why veteran’s mental health care falls short.

New Scientist has an article on ‘ten mysteries of you’ of which several are mind and brain mysteries.

Can we emulate the architecture of the brain on a microchip? asks H+ Magazine in a roundup of ‘silicon intelligence’ projects.

The Telegraph reports comments by the lost-the-plot head of the UK’s Catholic Church who says that Facebook leads young people to commit suicide. Actually, I didn’t think there was an app for that yet.

Kids with imaginary friends have superior narrative skills, according to research expertly covered by the BPS Research Digest.

New Scientist reports on research finding that while watching a film, we subconsciously control the timing of blinks to make sure we don’t miss anything important.

There’s an excellent analysis of a recent media flap over ‘bug spray damages nerves’ headlines over at Neuroskeptic.

The Economist has an article on the USA’s sometimes bizarre sex offender laws and their ineffectiveness at tackling sex offences.

Public opinion about psychiatric medications have been improving since the 1990s even in ‘situations where there might not be a proven benefits’, according to a study covered by Somatosphere.

BBC News reports on research finding that we tend to get happier was we live into old age.

A evidence-based approach to teaching psychotherapy styles in covered in an excellent piece by Dr Shock.

The Science Show from ABC Radio National had a segment on ‘Darwin on empathy‘.

The consistently excellent history of neuroscience blog The Neuro Times has an interesting snippet about a case of a quack neurologist in 1875 Dublin.

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