2009-09-18 Spike activity

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

<img align="left" src="http://mindhacks-legacy.s3.amazonaws.com/2005/01/spike.jpg&quot; width="102" height="120"

Neurophilosophy has an excellent piece on how eye movements can reveal the unconscious detection of changes in a ‘change blindness’ demo that the conscious mind is unaware of.

Illusion Sciences has an an excellent visual illusion that changes direction depending on where you look at it.

The sad case of a 9-year-old girl diagnosed with early onset dementia is covered by The Telegraph.

A new study covered by Science News finds that at least 60% of the population experiences depression, an anxiety disorder or substance dependence by the age of 32 and discusses whether this questions the validity of diagnoses or whether like physical illness, mental illness is actually very common.

The BPS Research Digest has an analysis of Derren Brown’s recent lottery prediction stunt and lambasts him for misinforming people about psychology for the purpose of trickery.

The psychology of gay male sex preferences is discussed in an excellent article by Jesse Bering for Scientific American. At this point I normally compliment Bering for his magnificent column, but I shall refrain on this occasion.

In the same vein (oh stop it) Dr Petra look at a recent study that was widely reported as saying that larger penis size means more orgasms. Needless to say, the devil is in the detail.

Cerebrum, Dana’s excellent online neuroscience magazine, has an interesting piece on how arts training improves attention and cognition.

Some fantastic talks about the placebo effect from the Harvard Placebo Study Group are featured on The Situationist.

Cognitive Daily covers an intriguing study on change deafness.

Uncovered emails from GlaxoSmithKline suggests they were prepared to bury data if it suggested a link between antidepressant drug Paxil and birth defects. Bloomberg on the case.

Seed Magazine has an excellent short article about what visual illusions tell us about the psychology of perception. By one of the writers for Mind Hacks favourite Cognitive Daily.

There’s an article on ‘psychocutaneous disorders’, psychiatric problems affecting the skin, in Psychiatric Times. Some fairly unpleasant photos. Not safe for work, or lunch for that matter.

Not Exactly Rocket Science has a typically excellent piece on how rowing as a group increases pain thresholds. I suspect this effect might be why meetings are so protracted and tortuous.

A study on employee satisfaction finds that promises can be broken but career progression is golden, according to New Scientist.

Neuroanthropology finds an interesting lecture by Antonio Damasio on art and emotion.

The development of brain surgery through the nose is covered by ABC News

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