2010-01-08 Spike activity

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

New Scientist looks at a new theory of synaesthesia that goes beyond the ‘crossed senses’ idea.

Looking younger may be a matter of looking less masculine, according to a study covered by the Psychology of Beauty blog.

The Psych Files show interviews psychologist Scott Lilienfeld on his new book on 50 myths of popular psychology.

There’s a review of Stanislas Dehaene’s new book Reading in the Brain by psychologist Alison Gopnick in The New York Times.

The Neurocritic looks at whether roller coasters cause more brain damage than pillow fights.

How is the internet changing the way we think? asks Edge. Answers from numerous contributors. Beard stroking abound.

The BPS Research Digest covers a study suggesting that prejudice towards migrants stems partly from the fact that they’re awkward to think about.

Autism clusters linked to parents’ education not environmental factors finds new study covered by Scientific American. Predictable nuttiness in the comments. Also good <a href="Autism 'Clusters' Linked To Parents' Education
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=122256276&ps=cprs”>coverage from NPR.

Not Exactly Rocket Science covers a fascinating study on how we get tripped up by the details when trying to see ourselves as others do, who are more likely to focus on the ‘bigger picture’.

Cocaine vaccine leads addicts to take 10 times more cocaine according to a new study covered by Popular Science. That’ll be the same effect as when addicts prescribed methadone ‘top up’ with heroin then.

The Times on how regional accents are strengthening in the UK despite predictions that increased mobility would lead to their loss.

A new TED talk shows Ramachandran still sipping the mirror neuron Kool-Aid. They’re responsible for building civilisation apparently. I say they also shot JFK.

GimpyBlog has an excellent piece about how media psychologist Aric Sigman has been off on another confused ramble about how product placement apparently damages childrens’ impulse control which could lead to violence!

Neuroscientist Curtis Bell has is asking people to sign a “Pledge by Neuroscientists to Refuse to Participate in the Application of Neuroscience to Violations of Basic Human Rights or International Law”. Neuroethics at the Core kick off a debate on the issue.

New Scientist has an essay by Ray Tallis on why you won’t find consciousness in the brain.

Athletes, doctors, and lawyers with first names beginning with “D” die sooner, according to a study just published in Death Studies.

NPR has a brief segment on how WWII conscientious objectors doing civil service exposed mental ward horrors.

The brain’s flexible perception of time is covered in an article for The New York Times.

XKCD has a great parody of the recent ‘disappearing g-spot’ research.

There’s an awesome article at The Boston Globe on how our assumption of how much <a href="Think you have self-control? Careful.
http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2010/01/03/think_you_have_self_control_careful/
http://scienceblogs.com/cortex/2010/01/self-control_redux.php”>self-control we have affects our ability to exercise self-control.

BBC News reports that France is considering a law against ‘psychological violence’. Paris waiters to be first against the wall.

Straight thinking neuroscientist Lise Eliot is interviewed in Discover Magazine about the evidence for human sex differences in the mind and brain.

The New York Times has a piece on how armodafinil, the right-handed molecule of stay-up-forever drug modafinil (armodafinil = R-modafinil, geddit?) is closer to being approved for jet lag (yes, jet lag). See our piece from last year for more background on the new drug

A film by drug lord Pablo Escobar’s son on coming to terms with his father’s atrocities and halting the cycle of violence is covered by Time.

The New York Times reviews a new book on psychedelic experiments in the Harvard psychology department of the 1960s.

Psychologist is in America’s top 100 jobs (at sexy 69) and with psychiatrist at 98, according to a survey by The Wall Street Journal (philosopher is 11th!). Compare recent survey by CNN Money (psychologist 23rd, psychiatrist 24th).

The Times reviews the new exhibition on ‘identity’ at London’s wonderful Wellcome Collection.

A new study in JAMA showing antidepressants only effective for severe depression is covered by The New York Times.

The Sunday Times has a review of the new book ‘Smile or Die: How Positive Thinking Fooled America and the World’. Someone got out of the wrong side of bed this morning.

There’s an interesting piece on the psychology of conspicuous consumption over at New Scientist.

Dr Petra has a fantastic A-Z guide to ‘sex in the noughties’: A-G, H-O and P-Z.

Journalists, lawyers, business people, marketers. Want to get up to speed on the latest neuroscience without the crap? The University of Pennsylvania is running it’s Neuroscience Boot Camp again this August.

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