2010-01-15 Spike activity

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

Herbert Spiegel, legendary pioneer of hypnosis research, has left the building. The New York Times has an obituary.

Corpus Callosum covers a possible new non-addictive anti-anxiety drug. We have a long history of new ‘non-addictive’ anti-anxiety drugs turning out to be addictive. Fingers crossed for this one.

Jenny McCarthy dismisses a recent scientific study on autism and demands more anecdotal data, according to a report by Discovery News.

The Smithsonian Magazine has an article on ‘Phineas Gage: Neuroscience’s Most Famous Patient’.

There’s an excellent piece about the history of child bipolar disorder, a culture-bound syndrome specific to American psychiatry if ever there was one, over at Neuroskeptic.

Vox Project is a BBC Radio 4 documentary on the neuroscience of speech and language. Shortly to evaporate into the black hole that is the time-limited BBC archive, so catch it while you can.

There are some beautiful cut-away illustrations of MRI, PET and CT scanners here.

BBC News reports on the second biggest danger associated with taking cocaine, after acting like a cock.

Viewing headless bodies causes changes in how we perceive faces, according to an intriguing study covered by Neurophilosophy.

The New York Times reviews the new movie documentary on the life of Nobel-winning neuroscientist Eric Kandel.

The top ten most popular posts on the excellent Addiction Inbox blog are listed for your perusal.

The Splintered Mind notes philosopher of mind Eric Schwitzgebel is doing a UK tour. T-shirts presumably available at the venues.

Jewellery and make-up suggest neanderthals were smart, according to archaeologists who have clearly never been down Watford High Street on a Saturday night. Wired UK covers the story.

Scientific American has an excellent article on online social networks and mental health which is locked behind their newly imposed paywall. Science!

The effect of stereotypes and how the unconsciously influence our behaviour is covered in a great piece on PsyBlog.

The New York Times covers new concerns about human rights abuses in China’s drug rehab centres.

An awesome looking book on the history of prion brain disease kuru is reviewed by The Neuro Times.

American Scholar magazine has a quirky A-Z narrative journey through brain science that shouldn’t work, but does.

There’s a great piece on the history of giving beef flavoured Prozac to dogs for ‘canine separation anxiety’ over at Frontier Psychiatrist.

The LA Times covers the debate over cognitive behavioural therapy vs traditional psychological treatments that continues to rumble on. I assumed it was all dolphin therapy in LA.

The US Navy wants troops wearing brain-scanners and doing cognitive assessments in the war zone, according to a report by Wired Danger Room.

Neuroethics at the Core has some excellent coverage of the state-of-play with the ‘next generation’ ampakine cognitive enhancers.

Post-shit-hitting-the-fan morphine cuts combat PTSD rates in half, according to a new study discovered and discussed by Neuron Culture.

The New York Times reports that AI pioneer, Ray Solomonoff, has left the building and has an obituary.

The uncanny valley and the digital Beatles are discussed by the Sensory Superpowers blog.

BBC News reports on a new study finding that angiotensin receptor blocker drugs cut dementia rates.

The latest Brain Science Podcast is an interview with pioneering emotion neuroscientist Jaak Panksepp.

Charlie Rose has part three of his brain series where a cluster of high profile neuroscientists discuss action and the brain.

In a rather timely post, The Frontal Cortex covers a recent imaging study on the neuroscience of charitable giving.

The New York Times has an interesting account of how a judge has tried to reconfigure the court system for low-level drug offenders to promote behavioural change.

A British law automatically sacking MPs who need more than six months out for mental health problems when no such rule exists for physical health problems is being challenged, reports BBC News.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports on how Yahoo! is tooling up with social scientists.

The dying art of Braille reading and how the blind community is using technology is covered by an interesting piece in The New York Times.

New Scientist has an interesting piece on ‘Five emotions you never knew you had’ that tackles various feelings recently classified by psychologists.

An elegant study that helps explain why light makes migraines worse is covered by Science News.

In The Pipeline covers an interesting example of the nocebo effect: residents complain that a new cell phone tower making them ill, company reveals it wasn’t switched on.

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