Quick links from the past week in mind and brain news:
Neuro-linguistic programming: Cargo cult psychology? An excellent piece debunking NLP from the Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education appears online as a pdf. It always struck me as Scientology without the aliens.
PsyBlog has an excellent round-up of 10 influencers of conformity. Fuck me I will do what you tell me.
The US crime rate has been consistently falling, so why do the US public tend to think it’s on the rise? The Boston Globe investigates.
The BPS Research Digest has yet another nail in the coffin for the Freudian idea of repressed memories.
The chairman of the DSM-IV committee writes a stinging attack on the DSM-V for Psychiatric Times.
The Onion gathers the public’s view on the draft of the new psychiatric bible. “If they change which planets men and women are from, I’ll be pissed.”
Some lovely research on how pupil dilation reflects cognitive functions, in this case decision-making, is discussed by the mighty Neurophilosophy.
There’s an engaging interview with Iain McGilchrist, who’s just written a book about the brain’s hemispheres, over at Frontier Psychiatrist.
The Guardian has a short piece on why slot machine gamblers are so hard to study.
Peter Hughes is a psychiatrist blogging about his work on a Haiti mental health programme, over at the Royal College of Psychiatrists.
Newsweek has an excellent piece on how we assume neuroscience studies done on Westerners reflect universal human traits and recent efforts to develop local neuroscience resources.
What distinguishes women with unusually high numbers of sex partners? Barking Up the Wrong Tree reports the surprising answer of one study on the topic.
There’s a good report from the recent Cultural and Biological Contexts of Psychiatric Disorder conference over at Somatosphere.
The Brandon Sun reports that a man is found not responsible for killing a nun during an epileptic fit. The news is now officially complete. Move along.
Film from the original Pavlovian conditioning experiments is dug up by the wonderful Advances in the History of Psychology blog.
Reuters reports on a study finding that beds less visible from the nurses’ station in intensive care units have higher death rates.
“do women want to be humped for 13 minutes straight?” asks Neurotopia who is calling for an empirical investigation into the matter.
The Onion reports that the CIA are forced to complete all scheduled torture in one hectic weekend. “We were already way behind on false executions as it was”.
Pissed up on booze? Or a hard night on the alcohol breakdown product acetaldehyde? Neuroskeptic, a spectacularly good blog, covers an interesting new study.
The Library of Congress Music and the Brain podcast is excellent.
Oh Christ, Louann Brizendine has written a follow-up to her stereotype-waving book ‘The Female Brain’ called (can you guess?) ‘The Male Brain’. Elle, yes that Elle, has an ass-kicking review and interview.
New Scientist covers a study that used mobile phone signals to track daily movements and finds we’re actually very predictable.
The now widely reported genetic overlap between mental disorders should be undermining the diagnostic boundaries of psychiatric diagnoses but don’t shake the tree man, because, like, who knows what’ll fall out? Wiring the Brain discusses the evidence.
BBC News reports on a dating study that found women prefer ‘men who are kind’. No word on whether they prefer men who have more enthusiasm than talent and drink too many energy drinks.
“Placebo treatments stronger than doctors thought”. Not sure whether that’s a headline or a philosophy puzzle. Either way, it’s a story in the Seattle PI.
The Splintered Mind introduces the concept of cognitive shielding. Permits you to shout “They canne hold captain!” when losing an argument.
Sleep is a feminist issue, claim prominent feminists. Noami Wolf disagrees in The Times.