2010-03-19 Spike activity

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

New Scientist has an interesting piece on several conditions somewhat clumsily cobbled together as disorders of ‘extreme empathy’ although it’s still a good read.

Ace t-shirt blogger Coty Gonzales turns out the be a cognitive neuroscientist in an interview for Hide Your Arms.

The Guardian have a video interview with evolutionary anthropologist Robin Dunbar on social group size and social networking websites. No word on poking.

The latest research on using fMRI to ‘read’ subjective mental states, this time during memory recall, is expertly covered by Neurophilosophy.

The Economist discusses the latest advances in brain-to-machine connections. Great photo caption.

Food induced seizures. Neuroskeptic covers a case of a woman who had seizures triggered by eating.

Time magazine covers research finding that psychopaths show greater reward system and reward expectation-related dopamine release. This cued lots of vague musing on the personalities of psychopaths in the press.

A Carl Zimmer talk on his excellent book ‘Soul Made Flesh’ on the beginnings of neurology and neuroscience is available on C-SPAN.

Scientific American have released a feature article that isn’t locked behind a paywall. Read the piece on how the brain handles colours and contours before they change their minds.

The UN recently warned of the effects of drug dependence on developing countries and Addiction Inbox covered the debate. Lots of other good posts on AI recently.

BBC Radio 4 had a documentary on the human library, a scheme where instead of borrowing books, you borrow a person to have a conversation with.

Eight studies demonstrating the power of simplicity are covered by the excellent PsyBlog.

Reuters reports that a French reality TV programme recreated the Milgram conformity experiments. Replaces scientist with a Parisian waiter who tuts when the person doesn’t want to continue.

Reminders of disease primes the body and mind to repel other people, according to new research covered by the BPS Research Digest.

Wired Science cover a new neuroimaging study that aims to understand ‘Gulf War Syndrome‘.

Lip reading for the FBI. Sensory Superpowers covers the use of lip reading by the feds and how we all do it to some degree.

New Scientist discusses the use of torture and the future for interrogation.

During recovery, a brain injured man is building an astounding doll universe with himself as a central character, Henry Darger-like in its scope. The blog of the Marwenocol project has lots of detail.

Biologist Lewis Wolpert reviews Greenberg’s ‘Manufacturing Depression’ in The Guardian.

Science News report on a cross-cultural study finding that sharing money on the ‘ultimatum game’ is related to the extent to which the person lived in communities with market economies.

Kids prefer friends whose speech sounds similar to their own, regardless of race, according to research covered by Scientific American Mind.

Psychological Reports has a paper on graffiti addiction!

Some empirical evidence for the ‘extended mind hypothesis’ (we become our tools) is discussed by Wired Science.

The Times reports on the case of a researcher being sued for libel after criticising bogus lie-detector technology. Please sign the petition at LibelReform.org to keep libel law out of scientific arguments.

A bogus TV report of a Russian invasion panics Georgia, according to a report from BBC News.

The Guardian reports on protests in Colombia by people outraged by narco-soaps glamorising cartels.

Thoughts of randomness enhance supernatural beliefs, according to a research covered in a great post from Deric Bownd’s Mind Blog.

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