2010-04-16 Spike activity

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

Should kids be bribed to do well in school? asks Time magazine. Oldest trick in the book tested out by researchers.

Neurophilosophy covers a study finding that wrinkle smoothing Botox injections may diminish the experience of emotion owing to their paralysing effect on facial muscles.

There’s an article that traces the history of placebo controlled studies back through tests of mesmerism into their origin in Christian exorcism rites in The Lancet.

Not Exactly Rocket Science has the best coverage of the headline making study that shows reduced racial biases in children with William’s syndrome – a genetic condition that is linked to virtually absent social anxiety.

Emotion’s Alchemy: how emotional expression and emotional feeling are handled differently by the brain are discussed in a great article for Seed Magazine.

Savage Minds, the excellent anthropology blog, is looking for an assistant editor to join the team.

ABC Radio National’s All in the Mind has an excellent programme on personal construct psychology and its possible application to understanding serial killers. A few straw men thrown in by the interviewees but a compelling programme.

The New York Times has an article on the recently revived and ongoing clinical research into the potential of hallucinogenic drugs.

‘Sleeping Beauty Paraphilia’ and body image disturbance after brain injury. The Neurocritic covers a fascinating case from the medical literature.

Prospect Magazine has a brief article on psychology of voting and the curious things that can influence the electability of candidates.

“I have decided that my campaign against Strunk and White’s toxic little compendium of unfollowable dumb advice, bungled grammar claims, and outright mendacity must be taken directly to America’s colleges”. Language Log rallies the troops.

The Independent has a brief piece on the development of the forthcoming DSM-V psychiatric manual.

Essential reading from The Neurocritic that evaluates the new study that claims to have found the first direct evidence for mirror neurons in humans.

The Fortean Times has an excellent article on the ‘Dream Machine‘ – essentially a rotating lampshade that can induce hallucinations in some people that was directly drawn from neurophysiology research from neurology research.

There are six psychological reasons consumer culture is unsatisfying over at the mighty PsyBlog.

Eurozine has a piece on ‘neurocapitalism‘ that notes that neuroscience “aggressively seeks to establish hermeneutic supremacy”. Bless. Actually, if you can wade through the jargon actually not too bad an article.

“If it wasn’t for war, porn and fast food, we might all still be living in caves”. ABC Radio National’s Counterpoint discusses the role of competition in technology development.

Not So Humble Pie has instructions on how to make the most delicious looking brain cupcakes ever.

There’s an article on the observation that some people with movement disorder Parkinson’s disease can ride bikes perfectly well in The New York Times.

Pharmalot covers a new study finding that there is no difference among antidepressants in raising a youngster’s risk of suicidal thoughts.

The [average] friendship patterns of [American] men are discussed in an article for the Wall Street Journal.

DrugMonkey has a classic interview about the effects of street drugs from Ali G.

There’s a review of the G.tec intendiX at-home mind-reading kit over at Wired UK. Only ¬£8,500. Doesn’t read minds.

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