2010-05-21 Spike activity

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

BBC Radio 4’s excellent In Our Time had a discussion on William James’ landmark book ‘The Varieties of Religious Experience’

The Neurocritic examines a curious study on the cognitive science of gaydar.

The brilliant behavioural economist Dan Ariely writes for Wired UK on habits and behavioural inertia in consumer decision-making.

Neuroskeptic has an insightful post that gets beyond the dopamine = ‘instant reward liquid’ stereotype that plagues popular neuroscience.

ABC Radio National’s All in the Mind recently had an excellent edition on HIV, dementia and the brain.

The BPS Research Digest comes out as a born-again introspector. Can I get an amen? You tell me brother.

The late great Richard Gregory gets a fitting send off with an obituary in The Times. A chap with a remarkably varied life.

Addiction Inbox has another one of its consistently excellent posts, this time on Al Hubbard “a former intelligence agent, rogue businessman, and general intellectual gadfly” who was one of the initiators of LSD therapy.

There is a jaw dropping and worrying report on BBC News about the growing epidemic of opium addiction in Afghanistan, with audio slideshow.

The Seminal blog seems to catch the American Psychological Association deleting and editing web pages that linked it to CIA torture workshops. Repression? Surely not.

Fashion students must compete with psychology students for retail jobs, reports New York Magazine bleakly. Sounds shit but it’ll probably be a reality show on cable some time soon.

BoingBoing has a visual study guide to cognitive biases.

Toddlers who lie ‘will do better’ demands BBC News. Or, at least, I think that’s what they’re doing. It could be something about early development of theory of mind.

Advances in the History of Psychology has found some archive films from the seminal development psychologist Kurt Lewin.

Caregivers for people with dementia more likely to also get the disease, reports Wired Science. Mechanism unknown.

New Scientist reports on an intriguing but somewhat overenthusiastic research report suggesting that ball lightning may be a hallucination.

The New York Times starts a philosophy section. Shit already hitting the conceptual fan.

Forensic psychology blog In the News covers an interesting angle on the story of anti-gay expert George Rekers being caught with a rent boy – he’s been an expert witness in countless court cases on homosexuality and the revelation may affect the weight of his expert testimony in past cases.

CBS News reports on a study finding that unattractive defendants 22 percent more likely to be convicted than good-looking ones and also get sentenced to an average of 22 months longer in prison.

The four stages of fear present themselves during an attack by a mountain lion! A great piece for Discover Magazine forms part of the brain special issue of the magazine.

Psicología Latina is a new journal in English and Spanish on on the history of psychology in Spain, Portugal and Latin America.

There’s an icky but interesting account of treating President Lincoln’s fatal head wound over at Galen Press.

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