2010-06-11 Spike activity

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

A new study finds that superstitions improve performance by increasing confidence. Some excellent coverage from Not Exactly Rocket Science and from Bad Science.

Time magazine reports the counter-stereotype finding that men are more susceptible to emotional ups and downs after relationship break-ups than women.

Just too much ‘technology is rewiring our brains’ silliness to link to but in the mean time 14 kids at an ‘internet addiction’ camp in China tied up their guard and made a daring escape. Personally, I blame Donkey Kong.

The BPS Research Digest covers a completely fascinating study on how some words (like ‘sympathy’, ‘murderer’, ‘risk’) lack an opposite and these are consistent across languages.

Children raised by lesbians ‘have fewer behavioural problems’ according to research covered by CNN. Raising better adjusted kids while simultaneously undermining traditional marriage. Devious these lesbians, I tell you. See also good coverage from In the News.

Language Log picks up on an interesting linguistic asymmetry. In light of accusations that a female politician has been unfaithful, the blog asks whether she could be a manizer?

An excellent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education questions whether recent interest in the power of intuition is based on solid science.

Frontier Psychiatrist has an excellent piece on the problems with recruiting psychiatrists and why the speciality needs the brightest and best.

The latest NeuroPod has just gone online. Check the page or download the mp3 directly.

Life Matters from ABC Radio National discusses a new US Military treatment programme to help veterans who have both PTSD and addiction problems.

More than 50% of Americans now believe gay relationships to be acceptable reports The New York Times.

The Neurocritic notes that brain area the insula has become high fashion in neuroscience.

The first yardstick for measuring smells is discussed in an article for Discover Magazine.

PsyBlog covers an interesting study finding that the simply technique for saying a word out loud helps you remember it.

Psychologist Irvin Kirsch says antidepressants are just fancy placebos in an interview for Discover Magazine.

Barking Up the Wrong Tree asks whether a female hitchhiker’s bust size affect her ability to get picked up.

Antipsychotic haloperidol reduces gray matter volume within hours of taking it, according to a new study reported by Nature News.

The New York Times has a piece by Steven Pinker which is probably the best response so far to the ‘tech brain damage’ panic. Next to, oh for Christ’s sake not again, of course.

“Kantian ethicists seem to have a reputation among philosophers for behaving worse than other sorts of ethicists. But who has any systematic empirical data on this?” Eric Schwitzgebel does, at the fantastic Splintered Mind.

80 Beats has a fantastic analysis of the recent big autism genetics study that found a great number of copy number variants in genes that non-gene DNA.

The Dana Foundation Brain Blog has had some great coverage of mind and brain events at the World Science festival.

Radio National Breakfast reports on new research finding out a crucial piece in the puzzle of how lithium can treat Alzheimer’s and bipolar disorder.

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